Fresh analysis of solar (and nuclear) trends and prospects from @thebti, via this @atrembath heads-up: 

I wanted to make sure you saw our new analysis of solar costs and deployment rates. Lots of dissonant information out there — some folks say solar modules will continue to drop in price, others say that trade negotiations (and potential “minimum prices”) will push module prices back up. Some analysts say that solar will easily reach 10% of global electricity by 2020, others expect solar to struggle to reach 1%. We’ve summarized much of this discourse in our post, and analysts like Jeff Ball and Todd Woody have also done a great job reporting the dynamics of Chinese solar manufacturing. 

There seems to be an impression that solar has become so dramatically cheaper than nuclear that nuclear will fade and solar will become dominant from now on. But we found that global nuclear generation will grow by around 600 TWh/yr by 2020, while solar will only grow by 220 TWh/yr. Of course coal will grow faster than both, a clear sign to us that more innovation is still needed across the spectrum of zero-carbon energy technologies. 
For what it’s worth, Chris Nelder and Gregor MacDonald, whose work we critique in our post, called our analysis "thoughtful" and "well-argued." 

Given George Shultz’s “driving on sunshine” line (about solar-charged Leaf) maybe someone can get permission to record a revamped version of “I’m Walking on Sunshine”!  

World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

World Environment Day kicks off in Manila with startup of largest rooftop PV array in Philippines, atop Asian Development Bank. Illustrates challenge of this technology. Said to provide 613 megawatt/hours per year. About equivalent of 250 Philippine homes, or 25 American homes. Dr Zhengrong Shi of Suntech in the house.

German Solar Troubles

Headline roundup distributed by Benny Peiser:

1) German Solar Industry Faces Bankruptcy - Bloomberg, 14 December 2011

2) German Blood-Letting Will Kill More Green Subsidy Farms - Reuters, 14 December 2011

3) Back To Black: German Solar Firms Go From Boom To Bust - Reuters, 15 December 2011

4) The Truth About Durban: EU Carbon Price Plunges To Record Low - Reuters, 14 December 2011

5) Terence Corcoran: Collapse Of The Green-Energy Bubble - Financial Post, 15 December 2011

6) Matt Ridley: Chris Huhne, The Anti-Energy Secretary - City A.M., 15 December 2011

Tags: solar energy

"I have never seen anything..in my 20 years in the power industry that involved less risk.. It is just filling the desert with panels."

— NRG’s chief executive, David W. Crane, quoted in @nytimes story on the subsidy rush in renewables.

Head teacher uses cellphone to turn on the solar light at Uganda school. Listen to the kids. Shared Solar is a neat experiment!

Romm Helps Clarify Value, and Limits, of Solar

Good to seee Joe Romm correct some of the hype in gushy solar-industry comparisons of solar installation to nuclear plant output, and highlight the utility of photovoltaics as a way to survive summer peaks in electricity demand: 

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Tags: solar energy