carbon dividend Stories March 15, 2017

Connecticut talking about a $15/ton carbon tax – The word ‘direct dividend’ is used to describe a portion of the carbon tax being returned to business (30% of tax) and private people (40%). 25% of the tax will be used to invest in efficiency/infrastructure. The article tries hard to paint that a carbon tax is coming – first they point out that many states in the region are doing it, and they quote a politician saying Washington DC is ‘sending signals.’ Hrmm – 25% of a carbon tax to infrastructure/efficiency…it’s something.

Since the northeast USA got some snow yesterday – here is a short on snow and solar panels – 1. Snow slides off – without frames it slides fast – higher angles it slides fastest. 2. Snow cleans panels as well any anything cleans panels. 3. Microcracks can develop from too much weight – research is being done. 4. Light gets through the snow – so much so – that it generates electricity even when covered. 5. Type of snow will affect how snow rolls off, as well as wind. 6.* Added by me – when that tiny bit of light get through to the panels, the panels heat up – and start to melt the snow (header image from linked video). Plus these benefits from the comment section.

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carbon dividend Stories March 14, 2017

Exxon CEO hid climate change communications from legal probe – First off, #exxonknew and they continued to pay third parties to lie to the public about the effect of CO2 on climate change. And they know the bell will soon toll – the question is how long can they hold off the wolves of public opinion, how much more cash can be generated? That’s all it comes down to. Money.

EIA probably going to underestimate their solar development projection, again – It’s almost a joke how the EIA constantly underestimates how much solar power will be built, and this matters because it influences policy and the public. Of course, it is a bit more complicated than a batch of great scientists missing data – and the EIA has responded to these criticisms. I’ll take the path that we need not look at the EIA for solar power projections in the USA – it’s not their job and they don’t focus on it (as they say clearly in their report). That means government folk ought not to pay attention to the projections and instead maybe look at Greentech Media who seems to get pretty close every year.

A carbon dividend really can slow fossil fuel use — under these conditions – First off, I don’t like this article at all. Don’t like how they describe things – and don’t like their conclusions/parallels to other programs. The reason I grabbed the article – I think whomever is writing this document is getting a nudge to use the term ‘carbon dividend’ in a headline.

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carbon dividend Stories March 1, 2017

Rocky Mountain Institute expands Community Solar across the country – The article is a good read because it gives guidelines on how to get better pricing for community solar projects. The main drivers – get a competitive RFP versus a single quote (and write the RFP well!), bundle your project with up to 20MW of other projects, increase contract length, and work with utilities when placing the system. RMI was able to work pricing down from 8.5¢/kWh to as low as 5¢/kWh – a 40% savings. I agree with this model – its easier said than done to collect and organize 20MW, but it happens.

Japan developing wind market – What’s an island with zero natural resources to generate energy to do? Surround itself with wind farms is one way to go. The goal is to get around 10GW by 2020 – an amount that would represent 4.5% of electricity capacity. Currently, Japan has about 45GW of solar power installed and manufacturers are looking to expand the volume of energy storage installed to better manage the intermittents.

India’s powergrid getting $500M to upgrade transmission – The Asian Development Bank is putting the money up. I am sure the government of India is backing the loan, and I’m betting that the solar developers who are hoping to build 40GW of solar are going to be paying off the loan at a rate of around 0.1¢ to 1.0¢/kWh to transport their electricity from the fields to the cities. What’s more important than anything though – this is being built and the machines and expertise to create this type of hardware will grow globally.

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carbon dividend Stories February 23, 2017

How the electric utilities can survive by become a public darling – It is time for the electric utility to fight for its life, and it must fight the automobile industry that is trying to hold onto internal combustion engines. Electricity usage is falling in the USA and moving away from centralized management – so how does a utility grow? They begin to fuel electric vehicles – and in order to win that game, they’re going to have to fight for electric vehicles by lobbying politicians. If the utilities do fight for electric vehicles, and this is where you need see the graphs shown in this article, then they have a chance at truly helping climate change. Right now, in the USA, if we cleaned up 100% of our electricity infrastructure – we’d still be serious polluters because transportation is a bigger polluter than electricity – but if we took out transportation and electricity…

Attorney General getting sued by Exxon over climate change – First off, #ExxonKnew knew climate change was human caused in the middle 1970s. Their own scientists told them. The key is, they then told the world’s public that there was doubt – that climate change wasn’t real. Tobacco Companies had for decades engaged in “a pattern of racketeering activity” geared to “deceive the American public about the health effects and addictiveness of smoking cigarettes.” Now, change out references to tobacco and health, for oil and climate. Now – Exxon is attacking in order to limit the effectiveness of Massachusetts Attorney General Healey. Just letting you know – I’ve put $$$ toward her re-election campaign.

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carbon dividend Stories February 20, 2017

70% of Mongolian herders have solar power – If the planet goes to crap because we’re fools and allow it to, its people like this – living as close to the land as possible – who will keep the species alive. And now they have access to electricity. When I traveled in China/Pakistan back in the summer of 2008, I saw a yurt with solar power. They have a radio and a refrigerator for medication. As well, fresh yak yogurt/milk is a taste that must be acquired.

Why liberals should support recently suggested carbon tax – The two main argument by liberals against the recently suggested carbon tax by Republicans in the USA are that 1. $40/ton is 1/5th what academics say the true cost is and 2. Its revenue neutral – without investing in infrastructure we’re just going to spend our carbon dividend on more oil and natural gas because we have no alternative opportunity. The article models that suggest $40/ton will meet current legislative goals set forth by the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement – if that is the case, then I would have to grudgingly accept…however – I won’t stop pushing for infrastructure incentives. If we don’t build infrastructure to replace natural gas/coal/internal combustion – we won’t win the planet back.

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carbon dividend Stories February 17, 2017

SunPower hits 25% average efficiency – Getting to a certain efficiency in the lab is great, as setting that record tells us what is possible. More important in the real world – when your production line averages that high level efficiency. Not every solar cell that comes off the line is the same – during the binning process a solar manufacturer will test individual pieces to see how they turned out. The most efficient solar cells get put into the high-end, most expensive panels – the cells that test lower go to a different line of products. Something to consider – SunPower’s highest solar panels are in the 24% range, while the average panel being installed at the super cheap numbers you hear me talk about are at 16%. SunPower can fit 50% more electricity production in the same area. Also in article are quarterly/annual results.

Would you be interested in voting for a carbon dividend? – If the PR people can spin the term up – and help everyone ‘forget’ that it is a carbon tax, we’re all going to start singing the praises of a revenue neutral carbon dividen. The term itself won’t be the reason a carbon tax will win – broader society is in support of doing something, and broader society knows doing something costs money. However – for that extra 5-20% of the voters needed to boost it over the line, it’ll get the job done.

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