Welcome to the Energy Blog


  • The Energy Blog is where all topics relating to The Energy Revolution are presented. Increasingly, expensive oil, coal and global warming are causing an energy revolution by requiring fossil fuels to be supplemented by alternative energy sources and by requiring changes in lifestyle. Please contact me with your comments and questions. Further Information about me can be found HERE.

    Jim


  • SUBSCRIBE TO THE ENERGY BLOG BY EMAIL

After Gutenberg

Clean Break

The Oil Drum

Statistics

Blog powered by Typepad

« Climate Change Confirmed but Global Warming is Cancelled | Main | Pickens Wind Farm to Get Underway »

April 17, 2008

TrackBack

TrackBack URL for this entry:
http://www.typepad.com/services/trackback/6a00d83451b5da69e200e551f027458834

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Trina Solar Cancels $1 Billion Polysilicon Plant:

Comments

DaveMart

Hi Jim,
I've been missing your blog - I hope you are not unwell.
I wonder if you would consider allowing some of your fans here to post articles if you are pushed for time?
People such as Cyril R and Engineer-Poet could certainly keep the pot boiling whilst you were too busy.
Anyway, warm regards and glad to see you back.

Al Fin

China is becoming heavily polluted by its polysilicon industry--which is in danger of oversaturating the market.

Guest bloggers too often get on political hobby horses and distort the purpose of the blog.

Carl Hage

It's always interesting to try to read between the lines in reports like this. I wonder about the possibility of non-silicon thin film technology disrupting the need for silicon, and is this a reason to be cautious on investing in large polysilicon plants.

I've also heard about new silicon PV technology that uses a small fraction of the usual silicon. However, if a technology that used 1/10th the silicon came into being, I would assume demand would go up by 100, so the market for silicon would still expand.

Cyril R.

China is becoming heavily polluted by its polysilicon industry

Obviously, you have never visited a major Chinese city before. This comment would have been funny if it wasn't so sad.

Bob Wallace

I suspect Carl is on the right track.

When one looks at the recent developments in thin film solar it appears that the old style rigid PV panel is going to be shoved to the back by of market forces.

TheSunHarvest.com

Our future global energy system promises to be a very different one from the one we know today where we rely greatly on relatively few energy sources and technologies. A world-wide effort, albeit somewhat fragmented, is underway to understand where our future energy will come from, and to develop the technologies and infrastructures to get there. What’s more, the realization is with us that new energy sources and technologies must meet meaningful sustainability criteria for the sake of future generations.

Hydrogen and fuel cells are destined to play an important part in this future energy system. Not only do fuel cells offer a compelling energy solution on their own, but they also represent an enabling technology that can extract the full potential from other renewable energy technologies, such as wind and solar. In addition, hydrogen fuel can be produced from many sources – in fact, almost all regions of the world have some means of making this fuel of the future.

There are many who believe that hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are is still far from being ready for commercial markets – the reasons most commonly cited are high cost, unproven durabilities, and lack of hydrogen infrastructure. This belief exists in large part because a great deal of attention has always been focused on the huge automobile market. People tend to overlook the earlier opportunities that are presenting themselves in other smaller markets that have potential to be viable early adopters of hydrogen and fuel cells. By effectively engaging and penetrating these early adopting markets with increasing volumes of product, the path to tomorrow’s larger commercial markets is becoming clearer. True, the timeline is not really known, but the inevitability is.

Bob Wallace

We're likely to see a wind/hydrogen storage facility start up this year in Canada. Excess wind will be used to generate hydrogen which in turn will be burned for electricity when there is not ample wind.

This is seen as economically viable for isolated communities that now rely on diesel for generation.

If it proves out then it may offer grid smoothing/storage possibilities for other areas as solar prices continue to drop.

http://www.thewesternstar.com/index.cfm?sid=125802&sc=506

Cyril R.

Besides the obvious benefit of lower materials use, thinfilms have a key advantage in that their production facilities have lower capital costs than traditional silicon flat plates. This suggests that thinfilms could have better scalability than flat plates, and that they could indeed push flat plates almost completely out of the market relatively quickly.

