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EGEB: Solar+farming, 100MW Tesla battery comes online, rooftop solar growing significantly in China, more

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

Harvesting the Sun for Power and Produce – Agrophotovoltaics Increases the Land Use Efficiency by over 60 Percent – Winter wheat, potatoes, celeriac and clover grass were the first crops to be tested. The south-west orientation and the extra distance between the five meter high rows of bifacial glass-glass PV modules ensured that the crops were exposed to uniform solar radiation. “The crop yield of clover grass under the PV array was only 5.3 percent less than the reference plot,” reports Prof. Petera Högy, agricultural expert at the University of Hohenheim. The yield losses for potatoes, wheat and celeriac are between 18 to 19 percent and therefore somewhat higher.” This is another example of infrastructure integrated photovoltaics (IIPV). This is also a very interesting step in my mind – if we can open up huge swathes of global farmland to be used for solar power the land use argument goes away, and the amount of land that can be used for solar power is suddenly far in excess of what would be needed to power the planet.

Tesla completes world’s largest li-ion battery system in Australia – The 100MW battery is charging. Tesla managed to get something installed really quickly – and it represents the death knell for projects that suggests a decade to complete. If a solar plus energy storage plant can come online faster and be competitive price wise – not even winning necessarily – it is going to be installed in a lot of places. And these average sized installs are all going to be larger than 100MW because the big energy world works in the 200MW-2GW of capacity.

Solar-powered cattle feeder delivers optimal nutrition efficiency – “The feeder has replaced labor and its associated costs. It has also reduced my energy costs,” Barney notes. “Unlike a creep feeder, programmed feeding is consistent. The hopper is protected, which results in less wasted feed. This feeder gives me peace of mind because I know my livestock won’t miss a feeding.” I don’t know much about livestock – and really this quote here is more about building a quality piece of hardware than the solar power integrated – however, the solar power gives this piece of hardware a great advantage: drop it in the middle of the field, let the animals eat. Distributed, automated cattle feeding.

Singulus bags another HJT order – Heterjunction solar cells. If they can keep growing, they’re going to give us another pathway to up our solar efficiency.

Rooftop PV key driver of 2017 installation forecast hike in China – “The main factors driving the estimates boost were rooftop solar PV uptake, which so far this year already reached around 15 GW, as well as the number of projects built before they have secured quota, the qualification to receive national subsidy, which at this point amount to at least 7 GW. These were the two biggest surprises,” Yvonne Liu, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance China’s big rooftop surprise is more solar than the second largest solar installing country in the world will install in 2017 (the USA).

BIG SUN’s iPV Tracker has new bifacial module version to boost yield – This gets 100% more energy than non-tracking standard solar panels. I thought that was enough of a datapoint for talking about this technology. Does bifacial give dual axis trackers a better chance? My gut says that any advantage dual axis trackers get from bifacial will also be gained by standard single axis or fixed solar installations, but maybe there is a nuanced benefit from all that space below dual axis trackers.

The concept of paying for the externalities associated with the biproducts of burning fossil fuels is not a new one. It’s just gotten more attention as we’re starting to scale as a species and bearing the consequences of co2, sulfur, lead, etc.

Interesting that the largest solar deal in Africa was off-grid. I must ask though, at what project size does off grid become The Grid?

Considering residential solar? Understand Solar will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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