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EGEB: Arrested over net metering, buy local solar now (please), tax free carbon credits, more

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

Four people arrested at CMP’s Augusta headquarters during solar power protest – Four protesters, including Levin, from a group calling itself “Speak The Truth to CMP,” were willfully arrested after refusing to leave the property when told they were trespassing. Anna Barnett, a North Yarmouth resident, added, “Many of us were not aware that CMP, our utility, played a key role in killing last year’s solar bill, and they are at it again this year. CMP is working against our community’s best interests here and we need to hold them accountable.” The world is no longer silent on the challenges of renewable energy. If the utilities – that we the people allow to exist in created monopolies – are going to attack, and steal, and lie – we’re coming for you.

Forecast Shows How Trump Tariffs Will Hurt Solar Growth, State by State – California and Texas are hit hardest on a megawatt basis; Montana and Idaho face the steepest percentage declines. This report looks at the individual states and how their solar business will change based upon the solar panel pricing increase due to the Trump Tariff. The logic put forth in a document like this is based upon past purchase history at certain prices – the prices per state are a combination of local incentives, local costs, local energy prices and sunlight. Depending on your logic/budget for buying solar power – you as a homeowner will see this guide as a temperature guide. As an aside – if you were considering buying for philosophical/environmental reasons instead of pure cash savings, and you are in one of these challenging markets – now would be the time to help the locals keep their jobs, they just need a year of support to get them back to normal.

Budget 2018 (India): Budget proposes less tax on income from carbon credits – What a smooth tax cut. If you’re doing good work that benefits others beyond your business’ bottom line – much like a charitable organization – you deserve a pat on the back. However, pats on the back don’t feed co-workers – tax cuts do though. I like hanging around and listening to people who have timely ideas.

Europe breaks own renewables record — but can’t keep up with China – The document mostly speaks of declining investment in renewables in Europe from 2011-2017. First two variables to apply to the equation – 1. Renewables are a lot cheaper now than 2011, 2. Europe was going gangbusters on solar installs until 2011. With that though, solar numbers are only slowly growing right now – however – wind seems to be really growing. Also, I’d argue mere deployment isn’t Europe’s challenge right now – but is rather energy management, and that’s a much more complex conversation.

Relating to the following tweet – yesterday, New Hampshire rejected a powerline connecting Quebec hydroelectricity to the Massachusetts electricity market. Here are a couple of thoughts. 1. I’m against the power company taking over all of the renewable building in the state with a single powerline. The power companies are part of the problem. 2. I want as much clean energy to be distributed as possible – and a nationwide (global?) high voltage DC powerline system might be needed (unless we build a LOT of storage). The tweet conversation below includes a few cool studies looking at what the United States could do with an HVDC national powerline network – including up to 80/90/100% renewables – mostly without the need for energy storage.

The tweet below means we have a pipeline of 173GWh of energy storage production capacity per year. Now for fun with rough, partially incorrect math – If the planet uses 15,000 trillion BTU of energy per year, that eventually converts to 12,000GWhs/day. If our global energy storage budget is five days – that means 60,000GWhs worth of energy storage needed. At 173GWhs per year – that’s 348 years of manufacturing. There are heavy flaws here – for instance – 50% of the energy might be used immediately, no need for storage, so hey – maybe we just dropped our energy storage manufacturing need by a century and a half. The challenge of scale is huge, however, we’re in the time period where growth is chunky and unpredictable, but now within the window of potential calculability.

Featured image is from the Department of Energy SunShot programA row of massive heliostats are turned vertical for cleaning, at Solar Reserve’s Crescent Dunes facility in Tonopah, NV. Photo by Ivan Boden.

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