Cyril R.

There are many who believe that hydrogen and fuel cell technologies are is still far from being ready for commercial markets – the reasons most commonly cited are high cost, unproven durabilities, and lack of hydrogen infrastructure.

Moreover, the existence and positive trajectories of already superiour alternatives. Various battery and capacitor technologies as well as no-fuel CAES to name a few.

Benny Peak Demand Cole

What I wonder is will the day come when ordinary homeowners can buy cheap China-made solar panels, and install themselves?
When you have a plumbing problem, 90 percent of the cost is labor. The pipes are cheap, at Home Depot.
If you can fix your own pipes...if you can do your own panel installation (or use low-cost installers), and buy panels at China prices...then the game is changed....

Bob Wallace

I suspect the really turning point for homeowners will be when we have inexpensive thin film bonded to standing ridge metal roofing.

Lots of people have a portion of their roofs pointed in the right direction. (Slope is frequently poor for winter capture but if one is attempting to offset summer air conditioning costs....)

Install metal roofing on a simple gable roof (no skylights, valleys, dormers) is pretty basic handiperson stuff.

Get it up there. Screw it down.

John F.

Cyril,

Could you elaborate on "no-fuel CAES". Are you talking about storing the heat produced during compression and using that heat instead of natural gas during the expansion/generation phase?

Without a feature like that, CAES is inefficient (about half of the energy output is supplied by the heat source). That's still more efficient than hydrogen's 20% (IIRC) as an energy storage medium.

Batteries are efficient but too expensive. A breakthrough there would be most welcome.

Pumped hydro looks to me like the most efficient energy storage system that's currently economical. Problems with pumped hydro are mostly about siting (NIMBY, local environmental impact, proximity to load).

Kit P

“I wonder if you would consider allowing some of your fans here to post articles if you are pushed for time?”

DaveMart you might enjoy posting here:
http://www.debunkers.org/ubbcgi/forumdisplay.cgi?action=topics&forum=New+Energy+Thoughts&number=23&DaysPrune=30&LastLogin=

Al Fin

Polysilicon factories in China are notorious for ignoring basic safe disposal of toxic waste byproducts from polysilicon production. Pollution is so bad, a lot of athletes are worried about clean water, air, and food at the olympics in Beijing.

China has announced that Olympic host city Beijing is to close factories, suspend construction work and force heavy polluters to cut emissions in an eleventh-hour push for cleaner air during the Games.
The measures, which have been talked about for years but were only formally announced on Monday, will run from July 20 for two months.

They are an attempt to fulfil the city's commitment to provide clean air for the Games, said Du Shaozhong, the deputy director of Beijing's environmental protection bureau.

"In case of extremely negative meteorological conditions or severe air quality, we will take even more stringent measures," he said.
Source

Bob Wallace

"Polysilicon factories in China are notorious for ignoring basic safe disposal of toxic waste byproducts from polysilicon production. Pollution is so bad, a lot of athletes are worried about clean water, air, and food at the olympics in Beijing."

You seem to infer that the Olympics are threatened by pollution from polysilicon factories.

Is that a position that you wish to support?

Cyril R.

Could you elaborate on "no-fuel CAES". Are you talking about storing the heat produced during compression and using that heat instead of natural gas during the expansion/generation phase?

That is one approach, often called AACAES, advanced adiabatic CAES. Although "almost adiabatic" would be more accurate in practice.

Another approach is to add so many compression/expansion stages
with recuperators and intercoolers that the system becomes very efficient, but that's rather expensive because of diminishing returns on adding more stages.

Pumped hydro looks to me like the most efficient energy storage system that's currently economical.

Well actually CAES with natgas is reasonably well proven. AACEAS isn't, but some thermal energy storage technologies are well developed (such as mineral oil and molten salts) so combining the two shouldn't be that difficult.

Here's a link to a company working on advanced compressed air systems. As you can see, the efficiency of AACAES is about the same as pumped hydro.

