QUICK NEWS, September 27: Facts Check Trump – Fed Investments In Solar A Huge Success; Top Midwest Utility In $2 Billion Wind Buy; Solar Cost Increasingly Beating The Market
Facts Check Trump – Fed Investments In Solar A Huge Success The U.S. Department of Energy’s Loan Programs O¬ce (LPO) provides the critical financing needed to deploy some of the world’s largest and most innovative clean energy and advanced technology vehicle manufacturing projects to date.
November 2014 (U.S. Department of Energy)
Despite an almost isolated case referenced by Donald Trump in the first presidential debate, the federal investments in solar and other cutting edge energies have paid off far better than any portfolio of private sector investments, according to the Department of Energy update made as the program went into hiatus in 2014.
“LPO currently manages a portfolio comprising more than $30 billion of loans, loan guarantees, and conditional commitments covering more than 30 projects. These projects include some of the world’s most innovative and largest solar, wind, geothermal, biofuel, and nuclear facilities, as well as advanced technology vehicle manufacturing facilities in six states producing some of America’s best-selling vehicles. Overall, these loans and loan guarantees have resulted in more than $50 billion in total project investment,” the update reports.
In September 2014, LPO-financed projects have moved solar and other technologies that might not have come to market if they had to depend solely on private sector investment. They had repaid nearly $3.5 billion of principal and earned over $810 million in interest payments. The interest payments largely come in on or ahead of schedule and will eventually earn the federal government an estimated $5 billion-plus in interest. Losses at the time of the update were less than $780 million, less than 3.6% of the total money loaned. click here for more
Top Midwest Utility In $2 Billion Wind Buy Xcel plans big expansion in wind power, adding enough capacity for 750,000 homes; The company will add eight to 10 new wind farms in the Upper Midwest.
Mike Hughlett, September 22, 2016 (Minneapolis Star-Tribune)
“Xcel Energy plans to invest $2 billion to expand its wind-generation capacity by 60 percent, enough to power 750,000 homes…Already a national leader in wind energy, Xcel Energy plans to add eight to 10 wind farms that will serve Minnesota, the Dakotas, Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Together, they will provide about 1,500 megawatts of power…That’s almost as much as the 1,600 megawatts of power produced by Xcel’s two Minnesota nuclear facilities…Xcel will own some of the new wind farms and buy power from wind farms developed by independent operators…The new wind farms should come online between 2017 and 2020…By 2030, Xcel expects one-third of its power generation in the Upper Midwest will come from renewable sources — mostly wind — up from 24 percent now…Nuclear will make up about one-third…[and coal is expected to fall from its current 33 percent] to 15 percent…” click here for more
Solar Cost Increasingly Beating The Market Solar power cost down 25% in five months – “There’s no reason why the cost of solar will ever increase again”
John Fitzgerald Weaver, September 26, 2016 (Electrek)
“On August 11 a bid of US$0.46/W was put forward to build 500MW of solar power in China (a roughly calculated levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) at $0.019/kWh). This past week we saw a bid of $0.023/kWh to build 1.2GW of solar power in Abu Dhabi…almost 25% lower than the $0.0299/kWh was bid in late April for a series of projects also in Abu Dhabi. These extremely aggressive price falls are partially driven by unique situations – a Chinese solar panel production glut and historically low costs of money. But also because of technology…The price drop in solar panels from the first quarter through the third quarter of this year is probably the greatest driver…Anecdotally, deliveries of Tier 1 solar panels in 1MW volume to the northeast USA have fallen from ~$0.60-65/W to ~$0.45/W – price declines of 25-30%...Other locations have seen price falls just as significant. A Nevada USA 100MW solar project was recently approved delivering electricity at $0.04/kWh. Chile set temporary records at $0.0291/kWh. And now we see India’s ongoing, and upward ramping, solar power boom…Greentech Media made a now quaint seeming prediction that solar costs would fall “40% by 2020” in September of 2015 – little did they know it might happen before the end of 2016…” click here for more