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EGEB: South Australia runs on 100% solar for the first time

  • South Australia becomes the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered entirely by solar.
  • The solar industry reacted positively on the stock market after Biden endorsed clean energy in debates.
  • Japan, the world’s third-largest economy, formally vows to reach net zero by 2050.
  • Arcadia Power is committed to making clean energy work for the planet and Americans’ bank accounts — all without changing your utility company. Sign up to receive your $20 Amazon Gift Card — *ad.

South Australia solar

South Australia, a state in southern central Australia and the fourth-largest by area and fifth-largest by population (its capital is Adelaide), has become the first major jurisdiction in the world to be powered entirely by solar.

100% of energy demand was met solely by solar panels for just over an hour on October 11. Rooftop solar provided 77% and large-scale solar farms provided the other 23%. 288,000 homes (around one-third) have rooftop solar. Any excess power generated by gas and wind farms on that day was stored in batteries or exported to Victoria via the interconnector, ABC reports.

As solar growth continues, 100% solar power will happen more frequently in a state that previously had blackout issues. Australian Energy Market Operator, which manages electricity and gas systems and markets across Australia, is forecasting an additional 36,000 new solar rooftop systems in the next 14 months.

US solar stocks

There’s gold in them thar solar panels, apparently.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump were asked about climate change last week — the first time climate change was ever addressed in a presidential debate. Biden said he would “transition from the oil industry” to solar, wind, and other green energy. He said green energy would create jobs and benefit the economy.

And the next day, shares in solar stocks such as Renesola Ltd (SOL.N), Jinkosolar Holding Co Ltd (JKS.N), Canadian Solar Inc (CSIQ.O), and SunPower Corp (SPWR.O) were up between 2% and 3% in premarket trading, according to Reuters. (Shares of oil companies were pretty much unchanged.)

But Biden says he won’t ban fracking, and said after the debate:

We’re getting of the subsidies for fossil fuels. But we’re not getting rid of fossil fuels for a long time… they’re not going to lose their jobs. Besides, a lot more jobs are going to be created in other alternatives.

On Saturday, Biden was interviewed in an episode of Pod Save America, where discussed green energy and climate change at length. You can listen in the podcast, or watch that discussion here:

Japan promises net zero by 2050

Four days ago, Electrek reported that Japan was expected to commit to reaching net zero by 2050, according to Nikkei Asia. Today, that expectation became official.

Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga announced plans to put the world’s third-largest economy on a path to reaching net zero by 2050. It was Suga’s first policy address to parliament since taking office in September — and he seized the opportunity to tackle climate change.

Suga said [via Business Green]:

Response to global warming is no longer a constraint on economic growth.

We need to change our mind-set that proactively taking measures against global warming will bring about changes to industrial structures, as well as the economy and society, and lead to major growth.

Japan’s green energy plan is expected to be announced in summer 2021. Dr. Alison Doig, international lead at the UK’s Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit, said:

Following commitments made by the UK, EU, Canada, and China, the USA is looking increasingly isolated on the climate agenda as it approaches its election.

This will further concentrate the minds of investors, banks, and the entire financial community because with China, Japan, and the EU all setting a course for net zero emissions around mid-century, there’s clearly a very limited future for remaining invested in fossil fuels.

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