Morning Brief: What does the pandemic mean for the energy transition?

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What does the pandemic mean for the energy transition?
  • The pandemic is giving us a preview of the kind of disruptions that climate change will bring.
  • But it also offers a chance to rebuild a cleaner, more sustainable world.

The Covid-19 pandemic is a horrific global tragedy, with more than 188,000 lives already lost and many more likely to follow in the coming months. As terrifying and destructive as this global health crisis is, it is just a preview of the increasingly severe disruptions that climate change will bring. When we do begin to emerge from this pandemic, humanity has a unique opportunity to build a better world, creating more sustainable systems that will provide more resilience to communities around the world, and reduce the emissions that are driving climate change. Source: World Economic Forum

Michigan solar installers say their future depends on lifting the energy cap: Michigan’s solar contractors say they’re about to hit a wall – or rather a cap, created by lawmakers a few years ago. It means that utilities have to accept some, but not much distributed energy. Laura Sherman, president of the trade group the Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council, whose members include solar companies, said when it’s reached – possibly this year in some areas – the cap will devastate solar installers. Sherman said, “Thinking about not having a market when you get back to work, because there’s an arbitrary level after which you can’t operate, it’s really heartbreaking.” Source: Public radio Western Michigan University

The proposed grid forming PV synchronous generator concept can transform today’s grid-following PV plants into grid-forming PV plants: A new generation of photovoltaic synchronous generator (PVSG) plants developed at the University of Texas, which convert existing grid forming (GFM) plants into GFM PV plants. Three years of R&D, sponsored by Duke Energy, has demonstrated the PV synchronous generator power plant integrates naturally to a current electric system, resembling and even improving, the behavior of conventional generators. Source: T&D World

A new vision for farming — chickens, sheep and solar panels: When Jackie Augustine opens a chicken coop door in upstate New York, the hens bolt out like windup toys. Still, as their faint barnyard scent testifies, they aren’t battery-powered but very much alive. These are “solar chickens.” At this local community egg cooperative, Geneva Peeps, the birds live with solar power all around them. Their hen house is built under photovoltaic panels, and even outside, they’ll spend time underneath them, protected from sun, rain, and hawks. Source: CS Monitor

Read more about agrivoltaics: Tinder, except for solar and sheep and wildlife-friendly solar fencing

Astronomers have long been puzzled by space rocks known as Centaurs, which orbit the sun in the neighborhood of Jupiter and Saturn. Source: Space.com

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