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View Diary: Germany now has 1.3 million solar energy systems which generated 28 billion kilowatt hours in 2012 (139 comments)

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  •  Really? Thats sort of counter-intuitive. Then (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Andrew F Cockburn

    why are they not putting collectors in tropical deserts and sending the electricity to northern cities?

    The means is the ends in the process of becoming. - Mahatma Gandhi

    by HoundDog on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 06:57:54 PM PST

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    •  HVDC has only recently (3+ / 0-)

      come down in inverter prices. HVDC is only cost effective for IIRC 35 miles or longer.

      We are at the start of the HVDC explosion, last 5-8 yrs utilities are installing more and bigger HVDC projects.

      Proposals include NYC to Canada, Maine Express: Maine to Boston, Atlantic Wind Connection, NJ to Virginia offshore for wind.

      why are they not putting collectors in tropical deserts and sending the electricity to northern cities?
      Cause solar PV LCOE is 21 cents kwh. Wind is under 3-6 cents, nat gas 6-7 cents, coal 8-9 cents, nukes 11 cents.... for new construction. Solar just isnt that competitive yet.

      http://www.eia.gov/...

      FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Wed Jan 09, 2013 at 07:10:21 PM PST

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      •  Careful with the figures on solar. (6+ / 0-)

        Solar prices are dropping so rapidly that figures on the cost of solar are badly outdated within a year.

        In Germany, the feed-in-tariff rates for solar currently are between 13 and 18 eurocents, with the low rate being paid for large-scale, free-standing solar parks and the high rate being paid for small scale rooftop systems.  For those systems to be profitable the actual production price has to be lower than that by a few cents.

        So, with large scale systems in often cloudy Germany the LCOE for solar already is down to about 11 to 12 eurocents.  The only  systems that still cost up to 21 U.S. cents a kwH are the small pv systems on the roofs of homes.

        "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

        by Lawrence on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 03:32:19 AM PST

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        •  Right, that EIA study used 2009 prices. (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Lawrence, Andrew F Cockburn, HoundDog

          And solar and wind are both trending down, will do so for the long term, while the down trend for nat gas is a different situation, a more mature market.

          Wind is just coming of age in the market place, solar will soon catch up and likely pass wind by the end of the decade, Re: LCOE.

          IMO Thin film, when it hits 20% efficiency it will take off. Magnolia solar did 20% in the lab 2-3 yrs ago, currently IIRC Magnolia sells thin film at 10% eff. GE at 12%.

          My gut says that if thin film can start to generate early in the morning (eastern facing windows), and western facing windows can generate later in the evening, maybe thru 7:30pm. The potential for thin film to open up the generation window for solar, from 10am-4pm to 7am to 7pm just makes solar an even better match to demand.

          And with regular PV moving up in efficiency (Spectrolab 39%) solar will soon break out like wind is now and start to attract more capital. Then solar and wind will be the cheapest, and start pushing everything else out of the marketplace.

          Finally.

          FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

          by Roger Fox on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 09:33:56 AM PST

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          •  Oh yeah, 2009 is incredibly outdated in regards to (3+ / 0-)

            solar.

            If I remember correctly, the price for solar systems has been halved in Germany in just the last 3 years.

            Yep, thin film is really coming along.  Oerlikon has 12% silicon thin film modules already and they perform far better in cloudy conditions, when hit with partial shade, and in hot climates.  These types of modules are great where space is not a big issue.

            Wind basically already is the cheapest, after hydro, in many parts of the world and, as you say, solar is decreasing in cost at a rapid clip.

            "A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle" - Mohammed Nabbous, R.I.P.

            by Lawrence on Thu Jan 10, 2013 at 10:05:51 AM PST

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    •  Fox is wrong (0+ / 0-)

      Javelin, Jockey details, all posts, discontinue

      by jam on Fri Jan 11, 2013 at 10:21:31 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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