Electrek green energy brief: JinkoSolar going for 9GW in ’17, USA has lost a trade battle, mapping the grid, more

JinkoSolar gives 9GW of guidance for solar panels in 2017 – In 2015, the USA installed 7.3GW of solar power. In 2017 – this one company will manufacture 20% more than the US’ 2015 needs. In the 4th quarter 2016 – Jinko shipped 1.7GW of solar panels. Jinko, while the largest solar panel manufacturer, is one of many.

USA losing jobs to South Korea/China in polysilicon manufacturing as a result of trade war – When the USA decided to tax solar panels and cells coming from China, they knew that somewhere China would respond. In 2013 the USA was proud of being a net exporter of solar power related technologies – led by polysilicon. That is no longer the case. Check out the chart of volume shifting from the USA. Taxing solar from China has led to a loss of jobs and production capability in the USA for polysilicon, increased the price of imported solar panels, lowered the number of installation jobs and slowed our progression toward cleaning this planet. Of course, I get that the purpose of the tax was because we wanted to protect American jobs manufacturing solar panels…how’d that work out in reality though? Much Chinese manufacturing is now building in Vietnam and Thailand to send to the USA anyway, skipping the tax.

I guess today is the day to announce your rate electricity rate increases – Philidelphia, Central/North California, and Hawaii made it into my feed yesterday. A few weeks ago I saw my home state of Massachusetts pushing for 7 and 11%. Anything in your news feed – or, more importantly, real life? Price of US energy have been down three years.

The guy that ran Saudi Arabia’s oil program, is pushing solar – I like it. Good brand name. When a normal person hears this on the nightly news, they’ll think – ‘hrmm, if that guy says it – then maybe its real.’ And then, next time a salesperson calls regarding solar power – they might listen. What’s the gentlemen going to get done? I’m hoping he’s going to push for hardware manufacturers to set up shop in the deserts of Saudi Arabia creating a ground up industry powered by solar panels…I can dream right?

Minnesota law for 50% renewable by 2030 introduced – The state is above 21% renewables as of today. Big state, big economy, really unique politics – and great cheese (plus meat, beets and corn that I ate fresh on the farm the last time I visited).

Duke customers paying $20/year extra for long term solar contracts because of cheap natural gas – Hey man, $20 is $20 – right? Well, according to these folks – Duke customers are willing to pay ten times that amount annually for renewable energy. It’s a tough business this speculating (Floridian utilities lost $6.1B on gas bet). Utilities are forced to buy forward contracts to protect end users against market gyrations. Solar contracts tend to be 15-25 years – even longer. Reading further we see Duke recently pushing for more control over solar plant deployment, shorter contracts and less uniformity on larger contracts (increasing cost and complexity for developers) – tug and pull of the industry.

How California is mapping out a distributed electricity grid – I think reading something like this, since so much of the technical aspects that would go into it are above my head, is more to give me some long-term emotional stability than anything else. I like the idea that we’re now strategically picking spots on the grid to install distributed resources – this gives greater value to solar power, allowing it to be part of the long term solution. New York City will pay extra for solar projects in certain areas of the city that are under powered. In Massachusetts’ recent State of Charge report they mapped out 1,760MW of energy storage that could be strategically distributed across the grid to strengthen it and lower demand charges. Soon enough we’ll have an instantly reacting grid – connected to millions of points, each breathing electricity.

A move from 30 to 5 minute bidding for grid stability possible in Australia, boon for batteries – When a major power company executive said they thought no new gas peaker plants in the US after 2020, this is what they were talking about. The fact that batteries can react so quickly also means you need smaller sized systems (in terms of MW) that can do the same balancing jobs. In the US, FERC recently ruled that batteries can make multiple streams of income concurrently as they’re providing multiple services concurrently. Natural Gas is still being built though – how’s it going to compete long-term? How much more coal to go?

A nice chart giving a high-end view on energy storage across the USA:

**Main phot0 – ‘Indian workers install solar panels at the Gujarat Solar Park at Charanka in Patan district, about 250 kilometers (155 miles) from Ahmadabad, India, Saturday, April 14, 2012. Gujarat state Chief Minister Narendra Modi will dedicate the 200 megawatt solar power park, along with other solar projects totaling 600 megawatts of power on April 19. (AP Photo/Ajit Solanki)’**

Considering residential solar?  will connect you with local contractors. Full disclosure: I get a commission. Tweet me for feedback on pricing.

For more electric vehicle, autonomous transport and clean technology news, make sure to follow us on Twitter, Newsletter, RSS or Facebook to get our latest article

FTC: We use income earning auto affiliate links. More.

You’re reading Electrek— experts who break news about Tesla, electric vehicles, and green energy, day after day. Be sure to check out our homepage for all the latest news, and follow Electrek on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay in the loop. Don’t know where to start? Check out our YouTube channel for the latest reviews.