Solar

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In2ition
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Re: Solar

Post by In2ition »

Should we be worried?
"When we all think alike, nobody is thinking" - Walter Lippmann
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Nodack
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Re: Solar

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This Colorado 'solar garden' is literally a farm under solar panels
https://www.npr.org/2021/11/14/10549425 ... -farm-land


With close to two billion dollars devoted to renewable power in the newly passed infrastructure bill, the solar industry is poised for a win. But there have long been some tensions between renewable developers and some farmers. According to NREL, upwards of two million acres of American farmland could be converted to solar in the next decade.

But what if it didn't have to be an either or proposition? What if solar panels and farming could literally co-exist, if not even help one another.

That was what piqued Kominek's interest, especially with so many family farms barely hanging on in a world of corporate consolidation and so many older farmers nearing retirement.

Still, when it came time to plant earlier this year, Kominek was initially skeptical.



But he soon discovered that the shade from the towering panels above the soil actually helped the plants thrive. That intermittent shade also meant a lot less evaporation of coveted irrigation water. And in turn the evaporation actually helped keep the sun-baked solar panels cooler, making them more efficient.

By summer, Kominek was a believer.

Kominek's farm, rebranded as Jack's Solar Garden (Jack is his grandfather's name), is part of a burgeoning industry known as agrivoltaics. It's a relatively new field of research and Kominek's farm is one of only about a dozen in the United States known to be experimenting with it.

But agrivoltaics is drawing particular interest in the West, now in the grips of a 22 year megadrought.

Barron-Gafford's research in the Arizona desert showed some crops grown underneath solar panels needed 50% less water. He and other scientists have their eyes on the infrastructure bill and are pushing to get some of the estimated $300 million included in it for new solar projects to go toward agrivoltaics.
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AmareIsGod
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Re: Solar

Post by AmareIsGod »

I was thinking about our economy recently and solar / renewables. For renewables, a year with higher inflation is not as big a concern as people would expect; long-term cost declines swamp short-term trends, and the fossil fuel competition jumped much more in price. Solar and wind are declining in cost by 11% and 5% year over year, respectively. That means a year of 5-7% inflation translates to renewable prices staying flat or slightly rising for a year, rather than declining.

Compare that to fossil fuels where prices increased by 50% OR MORE in the last year. In Europe and China there have been disastrous fuel shortages because of market impacts from the pandemic. In Europe's case, this was amplified by Russia using their gas pipelines as geopolitical leverage. There is no long-term cost decline to reduce the impact of these price spikes.

When fuel is expensive, the incentives to switch to cheaper renewables are much stronger. It's all about relative cost, not absolute prices.
What is smallball? I play basketball. I'm not a regular big man. I can switch from the center to the guards. The game is evolving. I'd be dominAyton if the WNBA would let me in. - Ayton

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In2ition
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Re: Solar

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California went big on rooftop solar. It created an environmental danger in the process
Rachel Kisela
Thu, July 14, 2022 at 5:00 AM·10 min read
https://money.yahoo.com/california-went ... 43034.html

California has been a pioneer in pushing for rooftop solar power, building up the largest solar market in the U.S. More than 20 years and 1.3 million rooftops later, the bill is coming due.

Beginning in 2006, the state, focused on how to incentivize people to take up solar power, showered subsidies on homeowners who installed photovoltaic panels but had no comprehensive plan to dispose of them. Now, panels purchased under those programs are nearing the end of their 25-year life cycle.

Many are already winding up in landfills, where components that contain toxic heavy metals such as selenium and cadmium can contaminate groundwater.

“People just don't realize that there are toxic materials in those electronics, that it's fine if it's just sitting in a box in your house,” said Natalie Click, a doctoral candidate in materials science at the University of Arizona who studies the issue. “But once it gets crushed and put into the landfill, a lot of those toxic chemicals and materials are going to leak into your groundwater.”

Sam Vanderhoof, a solar industry expert, says that only 1 in 10 panels are actually recycled, according to estimates drawn from International Renewable Energy Agency data on decommissioned panels and from industry leaders.

The looming challenge over how to handle truckloads of contaminated waste illustrates how cutting-edge environmental policy can create unforeseen hazards down the road.

“The industry is supposed to be green,” Vanderhoof said. “But in reality, it’s all about the money.”

California came early to solar power. Small governmental rebates did little to bring down the price of solar panels or to encourage their adoption until 2006, when the California Public Utilities Commission formed the California Solar Initiative. That granted $3.3 billion in subsidies for installing solar panels on rooftops.

The measure exceeded its goals, bringing down the price of solar panels and boosting the share of the state’s electricity produced by the sun. Because of that and other measures, such as requirements that utilities buy a portion of their electricity from renewable sources, solar power now accounts for 15% of the state’s power.

But as California barreled ahead on its renewable-energy program, focusing on rebates and — more recently — a proposed solar tax, questions about how to handle the toxic waste that would accrue years later were never fully addressed. Now, both regulators and panel manufacturers are realizing that they don’t have the capacity to handle what comes next.

“This trash is probably going to arrive sooner than we expected and it is going to be a huge amount of waste,” said Serasu Duran, an assistant professor at the University of Calgary's Haskayne School of Business in Canada. “But while all the focus has been on building this renewable capacity, not much consideration has been put on the end of life of these technologies.”
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"When we all think alike, nobody is thinking" - Walter Lippmann
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Indy
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Re: Solar

Post by Indy »

can or do?

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In2ition
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Re: Solar

Post by In2ition »

Selenium and Cadmium have never been considered toxic or contaminated groundwater before, so who knows? Or, have they? Idk
"When we all think alike, nobody is thinking" - Walter Lippmann
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Indy
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Re: Solar

Post by Indy »

You chose to highlight that part of the article, so I assumed you had some insight there.

