Renewable Energy Update - January 2018 #4

by Allen Matkins
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New tariffs to curb U.S. solar installations by 11% through 2022

Greentech Media - Jan 23 President Trump’s decision on the Section 201 solar trade case could have been worse for the U.S. solar market, but it certainly isn’t good news. The administration unveiled tariffs this week that were less severe than the remedies requested by trade case petitioners Suniva and SolarWorld Americas. Trump ultimately approved a 30 percent solar import tariff for crystalline-silicon solar cells and modules, which steps down by 5 percentage points each year to 15 percent by the fourth year. In addition, 2.5 gigawatts of cells are exempt from the tariffs each year. GTM Research issued a revised forecast today that finds the U.S. solar market will see a net reduction in installations of around 11 percent as a result of the new tariffs. That translates to a cumulative 61.3 gigawatts of solar deployed over the next five years compared to an original projection of 68.9 gigawatts, for a 7.6-gigawatt reduction in installed solar PV capacity between 2018 and 2022.

Wind and solar jobs outnumber coal and gas jobs in majority of states

North American Windpower - Jan 23 Wind and solar energy jobs now outnumber coal and gas jobs in 30 U.S. states, including Washington, D.C., according to a new report released by the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF). The report, “In Demand: Clean Energy, Sustainability, and the New American Workforce,” finds that the clean energy and sustainability economy provides local jobs in all 50 states, frequently pays higher-than-average wages, and offers numerous career and educational pathways, says EDF. The report uses sources that reference 2016, the most recent year of available data. Therefore, some policy and market developments in 2017 may not be fully reflected in the data, EDF says.

There is not enough transmission to meet U.S. corporate’s renewable energy demands

Renewable Energy World - Jan 22 Large U.S. businesses, including Fortune 500 companies, are increasingly acting on their publicly announced renewable energy goals as new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects are now often the lowest cost power available. According to a report released on January 16 by the Wind Energy Foundation, U.S. corporations set a goal of purchasing 60 gigawatts of renewable energy by 2025. The report estimates that the coalition still has some 51 gigawatts left to purchase in order to meet that goal, and questions whether current transmission plans can accommodate the increase in demand.

Rancho Mirage is now a power company, and the rest of California might follow its lead

Desert Sun - Jan 18 Rancho Mirage is saying goodbye to Southern California Edison. Starting in a few months, local officials will decide where to buy energy for the city's 18,000 residents — a change they say will lower electricity bills by 5 percent, and allow environmentally minded residents to buy cleaner energy than they'd get from Edison. Rancho Mirage's decision to launch a "community choice" energy program, which was approved by the City Council on Thursday, reflects a dramatic, ongoing shift in how Californians get electricity. There are already nine community choice programs operating in the state, serving nearly 2 million homes and businesses, according to the California Community Choice Association, an advocacy group. Half a dozen programs could launch in 2018, including a multi-city effort in Los Angeles County.

Largest solar system in MLB lands at Petco Park

Commercial Property Executive - Jan 22 The largest solar power system in Major League Baseball (MLB) will be installed at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Upon completion, anticipated in March, the 336,520-watt solar project will be larger than the other seven MLB solar projects, combined. The Sullivan Solar Power system consists of 716 high-efficiency, 470-watt SunPower solar modules and will generate 330 kilowatts of solar energy, sufficient to power the entire Padres front office. Moreover, the system will produce more than 12 million kilowatt hours over the next 25 years and is expected to generate more than $4 million in utility savings.

NextEra offloads 223MW in U.S.

Commercial Property Executive - Jan 22 The largest solar power system in Major League Baseball (MLB) will be installed at Petco Park, home of the San Diego Padres. Upon completion, anticipated in March, the 336,520-watt solar project will be larger than the other seven MLB solar projects, combined. The Sullivan Solar Power system consists of 716 high-efficiency, 470-watt SunPower solar modules and will generate 330 kilowatts of solar energy, sufficient to power the entire Padres front office. Moreover, the system will produce more than 12 million kilowatt hours over the next 25 years and is expected to generate more than $4 million in utility savings.

U.S. tests nuclear power system to sustain astronauts on Mars

Reuters - Jan 18 Initial tests in Nevada on a compact nuclear power system designed to sustain a long-duration human mission on the inhospitable surface of Mars have been successful and a full-power run is scheduled for March, officials said on Thursday. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and U.S. Department of Energy officials detailed the development of the nuclear fission system under NASA’s Kilopower project at a Las Vegas news conference. A key hurdle for any long-term colony on the surface of a planet or moon, as opposed to NASA’s six short lunar surface visits from 1969 to 1972, is possessing a power source strong enough to sustain a base but small and light enough to allow for transport through space.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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