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

Runaway 53GW Solar Boom in China Pushed Global Clean Energy Investment Ahead in 2017 – Solar investment globally amounted to $160.8 billion in 2017, up 18% on the previous year despite cost reductions of 25%. Just over half of that world total, or $86.5 billion, was spent in China. This was 58% higher than in 2016, with an estimated 53GW of PV capacity installed – up from 30GW in 2016. Globally, solar power did well. China is really pulling the world along for its ride – about 100% of the increase from 2016 to 2017 came from China.

Carbon Taxing May Be Coming To Energy Conscious States – “My carbon pricing bill establishes an initial fee of $20 per ton on carbon dioxide that increases to $40 per ton over four years. The fee would be paid at the point of purchase of fossil fuels. This means it would be paid when you fill up your car at the gas station, when home heating oil is delivered, and when you get your monthly gas bill.” 20 percent of the tax would go toward funding transportation infrastructure, renewable energy projects, and climate change preparation, 80 percent would be refunded to taxpayers. Lots of interesting information in this article. The 20-80% tax balance is interesting – I wonder if we’re going to have to track our carbon purchases and present receipts on April 15th to get that 80% back. $40 a ton isn’t a trivial number.

Yesterday, Shell Bolsters Renewables Bet With Stake in U.S. Solar Company and back in December – Shell, Seeking to Curb Its Carbon Footprint, Buys Electricity Provider. Shell has tried to make money in the renewable industry multiple times in the past, and pulled back. Shell was a trailblazer of sorts for a large oil company. My gut says the most money in the industry is in finding good land, taking the risk to develop, and then selling those projects to long-term owners who are pleased with multiple decades of cash flow. These purchases by Shell lay nearby my big money hypothesis. Thank you for tips Mr. Kwiatkowski.

Solar-Powered Pumps To Draw Water For Animals In Mysuru Tiger Reserves – It’s the small applications of solar that most capture my imagination these days. I often compare solar power to ants, and nuclear plants to elephants. Both majestic creatures with immense complexity, just in different ways – and deployed differently. And here we see little solar ants moving water around the world.

The Most Accurate Wind Database For Projects + 5 Wind Development Projects To Know In 2018 – They’re advertising a database, but in that advertisement they give juicy data, so they get a link. The U.S. wind energy industry is on track to reach new heights in 2018; according to the most recent Energy Acuity data, more than 8 GW of power is set to become operational this year. With 44 MW coming online in the first week of January 2018 for the Cross Winds Energy Park, this year could be a major boon for wind energy developers seeking to carve out an even larger chunk of our nation’s energy mix. 8GW of wind is like 12.8GW of solar (if capacity factors are 40% and 26%, respectively). That’s a whole lot of wind power to be installed. Plus five really large US wind projects coming online in 2018.

Heat-capture system could help solar PV power ovens, steam turbines – The system uses compressed air together with micron-sized particles, little bits larger than dust yet smaller than beach sand, to capture and transport heat of up to 650 degrees Celsius. That’s as hot as a typical sparkler burned in celebration on July 4 and nearly hot enough to melt aluminum foil. I don’t know exactly where to apply this type of hardware, I’m not familiar with using steam – but I know we’ve got many things in different industries that need these forms of energy. Solar hot water tanks were always very efficient when I installed those in Florida – maybe solar thermal drives large-scale heating services via distributed steam.

I’m still young in the industry, the founders deserve a moment –

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot programCrystal clear reflections of the sky can be seen in freshly cleaned heliostat glass at Solar Reserve’s Crescent Dunes facility in Tonopah, NV. Photo by Ivan Boden.

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