Last weekend’s sunny weather was not only good for beers, barbecues and bees, but also drove solar power to break a new UK record. For the first time ever, the amount of electricity demanded by homes and businesses in the afternoon on Saturday was lower than it was in the night, because solar panels on rooftops and in fields cut demand so much. National Grid, which runs the transmission network, described the moment as a “huge milestone”. The company sees the solar power generated on the distribution networks – or local roads of the system – as reduced electricity demand. The sunshine meant that solar power produced six times more electricity than the country’s coal-fired power stations on Saturday. Continued good weather saw solar power generate significant amounts of power on Sunday and Monday too, when it was providing around 15% of electricity generation. Demand on Sunday afternoon was also lower than on Sunday night. Chris Goodall, the author of a recent book on how solar power is transforming energy systems, said that, counter-intuitively, March is a good time for solar panels in the UK, due to the angle the sun is hitting them and because they operate better in lower temperatures. “A sunny day between the equinoxes can now produce a peak of around 9.5GW. At weekends, when demand is low, this will frequently mean solar is producing well over 25% of the UK power need. This drives coal almost completely out of the mix, as it did at the weekend, and depresses gas use,” he said. Goodall said that by weekends this summer, on windy and sunny days he expected fossil fuels could be providing as little as 15% of the UK’s power. That percentage could fall to zero in coming years as new offshore windfarms are completed, he said. The solar industry hailed the landmark last weekend, and said the government had repeatedly underestimated the technology’s potential.
Guardian 28th March 2017 read more »
Tesla will power the Hawaiian island of Kauai with solar panels and its giant battery packs. Tesla officially unveiled the project Wednesday morning in Kauai following opening remarks by CTO JB Straubel and David Ige, governor of Hawaii. Tesla partnered with the Kauai Island Utility Cooperative (KIUC) to launch the project.
World Economic Forum 22nd March 2017 read more »