Wind & Solar News

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Check out the following wind and solar news if you haven’t gotten enough of a fix from CleanTechnica‘s wind and solar coverage.

Wind News

Innovations for Higher Turbine Capacity Factors

Towers are getting taller, controls more intelligent, and ultrasound can now be used to measure wind velocity while we wait for laser technology to become more cost-competitive.

Capacity Factors up to 41%

The entire wind sector now seems to have a common goal for onshore turbines. The latest ones in the pipeline have rotor diameters of 127 to 140 meters with generators of 3.0 to 4.2 megawatts. This design will allow the turbines to start power production from lower wind velocities.

What the Wind Tree Costs

A French website has published the probable cost of the plastic tree that will generate electricity. The cost is astonishingly high.

The Silent Wind Revolution in the US Continues

Today, Bernard Chabot documents the shift in wind turbines towards Class 3, with far greater capacity factors, which have risen from 22 percent in 2001 to 33 percent.

Tripling Output from Wind Power in Germany

Bernard Chabot is back today with a forecast for Germany: Wind power production will triple thanks to repowering.


Solar News

SunPower Unveils New Solar Products & Low-Key 2016 Guidance

Following in the wake of a respectable Q3 financial earnings report, US solar manufacturer SunPower has revealed a new line of solar panels and low-key financial guidance for 2016. SunPower announced its third quarter earnings late-October, revealing the continuing efforts of its new business focus, that of retaining assets rather than selling them.

6 Key Takeaways From an Upbeat Analyst Day at SunPower

“We’re back to growth,” proclaimed SunPower CEO Tom Werner at the solar company’s annual analyst day. Analyst days at any company tend to be optimistic affairs — and last week’s SunPower briefing was no exception. But this episode was actually chock full of news. (Here’s the presentation [PDF] and a link to an audio archive.) “We are a technology company,” said the CEO, with “new technologies across the supply chain.” He cited 30 years of holding the title of the world’s highest-efficiency solar cell.

Determining the Value of Solar Is More Important Than Ever

America’s solar industry is hoping for an attractive post-2016 economic outlook by pushing to extend the federal Investment Tax Credit while strengthening state-level regulations and policies. But our regulatory priorities shouldn’t overlook an equally important economic issue: properly assessing the value of solar generation.

Rhone Resch Outlines All the Ways the Solar Investment Tax Credit Could Be Extended

Rhone Resch, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, is spending this week meeting with Republican members of Congress to champion an extension of the federal solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

Sunrun CEO: Saying the ITC Won’t Be Renewed Is a ‘Self-Fulfilling Prophecy’

The solar industry is talking about the federal solar Investment Tax Credit in the wrong way, according to Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun. “I don’t think we should be saying it’s not going to be renewed. I really don’t,” she said Tuesday at GTM’s U.S. Solar Market Insight conference.

Slideshow: Reaching 250GW, The Next Order of Magnitude in US Solar

Shayle Kann, GTM’s VP of research, kicks of US Solar Market Insight conference.

Peter Rive on SolarCity’s Plan to Moderate Growth: It’s All About Customer-Acquisition Costs

Peter Rive, SolarCity’s chief technical officer and co-founder, says that the company is preparing itself for the loss of the 30 percent federal tax credit. “We’re planning for it to happen. The worst time to align the company around that reality is in 2017,” said Rive, speaking at GTM’s Solar Market Insight conference in San Diego.

Solar Stocks Continue to Plummet in a ‘Bizarre Confluence of Contradictory Events’

Earlier this year, SunEdison set a course to become the first renewable energy supermajor. In mid-July, the project developer’s stock was up ahead of the initial public offering of its YieldCo, TerraForm Global. SunEdison had also made several billion-dollar acquisitions of wind and solar companies, and had just announced plans to enter the residential solar market with the acquisition of Vivint Solar for $2.2 billion. At the time, SunEdison had a $9 billion market capitalization. Things have changed dramatically.

SolarEdge Reports Record Quarter Results

Israeli-based solar PV inverter manufacturer SolarEdge reported record quarter revenue this week, taking in $115.1 million. In the company’s first quarter-2016 financial earnings report (Q1’16), SolarEdge reported record revenue of $115.1 million, up $16.9% on the quarter-previous, and up 71.8% year-over-year.

