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EGEB: Study–world powered by solar within 50 miles; Florida utilities own politicians part ∞; more

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

Policy, Geospatial, and Market Factors in Solar Energy: a Gestalt Approach – In a research paper written by Dr. Wesley Herche, we’re shown that greater than 99% of all locations can have their energy – not just electricity, but energy- needs to be met by solar power within 50 miles of said locations. Dr. Herche (give him a pat on his twitter back for his recent dissertation defense) is a former senior intelligence officer and current executive leader at with experience in analyzing land and coming up with conclusions for professionals to act on. The values used to determine this conclusion are all very conservative – for instance, 10% solar panel efficiency was used when current standard efficiency panels are 60% greater and the premium product is 100-140% greater. This document proves that there are nearly zero places on the planet that cannot make solar power their primary source of energy.

Power Companies Pumped $166,400 to Florida Lawmakers Who Control Their Watchdog Group – The Florida’s Public Service Commission (PSC) has exactly one job: act as a check on the state’s powerful local electricity monopolies such as Florida Power & Light. Every single politician deciding who gets to sit on the board has taken thousands of dollars in campaign donations from power and fossil-fuel companies. The 11 lawmakers who have had a hand in appointing the people sitting on the PSC have taken a combined $166,400 from utility and oil-industry sources. There are many techniques that the electric utilities use to manipulate the general public. One of the most obvious is simple – pay for the reelection campaigns of politicians that will support their views, and when important laws and positions of power to regulate come up – those bought and paid for politicians will do the bidding of their masters. Folks – the only way we can counter this is by voting for respectable people who might not be the best looking, who might not speak the prettiest – but who get the job done right. This is your responsibility.

Power reserves at the ready to cover solar shortfall during Monday eclipse – Solar generation accounts for 3.3 percent of what is known as “net dependable capacity” on the utility’s system in Colorado, or about 255 megawatts of the 7,576 megawatts of that capacity. On any given day, the utility carries a “planning reserve margin” that runs 16.3 percent above its expected peak load. And if that still isn’t enough, it has another 475 megawatts in power resources available to tap if necessary. Our power grid is going to be fine. You fine friends should find yourself outside, enjoying the earth and sun, and not worry because there are very hard working, experienced professionals doing their best to make this s a non-event for the power grid.

Q&A: North Carolina researchers confront health fears about solar – There’s no material concern. There is some level of toxicity in some of the panels. But there’s not a health and safety concern coming from that, because of the small amounts and the way they’re encapsulated in the panels. The high likelihood that [panels] will be recycled at the end of their life, leaves very close to zero health or safety concern. It’s hard to say it’s absolutely, totally zero. But it’s of no health and safety concern to the public. When people talk about the toxicity of solar panels they’re forgetting that a fundamental aspect of a solar panel is that it can stay sealed for decades on end. The process is called ‘encapsulation’ and without this process being so advanced, panels would not produce predictably like they’re supposed to.

Groups to launch clean-energy lobbying blitz – The coalition launched a website ( and is dubbing the week of Sept. 25 National Clean Energy Week. The groups are organizing the usual suite of Capitol Hill activities, like lobbying, events with lawmakers and receptions, but also a mini demo fair. At about $500,000, the budget for the week is relatively small. But money goes further with social media advertising and hosting free or lower cost events on and around Capitol Hill. The goal is to make it a yearly thing, say the organizers, which was led by the Citizens for Responsible Energy Solutions Forum, the non-profit arm of a conservative group pushing clean energy policies. Politics baby – it is dirty, ugly and absolutely corrupted. And sometimes, when you recognize that the enemy has found a powerful high ground from which to attack – you yourself must gain similar high ground.

I often hear voices complain about Germany’s Energiewende as being too expensive for the poor due to the taxes levied on broader society. There are two reasons this argument is wrong. The first – ‘expenses of an average household in Germany as a renewable surcharge of 5¢/kWh – equal to 0.7% of household costs. The second reason this argument is bunk – and really the argument is simply a creation of fossil fuel proponents to manipulate the population – is that German’s use very low amounts of energy per person because of strong energy efficiency work. Don’t be manipulated by the ‘energy poverty’ argument against solar/wind/etc. Its fake.

Next time you hear someone say the sun is getting hotter – and that’s why we have global warming…tell them they’re wrong. In fact, tell them that total global solar irradiance peaked sometime around 1980…and since has actually lowered.

One last solar eclipse comment – the world has already passed a much harder solar eclipse power grid test in Germany in 2015. Same amount of solar in a denser area. It’s technically not 20X more dense since US solar is not spread equally across the country, but densely in certain states (California/North Carolina). Good parallel though.

Header image is from NASA research focused on white coronal light

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