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


This is your SolarWakeup for December 1st, 2016

The hardware race. It’s no secret that pricing for hardware keeps coming down. String and central inverters are now into the single digit pennies per watt which made entry into the market for microinverters that much harder. That pricing is coming down as well now and market share going up. Microinverters are coming in a timely situation because storage will play a much bigger role going forward, module level data will be helpful with time of use rate design and value is starting to outweigh price.
Freemium utility markets. After spending nearly $10 million on an attempt to stop solar in Florida, FPL (the largest monopoly in the State) is getting an additional $800 million to put into ratebase on which they will get a double digit guaranteed return. On the positive side, customer bills will be going up an average of 13% which makes solar more attractive.
Baseload gets support from above. New York went first, now Illinois, to keep nuclear power plants open. Many States before these gave special early cost recovery for nuclear power plants that were in development, and of course the biggest loan guarantees went to nuclear power plants. Utilities have found support from legislators to work together to make these plants more profitable, or at least break even. Someone should run a side by side analysis of solar+storage and nuclear incentives and let me know the results.
Off the grid but on the balance sheet. Not really but I am really happy to see the for profit social impact solar companies doing well. Companies like SunFunder have been able to put together the channels to deploy capital into hard to reach areas. Many times the challenge isn’t in the product or the need for it but the distribution network. Breaking through, at scale, drives economic growth much bigger than just solar.

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Have a great day!
Yann