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EGEB: China studying fossil fuel car ban; US residential solar decline; UK awards 6.4GW clean energy; more

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

US Residential Solar Market Forecast to Decline For the First Time – Last week, we saw that in first half of 2017 the USA set another solar volume record, but within that record is a decline in the residential market. This decline is mostly driven by a shift from solar leasing toward solar purchasing. As companies like SolarCity and Vivint start trying to improve cash flow versus selling large volumes of long term leases, their focus has shifted those large volumes toward a ‘higher quality’ product. This interesting dynamic is shown within the overall drop, in that cash purchases have increased, as well the broadness (number of states with solid volumes of cash purchases) of the market has increased. Yes, the press will show you headlines purporting the challenges of residential solar – make sure you read the details though.

Solar+storage is more cost-effective than proposed gas plants in Southern CaliforniaThe models show that a solar+storage solution is achievable at $267 million to install, compared to $299 million for the Puente proposal. Solar+storage could replace both Puente and Ellwood for approximately $406 million. This is the second time we’ve had a report that solar+storage is cheaper than natural gas peaker plants. The first came out of Minnesota. Already, we’ve had serious energy professionals state that there won’t be any gas peaker plants built after 2020. Gas peaker plants have been a huge money maker for construction companies as the price of gas has stayed so low – this market is about to disappear.

Wales Is Set to Become the Green Power Capital of Britain – Tidal Lagoon Power secured a 3.24-gigawatt connection to the grid, potentially turning electricity generated from the sea into the U.K.’s biggest source of renewable energy once operational. Cool! 3.24GW of tidal power – that’s some of the neatest news I’ve seen in a while. The tides go in an out every single day – and we knew exactly how they work.

China is considering deadline to go all-electric – a death sentence for the internal combustion engine – This is an article from yesterday, but the topic is big enough to get more attention. Right now, in the USA, transportation contributes more emissions to the environment than electricity generation. This might not be the case in China yet simply because electricity usage grew before vehicles did -but that would change soon. If the biggest car market on the planet suddenly does go electric – the whole world will follow. This is really significant if it happens.

“Hit Me with Your SunShot” Photo Contest Winners Announced – If you were to call me a fanboy of a few things – the SunShot professionals would be among them. Yesterday I got to meet a few (and I led a stretching exercise in front of one of their panels at the Solar Power International convention in Las Vegas! Highlight of my solar career :-). SunShot put out a contest looking for beautiful solar images – here are the winners. I’ll be sharing them as header photos for a few days – so enjoy!

Big Oil must pay for climate change. Now we can calculate how much – According to one study, sea level rise increased Sandy’s flood damages to property in New York City alone by $2bn – more than $230 per New Yorker. Such costs from storm damage attributable to climate change are just one piece of the story. New York City estimates that it will spend an estimated $19.5bn to prepare for climate change impacts through 2030. And researchers say developing countries most vulnerable to rising seas and increasing extreme weather will need between $140bn and $300bn annually by 2030 to help them cope. There are two glaring issues with these logics – these companies cannot afford to cover the costs of their actions, and second, we the people – for the most part – have allowed them to continue on by buying their products. Of course, we now have clear evidence that Exxon and others lied to the public about the consequences of fossil fuels, and paid off politicians globally to ignore it – so these groups are culpable. The question is how do we move from fossils to cleaner sources. Carbon Tax. We are already going to bear consequences of climate change. Now we must figure out how to mitigate the damage as best we can.

UK awards 3.2GW offshore – Dong Energy secured support for the almost 1.4GW Hornsea 2 off Yorkshire while EDPR and Engie won a CfD for the  950MW Moray 1 off northern Scotland. Both sites will come online in the 2022-23 delivery period at £57.50/MWh. Off-shore wind power is setting great pricing records. And it is predicted the pricing on these units will fall at least 50% more in the next decade or so. Who wants to place a bet that the UK doesn’t build the nuclear power plant at Hinkley?

A nice infographic of off-shore wind power  evolution – this is getting headlines because of the prior article. UK off shore wind power is growing big – makes sense for an island surrounded by blustery conditions.

Header image from the SunShot link in the story.

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