Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  April 7, 2018

Weekend reads: Solar outshines fossil fuels; Super green weed & more

Kick back with these must-read energy stories from around the web:

Solar power eclipsed fossil fuels in new 2017 generating capacity: U.N. (Reuters) Chinese solar power led a record 157 gigawatts (GW) of new renewable energy capacity added worldwide last year, more than double the amount of new generation capacity from fossil fuels, a U.N.-backed report showed on Thursday. Globally, a record 98 GW of solar power capacity was installed last year with China contributing more than half, or 53 GW, according to U.N. Environment, the Frankfurt School-UNEP Collaborating Centre and Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

Energy Hogs: Can World’s Huge Data Centers Be Made More Efficient? (Yale Environment 360)  The cloud is coming back to Earth with a bump. That ethereal place where we store our data, stream our movies, and email the world has a physical presence – in hundreds of giant data centers that are taking a growing toll on the planet. Data centers are the factories of the digital age. These mostly windowless, featureless boxes are scattered across the globe – from Las Vegas to Bangalore, and Des Moines to Reykjavik. They run the planet’s digital services. 

It’s time to plan for solar panel recycling in the United States (Solar Power World)  End-of-life panels might not need recycling for another 15 years, but that doesn’t mean we should ignore the growing issue today. In 2017, the United States installed 10.6 GW of new solar energy. Using rough math (if every panel was 300 W), that’s 35.3 million new solar panels installed last year. In about 30 years, a wave of 35.3 million panels may reach the end of their lifespans, not counting the hundreds of millions of panels that flooded the U.S. market in the last decade that may need to be disposed of sooner. 

Shining Cities 2018: How Smart Local Policies Are Expanding Solar Power in America (Environment America)  America’s major cities have played a key role in the clean energy revolution and stand to reap tremendous benefits from solar energy. As population centers, they are major sources of electricity demand and, with millions of rooftops suitable for solar panels, they have the potential to be major sources of clean energy as well. 

Renewable Energy is Making San Francisco Cannabis Grows Super-Green (Cannabis Business Times)  As cannabis enters mainstream commerce, shoppers expect higher standards for eco-friendliness. Rising to the occasion, Sense, an indoor cannabis grower located in SoMa, has announced that it has switched to 100 percent renewable energy. Sense is using the city’s Public Utilities Commission program CleanPowerSF.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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