John Fitzgerald Weaver

@SolarInMASS

john at 9to5mac dot com

Since 2005, John Fitzgerald Weaver has worked at the cross section of finance and solar. A project developer with an engineering background, his passion for solar technology is driven by a desire to learn mixed with a need to create a cleaner world. With energy as the second largest global industry and solar power growing at an increasing pace, the industry is in the midst of a global takeover of the electricity (and energy) industry. He has founded a solar construction company, managed for a global manufacturer and worked on projects in snowy and sunny states.

A strong believer in the potential of solar power, John recognizes the fundamental role of that energy has in food, shelter, transportation and survival. Using fire was a big step for people back in the day. Using the sun is and will be a big step for people of today. John’s interest in the solar life is an amalgamation of his expertise in technology, physics, politics and economics.

“My interests in technology, my belief in solar’s ability to effect change on multiple species, my need for intellectual growth and my desire to be a part of something important brought me to this fundamental industry,” he said. “I chose the Solar Life.”

He is currently focused on commercial and utility development as Project Developer at BrightergyIf you have a commercial solar project in the New England region in in mind, please contact John at (857) 999-3795.

Today

TSLA: 237.75

0.00
Stock Chart

Coal country Wyoming senators want to charge 1¢/kWh to use solar/wind power – A few senators have signed on from a state that would be hurt by less coal, and just maybe we’ll see a charge to use the sun and wind. The law is says utilities cannot pass the penny charge onto end users – seems a smart design to limit end user activism through one cent up charges but obviously a nightmare for the environment and the green energy sector, and the environment.

AES’ New Kauai Solar-Storage ‘Peaker’ Shows How Fast Battery Costs Are Falling – We brought up this power plant last week, but I like this article because it goes into detail about the project. A little over a year ago the CEO of NextERA, Jim Robo, said that by 2020 there may not be another natural gas peaker plant built because of batteries. Natural Gas peaker plants run 1-3% of the time – and only when the power company needs a little extra electricity for a short time, filling in a gap so to say. This plant – in expensive Hawaii – is a forerunner of that evolution from natural gas to battery occurring. Expect to see 20MWh battery peaker (replacing 200MW gas plants) plants popping up all over the country . This is how batteries get their foothold and scale from a manufacturing standpoint – attacking the low capacity factor (1-5%) natural gas peaker plant market.

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January 14

TSLA: 237.75

8.16
Stock Chart

Solar industry employs 373,000 American, 2.8 million globally – Solar power will continue to gain political strength across the nation as we see serious installation volumes spread to all 50 states. Already solar power lobbyists are able to wield great influence – see the 2015 tax credit extension. The energy industry, in 2016, represented 14% of all new jobs in the USA – a large amount of those coming from renewable and efficiency.

Autonomous solar powered research ship being designed – We’ve got an airplane that circled the world on solar, islands that live off of solar and now an autonomous ocean research vessels to be powered by solar. Scientists are real good at designing instruments that work off of light amounts of energy – a lot of times those restrictions have to do with large amounts of fuel needing to be on the same vessels. If the fuel was coming from the sky – and the infrastructure of the machine held the energy generation – the game changes.

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January 13

TSLA: 237.75

8.16
Stock Chart

New Study Shows How Solar Can Enhance Grid Reliability – Solar power is much more than extra energy during the day: “Advanced power controls can leverage PV’s value from being simply an intermittent energy resource to providing services that range from spinning reserves, load following, voltage support, ramping, frequency response, variability smoothing and frequency regulation to power quality.” Solar power, along with the proper tools, can be the entirety of your electricity grid.

Clean energy investment down 18%, Solar & Wind deployments up 19% – Seeing the total amount of money invested slow down is challenging – but knowing that the total amount of green energy built went up feels great. Solar power itself saw a price drop of around 10% in a single year. For instance, in the USA total spending fell 10% – but solar power doubled from about 7GW to about 14GW.

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9to5toys 

January 12

TSLA: 229.59

-0.14
Stock Chart

PERC cells at 20% efficiency leading towards 330W 72 cell modules from Suntech that are 5% more efficient – If you get 5% more energy out of a solar panel and everything else costs exactly the same – then your solar power system just got ~5% cheaper. These ‘small’ technological moves have significant pricing effects when you consider the broader supply chain and construction requirements.

Solar power and batteries being installed in New York City to defend against natural disasters – Strategically distributing solar panels and batteries in an ultra dense city can defend against large scale grid collapses. And New York City, after realizing that climate change can affect it so significantly when Hurricane Sandy hit, has decided to deploy. Certain projects that I’ve worked on in the city get an extra payment from the power company for installing areas that need the distributed energy. Cool to see a city planning on levels like this.