I think pumped hydro is great, but there's not enough resource. With CAES, there's plenty of acquifers, salt domes and abandoned mines around the world to store insane amounts of energy.

Cyril R.

Pollution is so bad, a lot of athletes are worried about clean water, air, and food at the olympics in Beijing

The reason the athletes are worried is because of FOSSIL FUEL related pollution, specifically coal burning.

Bob Wallace

"and abandoned mines around the world"

Are not a goodly portion of those abandoned mines flooded? Seems like we have an existing resource of water and drop(head).

Seems that it wouldn't take a lot to establish some reservoirs close to mines. We don't need to store months and months of water as we do in hydro generation.

disdaniel

Jim writes "This will depend on whether solar PV modules can reach the price target of under $1.00 per Wp that have been promised by some."

Did you mean to say price or cost? Cost will go under $1 soon, some expect it in the next couple years for thin films.

I think panel "prices" will drop by 50% to $1.5-$1.75W sometime in the next decade.

At that point, assuming BOS prices drop roughly in step, solar will have reached grid parity in numerous markets and energy consumers will switch enmasse to solar driving demand vertical (err much more vertical that 40% CAGR).


Why? It should be evident that fossil fuel prices will continue to rise into the foreseeable future (even if a at more moderate pace than we've seen lately) so at the point where solar panels cost the same per watt (on day one) as fossil fuel power, they will in fact be cheaper based on a total cost of ownership.

Another way to think of this...if installed price of solar is $3-$3.5/W, then with ~4 hrs/day of full sun (i.e. most of the US), a retail electricity price of 10-12 c/kwh (and who really expects 10-12 c/kwh delivered price for electricity in a carbon constrained world?) your solar panel investment yields over 5% risk free.

Cyril R.

Are not a goodly portion of those abandoned mines flooded? Seems like we have an existing resource of water and drop(head).

Maybe, but compressed air has much higher energy stored per volume.

The water might actually be useful for CAES, as it can be pushed in and out of a seperate water compensation column to allow a more constant pressure in the storage volume.

ike solem

Does the U.S. press try and promote fossil fuels while panning renewable energy? Yes, it does. Take these Washington Post articles by staff writer Ariana Eunjung Cha:

1) N. Korea Cashes In on Mineral Riches

2) Solar Energy Firms Leave Waste Behind in China

One is an article praising North Korea's decision to sell coal; the other is an article targeting solar manufacturing in China. If that's not spin, what is?

That's followed up with a big effort to portray solar panels and wind turbines as "environmental disasters in the making" - which is nothing but blather put out by fossil fuel public relations experts.

What they don't discuss is that building solar PV is a one-time cost, and can be done cleanly with a little care and a higher cost. Once in use, PV is perfectly clean, unlike coal, oil and natural gas. The worst thing that can happen is a reflected glare in your eyes -and with the new anti-reflection coatings, that's no longer a problem.

Most thin film PV has some serious issues, though - the materials used are far more toxic than boron/phosphate doped silicon, and include cadmium, selenium, and the like. There's no need to use such materials, and there is also a life time issue. (See nanostructured PV, for a good thin film strategy) Silicon is still the most durable material - just look at the ocean buoys and space satellites that are silicon PV-powered.

The real effort should not be focused on making cheap thin film materials with low efficiencies like 6%, but rather on bringing down the cost and availability of the highest efficiency solar cells, which are now above 30%. That's a 3-fold increase in power denisty for solar cells - that's where R&D efforts should be focused.

If, at the same time, we included the full cost of using fossil fuels - global warming, political tension and open warfare, and pollution with mercury, arsenic, sulfur and nitrogen dioxides, carcniogenic benzene derivatives, etc. - we'd find that solar and wind are already cheaper than fossil fuels.

Al Fin

All forms of pollution in China, whether coal burning or industrial/chemical pollution, comes from the same cause: the corrupt political infrastructure. The pollution of soil and water from polysilicon byproduct dumping is just another way the Chinese are polluting the planet. It hasn't been this bad since the old USSR polluted all of Eastern Europe and much of Central Asia.

