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EGEB: Solar+Wind over 10% US electricity for first time, JinkoSolar researching bifacial solar panels, more

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

Solar+Wind met 10% of electricity demand in March in the USA – Hydro electricity from a wet spring season on the West Coast, which alone provided more than 10% of the nations’s electricity, as well as biomass and geothermal power, all renewable energy sources combined met 24% of electric demand in March – And if we add in the 20% we get from Nuclear power, 44% of electricity demand in the USA was met with non-fossil fuel electrons. We’re almost halfway there folks!

World Carbon Price Seen Needing to Increase Sevenfold by 2020 – The commission concluded that a $40 to $80 a ton range in 2020, rising to $50 to $100 a ton by 2030, would be consistent with the Paris target. EU carbon settled Friday at 5.19 euros ($5.80) a ton on ICE Futures Europe in London –  $40/ton will add 2.3¢/kWh to gas electricity, 4¢/kWh on coal and 36¢/gallon to gas. Stanford says the real price is $220/ton.

JinkoSolar to collaborate with SERIS on new bifacial solar cells – two entities have begun collaborating on the creation of higher efficiency, mass-producible cells with the target of achieving 20% more energy output in outdoor applications compared to conventional silicon (Si) solar cells – In essence, the logic is that solar cells themselves have become so cheap relative to an overall solar power installation, it is now economically viable to add a second layer of cells that will work at 1/5th the efficiency level of sun facing cells. It makes sense – if a solar system costing $3/W at 16% efficiency makes sense – then an install at $3.20/W will make great sense at 19-20% efficiency.

China Pushes Solar to the Roof as Bigger Plants Stay Idle – Growth of large-scale solar power plants that are located far from the cities have slowed as the transmission infrastructure to move that electricity must be further developed. As such – Installations atop factories, malls and airports are likely to surge sixfold to almost 40 gigawatts by the end of 2020 and 125 gigawatts by 2040. That’s a lot of volume.

And in case you didn’t see it – US notifies world of possible ‘safeguard’ tariffs on imported solar cells, effective last week – basics: if the USA decides in September that the domestic solar panel industry has suffered grievous damage due to world competition, any solar panels imported after May 25th, will be retroactively tariffed.

Colorado regulators seize the climate fight in landmark ruling on carbon costs – March 23, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) ordered Xcel to use the federal social cost of carbon (SCC) to measure harms from CO2 emissions in its 2016 Energy Resource Plan. The ruling explicitly states that Xcel is to use a $43/ton value in 2022 and escalate that to $69/ton in 2050. – On the one hand, we have a state that is going to consider that CO2, by law, creates a social cost that must be accounted for. Rock on. The other hand, when taking into account the article just above it, is that we are probably woefully under pricing the real damage. Baby steps.

PSEG shuts down its last coal plants: `It’s just economics’ – And it doesn’t have to do with renewables really, more so to do with gas. Gas is cheap these days – especially in a state like Pennsylvania which extracts it locally. And even while we hear the actual business people sayig coal is dead – we see people in the political arena doing their best to ignore reality.

Two tweets – first, this is what we see coming from batteries by 2021 – 280GWh/year coming by 2021. Big numbers for cars – Colin (the tweeter) says he sees oversupply really soon if car volume doesn’t pick up.

Second tweet – check out that pricing. I was once told if we got anywhere near $100/kWh with energy storage – it was game over. With solar/wind getting so cheap for generation…

Image is of frame-less solar panels that was shown off at a recent Department of Navy presentation

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