Jonathan Bas is VP of communications for SolarCity. I spent some time talking to Jonathan about SolarCity’s success and the state of the solar industry today.
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Absent a high-enough price on carbon, a carbon tax, or direct levies on fossil fuel suppliers, “nuclear, hydro and natural gas combined cycle have far more net benefits than either wind or solar,” according to Brookings’ Charles R. Frank, Jr. The assumptions underlying and supporting the analysis highlight the shortcomings of economic models and thinking, however.
California businesses shoulder most of the burden of power demand charges that are among the highest in the nation. Installing Green Charge Networks’ intelligent energy storage-power management system could cut the Shore Hotel’s demand charges as much as 50 percent, and help it achieve LEED Platinum certification.
Last week was a busy and eventful one for the solar energy industry as market participants from across the U.S., and around the world, gathered in Anaheim, Calif. for the Department of Energy’s (DOE) “SunShot Grand Challenge Summit 2014.” Among the highlights: The Energy Department launched a $1 million solar “soft costs” innovation crowdsourcing contest and $10 million in R&D funding for six thermochemical energy storage projects.
The Hanwha solar profile will dominate the diversified company’s public image, thanks to a solar makeover for its Seoul headquarters.
Energy use in commercial buildings accounts for 17 percent of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions at a cost of more than $100 billion per year, according to the EPA.
Rather than fight over limited outlets and drive up electric bills, a few innovative companies are finding ways to offer renewable, free solar energy charging stations for community use.
Concentrating solar power is poised on the cusp of a major advance as the goal of integrating grid-scale thermal energy storage appears within reach. Aiming to keep the momentum going, the DOE released a new CSP industry report and announced $10 million in new R&D funding to develop cheaper and more efficient thermal energy storage technology.
“Vehicles capable of being charged directly from the road during operation could become the next pioneering step in the development towards reduced environmental impact,” says Volvo Group’s Niklas Gustavsson.
SPECIAL SERIES: Sustainably Attired
Fast fashion has become the hundred-billion dollar industry it is today on a very simple premise: As consumers, on face value, we will always chose the similarly styled $10 T-shirt over the $25 T-shirt. It’s unfortunately not that cut and dry.
Looking to replicate the success it has had in the U.S., the partnership with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and Global Environment Facility (GEF) will enable Cleantech Open to scale-up its startup accelerator programs geometrically as it expands across six countries whose economies are in transition.
The brick is the basic building block of architecture, popular because it is modular, has a simple design and is both easy to make and use. In fact, the humble brick is used in over 80 percent of global construction, according to architect-turned-scientist Ginger Krieg Dosier. But this classic building material has a heavy environmental toll, Dosier said in a June 2013 TEDx Talk: It is estimated that annual global brick production releases 800 million tons of carbon pollution each year. Inspired by strong natural structures like seashells since she was a child, Dosier invented a process that uses bacteria to “grow” bricks and releases virtually no carbon emissions.