Ganie Adonay

Polysilicon Industry will go us high us 100% in the very near future. But the problem are the giant monsters Oil Company
who still dominates the market trends. Renewable energy has to be implemented to go
out as the best alternative solution to the global warming issue in the world.
But are you not Aware that those giant Oil Company are againts that idea. They are as hungry as mad dogs and aligator.

poetryman69

Want to protect the earth and save energy? Then stop all wars, conflicts and terrorism. How do you do that? Make the United States free of foreign oil. When the US is energy independent there will be no more oil wars and the terrorists will no longer be able or interested in reaching us. This will save lives AND energy. Let's study what Denmark, France, Brazil, and Australia have done on diversifying their energy supplies and do likewise. Let's drill wherever we have oil and put a new nuclear power plant in every state. Let's use all our coal and natural gas. We don't need foreign energy. And we will be safer, greener, and richer with out it. All of the earth’s natural resources will be eventually used by someone at some time. Would your rather these resources be recovered in an ecological friendly and sustainable way by the US or that some dictator who could not care less about the environment exploit the earth. All alternative sources of energy will take decades to bring online because their conversion efficiencies are not yet high enough. Eventually, the US will lead the world into a sustainable green economy, but energy independence comes first. It is the low hanging fruit and gives immediate benefits now.

Al Fin

Poefryman you say the US will be free of war if it's energy independent? Great! I guess all those wars before the 1970s were not really wars then. We just imagined the whole thing?

Or perhaps all that was before you were born, so it didn't really happen? Yes, that's probably it.

Robert Schreib Jr.

well, the thing about solar power, is that it's a 'rollover' economic move. The more solar energy any society has, the STRONGER that society's economiy is, ditto for windpower. And the more money you have from'frree', clean and renewable enrgy, the more money you have to invest in more solar cell power systems and windmill farms and the like to make your economy stronger still, and to reinvest in more clean renewable energy electric power generation systems in perpetuality. It's a happy eco-snowball effect!

PMatzen

I suspect the real turning point for homeowners will be when we have inexpensive thin film bonded to standing ridge metal roofing.

We already have the peel and stick laminate solar cells. ECD Ovonics and PowerFilm Inc make them. Mother Earth News did an article and a half hour show October of 2006. As far as the prices go, solar cell prices wont come down until there is a lot more supply. Currently, all producers are sold out for the foreseeable future.

Sorry

The coal is a commodity that the mineral owners pay taxes on, Power Plants

and coal go hand-and-hand and coalowners want to burn as fast as they can

even when nobody is using the electricity it produces. Plant exceed repeatedly

the generation just so coal can be sold. Sometimes a plant fakes its usage jsut

so more plants can be built to burn more coal. Think about it now the ashes

even get reburned releasing more mercury, typically the counties that have coal

plants are the most polluted. Carbon tax only would keep track of who was

polluting the most. Coal would still want to appear to be burned so more can

be burned on and on the cycle will go for the next hundred years.
But think about the reason coal owners do this even as jobs in industries like

steel mills are gone coal still tries to keep up the usage data as if industry in

AMerica was doubling. Its NOT. Coal is not audited enough nor are there

enough interested in accounting for excessive fake uses of coal to make any

difference. Sorry

Bob Wallace

Yep. It was oversupply. From famine to feast....


"Prices for traditional silicon-based solar panels will fall from $3.66 per watt in 2007 to $2.14 per watt in 2010, he forecasted, while the average price of thin-film panels is expected to drop from $2.96 per watt in 2007 to $1.81 per watt in 2010.

Part of the reason for the anticipated drop is that Bradford expects the amount of silicon for the solar industry to quadruple from 30,070 tons in 2007 to 125,302 tons in 2012.

He now expects that 10 percent to 20 percent more silicon will be available than what he forcased last year. Yet according to his calculations, "demand hasn't really changed at all," he said.

As a result, Bradford said the overall supply problem is worse than expected."

