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EGEB: US solar hardware manufacturing + hypocrisy, Bloomberg drops $200M on mayors, more

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

California Lawmakers Model an Electric Car Program After the State’s Successful Solar Initiative – This bill would continuously appropriate $5 million each year from the Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund to the state board to support low-carbon transportation projects, including, among others, specified car-sharing programs and additional incentives for existing electric vehicle programs, thereby making an appropriation. The legislation lays out goals of 1.5 million electric cars by 2025 and 5 million by 2030. The next question of course – how to pay for it? Political wrangling to come.

US mayors back plan for cities to use only renewable energy – along with this headline specifically focused on Bloomberg’s Next Anti-Washington Move: $200 Million Program for Mayors – Hundreds of mayors with a few hundred million supporting them is something powerful. Mayors don’t have the near same control or broad influence as federal legislation, but in these days of Trumpism it’s what we got. The money from Bloomberg is for much more than just renewable energy – but it is part of a broader process to help educate and position these mayors to make strong decisions going forward. Ground up. Thank you Mr. Bloomberg.

Solar power: US gives India time till year-end to scrap local sourcing rules – I’m not experienced in trade law and what constitutes ‘local’ content in solar materials, however, it seems a that attaching a tariff to all parts that are imported is an end around to forcing local content. And that smells like a big steaming pile of hypocrisy from the USA.

Solaria expands Silicon Valley manufacturing line of 330-W solar modules – 330W high-efficiency residential solar panels being made in California. I wonder how much Trump/Suniva affected the logic of these investors to move forward with the project? It could be none – solar power is getting increasingly automated and the standard challenge of high labor costs in the USA are lesser.

No ‘backup’ charge for home solar power users (in Thailand) – The technical analysis I’ve seen say that until solar hits 20-30% the costs to the grid from a technical standpoint are negligible, and many times a net benefit. If proper financial support – incentives, tax credits, SRECs, etc -for the clean energy aspects of solar power are given to buyers at time of purchase then there will be a moment where being charged a connection to the grid, for backup purposes and to help those who cannot use solar, will be worth it – and fair. Maybe places like San Diego were we are already breaking 20-30% of demand being solar is a fair place to state. Thailand, not just yet.

Of course…stateside – As Kansas utility pursues surcharge on solar customers, advocates want more data – Westar has proposed a fee of $10 per kilowatt of demand in the summer months and $3 per kilowatt of demand in the winter, in addition to the standard fixed fee of $14.50 per month.

Solar investor Foresight targeting further UK battery energy storage acquisitions – “We have a very active pipeline of further lithium ion storage projects and we’re very keen to speak to developers who have pipelines in terms of grid-scale, looking at behind the meter C&I applications [and] co-location with renewables” – This is important because investors who have deep pockets will help grow the industry. During the growth phase we’ll see projects get financed that can only work with scale – something you and I cannot do in our private residence. Just as utility-scale solar has helped bring down the cost of solar, so will utility-scale energy storage.

What happens when the wind doesn’t blow? Or the sun doesn’t shine? Well…good point…but in Denmark over the past three days that argument has been moot.

And one extra tweet – cus infographics:

Header image of the Solar Impulse last year as it flew over the Egyptian Pyramids

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