Electrek green energy brief: California ‘cap and trade’ not a tax, tax credit worth 29GW of green energy, more

Solar and wind tax credit extension worth 29GW of utility scale wind/solar from 2016-2020 – Another interesting number, $23B in economic activity in the USA from wind and solar in 2017. Roughly – $5B will be given to solar power installations in the form of a federal 30% tax credit. There will be $25B’ish in solar power sales in the USA in 2017.

Green political groups attempt to influence Trump by going after swing states – First, I say its interesting, because that’s how you do it. You’ve got to attack strategically and you have to attack today – 3.5 years before the next election. One thing though – while many say Trump’s favorability ratings are down and that he might bend because of weakness…I’m not so sure. First, favorability is down in those outside of the groups that voted for him. Favorability within those who voted is up. And secondly, attacking Trump on the environment might be hard – check out the main chart. Those who supported Trump – feel the environment has gotten better by a HUGE amount. Have fun fighting that type of education.

California court rules ‘cap and trade’ system is not illegal tax – The original lawsuit said that the law wasn’t properly approved because taxes are supposed to be approved via a 2/3 vote versus majority vote. The court ruled it isn’t a violation of taxation vote – because ‘it isn’t a tax.’

As for the second question, although our reasoning differs from that of the trial court, we agree that the auction sales do not equate to a tax….Contrary to plaintiffs’ view, the purchase of allowances is a voluntary decision driven by business judgments as to whether it is more beneficial to the company to make the purchase than to reduce emissions. Reducing emissions reduces air pollution, and no entity has a vested right to pollute.

I think this logic is fundamentally important. To say that you are being taxed to pollute denotes that you’re allowed to pollute. You’re not – that land and the air isn’t yours, its ours. You have to purchase that privilege.


Speaking of cap and trade programs – After Eight Years, a Strong Report Card for RGGI – The cap and trade program agreed to by the states of the northeast USA is called the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Three strong points from the article – 1. Regional GHGs are down 40% since 2008. Check out the chart. 2. The amounts of energy efficiency gains from the program are astounding. I’ve worked with business owners who are given free LEDs if their own people install them – direct from the power companies. 3. According to a recent report from Abt Associates, RGGI’s emissions reductions through 2014 have accounted for $5.7 billion in avoided health costs across the region, making the return on investment even better – People live longer now. All people.

Purpose of this image is to show you that your future energy infrastructure will be modular. Built in a factory and delivered to be installed like legos. Below are flow batteries.

Check out the chart – notice the big bump in March. With all the news I’m hearing about Australia – energy storage, big project finance, peer to peer energy trading and exploding residential – maybe its time we all learn from this market and apply the lessons well.

Header image – National Geographic thought wind mills were among the ten most breathtaking landscapes – ‘Windmills stand tall in the wine fields of Burgenland.’ – Edelstal, Austria, Photograph by Matej Kova. Windmills. Beauty. Say it out loud.

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