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In2ition
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Re: Solar

Post by In2ition »

No insight, it was just a part that stood out to me and made me say "Oh shit". I don't want to see that. We've screwed up the groundwater so many times in places all around the country. An unintended consequences of solar panels in land fills doesn't sound good at all.
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Indy
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Re: Solar

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I guess you would have to weigh how much our drilling for oil or fracking for natural gas pollutes ground water and see which is worse.

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In2ition
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Re: Solar

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True. Both could be bad though.
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Nodack
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Re: Solar

Post by Nodack »

Solar Panel Recycling
https://www.epa.gov/hw/solar-panel-recycling

How the recycling industry is preparing to tackle solar panels
https://resource-recycling.com/recyclin ... ar-panels/


Dead solar panels are about to become a lot more valuable
https://www.theverge.com/2022/7/8/23200 ... ble-energy
Right now, most dead solar panels in the US just get shredded or chucked into a landfill. The economics just don’t shake out in recycling’s favor. The value you can squeeze out of a salvaged panel hasn’t been enough to make up for the cost of transporting and recycling it. That’s on track to change, according to the recent analysis by research firm Rystad Energy.

Rystad expects the value of recyclable materials from solar panels to grow exponentially over the next several years, ballooning to $2.7 billion in 2030 from just $170 million this year. That’s thanks to a growing demand for solar coupled with an anticipated pinch in the materials needed to make panels. Technological advancements are also making it easier to extract more valuable materials from old panels, making recycling a sweeter deal financially.


https://www.canarymedia.com/articles/so ... lar-panels
New startup aims to recycle 95% of high-value content from solar panels
Solarcycle just landed $6.6 million in venture capital funding to power its giga-scale recycling ambitions.

The enormity of the numbers is difficult to fathom, but if the current trajectory holds, the solar module waste stream in the U.S. alone could amount to a cumulative 1 million metric tons by 2030 and 10 million metric tons by 2050, according to a report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. This means that there are hundreds of millions, soon to be billions, of panels that must be responsibly dealt with if the solar industry can ever hope to be considered ​“green.”

So far, few entrepreneurs and investors have stepped up to confront the looming wave of renewable energy waste.

But Solarcycle, a startup that launched earlier this year, says it has found a way to tackle the problem. The solar panel recycling company claims that its technology allows it to extract 95 percent of the high-value metals contained in solar photovoltaic panels such as silver, silicon, copper and aluminum and to either repurpose them or return them to the supply chain.

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Vladimir_Taltos
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Re: Solar

Post by Vladimir_Taltos »

Suggestion, if you're looking at this further...fan of their products...

https://enphase.com/

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AmareIsGod
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Re: Solar

Post by AmareIsGod »

Vladimir_Taltos wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:28 pm
Suggestion, if you're looking at this further...fan of their products...

https://enphase.com/
Yessir. Their inverters for our panels and software for monitoring production and use are 2nd to none. Will be investing in battery for our home when it becomes affordable.
What is smallball? I play basketball. I'm not a regular big man. I can switch from the center to the guards. The game is evolving. I'd be dominAyton if the WNBA would let me in. - Ayton

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Vladimir_Taltos
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Re: Solar

Post by Vladimir_Taltos »

AmareIsGod wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 8:15 pm
Vladimir_Taltos wrote:
Thu Jul 28, 2022 4:28 pm
Suggestion, if you're looking at this further...fan of their products...

https://enphase.com/
Yessir. Their inverters for our panels and software for monitoring production and use are 2nd to none. Will be investing in battery for our home when it becomes affordable.
Keep an eye out for these folk...high potential upside vs. lithium powerwall, etc. Many many more likely charge cycles...

https://www.storen.tech/

VT

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Vladimir_Taltos
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Re: Solar

Post by Vladimir_Taltos »

As a reference...why ultimately I think these may replace Lithium cells...there are some mat'l sourcing challenges, but potentially this may not be nearly as destructive as Li mining...

https://www.storen.tech/residential

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Nodack
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Re: Solar

Post by Nodack »

They sound almost too good to be true.

They are water based, so they don’t explode. They can’t catch fire. They don’t get hot when they charge. They charge 100% for their entire life cycle, which is a long time. They are smaller than other batteries. They hold a charge a long time. They don’t use metals.

Why haven’t we heard of this? I jumped on the Graphite bandwagon for awhile. 10 years later it seems and still waiting…

This Reg A+ offering is made available through StartEngine Primary, LLC. This investment is speculative, illiquid, and involves a high degree of risk, including the possible loss of your entire investment.

It sounds like they have potential but aren’t quite there yet?

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Vladimir_Taltos
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Re: Solar

Post by Vladimir_Taltos »

They're a startup...they're first real commercial product is in validation, I believe... it's coming. The challenge is going to be mining. Vanadium is much more prevalent in nature...current access is by mining from sources that are more restricted, but if it can be determined how to extract it from other sources, it's benefits multiply.

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Vladimir_Taltos
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Re: Solar

Post by Vladimir_Taltos »

Lithium is the 33rd most common metal and makes up about .002% of the Earth's crust.
Vanadium is the 22nd most common metal and makes up .019% of the Earth's crust.
IE, it's found almost 10x as common as Li, and as stated, it's actually renewable/reusable.

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Nodack
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Re: Solar

Post by Nodack »

Sounds great.

I actually went and checked out Graphite again to see if there was any news about it being used and it is being used today to make things like EV car batteries.

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Nodack
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Re: Solar

Post by Nodack »

Does anyone have a solar company they recommend? A solar guy came to my door and for a 6.5 Kw system quoted me $30k before rebates. He claims it is all high end materials used. From my research that is about 5k higher than it should be. I hesitate getting more quotes because I will just get inundated with messages like this guy has done.

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