Next-Gen Energy Storage Aims At Concentrating Solar Power Plants

Energy storage is the key to making concentrating solar power plants an economical, reliable alternative to coal for electricity generation, and the US is determined to lead the field into new levels of efficiency. In the latest development, the Energy Department’s SunShot initiative is behind a new energy storage system based on chemical bonds that transfer heat as they store and release energy.

If Germany Had 4 Times More Solar…

Germany is the country with the most photovoltaics installed worldwide. A new study now says that solar in combination with batteries would allow a lot more PV to be installed. Craig Morris says the investigation confirms his worst fears.

Senator Vitter Calls For Slashing Solar Tax Credits, Not Fossil Fuel Subsidies

David Vitter is running for governor of Louisiana. He calls for eliminating tax credits for solar panels while taking donations from oil and gas interests.

Wisconsin Solar Tax Struck Down

Judge Peter Anderson reversed a decision made in 2014 by the Wisconsin Public Service Commission to add a fee for distributed solar generation, one that was passed on to customers in the area served by We Energies, a utility.

Photons & Solar Panels

We talk plenty today about solar panels, but not many really grasp how they work — how they create electricity. In his book, Let It Shine: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy, author John Perlin takes readers back to Albert Einstein in 1905 for perspective on the matter of light: “Einstein showed that light possesses an attribute that earlier scientists had not recognized. Light, he discovered, contains packets of energy, which he called light quanta (now called photons).”

What is the Best Solar Panel Angle?

A home solar array is only as useful as it is appropriately sized, oriented, and installed. A poorly-matched system installed in a suboptimal location can be a big disappointment, so it’s important to pay attention to a lot of little details when planning to go solar.

Dutch Teams Sweep 2015 World Solar Challenge

Teams from the Netherlands won the top prizes in the 2015 World Solar Challenge in Australia. The cars run primarily on solar power during the competition.

19% Of Chile’s Electricity Could Be Solar By 2050

Chile’s Ministry of Energy wants to have 19% of the country’s electricity generated by solar in 35 years. Hydro, oil, gas, and coal generate most of it currently. Wind and solar have a very small presence but are growing.

SunEdison Completes New Hampshire’s Largest Solar Power Plant

SunEdison has completed the construction of New Hampshire’s largest solar power plant, a 942 KW project located in the town of Peterborough. The world’s largest renewable energy development company made the announcement last Friday upon completion of the 942 kilowatt DC solar power plant, which will now generate solar power for the town over the next 20 years, and save local taxpayers an estimated $250,000 on energy.

InnoLas Laser Technology Supports 800MW Solar Cell Factory

InnoLas Solutions GmbH (InnoLas) is supplying five additional ILS-TT high throughput laser machines for Passivated Emitter Rear Cell (PERC) technology to Sino-American Silicon Products Inc. (SAS) with its subsidiary Sunrise Global Solar Energy Co. Ltd. The new laser machines are for Sunrise’s high efficiency cell factory with 800 MW of yearly production.

Wind + Solar

Transitioning To A Low Carbon Economy Will Create 2 Million Jobs By 2050

Transitioning to a low carbon economy will add 2 million jobs in America by 2050 says climate activist Tom Steyer. His goal is 80% fewer emissions by 2050.

Renewables Gathering Speed Across the Heartland

7 years ago, my state of Michigan was looking at possibly as many as 9 new coal plants in planning stages. Two of them within 25 miles of my home. Today, all those plans have gone away – we have a landscape increasingly dotted with wind turbines – which are producing more power, more cheaply, than was imagined back then – new wind purchase agreements in this state are coming in at less than 5 cents/kwh.

How Germany’s Renewable Energy Revolution Took Off

Germany wasn’t the most likely birthplace for a revolution in renewable energy. Today, the country remains a leader in renewables and in efforts to combat climate change. Sara Peach went to rural Germany to talk to some of the citizens who started the revolution forty years ago.

Renewables Academy (RENAC) Launches E-Learning Platform in Spanish on Renewable Energy

The German company Renewables Academy (RENAC) works to make knowledge on renewable energy available worldwide. After 7 years offering online trainings in English, RENAC will launch its e-learning platform RENAC Online in Spanish on April 2016. The objective of this initiative is to enable professionals in Latin America to access an industry which provides great opportunities in the region.

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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