Sunday, July 26, 2009

Revealed: the secret evidence of global warming Bush tried to hide

The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week.

Photos from US spy satellites declassified by the Obama White House provide the first graphic images of how the polar ice sheets are retreating in the summer. The effects on the world's weather, environments and wildlife could be devastating

Satellite images of polar ice sheets taken in July 2006 and July 2007 showing the retreating ice during the summer. Photograph: Public Domain

Graphic images that reveal the devastating impact of global warming in the Arctic have been released by the US military. The photographs, taken by spy satellites over the past decade, confirm that in recent years vast areas in high latitudes have lost their ice cover in summer months.

The pictures, kept secret by Washington during the presidency of George W Bush, were declassified by the White House last week. President Barack Obama is currently trying to galvanise Congress and the American public to take action to halt catastrophic climate change caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Bush can STILL just go F himself.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Barrons is a bad Joke.

Analysts See Little Upside from China Solar Subsidies.

We'll just have to see what happens when the whole plan is finally revealed. Should be interesting. These guys are jumping all over themselves to make sure that the Public doesn't buy Solar Stocks (particularly the Chinese ones). At some point the case will be clear, and what are they going to do? I don't know, but I'm sure we'll see some great examples of cognitive dissonance.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Business Risks and Costs of New Nuclear Power

Because I often seem to need this.

It's a great paper on the real costs of Nuclear Energy.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Unit Idea... PowerPeak-Lifetime25 (or somesuch).

A Solar Cell performance degrades over time. The effective lifetime of Solar Panels are right now considered to be in the area of 25 years.

The rate at which a collection of cells degrades, on average, over the lifetime may not be a nice line.

I can only guess what the curve looks like for a standard Silicon, Wafer-based, Cell but I imagine that it's close to linear. If you have good data, I'd love to see it.

On the other hand, particularly when future cells have their efficiency enhanced by things like coatings, the curve could get alot more complicated. You might have a Silicon Solar Cell that will degrade linearly over 25 years, but the cell might be coated with a product that will increase its initial efficiency by a very significant amount, but which might degrade in effect completely after only 15 years.

Depending on the cost to add the coating, etc, it might very well be financially advantageous to buy this panel with a rapidly degrading initial phase, and a slowly degrading long term component.

The way I see it is that if, for example, a 100W panel were to degrade at 1% per year over its 25 year rated lifetime, then the effective Peak Power is really 87.5W. That's the effective peak power over the panel's lifetime, of PowerPeak-Lifetime25.

In the same way, if you had a panel of the same surface area area that was 160W, but it degraded at 2% per year for 15 years, and then 1% after that till 25 years, it would have an effective PowerPeak-Lifetime25 of 140W.

This would allow the customer to know what they're really buying over 25 years, even if it would take some estimations and tricky modeling on the part of manufacturers. They'd have to try to figure out with great care exactly what the FUTURE degradation curve of their product is going to look like. No worries, they'll appreciate the challenge. :)

In any case, if you're not reflecting rates of lifetime degradation in the cost per Watt, then there is trouble on the horizon for everyone involved.

EDIT: I suppose I spoke prematurely. I assumed that there wasn't a standard name for this. There must be. I ask then, what is it?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

White roofs to fight global warming - Chu


It's a fine article on the potential impact of white roofs.

What gets me is:

This is a marked contrast from previous energy secretaries, who often came from business or political backgrounds and had little experience in the energy industry itself, let alone the scientific community that many now hope will help the country move away from fossil fuels. President Reagan's first energy secretary tried hard to abolish his own department.

It just makes it hard to believe in humanity that this kind of thing is true. Sure, not many people understand Energy, or its real impact on their lives; I wouldn't understand it if I hadn't stumbled into Physics. Aw well, we've got a good Qualified Energy Secretary right now, and so I'll try to just keep looking forward. :)

Sunday, July 12, 2009

LDK Solar July Investor Presentation

There's some good stuff in here.

For Example:

* China announced an upfront subsidy of RMB 20/W ($2.94/W)
for BIPV projects greater than 50 kW and certain rooftop solar
systems for 2009
* China introduces RMB 1.09/kWh preferential feed-in tariff for
solar power that supplies to grid
* Jiangsu provincial NDRC announced a solar PV incentive plan,
which targets a 400 MW on-grid installation over the next three
years, with 260 MW for rooftops, 10 MW for BIPV and 130 MW
for ground-mounted systems. The plan also details a feed-in
tariff for each type of system, which may result in very attractive
* China announced it is planning a stimulus package worth RMB
3 trillion to expand its renewable energy use. China targets to
reach an installation capacity of 20 GW of solar power by 2020

This stuff was pretty well known by anybody watching the Yahoo Boards. Lots of articles have been coming through from China. So far it's been ignored, as if it were just rumor, but this puts it a bit past what I'd think could be considered rumor, though.

As for the 20GW goal by 2020, I've also seen reference to talk of an eventual goal of 70GW by 2020. Since the goal is reviewed every 5 years, they'll have the opportunity to raise it if the situation warrants it. In any case, the 20GW goal for 2020 should not be considered as a cap on capacity by that time.

LDK also points out 2-3GW in Framework Agreements in China, as well, but they don't give a timeframe for that total. These are another item that has been coming out in Chinese news stories, and I suspect that we'll actually see much bigger totals than this revealed soon enough.

They've also provided an estimation of their future poly costs:

Target Polysilicon Prices (per kg)
2H 2009 : $60 - $85
1H 2010 : $40 - $65
2H 2010 : $35 - $50
1H 2011 : $32 - $42
2H 2011 : $30 - $35

So, currently they're basically a wash, but soon enough they'll be well below market price.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Solar Manufacturer Database.

If you want to see what appears to be a list of just about every Solar Manufacturer in the known universe, click here.

Stealth mode...

I get the sense that the industry is in super stealth mode right now. You know that there are alot of people seriously working their butts off right now, planning for the projects to start in earnest, but they're definitely not speaking freely about it.

I can't help but wonder if there's a concerted effort not to upset the balance in Washington prior to ink hitting paper on Cap and Trade later this year (hopefully). If the Chinese make a bold move, then it could potentially be used against Energy Legislation by bringing up outsourcing to China.

Personally, I think that kind of event could be used to sell partnership with the Chinese on the issue of Climate Change / Peak Oil, and it could also whip up the American competitive spirit to good effect.

It's too bad that fear and hate are such an easy sell.