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EGEB: Not illegal to offgrid in Florida; British coal dead; World’s largest solar thermal $3.9B; more

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

Want solar panels? You still have to pay Florida – This article is wrong regarding going off grid. It is NOT illegal to go off grid in Florida – and you don’t necessarily have to pay the utilities if you want solar power. First point – it isn’t illegal to go off grid. A while back there was a court case in which a person tried to go off grid completely – solar, water and sewage. The local jurisdiction condemned her home saying it wasn’t habitable. She took them to court. The judge ruled that going off grid solar and water were acceptable. However, since the lady was still connected to the local sewage system – but had disconnected the service, she was still liable for costs. Additionally – since this particular jurisdiction had water+sewage interconnected, she wouldn’t be able to go off grid for water unless she installed a septic tank and managed her own sewage. Second point of the article – that is partially true – the electric utilities have lobbied to make ‘anti-islanding’ a thing. Your solar power system will shut off when the grid goes down so you don’t backfeed local poles. This protects line workers. Be careful the conspiracy we bite onto.

In a Stunning Turnaround, Britain Moves to End the Burning of Coal – Great Britian, the country that started the industrial revolution 250 years ago on the back of burning coal, has plans to close all coal generation plants by 2025, or sooner. Last year was the first during which Britain got more energy from wind than coal – 11.5 percent compared to 9.2 percent. One consequence of the collapse of coal has been to pull the plug on the development of technology to capture stack CO2 emissions from power plants and bury it out of harm’s way. Interesting datapoint – because of 250 years of coal burning – The lingering effect is that Britain is responsible for 6 percent of all the industrial CO2 in the atmosphere today – more per head of population than any large nation, the U.S. included.

Solar farm damaged by rebels – One could argue, that you’re not somebody until rebels attempt to destroy you or steal from you. A PORTION of the Helios Solar Energy Corp. plant in Cadiz City, Negros Occidental was damaged by suspected New People’s Army (NPA) rebels who fired at the facility late Thursday evening. An estimated 40 to 60 solar panels worth about P1.5 million were downed at the 132.5-megawatt solar farm, considered Southeast Asia’s biggest, situated in Barangay Tinampa-an. 40-60 panels of 132MW represents far less than 1% of the 400,000+ solar panels onsite. Those panels being destroyed probably wouldn’t affect the broader production of the plant as individual strings can go down with no major plant wide issues. Distributed production within the distributed production plant.

Facts about the solar park – window dressing page, and press release here: ACWA Power and Shanghai Electric to Build World’s Largest CSP Plant in Dubai – Dubai’s state energy utility awarded a $3.9 billion contract to build and run a 700 megawatt solar power plant to a consortium comprising Shanghai Electric and Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power, the government said on Saturday. The project will feature a 260-metre (850-foot) tower receiving focused sunlight, the world’s tallest such tower, the government said. The consortium bid to supply electricity to Dubai for 7.3 U.S. cents per kilowatt hour. 24-7 solar power via thermal storage, $3.9B, largest plant planned in world and its going to expand in the future. This will be a monster.

Little-Known Lender’s Stand Threatens a $29 Billion Solar Market – Two things. 1. I think this quote is absolute something… – “We are a plain vanilla asset-finance firm,” SQN Chairman Jeremiah Silkowski, 42, said in an interview. “But we got involved in this because we honest to God believe we are protecting the solar industry. If somebody doesn’t draw the line here and fight — it’s over.” Wall Street folks saying ‘honest to God we are protecting’ immediately tells me a press person wrote this and this person is a liar. Secondly – Jim Modak, Suniva’s former chief financial officer who now works for SQN, said “If we don’t have manufacturing, we will lose innovation.” The guy who blew $50 million of this companies money – now works for them? I smell that aforementioned something…

Cool chart – notice the big green chunk that has flat lined. That is money spent on clean energy. But also notice that the blue line separately kept growing at a solid pace. Almost the same money spent in 2010 built almost DOUBLE the capacity in 2016 – and that capacity built in 2016 is more efficient – meaning that more electrons produced per unit of capacity were constructed.

Solar+Wind expected to attract 60% of all new money in generation capacity for the next 23 years. I think the number will be even higher.

Header image from the ‘Hit me with your SunShot‘ photography contest. Solar panels fade out to the horizon at this 100 megawatt site in Iron County, Utah, which can power up to 16,400 homes. The site, which came online in 2016, is designed using JA Solar modules, NexTracker single axis trackers, and TMEiC inverters. Photo by Reegan Moen.

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