In March, renewables provided 21.6 percent of the nation's net electricity generation compared to nuclear's 20.34 percent. In April, that lead jumped to 22.98 percent compared to 19.19 percent from nuclear.
ARNOLD GUNDERSEN for Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists: My own experience near solar arrays in Fukushima Prefecture indicates that the problems of building and maintaining solar installations in a contaminated nuclear wasteland are over-simplified, and worse, totally ignored. One of the greatest burdens of maintaining operating atomic reactors is the cost of working in a Radiologically Controlled Area. (The Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory defines a Radiologically Controlled Area as: “Any area to which access is managed to protect individuals from exposure to radiation or radioactive materials. Individuals who enter Controlled Areas without entering Radiological Areas are not expected to receive a total effective dose equivalent of more than 0.1 rem (0.001 Sievert) in a year.”) Each nuclear power plant operates with specific instructions and constraints, with Radiation Work Permits tailored for each specific maintenance activity. Because special clothing, special respiratory equipment, and special radiation monitoring equipment are routinely required to perform even minimum maintenance activities inside a nuclear power plant, every activity takes longer, costs more, and requires more people inside each reactor than necessary in any other industrial setting.
Consequently, the question becomes: Does building solar panels on land contaminated with nuclear waste resemble work in a normal industrial setting, or is it more similar to work inside a radiologically contaminated atomic reactor—at significantly higher cost? Full Article:
The addition of energy storage to an existing or new utility-scale PV installation allows system owners and operators the opportunity to capture additional revenues. Traditional storage plus solar applications have involved the coupling of independent storage and PV inverters at an AC bus or the use of multi-input hybrid inverters. An alternative approach - coupling energy storage to PV arrays with a DC-to-DC converter - can help maximize production and profits for existing and new utility-scale installations. DC-Coupled Utility-Scale Solar Plus Storage leads to higher round-trip efficiencies and lower cost of integration with existing PV arrays and at the same time, opens up new revenue streams not possible with traditional AC-coupled storage, including clipping recapture and low voltage harvesting, while being eligible for valuable tax incentives.