Jenny Chase Profile picture
Solar analyst with BloombergNEF, goose keeper. Author of "Solar Power Finance Without the Jargon". Opinions expressed are all my own. She/her.
Norman Rubin Profile picture 1 added to My Authors
Jun 22 4 tweets 2 min read
Hmm. According to BNEF's data (@FeliciaAminoff ), Germany's 2020 final energy consumption target was 18% and it managed 19%. Electricity target was 39% and it did 44.7%.

Admittedly, Germany missed RE heating & cooling 2020 target (14.5% vs 16%). Also, 2020 was an easy year for targets because consumption went down. But I think it's a bit much to ask your average Italian to distinguish the technicalities of different German renewable energy sub-targets.
Jun 15 6 tweets 1 min read
Just for the record, solar panels do not generally contain chromium, most of them are not made in Xinjiang, and there is no unforeseen tsunami of solar waste coming our way.

See, for example, There's no significant wafer, cell or module manufacturing capacity in Xinjiang (there's a single ingot plant). About 50% of solar-grade polysilicon production was made in Xinjiang last year, it's a little lower this year as new factories are in other provinces.
Oct 16, 2021 54 tweets 9 min read
1. Time to make 2021 minor updates to my annual “opinions on #solar” thread.
If you like these, you’ll like my 2019 book, Solar Power Finance Without the Jargon, a little old but still valid, five stars on Amazon. 2. Solar Power Finance Without the Jargon is the book I should have read before seeking a job in renewables 16 years ago.
Link to 2020 thread. 2019, 2018 and 2017 are linked from there so you can see what I got wrong or changed.
Oct 7, 2021 7 tweets 2 min read
Thread: a brief and only mildly facetious guide to BNEF solar build outlooks.

This will not cover IEA, IRENA or BP solar build outlooks because those are not *my* problem.

There was roughly 788GW of PV installed worldwide at the end of 2020 (plus 7GW solar thermal). 1. BNEF New Energy Outlook Economic Transition Scenario, 2020. This is a "business-as-usual" modelling scenario based on economic uptake. 2.4TW of solar by the end of 2030, providing 10% of world electricity.
Nov 29, 2020 9 tweets 2 min read
This deserves a serious answer.

Germany started in a terrible place for renewable energy action. It's not very windy, it's not sunny, it's quite densely populated and heavily industrialised. I remember my parents in the UK worrying about milk and mushrooms because of events in far-off Ukraine. I don't blame Germans for saying no to nuclear in the late 1980s-90s. It wasn't the right decision, but you can't exactly dismiss their fears as unreasonable.
Nov 27, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
Important clarification on the Swiss 2050 Net Zero study/plan: it's no *net* electricity imports. So, Switzerland will export electricity in summer and import in winter. (Fine, but all north Europe will be planning the same...).… It hangs a lot of hope on "steeply tilted PV and facades", letting us generate 32% of our electricity from solar in winter halfyear.

Hmmm. Parts of Switzerland have much clearer skies in winter than my foggy valley, but that's still a lot of winter sun being assumed.
Oct 30, 2020 10 tweets 4 min read
The @IEA says solar is king. Worth noting we @BloombergNEF say "wind retakes the lead from solar" because (very basically) with more granular modelling, wind electricity is just more useful at high penetrations. Blows in the early morning, in winter, etc.… I mean, we of Team Solar @BloombergNEF say "well next year we'll have a lower capex forecast and a slightly higher capacity factor figure assuming bifacial modules, so GAME ON" but that may not actually change the result here.
Oct 18, 2020 40 tweets 7 min read
1. Time to make minor updates to my annual “opinions on #solar” thread.
If you like these, you’ll like my 2019 book, Solar Power Finance Without the Jargon. Five stars on Amazon, apparently “entertaining” and writer knows her stuff”. Also available here: 2. Solar Power Finance 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.

Link to 2019 thread. 2018 and 2017 are linked so you can see what I got wrong.
Sep 10, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
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 ) 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.
May 15, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
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.
Apr 12, 2020 7 tweets 2 min read
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)
Feb 7, 2020 4 tweets 2 min read
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.

Jan 6, 2020 6 tweets 2 min read
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.
Oct 13, 2019 40 tweets 7 min read
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. 2018 #unpopularopinions:
Oct 3, 2019 5 tweets 1 min read
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.
Nov 25, 2018 32 tweets 5 min read
It's 9am on a Sunday morning and time to update my #unpopularopinions on #solar thread from a year ago*. I've mellowed in some respects, so only some will be unpopular. I'm not gonna wait for likes in case nobody does.

* 1. #Solar wafer, cell or module manufacturing is a terrible business to be in, with vicious price competition and last mover advantage. Most well-known manufacturers are saddled with heavy debt they took on to build their rapidly-becoming-outdated factories.
Jan 18, 2018 11 tweets 3 min read
Apologies for anyone who follows me for non-#solar stuff. Here is a short thread on Why PV Analysis Should Stick to DC Capacity and Capacity Factor, And Only Use AC in Certain Rare Circumstances. The Direct Current (DC) capacity of a PV plant is the power output of all its modules under standard conditions, incl. benchmark insolation of 1000W per square metre.

The alternating current (AC) capacity is that of the inverter, and is the max instantaneous power output.
Oct 18, 2017 29 tweets 3 min read
Since everyone is doing it: if you want an #unpopularopinion *about #solar power, give me a like.
* not guaranteed unpopular 1. Solar PV is too simple, the barriers to entry too low, for almost any large company to grow profitably over a long period.