About 80% of U.S. gas open cycle gas turbines for peak power ran below 15% capacity factor in 2019, according to my colleague @YayoiSekine 's note, and about 60% never ran for more than 6 consecutive hours last year.

(Paywalled but bnef.com/insights/23449 )
Anyway that seems to be the main reason there's 8.9GW of PV with storage in the U.S. pipeline by 2023, and 69GW in the interconnection queue (basically hoping for a grid connection).

First you replace the peakers, and then you come for the CCGTs.
This observation brought to you because I am speaking at @Solarmedialtd 's Solar and Storage Co-Location Virtual Summit on Sep 24-25, and figured I'd better learn something about solar + storage.

There is more of it than I thought there was.

Correction: the US co-location note is by @YiyiZhou6 . Yayoi wrote the 1H 2020 Energy Storage Outlook which I am also referring to a lot these days.

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More from @solar_chase

15 May
Although I don't agree with much of this analysis, it is right that solar will be incredibly cheap, and thought-provoking.

(I think the fundamentals of applying learning curve analysis to a LCOE are slightly dodgy, and 30% is too high a rate even for capex).
Specifically, I'm a little concerned that a lot of the falls in cost of capital, O&M cost and non-module cost over the last decade have been one-offs. Cost of capital has dropped worldwide for everything, for example.
Our definition of a normal utility-scale PV project has gone from 1MW to at least 50MW, and there aren't that many places where you can just whack down a GW plant, so typical system sizes will cap out. Cleaning panels and mowing vegetation is more and more of the LCOE.
Read 6 tweets
12 Apr
Easter weekend holiday has been lovely. I finally got to do some jobs I wanted done.

These included cleaning the windows. Since I am proud to be a trained window cleaning professional, here follows a short thread on how to clean windows quickly and well. (1/n)
You really need: a good squeegee with a rubber (not plastic) blade. Once the rubber degrades, replace it (this will be decades in household use).
An old towel or rag
A "scrim" cloth. A baby muslin or worn linen dish towel will do fine as this.
A bucket helps a lot (2/n)
First use the towel to wipe off spiderwebs, which leave grease marks otherwise.

Use water with a bit of washing-up liquid and an optional splash of vinegar. Soap up one window with the sponge, scrubbing as necessary.

Then use the squeegee to scrape the water off. (3/n)
Read 7 tweets
7 Feb
I want to talk about an obscure term in PV project maintenance, heard from Nicola Waters of @PushEnergyLimit , because if it isn't a widely used term it should be. If you don't think so, fight me, or, y'know, tell me politely why you don't.

The term is "sick bay approach". 1/n
@PushEnergyLimit A major cause of production losses in PV plants is "module mismatch", where the worst module in a string drags the whole production of a string of mostly-good modules down. This can develop over years if some modules develop faults or are broken.

@PushEnergyLimit If you detect faults in certain PV modules - by IR imaging or visual inspection, usually - you can swap them around so that all the bad modules are in one part of the plant, ideally with the inverter that's looking poorly too. This frees the good modules to produce well. (3/n)
Read 4 tweets
6 Jan
This is a good summary concluding, "UK beef is.... much better than the global average. However, it is still very high in emissions compared to pork, chicken and eggs. Also it is terrible compared to plant protein sources such as beans and lentils. "
As someone who's kind of involved with agricultural people (through the heritage goose conservation project) I do sometimes feel that claims about the benefits of eating locally produced animal products don't stack up as well as advocates suggest.
For one thing, the fact that Europe chopped down forest for pasture long ago doesn't give us much moral high ground re: deforestation. The reason why land use change isn't included in most carbon trading schemes is that it benefits those who already exploited their resources.
Read 6 tweets
13 Oct 19
1. Time to make minor updates to my #solar unpopular opinions thread, since this seems to be a good way to organize thoughts.

If you like these, you’ll like my book, Solar Power Without the Jargon. tinyurl.com/y4bsswty
2. Solar Power Without the Jargon is the book I should have read before seeking a job in renewables, from the perspective of having worked in this for 14 years. It’s short and not too serious; one reviewer said it “made me laugh quite a few times”.
Read 40 tweets
3 Oct 19
I would like to suggest a moratorium on solar developers calling their projects "Noor", "Ashalim" or "Manor Farm".

(Ashalim is a town in Israel now completely surrounded by solar projects. Noor means something like "light/ glow" in Arabic. Manor Farm - common placename in UK).
It is extremely confusing, especially as some of the news stories about these places are also confused. I *think* both Ashalim solar thermal projects are now technically commissioned, but I am really not sure yet.
One reason is probably that solar thermal firms have become wise to the dangers of splashily announced commissioning, given solar thermal projects often need years of calibration to reach full production. Here's Abengoa being proud it only took 4 months:
Read 5 tweets

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