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EGEB: Top 10 2017 solar panel suppliers, climate change and geopolitics, global solar capacity growing, more

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

Top 10 module suppliers in 2017 – Shown also are the seven companies we identified in the past 12-18 months as the companies that we expected to be in the 4GW+ annual shipment level during 2017, forming the exclusive grouping we named as the Silicon Module Super League (SMSL). Their highest volume products aren’t necessarily for consumers (large format utility-scale solar panels) – but some of their ’boutique’ product lines might be just right.

Meyer Burger beats revenue guidance for 2017 – and – Meyer Burger achieves highest order intake in six years – We’ve seen and heard much in 2017, and starting from 2015, that the solar panel manufacturing industry is in a technologically driven growth phase. This company is one of the technology drivers when it comes to making the machines that make solar panels. Hearing their annual results is evidence of 2017 manufacturing capacity growth – and suggests more global capacity coming, along with spreading of high-tech hardware.

SEIA attempts to get ahead of “Locational Value” – One of the newest and most advanced trends is a move to identify the locational value of resources on the grid and to compensate distributed resources based on those values. “As useful as locational value is in some contexts, it should not be used to replace other policies such as net metering, especially in emerging markets,” declares the white paper. “Net metering has a demonstrated record of creating strong markets for renewables, and a location-based-variable tariff has yet to be demonstrated anywhere in the [United States].” And that’s the key of the paper – yes, let’s make use of locational value. It’s an important piece of solidifying the grid, however, let’s not allow it to take away from other more powerful legislative techniques – let this locational value complement these things. Smart SEIA – let’s make sure we educate the politicians.

A long-simmering factor in Iran protests: climate change – Drought is a concern across the Middle East, but Iran’s 80 million people are especially at risk. This month, the director of Iran’s Drought and Crisis Management Center, Shahrokh Fateh, said that 96% of the country’s land area was experiencing prolonged drought conditions, the semiofficial ISNA news agency reported. In some of the hardest hit areas, including border provinces where ethnic and religious minorities complain of official neglect, concerns over natural resources were a key driver of the demonstrations that began in late December. The Arab Spring and Syrian uprising was correlated with food price increases, and many find direct causation in those events. Political scientists have seen this pattern in other places looking back. You might debate with me whether US consumers are extracting value from the grid via net metering and their few cents per kWh, taking an unfair ride of sorts – I’ll respond that the collapse of one of the oldest, most powerful civilizations on the planet is an infinitely greater cost to humanity.

China’s Real Offshore Disaster – In 2016, China’s Ministry of Agriculture declared that there were “no fish” left at all. It hurts when the pragmatic response to the worst oil spill in half a century is, ‘well, if it had to happen somewhere – this is a great place for it to happen.’

Right now there’s an argument in the USA about building natural gas pipelines into the northeast to balance out record high gas prices during our recent cold snap. I’d argue that once every three to four-year price bumps are not worth building infrastructure for outdated gas peaker plants. Storage plus more renewables – fight forward, deal with complexities, fight forward.

Featured image is from the Twitter account of  Dr. Thomas Hillig. “ 18 Luxury has 512kW plant

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