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EGEB: $78M stalled in Massachusetts; Module quality becoming a thing; solar tariff meetings today; more

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

Analysis: Current Net Metering Cap Stalls $78 Million of Solar Projects in Massachusetts – SEIA and Massachusetts partner organizations are convening at the State Capitol on Oct. 3 and testifying in support of two bills that would raise the net metering caps. The waiting list totals 124 projects, which have a capacity of 51.2 megawatts (MW) and could power nearly 5,400 homes. Some of these projects have been on a waiting list for greater than a year; sitting there not being built because of the influence of politicians and their lobbyists. Interestingly, I remember very specifically one politician that said the last ‘fix’ for this problem would not last. And, like they said, the political solution to the prior backup lasted (literally) one day as the backed up volume absorbed all of the expansion of the program immediately. If you’re serious about solutions, you need be serious about the tools you create.

An unlikely but plausible scenario for end-of-century: what a rapid onset Antarctic collapse could do to the U.S. – Want to see the probability of your Florida home being underwater in an extreme environment? This tool breaks it down on a zip code level.

Effect of subsidies to fossil fuel companies on United States crude oil production – We find that, at recent oil prices of US$50 per barrel, tax preferences and other subsidies push nearly half of new, yet-to-be-developed oil investments into profitability, potentially increasing US oil production by 17 billion barrels over the next few decades. The US Oil industry’s growth will depend on subsidies. Already, a healthy chunk of current product being developed depends on these subsidies for profitability. Let’s not be fooled by those who say solar power is sucking from your wallet – its merely trying to keep in the game.

SEIA: SolarWorld, Suniva tariff proposals violate Section 201 rules – SEIA notes that tariffs under Section 201 can’t exceed 50% of the value of imported goods. According to the latest data from PVInsights, cells are going for $0.21-0.29 per watt, depending on the variety, making a $0.25 per watt tariff well in excess of 50%. Likewise crystalline silicon modules are running at $0.32-$0.43 per watt, making a $0.40 per watt tariff also well beyond what is authorized under the statute. 40¢/W is right in between 32-43¢/W – so, maybe low end solar panels will only get a doubling. However, we’re playing with fire here – lots of product costs greater than 43¢/W – what if the logic is to double all product?

Module quality emerges as new marketing tool for the solar industry – As a project developer, I’d argue there is already significant pressure on the quality of the solar panels we sell – to a degree. Customers continually ask us the country or origin, customers want to know the efficiency level, they want to know warranty and degradation. However, in the way that this author focuses, looking to create a set of standards that focus on the economy solar panels – I think the conversation is very important. As an aside, I’m a fan of this author (Finlay Colville), their articles are always in-depth and I learn a lot.

0.1% of land – 40% of electricity – add distributed energy storage, and double it to 0.2% – now we’re at 80%. Double that – and we can power every single car – and we’re still below 0.5% of land. For more than 200M people.

Today in Washington DC the ITC will hear arguments on what the tariffs on solar panels should be. Below twitter account will follow arguments.

That’s a cool looking solar car – almost looks normal.

Header image from the ‘Hit me with your SunShot‘ photography contest. Since I’ve shown each of the winning photographs – I’ve now moved into showing off some of the images that didn’t ‘win’ – but are beautiful nonetheless. These images are located on the flickr account page of SunShot. Hawaii solar. Photo by Reegan Moen.

Considering residential solar?  will connect you with local contractors. Tweet me to pick apart quote.

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