Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Energy Storage, Commercial, Sourcing Renewables  -  July 7, 2018

Weekend reads: Energy efficiency as marketing tool; Google as pioneer

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these with these must-read stories from around the web:

How Google cleared a path for companies to buy clean power (Fast Company)  Four miles from the town of Albany in southeast Georgia, in an area filled with farms, construction will soon begin on a sprawling new 120-megawatt solar plant. It will be the first solar facility in the county, and it will exist in part because Google–which has a large data center in Georgia–is working to bring renewable electricity to every region in which it operates. The solar farm is one of two new projects in Georgia that will sell energy to Google via the local utility, and is also the latest example of the company’s work to open energy markets to corporations that want to support new sources of renewable electricity.  

How One Data Center Company Leverages Energy Efficiency As A Marketing Tool (CleanTechnica)  Millions of old buildings pepper the US and they are ripe for energy efficiency upgrades. So, what’s stopping you? Well, for buildings with tenants that’s not so easy. Even just getting people to turn off the darned lights when they leave the room can be a challenge. Last week CleanTechnica described how the data center operator Sabey strategized upgrades for its property in Quincy, Washington. Now we have some exclusive followup insights via email from John Sasser, Senior VP of Operations at Sabey.

Where 3 Million Electric Vehicle Batteries Will Go When They Retire (Bloomberg Businessweek)  The first batches of batteries from electric and hybrid vehicles are hitting retirement age, yet they aren’t bound for landfills. Instead, they’ll spend their golden years chilling beer at 7-Elevens in Japan, powering car-charging stations in California and storing energy for homes and grids in Europe. Lithium-ion car and bus batteries can collect and discharge electricity for another seven to 10 years after being taken off the roads and stripped from chassis—a shelf life with significant ramifications for global carmakers, electricity providers and raw-materials suppliers.

Pruitt’s departure is a win for clean energy (PV Magazine)  The five of you reading this as your sole information source may have missed that via his favorite media for releasing information – Twitter – U.S. President Donald Trump announced this afternoon that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has resigned, and will be replaced by Deputy EPA Administrator and former coal lobbyist Andrew Wheeler. We have seldom reported on Pruitt’s disgraceful tenure as the head of the EPA, as his work rarely directly intersected with renewable energy.  

Early-1900s EVs were marketed to women because gas cars were too complicated (Quartz) The notion of masculine and feminine is never far from the business of selling cars. Minivans have long been marketed to soccer moms, and off-road trucks geared toward men, even if they never venture off the pavement. But in the early 1900s, when electric vehicles (EVs) were comfortably outselling gasoline cars, the idealized driver was female. Why that is has everything to do with how we think about gender. EVs were invented in the early 1830s. By the 1890s, American entrepreneurs were building fleets of them to replace horse-drawn carriages in major US cities. 

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