This is your SolarWakeup for December 6th, 2016

Koch and Trump make up. It appears the lobbyist Mike McKenna has been replaced as the Energy Transition leader. Thomas Pyle, a former Koch Industries lobbyist, has taken over and the record on renewable energy is exactly as bad as you would expect. We can take some comfort (very little) that most energy policy is handled at the State level where Koch funded initiatives have not been as successful as hoped. Watch this space.
Buffett speaks, do the Koch Brothers listen? One of the most interesting dichotomies in energy is the partnership between monopolies and the free market champions. Buffett hopes that he will be able to deploy more capital into solar and wind, as his utilities have done quite a bit on the large scale side. Unlike IOUs like NextEra, the Berkshire utilities have not been big on DG, and we are only talking about deregulated sides of the house. What will the Koch influence on Federal policy have on the Buffett goals?
Is greenwashing really a bad thing? I’ve been giving the idea some thought that greenwashing is actually a good thing. Let’s say that a corporation does a green project. It then hires a marketing firm to promote the brand by talking about the project. Maybe the project could have been bigger or greener but my bet is that their competitors are watching. The competitor goes out and attempts to outgreen the other, then publicizes that and the whole circle gets bigger and wider. I say we should market any attempt by corporations to improve its clean energy initiatives.
Here is your faster horse. Henry Ford famously commented that his customers would have asked for faster horses if he asked them what they wanted when he developed the Model T. TBI is known as a front for centralized power, namely nuclear power. Their new report says that history shows DG is not the best way to solve energy poverty. Pardon my French but, no shit! Never in our history have we had access to this cost of solar power, cost of energy storage and small wind. Microgrids were a luxury for forward operating bases and mines in the middle of nowhere, now over 50 are planned for the continental US.

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Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for December 5th, 2016

Only 1 lesson to learn. Don’t get me wrong, beating Amendment 1 in Florida was a great victory. Being against solar was an easy branding exercise and then people like Jimmy Buffett did more with their soapbox than any money could buy. The biggest lesson that needs to be learned and not repeated is that this was self inflicted by the solar industry. Amendment 1 was a defensive tactic to stop the announced solar PPA amendment. If the solar industry doesn’t learn this lesson, it may try to do another ballot amendment next year. Be very wary of such attempts.
China is taking the lead? While the President-Elect is going twazy (twitter crazy) over China, our inability to understand science has kept real climate change action at bay. In the meantime, China has turned 180 degrees and working on becoming the global leader on climate change.
The Asia solar market is? Every year we hear about the next markets. Middle East, Africa, Latin America! But lately it has been all about Asia outside of China. Japan is reaching the tail end and everyone has HUGE pipelines in Thailand, Philippines and neighboring Countries. Story today says that it may all be for not and is delayed if it happens at all.
My Christmas wish list. In case you were in the market to buy me a gift (since I send you SolarWakeup for free every day), the kind folks at CleanTechnica put together a nice list. The electric motorcycle seems particularly fun.

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Have a great day!
Yann


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.

Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for December 2nd, 2016

Good news from Trump world. When Hillary Clinton was asked to compliment PEOTUS, she went for the kids. Namely Ivanka, who has been the soft spoken leader of Trump’s children, is said to be making a move into some policy issues. While she is not moving to DC, insider sources say that climate change will be a key issue area for her family lobbying efforts. Let’s see who she hires as the Chief of Staff to see the impact she will be able to have.
Welcome to Florida! You all know that I reside here and while in my 10 years in solar have done little business here, am intrigued that the market could become more relevant. Vivint announced an entrance earlier this year but now SolarCity is opening a warehouse in Central Florida and hiring 300 jobs. Emergency meeting at the Governor’s Club tonight
More data for solar. We’ve covered this in the past and even wrote about the overlap of support that solar has from both sides of the aisle. A republican polling agency came out, yet again, that 75% of Trump voters support ‘action to accelerate deployment of clean energy.’ The question is, does the support from the GOP voters translate into legislation for policy from the GOP. We surely have not seen it at the State or Federal levels but optimism ahead.
Illinois Energy Bill goes to the Governor. A nuclear power bailout bill that was stacked with energy topics over several hundred pages. Most importantly the solar topics on changes to net metering and ‘insane’ demand charges were removed from the final version. The power of the grassroots continues to show in these policy debates.

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Have a great day!
Yann