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Electrek green energy brief: 67% of new electricity in US from clean sources, Fraunhofer’s new panel

A carbon tax is being presented to the US President by very powerful people – Remember, Exxon wants a carbon tax, and Exxon is now the USA’s Secretary of State. Elon Musk being on the President’s advisory board pushing this is definitely having an effect. The particular model of carbon tax I don’t agree with – revenue neutral – as I think it won’t get the job done on its own, however, I will state I’d rather have it than nothing as I do believe future politicians will be able to add important rules surrounding it. Additionally, the offer being made is to replace Obama’s Clean Power Plan with this carbon tax…hrmm…we’ll see. Plan starts at $40/ton – 2.3¢/kWh natural gas electricity, 4¢/kWh coal & 36¢/gallon for gasoline. $220/ton is the number real economists use.

Fraunhofer releases new solar panel encapsulant technique, longer lasting, cheaper and faster to make without frames – (bring your translator) The image above if of the solar cells sealed in the new encapsulant. Solar panels go bad over decades because water vapor + hot/cold cycles affect the insides of the panels (solar cells, copper, silver, etc). It costs money, materials, production time and great expertise to create something that sits directly in sunlight for decades and can resist it. This technology advancement, like every other little advancement (this one drops pricing 2%, speeds up production) you see on this internet space, adds onto the constantly accumulating knowledge that we have. This is why solar panels have fallen from $76/W to $0.34/W. Also – take a look at the link and view the image of the three different solar panels to see the visual difference as the modules age (degradation).

With tax reform on the mind, Legislatures push Energy Storage tax credit – The Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC), a 30% dollar for dollar project discount, was very powerful in driving the adoption of solar power across the USA. The ITC does not, however, have the ability to drive solar power alone – as the solar industry is still very much based upon a state level legal structure. An energy storage ITC would probably lead toward a similar pattern – states who push energy storage mandates all their own will benefit the most.

Climate Scientists didn’t ‘trick world leaders’ with temperature data – Do understand, there are large monied interests that have many reasons for communicating that climate change science is wrong. 1. They simply think the scientists are wrong. 2. Money and nothing else. 3. Religion. 4. Ignorance. 5. Politics. 6. Power. 7. They want climate change to occur to shift the balance of power on the planet. All of these reasons are a terrible danger to the species – and you, the reader, need to comprehend that headlines are written to get you to click and read – just like the writing by myself. It’s your responsibility to sift through the garbage news and communicate reality to your peers.

Check out this graph of the solar employment growth – of the 260,000 about 100,000 are in manufacturing, sales & distribution, project development (me) and other (?). Installers make up the lions share – electricians, roofers, and so many more regular people.

Solar Employment Growth by Sector, 2010-2016

Oklahoma Governor proposes wind tax – Formerly anti-tax conservative politicians state says the wind tax would have little effect on wind development since they get federal incentives. Suddenly…taxes don’t affect business.

Solar power residential customers are no longer just rich people – Middle class people in Australia are buying solar because it saves them money. That’s it. This is a major evolution from historical buyers who were able to buy because they had the money to take advantage of a premium item. Now, home ownership and budgetary concerns are the main drivers – and that’s a great opportunity since most people are budget driven.

10¢/kWh storage + solar to become the norm – And that ladies and gentleman will be a major shift that will force uptake from a solar economic perspective. The utility providers themselves will have no choice but to invest – and that will drive prices lower, meaning regular folk will then have a chance to latch on. And if there are batteries + solar power, then all the BS rules the politicians/lobbyists try to put in place will only lead toward more people installing solar.

When we add the 7GW of distributed solar power, and multiply the installed capacity times the capacity factor – and we include nuclear power – we see that 67% of the electricity actually produced from this hardware will be C02 free. Good job USA.

Richard Meyer @RichardMeyerDC




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