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Electrek green energy brief: 70% Mongolian herders with solar, bifaicial solar cell plants, green bonds, more

70% of Mongolian herders have solar power – If the planet goes to crap because we’re fools and allow it to, its people like this – living as close to the land as possible – who will keep the species alive. And now they have access to electricity. When I traveled in China/Pakistan back in the summer of 2008, I saw a yurt with solar power. They have a radio and a refrigerator for medication. As well, fresh yak yogurt/milk is a taste that must be acquired.

Why liberals should support recently suggested carbon tax – The two main argument by liberals against the recently suggested carbon tax by Republicans in the USA are that 1. $40/ton is 1/5th what academics say the true cost is and 2. Its revenue neutral – without investing in infrastructure we’re just going to spend our carbon dividend on more oil and natural gas because we have no alternative opportunity. The article models that suggest $40/ton will meet current legislative goals set forth by the Clean Power Plan and the Paris Agreement – if that is the case, then I would have to grudgingly accept…however – I won’t stop pushing for infrastructure incentives. If we don’t build infrastructure to replace natural gas/coal/internal combustion – we won’t win the planet back.

Why you should care about the massive uptick in green bonds – Investors across the world are pouring money into green bonds because they make sense. Check out the articles for a lot of examples of groups doing it – Apple & Starbucks got in the game at $2B between themselves. And it isn’t limited to corporations looking at high profit margins – its municipal and long term savings plans as well. Stability, cash payments, long term contracts – winning combination for investor confidence. Expect availability of capital to go up pushing price of money down.

2.1GW bifacial solar cell factory coming online – 14 cell productions line at a cost of RMB1.65B (~US$240M). Two reasons I posted this – first, I’m excited at the potential for bifacial solar cells to increase system efficiency, which lowers pricing. And second, its interesting to see the cost of a manufacturing plant relative to the annual production volume. If we only accounted for the structure and production lines – and we spread the cost of the building over five years – we’ll find a levelized cost 2.2¢/W to produce cells. Of course, labor and raw materials plus profit are not considered – but, a valuable number to know nonetheless.

PHOTON Photovoltaic Stock Index (PPVX) grew 2.1 percent last week  – Its been a while since I’ve seen a headline talking positively of solar power stock returns. PPVX is up +7% for the year. And the old bellweather TAN, which is always taking punches, is up +11% on the year. Solar stocks are getting it done.

India’s model seen as potential driver of large solar volumes – Investors like stability, they want to minimize risk as much as possible. India’s model of solar power starts with a well design long term contract that has guarantees by the state, adds annual inflation increases in the tariff price and has WorldBank backing to support infrastructure upgrades. This additions drove the price of solar, in the first large scale bid, down to levels at or below coal. Expect significant increases in volume from India.

I don’t $/W and other things about Onyc hardware – but its beautiful to see clear, clean solar panels in the form of a glass facade. **update – ONYX gave me a nice pricing breakdown via Twitter this morning – see image below this one** – and a note regarding that update, if the glass facade can be installed, using solar incentives, at a price lower than a standard glass facade – the only thing holding back the BIPV industry is our construction cycles.

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