EGEB: Wind/solar saving lives/$billions; Miami spending $1B wrong; SolarEdge +Eclipse; more

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

Health benefits of wind and solar offset all subsidies – Berkeley environmental engineer Dev Millstein and his colleagues estimate that between 3,000 and 12,700 premature deaths have been averted because of air quality benefits over the last decade or so, creating a total economic benefit between $30 billion and $113 billion. The benefits from wind work out to be more than 7¢ per kilowatt-hour, which is more than unsubsidized wind energy generally costs. Thousands of people are alive and tens of billions in health costs weren’t spent because of cleaner air. That’s the goal.

Miami Taxpayers Asked to Foot the Bill to Protect the City from Climate ChangeCity officials estimate that they may have to spend at least $900 million in the coming decades to upgrade the city’s flood prevention and drainage systems to keep the Atlantic Ocean at bay. City officials don’t know exactly where all the money will come from, but in November the city will ask voters to approve a $400 million general obligation bond. Thought it was fitting to slip this article in right behind the prior talking about the savings from solar and wind across the USA. This billion – and it will be more in the long game – is money that we cannot save anymore, it will have to be spent because we have sea rise already ‘baked in’ due to current CO2 levels…but maybe we can mitigate future increase.

Oh, and why not spend that $1B on Green energy that will slow climate change? Because Florida.

3,000MW of California energy storage will ramp to deal with solar eclipse – The ability of energy storage to also ramp down i.e. take energy off the grid as well as put energy into it, will be a useful tool for the grid as solar generators start to come back on when the eclipse is over. The main reasons we won’t have too many problems dealing with the eclipse is that we’re prepared – and truly – we’re still relatively early in the solar power game relative to overall electricity. In the two images below, the top image is how much solar is going to be getting produced at the time and the below image is a projection of the demand for today in California. 5,600MW of solar is predicted at the peak to be lost – out of about 30,000MW of demand at that moment. 3,000MW of energy storage is ready to react – and so are a large number of gas fired power plants. Its not that this isn’t a large amount of energy – its just that we know how to manage it.SolarEdge to broadcast eclipse’s PV impact in the US – SolarEdge will live broadcast from its monitoring platform during the solar eclipse in the US. The feed will show the impact of the eclipse on PV output in the US using data from 300,000 monitored solar systems. Instead of watching with eyes, SolarEdge will watch with solar panel levels electronics. That’ll be cool.

Electric vehicle batteries may get much more valuable soon – After running extensive simulations on a “comprehensive battery degradation model,” researchers developed a V2G algorithm designed to minimize degradation. They found that under the right conditions, a two-way power exchange with the grid could extend a battery’s useful life — specifically, it could “reduce the EVs’ battery pack capacity fade by up to 9.1% and power fade by up to 12.1%.” This result is in a perfect world – where the scientists got to control exactly how the car batteries were used to power the grid. The concept seems to be that batteries, generally, wouldn’t get used in a most efficient way and that if the batteries are connected – and importantly – managed smartly (algorithms programmed to watch usage/charging patterns on as granular a level as possible) then they’ll be conditioned in a way that battery owners ought be doing. You combine this with cars making money because they offer electricity grid services and you’ve got a compelling argument for vehicle to grid. Jury is still out on this study…

SolarWorld Industries starts production – SolarWorld Industries GmbH is majority owned by former founder and chairman of SolarWorld AG, Dr. Ing. Eh Frank Asbeck and another key investor in the bankrupt firm, Qatar Solar Technologies (QST), which is rumoured to have taken a major shareholding in the recently formed SolarWorld Industries. SolarWorld Industries has approximately 600MW of mono ingot/wafer capacity and 1,000MW of nameplate cell and module capacity in Germany. The ink isn’t even dry on the previous bankruptcy and the new ‘SolarWorld’ company is moving into production. The assets and loans the company owed the world were probably paid at a discount, and new investors saw a brand name that was too powerful.

Some Democrats See Tax Overhaul as a Path to Taxing CarbonThe plan by the senators, Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and Brian Schatz of Hawaii, to level a $49 per metric ton fee on greenhouse gas emissions is widely acknowledged as a long shot. I’m not too confident on any legislation coming out of Washington DC these days, but it is interesting to see how a Carbon Tax is becoming a central aspect to negotiations.

A bunch of science/energy folks were sharing graphs that they thought were compelling on Twitter yesterday (follow the thread for more stuff). But the one graph I liked the best was how solar power, over and over, kept outrunning the predictions from all of those who make predictions for a living. Reminds of the post yesterday where we saw 2017 numbers upgraded to 90GW of new solar globally in 2017 – from some who were suggesting 70-80GW.

Header image taken by Jamey Stillings in Japan and recently shown on Bloomberg. Awaji-Kifune, a 34.7Mw photovoltaic project etched into the hillside of former quarry.

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