Weekend reads: ... - Smart Energy Decisions

Commercial, Energy Efficiency, Industrial, Power Prices, Regulation, Finance, Solar, Wind  -  October 8, 2016

Weekend reads: Goldman Sachs' clean energy impact; DOE's response to 'Stranger Things' & more

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

Marijuana Grow Ops Could Soon Rival Data Center Energy Use (Greentech Media): Data centers may be more ubiquitous than indoor grow operations for marijuana, but the latter are as energy-intensive as the former, according to a new report by EQ Research. Indoor grows can have an energy intensity of about 2,000 watts per meter, according to the report, A Chronic Problem. A 2012 study from Berkeley Lab found that indoor marijuana production could account for as much as 1 percent of U.S. electricity use, about half the energy consumed by data centers.

A Curious Plan to Fight Climate Change: Buy Mines, Sell Coal (The New York Times): Tom Clarke, a nursing home owner, concocted a strategy to cut carbon emissions by gaining control of millions of tons of coal reserves and multiple mines.The coal was piled about as high as it could go, spilling down to the railroad tracks and towering over the elevator shaft. A yellow bulldozer pushed the mound to make room for more. From a distance on this rainy day, the black heap looked like a giant whale about to swallow the mine whole. The word underground was that Federal mine No. 2 would soon have to close. It was early April, and the mine was running out of storage space. There were not enough buyers for all the coal.

Goldman Sachs Clean Energy Investments Are Having a Major Impact (Fortune): Financial giant Goldman Sachs, which plans to invest a massive $150 billion into clean energy projects and technology over the next decade, is already having a major impact on solar and wind companies, green job numbers, and the environment. According to a new report that the bank released on Thursday morning, the company's $41 billion in clean energy investments have already helped grow 89 companies, generated 31 gigawatts of clean energy, employed more than 129,000 people and created $34 billion in revenue just last year.

Stranger Things: Private E-mails Reveal What Evil Scientists Really Think of the Netflix Show (Vanity Fair): Even Netflix’s notoriously secret ratings info, we may never know how many people actually watched Stranger Things over the summer. But thanks to the Freedom of Information Act, we do know that members of the Department of Energy were watching—and, according to a stack of released e-mails, they had a lot to say about the “sinister (yet awesome)” way their organization was portrayed. It’s worth noting that D.O.E. employees, like the rest of us, have spoiler concerns.

The Paris Climate Agreement Is Officially Happening. Unless Donald Trump Wrecks It. (Slate): The Paris climate change agreement passed a crucial milestone Wednesday, ensuring that it will officially go into effect in 30 days. The 195-country agreement was negotiated last December and signed at the U.N. in April, but in order to become official, it had to be ratified by at least 55 countries, as well as by countries accounting for 55 percent of global emissions. A big chunk of that came at the G20 meeting last month when President Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping officially committed their countries, which account for 38 percent of emissions between them.

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