Electrek green energy brief: Solar eclipse taught Germany 80% renewables possible, Maryland overturns governor, 4.5M jobs and more


Solar eclipse allowed Germany to test grid, learning that up to 80% renewables is possible – Pretty cool to think that the German scientists and grid operators took the time to use a solar eclipse on one of the world’s largest solar power deployments as an experiment. I cannot imagine it would be possible to test such an aggressive ramp up and down in the real world without upsetting broader society – but during a solar eclipse it is possible.

Maryland House (not the Senate yet) votes to overturn Governor’s veto of Renewable Energy bill – The House of Representatives of Maryland has overruled the veto of an energy bill by the state’s governor. Reading the comments here and in other locations I hear the same tired arguments about ‘sun and wind taxes.’ It’s like there is a group distributing talking points all across the country that is funded by those making money from fossil fuels. Good thing we have a double digit number of analysis showing that the House of Representatives is right from a science standpoint and that they are supported by the people.

Energy efficiency industry 4.5 million jobs at $5,000 above average – If the politics of energy and climate change comes down to money instead of saving the human species, then I will happily push the job propaganda. 4.5 million people represents 2.8% of the US workforce – these people are spread across construction, finance, engineering, sales, marketing, politics, research, manufacturing and so much more. Additionally, they make $5,000 – 10% – more a year than the national median. Not to mention – certain subsets of this industry, like solar and wind, are growing at double digit rates annually.

The nation of Ireland votes to divest from fossil fuels – Riding high on government votes, and talking economics – the nation of Ireland has voted to sell all fossil fuel stock from its US$9B sovereign wealth fund. While the total dollar amount is small compared to global fossil fuels, it is part of a $5 trillion dollar divestment movement. Some political groups have chosen to make the argument surrounding fossil fuels and clean energy entirely based upon the current economic system (taxes, price at pump, electricity bill), versus considering the long game of the species – and this model has worked as those with the money generally win. Now a days, there is enough confidence in the broader world to believe that we can win for real – and its the money talking.

Community Solar in Nebraska funded by lottery – I’m big on community solar. Studies I’ve read say that in between sized solar systems (1-10MW) situated locally are the best bang for the buck when considering all cost factors. No need for major infrastructure upgrades, usually well placed in unused small parcels, great ability to take advantage of scale to lower pricing and easy to fund. Community solar then takes those locally sized systems and sells them, piece by piece, to local buyers. It just fits! Distributed funding for distributed energy. This article talks about funding community solar development via the state lottery – that’s a new one for me, but it makes sense politically.

From the people that run Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency – a report on the legal changes to solar laws across the USA (47 of 50 states changed solar laws) – As a commercial and industrial sales guy, it is sometimes hard to keep up with the regulations in the few states I cover in the northeast. And sometimes I get project analysis requests from across the country – and reality is that I cannot keep up. 47 states had law changes related to solar power – many states had multiple changes. The State of Massachusetts that is extending its solar program, starting a battery program and re-upping its wind program released hundreds of pages of dense analysis and legal documents. DSIRE is a tool I’ve used for almost my whole solar career – and you should to.

In the front, to the right are two small humans in orange coats. I bet they are a few hundred feet in front of the construction – meaning they look larger than they are. Windmill construction is cool –


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