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A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

PV CellTech Talk: Christian Buchner, Vice-President at SCHMID Group – I remember back in 2004, the first lines were 5MW lines, maybe 10MW lines. Today the processes are basically almost the same, but at 15 times higher throughput – production lines today are often as high as 150MW throughput. What they’re talking about are the series of machines that are combined together to take a solar panel from solar cell, glass, aluminum, silver and plastic – and output a solar panel. The rating they’re giving – 150MW – is volume of solar panels produced per year. If a solar panel is worth $0.30/W – we’ve got $45 million in solar panels rolling off the line every year. I’ve read about plants with six lines – 900MW/year, I know there are gigawatt (Tesla in Buffalo) and more.

Global meat and dairy production and consumption must be cut in half by 2050 – It’s a real tough conversation to have with yourself as you see how easy it is to order a hamburger with cheese. The eternal struggle for food – really a universal struggle for energy in a battle against entropy – has been trivialized by most of the earth. A facet of nature that humanity has overcome. But with that victory – we have stepped upon another challenge. I suspect we’ll grow a certain volume of our protein and nutrients via in home automated machines – or maybe local artisan indoor farms who have their own techniques for growing meat. We have no choice but to address this challenge.

Top 5 reasons why the new Massachusetts solar incentive program is a “SMART” investment – The SMART program for solar power in Massachusetts is great for those who own a large roof. It allows you to assign a clear revenue per square foot over the next 20 years. You then must make an economic choice. It removes the complexity of the SREC program. You have the option to sell 100% of your electricity directly to the utility – whose contract is backed by the state. That structure means your bank is going to look very highly at the contract – and give you a loan. Every roof in the state now has an explicitly, defined value. Good job Massachusetts.

Clarkson introduces new online master’s degree in ‘Business of Energy’The courses will cover a broad range of topics, including the power marketplace, challenges of aging infrastructure and new sources of energy. There are two ways of going about this. You could quit a banking job, start a residential solar company and sell it, then join a commercial solar panel manufacturer before moving onto being a commercial project developer over the course of a decade…or you could squeeze a bunch of that training into a degree and then try all that stuff I did all over again.

FERC staff: Eversource, Avangrid did not withhold pipeline capacity“With New England as the canary in the coalmine, this shows some real structural issues with rules and the way the industry is set up right now.” Main point: energy utility and pipeline company didn’t rip off consumers on purpose. Key point that is more important: The process, per the group that did the report, could be improved so as to optimize the process and not inadvertently increase pricing by $3.6 billion.

Scroll down in the tweet to see a great use of wind turbines –

Feature image comes from the Department of EnergyThree solar installers complete a PV system installation for Charlotte Habitat For Humanity at the Democratic National Convention 2012. Photo by Ann Crehore.

If you’re interested in residential several quotes from a local residential solar contract, Understandsolar.com will connect you with that local talent so you can start a proper bidding war for your roof.

By John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.

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