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EGEB: Solar Decathalon is on!; $57B/year for solar panels; dusty panels lose up to 35%; more

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

Solar Decathlon competition brings cutting-edge home designs to Denver – In 2005, decathlon homes included handheld devices with touch screens to operate systems in the houses. That year also saw several homes using LED lights, Silverman said, long before the next-generation of energy-efficient lighting was available at the local hardware store. How many of you have these features in your homes today? You should pay attention to these students because they’re integrating the technologies you’ll be using in the future.

  • Thursday, Oct. 5, through Sunday, Oct. 8 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.
  • Monday, Oct. 9, from 1 p.m.–7 p.m.
  • Thursday, Oct. 12, through Sunday, Oct. 15 from 11 a.m.–7 p.m.

Any locals going? Wanna post pictures in the comments section?

California energy storage siting bill signed into law – It’s a simple law: provide documents in a centralized, online location so people can easily apply for energy storage permits. As a former small company owner, having to run down to the permit office to get the documents in the middle of a business day – takes time, costs money, limits my ability to get work done. These are called soft costs. I’m told the whole country of Germany has a single document for solar permits. The US, we can have documents and requirements change in neighboring cities.

Global Solar Panel Market Will Reach USD 57.5 Billion by 2022 – This is just the solar panels. Not the racking, inverters, extra components, land work, labor or energy generation itself. Big money in this game.

U.S. Trade Dispute Scaring Companies From Buying Solar Power – One goal of business people who are looking to strategically attack their competition is to create business discontinuity. You don’t actually have to create a new law, but create the belief that a new law will come – and that in and of itself will slow the progression. While corporate sales of wind usually exceed solar power, the gap was starting to narrow. That trend is now reversing. While wind deals exceeded solar by about 40 percent last year, this year through mid-September businesses have signed contracts to buy almost three times as much wind power as solar.

Riverside County solar project scores $131-million deal with Central Valley farm district – Modesto Irrigation District will pay $34.22 per megawatt-hour of electricity from the Blythe project. That’s almost certainly cheaper than the cost of a new natural gas plant, even without taking into account the public health and environmental damage caused by burning gas, a fossil fuel. Prices for the cheapest natural gas plants averaged between $48 and $78 per megawatt-hour last year, according to the investment bank Lazard. Showing off this article for two reasons – 1. A local municipality is saving serious $$$ by buying electricity at 3.42¢/kWh from solar power. Over a 25 year period, and hundreds of millions of kWhs, that’s tens of millions in savings for tax payers. Hard cash. 2. Sammy Roth is the author, and he deserves to get attention and be spread as he writes a good product.

Dusty solar panels slash power output by over 35%, study reveals – The US has relatively little dust and sees only small reductions in power due to dusty build-up. By contrast, more arid regions such as the Arabian Peninsula, Northern India, and Eastern China can see heavy losses: 17% to 25% or even more, if cleaning is only performed on a monthly basis. For one cleaning per every two months, losses can jump to 25%, even edging over 35%. In the US, the customers that I generally tell to pay attention to cleaning their panels are in high dust areas – in my career I remember one customer, an auto detailer near a highway, who gained a 10% bump by cleaning every 3-4 months. Theirs was an abnormal case because of the large size of particle due to auto work. Customers in high rain areas like the east coast of the USA generally don’t benefit too much from professional cleanings – maybe you ought to buy yourself a high pressure hose that can get the water up real high. In the western deserts of the US – the cleaning becomes more important. Since solar power is put together in discrete strings of panels, you can near scientifically measure the results of cleaning by cleaning one string, and watch the comparable performance.

Wind power generated greater than 5.5% of electricity in 2016 – that excludes a large volume installed during the year. That’s more than 3X what solar power generated. The short article suggests the prices fell due to high competition trying to get product in the ground as a US tax credit came near ending. Looks like incentives can drive lower pricing.

Because who doesn’t like drone videos of the largest solar plants on the planet –

Header image from the ‘Hit me with your SunShot‘ photography contest. Since I’ve shown each of the winning photographs – I’ve now moved into showing off some of the images that didn’t ‘win’ – but are beautiful nonetheless. These images are located on the flickr account page of SunShot. This SunPower by E2 Solar installation for Habitat for Humanity is an example of a community solar project that contributes to Habitat’s mission of providing homes that are affordable to own and power. Photo by Chris Wingard.

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