This is your SolarWakeup for February 13th, 2018

Rate Of Change. “The rate of change is faster than the rate of change has been changing” coming from the Director of the Solar Energy Technology Office, aka SunShot. The event is private so while it’s not off the record, I will leave the rest of the event off this platform. I wanted to pass along this message because after 11 years in solar, it’s great to hear that while things feel stagnant, the rate of change is not.

Trump Budget. Budget documents are largely messaging platforms to show the priorities of an administration. There is little doubt in the process that national labs and renewable energy programs will have lower than previous budgets. While slowing programs is short sighted, I worry about the national labs because the disruption of research is hard to restart. With the Defense budget increasing and DOD’s understand of the threat posed by climate change, wouldn’t it be wise for DOD to fund the research labs?

Watch Capacity. Must like the capacity contracts in California markets, capacity contracts are the basis that allow many power plants to try and get profitable. Look at capacity contracts as the debt service coverage and dispatched energy as the profit determination. The UK held a capacity auction and 4 out of the 6 remaining coal plants failed to clear the price for the capacity auction. BNEF now sees those plants retiring within a few years.

Mainstreaming EVs. CNBC is notorious for covering the auto sector, with a full-time reporter covering the space. But as cars become electric, they are now becoming reporters of the energy market as they impact consumerism across the Country. More EVs on TV is good for solar, our markets will connect more and more.

Watch China. We are obviously not going to see drastic increases of EV subsidies in America but we need to find more ways to accelerate the adoption of electrified transportation. In comparison, China may see more than 1 million EVs sold in 2018. I look forward to seeing fleets and mass transit exchange entirely to electric drives.


Have a great day!