by Nicolas Rinaldi
January 27, 2017

Below are the key takeaways from the week in solar, grid edge, and energy and politics news.

Solar News

Let's flash back to a tumultuous time in the world of solar -- 2011 -- when bitter trade wars between American and Chinese module manufacturers threatened to upset growth in the U.S. You'd think those days are far behind us now, but a Trump presidency could bring trade wars back in style. This week, we ask whether a Trump import tax on Chinese goods would help or hurt U.S. solar. (story)

$1 Billion
The total investment in solar projects and startups that Eric Wesoff highlights in his first investment roundup of 2017. (story)

$1.00 per Watt (DC)
The target solar cost by 2020 of the U.S. DOE's SunShot Initiative launched in 2011. At the time of the program's launch, solar costs were roughly $4.00 per watt. This week we learned that SunShot accomplished its mission three years ahead of schedule. Eric Wesoff explores how it happened. (story)

1.5 Million Rooftops
The number of roofs that PowerScout examined in the top 20 U.S. solar markets to determine if solar installations fell along political party lines. PowerScout found that Democrats and Republicans installed residential solar systems at roughly equal rates -- 3.06 percent and 2.24 percent, respectively. (story)

360 Solar Installers
The number of U.S. installers surveyed by EnergySage in 2016. The survey found that energy storage and solar loans are becoming a differentiator in a competitive installer landscape. (story)

Grid Edge News

Down Under
Audrey Zibelman, the top regulator for New York's Public Service Commission, is leaving the Empire State for Down Under. AEMO, Australia's energy market operator, announced that Zibelman will be taking over as chief executive in March. (story)

$1 Billion
The investment in EV infrastructure that California's three investor-owned utilities are seeking approval for from the state's public utilities commission. (story)

200 Megawatts
The forecasted grid-scale storage capacity in Germany by the end of 2017, more than a 300 percent increase over the current installed capacity. (story)

Energy & Politics News

America? Immediately after the inauguration of Donald Trump last Friday, the new administration scrubbed all mention of the climate and renewables from whitehouse.gov. (story)

To ascertain what these changes mean for U.S. energy policy, Julia Pyper sat down with a former DOE chief of staff under Sec. Chu and a former energy policy adviser to Rep. Paul Ryan in a set of live video interviews this week. (story)

Julian Spector also gives us an outlook on what's at stake for clean energy in Trump's first 100 days. (story)

The final year in the scheduled phaseout of the wind PTC in the U.S. This week, the Trump administration's nominee for Sec. of the Treasury signaled support for the existing schedule, potentially a positive sign for the solar ITC as well. (story)

Cheryl LaFleur is being nominated as the new chair of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission under President Trump. LaFleur, a Democrat, is a former utility exec who has expressed concern over FERC’s previous orders opening up market competition. (story)

50% RPS
California Governor Jerry Brown's renewables portfolio standard by 2030. Brown gave a defiant State of the State address this week in which he vowed to reject the conservative energy policies championed by the Trump administration. (story)

£1 Billion
Did a botched biogas subsidy that will cost Northern Ireland £1 billion torpedo the region's political coalition? This week, Mike Stone reports from Europe on the so-called "cash for ash" scandal. (story)