SPECULATION: Inflation Reduction Act and Solar, batteries, technology future

Cduck28z

New Member
Joined
Jul 29, 2022
Messages
24
Hey guys,

Im hoping to get some opinions on where the future of renewable is headed over the next couple years due to the Inflation Reduction Act. I think vLogBrothers does a great job explaining where all the cash will be flowing in his YouTube Video - The Biggest Climate Bill of Your Life but What Does It Do.

The new budget has enormous amounts of cash carved out for domestic production for turbines, solar cells, batteries, etc. On one hand, it seems like this should drive the cost down substantially, especially for batteries and solar. I believe it will take several years however to feel the impact because it takes time to ramp up production and for those products to hit the market.

On the other hand however, 30% is an incredibly inticing slice taken out of your expenses for new projects. I can see this driving demand way up, maybe causing a short term increase in prices? Or perhaps it won't really do anything; we were still in the 24% range before the bill was passed, so those who were interested or on the fence have already pulled the trigger.

I'm excited to hear what y'all's opinions are about it.
 

peufeu

New Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2022
Messages
9
Well, it's an international market. I'm French btw. So, we're probably going to run out of natgas this winter due to our European governments having daddy issues with Mr. Putin. After people freeze in the dark in a few months around February, it is likely that many will want to purchase insulation and solar systems for their homes. Fiberglass is made with Russian gas, so there won't be any left, but I'll bet a six pack Europe is going to absorb most of the Chinese solar panel and inverters output in 2023. Solar panel prices have already gone up +70% from last year, and it looks like a trend. So if you want to buy any of these products, you will be in competition with Europeans who really want them, and many other people from all around the world who watched and learned.

In addition, our American friends will subsidize buying the same Chinese solar panels, also driving up cost.

I would recommend buying what you need now.
 

teal95

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Jul 26, 2022
Messages
63
Exactly. Look at what has happened to higher education in the US. Every time the government hands out more money the schools just raise their prices a corresponding amount. Look to see solar pricing continue to escalate.

Are you having the same issues with firewood in France that they are in Germany?
 

peufeu

New Member
Joined
Sep 3, 2022
Messages
9
Are you having the same issues with firewood in France that they are in Germany?
Yes, firewood has become a bit more expensive and harder to get, but pellet price has doubled.

So far, not much action on the price of insulation.

Pellets were quite popular in the past years. I considered it, but ended up reasoning that the production throughput would be difficult to scale up, so it would get expensive, and that indeed happened. I'm investing in insulation instead. Gonna crawl in the attic this morning to lay vapor barrier before blowing in the fiberglass...
 

Rennit

Solar Addict
Joined
Mar 21, 2022
Messages
83
Renewable energy is great. I like the idea but there are a few problems with this bill.
1. American made renewable manufacturing and infrastructure should have been #1 priority in the bill and 50% tariffs minimum on Chinese made imports. In its current form the bill promotes foreign products and incentivizes even more dependency on China until we actually have the manufacturing capacity here to be self sufficient (like we already have with refining oil).
2. Uyghur Forced Labor Prevention Act - prohibits imports made by forced labor into the United States of products made in Xinjiang, China. According to the IEA, Xinjiang province of China, is responsible for one out of seven solar panels manufactured worldwide.
3. Solar projects are on hold as U.S. investigates whether China is skirting trade rules. Biden "temporarily" removed the tariffs on these panels.
4. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) supplies about 70 percent of the world's Cobalt, but 80% of Congolese industrial cobalt mines are owned or financed by Chinese companies. The Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) is by far the world’s largest producer of cobalt, accounting for roughly 70 percent of global production. The country has been the top producer of the metal for some time, and its output increased from 98,000 MT in 2020 to 120,000 MT in 2021. According to The Cobalt Institute, electric vehicles are the highest drivers of cobalt demand, consuming 59,000 tonnes, or 34% of the global total in 2021.

What the bill does right now is promote solar panels (probably made with slave labor), indirectly sends our money to a not so friendly trading partner and potential military enemy (referring to the potential conflict over Taiwan) and further increase our energy dependency on China. The cash set aside to start up our own domestic production is the only thing they got right IMO.
 

McKravitts

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
28
One issue that concerns me is the fact that the power companies are reluctant to get onboard with home based renewable.

They're Ok with renewables as long as they are the ones in control.

Where I live the power company uses what they call net metering.
They only credit you back about 1/5th of what they charge you per KWH.

A person could spend a lot of money and time building a nice renewable energy system only to have their local electric company come in, inspect it, make them spend even more money to “upgrade” to their standards, then only pay them 1/5th per Kwh then they charge.

