CGEB: Solar panels cool buildings, PG&E 78% GHG free, LONGi at 23.6%,more

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A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Solar panels keep buildings cool – Using thermal imaging, researchers determined that during the day, a building’s ceiling was 5 degrees Fahrenheit cooler under solar panels than under an exposed roof. At night, the panels help hold heat in, reducing heating costs in the winter. For the building researchers analyzed, the panels reduced the amount of heat reaching the roof by about 38 percent. His team determined that the amount saved on cooling the building amounted to getting a 5 percent discount on the solar panels’ price, over the panels’ lifetime. Or to put it another way, savings in cooling costs amounted to selling 5 percent more solar energy to the grid than the panels are actually producing— for the building researchers studied. It’s an old study, but someone posted it on reddit and it made me happy to see it coming back around. As a commercial solar salesperson, you never get the chance to really inject this financial benefit into a pro-forma, its too wishy washy. All my numbers come from UL, the IRS and NREL. 5% discount/more solar means projects that pay back in 5-10 years, takes off 3 to 6 months from system’s the payback period.

PG&E hits California’s 2020 renewable energy goal – 78.8% of PG&E’s total electric power mix is from GHG-free sources including nuclear, large hydro, and renewable sources of energy.  The renewable portion of that is 33% – California’s 2020 goal. Nationally, we’re at about 37% electricity from GHG-free sources. Amazing work PG&E.

Wuxi Suntech providing half-cut cell modules to European customersHigh-performance multicrystalline half-cut cell modules to European customers, offering power classes of 295/290W. Module performance was also said to have been improved because of cell current losses by 50% with half-cut cell technology and cell temperature operation dropping by 20~25℃ compared to conventional modules, according to the company. Solar cells in solar panels might be getting permanently smaller, which makes me wonder if companies like Solaria – doing shingle cells covering 99%+ of the solar panel face – are the end game. Is there a way to make a single sheet of silicon that is 6ft x 3ft?

Israel aims to eliminate use of coal, gasoline and diesel by 2030 – The aim for 2030 is to alter that to 83% natural gas and 17% renewable energy, with “zero pollutants,” Steinitz said. Leaving those fuels is nice, shifting to gas is a bit cleaner. What’s it going to be in the long game though? Can’t burn gas forever.

Wood helps secure subsea wires – I watch the wind industry and subsea cables because subsea cable advancements allow us to move electricity internationally. Moving electricity internationally means we get a fairly consistent amount of solar power as the sun circles the planet. It is an inevitability (just like the macrogrid).

Its almost as if there is some sort of pattern, some event that is occurring over and over – driving a change that cannot be stopped. Something…whatever it is.

Regarding the below tweet – we’re going to get more energy smart. We’re going to keep adding technological IQ to hardware and algorithms running underneath to automate certain activities. We’ll build equations that watch generation, consumption, sources, and then consider your plans for the day – and then they’ll decide how to move that current. Just getting smarter, will make us use 20% less electricity.

Feature image comes from the Department of Energy. Solar panels in winter. Photo by Paul Bouchard.

If you’re interested in residential several quotes from a local residential solar contract, will connect you with that local talent so you can start a proper bidding war for your roof.

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John Weaver
Solar Power Plant Project Developer at Commercial Solar Guy
John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar consultant - aka The Commercial Solar Guy. As a project developer and installer, he's sold and managed 50+ solar projects worth more than $10 million, ranging from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain - as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier, climbs mountains, played football, enjoys an IPA or scotch, needs to get away, and really loves this strange connection between politics, energy, finance, environment, etc in the energy world, and likes run on sentences.

Current and occasional stock positions that I have written about are ASYS, TSLA, CAFD and TAN - plus Bitcoin and Etherium.

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