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

Study: $40M to install solar-plus-storage systems at 12 SF sites for seismic resiliency – The sites selected are in each of the 11 districts of the Board of Supervisors, with an additional one in District 10, and include libraries, schools, churches, police stations and recreation centers. I’ve never seen research on how solar panels assembled on the roof of a building that has an earthquake ends up producing. I’d bet, much like we can build structures to manage an earthquake, there could be strategic pieces of hardware put into a solar racking system to let it better flex. Nonetheless, this story represents a continuing trend we are seeing where public institutions see solar+storage as important to keeping the lights on during complex times.

Green bonds are expected to reach more than $130 billion in 2017 – If the almost $135 billion projection comes true, it will be an increase of 36 percent in relation to 2016, which saw $99.1 billion of green bonds in total. “There’s about $100 trillion of institutional money in the world, and less than 1 percent is invested in anything green”. Dark green bonds adhere to the strictest environmental criteria, while the lighter green shade is being used to fund a broader array of projects. I picked three sentences from this that caught my attention – 1. Bonds potentially up 36% – that’s not trivial growth when we’re talking Billions of $$. 2. $100T of institutional money and 1% being spent on green stuff. First off, it’s actually 0.136% and secondly that’s great that the green industry could tap into only 1% of global investment capital and be at $1T – a number that is often considered the amount of investment needed to fix our climate change sins. And last 3. ‘Dark green bonds’ – that’s a new term to me. I’d love to learn what it means more specially. Cool to know it exists.

Energy harvested from evaporation could power much of US, says study – I’ve never heard of electricity generation form evaporation before – but any energy source that suggest it can offer 70% of US needs in a clean manner, and on demand gets some attention. One machine developed in his lab, the so-called Evaporation Engine, controls humidity with a shutter that opens and closes, prompting bacterial spores to expand and contract. The spores’ contractions are transferred to a generator that makes electricity. Columbia University find that U.S. lakes and reservoirs could generate 325 gigawatts of power, nearly 70 percent of what the United States currently produces. Maybe we associate these machines with floating solar power, or solar power over rivers. See image below from research paper. Credit to Haye Kesteloo for finding it first.

PetersenDean taps U.S. manufacturer Mission Solar Energy as panel supplier – This alliance helps meet two important goals for PetersenDean, which installs about 2,000 solar and roof systems each month nationally: Providing PetersenDean customers with intelligently managed energy storage, and using roofing materials manufactured in the U.S. The article is more of a press release, but I thought it was important to pay attention to now that the Suniva trade case has moved forward. The politics of ‘American Made’ have been with us for a while – and it might become an economic driver with upcoming tariffs. Another tidbit – Mission Solar Energy expects to supply between 2 and 4 MW of modules to PetersenDean each month, from their state-of-the-art 250-MW-capacity facility in Texas. Mission just signed a contract to guarantee 10-20% of their manufacturing capacity. Good job.

U.S. stands to save billions in health through renewable energy usage – “For existing RPS policies, the lower-bound estimates for human health benefits associated with improved air quality come in at least $48 billion, plus $37 billion in benefits from reduced damage to the climate. Expansion of RPS to the levels we assessed would incur upper-bound costs of around $194 billion. However, even the lower-bound estimates of air quality benefits, at $303 billion, and climate demand benefits at $132 billion, outweigh this cost.” Once a month reminder that you – the people – are paying HUGE physical costs for burning things to get electricity. And here are some rough estimates on what your body costs.

Report: Grid-tied residential storage surpasses off-grid use – 4,400 residential battery systems were deployed in 2016, with 86% of them being off-grid or grid-independent. The latest numbers on 2017, however, suggest a reversal of that trend. Instead, the report predicts 57% of 2017’s deployments will be grid-connected, with the percentage increasing to 99% by 2022. That’s really interesting – I’d never considered the balance between on/off. What’s more interesting is the volume of on the grid energy storage that is expected in the next couple of years.

You know you’re somebody when you’re a license plate – Iowa Flaunts New Wind Turbine License Plate – “I’m glad so many were able to help select a meaningful design that should serve as a point of pride for our state and showcase our unique culture to the rest of the country.” Wind power is now being defined as an important piece of culture. That phrase makes me feel warm and fuzzy inside.

Header image from the ‘Hit me with your SunShot‘ photography contest. Since I’ve shown each of the winning photographs – I’ve now moved into showing off some of the images that didn’t ‘win’ – but are beautiful nonetheless. These images are located on the flickr account page of SunShot. Genesis Solar 250 MW CSP in Blythe, California; October tarantula migration. Photo by Evan Derouen.

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