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/oversupply-of-silicon-worse-than-expected-947.html

Shankar

visit our website for more details www.polysilicon.in

Bob's Solar Solutions

My hope is that we don't have to wait until we all wearing gas masks before our government (and the govt's of the world) finally find ways to make renewable energy our ONLY fuel source.

portable solar battery charger

There is perhaps no more economical as well as cost beneficial way to make use of renewable technology than by opting to use an active solar water heating system. Such a system will help in significantly bringing down the need to use traditional water heating systems and does so by about as much as two-thirds. In addition, an active solar water heating system will cut your electricity or fossil fuel bills and more importantly will improve the environment by cutting out pollution.

Jack

intersting, you know, the other day i was reading an aritcal saying that solar panels are toxic. and some of the comments memtioned that plants in china dumps the toxic waste without properly treatments. but the facts are, companies who manufacture products like solar panels or solar power systems, buys from them. and consumers like us buys from these companies. do you still think that by using solar technology and solar power system, we are saving our environment?Thanks:)

Process Modelling / Modelling

Hydrogen and fuel cells are destined to play an important part in this future energy system................

Mike Solarpanels

The major challenge of China's solar energy and information technology industries is developing polysilicon manufacturing technology. The major international polysilicon manufacturers who monopolize the advanced technology required for polysilicon production have to date not been willing to transfer production technology to China.

Made in China

Made in China

cheap kamagra

I have had a problem I am growing some tomato plants and they have started to die on me. I think this was deliberate can anyone tell me what would kill a plant that's in a liquid form and is also odourless

Healthy Aging

Do you want information and advice on aging and health supplements with antiaging benefits like resveratrol, the miracle polyphenol found in red wine? Resveratrol research suggests it has antiaging, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-oxidant, and cardiovascular benefits.

dental care

the plants are very important to us all, in them we find from medicines and food up production, is a resource that should take care because otherwise it would be at Risk!

laptop battery

There is perhaps no more economical as well as cost beneficial way to make use of renewable technology than by opting to use an active solar water heating system. Such a system will help in significantly bringing down the need to use traditional water heating systems and does so by about as much as two-thirds. In addition, an active solar water heating system will cut your electricity or fossil fuel bills and more importantly will improve the environment by cutting out pollution.
panasonic cgp-d07s battery
panasonic cgp-d110 battery
panasonic cgr-d08s battery

Theo @ DIY Home Solar Panels

"What I wonder is will the day come when ordinary homeowners can buy cheap China-made solar panels, and install themselves?" Who needs to buy cheap solar panels when you can build them yourself! I made my own solar panels and it really wasn't that difficult, with the right plans it is well worth trying.

Brother HL-2140 Toner

Finally, an issue that I am passionate about. I have looked for information of this caliber for the last several hours. Your site is greatly appreciated

CAPlastic Surgeon

We need all the solar panels we can get. Let's get those green projects up and running and help get this economy going.

P Call

It should be evident that fossil fuel prices will continue to rise into the foreseeable future (even if a at more moderate pace than we've seen lately) so at the point where solar panels cost the same per watt (on day one) as fossil fuel power, they will in fact be cheaper based on a total cost of ownership.

air jordan 11

Being a musician, I always thought it was just my inability to "tune out" the music and my internal criticism of its value. It seemed like everybody else liked it.

I'm glad to hear that I'm not alone.

Old Muscle cars

It was really a great mistake of canceling Trina Solar as it would be very useful in present and also on those days. i think government should think again to start Trina Solar plant.

Used cars dealers

Trina Solar plant should be started again as it will help country to fight against recession.

2011 volkswagen jetta sedan

This solor plant can become great resource for any country and such resources should be encouraged also by governments bodies

car parts

As a citizen of this world, the usage of the solar energy will minimize the consumption of natural resources in order to provide us energy. Trina is one of the successful organization that living out this legacy out of consumerism. If there will be more solar panel that can be created and used for more vehicles, this will result to a more less fuel gas emitting cars.

wholesale chinese mobile phones

The major international polysilicon manufacturers who monopolize the advanced technology required for polysilicon production have to date not been willing to transfer production technology to China.

wholesale soccer jersey

The comments to this entry are closed.

. .




Batteries/Hybrid Vehicles