Weekend Reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

November 13, 2021

Weekend Reads: Google's Dragonscale Solar Rooftop; A Cautious Look at the US-China Carbon Deal

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

For Any COP26 Climate Goals To Succeed, New Technology Breakthroughs Are Essential (BloombergNEF) Achieving anything close to an average rise in global temperatures of 1.5 degrees Celsius this century will require not only policy, regulation and financing but also new technology breakthroughs. This is why COP26 is hosting a Science & Innovation Day in Glasgow. While we know how to build affordable renewable power generation at scale, we do not yet have a definitive answer for how to eliminate all forms of fossil fuels from power generation. Or for how to ensure the zero-carbon power generation we do build is as sustainable as possible, such as nuclear power, and is not severely affected by changes to our climate, such as hydro power.

COP26: Cautious welcome for unexpected US-China climate agreement (BBC) Activists and politicians have cautiously welcomed an unexpected US-China declaration that vowed to boost climate co-operation. The EU and UN described the move as encouraging and an important step, but Greenpeace said both countries needed to take concrete action. The US and China are the world's two biggest CO2 emitters. They said they would work together to achieve the 1.5C temperature goal set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Scientists say that limiting global temperature rises to 1.5C will help humanity avoid the worst climate impacts. This is compared with pre-industrial temperatures. While the latest pledge is short on detail, analysts say it is a tacit acknowledgement by China that the crisis warrants urgent attention and that it will play a bigger role in confronting the global challenge. The announcement by the two global rivals was made on Wednesday at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, which officially ends on Friday.

Microsoft’s carbon negative goal to get UN award (SocialNews.XYZ) Microsoft will be carbon negative by 2030. By 2050, the US-based tech giant will remove from the environment all the carbon the company has emitted either directly or by electrical consumption since it was founded in 1975. At the 26th Conference of Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) in this Scottish city, the UN Climate Change will bestow Microsoft, among others, the Global Climate Action Awards in the last week of the pivotal climate negotiations aimed to keep global heating to 1.5C, as required by the 2015 Paris Agreement. The UN Global Climate Action Awards are spearheaded by UN Climate Change to shine a light on the enormous groundswell of activities underway across the globe that are moving the world toward a highly resilient, low-carbon future.

India bets its energy future on solar—in ways both small and big (National Geographic) Married at 13 and a mother by 16, Rukmini Katara once ran a small grocery store with her husband in her village near Udaipur in Rajasthan. Like millions of rural Indian women, she expected to follow a familiar path: doing what her husband’s family asked of her, devoting herself to domestic responsibilities at the cost of any personal ambition. But Katara has become the face of an effort to ignite a solar energy revolution in India’s villages. Katara, 34, is the C.E.O. of Durga Energy, a company that manufactures solar panels and is staffed by about 40 women—including many who never finished high school. Launched with help from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, and the Rajasthan state government, the company has sold more than 300,000 solar panels since its factory began operations in 2017.

Enter the dragonscale: Google looks to jumpstart a new market for rooftop solar (Grist) Google’s newest office buildings in Mountain View, California are covered in silver scales. Some 90,000 squares ripple across four rooftops, near the tech giant’s headquarters, each overlapping slat a solar panel. Once operating next year, they should be able to meet roughly 40 percent of the four buildings’ electricity needs. These “dragonscale” rooftops are perhaps the most eye-catching example of Google’s larger climate goals, which involve using only carbon-free energy at its nearly two dozen data centers and 70 offices worldwide by 2030. Google says the unique installations might do more than limit emissions at its new Bay View and Charleston East offices. They could also pave the way for buildings across the country to adopt the reptilian design — if dragonscales can overcome the same barriers in the way of other novel solar technologies.

Keywords: Weekend reads

Share this valuable information with your colleagues using the buttons below:

« Back to News

  • LinkedIn
  • Subscribe

Smart Energy Decisions Content Partners