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EGEB: Trump (voters) for solar, Flow batteries for 20+ years, Half cut solar cells add 3% efficiency, more

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

The U.S. solar industry’s new growth region: Trump country – GTM Research shows that eight of the 10 fastest-growing U.S. solar markets between the second quarters of 2016 and 2017 were Western, Midwestern or Southern states that voted for Trump, with Alabama and Mississippi topping the list. First it was the wind power – made easy by the fact that the USA’s strongest wind resources push across the central states of this country with a fury. And now solar power is placing itself firmly in all political regions of the country. This evolution could have a real effect on the Suniva trade case.

Vionx completes ‘revolutionary, safe and reliable’ 3MWh flow battery installation at Holy Name High – The installation at Holy Name High School, MA, is one of the largest flow batteries in the United States and is designed for a 20+ year lifetime, during which it will retain its full storage capacity. The thing about flow batteries that most interests me are three key items – their lifetime, their capacity staying at 100% over their lifetime and that they can scale really fast in size. Anyone have pricing information on this type of hardware? From what I read it’s really only for large-scale applications – unlike lithium-ion – and we might never see them in our homes.

Shams Dubai Solar Rollers – Participating high school teams will design, build and race custom solar-powered radio-controlled cars. Each racecar is a complete, sophisticated photovoltaic (PV) clean energy system. At the bottom of this post are the top  three winners of the World Solar Challenge – a car race at 50mph+ across 3,000 miles of Australia. The future designers of these car races are being educated in Dubai high schools today. Cool.

China annual polysilicon capacity to rise to 285,000 tons at end of 2017 – Lots of interesting data in this article, love this site: China-based polysilicon makers’ combined annual production capacity will increase from 210,000 tons at the end of 2016 to 285,000 tons at the end of 2017, enough for producing 61GWp of solar cells. As China-based solar cell makers have total annual production capacity of over 80GWp, local polysilicon supply is not sufficient and about 30% of the demand relies on imports. In addition, polysilicon used to produce solar mono-Si wafers is of higher purity than polysilicon for producing poly-Si wafers and thus most of imported polysilicon is of higher purity. First off, we now have a baseline to work off of – 285,000 tons of polysilicon is enough for 61GW of solar panels – 1GW of solar will take 4,672 tons of polysilicon. That’s about 2.8 lbs per solar panel if a panel were 300W. Interestingly, as panels get more efficiency – the same amount of silicon makes a lot more solar.

Morocco’s ‘largest rooftop solar plant’ nears completion with cold storage – 1,361kWp rooftop solar system combined with an ice-based storage system on the roof of its new factory. “Our energy needs vary widely and we wouldn’t always need all the energy the solar plant would produce. However, you can’t inject excess electricity into the national grid in Morocco, so we needed to find a way to store it.” – Maghreb CEO Hakim Marrakchi – There are going to be many places where technology like this makes sense. The flow batteries above make sense.

Interview: JinkoSolar CEO discusses half-cut cell technology – A very quick line on what you can expect to gain from half cut solar cells: The HC Series has increased the power output of polycrystalline modules to 285 Wp, monocrystalline modules to 295Wp, and monocrystalline PERC modules to 320 Wp. The HC series delivers an increase of 10Wp per panel when compared to its non-half-cell conventional counterparts. A 10W bump using the exact same technology – except cutting it in half and running the wiring a little differently. That’s a 3% gain!

Warming seas could lead to 70 percent increase in hurricane-related financial loss – Under the 2005 climate scenario, the study estimates that the expected loss in the Charlesston, SC region due to a severe hurricane — one with a 2 percent chance of occurring in 50 years — would be $7 billion. Under the warming oceans scenario, the intensity and size of the hurricane at the same risk level is likely to be much greater, and the expected loss figure climbs to $12 billion. I love this word – externality. It’s the word you must use when battling those who say simplicities such as, ‘coal/gas/oil/etc is cheaper – FREE MARKET!’ Absolutely – let’s talk free market. The free market would recognize that the increase in damage is due to ‘X’ and those who are responsible for ‘X’ would pay for that damage. Sounds like a carbon tax to me.

And to end a wonderful week of morning briefs fine readers – we now give you the top three finishers from the 2017 Bridgestone Solar World Challenge:

And our second place finisher:

Filling our the winners podium:

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. Hawaii solar. Photo by Reegan Moen.

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