Big banks love solar, buy 30 GW – get 100 free, & more! Podcast #29

The Clean Power Hour – a weekly clean energy headline review and commentary podcast run by Tim Montague, and yours truly – the CommercialSolarGuyJohn Fitzgerald Weaver.

First of course, here’s the podcast – Episode 29!

Now, to the news!

Big banks looking hard at renewables mean money will become available. Goldman Sachs says solar to enter ‘secular growth’ – a period very positive for investment.

Mr. Fink is now calling on all companies “to disclose a plan for how their business model will be compatible with a net-zero economy,” which he defines as limiting global warming to no more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial averages and eliminating net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 – NYTimes

JinkoSolar begins construction on world’s largest solar cell factory – 20 GW/year capacity

Covering an area of around 666,500 square metres, in-house solar cell capacity will increase  from ~11GW, to more than 30GW by the end of this year. Jinko will third-largest solar cell manufacturer in the world, following Tongwei (40GW) and Aiko (32GW). Phase I of the Chuxiong facility, which will have a cell production capacity of 10GW, is scheduled to be commissioned by April 2021. It will enable Jinko to double production of its Tiger Pro series module this year, the company states. – PV Tech

That same amount of money bought 4.3 times more solar hardware in 2020, versus 2011. And the solar hardware bought in 2020 was better – generating more solar electricity than its forebears.

A collection of big swings by Joe Biden:

  1. The US re-joins Paris Climate Agreement.
  2. Renewable supportive new head of FERC – Utility Dive
  3. All federal vehicles to go electric, estimated at 645,000 units – Electrek

Ocean Floating Solar + Seaweed

Our collection of combined ways we can generate energy for our bodies (food) and our machines (electricity) – ocean floating solar+seaweed.

The current solar plant, which with the seaweed nets is set on 61,000 kg of steel anchors with 11m-long, 2.5t buoys, is designed to withstand waves of up to 13m. –  Smart Energy

Solar Array Carport

Cool, curved, solar carport – that’s it, nothing deep. Good engineering – LinkedIn

This past week, we published an article looking at the financial benefits – and thus political – of distributed solar. This logic of distributed energy having strong political support comes from places where this is true – like Germany. It’s simple like this – everyone makes some money, and so everyone supports it even if it costs more.

Big corporate buyers of electricity are starting to place demands on their politicians to force a clean power grid because 1. It’s cheaper, and 2. Customers are demanding clean energy.

Federal policy priorities for a customer-centric clean energy transition: 1. Leverage organized wholesale electricity markets for grid decarbonization; 2. Decarbonize the grid for all; 3 – Support innovation to advance a resilient, affordable, clean energy system – Greentech Media

A regular argument from clean energy haters is that we cannot yet make clean energy hardware without fossil fuels. This is a dumb argument, as we all know there is a *transition* ongoing…but anyways – that argument is going away:

And the last of our news – and definitely not the least, in fact, this is huge. This is an electricity utility saying they’re ok with a contractor attaching to the grid immediately upon signing a contract. Months and months of waiting, gone! Only for residential though…but a CommercialSolarGuy can have hope right?

Hawaiian Electric, “solar systems that meet basic requirements to be installed and energized without full prior approval from Hawaiian Electric. This should reduce the time between a customer signing a contract for a new system and beginning to save money by using self-generated electricity – Hawaiian Electric


And last but not least – the podcast:

About John Fitzgerald Weaver

John Fitzgerald Weaver is a solar developer; known digitally as the 'Commercial Solar Guy.' As a project developer and installer, he’s sold and managed 50+ solar projects, valued over $25 million, ranging in size from 5kW to 1500kW. He’s been involved in many aspects of the solar supply chain –- as a company founder, developer, project manager, manufacturer, permit runner, salesman, contractor and financier. In his free time he tries to get away and clear his mind by climbing mountains, or more regularly by enjoying an IPA or scotch, and really loves the strange connection between politics, energy, finance, and environment in the energy world.