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Screenshot from EIA's report on wildfires and solar generation

From the apocalypse files: A new Energy Information Administration analysis shows that pollution from California's dreadful wildfires has substantially curtailed solar power generation in the state.

Why it matters: Everything's connected. The growing wildfires in California — a problem worsened in part by global warming — create complications for one of the power sources that can help fight climate change.

  • And as Energy Impact Partners' Shayle Kann tweeted, it's "especially bad news given that wildfire risk is highest in hot weather, when power demand peaks and you need solar the most."

How it works: Smoke from the fires contains fine particulate matter, a highly dangerous respiratory pollutant that also cuts the amount of sunlight reaching solar panels.

By the numbers: Average utility-scale solar generation in California during the first two weeks of September declined by nearly 30% compared to July's averages, EIA said.

(The figures apply to solar generation in the jurisdiction of the California Independent System Operator, the grid manager for almost all of the state.)

Go deeper

Jan 6, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Rahm's power tips

Then-White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel walks behind President Obama as they prepare to leave Washington for Chicago in August 2010. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

This week is all about power. Power in the Senate. Power in the White House.

Why it matters: If there's a currency in this town, it's power, so we asked several former Washington power brokers to give us their best tips for new members of Congress — as well as a certain incoming president.

Fintech's record year

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Massive venture rounds into fintech companies have ballooned this year, pushing up total dollars invested — in just the first three quarters of 2021 — to nearly double the amount in all of 2020, per new PitchBook data.

Why it matters: The maturing of fintech startups means a growing number of companies are able to raise huge later-stage funding rounds as investors look to lock-in their bets.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
2 hours ago - Energy & Environment

Democrats' clean power outlook is very muddy

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Here are two big questions as a key Democratic proposal to slash emissions from power generation flounders: how much its demise would sap climate protections, and what might replace it.

Catch up fast: New financial carrots and sticks for utilities to deploy zero-carbon power — the Clean Electricity Performance Program (CEPP) — look unlikely to stay in Democrats' big social spending and climate bill.