Electrek green energy brief: Snow on solar, CT carbon tax, mergers and acquisitions, more

Connecticut talking about a $15/ton carbon tax – The word ‘direct dividend’ is used to describe a portion of the carbon tax being returned to business (30% of tax) and private people (40%). 25% of the tax will be used to invest in efficiency/infrastructure. The article tries hard to paint that a carbon tax is coming – first they point out that many states in the region are doing it, and they quote a politician saying Washington DC is ‘sending signals.’ Hrmm – 25% of a carbon tax to infrastructure/efficiency…it’s something.

Since the northeast USA got some snow yesterday – here is a short on snow and solar panels – 1. Snow slides off – without frames it slides fast – higher angles it slides fastest. 2. Snow cleans panels as well any anything cleans panels. 3. Microcracks can develop from too much weight – research is being done. 4. Light gets through the snow – so much so – that it generates electricity even when covered. 5. Type of snow will affect how snow rolls off, as well as wind. 6.* Added by me – when that tiny bit of light get through to the panels, the panels heat up – and start to melt the snow (header image from linked video). Plus these benefits from the comment section.

A big time power company considering buying a big time renewable company for $19B – There is a lot of money in the electricity and energy industry, one of the reasons I got into the field in the first place. Electricity is seen as a long-term commodity that is safe to bet on. These new technologies are seen as a slow-moving disrupter – like a hurricane coming into South Florida, no amount of screaming politician will stop the beast – and if you’re not in them, you’re out.

Trump business council members are heavy investors in energy efficiency and renewables – If the big money benefits from an idea like greening up your energy, there will at least be some heed paid by this administration. Already though, Trump has attacked programs important to the solar industry – cutting Department of Energy research (SunShot) attacks at the research driving the smartening up of our electrical grid.

Green finance for dirty ships“15 of the biggest ships emit more oxides of nitrogen and sulphur—gases much worse for global warming than carbon dioxide—than all the world’s cars put together.” I think this is the definition of low hanging fruit. Finance to green the shipping industry will mean a quiet, clean and automated global fleet moving material at the lowest costs imaginable.

17GW of offshore wind possible for California – 17GW of off shore wind with a capacity factor of 34.7% (this number is based on onshore wind in the USA – so 37% might be low) will produce 55,000 GWhrs/year. Average household uses around 0.01GWhrs/year. Department of Energy reports think we can get to 30% wind power in the USA. California’s wind is located in deep water and will need new technology to scale for better pricing – technology being commercialized in Europe right now.

Remember that Chernobyl is thinking about building a solar plant – I am sure that Elon will be competing with BYD on a project like this. More importantly though – heads of state now look at battery storage as a ‘normal course of business‘ –

The people are speaking –

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