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Electrek morning green energy brief: America believes in cleaning up after itself, 2017 solar installs projections, and more


[Editor’s note: We’re trying a new morning green energy briefing which should deliver every day at 9am ET. Please comment below]

Americans strongly believe in their responsibilities toward climate change and pollution – Two-thirds of registered voters (66%) say the U.S. should reduce its greenhouse gas emissions, regardless of what other countries do. Nearly eight out of ten registered voters (78%) support taxing global warming pollution, regulating it, or using both approaches, while only one in ten opposes these approaches. Two in three registered voters (66%) support requiring fossil fuel companies to pay a carbon tax and using the money to reduce other taxes (such as income tax) by an equal amount. If Congress passes a fossil fuel tax, the most popular uses of the revenue are developing clean energy (solar, wind), improving America’s infrastructure, assisting workers in the coal industry who may lose their jobs as a result of the tax, and paying down the national debt.

2017 predictions for global solar installations between 70-79GW – After 2016’s mega growth year of 34%, many thought 2017 would be a letdown (70GW would be an almost 10% slowdown). However, India’s growth and the USA shifting some utility scale installations back a year is making up for that. Europe is still moving slowly.

China to spend $380B on renewables by 2020 – China will invest 500 billion yuan in hydropower to increase capacity of this energy source by 60 million KW, according to the proposal. It will invest 700 billion yuan in wind power to add 80 million KW generation capacity. An investment of 1 trillion yuan will go to solar energy to ensure its capacity will grow about 67 million KW to 110 million KW by 2020. Thank you China.

Washington State carbon tax at $25/ton proposed to pay for education – The Governor of Washington State is suggesting a carbon tax to pay for state education. Voters recently rejected a revenue neutral carbon tax in the state. Maybe the governor should check out the Yale survey above.

After eight years of amazing work, the Department of Energy sees a different President – The US Department of Energy was significantly involved in lowering the costs and bettering the technology of every single thing we care about on this website. The soon-to-be head of the Department of Energy once suggested, via failing memory, that he wanted to end the DOE. The question of transition looms. Are we a country that invests in base technology that supports our technologically advanced industries?

Arizona Citizens subsidizing fossil fuels $650M a year via health effects – While the doctors and judges of the country understand and value the cost of health due to pollution from fossil fuels, the monopoly of electric utilities wants you to pretend those numbers equal $0. Arizona, a state with minimal regulations, has chosen to put the responsibilities of burning coal and enjoying cheap electricity on the people by lowering the value of solar electricity to customers – not on the ‘capitalists’ who create the cost on society.


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