Friday Linkage 3/4/2016

We live in a crazy world. Donald Trump is the front runner for the Republican nomination to try and become President of the United States. Imagine that for a moment…President Donald J. Trump. Worse yet is that there are about 25% of Republican primary voters who actually think Ted Cruz is the best person to become the leader of the free world. This is a guy who reminds me of a lizard person in hiding from a cheesy 1980s sci-fi miniseries.

But, there is a light at the end of the tunnel with regard to our long national nightmare that is the modern Republican Party. One, it is highly probably that a Democrat will win the White House. Two, it is less probably, but possible, that the Senate may flip from Republican to Democratic control given the nature of the seats in play. Third, we have seen a preview of what the Supreme Court is like with Scalia and it is a glorious thing.

On to the links…

Iowa Gets 31% of Electricity from Wind—We’re number 1 baby. Even better is that Iowa has the potential to cross the 40% barrier within five years if planned projects come on line.

Solar, Natural Gas, Wind Make Up Most 2016 Generation Additions—Damn, look at those wind and solar additions:

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Consistent Change: How Utility Professionals View the Evolving Power Mix—This chart shows what power and utility professionals think the near term future of their energy mix looks like:

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This is not the opinion of that guy driving a converted Ford Ranger EV down the street, but people who have to make hard economic decisions with millions of dollars on the table.

Over Half Of Installed US Utility-Scale Solar In 2016 Will Be Above Renewable Portfolio Standards—Renewable portfolio standards helped to jump start the industry, but now the economic case is making sense on its own. The tipping point has been reached.

The Bright Future Ahead for Electric Vehicles, in 4 Charts—A lot of commentators are jumping on the bandwagon to declare that recent low energy prices spell the doom of the second wave of electric vehicles. Too bad the future is so bright that my future Tesla needs to wear shades.

Here’s How Electric Cars Will Cause the Next Oil Crisis—It’s called demand destruction and once the spiral begins there is no stopping the death rattle of fossil fuels.

China Will Close 1,000 Coal Mines As Industry Continues to Sputter—China has god awful air quality. Now the government is declaring its own “war on coal.” Unlike the U.S. where the war on coal is really just market forces kicking coal in the cajones, China is developing a top down plan to reduce or eliminate coal use.

China Redoubles Its War On Coal—See, it’s a Chinese war on coal.

Coal Use is Down in the U.S. and China — and It’s Not a Blip—When the biggest users of a particular fuel stop using that fuel, it’s a dark day for the industry. Now, that means it’s a green or blue day for the planet.

Solar Wallflower CdTe Busts Through Magic 1-Volt Mark—Sometimes core technology advancement gets overlooked, but breakthroughs like this are important because it will drive the cost of renewables even lower.

Science Has Found a Brilliant New Use for Your Kitchen Scraps—The soil could save us? Think about the small cost of this project mentioned in the article: $300 plus shipping for 31 tons of compost spread on a 540 acre ranch. The soil absorbed at least 25 percent more carbon. If this project were spread to 5 percent of California’s range lands it could eliminate 7.6 million tons of carbon over three years, which is equivalent to the annual carbon output of two million cars.

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