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Electrek green energy brief: ‘Republican Climate Resolution’, $4T in energy, NetMetering 2.0 slowing solar, more

Net metering 2.0 slows down California’s residential solar market – And that is the way it is supposed to work. If the most energy is being used in the early evening (the duck curve), then we need fine tune our systems. Time of Use helps us better understand pricing as private people and business, we invest appropriately, and our challenges will shift.

JA Solar posts 16% revenue, 25% shipment year-on-year increase in 2016 – 5.2GW of solar sold at $2.3B is ¢44/W for solar panels. Gross margins were down to 14% from 17% – I’ve always been taught that healthy, long term business needs margins closer to 25-30%. Interesting note from the article – a new $1B solar cell factory in Vietnam was put on hold due to environmental issues.

Price Drop across Multi-si Value Chain Continues and Embroils Price Trend of Mono-si Products – Nice report – many product types moving different directions. A few items I am looking for – Will solar panel prices start to drop as Chinese demand slows by mid year? Answer – they haven’t begun to fall yet, but no significant demand bumps have occurred to drive volume up year either. What are utilization rates of factories? Answer – the Taiwanese factories noted in this article are running 50-60%.

Seventeen Republican members of the House of Representatives break rank and pen the “Republican Climate Resolution” – Lots of politics today. What this and the next article show is that there are those in the US political machine who accept the science put forth on climate change being real, and that it is human being generated. It amazes me that in the year 2017 – almost 500 years after the scientific revolution began and almost 200 years since the basic science for global warming began forming – that we still look at talking heads for our answers.

$4.4T in energy infrastructure upgrades in next ten years – The chart below comes from BNEF and shows how we’re spending our money to build things. The volumes of money are huge – and fortunes will be made. Solar and nuclear will rule in Asia, and Asia in general will spend the most. These volumes are hopefully enough to keep driving solar capacity growth and investment in research.

Defense Secretary Mattis of the USA on Climate Change: “Climate change is impacting stability in areas of the world where our troops are operating today”…“As I noted above, climate change is a challenge that requires a broader, whole-of government response” A President of the USA has no obligation to listen to their generals, however, a President – like Trump – that is so dependent upon upon the visceral reaction generated by the patriotism associated with the military will listen.

The one on this list that most grabs me, and is the same point made General Mattis above – ‘Believe effects of global warming have already begun’

Yesterday, I sat with a client who had a fixed monthly charge of $850/month (many commercial customers have this) – by increasing the fixed charges that people pay, you are able to lower the variable rate. By lowering the variable rate – the thing that solar power can attack – you keep more revenue coming to the power company. This is not an isolated business model.

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