EGEB: EPA nominee says air is too clean, South Carolina solar to grow 10X, more

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10,000 jobs to be created with SC solar power project – Cypress Creek Renewables will announce a plan to invest $1.5 billion to build 2 gigawatts of solar power in South Carolina, according to Adams and Reese LLP. The more than 80 projects will create 10,000 construction jobs and power more than 600,000 homes. The clickbaity title totally got me. I was wondering, ‘What solar project is big enough for 10,000 jobs?!’ Then I read the article and saw it was 80 projects! However, I’m glad the clickbait grabbed me. The 2GW number is huge – and it turns out, as of the end of 2016, the whole state in its history had installed 0.2GW. This series of projects will increase the state value by 10x!

S.Korea may consider filing WTO complaint over U.S. solar tariffs – And I agree with South Korea on this logic because the broader attack on global solar panel manufacturing is that ‘cheap’ solar panels are undercutting US manufacturers. Well, the majority of solar panels coming from South Korea are high-efficiency and expensive. The US is part of the WTO – and WTO decisions are legally binding. Maybe we see an opening for LG and Hanwha solar panels – and if there is an opening, then this tariff will mean nothing in the long game to US manufacturers.

Leading PV Equipment Manufacturer Meyer Burger From Switzerland Shifting PV Tool Production To China – Swiss-based PV equipment maker Meyer Burger has announced that it plans to close down production at its facility in Thun by the end of 2018 as it strives to move closer to its customers. Production of diamond wire saws within a year to China where around 85% of solar wafers are being manufactured. From the article it seems diamond wire saws are the most important piece of hardware involved in this decision. Diamond wire saws are a way to cut the large chunk of silicon into the thin wafers of silicon, that are then processed into solar cells. The diamond wire cuts thinner and produces less waste than older technologies. This lowers costs overall as the actual silicon is a non-trivial part of the solar panel’s costs.

China’s renewable power wastage declined during Jan-Sept – China produced 1.17 trillion kilowatt hours of electricity from renewable energy, accounting for 25 percent of its power mix in the first three quarters. From January to September, the curtailment for wind power across China dropped 6.7 percentage points from the same period last year to 12 percent, while wasted solar power fell 3.8 percentage points from a year ago to 5.6 percent. With China currently the largest energy user and CO2 emitter both of these pieces of information are huge. 25% clean energy in China – that’s a great place to be at while still in growth. And, with the curtailment going so much lower – we’re seeing the energy grid catch up with the faster moving energy generation. Where China and India go is where our planet goes.

Good point on the ITC by a CEO of a company in the solar industry – My  take is, while the ITC’s basic position would impose less than half the preposterous tariffs suggested by Suniva & SolarWorld, Trump’s administration is a total wild card, so no one knows what crystalline PV will cost next year, and thus the carnage to the US PV market due to the cost-basis uncertainty will continue until this is “decided”. As you know if you read the EGEB regularly – solar in the USA has already slowed down because of uncertainty. Groups simply don’t know the future as well, as such, they’re a bit more reticent to sign contracts. This is natural in all large business deals…but affects real humans and their lives.

The below tweet sort of astounds me. We know that pollution is one of the greatest killers on this planet, even before we consider what climate change is bringing us. Along with this below individual, is the broader adjustment at the EPA that the scientists who are paid to do the research the USA needs are no longer allowed to consult with the EPA to tell them about said research. *As part of reading the comments of this article, I thought it appropriate to add this link. There are scientific questions about our bodies natural state of benefitting from stress – maybe some air pollution makes sense. Might be a bit soon to judge, however, if Pruitt is picking my general gut feel on the broader implications on the nation’s health stand.

You get two tweets today because this tweet had the biggest annual renewable investment number I’ve ever read – $11T/year by 2040…hope I can move up the ladder by then!

Featured image is a good-looking solar systemfrom Meyer Burger article. Really, its just a great looking solar installation. I think it’s from the Meyer Burger office in Switzerland as backward image searches on Google point me there…but I’ll update as I know exactly later today. *Update – as per our trust reader zn’s comment, it is definitely the Meyer Burger structure.

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