Electrek Green Energy Brief: A technical, financial and political analysis via a weekday review of important news

100 by ’50 Act – legislation that would phase out the use of fossil fuels in the US by 2050 – Probability of it being seen on the floor of Congress is close to zero %. However, that’s not the purpose of this document – this document is to let the people know what’s coming.

85% of California Electricity Generation Renewable Energy for Brief Period – Renewable energy provided more than 85% of California’s in-state generation (CAISO system) for 5 hours in the afternoon on Sunday, April 23. Over the whole day, renewable energy provided 74% of the in-state generation. The maximum penetration was 86.4% from 2-3 PM. The five-hour window is the most impressive – mostly we hear about these peaks when they occur for an hour, but here we have the middle of the day completely fed by renewables. And this does not include rooftop solar on a house or a business – with those volumes included I bet we were over 80% on the day and above 90% of demand met between 2-3 PM. We’re gonna have a 100% moment soon.

Frost & Sullivan: Power industry focuses on renewables; Solar PV is the fastest growing – Global renewable power investment reach USD 443.5 billion in 2017. Solar photovoltaics (PV) will be the fastest growing segment, followed by wind power, accounting for 37.5 percent and 21 percent of global investment, respectively, by 2020. Expects growth rates for solar PV of 11.5 percent to USD 141.6 billion in 2017. After reading this report I messaged a friend of mine who works for one of the largest natural gas construction firms in the USA and said it might be time for he and I to talk about the future.

Companies buying green power – how big a trend? And what’s it look like exactly – Great post analyzing how corporate america is trending toward greening its energy. Being personally focused on the commercial market just outside of the Fortune 500, most of my clients tend to install solar power on site to offset their electricity usage. One comment in this piece I want to push back on – The corporate customer may be buying RECs, but those RECs were probably on the market anyway, and the project concerned existed anyway. Similarly, with a green supply contract, where is the guarantee that additional renewable power capacity was built as a result of your company’s buying decision? A lot of these RECs are already on the market – and yes – the projects already exist, however, these projects only exist because there is a REC market – and that market might crash in value if it weren’t for those long-term REC agreements with Fortune 500s. Many smaller corporations are making an investment with risk when buying solar, not getting a guaranteed return. A layer of nuance.

China extends anti-dumping, anti-subsidy duties on solar-grade polysilicon imported from EU – This is in reaction to the EU extending tariffs against Chinese solar panels. And as the United States considers doubling the price of Chinese solar panels, let us remember what happened to the US polysilicon industry as a result of our first solar panel tariff.

Massachusetts carbon fee would save $2.9 billion in health costs over two decades, study finds – Between 2017 and 2040, there could be 340 lives saved from minimizing the health impacts of pollution, 20 heart attacks avoided, and 54 hospitalizations avoided for respiratory or cardiovascular disease. That number does not include the savings from health improvements for things like asthma and other illnesses. As an aside to compliment $2.9B in savings – Air Pollution is linked to Heart Disease – the #1 US killer. What’s a good life worth?

Swiss researchers develop new process for back contact cell production – The backside of solar panels and cells gets a lot of attention these days. PERC and Bifacial are the two big examples. This is an example of the learning curve spreading its wings – when we stare at an item for so long, with so many sets of eyes that have so many specialties we begin to see deeper. Expect significant price decreases as efficiencies continue to increase.

This was posted for one reason – ‘each rotation can then power 1 average NL household for 24 hours’ – wow – wind turbine designers are my rock stars.

Header image – World’s largest solar power plant – 1GW – Huawei panels, located in Ningxia, China

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