Trump backs revoking tariff exemption for some solar panel imports
Reuters – October 10
President Donald Trump last Saturday signed a proclamation underscoring his support for revoking an exclusion from tariffs on some imported double-sided solar panels, and for raising the planned tariff rate to 18% for 2021 from 15%. Trump said the domestic U.S. industry was starting to increase production and market share of certain solar modules after he imposed tariffs on imports in January 2018, but further steps were needed. Bifacial panels should not be excluded from the tariffs, Trump said. The U.S. in January 2018 imposed duties on solar panel imports beginning at 30% and expected to drop to 15% by 2021. Trump’s announcement would put the rate at 18% next year.
First offshore wind research buoys deployed off West Coast
OffshoreWind.biz – October 13
The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind Energy Technologies Office has deployed two offshore wind research buoys near Humboldt County and Morro Bay. The buoys come as part of the research funded by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to gather data to support decisions on potential leasing of wind energy sites. Managed by DOE’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, the buoys are the first to be launched to gather meteorological and oceanographic measurements off the West Coast. The buoys were deployed previously off the coasts of New Jersey and Virginia, providing data to support offshore wind development off the East Coast.
California has a renewables curtailment problem. Can your Google and Facebook activity help?
Utility Dive – October 8
In states like California, a rapid buildout of renewables has led to excess supply, especially during peak solar hours. As a result, the California Independent System Operator has often sold excess energy from its grid at a loss rather than undertake costly shutdowns and re-starts of natural gas-fired power plants — and renewable generation is often curtailed. UC Santa Barbara researchers have proposed one possible solution: migrating data center workloads from geographic areas with low renewable penetration to places with more — especially when the destination is at risk of oversupply — to use more clean energy for data processing. They argue that it would help reduce both curtailment and overall emissions. Nationally, data centers are estimated to account for up to 1.8% of total electricity consumption.