These are the top 10 most read solar articles by your peers this week!

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The Top 10 is ranked by the number of SolarWakeup.com readers that clicked on the news article during the previous week. It is the poll of the most relevant solar news of the week as judged by your colleagues and competitors.

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for January 20th, 2017

Your dream job? So, I want you to be Secretary of Energy! That’s amazing, I’d love to do that and be America’s ambassador on our oil and gas capabilities. Telling the world about our energy strengths sounds great! That is how I imagine the conversation went between Governor Perry and Trump. Perry spent the day speaking with the members of the US Senate answering questions and doing his usual, giving SNL some great material to work with. Now that he will be Secretary, Perry regrets wanting to close the Department but was surprised to find out while speaking that the President’s administration doesn’t actually want to fund DOE. At least Congress still doles out the dollars, which bodes well for the Department.
You want a revolution? I want a revelation. We are all living the fact that the energy sector is changing but also recognize that much of the sector is the same. Same wires, same power plants and same way to recoup monopoly investments. If we really want to change the way it’s done, which needs to happen, then we need to admit that doing it the same way isn’t going to work.
Words matter, even if nuanced. Of all the nominees, the target from the environmental groups is squarely on Scott Pruitt, the Attorney General from Oklahoma. His hearings have been revealing with some old rhetoric (debate on climate change is ongoing) and some new things (it doesn’t matter what the administrator thinks about climate change). He did open up the possibility that EPA will be a watchdog on the States, in particular those that value clean air and go for enhanced fuel efficiency. Pruitt is going to get confirmed (listen to EnergyWakeup next week to see why I think that’s a good thing) and I cant wait for the Jerry Brown/Kevin de Leon versus Pruitt matchups.

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for January 19th, 2017

Solar is pro-islanding. Hawaii has been long aiming at 100% renewables and last year stopped the acquisition of HECO by NextEra because they were worried that the goal wouldn’t be met. HECO had some trouble getting the plans to achieve the goal passed the PUC in 2014 when it was rejected and now is laying out its vision on getting it done.
Peachy innovation. Southern Power is getting into the efficiency business and handing out some rebates for residential efficiency technology. If you recall, Southern tried to get into the solar game as well with little success. Surely with $100 off Nest thermostats, there will be a bit more appetite for taking up some efficiency and maybe leave the solar industry to handle what they know best.
A debate about Pruitt. Attorney General Scott Pruitt is going through the committee hearings regarding his EPA administrator nomination. As the Oklahoma AG, he has sued the EPA countless times, put a company’s letter on his letterhead for them and isn’t sure what the effects of lead in water supply could be. During the hearing he also said that there is still debate about climate change. Listen in to the EnergyWakeup episode to hear what Bryan and I think about the hearings.

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for January 18th, 2017

Oh Nevada. I’m somewhat entertained by the fact that the solar industry is whining about what NV Energy is doing but not getting political about it. I don’t mean argue policy but pick a political fight. There is total nonsense going on about energy savings and how people with solar shouldn’t get savings. In translation, it means that the utility is producing less electrons that it can add to the demand growth and build more infrastructure. I really hope that people drop the good guy act and throw our weight around. 80%+ support amongst both parties, solar should be a third rail for politicians except we don’t make them pay the price.
What’s the deal NY? I can think back to many years ago and someone is pitching me on the idea of solar in New York. When is it really going to pick up so people can actually get some things done outside of key projects that are pushed through the political arena? Someone please get the REV or whatever other policy the regulators want into the market.
Peak Coal? China just called the top of the coal market and is canceling 104 coal plants. The country was famously adding a coal plant per week Now that total coal usage is going down in China and the US will continue to decline, I think it is safe to say that coal consumption on a global basis will also reduce over time. Of course, we need to do more to eliminate those plants, and that is why we cover the importance of baseload solar/battery stations that can do exactly that.
What’s in an RPS. Every solar pro should be walking around with the latest DOE employment report. Solar and renewables are responsible for the vast majority of all job growth in the electric power sector. Solar is bigger than most other fossil segments, combined. 370k people spend time in solar and that is why Governors, who actually have to run the State and pass a budget, are looking at strengthening the RPS’s in their States. I’m sure some States will play politics and potentially try to reduce them but for the most part, RPS’s are looking good to Governors from both parties.

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Yann