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EGEB: Trump’s tariffs imperil solar projects, Republican voters prefer renewable energy to fossil fuels, new lithium metal electrodes

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

Today on EGEB, Trump’s tariffs force Cypress Creek Renewables to cut $1.5 billion in investment. A new poll shows that Republican voters prefer renewable energy and want its production expanded. Chemists at Yale and Donghua University in China developed new lithium metal electrodes that significantly outperform its predecessors.

The U.S. fifth-largest solar developer Cypress Creek Renewables announced they will cut $1.5 billion in investment because of the tariffs imposed last year by the Trump administration.  G.O.P senators sent a letter to the Energy Department’s secretary Rick Perry so particular panels hit by the tariffs may be exempted.

“The group of eight senators led by North Carolina’s Thom Tillis urged the administration to waive duties on 72-cell, 1,500-volt panels that are ideal for large ground-mounted “utility-scale” projects, according to a letter which was tweeted Friday by the Solar Energy Industries Association. The panels are too big for household rooftops and are only used on giant solar farms or vast, flat-topped warehouses.”

Solar production in the states represented by these senators mostly use these specific large panels.

A very large majority of Republican voters favors green energy and its expanded production. A new poll by Pew Research Center calls into question the G.O.P. fetishization of fossil fuels as nearly all of its voters want more solar panels and wind turbines to supply America’s energy demand. Democrats obviously mostly oppose an expansion of coal, hydraulic fracturing, offshore drilling and more nuclear power plants.

Also of interest is that most Americans, according to this poll, perceive the U.S. federal government do too little to protect water and air quality and for the struggle against climate change.

A new study published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences details a new way to build more efficient lithium metal electrodes for battery use. Previous electrodes were inefficient and limited battery development.

Yet existing lithium metal electrodes, limited by low capacity and utilization efficiency, have not come close to reaching that potential. Based on the new process, the researchers constructed a battery cell that outperforms other laboratory-scale battery cells, as well as state-of-the-art lithium-ion batteries on the market.

Batteries in the future might have a larger capacity thanks to this Sino-American innovation.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot program. Solar PV panels on top of the mountains in Colorado during winter. Photo by Carlo Altamirano.

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