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EGEB: More wind in Texas than coal, European solar to grow 35% in 2018, more

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

European PV market expected to grow by 35% in 2018 – “The European market is entering a phase of sustainable growth, no longer driven by the Feed-in-Tariff boom and bust cycle,” said GTM analyst Tom Heggarty. This phase of growth without the boom bust of the tariffs is starting to play out in many places. This is a lot of growth in Europe – if India and China have a big 2018 again (which it looks like they already are per announcements made) – 100GW of new solar power installed every year is here to stay.

Wind power blows past coal in Texas – The imminent shutdown of three coal-fired power plants owned by Dallas-based Vistra Energy and the loss of their 4,000 megawatts of capacity will further tip the scales in wind’s favor. Technically, wind capacity is greater than coal in Texas – and sometime in 2019 it is projected that actual electricity from wind will outpace coal. Either way – wind is powering Texas more than coal real soon.

Vattenfall places historically large wind power order – The three wind farms, Kriegers Flak in the Baltic Sea and Vesterhav Syd and Nord in the North Sea, have a total investment value of close to EUR 1.7 billion (SEK 16.5 billion)*. The total installed capacity will be close to 1 GW and this makes it the world´s largest offshore wind turbine order in 2017. I like that it’s actually the power company placing the order. Still trying to figure out if the power company itself is actually owning the system, and funding its construction – or if it’s owned/funded/developed by a third-party and sold via PPA. Either way – cool to see a 1GW hardware order. That’s going to keep some factories humming for a while.

Key senator backs incentives over tariffs in solar trade battle – “I would like to see us to take an approach that would assist the American companies so they could lower their prices and compete with industry at lower prices,” Merkley said in the interview. He said subsidies to U.S. companies would be a “real win-win.” Incentives to support locals build, letting them catch up – without attacking those who are building already and slowing climate change. And if we’re really going to incentivize one group – solar panel manufacturers – we really ought consider the ecosystem directly around these people. Cells/silicon/assembly factories/research/aluminum/etc. A sort of solar panel development and manufacturing hub.

Word of the day: externalities. $200 billion in hurricane damage – is 50% of that damage due to these particular hurricanes being CAT3-4-5’s when they should have been CAT1-2-3’s (or a tropical storm)? And if we do finally recognize that we might have created an additional $100 billion in damage due to storms in this year alone, how do we begin to mitigate these costs? Since I’m biased – $100B worth of solar split among the sectors in the USA would build 33GW of utility-scale, 18GW of commercial and 11GW of residential installations for a total of 62GW. That’d be more than the world installed in 2015 – more than the USA has installed in total (including this year that’s not done yet).

There are different kinds of evidence that each of us seek.

Three tweets today, you know, because I like you all so much – 270W multisilicon at .42¢/W, 280W monosilicon at .44¢/W and 300W monoPERC at .49¢/W. The question today comes down how much roofspace do you have relative to your energy needs. Do you need pay a premium? 7¢/W applied across a 5,300W solar system (average US system size) is $265 (plus some profits and taxes).

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot programOverlooking downtown Des Moines, Iowa, the Market One commercial building’s photovoltaic solar canopy contains 787 solar panels. Photo by Jared Heidemann.

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