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EGEB: Taiwan+South Korea join against solar tariff, nuclear bailout – $300M, poly-PERC within $0.02/W, more

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

Taiwan follows South Korea into WTO complaint over new US solar duties – Now two countries, major trade partners with the United States, have joined a legal case against the Suniva+Solar World solar tariff. I wonder how quickly these groups could push a case like this through the World Trade Organization. When I inquired on this topic with a smart professional in this field a long while ago, they said court cases like this took two plus years before any results were yielded, if that (note that the US and India have been in a similar trade case since 2011-2013).

MIT Energy Conference: Transformational Technologies – The names speaking at this conference are pretty significant (at least for a budding energy nerd like me), so that’s cool. Plus it’s only an hour away. Key information I am initially searching for will be a better understanding of how blockchain (same thing that Bitcoins run on) can benefit distributed energy generation and usage, plus energy storage in homes, and charging+storage in cars. Blockchain proclaims to simplify the transfer of trusted data among many distributed parties – I see the potential (I own cryptos), but I need see the proof of all that. If you’ve got suggestions for questions, please post in comments – I could use your distributed perspective.

USA: Regulators asked to approve Facebook’s 216MW PPAs – according to Tim Buckley, part of this deal is for New Mexico’s regulator PNM approves a 50MW wind + 1MW battery storage PPA to at a record low price of below US$30/MWh. Very soon you’re going to see a series of breaking articles describing the Xcel Energy energy storage bids (they’re out of this world), and for evidence that some of these record low Xcel Energy bids will come to be. This bid today from Facebook includes a very small amount of energy storage compared to the Xcel bid – 1MW – so the real driver is the 50MW of wind, but these projects are knocking at a big energy storage door that’s about to be blown open.

PSEG hoping to get $300M nuclear bailout from N.J. – Lobbyists for New Jersey’s largest utility worked with former Gov. Chris Christie’s administration to craft a $300 million bailout for nuclear power, while adding language to shield the company’s financial information from the public. 1. I think with our current growth rates of renewable energy and storage, it is sound policy to consider supporting existing nuclear facilities. Until our volumes of solar/storage get moving broadly – these plants are worth a lot, far beyond just electricity. 2. If we’re going to support utilities with public money – we need transparency. Nuclear facilities are long past the point of their financial status being protected knowledge. They’re failing financially – and this plant suggests it’d be bankrupt within two years. Sorry folks, but it’s not going to work that you’re just going to be given money. You’ve failed the test of capitalism – as such – you no longer get to hide behind the rules of capitalism (private information as a competitive advantage). We want your plant, we’ll support it (Jersey is starting up a carbon tax for one) – however – you need to understand that we own your knowledge.

On the tweet below – Murray is the executive who tried to get Perry and Trump to give tens of billions to prop up the coal industry. So take that into consideration when considering that the ‘leader’ of the free world just said, ‘beautiful, clean coal’ in their annual keynote speech.

The average price of 270-300W panels are within almost 2¢/W of each other. Poly, then mono, and then monoPERC – How long will poly hold on?

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot programAn array of heliostats with patterns of early morning frost, getting ready for pre-heat. Solar Reserve’s Crescent Dunes facility in Tonopah, NV. Photo by Ivan Boden.

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