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EGEB: Solar pollinators blooming in Minnesota, California to hit 50% renewables early in 2020, more

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

California may reach 50% renewable power goal by 2020 — 10 years early – In 2016, 32.9 percent of the electricity PG&E sold to its customers came from renewable sources, according to the report. Edison reached 28.2 percent renewable power in 2016, while SDG&E — the state’s smallest investor-owned utility — hit 43.2 percent. Pacific Gas and Electric Co., Southern California Edison and San Diego Gas & Electric Co. — are collectively on track to reach the 50 percent milestone by 2020, although individual companies could exceed the mark or fall just short of it. Now, we’re in the phase of the machine where we have to figure out how to extend the renewables to 24 hours, 365 days and above a certain level. Regional coordination will probably be required, energy storage also.

IEA: Solar PV set to lead capacity additions to 2040 – Solar PV will lead capacity additions, pushed by deployment in China and India, while in the European Union, wind becomes the leading source of electricity soon after 2030. Firmly positioned as global leader in wind, solar, nuclear and electric vehicles and the source of more than a quarter of projected growth in natural gas consumption, China will continue to reaffirm its dominance in clean energy deployment even with a later-stage slowdown in demand growth, followed by India, which will account for almost one-third of global growth to 2040. We’re lucky that India is getting started on its growth with clean energy. It’s also great that the second half of China’s growth will be fueled cleanly. The report projects the USA to become the world’s largest fossil fuel exporter.

Harvard firm going on 43 years strong in solar industry – In 1979, when President Jimmy Carter was still in office, we were commissioned to design and construct the first all-solar residence to export a surplus of electricity onto the power grid. It resulted in a single-family residence in Carlisle, Mass., exporting power onto the grid because they made more than they needed. That started the utility-connected opportunity, and it grew from there. First all-solar residence to export a surplus of electricity onto the power grid – 1979. Cool. Been doing this for 38 years now. Old science folks.

$100 million Texas solar project on hold as Trump administration threatens tariff – A 100-megawatt, $100 million solar farm near Fort Stockton has been put on “indefinite hold” awaiting Trump’s decision. “It’s been a significant hit just within the last six months,” he said about a federal agency’s recommendation to impose up to 35 percent tariff on imports. “Every one of our customers said things are pretty much indefinitely on hold until there’s clarity.” Here are people who aren’t earning money. Cars not being bought. Housing purchases put off. This thought process started when Suniva filed in April. It’s now November, and we’re not to decision time yet. Hundreds of thousands of people directly affected. Millions more that are connected to them.

The clock ticks: ITC turns Section 201 over to President Trump – The ITC delivered their recommendations to the President in hard copy yesterday. Trump is still clearly under the influence of coal and nuclear. There is a chunk of legislation moving trough the bureaucratic side of the energy world that is looking to give incentives to coal and nuclear, tacking a tax on solar is the same result, different action. Early January is the response deadline.

I had a tough time putting these articles in order today. They show two different sides of the reality of our clean energy transition. There are temporary waves driven by small mindedness, but the ocean of change will overcome in time. That’s why I started positively and ended with the Suniva tariff.

And then a final touch today – new solar arrays in Minnesota are blooming. Legislated to consider pollinator friendly integrated plantings. This month — while the monarchs are gathering in their overwintering groves in the mountains of Mexico — Carver County, Ramsey and Blaine are considering proposals to use private funds to create more than 90 acres of high-quality habitat for monarchs and other pollinators over seven sites. The proposals, like others, are financed by the solar panels that sit above the diverse mix of deep-rooted plants. Once complete, these sites will provide habitat equivalent to more than 54,000 homes each planting and maintaining 6- by 12-foot pollinator gardens. Solar is paying for habitat restoration.

Considering residential solar? Understand Solar will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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