UK Breaks Solar Record; Generates 24 Percent of Power from Solar

On Friday, May 26, on what was expected to be one of the hottest days of the year, solar panels in the UK generated a record amount of power, enough to meet almost 25 percent of demand. This is according to data compiled by National Grid Plc and Sheffield University.

At noon London-time, 8.75 GW of power was being generated by the solar PV, breaking a previous record of 8.49 GW, overtaking nuclear power in the country.

The CEO of the UK Solar Trade Association (STA), Paul Barwell, said in a statement that the organization was “delighted that at around midday today 8.75 GW was generated by solar, supplying nearly 25 percent of the UK’s total demand.” He added: “This is the first time that solar has generated more than nuclear, second only to gas.”

According to the STA there are 12.1 GW of solar capacity installed throughout the UK.

“This is a colossal achievement in just 5 years, and sends a very positive message to the UK that solar has a strong place in the decarbonisation of the UK energy sector.”

 

Mercedes-Benz Energy, Vivint Collaborate on Energy Storage for US Residential Solar Market

Mercedes-Benz Energy and Vivint Solar have announced an exclusive strategic collaboration to bring the Mercedes-Benz customizable home energy storage system to the U.S. The two companies will introduce a joint offering that will provide customers with the German engineering and performance of Mercedes-Benz batteries coupled with Vivint Solar’s expertise in designing, installing and servicing solar energy systems.

For Vivint Solar, which has installed solar energy systems in more than 100,000 homes across the U.S., this is the first collaboration to integrate batteries with its offering. This will also be Mercedes-Benz Energy’s first collaboration with a U.S. solar provider, bringing its premium, high-performance, road-tested technology for home use to the residential battery market. These storage systems are made to Mercedes-Benz quality standards and based on the same automotive-grade battery technology used in its electric and hybrid vehicles.

“As Mercedes-Benz electrifies its vehicle fleet, solar plus storage is essential to enable those vehicles to be powered by clean energy,” said Boris von Bormann, CEO of Mercedes-Benz Energy Americas, LLC. “With batteries featuring the best in automotive engineering from Mercedes-Benz, and high-quality solar energy systems from Vivint Solar, our solution allows customers to take the next step toward a sustainable energy future. The launch of our home battery system in Europe has been successful and we are thrilled to be working with Vivint Solar to bring a reliable and compelling solar plus storage offering to American homes.”

 

The Solar Energy Outlook for 2014

For decades, solar has been like the Rodney Dangerfield of renewable energy. Rarely has it received the respect it has deserved. But by all accounts, 2013 was a watershed year in that respect. In Q3 alone, 930 megawatts of PV were installed in the United States — and in the last two and a half years, total global PV capacity grew from 50 gigawatts to over 100. Sure, 2013 saw its share of failures and disappointments. But according to some of the best and brightest minds in the solar industry, the coming year may play itself out as the dividing line between past and future. Continue reading