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

Today in EGEB, the 2019 Community Power Scorecard gives out state scores for local energy. Belgian researchers reveal a special solar panel that uses air moisture to make hydrogen gas. And the Global Wind Energy Council shares global installation numbers from last year.

The Energy Democracy Initiative at the Institute for Local Self-Reliance has released its 2019 Community Power Scorecard.  Scores are determined by a number of factors including: customer-friendly net energy metering policies, simplified interconnection rules, allowing shared renewable energy, energy supplier choice, property assessed clean energy financing, and more.

Four states received A grades, while 20 states earned Fs. Massachusetts topped the list with a “Community Power” score of 32 (out of 38). Other “A” states were California, New York, and Illinois. Alabama and Louisiana were last on the list with a total score of 2.

power scorecard

The Community Power Scorecard isn’t specifically focused on green energy. But it still offers some insight into which states are making it easier for residents to make their own energy choices, and much of that is tied to renewables. Check out the blog post for a state-by-state breakdown.

Hearing Adjourned

Hydrogen Panels

Belgian researchers claim they’ve developed a special solar panel which can make hydrogen gas out of air moisture. That hydrogen gas could then be converted into electricity or heat. The researchers claim 20 of the panels could provide a family with electricity and heat for a whole year.

The report comes from Belgium’s VRT NWS (translated). Researchers from Belgium’s KU Leuven say that 15 percent of the sunlight taken in by the panel is converted directly into hydrogen gas, which can then be used to power a home or a hydrogen car.

The panels were in development for 10 years. The researchers say they’re ready to test a prototype of the panel out in the field, on an actual house. It’s unclear how much these panels would cost, but the researchers believe they would be affordable. They also seem to believe that, if field testing is successful, the effect could be revolutionary.

Pollution Hot Spots

Global Wind Capacity

In 2018, the wind energy industry installed 51.3 GW of new capacity, according to the Global Wind Energy Council. It’s a 3.6 percent decrease from 2017, when 53.2 GW of capacity was installed.

Of the capacity installed last year, 46.8 GW took place onshore, and offshore installations accounted for 4.49 GW. That’s a slight increase (0.5 percent) in offshore installations compared to 2017.

In total, installed wind capacity reached 591 GW by the end of last year. That’s a 9.6 percent overall increase compared to the end of 2017. Furthermore, the global wind industry has installed at least 50 GW of new capacity every year, showing continued stability.

China was the top onshore market in 2018, followed by the U.S., Germany, India, and Brazil. China again led the way in offshore installations, followed by the U.K., Germany, Belgium, and Denmark. GWEC CEO Ben Blackwell said,

“2018 was a positive year for wind in all major markets, with China leading both onshore and offshore growth. We expect huge growth in Asia through the coming decade and beyond as part of the continuing shift from Europe to Asia as the driving region for wind development.”

The GWEC recently released a separate report for wind capacity in the Americas, and WindEurope just released a similar report for Europe.

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