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EGEB: It’s too late for 10 million Americans, Chilean solar power at 2.2¢/kWh, more

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

I love that they call it highlights – Highlights of the Findings of the U.S. Global Change Research Program Climate Science Special Report – Global average sea levels are expected to continue to rise—by at least several inches in the next 15 years and by 1–4 feet by 2100. A rise of as much as 8 feet by 2100 cannot be ruled out. Sea level has risen by about 7–8 inches since 1900, with almost half (about 3 inches) of that rise occurring since 1993. The report, by the Congressional Budget Office, says that for about 10 million people, cutting back on CO2 will do nothing to fix the flooding that will already occur due to current emission levels. The Federal Government recommends 10 million people be forced to bear the consequences of Climate Change on their own, as the economics of covering them via taxpayer money would be too much and might create uncertainty.

Chile’s auction concludes with average price of $32.5/MWh – The average price in the 2016 auction was $47.6/MWh, with 12,430 GWh contracted per year. In the 2015 tender, which was the first of its kind in Chile, the average price was $79.3/MWh. Enel submitted the lowest bid of $21.48 MWh for one of the blocks in dispute. 2.2GW of solar power was auctioned off to be in place by 2024. Chile has some of the highest levels of solar insolation on the planet – up to double the amount of electricity will be produced in Chile, using the same solar panel, than most of the United States. No uproar from the reporters on the pricing of this project – just acceptance that solar is cheaper than ever.

Republican tax bill hits wind power, solar largely unscathed – In 2015 and 2016, the wind credit was worth 2.4 cents, dropping by 20 percent each year for projects that start construction from 2017 through 2019. In the proposed bill, that credit would drop to 1.5 cents per kwh. In essence, giving a credit to any particular clean energy source because it is clean is simply another form of carbon tax. We know CO2 is causing costs to be borne by others not using the CO2. If you say that you don’t want to cover the costs of your pollution by cutting what you pay non-polluters, you lose the ability to say you’re fiscally responsible. I don’t know if this tax credit is going to make it through to the final bill – if the many jobs spread across the MidWest will pushback.

Thought you all would enjoy the image following this article – Lazard’s latest annual Levelized Cost of Energy Analysis (LCOE 11.0) shows a continued decline in the cost of generating electricity from alternative energy technologies, especially utility-scale solar and wind – the key word that you should look at on this chart is ‘Unsubsidized.’ This is before we consider that polluting sources of energy ought have a carbon tax added onto the to account for their externalities. Wind is the cheapest, solar just behind it and natural gas is floating around it.

KK Wind working on integrated wind turbine & battery storage project – KK Wind maintains that energy storage needs to account for only about 8% of a wind farm’s capacity in order to eliminate almost 90% of fluctuations in energy production. First off, it seems to make great sense to integrate energy storage into the empty tube. But the more interesting thing I found in the article was the 8% eliminating almost 90% of energy fluctuations. I’ve wondered what the energy storage to generation ratios might turn out to be as we scale toward taking over power grids with intermittents. We’re starting to see solar/wind plus energy storage across the world – this knowledge will grow.

First US coal company goes BK during Trumps regime lines up well with Coal only supplied 2% of UK electricity for first six months o 2017 – we have hundreds of years worth of coal under the ground to burn, but we’re not going to do so. It’s no longer needed. The stone age didn’t end due to a lack of stones.

$22B in carbon tax revenue and $52B in carbon tax program valuation globally. Not exactly sure what the $52B number actually represents. Either way, that we are now raising billions of dollars annually to cover the costs of our pollution is a great step. With China slowly bringing on its CO2 market I expect to see these numbers grow significantly.

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