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EGEB: Global crop yields to crash with 2°C warming; China to install 40GW+ solar; more

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

How Deeply Will Rising Temperatures Cut into Crop Yields? – Twenty-nine researchers from across the globe conducted the analysis of more than 70 studies—covering various types of models, approaches and locations across the world—and found that existing research all led, consistently, in one direction. For every degree Celsius that the Earth warms, corn yields will go down an average of 7.4 percent, according to the study. Wheat yields similarly will drop by 6 percent on average for every degree Celsius that temperatures rise, rice yields by 3.2 percent, and soybean yields by 3.1 percent. To put that in perspective, governments worldwide have set a goal of reducing their greenhouse gas emissions enough to keep the global temperature rise to less than 2 degrees Celsius this century. The last sentence – that we’re ‘aiming’ for a 2 degree rise in temperature should really send a chill down your spine. We’re hoping, in a best case scenario, to lower wheat productivity by 12%, corn by 7.4%, rice by 6.4% and soybeans by 6.2%. Further studies show that not only will volume drop, but the quality of the volume will wall as well – rising carbon dioxide levels could drive down the protein content of staple crops, including rice by 7.6 percent and wheat by 7.8 percent by 2050. How many lives will be lost in the first famines?

Solar-Plus-Storage Poised to Beat Standalone PV Economics by 2020 – In a 2020 scenario with 24 percent solar penetration, standalone PV plummets in value and all types of solar-plus-storage take the lead. The key point in the argument – as any particular power grid builds up its total solar PV above 15%, the value of solar power becomes lower since it only produces during daytime. During that daytime, solar squeezes out all other forms of electricity. At that point, any extra solar power becomes less valuable unless we significantly change our energy usage habits – for instance charging all cars at high noon, or motivating business to use large volumes of electricity midday. With the availability of such cheap electricity, energy storage comes to the rescue. And because both energy storage and solar PV are seeing significant price falls – utility scale projects start making economic sense ONLY if solar+storage is deployed. 2020 is less than three years away.

China installations to surpass 40-45GW in 2017China’s cumulative capacity now stands at 112.34 GW, already around 7 GW ahead of the 2020 target of 105 GW outlined in the 13th Five Year Plan (2016-2020), and current estimates predict that by 2020 China’s PV capacity could reach as much as 230 GWAbsolutely bonkers volumes of solar power. This volume was what was installed globally in 2010 – and will represent about 50% of global volume for 2017 (while China represents under 20% of the global population).

Exxon Duped Public Over Climate Concerns, Harvard Research Says – The study’s authors, Geoffrey Supran and Naomi Oreskes, both scholars of scientific history at Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts, reviewed 187 climate change communications issued by Exxon between 1977 and 2014. While 83 percent of Exxon’s peer-reviewed scientific papers and 80 percent of its internal documents acknowledge climate change is real and human-caused, 81 percent of its advertorials expressed doubt over the issue. The tobacco companies were convicted of RICO violations – conspiring to mislead the public while knowing the health issues of tobacco. Exxon – along with many other fossil fuel groups – has done the same. This allowed the oil companies to slow scientific research, and political movement in attacking climate change. How should fossil fuel companies pay consequences? First two that I would suggest is that no fossil fuel companies are allowed to lobby politicians in the USA and secondly, that these groups need begin a public education process teaching explicitly how fossil fuels lead to climate change. These commercials must be managed by a third party group that can be trusted with the message – like Greenpeace.

India imposes antidumping duty on tempered glass from China – Textured toughened (tempered) glass used in solar photovoltaic and thermal products originating in or exported from China will be subject to antidumping duties in India for the next five years. Tempered glass made by Xinyi PV Products (Anhui) Holding Ltd and exported by Xinyi Solar (Hongkong) Ltd will be subject to the lowest anti-dumping tariff of $ 52.85 per metric ton. Three other Chinese producers were hit with duties between $ 64.04 and $ 97.63 per metric ton, while all others face the highest duty of $136.21 per metric ton. Roughly, as there are about 2 sq meters of glass per solar panel, and this thickness glass weighs about 10-11kg per sq meter – India will see between $1.20-2.50 in tax per solar panel added to a 300W solar panel that used to cost about $90.

JA Solar ships 2.14 GW of modules in Q2 – 59.2% of JA Solar’s external shipments went to projects within China, and a further 24.9% was shipped to the rest of the Asia-Pacific region. Shipments to Europe accounted for 5.1% of the total, and 8.1% went to North America. Showing off this article for a couple of reasons – the first: not too long ago, global volumes were 2GW per quarter (2006-2007), and a bit before that those were annual volumes (2003). Now, we have one company doing it in one quarter. Secondly, I thought it was another powerful example to see how much China and Asia was installing. Good job JA Solar.

China…China…China today…like everything else China is doing – they’re going in big time on HVDC – double the rest of the world combined. The purpose of HVDC is to move electricity, generally from renewable sources, from remote locations to dense population areas. Combine this technology with the article just above – China’s explosion of solar energy installations – and we will have huge amounts of clean energy getting used.

Just cool looking – this is some serious engineering and construction –

And a drone video above a floating solar plant in China. Never thought about it – but floating solar power also means floating inverters. You might get dizzy a few times as the drone spins in circles –

Header image by Joan Sullivan – absolutely stunning photography. You can find her on Twitter as well.

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