U.S. Sees Steady Solar Growth Despite Trump, But China Slashes Subsidies
By Andy Rowell
Donald Trump can't stop the sun from shining. Despite the climate denier's pro-fossil fuel agenda, and despite his tariffs on imported solar panels, the U.S. still installed more solar than any other source of energy in the first quarter of the year.
The amount of solar power installed in the U.S. climbed 13 percent in the first quarter, according to the trade body, the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA).
The trade body said that solar accounted for 55 percent of all new power generation, beating new wind and natural gas turbines for a second straight quarter.
The SEIA expects new installations this year to be roughly the same as last year, despite Trump's antics with tariffs that are expected to increase costs. The association said it expected 10.8 gigawatts of solar to be installed, rising to 14 gigawatts by 2024.
"Solar has become a common-sense option for much of the U.S., and is too strong to be set back for long, even in light of the tariffs," SEIA Chief Executive Officer Abigail Ross Hopper told Bloomberg.
The Chinese solar industry, however, is now struggling after what is known as the "solar-coaster" where just as increased subsidies can signal a boom, removing them can lead to a downturn.
At the beginning of this month, the Chinese government announced that subsidies via feed in tariffs would be slashed, even though the country has been the largest solar installer for the last four years. Indeed, last year the country installed a whopping 55 gigawatts of solar power. This is more than five times the amount in the U.S. market.
According to the Economist, some 20 GW of projects could now be scrapped in China, leading to a potential stall in the global solar market and huge market vulnerability. The only positive of this is as demand falls, the cost of panels could also fall too, making solar more economic in other countries.
So in the short term, Yvonne Liu, solar analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, argues that "2018 is likely to be the first-ever year seeing negative annual [worldwide] installation growth."
But medium term, there is the prospect of Chinese manufacturers flooding the global market with panels, which could help solar compete globally.
The Economist reports that Bloomberg New Energy Finance believes that this fall in panel costs could mean that, in the longer term, "more markets may embrace solar … The cheaper solar gets, the more appealing it becomes, especially in poor countries struggling to satisfy rising energy demand."
Nick Boyle, chief executive of Lightsource BP, a leading solar developer, said about the Chinese move, "For us it is only good."
Renewable Energy Dominates Early 2018 Power Plant Construction https://t.co/52VSzo9jID @RenewablesNews @cleantechnica— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1524873608.0
Reposted with permission from our media associate Oil Change International.
- Trump Insider Embeds Climate Denial Into Agency Reports ... ›
- Climate Denier Is Named to Leadership Role at NOAA - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
New Jersey is one step closer to passing what environmental advocates say is the strongest anti-plastic legislation in the nation.
Did you know that nearly 30% of adults do, or will, suffer from a sleep condition at some point in their life? Anyone who has experienced disruptions in their sleep is familiar with the havoc that it can wreak on your body and mind. Lack of sleep, for one, can lead to anxiety and lethargy in the short-term. In the long-term, sleep deprivation can lead to obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.
Fortunately, there are proven natural supplements that can reduce insomnia and improve quality sleep for the better. CBD oil, in particular, has been scientifically proven to promote relaxing and fulfilling sleep. Best of all, CBD is non-addictive, widely available, and affordable for just about everyone to enjoy. For these very reasons, we have put together a comprehensive guide on the best CBD oil for sleep. Our goal is to provide objective, transparent information about CBD products so you are an informed buyer.
The House of Representatives passed a sweeping bill to boost clean energy while phasing out the use of coolants in air conditioners and refrigerators that are known pollutants and contribute to the climate crisis, as the AP reported.
- Renewable Energy Could Power the World by 2050 - EcoWatch ›
- Net Zero U.S. by 2050? House Dems Unveil Sweeping Climate ... ›
- Delayed Senate Energy Bill Promotes LNG Exports, 'Clean Coal ... ›
By Governor Jay Inslee
Climate Week this year coincides with clear skies in Washington state for the first time in almost two weeks.
In just a few days in early September, Washington state saw enough acres burned – more than 600,000 – to reach our second-worst fire season on record. Our worst fire season came only five years ago. Wildfires aren't new to the west, but their scope and danger today is unlike anything firefighters have seen. People up and down the West Coast – young and old, in rural areas and in cities – were choking on smoke for days on end, trapped in their homes.
Fires like these are becoming the norm, not the exception.