This is your SolarWakeup for September 18th, 2017

Internet is back but the shutters will stay up as everyone keeps their eyes on Hurricane Maria for round 2. Maria is currently decimating the Caribbean again and will hit Puerto Rico this week as a major hurricane. If we are thinking about grid infrastructure and storm readiness, 2017 may be the year we re-evaluate the way we do power.
Three Right Turns To Paris. On Saturday, rumors came out of DC that the White House may be thinking about staying in the Paris agreement, which resulted in a questionable approval from this writer. Paris has always been a self-reported, non-binding accord but staying in is important from a leadership and societal standpoint. Many different White House voices came out since the reporting that contradict and confirm the news so I guess we all remain glued to our Twitter feeds, follow me @yannbrandt.
What Corporates Want. As Facebook chooses an Ohio location for its newest data center, clean energy availability always comes up. When we spoke with Sam Arons from Google, he said the same thing, data centers would not get located where renewable energy is not available or prominent. Now that Amazon is looking to place its HQ2 with 50,000 jobs, cities around the Country are looking around to see where they can get more renewable energy to tout as well as mass transportation. My point is that the new workforce’s values mimic the companies that invest billions. Clean air, clean water and clean energy are not ideals to think about when it’s too late, do it and you will stand out.
Grid Study, Net Metering Study. Is this round two of a useless, pre-ordained DOE study? First, I didn’t realize that net metering became a national issue. Power to the States only pertains to some things I guess. Moreover, it seems that things being left out of the scope mean that the study is looking for a certain result. According to the article, societal benefits and network effects are amongst the issues that will not be reviewed. I guess we shall say, stay tuned…

News

 

Opinions:

Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for September 15th, 2017

As we head into the weekend, an update from South Florida misery. Power is back! Wifi is down. I don’t know which one is worse (I’m kidding, but it is close). Over the next few weeks, I want to examine and share with you my experience going through this storm. I wrote on my facebook that for the first time I felt like a climate change refugee with the primary mission of keeping my family safe, driving hours on end to get out of harm’s way. I came back to my County, completely destroyed thinking about the regulations that focused on important yet small (in comparison) priorities. Reading about number of workers brought in to fix the infrastructure, I start to think about the role, incentives and oversight of monopoly utilities. This includes Comcast, currently on my shitlist because I have to tether to my AT&T phone.
Time To Coal Off The Planet. Every coal plant should be turned off tomorrow. We’ve seen how resilient the planet is when we stopped doing stupid stuff like polluting rivers or destroying forests. Coal electrified industries but now coal is bad for people, planet and profit. The government should buy the plants and promptly shut them down. Seems abrupt but it’s necessary and urgent. If you think about it, there would be issues with power markets but I don’t actually think the grid would suffer except in pockets which would quickly be remedied by renewable power, cogen and energy storage.
Will California Go 100%? Well it doesn’t look like the 100% RPS bill will happen this year. Some corporations and PG&E came out against it. Surprisingly the electrical union came out against it as well, still thinking that traditional power could be bigger than renewables. My guess is that has more to do with the front office tenure than actual business strategy given that RPS in California doesn’t count distributed generation and most large scale is built by unions. Legislation never really dies, SB100 had a great session and looks that much better going forward.
September 22ndA lot of talk from SPI centered around the 201 petition. Having spent the weekend in Atlanta, I kept going back and forth on reaching out to the Suniva people. I’ve said it before, they are good people and we’ve always had a good relationship. This 201 petition is stupid and I think they know that. On the 22nd, the commission will vote and a lot of bets are being placed on a 3-1 vote. This is really a 2-2 vote but since a tie prevails to the petition and only yes votes can vote on the remedy, a no will vote yes. That being said, a yes can flip and we could get a 3-1 vote against the injury. Let’s hope that the powers are pushing a yes to a no and we can put this thing into the past. Another speed bump on the solar coaster.

News

 

Opinions:

Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for September 14th, 2017

The Value of Electricity. We take it for granted until we don’t have it. Yesterday, a nursing home 15 minutes from my house had 8 elderly patients pass away from the 90 degree heat. Most of Florida lost its power on Sunday morning and power coming back on has been slow. It has been over a decade since we lost power due to a hurricane and the value for backup was obviously misunderstood because the nursing home should have had a generator to keep its residents safe. But I don’t have a generator either, in fact only one person on my street does. The reason is the value proposition has been near zero for a long time, now the value is at its peak again. The same is true for how we build our energy infrastructure. Why would a Florida utility use wood poles that snap in half during hurricanes? The cost of everything in energy is geared to be as low as possible because we fail to value what type of energy it is. Guaranteed, renewable, backup, all things that need to be valued going forward.

News

 

Opinions:

Have a great day!
Yann


This is your SolarWakeup for September 13th, 2017

Living On A Peninsula. I spent the day yesterday driving for nearly 16 hours to get closer to my evacuated home. The benefits of living on a peninsula elude me at this moment and I think about how a disaster prone State with two highways out and limited infrastructure to bring food, water and gasoline to those trying to flee pending problems. On the highway we would see cars with 5 gallon tanks strapped to the roof because you’ll find exit upon exit with empty gas stations. Meanwhile the power is out for more than half of Florida including me. My power pole snapped in half which is strange considering I’ve been paying for storm hardening for a decade. Now the pole will get replaced again and consumers will likely be on the hook once again. Peninsula living…

News

 

Opinions:

Have a great day!
Yann