Electrek green energy brief: Austin building code goes solar, Iceland drills into a volcano, more


Trump to ignore Solar ITC – Analysts are suggesting that the Trump administration are going to let the Federal Solar Tax Credit, the ITC, run its course – mainly because of the political support on both sides of the aisle. The article, and others I’ve heard talk on the topic, say that the incentive has a natural ending period – that starts in 2020 – that will make it easier to ignore. Bill Gates, after a call with Trump, said that federal support for renewables would wane…we’ll see that these things mean.

Hanwha Q Cells MONO solar panels being offered in China at 32¢-33¢/kWh – the price is still falling (and these are mono panels – not poly). At this point, ever penny per watt represents a multiple percent fall. The panels are going to have less and less of an influence on pricing as we move forward simply because there is only so far for them to fall until they have to lower the price of the commodities making the panels (silicon already saw those drops). Of course, as efficiency increases and the actual wattage per volume of commodities increases – it makes it much easier for pricing to fall…over production of poly silicon will help as well.

Price of Tesla batteries at $227/kWh – This along with the fall in solar panel and wind turbine prices is what is going to drive the future. Really cool being alive to watch it all happen. Technologies like lithium ion might actually win the long game – other technologies are still pushing though.

Iceland drills into a volcano – Sounds like the story from a James Bond villain – find volcano island, drill into it, world domination. Except its Iceland looking to remain one of the cleanest energy places the world knows. Already at 100% clean energy Iceland – Iceland wants to keep it that way.

US Economy partially  decoupled from energy usage – If our economy can grow, while our energy usage stays the same, we’re going to find a lot of economists and physicists trying to figure out some new predictions. Historically – energy and economic growth were linked philosophically, as well as in the real world. We build more stuff we need more energy, sounds like common sense. Less so these days.

China-based polysilicon producer Daqo New Energy started production at its Phase 3A facility, bringing 6,000MT of polysilicon capacity online – The entire supply chain must grow to keep feeding solar power. Aluminum, silicon, silver, and finance.

Austin, TX changes building code to require all new construction ‘solar ready’ – A report from NREL suggests that 23% of building are properly built for solar power and that they can generate 39% of the national electricity needs. Since structure replacement periods are measured in decades, this type of law would take a while to broadly affect the country – however – hundreds of thousands of homes and millions of sq feet of commercial space are built annually, and foresight like this combined with that volume of space would be worth many clean, locally produced terrawatt hours tomorrow.

What effect a $40/ton carbon tax would have on gas versus coal production – remember, Exxon owns no coal:


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