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Another PV ERoEI debacle May 17, 2016

Posted by Maury Markowitz in balonium, solar.
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tommy

Your face should have this expression when you read Ferroni and Hopkirk’s paper.

recent report by Ferroni and Hopkirk explores the energy balance of solar power, and concludes that using PV is energy negative. That is, building PV requires more energy than the panel will produce over its lifetime.

Claims like these pop up from time to time, and invariably end up being based on definitional tricks on the part of the authors. This example is no different; the authors define an entirely new term, “extended ERoEI”, and then plug in all sorts of outdated numbers.

The paper is so filled with errors and omissions that’s it’s almost breathtaking. Once again, dear reader, it’s time for the deep dive.

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Electric cars and particulate pollution May 15, 2016

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
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2-peoplewearfa

You think it’s bad now? It is.

The latest bit of news-mongering in the electric car world hit the press a few days ago, a new report noting that emissions from EVs are no better, and perhaps worse, than from normal cars. And because of that, they will cause just as much pollution and related health problems.

Well, at least that’s the way 3rd party news outlets reported it. If this is starting to sound familiar, that’s because it is. The original paper’s conclusions are quite a bit at odds with the conclusions being suggested by the news blogs.

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Solar at 2.99 cents/kWh May 5, 2016

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
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-1x-1

Down, down, and away!

I guess this is starting to sound a little repetitive, but yet another record has been set for solar PV – at a whopping 2.99 cents/kWh, well down into the range of unfiltered coal plants or high-quality hydro. Now again, this is in Dubai, which tends to be sunny, but, again, that’s like complaining we built hydro where there’s a river.

Now you might want to dismiss this number because it’s Dubai. But only last month another contract was signed at 3.45/kWh in Mexico, and it was only a few months ago that everyone was stunned by the Saudi and Nevada numbers at 5.85. That means the price has fallen almost 50% in the last year.

Now whether this is simply because of a temporary oversupply situation in China I can’t say, but it doesn’t make a difference. Solar is now cheaper than coal, and from here out, always will be. Welcome to that future everyone was talking about in the 70’s.

2015 PV prices hit new lows in the US March 30, 2016

Posted by Maury Markowitz in solar, Uncategorized.
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solarpvpricing-2015

Down, down, and away!

Most of the data on PV pricing, like the Lazard numbers I prefer, tend to focus on larger installations, especially “utility scale”. In the US this isn’t all that useful on its own, because about half of all the panels going in are on residential rooftops. So that’s why this report is so useful.

Basically the price declines in larger installs remains as breathtakingly rapid as it has been for years, including a whopping 17% in 2015 alone. But those residential numbers are looking pretty plateaued to me. So let’s see what this means.

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2015 in review February 1, 2016

Posted by Maury Markowitz in Uncategorized.
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IMG_2487
As you might have noticed I’ve been a little less than active on the blog recently, but I have an excuse, as you can see to the right.

But now that life is returning to something remotely like normalcy, it’s definitely worth a short note on the 2015: the Year that Was.

What a year!

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Enphase S280 mini-review, and the future of Enphase November 27, 2015

Posted by Maury Markowitz in solar.
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S280_hero_shot_FINAL_shadow_2015

The S280; newer, cheaper and a lot cooler looking.

In spite of 2015 being the best year in PV’s history in terms of installs, including residential, Enphase is having a rough go of it.

As CEO Paul Nahi put it, “The fourth quarter of 2015 is more challenging than expected”.

But they’re fighting back with their new S series inverters, and have ambitious plans for the next two years. Lets take a look at both.

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