A person can’t even get a grid tie system approved by building inspectors unless it is approved by the power company and net metering is installed.

The power companies could care less about renewables, they just want to make money, a good deal of which they spend on lobbying politicians and setting unreasonable permitting standards.
 

SparkyJJO

I have that name for a reason.
Joined
Jan 31, 2022
Messages
605
Location
Ohio
My power company is a 1:1, so I can produce 50kWh during the day, use 30kWh during sun up, and the remaining 20kWh after the sun goes down, and my bill is $0 for that day.

I guess I'm lucky.

Transmission and transformers and grid maintenance cost money. Generation is only a portion of the bill.
 

RV10flyer

Solar Addict
Joined
Mar 8, 2021
Messages
628
Well, it's an international market. I'm French btw. So, we're probably going to run out of natgas this winter due to our European governments having daddy issues with Mr. Putin. After people freeze in the dark in a few months around February, it is likely that many will want to purchase insulation and solar systems for their homes. Fiberglass is made with Russian gas, so there won't be any left, but I'll bet a six pack Europe is going to absorb most of the Chinese solar panel and inverters output in 2023. Solar panel prices have already gone up +70% from last year, and it looks like a trend. So if you want to buy any of these products, you will be in competition with Europeans who really want them, and many other people from all around the world who watched and learned.

In addition, our American friends will subsidize buying the same Chinese solar panels, also driving up cost.

I would recommend buying what you need now.
I've already bought 34kW, thank goodness I saw it coming. The good old USA doesn't make none of this stuff. You can only buy low priced junk from overseas, bring it back here at a 200-1000% markup for so long, then we run out of money because we don't manufacture anything and the junk isn't easily or worth repairing. Especially after its glued or welded together.
 

McKravitts

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
28
My power company is a 1:1, so I can produce 50kWh during the day, use 30kWh during sun up, and the remaining 20kWh after the sun goes down, and my bill is $0 for that day.

I guess I'm lucky.

Transmission and transformers and grid maintenance cost money. Generation is only a portion of the bill.
You're lucky Sparky. My state ranks a D on the ilsr grading system https://ilsr.org/2021-community-pow...GKhD5EUWE6YoARuUbL8Qh7z3iMToMFDIaAllwEALw_wcB
It's actually only one point above an F.
I'm having to get creative. I'm building a circuit that will automaticlly switch from grid tie to battery charging whenever my system produces more than I using.
 

fafrd

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
2,713
You're lucky Sparky. My state ranks a D on the ilsr grading system https://ilsr.org/2021-community-pow...GKhD5EUWE6YoARuUbL8Qh7z3iMToMFDIaAllwEALw_wcB
It's actually only one point above an F.
I'm having to get creative. I'm building a circuit that will automaticlly switch from grid tie to battery charging whenever my system produces more than I using.
Are you using a simple current switch to do that?

I’m looking for a simple way to detect when my solar export power reaches a predefined threshold of watts to drive a switch used to turn on an AC battery charger.

I know I could easily do that based on solar current but I’m interested to do it based on solar power (solar current X grid voltage).

Any ideas on an easy circuit / solution to do that?
 

fafrd

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
2,713
You're lucky Sparky. My state ranks a D on the ilsr grading system https://ilsr.org/2021-community-pow...GKhD5EUWE6YoARuUbL8Qh7z3iMToMFDIaAllwEALw_wcB
It's actually only one point above an F.
I'm having to get creative. I'm building a circuit that will automaticlly switch from grid tie to battery charging whenever my system produces more than I using.
Are you using a simple current switch to do that?

I’m looking for a simple way to detect when my solar export power reaches a predefined threshold of watts to drive a switch used to turn on an AC battery charger.

I know I could easily do that based on solar current but I’m interested to do it based on solar power (solar current X grid voltage).

Any ideas on an easy circuit / solution to do that?
 

McKravitts

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 8, 2022
Messages
28
Are you using a simple current switch to do that?

I’m looking for a simple way to detect when my solar export power reaches a predefined threshold of watts to drive a switch used to turn on an AC battery charger.

I know I could easily do that based on solar current but I’m interested to do it based on solar power (solar current X grid voltage).

Any ideas on an easy circuit / solution to do that?

faffrd.

Sorry for the delay in responding.

I was hoping it would be sinple and easy but so far "not so much"

I have installed two Functional Devices Inc. RIB24P30 dpdt relays.
One controls the outputs of two solar strings either to charge my battery bank via mppt controllers or connect to a grid tie inverter based on the soc of my batteries. If the state of charge drops below 90 % (as measured with a smart shunt) the power is directed to charge the batteries. When soc rises to 95 %. it switches to grid tie. As a backup my off grid inverter/charger will go into charge mode when the soc drops below 20 %.

