Weekend reads - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, GHG Emissions, Regulation, Solar  -  June 10, 2017

Weekend reads: The untold Tesla, SolarCity story; AGs prepare for fight with EPA; a solar bankruptcy & more

Every Saturday, we'll bring you five of the most interesting — or quirky; it is the weekend after all — energy stories from around the web that you may have missed this week. This weekend's reads:

The Real Story Behind Elon Musk's $2.6 Billion Acquisition Of SolarCity And What It Means For Tesla's Future–Not To Mention The Planet's (Fast Company): Elon Musk stands in the middle of a residential street. It's shortly before sunset at a joint Tesla–SolarCity product launch, held last October at Universal Studios' back lot in Los Angeles, and Musk, wearing a Gray sweater and black jeans, is perched on a platform erected in the center of the manicured suburbia that served as the set for Desperate Housewives. Musk begins his presentation with doom and gloom—rising CO2 levels, the crisis of global warming—but the audience of 200 or so is beaming. They’re excited to see what fantastical invention he will unveil as a solution. As he stresses the need to transition the world to sustainable energy, an overzealous attendee yells out, "Save us, Elon!"

States Tell EPA They'll Fight Should U.S. Relax Vehicle Emissions Rules (The Wall Street Journal): More than a dozen state attorneys general wrote to the head of the Environmental Protection Agency vowing a legal fight to block regulators from easing vehicle-emissions standards, the latest broadside in a battle over the Trump administration's move to reopen a review of the regulations.

Op/ed: New York City Should Grade Buildings on Energy Efficiency (The New York Times): As President Trump retreats from his predecessor’s efforts to tackle climate change, it is more important than ever that our cities and states develop tools to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions responsible for the planet's warming. In New York City, this means first and foremost cutting energy use in buildings, which accounts for over two-thirds of the city's emissions. A simple tweak to an existing law could help the city reach its goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by 2050 and create a template for the rest of the country to follow. 

American Solar Direct, Residential Solar Installer and Sales Firm, Is Bankrupt (Greentech Media): When I spoke with Andrew Schneider, the CEO of American Solar Direct, earlier this year, he told me that despite a recent round of layoffs aimed at "low producers," the situation was full speed ahead at the solar installer and sales company, which had its first cash-flow positive months in late 2016. Last week, American Solar Direct filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy in California Central Bankruptcy Court (first spotted by Triple Pundit). According to its bankruptcy filing, the company had less than $50,000 in assets and liabilities of between $10 million and $50 million.

China's Clean Energy Ambition Floats on Abandoned Coal Mine (Bloomberg): China's ambitions to dominate new energy technologies are unfolding at the site of an abandoned coal mine about 300 miles (483 kilometers) northwest of Shanghai. There, in Anhui province, Sungrow Power Supply Co. has built the world’s largest floating solar farm with 166,000 panels on a lake created when a nearby mine collapsed. While not an entirely unique idea -- similar facilities are working in Japan, the U.K. and Israel -- the project’s scale represents a step forward for China in shaping the future of energy. 

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