Weekend Reads Jan 20, 2018 - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Microgrids, Solar  -  January 20, 2018

Weekend Reads: the biggest electric vehicle company you never heard of & more

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

Babcock Ranch: Inside America's first solar-powered town (CBS News)  Families are starting to move into what is being called America's first solar-powered town. Babcock Ranch, about half an hour northeast of Fort Myers, Florida, is supposed to produce more energy than it consumes once it's finished. There are more than 300,000 solar panels spread across 440 acres there, producing enough electricity not only for the town, but also the surrounding areas, reports CBS News' Manuel Bojorquez.

The biggest electric vehicle company you’ve never heard of (Fast Company)  BYD isn’t well-known outside of its home market, China. But it’s the world’s largest maker of electric vehicles–sorry, Tesla–and is growing rapidly and expanding globally. Seeded with $300,000 in capital, Wang Chuanfu founded BYD as a maker of rechargeable batteries in 1995. The company, whose name is an acronym for "Build Your Dreams,"later diversified into consumer electronics, mobile phones, lighting, solar modules, and energy storage. Today, however, BYD is most known for vehicles. In addition to ones with combustible engines, it manufactures electric and plug-in hybrid taxis, coaches, consumer cars, logistics vehicles, sanitation trucks, heavy equipment, and off-road vehicles. 

From the Brooklyn Microgrid to EXERGY(Cleantech)  LO3 Energy is the organization behind the Brooklyn Microgrid. The company recently announced the launch of EXERGY, a blockchain-based energy marketplace that aims to empower consumers with access to and control of their energy data, and redefine how they interact with energy markets globally. To learn more, we spoke to Lawrence Orsini, the company’s CEO, who will join us at next week’s Cleantech Forum San Francisco on January 22-24. 

Germany’s unstoppable renewable revolution (OilPrice.com)  Once the "sick man" of Europe, Germany has emerged over the past decade as an economic powerhouse and bulwark of stability, buttressing Europe politically and economically. However, with the uncertainty wrought by federal elections in late 2017, the country remains in the longest period without a government in the post-war period. Germans value stability and are losing patience as Chancellor Angela Merkel and her Christian Democratic Union (CDU), along with their allies the Christian Social Union (CSU), attempt to settle the current political stalemate. What are the consequences of various political outcomes on the renewables sector in Germany, thought of by many as a potential model for other countries?   

In pictures: the solar industry’s biggest and brightest (Power Technology)  An impressive upturn in solar installations and generation capacity over the last year has raised questions over just how much solar energy we are able to create. With the technology also advancing, here we take a look at the biggest and best examples of major solar projects.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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