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💨 Why you should love wind

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The Hustle

Happy Earth Day, folks. Before we dive in: Yesterday, we ran a poll asking whether you peel or bite into string cheese. The peelers won handily, ~75% to ~25%. We wrote a detailed recap of the results for anyone interested.

In today’s email:

  • Wind Power: It’s blowing up at the perfect time.
  • Chart: The US solar biz.
  • Morgan’s Musings: A framework for dealing with market declines.
  • Around the web: How to take a break, an attentive fox, the 1st Earth Day, and more cool internet finds.

🎧 On the go? Listen to today’s podcast to hear Zack, Rob, and Mark talk about all things streaming – including Netflix’s big miss, CNN+ shutting down after just 23 days, AT&T’s botched streaming efforts, and more.

The big idea
windmills

Zachary Crockett / The Hustle

Wind power is blowing up

Step aside, coal.

On March 29, wind generated more power than coal and nuclear sources in the US for the 1st time over a 24-hour period, per the Scientific American.

This tail wind…

… follows a jump in wind turbine installations that has added ~11 gigawatts of capacity to the US energy grid.

As a result, wind is responsible for a growing percentage of electricity generation in the US — rising from 2.3% in 2010 to 9.2% in 2021.

But there are some caveats to this blustery news:

  • March tends to be particularly breezy
  • Coal and nuclear plants reduce output during spring and fall due to decreased demand
  • Wind output trails natural gas, coal, and nuclear on a monthly basis

Regardless, the rise of wind power couldn’t be more timely.

The outlook on climate change is stormy

The 2015 Paris Agreement is an international treaty to cap global warming at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels (we reached 1 degree Celsius in 2017).

Earlier this month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reported that countries must drastically cut emissions from gas, coal, and oil to have any chance of hitting that target.

In the US, President Joe Biden is aiming to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. For the country to be on pace for that goal, per the Scientific American, wind installations will have to double by the end of the decade.

So, what’s holding wind back?

A few things:

  • The power grid is old, which complicates things
  • Supply chain constraints are jacking up the price of turbine tech
  • NIMBYism (“not in my backyard”-ism) leads many people to oppose wind turbine projects

Critics of turbine aesthetics have a point — some models have blades as long as football fields. But new designs are underway, including one designer’s wind turbine wall.

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SNIPPETS

Amazon announced it will invest in 37 additional renewable energy projects, including a 500-megawatt solar farm in Texas. #ecommerce-retail

Electric flight? Vermont-based electric aircraft startup Beta Technologies just raised $375m, bringing its valuation to $2.4B. #clean-energy

Important cargo: In Rwanda, 83% of the population lives in rural areas. Thus, drone delivery is the fastest, most efficient way to transport blood to hospitals. #emerging-tech

Fee hike: PayPal and Venmo will increase instant transfer fees for US consumers from 1.5% to 1.75%. Max fees will be $25, up from $15. #fintech-crypto

Streaming wars: HBO and HBO Max gained 3m subscribers since the end of 2021, bringing their total to 76.8m globally. This follows news of Netflix’s 200k subscriber loss — but Netflix still has 221.6m+. #big-tech

Chart
solar power growth in the US

Selina Lee

The rise of solar businesses

Because it’s Earth Day, let’s talk about the sun. Specifically, how solar power has grown and where it might be going.

Today, the US has the capacity to generate 121.4 gigawatts of solar power — enough to power 23m+ homes.

To put that in perspective, a new report found that the collective capacity of the top 9 solar cities — including Honolulu, Las Vegas, and San Diego — now exceeds what the entire nation’s capacity was 10 years ago.

More power means more business

There are 387 solar power businesses in the US as of 2022, a ~20% YoY increase, per data from industry research firm IBISWorld.

Why the surge?

  • A growing interest in renewable energy
  • Installation costs have dropped 60%+ over the last decade
  • Incentives, like residential and commercial tax credits

What’s next?

In 2020, ~76 gigawatts met ~3% of US electricity demand, per the Department of Energy. To achieve carbon-free electricity by 2050, America would need to increase solar output to ~1k-1.5k gigawatts, accounting for ~45% of demand.

Getting there would require supportive policies and reduced costs, but it could lead to 500k-1.5m people employed in the solar sector, up from 230k today.

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Opinion
Morgan's Musings

Dealing with market declines is all about perspective

If the stock market falls 10% — which it just about has in recent months — there are 2 ways to view your losses:

  1. As a fine. A fine means you did something wrong. You’re in trouble. You made a mistake. Shame on you, don’t do it again.
  2. As a fee. A fee is just a cost you pay to get something nice in return. You’re not in trouble and you didn’t make a mistake. You’re just paying the normal cost of admission.

Virtually all market declines are fees

Stock markets are capable of generating wealth over time, but the gains aren’t free. You have to pay the cost of admission, which is a constant chain of volatility, uncertainty, and the occasional big decline.

But so many investors view declines as fines — indications that they did something wrong. They set out to fix the problem by trying to learn their mistake or find someone to blame, or worse, selling.

They think they’re doing the right thing. But so often, they’re doing the investing equivalent of canceling their vacation when they find out the hotel charges a reasonable and affordable fee.

Everything nice has a price…

… and the key to a lot of things with money is just figuring out what that price is and being willing to pay it.

The trick to investing is convincing yourself that the fee of volatility is worth it. That, I think, is the only way to deal with volatility — not just putting up with it, but realizing that it’s an admission fee worth paying.

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Business Building

Influencer marketing in 2022 is a mess of outreach, strategic targeting, relationship management… Use the guide, by HubSpot and Sprout Social.

Business Building

Influencer marketing in 2022 is a mess of outreach, strategic targeting, relationship management… Use the guide, by HubSpot and Sprout Social.

AROUND THE WEB

🌎 On this day: In 1970, the US celebrated Earth Day for the 1st time. The holiday was proposed by Sen. Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin.

😴 How to: Toxic productivity is bad. Here are some tips for taking a well-deserved and much-needed break.

🎞️ That’s interesting: Ever sit through the end credits of a movie and wonder who all those people are? Here’s an explanation, plus data-driven insight into how end credits come together.

Useful: Here, have some CSS transitions for your website.

🦊 Aww: And now, a fox that likes the banjo.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

(A roundup of our best reads from the last couple weeks…)

⛽ Why most gas stations don’t make money from gas  LINK

🥚 The first ‘Easter eggs’ were an act of corporate rebellion  LINK

🧃 Why is AriZona iced tea increasingly cheap?  LINK

😐 The trouble with TurboTax  LINK

🍿 The big money behind movie product placements  LINK

Shower Thoughts
  1. “If you work on a farm and your job is to take care of chickens, you are a chicken tender.”  SOURCE
  2. “Ancient peoples would lose their minds if they found out we salted our streets every winter.”  SOURCE
  3. “If a mosquito drinks your blood when you’re high, that would make you an edible.”  SOURCE
  4. “Super bright headlights have probably caused more accidents than their increased driver visibility has helped to avoid.”  SOURCE
  5. “If there is an afterlife it must be very awkward to arrive there with the person you just killed in battle.”  SOURCE
 
via Reddit
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Today’s email was brought to you by Jacob Cohen, Juliet Bennett Rylah, and Rob Litterst.
Editing by: Mark “Human Wind Turbine” Dent.

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