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EGEB: Massachusetts’ underwhelming energy storage goal, wind power – a decent education, more

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

Massachusetts Sets 200 Megawatt-Hour Energy Storage Target – First, great job Massachusetts at putting a toe in the water. Energy storage will mean gas peaker plants aren’t needed. But seriously – California installed greater than 280MWh between November 2016 and February of 2017 in a few utility scale projects (80MWh from Tesla in under 90 days). The State of Energy report that got great attention called for 1760MW (6000-7000MWh?) of storage by 2025 – and said that at today’s prices it would save consumers money. My opinion – National Grid/Eversource and other people who control Baker’s money got to him first. (I promise RTO that I thought this before I saw their article – and now that I’ve read it, so should you to see that I’m not alone in my judgment call).

Air pollution exposure may hasten death, even at levels deemed ‘safe,’ study says – Harvard University scientists who conducted the study calculated that reducing fine particle pollution by 1 microgram per cubic meter nationwide would save about 12,000 lives each year. Another 1,900 lives would be saved annually by lowering ozone pollution by 1 part per billion, they found. The analysis found no sign of a “safe” level of pollution, below which the risk of dying early tapered off – For every single decrease in air pollution, all the way down to nearly none, we saw a change in patterns of death.

State-level renewable energy policies: Strengthening critical public support – Advocates should emphasize the air pollution and job creation benefits of using renewables, have leading legislators speak out in favor of them, and carefully craft any communications about potential added costs for residential customers. Citing climate change benefits doesn’t appear to increase public support. Dear politicians – pay attention. Jobs+air pollution (see above article) – while making sure the public knows solar power via net metering is actually a net benefit to them. This article really is a great blueprint for policy analysts to pay attention to – directly balancing out the efforts of groups like ALEC. If I were a politician – I’d start crafting a bill called “No extra cost Solar Power for jobs and clean air.” Then start running commercials showing the truth about costs of solar and individual financial benefits. Also noted – when there is support from Republicans public opinion increase by more than when there is support from Democrats. Maybe because the people think, if the right supports portfolio standards – it really must be something of significance.

Wind Power Gives Oklahoma Schools a Lifeline During Budget CutsResearchers from Oklahoma State University recently found wind farms would pay in-state schools more than a billion dollars during the course of their lifetimes. Robert Trammell, superintendent of Cheyenne Public schools, said wind revenue makes up 10 percent of his district’s budget, and wind development helped the Minco public school system build a new high school. Maybe this should be added to the above MIT list.

BlackRock buys Svartnäs – 115MW wind farm in Sweden will comprise Vestas V136 3.6MW hardware – Couple of interesting numbers – €130M (US$148) for 115MW of wind power, and about an 18 months construction period. Also of interest is that the price includes a 20 year service and management contract. This money will feed pension funds for two decades.

Speaking of RTO and investment – New York Banks Hungry for Renewable Energy Projects – “None of the terms have changed; the deals haven’t changed. What’s changed is banks’ appetite for renewables, and they’re willing to price down and move in on these deals,” said Denis O’Meara, managing director of energy and natural resources at BNP Paribas. And then this line – seriously – read this:  Scott Medla, managing partner at Ansonia Partners – “The institutional investors, the private equity guys, the banks — they have more money than they could possibly ever use to fund every project in America.”

Iodide management in formamidinium-lead-halide–based perovskite layers for efficient solar cells – All those words put in that order and I’ve got no real idea what it means on the chemistry levels, but I do know what this means: The defect-engineered thin perovskite layers enable the fabrication of PSCs with a certified power conversion efficiency of 22.1% in small cells and 19.7% in 1-square-centimeter cells. Today’s solar products are great – they produce electricity at an amazing price. The researchers of the 1960-70-80s ought be proud of themselves. Tomorrow, we will need to congratulate people like these for their work today.

Energy efficiency matters. In the USA, we’ve managed to grow our population, and grow our economy – while lowering our total electricity usage.

Image is of a yurt on the road to the Khunjerab Pass as I drove to Pakistan to see the beautiful Hunza Valley during the summer of 2008. Note the solar panel, of course.

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