Solar Stories July 21

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

Microsoft gets OK to buy renewable power directly, bypassing the fossil utility – “WA utility commission approved Microsoft’s long awaited exit from PSE and now lets it directly procure renewable energy from wholesale market. As previously negotiated, Microsoft would pay a $23.6m exit fee for moving out of PSE’s load base. This agreement opens up doors for corporates in the state (AMZN, REI, SBUX, etc.) who wish to have a higher renewable mix. PSE procures two-thirds of its electricity from fossil fuels.” – Thank you long time reader Mr Will Driscoll – source Credit Suisse, ‘Renewables Roundup.’ This interests me on a few levels – and it should concern utilities on fundamental levels. First off – large users of electricity are now able to take a hands on approach. As a commercial/industrial developer myself – I see it every single day. I’ve brought many companies to buying zero kWh from the utility. Secondly – an exit fee of tens of millions – this is a lot of money, but Microsoft is no fool and they ran the numbers.

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Solar Stories July 20

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

South Miami Approves Solar Roof Rules, Inspired by a Teenager – Reynolds had already devoted years to raising awareness about climate change and sea level rise before starting her campaign for solar ordinances. She founded a nonprofit called The Sink or Swim Project, which highlights the climate challenges facing South Florida. Show this to your kids – motivate them. They’re the ones who inherit our world.

Related: Miami Mayor Wants To Spend $192 Million On Sea Rise & Flood Prevention

Analysis: Ratepayers foot the bill for utilities’ push against rooftop solar – We’ve talked about it here before, but I just wanted to remind you – when the electricity utilities pay politicians to change legislation in their favor – they’re using your money. You fund the war against you.

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Solar Stories July 19

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

New homes will now require solar panels in South Miami, a first in Florida – [UPDATE – Prior EGEB referenced an almost one month old vote]. Under the rules, new residential construction would require 175 square feet of solar panel to be installed per 1,000 square feet of sunlit roof area, or 2.75 kw per 1,000 square feet of living space, whichever is less. If the house is built under existing trees, the shade may exempt it. For a region that is predicted to be flooded by the year 2050, this is a good step. Local politics were able to overcome robo-calls paid for the local electric utility that were communicating lies about solar. South Miami joins cities in California and other places globally requiring solar power at time of construction. This should lower the cost as well. Good job folks.

Dubai, Abu Dhabi, China, U.S., Lead 2Q Surge in Renewables Investments – Solar was the star sector in 2Q, notching up investment of $35.6 billion, up 19% year-on-year and 20% quarter-on-quarter. Wind had a weaker three months, seeing investment slip 29% year-on-year to $26.2 billion, although it was 43% higher than in the first quarter of this year. Volume is going to grow in 2017 over the major growth year of 2016 – and its starting to show.

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9to5toys 

Solar Stories July 18

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

98 Environmental defenders have been killed so far in 2017 – These people ought be hailed as heroes.

How China floated to the top in solar – “The coalmine was very hot and the air was bad,” says Sang. “But here I feel safe. The new energy is safe.” That’s it. End of discussion.

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Solar Stories July 17

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

House Approves Defense Policy Bill Declaring Climate Change A National Security Threat – The Republican-led House decisively approved a defense policy bill on Friday that declares climate change a national security threat, demands rigorous oversight of the Pentagon’s cyber operations and rejects the Trump administration’s bid to close military bases. Like all things political, this language’s path is complex and the bill it is in might not pass. I’d guess this language was allowed to stay in order to make Democrats want to increase the size of the military budget by $30 billion (or more). Bill has a lot of challenges – including having to remove laws put in place by Republicans to limit the Obama government’s ability to increase the budget. Such irony – having to change laws you made just seven years to limit government size, so you can increase government size…I wonder if it had to do with who was POTUS at the time.

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Solar Stories July 15

A draft copy of the highly anticipated study analyzing ‘examining electricity markets and stability‘, has been leaked to Bloomberg.

“The power system is more reliable today due to better planning, market discipline, and better operating rules and standards. Costly environmental regulations and subsidized renewable generation have exacerbated base-load power plant retirements,” the draft says. “However, those factors played minor roles compared to the long-standing drop in electricity demand relative to previous expectation and years of low electric prices driven by high natural gas availability.”

The question now becomes – what will the politicians do to alter the message and fit their handler’s economic interests?

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9to5mac 

Solar Stories July 14

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

Rooftop Solar Dims Under Pressure From Utility Lobbyists – “Edison Electric Institute is happy to come to any state at any time,” Thomas R. Kuhn, the group’s president, “We have two dozen states we are working on…Years, ago, I think a lot of people said, ‘That’s not going to come to our area. And now we see it in each and every state.” – also – Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, concluded that for the vast majority of states and utilities, the effects of rooftop solar credits on electricity rates for nonsolar customers would be negligible for the foreseeable future. The Edison Institute disputes that study’s findings. Your money pays for your electrical company to stick it to you. #democracy #capitalism #merica

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Solar Stories July 13

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

Energy Department Announces $46.2 Million for 48 Projects to Advance Solar Power Technologies – Happy to see the Department of Energy not cut these programs. Three goals, 1. Small exploratory projects to determine the potential of an innovative idea in PV hardware research, 2. Significant improvements in the performance, energy yield, manufacturability, and reliability of completed PV modules, 3. Hardware and software solutions to facilitate the rapid, safe, and cost-effective deployment and commissioning of PV systems. The money went to all universities – and in this link you get to see each individual project. Lots of solar cell research. Exciting stuff for a group who has shown much talent in advancing solar technology.

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Solar Stories July 12

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

Swinerton puts solar workers at forefront of new website as threat of job losses in US mounts – SRE said that the SwinertonRenewable.com website was intended to highlight the many human faces of the US solar energy, including profiles for each member of the SRE team – We want to talk about job losses in coal? Let’s be blunt – coal job losses peaked in 1920, now they’re doing what old industry does – slowly dying off. Solar panel manufacturing jobs have NEVER been anywhere near the number of installation jobs we have today. Could they have grown without China – maybe, but then many other commodity product manufacturing positions in this country has fallen off as well in the last few decades. Call your politicians folks – remember – you employ them. Also remember why this started.

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9to5google 

Solar Stories July 11

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

Renewable energy is becoming so cheap the US will meet Paris commitments even if Trump withdraws – “By our forecasts, in most cases favorable renewables economics rather than government policy will be the primary driver of changes to utilities’ carbon emissions levels,” they wrote. “For example, notwithstanding president Trump’s stated intention to withdraw the US from the Paris climate accord, we expect the US to exceed the Paris commitment of a 26-28% reduction in its 2005-level carbon emissions by 2020.” However, unfavorable political actions like a rigged energy study by the Department of Energy headed by a Power Utilities hack could limit growth. This headline doesn’t mean we stop the political fight – it means the economic argument coming from the naysayers will be bunk.

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