by Nicolas Rinaldi
March 31, 2017

We kick off this week's Statcast with news on Trump and battery storage.

Coal Power Plan

The Trump administration made good on its campaign promise this week to begin repealing President Obama's Clean Power Plan (CPP) via executive order. Julia Pyper examines the potential impact on U.S. climate goals and cleantech markets. (story)

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt bagged the pen that undid CPP.

Away from the cameras, the administration continues to make DOE and EPA beachhead appointments who are cozy with the fossil fuel industry. Julian Spector looks at what we can learn from the appointments so far. (story)

Meanwhile, Stephen Lacey sits down with ousted DOE appointee Sid Bowdidge, whose dubious qualifications and xenophobic tweets set the internet abuzz a few weeks back. Bowdidge tells his side of the story this week. (story)

So what does the CPP repeal and fossil-fuel cronyism mean for coal? Not much, says a new survey of utility executives. Just 4 percent of the roughly 600 executives surveyed think coal use will increase moderately or significantly in their power mix over the next decade. (story)

To those in the U.S. cleantech community worried that Trump's policies will give China a leg up in the cleantech arms race, Generate Capital's Jigar Shah says, "Big whoop" -- there is no arms race or trade war. He pens an opinion piece for us this week. (story)

Battery storage: It's growing up right before our eyes

There are now 21 U.S. states that have a storage project pipeline of at least 20 megawatts, according to GTM Research, which launched its Energy Storage Data Hub this week to help companies identify new opportunities in the market. (story)

Good news for the company producing the world's longest-lasting battery. Germany's Tesvolt secured an investment of several million euros from state-backed venture capital fund IBG Risikokapitalfonds III. (story)

Sometimes a market grows up too fast, however. This week, we turn an eye to lithium sourcing and examine the societal and environmental impacts that lithium demand, which is expected to increase twofold by 2024, is having on communities where extraction is taking place. (story)

Without further ado, here are the best stats from the week in grid edge and solar news.

Grid Edge News

38 Grid-Balancing Authorities
The number of authorities that manage the power grid in the American West. The largest amongst them, CAISO, is advocating for an independent board comprising its sister authorities to explore a regional market that would position California to export gigawatts' worth of renewables to its neighbors. Jeff St. John reports. (story)

20% Renewables Penetration
The upper limit of renewables penetration that mid-Atlantic grid operator PJM forecasts it can handle across its 13-state grid before reliability issues start to arise. (story)

45,000 Level 2 Chargers
The number of EV chargers that AeroVironment has deployed in the U.S. to date. This week, the company announced a partnership with startup eMotorWerks to bring networking cards and a cloud-connected control platform to its network. (story)

In related news, Dutch charging station provider EV-Box was acquired by French energy conglomerate Engie this week. EV-Box has deployed roughly 48,000 chargers across 26 countries. The acquisition is part of an ongoing effort by Engie to broaden its energy services footprint globally. (story)

Norway vs. Germany
Europe might be in need of some storage diplomacy. A lively disagreement is brewing between university researchers in Norway and their counterparts in Germany over the ability of Norway's hydro resources to act as a "battery" for mainland Europe. Jason Deign follows up on a story he first reported last week. (story)

Solar News

5 Tesla Stores
After Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla will start taking orders for its solar shingles in April, GTM reporters staked out five Tesla stores from California to Massachusetts to see if we could get more information the product. Eric Wesoff details the results. (story)

140,000 Homes
The number of homes in America that have used property-assessed clean energy financing to install rooftop solar and make energy-efficiency upgrades. In a feature this week, Katie Fehrenbacher details the good and bad from PACE, including accusations that the program does not provide adequate consumer protection and employs predatory lending practices akin to those that led to the subprime mortgage crisis. (story)

4 Recommendations
The outlook on the future of solar in the U.S. from SEIA's outgoing chairman of the board, Nat Kreamer. He dispenses his best recommendations to help the U.S. profit from the continued growth of the solar industry. (story)

Solar Singularity
What is the conceptual point at which solar becomes so cheap in a majority of countries around the world that it is established as the default new power source? Tam Hunt has been tracking solar's progress on the singularity scale for the past three years. He gives us his 2017 update this week. (story)