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EGEB: UK’s 1st coal-free day since Industrial Revolution, 50GW US of utility solar, largest ever 4GWh battery system, more

Major Solar Projects List from the SEIA – The USA has about 45GW of solar power running currently. This report looks specifically at projects larger than 1MW – and they’ve got about 20GW worth in the database. More interesting is that there is another 50GW of solar power in the development stages. The installation dates go through 2021 – meaning if we do nothing but what we have in the utility scale pipeline, no new projects and nothing residential or small commercial considered (many 1MW+ projects are commercial or community solar), then we will double our installed solar capacity in five years.

While other industrialized nations are ridding themselves of coal, the Trump Administration is ramping up production. Great.

World’s largest – by 10X – battery storage park proposed4,000MWh lithium ion battery proposed for Australia – 2017 is the year we will see massive projects proposed all over the world for lithium ion, solar and wind. The prices fell so far in the past, and the global capital markets are ready to fund. Of course, this projects is proposed – that means there is a lot of work to do, and its got competition from hundreds of projects in Australia (South AustraliaElon – world’s biggest solar + storage).

Kenya: Home Owners Face Jail for Not Installing Solar Power – Not that I want anyone to go to jail, but I do like that solar power has worked its way into building codes around the world. There are multiple countries that have been using solar thermal to heat their water for a very long time – now we’re seeing places requiring solar for every new structure. Baby steps.

SDG&E signs contracts for 83.5 MW more battery storage – The utility signed contracts to for another 40 MW battery, a 30 MW battery system, and three projects totaling 13.5 MW – all 4 hour batteries – The first of those, the 40MW, is a new record in terms of contracts actually signed (versus proposed above) for lithium ion connected to the grid. California is going to quickly add a lot of energy storage – a lot of money is going to be spent.

El Paso, Texas 3MW subscription solar program sells outUS$6.7 million 3MW facility, 1,400 customers purchased in 1kW blocks at a monthly fixed rate of US$20.96/kW – People able to buys shares in a community solar project being run by a utility. I strongly believe that the great opportunity for community solar lay in the utility to current customer market. People trust electric utilities to make things work, and they’re willing to pay the utility a little extra for clean. In terms of what that pricing means in terms of $/kWh – 1 kW = 141kW in El Paso, which means customers are paying a rate of $0.15/kWh.

Difficulty finding qualified applicants costs solar employers money, inhibits growth – 65 percent of solar employers reported that difficulty finding qualified workers led to increased costs, while 68 percent said it impacts their ability to grow – I believe this. Being in the field since 2008 makes me relatively experienced – yet, everyday I find myself learning new things about the industry (many which I give to you here). I’ve been in different construction teams – and the difference in the levels of experience were great, with extra visits to the sites for ‘little things’ being the biggest headache. An experienced Master Electrician is worth a million bucks.

IEA’s World Energy Outlook 2016 – In the 450 Scenario, nearly 60% of the power generated in 2040 is projected to come from renewables, almost half of this from wind and solar PV. The power sector is largely decarbonised in this scenario: the average emissions intensity of electricity generation drops to 80 grammes of CO2 per kWh in 2040, compared with 335 g CO2/kWh in our main scenario, and 515 g CO2/kWh today. It was great to read, from the IEA, that they believe the power sector will be largely decarbonized before 2040. And remember, this is coming from the IEA – a group known for conservatively estimating solar + wind growth.

If Europe can end its coal habit by 2025 – we’re going to win.

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