The batteries drive an off grid inverter/charger which outputs to a 6 circuit transfer switch.

The other relay can bypass the two of the spdt switches in the transfer switch to switch these two circuits back to line input whenever the solar power drops below a set reference, presently controlled by a small solar panel connected to a resistive load.

The following is still under construction:

My grid tie inverter will shut down when it detects it's output power is higher than one leg of the split phase grid power being imported.
A current pick up coil on the connection line going low/near zero power can be used a the logic for directing relay controls

if your grid tie inverter has no such disconnect features one caan easily be built as follows.

By clamping identical power pick up coils to both the incoming grid power and to the output of the grid tie inverter, rectifying both and feeding the outputs to a simple comparator circuit(s) should provide the necessary logic to interface to the relays. Since I am on a split phase grid two such comparators will be necessary with the outputs logically OR’ed.

I’d like to believe that I am trying to reinvent the wheel. Perhaps someone on the forum is aware of some device(s) that may be available to simplify the task.
 

camelCase

Solar Addict
Joined
Apr 24, 2021
Messages
254
Exactly. Look at what has happened to higher education in the US. Every time the government hands out more money the schools just raise their prices a corresponding amount. Look to see solar pricing continue to escalate.

Are you having the same issues with firewood in France that they are in Germany?
Sort of like how Ford announced an $8k price increase which coincided with the $7500 subsidy for EVs in the so-called inflation reduction act. (That has to be the most ironically misnamed bill in the history of congressional acts).
 

fafrd

Photon Sorcerer
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
2,713
faffrd.

Sorry for the delay in responding.

I was hoping it would be sinple and easy but so far "not so much"

I have installed two Functional Devices Inc. RIB24P30 dpdt relays.
One controls the outputs of two solar strings either to charge my battery bank via mppt controllers or connect to a grid tie inverter based on the soc of my batteries. If the state of charge drops below 90 % (as measured with a smart shunt) the power is directed to charge the batteries. When soc rises to 95 %. it switches to grid tie. As a backup my off grid inverter/charger will go into charge mode when the soc drops below 20 %.

The batteries drive an off grid inverter/charger which outputs to a 6 circuit transfer switch.

The other relay can bypass the two of the spdt switches in the transfer switch to switch these two circuits back to line input whenever the solar power drops below a set reference, presently controlled by a small solar panel connected to a resistive load.

The following is still under construction:

My grid tie inverter will shut down when it detects it's output power is higher than one leg of the split phase grid power being imported.
A current pick up coil on the connection line going low/near zero power can be used a the logic for directing relay controls
Wow, I’m going have to start on new thread on this subject - sounds like you’ve built exactly the sort or set-up I’ve been considering.

What current levels are you switching with these relays and transfer switches?
if your grid tie inverter has no such disconnect features one caan easily be built as follows.

By clamping identical power pick up coils to both the incoming grid power and to the output of the grid tie inverter, rectifying both and feeding the outputs to a simple comparator circuit(s) should provide the necessary logic to interface to the relays. Since I am on a split phase grid two such comparators will be necessary with the outputs logically OR’ed.
I’m going to have to digest this idea more carefully, probably in a new thread. My grid-tie is Microinverter-based and those Microinverters are output current-limited.

By using a current switch on the grid-tied AC input,my current plan is to turn in a battery charger to dump load when total power generation reaches my export limit. But I’m still considering alternatives (including switching a panel or two from a Microinverter to an SCC).
I’d like to believe that I am trying to reinvent the wheel. Perhaps someone on the forum is aware of some device(s) that may be available to simplify the task.

I suggest we start a new thread devoted to thus topic - do you want to start it ir should I?
 

HighDesertOffgrid

Solar Enthusiast
Joined
Sep 15, 2022
Messages
47
Well, it's an international market. I'm French btw. So, we're probably going to run out of natgas this winter due to our European governments having daddy issues with Mr. Putin. After people freeze in the dark in a few months around February, it is likely that many will want to purchase insulation and solar systems for their homes. Fiberglass is made with Russian gas, so there won't be any left, but I'll bet a six pack Europe is going to absorb most of the Chinese solar panel and inverters output in 2023. Solar panel prices have already gone up +70% from last year, and it looks like a trend. So if you want to buy any of these products, you will be in competition with Europeans who really want them, and many other people from all around the world who watched and learned.

In addition, our American friends will subsidize buying the same Chinese solar panels, also driving up cost.

I would recommend buying what you need now.
I will refrain from commenting on the upcoming worldwide economic collapse (did I just contradict myself).
 
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