Author: Dr. Jim Carey

Solar Eclipse Will Affect PV Generators Across US

On August 21, a solar eclipse will obscure the sunlight needed to generate electricity at approximately 1,900 utility-scale solar PV power plants in the U.S. However, relatively little solar PV capacity lies in the path of totality—where the sun will be completely obscured by the moon—and the North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) does not anticipate the eclipse will create reliability issues for the bulk power system.

Myth Busting Indian Solar

Solar capacity has been growing at a jaw dropping pace in India. What is especially remarkable is the range of stakeholders that play a part in this story. The central government; national level policy makers; national and multilateral agencies; state level governments; central off-takers; state level Discoms; private developers taking equity risk; EPC folks; hardware suppliers; sources of debt finance; corporate customers; individual customers — the list is literally endless. 

Do You have a Favorite Insurance? For Pharma, it May be Microgrids

A large pharma company recently came to me to discuss energy supply and its need for guaranteed electricity.  The company had to take out expensive insurance to cover a power failure event that could interrupt their production line. Why is this a big deal? We’ve all lost refrigeration for a few hours.

After talking with the company, it became clear that a power loss lasting only 1 minute can result in a major economic hit because much of the pharmaceuticals are made in large batches to amortize the costs, and increase production.  With a power loss, it’s not just a temporary interruption, it’s a lost batch.  And the market value of a lost batch can easily reach millions of dollars. 

Atomic Movies May Help Explain Why Perovskite Solar Cells Are More Efficient

In recent years, perovskites have taken the solar cell industry by storm. They are cheap, easy to produce and very flexible in their applications. Their efficiency at converting light into electricity has grown faster than that of any other material — from under four percent in 2009 to over 20 percent in 2017 — and some experts believe that perovskites could eventually outperform the most common solar cell material, silicon. 

Oil and Gas Companies Discuss Diversification at the Offshore Wind Executive Summit

On Wednesday in Houston at the Offshore Wind Executive Summit, representatives from Statoil, DONG Energy, Avangrid/Iberdrola and US Wind explained why their companies decided to move into offshore wind after working in offshore oil and gas for decades.

Meagan Keiser, legal counsel for Statoil said that just this year her company launched a new division called Statoil New Energy Solutions with the aim of building a profitable renewable business. “So, my team is now working full-time in renewables,” she said.

Utilities Shifting Away from Wind, Solar PPAs

There’s a new model emerging for growth-starved utilities looking to profit from America’s solar and wind power boom. American Electric Power Co. is using it for a $4.5 billion deal that’ll land the U.S. utility owner a massive wind farm in Oklahoma and a high-voltage transmission line to deliver the power.