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EGEB: Environmental leaders killed 4x/week in 2017, OPEC ups EV estimations 5X, more

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

98 Environmental defenders have been killed so far in 2017 – These people ought be hailed as heroes.

How China floated to the top in solar – “The coalmine was very hot and the air was bad,” says Sang. “But here I feel safe. The new energy is safe.” That’s it. End of discussion.

Rooftop concentrating photovoltaics win big over silicon in outdoor testing – A concentrating photovoltaic system with embedded microtracking can produce over 50 percent more energy per day than standard silicon solar cells in a head-to-head competition – Lots of caveats here, but, the one caveat I would normally insert that isn’t here: This technique does not involve multi-ton metal/steel structures to track the sun – and that means they can fit it on a roof that has less than 10 PSF available (90% of commercial rooftops that I deal with). If I can add 50% more electricity production, at a decent price, I am going to be a hit in the boardrooms.

DOE Reliability and Baseload Report Draft June 26 – A copy of the draft text leaked from the Department of Energy regarding grid reliability and renewables. Concurrently, I’m reading that the “grid study from the Department of Energy no longer includes draft text that pointed a finger at cheap gas and low electricity demand — not renewables — as the main drivers of recent baseload power plant closures.” The politicians have begun their work.

German power net survives solar eclipse – Stay calm, carry on (circa 2015). The engineers carefully prepared measures well ahead of time, coordinated all across Germany, aimed at stabilizing electricity supplies by ramping fossil-fuelled power plants up and down, timed carefully to offset the solar eclipse, so as to avoid any sudden voltage fluctuations that might cause the grid to crash. And the play by play: Then, shortly after 9:30 AM, the display curve bent sharply downward. From 14,000 MW before the eclipse, it dropped quickly to 7,000 MW. So far, so good – the network remained stable. A while later, with the eclipse ending, the display curve began to reverse itself. “We’re at the bottom of the valley,” Biermann said. “Now photovoltaic production will rise rapidly from 7,000 MW to 20,000 MW.” Watching the displays, Biermann saw 4,400 MW of solar power added to the grid over the course of fifteen minutes. “This is going to work,” he said with satisfaction.

California votes to extend cap-and-trade climate law to 2030 – “Tonight, California stood tall and once again, boldly confronted the existential threat of our time,” Mr Brown said in a statement on Monday. “That’s what good government looks like.” Thank you California citizens. You lead us today.

EPA plans to offer to buy out 1,227 positions – Great time to fire scientists looking at climate change, pollution and protecting our environment. Its not as if CO2 is peaking, soils are degrading, bees are dying, fracking injections are causing earthquakes, water is being polluted and running low, etc etc.

Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand – These are OPEC’s numbers. These numbers are lower than everyone else’s estimations (BNEF, IEA, etc) – but none of those people are nearly as important to the globe as OPEC. And if OPEC sees it coming – it is coming, and coming hard. OPEC quintupled its forecast for sales of plug-in EVs, and oil producers from Exxon Mobil Corp. to BP Plc also revised up their outlooks in the past year, according to a study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance released on Friday. The London-based researcher expects those cars to reduce oil demand 8 million barrels by 2040, more than the current combined production of Iran and Iraq.

Ohio decision could put more ratepayers on the hook for old cleanup costs – Cincinnati-area utility customers must pay $55.5 million to Duke Energy for cleanup of contamination from plants that haven’t run in more than 50 years. Roughly – each family must pay the power company $100/each. People not born, whose parent’s weren’t born and who weren’t living in the state will be subsidizing the past so today’s stock holders are protected.

Solar Maverick: Sydney start-up unveils portable PV game-changer – Can’t stand anyone that uses the term ‘game changing’ in their PR – but I’ll still give them credit for delivering a product that could lower the costs of solar deployment in certain environments. Building everything in a factory on an assembly line versus running wire in the field will definitely speed things up and lower engineering costs. See image below.

Check out this chart – solar + storage in 2018 looks like it will be almost 4% cheaper than a gas peaker plant. Two points on this – 1. This is in Minnesota. This is southern Canada, not not Arizona. 2. This is 2018 – two years before 2020 as was predicted before. And long before battery prices have truly begun to crash with the coming Gigafactories.

That whole CO2 thing – still growing:

Header image by Kevin Frayer from the Time article in today’s brief.

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