GreatCell Solar gets perovskite money for a real project

GreatCell Solar gets perovskite money for a real project

Futurology, Manufacturing, Solar Panels, Solar Power
Perovskite has held onto the headlines. The goal is to create a solar cell made of much cheaper materials with higher efficiencies. The material is showing greater promise - 26.4% when combined with standard silicon solar cells. Oxford PV is building a factory - and other groups suggest perovskite sales might happen in a commercial setting in 2018. Now, a great Australian group (that has also signed a research deal with a pretty large solar manufacturer) is getting money to install a system. A small one - but a real one that we can touch. Yes, the long term window is still long before this product could come to be deployed in any considerable fashion - but once someone figures out the secret sauce and starts selling a 25%+ efficient…
Read More
30% electricity from wind in four states

30% electricity from wind in four states

Futurology, Utilities, Wind
A long time ago, it seems, those who questioned intermittent electricity like wind and solar thought it was impossible for a power grid to handle more than 2%, then 5% then 10% and 20%, etc - you get the point. Today the argument in academic circles is around what happens after 80% solar+wind - and at the end of March, in the tweet below, we saw the Southwest Power Pool (an electricity ISO that serves a healthy chunk of the midwest) break 62% from wind for a magical moment. Yes, these are smaller states in the wind heavy Midwest, so not every place can have t like the Midwest - but what matters here is that our engineers are able to manage the power grid even with these 'unpredictable' electricity…
Read More
The ‘incrementally evolving’ utility

The ‘incrementally evolving’ utility

Environment, Futurology, Renewable Energy, Solar Power, Utilities, Wind
Two electricity utilities are in different places than they were a year or two ago - all because of renewables. Two stories I wrote for pv magazine this week - the first, Another gas plant spurned as renewable energy takes over in California, and the second Rocky Mountain Power's incremental evolution. The second story is more interesting than the first in my opinion - but the first is a hard reality of what's happening all over the nation. (more…)
Read More
Home energy storage and blockchain experiments

Home energy storage and blockchain experiments

Batteries, Futurology, Renewable Energy, Residential Solar, Solar Power, Utilities
The goal of using blockchain technology - versus a standard centralized utility - is that individual energy storage and solar power systems can talk directly to each other. Currently, the large electricity utilities talk to large scale distributed solar facilities via phone call and spreadsheets. There are occasional experiments - in Hawaii for instance - where we are trying to get solar panel level data to the electricity utilities. And everyone is asking for this high level data - we're just not there yet. The blockchain folks think they have a solution though... (more…)
Read More
Imagine your hot phone recharged itself

Imagine your hot phone recharged itself

Futurology
Huge amounts of energy float around us that we don't collect. Mostly it doesn't make sense due to energy density and our broader needs - nor our technological capabilities, and so to align with the economics of reality we burn fossil fuels. However, don't let your imagination be locked down - John Galt once pulled static electricity from the sky. (more…)
Read More
China’s solar dominance considered a risk factor

China’s solar dominance considered a risk factor

Construction, Futurology, Growth, Solar Power, Utilities
On the one hand - the large majority of solar power global growth occurred in China in 2017. And if you're a business person you're taught - don't depend on one customer! Good point. Except for one thing - the solar power industry is a clumpy one when considering growth, and this clumpiness seems to repeat. For instance... (more…)
Read More
California 100 to 150 MW of floating wind proposed

California 100 to 150 MW of floating wind proposed

Construction, Futurology, Growth, Projects, Wind
The main reason I'm highlighting this is because its California. And if California ends up going in big on off-shore wind power - that's going t0 be a great thing. For a first, the East Coast totally beat Cali to a renewable technology - with many GW of offshore in the plans in Mass, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, and more - and of course with the U.S.'s first offshore plant at Block Island, Rhode Island. (more…)
Read More