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

CAISO Regionalization, 100% Clean Energy Bills Stall – California hasn’t been able to push its 100% renewables bill – #SB100 – through just yet, and that means it won’t happen until – at the earliest January. “(SB100) is not going to move — there is overwhelming opposition to it. And there is not time to work that out,” Assembly member Chris Holden (D) said. One batch of opposition comes from unions who say a push toward 100% renewables will harm their job prospects. Another interesting push – ‘regionalization’ of CAISO, California’s main power grid management body, would allow California and other states to more easily trade renewable energy among themselves. Now, California will often export additional solar power to Arizona – slowly cleaning their grid – but not in an official and organized manner. Regionalization would help push that along. Of course – that bill doesn’t look like it will pass either.

Not all bad news coming from the west though – Here’s how California plans to spend $1.5 billion in cap-and-trade money – California has shown that large chunks of people support a carbon tax:

  • $895 million would go to an array of programs to replace gas and diesel-burning cars, trucks, buses and port equipment with cleaner models, a priority for which a group of lawmakers have been lobbying.
  • $225 million for fire prevention and response.
  • $165 million to agriculture, including $99 million to curb methane.
  • $61 million for urban forestry, healthy forests and wetlands restoration.
  • $44 million for programs to promote energy efficiency.
  • $40 million to improve the state’s recycling infrastructure.
  • $11 million for energy research at the University of California

And to stay on the mono-vs-poly train from yesterday – The Value Proposition of Using High-Efficiency Mono-Si PERC Modules – The chart below gives a great breakdown of what higher efficiency panels can do for you. The fact that you can get the same amount of energy installed using less labor, less hardware and less paperwork is one of the greatest benefits from higher efficiency. This is of course before you consider that the same land/roof space gets more energy out of it. Other benefits in article as well.

I Was an Exxon-Funded Climate Scientist – Exxon so very clearly knew, down to its bones, that burning fossil fuels was driving climate change. This perspective from a scientist who did some of that research speaks of the complex relationship the company had with its profits versus what it told stockholders, advertised on television to the general public and paid politicians to do.

In other Exxon news – Exxon Must Disclose Accounting Details in New York Climate Probe – Schneiderman in June revealed detailed findings from the two-year probe, including what he called “significant evidence” that Exxon may have used two sets of numbers — one public and one secret — to calculate the impact of global warming on its reserves. Exxon said it ought not have to turn over those values – the court disagrees.

Alectra Utilities CEO: ‘Someone’s going to cannibalize our business — it may as well be us’ – About time a CEO says something honestly, out loud and real hard. The old models are going down. You best evolve – or go extinct. “I think repositioning, redefining the grid from what it is as sort of a passive purveyor of energy to one that is an enabler of transactive energy at the grassroots level is a much more sustainable, profitable strategy.” The goal is to become a manager of the grid at a much higher level, versus simply pushing electrons. This company is going places.

German solar equipment providers report 51% increase in sales in Q2 – One way to guess how an industry is growing/moving is to look at the hardware that makes it. “The high investment activity of the solar cell manufacturers in the expansion of existing and new production capacities is continuing, as production is fully utilized. However, low prices have had a negative effect on sales. New orders have increased for PERC and black silicon equipment for both the crystalline silicon and the thin film segments. The most revenue-generating segment in the second quarter of 2017 was again the production equipment for solar cell production with a 59% share, followed by the thin film segment with a 24% share.” High efficiency solar cells – mono-perc – are driving the equipment upgrades.

This is an installation on top of a hotel(?) that got hit by 190 mph winds. A large majority of the racking structure and solar panels are in place (compare to the original image). I’d bet that 85% or more of the system is still in place and producing energy. 190mph man!

Header image from the ‘Hit me with your SunShot‘ photography contest. Researchers mount a PV module for performance testing in Fraunhofer CSE’s solar simulator dark tunnel. Photo by Fraunhofer CSE.

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