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EGEB: Brooklyn blockchain microgrids; solar saves California; North Carolina wind for solar; more

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

It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter. – To create the bell curves, Dr. Hansen and two colleagues compared actual summer temperatures for each decade since the 1980s to a fixed baseline average. During the base period, 1951 to 1980, about a third of summers across the Northern Hemisphere were in what they called a “near average” or normal range. A third were considered cold; a third were hot. – There is no longer an honest, intelligent argument about whether or not the globe is warming. This argument is dead. We are now going to move onto a new argument – whether this warming is good for the humans living on this planet. This is how the politicians will shift it. Irrelevant of that spin though – the pain will start in the south (of the USA at least).

Why Californians don’t have to worry about their air conditioning conking out – More solar, more wind, more efficiency and more generation. The midday peak that used to occur in the summer time doesn’t exist anymore thanks to solar power. And while Californians pay some of the highest rate per kWh of the nation, their total monthly bill is lower than average because of their high levels of efficiency and distributed renewables. The California grid isn’t perfect, but it’s a lot better than it was a decade or two ago when Enron was stealing billions and forcing blackouts.

Wind energy moratorium reduced to 18 months in compromise bill – Politicians in North Carolina tried to stop wind power from being built in the state because they said it might affect the radar systems on military bases. Of course, the US Navy – you know, the people  who actually run the radar and know the answers – said they disagreed with the politicians. This is what tells you clearly that this is about lobbyists paying for politicians to keep their jobs. In the end, a large energy bill, that the governor said was imperfect was signed. The wind power limitation was cut from 48 to 18 months – PURPA contracts shorted, net metering questions, leasing allowed, community solar to grow, green tariff coming, a refined rebate program, and a storage study. Hopefully these changes are worked smartly for the good of a broad base.

Switch to electric vehicles would add just 10% to UK power demand – EV electricity demand would rise to 40-45 terawatt hours (TWh) per year. In the context of overall rising demand, this amounts to just 10% of the 2050 total. This range is in line with National Grid scenarios, which suggest EV electricity demand of 35TWh in a 2C pathway and up to 46TWh in another scenario. – Today there are about 31 million cars in the UK. That’s a lot of CO2 saved – and CO2 would be saved even if the grid was mostly dirty. However, we know the grid won’t be dirty.

Brooklyn’s Latest Craze: Making Your Own Electric Grid is getting more attention from me today because a Blockchain Investment Fund Begins Initial Coin Offering for New PV Plants – I buy both Bitcoin and Etherium. I used to mine Bitcoin back in 2010 to buy coffee for my girlfriend ($4/bitcoin at the time – two per month got me a pound of the finest ground and a happy household). I never considered that the Blockchain – a public ledger to track buying and selling – could be used to track daily electricity usage…but now it is. And I never considered that money could be raised through the Blockchain to help  fund solar projects. This is another form of crowdfunding – like a stock market – but for regular people. Lots I don’t understand – but amazing to watch.

Since when would the Department of Energy advertise the destruction of science? Is this what we are?

Really cool that we can visualize atomic level movements inside of solar cells as a result of sunlight hitting them –

Header photo is from the lead article in the NYTimes.

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