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January 11

TSLA: 229.73

-0.14
Stock Chart

LowCarbonUSA.org – “We, the undersigned members in the business and investor community of the United States, re-affirm our deep commitment to addressing climate change through the implementation of the historic Paris Climate Agreement.”

There is a lot of money in the energy industry. There are a lot of costs associated with combating the pollution and health effects of burning fossil fuels (climate change not even considered). These costs are mitigated in courts and industries forced to pay for these costs via political back and forth that lead toward laws. The Paris Agreement will drives significant investment, globally, in cleaner energy sources. Corporate America has interests in both sides of the argument.

Next Friday, game on…

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January 10

TSLA: 229.87

-1.41
Stock Chart
9to5mac 

January 9

TSLA: 231.28

2.27
Stock Chart

January 8

TSLA: 229.01

2.26
Stock Chart

The Chinese government recently announced a five year plan that included 1 trillion yuan (about US$144B) investment for solar power. This money is part of a larger $361B package for renewable energy – and it continues significant investment in the solar industry. Currently, China has some serious air quality issues to deal with and is putting serious money towards it. As part of this large investment in CO2 free electricity, I estimate China will install 165GW of solar power before the end of 2020. This large volume of solar power — along with the world’s continued growth in solar — will lead toward a 28¢/watt solar panel by 2019, 20% lower than today’s price.

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January 7

TSLA: 229.01

2.26
Stock Chart
9to5google 

January 6

TSLA: 229.01

2.26
Stock Chart

Trump surprising on Renewables? – I’ll file this in the category of ‘believe it when I see it’, but I can see the man bending to the will of the highly popular, and heavy employment numbers of the green industries. Do remember though – “Climate change is a Chinese hoax!” – so the logic you are pitched will be on the $$$ of solar and renewables, and not on the environmental/climate side. expand full story

January 5

TSLA: 226.75

-0.24
Stock Chart

January 4

TSLA: 226.99

10.00
Stock Chart

January 3

TSLA: 216.99

3.30
Stock Chart

On August 21st this year, the United States will be shaded by a solar eclipse, testing the current plan of action for solar providers. As with prior eclipses across large solar markets, power grid operators know how to manage these events via fossil fuels backups. In a press release, SolarEdge announced a plan to collaborate with technologies like IBM’s cloud monitoring and solar forecasting to efficiently and automatically manage solar events and general grid complexity using distributed tools like solar panels level electronics and energy storage. These functions are a necessary part of broader suite of technologies needed by Hawaii and the whole of the USA as solar penetration increases. expand full story

9to5toys 

January 2

TSLA: 213.69

0.00
Stock Chart

The top 5 solar power policy trends of 2016 – As solar penetration is increasing, we’re starting to see the electricity utilities get more aggressive at using “political jujitsu” to manipulate the legal system. Many laws – such as Nevada cancelling long term net metering agreements – attacked consumers with the false logic that solar powers users were stealing from non-solar users. The utility stacked Arizona public utilities commission agreed – the people of Florida did not. Expect 2017 to be a battle ground yet again – with the victories of 2016 as guidance.

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December 31, 2016

TSLA: 213.69

-0.99
Stock Chart
9to5mac 

December 30, 2016

TSLA: 213.69

-0.99
Stock Chart

About a year and a half ago, the island state of Hawaii proclaimed a goal of getting to 100% renewable electricity by 2045 – the first US State to make such a proclamation. In the past week, the Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) delivered plans showing a progression to 100% renewable electricity before 2040.  In a maximum projected model – 100% was possible by 2030 when considering the excess energy generation of residential solar customers. The plan suggests that electricity rates will rise through the mid-2020s due to upgrade requirements, before they fall as the benefit of no fuel electricity pays itself off. Sometime in late 2017, HECO believes they will meet the 2020 goal of 30% renewables – and sets an agressive goal to maximize installations before the Federal Solar ITC phases out. Bravo Hawaii.

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December 29, 2016

TSLA: 214.68

-5.06
Stock Chart
9to5google 

December 28, 2016

TSLA: 219.74

0.21
Stock Chart

Thierry Lepercq, head of research, technology and innovation at the French energy company Engie SA, said in an interview at Bloomberg that he sees a potential for the cost of solar electricity to fall below $10-megawatt hour (1¢/kWh) in the sunniest climates by 2025. Lepercq believes “solar, battery storage, electrical and hydrogen vehicles, and connected devices are in a ‘J’ curve (of upward growth potential).” One consequence of this new energy economy is that, “the price (of oil) could drop to $10 if markets anticipate a significant fall in demand.”

“The promise of quasi-infinite and free energy is here.”

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