Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

August 3, 2019

Weekend reads: 252 mayors for solar; Salt is power

It's the weekend! Kick back and catch up with these must-read articles from around the web:

252 U.S. mayors call for increased solar power (Environment America) bipartisan group of 252 U.S. mayors, representing every state and one territory, released a letter on July 24 through Environment America Research and Policy Center supporting the use of solar energy. Elected officials who signed on resolved “to make solar energy a key element of our communities' energy plans,” according to the letter. The diverse group of Mayors for Solar Energy cited a number of different solar energy advantages in explaining their commitment to this cause. 

Utilities' embrace of DER technologies previews the coming decade of DSM (Utility Dive)  Rapidly evolving customer expectations and the development of new technologies are creating both opportunity and mystery regarding the next decade of demand response (DR) and energy efficiency programs. Navigant Research’s Demand Side Management Overview finds that customers across all segments are beginning to compare their utility or other energy supplier to the various service providers they interact with on a regular, often near on-demand basis.

High schoolers get paid to learn solar in Philly. It’s about to become a program of study. (Philadelphia Inquirer) Eighteen high school students gathered around a makeshift utility box as Micah Gold-Markel offered a brief introduction to electricity. “This is where the meter tells the utility company how much to bill you,” he said, giving a thumbs down. “Everyone say, ‘Boooo!’" The students giggled and booed in unison. Gold-Markel, the owner of Solar States, a local company that designs, engineers, and installs solar panels, uses dad-like humor to engage the students enrolled in Find Your Power, a six-week paid training program teaching Philadelphia youths the basics of solar installation and clean energy.

Stanford researchers develop technology to harness energy from mixing of freshwater and seawater (Stanford News)  Salt is power. It might sound like alchemy, but the energy in places where salty ocean water and freshwater mingle could provide a massive source of renewable power. Stanford researchers have developed an affordable, durable technology that could harness this so-called blue energy. The Hyperion Water Reclamation Plant on Santa Monica Bay in Los Angeles is an example of a coastal wastewater treatment operation that could potentially recover energy from the mixing of seawater and treated effluent. 

Poland has beautiful solar-powered bike lanes that glow in the dark (Good) More and more Americans are biking to work these days. According to a study by the Accessibility Observatory at the University of Minnesota, the number of Americans who commute to work on their bicycles is up 22 percent over the past nine years. “Though biking is used for less than one percent of commuting trips in the United States, biking infrastructure investments are much more cost-effective at providing access to jobs than infrastructure investments to support automobiles,” Andrew Owen, director of the Observatory, told the University of Minnesota.


Keywords: Weekend reads

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