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EGEB: Amish solar phone booths; Energy storage record quarter; EU still taxing solar panels; more

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Amish phone booths – McKenna trained a local high-school physics teacher to do installations. About 50 of them are off the grid. One lights up the gazebo in the local cemetery; others are phone booths meant especially for the Amish. Since religious principle dictates no electricity at home, they rely on the booths as a crucial link to the outside world.  The article is really about solar power in Trump voting areas, but the Amish piece caught my attention. Solving problems with solar.

Alectris, Alencon Partner to Repower Aging Solar PV Plants – I like this term ‘repower’ – Repowering really is just upgrading old inverters and solar panels. There is some analysis needed to see the new size inverters wanted (as solar panels have degraded) and other hardware to buy, but, with solar panels lasting longer than expected this is a valuable service. Deeper thoughts on the process. Also, as a homeowner, this ought make you realize that your solar power system will last as long as your house does.

EU likely to cut minimum import price for Chinese solar panels – Chinese solar panel imports have been subject to measures to counter dumping and subsidies since 2013, with an 18-month extension agreed by EU countries earlier this year. The politicians are saying that in August of next year, Europe will see the tariffs applied to Chinese panels fall in price. One main issue with this – if I am an investor, and as the article here states prices of a piece of hardware will fall a large chunk in a year, I am going to wait. This slows business – and since we’re talking environmental challenges – this hurts the planet and lungs of humans.

EU excludes two more Chinese module makers from minimum price undertaking – When you create rules that don’t represent the truer marketplace, people will cheat. AE Solar has provided incomplete quarterly reports on its sales, while Wuxi Saijing has set up a trading system with an independent importer, which has allowed the company to sell the solar modules under minimum import prices in Europe after the entry into force of the undertaking. Furthermore, Wuxi Saijing has conducted compensation transactions with the customer, thus circumventing the rules.

Railways seek security for India’s first solar train – “We have not come across any effort in which locals tried to steal the panel. However, going by the Railways experience of the theft of panels from signals and crossings, it wants to take precautionary measures. Villagers install these panels on the rooftops of their houses to get electricity for bulbs and fans.” Sounds like there is some unmet demand for basic electricity…

California, Hawaii drive US to busiest ever quarter for behind-the-meter energy storage – During Q2 2017, a total of 443 behind-the-meter systems, including residential and commercial market segments, were deployed. This equated to 32MWh of capacity, 27.3MWh of which was non-residential, leaving 4.7MWh to the household market. This meant a 151% increase in non-residential deployments and 89% growth in residential over Q1 2017. Plus a cool graphic below. Another article shows that 31 utilities installed energy storage in 2016 for the first time and their reasoning: 80% of utility respondents said they’re currently implementing or considering energy storage to defer grid investments.

Sonnen, E3 / DC, Senec and LG Chem dominate German residential PV storage market – And since we’re on an energy storage binge – 16,800 storage systems were deployed in the first half of this 2017 in Germany. Article gives a nice breakdown of who the players are in Germany – interesting Tesla isn’t on the list.

So the cost of generation is falling – but delivery costs are increasing. Another reason locally produced solar electricity that offsets significant amounts of energy distribution is worth full net metering values.

Header image of wind farm at Bent Sørensen owned by Dong Energy

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