EGEB: Colored solar panels, Saudi corporate gearing up for solar, solar tool orders, more

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Dubai Investments’ Coloured Solar Panels to Dress Buildings in Dubai Through Emirates Insolaire – The header image is of a building covered by panels made by a company owned by Dubai Investments described in the linked article. Check out some other projects by the company. And also check out the technology tab just before you look at the different color specification tab. Note that based upon color specification the total efficiency of the panels changes – that’s neat. The technology tab seems to say that this layer applied atop a standard solar panel will lower overall efficiency by 9-12%. I’ve written the company an email to find out if they make their own panels – or if they buy in the open market from high-efficiency manufacturers. If I get a follow-up, I’ll do a write-up. Cool to see the aesthetics of solar panels able to be considered. I’m bullish on Tesla’s Solar Roof because of the aesthetics. Sold a lot of solar in my life in the USA, and homeowners really care about the curb appeal of their large investment.

Saudi Arabia launches massive ESCO just as Saudi corporate groups begin prepping for solar electricity hedge against politics – As we see the state of Saudi Arabia building massive solar power plants in order to slow electricity from burning oil, so said oil can be sold – we also see folks reading the tea leaves of the political structure. Those leaves seem to suggest that the price of electricity from oil will increase while electricity from solar won’t. An ESCO – an energy services company – is used to analyze a groups electricity usage, then offer lots of hardware to lower the usage. The ESCO then follows with a specialized loan product – the loan payment is based upon energy savings. So, Saudi Arabia just offered its country $507M of cheap money to upgrade their hardware – save some electricity, sell some more oil.

Alfen launches the first storage solution for self-healing power grids in the world – In essence, they’ve designed a really smart battery backup that works within a certain range of the local power grid. The battery hardware knows how to keep the voltage and frequency in check – services that would cause solar power or wind farms to shut down energy export. The article talks about unique ‘cells’ manged by individual battery units. How does one define a cell? Are there circuits added to local power lines that the unit knows how to read, and not pass? Really cool idea.

Jakson Group to add 1.25 GW of solar manufacturing capacity in India – Pretty cool – a 1GW/year solar panel assembly plant plus 250MW/year solar cell manufacturing plant being built in India. Interesting that we get to see costs at $110M to do this project. Article notes three phases of construction – 500MW panels, 500MW panels and then 250MW cells. Not sure if $110M applies to all three projects or just the first.

Tool Order: Meyer Burger confirms heterojunction deal worth over US$45 million – This article belongs right next to the above article. The big building being built above will house the machines in orders from solar machine makers like Meyer Burger. Lots of good data in this article – Meyer Burger said that the CHF 45 million (US$45.6 million) deal included installation, on-site training and service of its HELiA platform for the production of high efficiency bifacial HJ solar cells as well as a full interlink automation of the manufacturing facility, intended to provide capacity of 200MW of cells per annum. $45M for hardware – 200MW/year of panel capacity = $0.228/W for manufacturing hardware/install/training. Equipment supplier will also collaborate in a joint development partnership with the PV manufacturer to drive average HJ cell efficiencies beyond 23%. Ohh baby…talk dirty to me. 🙂 Delivery of the equipment to the customers existing facility in Catania, Italy was said to start by mid-2018. A quick google of Catania, Italy and solar manufacturing gave me Enel Green Power buying an old solar facility and converting it to bifacial heterojunction. We might have a winner!

First, I’m going to cold water the tweet a bit – then I’ll re-hype it. Ok? Cool! So, 80 years of coal got 2,000GW of capacity – wow…cool. Coal has a capacity factor (what % of time it actually creates electricity for grid) of probably 55%. So that 2,000GW is sorta kinda like 1,100GW of 100% coal. Now, ‘renewables’ global capacity factor is roughly 30% (I’m just mixing wind/solar together really roughly) – similar to 300GW of 100% renewables. Now, we have the real numbers. 300GW of electricity from renewables built in next five years versus the 1,100GW of coal over the prior 80 years. At that pace, accounting for growth of installation rates, we’ll have built as much renewable between today and 2030 as we built for coal starting in 1947. And the IEA is known for underestimating stuff….

Featured image of a project of colored solar panels from the lead article – found on manufacturer’s website – Swinninso

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