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Watt’s Happening?

by Don Pettit
for Peace Energy Renewable Energy Cooperative ph 250-782-3882

Global Clean Energy


China continues to set world records for clean energy being installed on the Hudson’s Hope District Shop), or
adoption. The first quarter of this year saw them install the equivalent of about 14,000 home-sized solar roofs
about 350,000 solar panels (like those shown here EVERY DAY!

egular readers of Watt’s manufacturing industry. Big. per year, while the growth rate of
Happening will know that A new report from the the clean energy sector is close to 7
global investment in the International Energy Agency says percent annually.
clean energies of wind and solar has that renewables have now overtaken
exceeded investments in fossil fuels coal as the world’s largest installed SOLAR CHINA
and nuclear combined for the third power source, a truly historic
year in a row. Well, that differential milestone. While Canada seems obsessed with
just keeps on growing. Across the clean energy fighting over pipelines and tar sands
The clean energy industry spectrum, it’s the same story. Clean expansion, the rest of the world is
in the U.S. alone is now worth energy is a US$1.4 trillion industry moving on, with China in the lead.
an amazing US $200 billion a globally, well ahead of air travel, Last year China either
year, which is about the same for instance. The growth rate of the halted construction of, announced
size as America’s pharmaceutical global economy is about 3 percent the closure of, or outright shut down
more than 100 coal plants. This year China is breaking time, more people held jobs in clean energy than in
all records for installed solar. fossil fuels.
In the first quarter of 2018, they fired up just Coal, for instance, has steadily declined to about
under 10 Gigawatts (GW) of new solar, or about 32 50,000 jobs from a peak of 178,000 in 1985, while jobs
million standard-sized solar panels. That’s a record in wind and solar now account for 769,000 in the US,
356,000 solar panels installed in China each and every increasing 12 times faster than the US economy.
day! up 22% over last year’s record. Energy efficiency jobs (mostly small businesses
involved in the construction and installation of efficient
BC’s SOLAR energy systems), now total roughly 2.2 million in the
US. Another 174,000 are busy building electric cars.
Just for fun, lets compare China’s adoption of solar
energy to British Columbia’s. EV REVOLUTION
Although BC Hydro is
to be credited with a good, easy- That’s a Figures vary, but about 1/3 of the

to-use net metering policy that world’s air pollution, including
makes it quick to connect your carbon dioxide, comes from the
home solar array to the grid, there transportation sector. To beat

has been a total indifference to climate change, we are going to
both wind and solar from the BC have to phase out the internal
government. No incentives, no combustion engine (ICE).
encouragement, no information
for decades. solar panels It began in
Netherlands in 2016, which will

installed in
So in the last 15 years, ban ICE vehicles by 2025. Then
since their grid-tie system has Norway, France and the UK
been in place, less than 2000 solar announced bans by 2040.

China each
roofs have been connected to the That was a warning bell,
BC Hydro grid. In spite of this but nothing like the clanging
indifference, solar is growing in alarms set off when China
the province, but at a slower than
glacial rate. and every announced it’s intention to
follow suite last year.

Looking at the most recent China is not only the
figures, we might see 500 to 1000 world’s largest automobile
new solar roofs in BC this year, market, but also the largest
while in China they’re installing manufacturer, making nearly
the equivalent of 14,000 solar one third of all the cars made in
roofs EVERY DAY. Apples and oranges, I know, but the world. If China is going electric, then, suddenly,
still . . . by golly, so are Ford, Renault-Nissan, GM and Volvo.
We have an excellent solar resource in this Quickly, before they all go the way of Kodak.
province, and therefore a potential thriving new solar So don’t let anybody tell you that renewable
industry. Not letting it happen could be one of the energies like wind and solar or EV’s are a niche market
biggest energy mistakes BC has ever made. or a passing fad. Hardly. They’re comin’, and they’re
comin’ on strong.
US CLEAN ENERGY And not some time in the distant future. It’s
Watt’s Happening right now.
Last year was a tipping point in the US: for the first