Solar News: $TSLA Faces Weak Demand for Its Pricey Solar Roof, Plans Changes + Solar News From Australia & Germany

n 2016, Tesla CEO Elon Musk unveiled one of the innovative products for which he’s become famous: roof tiles that incorporate solar panels. The resulting solar roof, as Musk called it, would be beautiful, environmentally beneficial—and cheaper than a conventional roof with separate solar panels, he said. That summer, Musk published a second “master plan” for Tesla on the internet that listed the solar roof among his top priorities, saying it would “accelerate a sustainable future.”

Almost seven years later, Tesla has realized little of Musk’s vision. The roof has proved difficult to manufacture and expensive to install, topping $100,000 for some customers—more than five times the cost of covering the same roof with conventional solar panels. Tesla increasingly markets the roof as a luxury product. Despite the high costs, the company still loses money on the roofs, and executives are discussing raising the price, according to a person close to the project.


SunWiz said more than 3.4 million Australian customers had a rooftop solar system, with the rate of new installations running at roughly 300,000 a year.

It claimed Australia was leading the world in the uptake of photovoltaic cells, which convert sunlight into electricity.

“Solar energy is already Australia’s largest fuel source for electrical power in Australia,” he said.


From that same article above, we learn coal still supplies the greatest volumes of power in Australia. I had no idea coal was this big in Oz Land.

While solar power is Australia’s biggest source of electricity generation by capacity, figures show coal continues to provide the greatest volumes of power despite big declines in recent years.

According to the Australian Energy Regulator (AER), black and brown coal accounted for almost 70 per cent of the power generated in the national electricity market (NEM) in the 12 months to June 30.

The national electricity market spans Australia’s eastern states along with South Australia and Tasmania, covering most of the country’s population.

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Germany’s Federal Network Agency (Bundesnetzagentur) has reported that 780 MW of new PV capacity was installed in January, from 420 MW of solar in January 2022.

The main market driver remains PV systems up to 300 kW in size, supported under the country’s feed-in tariff (FIT) scheme. Developers installed about 526.5 MW of such systems last year.

The nation’s cumulative PV capacity hit 68.2 GW at the end of January, with a total of 2.7 million projects. Bavaria is the German state with the largest share of the total at 18.8 GW, followed by Baden-Württemberg with 8.37 GW and North Rhine-Westphalia with around 7.7 GW.

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All well and good to hear about PV installations, but I’d like to hear articles talk about the corresponding plan for backup. NG peaker plants? Batteries? Other?

Backup isn’t going to be coal… it takes too long to wind up and wind down coal powered electricity from a cold/warm furnace.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.


The latest news from Energy Vault (which is a Swiss company) is better than last time we checked in

Must be a thousand battery tech stories, okay, dozens of new battery tech stories. One of the weirdest was batteries built on a silicon ingredient which would cost 1/2 graphite and deliver 2x power. I’ll see if I can run that down again.

I know what it was: Marc Cohodes said he’s wrong sometimes and he’ll say when he makes investing mistakes. His only long right now which he has great hope for is this firm Neo:

The Next Big Silicon Battery Breakthrough Is So Mysterious

The startup NEO Battery Materials set the Intertubes humming earlier this week when it announced a new mashup with a yet-to-be-named “Top U.S. University Spin-Out.” The agreement is aimed at ratcheting up the performance of NEO’s low-cost silicon battery anode. If all goes according to plan, there will be a huge impact on the cost of electric vehicle batteries. That’s all we know for now, so let the guessing begin: what university did NEO hook up with?

Silicon Battery Technology Good

Silicon batteries are lithium-ion batteries tricked out with silicon to replace graphite. Graphite has long been the go-to material for lithium-ion batteries, but silicon offers the allure of longer life and faster charging times along with lower costs, compared to conventional lithium-ion batteries.

The US Army, for one, is silicon-curious. It has been scouting new silicon battery technology on account of the potential for a significant savings on weight, which is an important considerations for soldiers who are loaded with an increasing amount of electronic gear.

Cohodes, as you may have gathered from an earlier post, is a notorious short who has helped imprison a dozen CEOs or executives for their frauds perpetrated on investors. He’s at war right now with CNBC (he calls it the Clown Network), Barron’s, zerohedge, and that CEO of Slivergate bank who was video bombing investors while talking from a chair with a Crucifix on his wall - very eerie scene of a CEO caught dead to rights, trying to offload his guilt using a religious icon used to fight off vampires. Total fail.

(Is symbology a word?)

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X-Post from Jack on METAR concerning Bechtel & Sicona opening a battery plant in the USA:

This whole “super battery” quest is something where I’m more than happy to WAIT before investing. If the REAL DEAL comes along, there will be plenty of profits even for late comers.

And I prefer to not be among the thousands of wounded investors who want to jump early… just to find out… how painful it can be.

Looking for early tech winners is probably not as good a bet as picking a random number at roulette. And picking a basket of them is likely to merely be a basket of losers.


He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.


Yeah, there must be a dozen different battery plants opening in the USA and not a one has a battery - yet - which has scaled up and can beat the range of what is out there from Tesla, BYD, Audi/VW, Porsche, and Lucid.

Patience is the key.