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EGEB: Scotland 100% renewables in 2020, social cost of carbon $19-40/ton, wind power complaints down, more

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

Scotland ‘on target’ for 100% renewable energy by 2020 – Scotland had been clever in dealing with objectors to wind farms with grants to local communities which allowed them to take an equity share in developments. “There is clear evidence in Scotland that supporting local communities to get involved in – and benefit from – the local energy system enables a range of related social and economic co-benefits.” – Two things here, 1. Scotland is going to have a completely emission free electricity system in less than two and a half years. How cool is that? 2. One of the base emotions of the distributed energy philosophy is that it also distributes the revenue. Germany’s programs – even though they increase the prices of electricity a non-trivial amount – are widely supported because, my gut says, that 50% of the renewable energy is owned by regular people directly. Money fixing a lot of issues.

AGL to expand P2P trial in Adelaide, as consumers embrace solar sharing – This is sort of tied to the above article in that there is a broad human component driving distributed energy uptake. Most people don’t like being controlled by The Man. It’s evolutionary game theory in action to fight against global power companies – and watching how the fossil majors carved the planet over the last few decades, it’s an understandable position. Watching people be able to trade to their neighbors, and having a system dynamic enough to manage it all – that’s a real revolution in electricity. Microgrids and home batteries will make this the standard residential model.

‘Desultory’: Wind farm complaints aren’t keeping up with surging industryNine of the 79 projects operating in Australia received formal objections. As of the end of October, the commission had received 54 complaints, for existing projects, with all but two resolved. Four people had relocated as part of the resolution process. “We have learned a great deal from both our complaint handling activities and stakeholder consultations. Many of our recommendations have been or are in the process of being adopted by industry and government.” I like that they’re getting better at building new wind farms with fewer complaints. GW worth of clean energy not upsetting the local population is worth so much.

ITC lays out case for solar tariffs in report sent to Trump – 142 pages of talking about solar panels headed to Trump, not his reading style I know. I’ve not read the document, but my gut says that the analysis coming from it won’t be the logic driving the decision on solar panels. My gut says it is going to be an argument between coal companies and Senators with solar power jobs in their states. Early January deadline on decision…

Carbon’s economic damage costlier than thought based on current science – When the most recent science is brought to bear, one of the major models used to calculate the social cost of carbon (SCC) moves the figure to $19.70, an increase of 129 percent. The SCC for agriculture calculated using the FUND model puts these damages at -$2.70, a negative number indicating overall benefits from CO2 emissions. Based on an analysis of the data, instead of an additional ton of carbon benefiting the agriculture sector by $2.70, it damages the economy by $8.50. That increase takes the SCC to $19.70/ton under the FUND model. Averaging multiple models puts the overall SCC in the range of $40/ton. The federal government is currently trying to insinuate that carbon is a net economic benefit to the economy of $2.70/ton. It’s another tool used by those in power to attempt to benefit their financial backers. Researchers see that the social cost of carbon is closer to $19.70 – and up to $40 – per ton released into the atmosphere. That’s only a few pennies per kWh for electricity – but its huge when we see solar and wind pricing so aggressively low.

Since the IEA generally gets prodded quite a bit about their solar power projections – notice how prior projections below were all straight line with no growth. Seriously…like not even trying. And note how the most recent projection actually shows an upward line! Progress. Of course, the model suggests 100GW of solar globally somewhere in 2019, not the 2017 when it is about to happen. Baby steps.

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