Researchers at the University of Sheffield have developed a forecasting system designed to boost energy generation from solar systems, which could boost the efficiency of the electricity system and help companies and households reduce costs. The new forecasting tool is designed for electricity grid operators and energy generators and traders, and provides them with solar generation forecasts up to 72 hours in advance. The tool has been created by Sheffield Solar, based in the Department of Physics at the University of Sheffield, to mitigate disruption placed onto grid networks by the growing prominence of intermittent solar systems.
Edie 21st Aug 2017 read more »
The stock prices of US solar panels struggled on the day Americans turned to watch a rare solar eclipse, but the sector has been one of the best performing this year. SunPower, which predominantly imports solar panels for use in the US, fell 4.3 per cent to $8.84, while Vivint, which installs solar panels in American homes and businesses, shed 2.1 per cent lower to $4.65 on Monday. Sunrun, the largest independent residential installer of solar panels in the US, slipped 2.2 per cent to $6.70 at the close. However, the groups’ shares remain up 33.7 per cent, 82.4 per cent and 26.2 per cent this year, respectively. The solar industry emerged from a bout of negative sentiment over potential action from the new administration threatening tax incentives, with the sector rallying in the early summer as more US states embraced supportive policies. Yet more recent talk on the introduction of tariffs on solar panels has caused further jitters, and been met with a fierce backlash by much of the industry. “It would be significantly disruptive to the industry here,” said Joseph Osha, an analyst at JMP Securities.
FT 21st Aug 2017 read more »
As solar production declined, the California grid manager tapped more supplies from natural gas-fired power plants and hydroelectric dams, executing plans they have been crafting for months. It also imported power from neighbouring states. Solar output then roared back as the eclipse rolled eastward at midday, when the sun’s radiation is strongest. The event was a kind of dress rehearsal for a future in which intermittent solar sources have a bigger role in the power supply. California aims to generate half its power from renewable sources by the year 2030.
FT 21st Aug 2017 read more »
The Chinese city of Huainan is rich in coal—very rich. By one 2008 estimate, it has nearly a fifth of all of China’s coal reserves. Now the city has become home to the world’s largest floating solar farm. Appropriately, it has been built atop a former coal mine, which had become a lake after being flooded with groundwater. The China Daily reports that the farm started generating electricity earlier this week. The 40-megawatt power plant consists of 120,000 solar panels covering an area of more than 160 American football fields. The $45-million investment could help power 15,000 homes.
Quartz 18th Aug 2017 read more »