Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Distributed Energy Resources, Energy Procurement, GHG Emissions, Power Prices, Distributed Generation, Solar  -  August 20, 2016

Weekend reads: SolarCity layoffs; Appalachia beyond coal; the cost of cold air & more

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

SolarCity: Short-Term Cost Reductions Include Layoffs; Rives Reduce Their Annual Salary to $1 (Greentech Media):  It's been a tumultuous 2016 for SolarCity. Independent board members have approved Tesla's bid to acquire SolarCity in an all-stock transition worth $2.6 billion. And that means the most recent earnings might be its last as a freestanding solar company.  Last week's earnings call had the residential solar leader beating forecast or consensus on metrics such as revenue, EPS and installs -- but the company had a net loss of $250 million.

Beyond Coal: Imagining Appalachia’s Future (The New York Times):  Here in the heart of central Appalachian coal country, an economic experiment is underway inside an airy renovated Coca-Cola bottling plant. Most days, Michael Harrison, a former mine electrician and “buggy man” who once drove trucks 700 feet underground, can be found hunched over a silver laptop, designing websites for clients like the Pikeville tourism board.

We have almost certainly blown the 1.5-degree global warming target (The Conversation): The [Paris] agreement was widely met with cautious optimism. Certainly, some of the media were pleased with the outcome while acknowledging the deal’s limitations. Many climate scientists were pleased to see a more ambitious target being pursued, but what many people fail to realise is that actually staying within a 1.5℃ global warming limit is nigh on impossible.

How Bad Is Your Air-Conditioner for the Planet? (The New York Times): We may be in the clear when it comes to heat domes, but it’s still really hot. More than half of the country has had temperatures in the 90s in the last week, prompting many people to find relief in the cool, crisp breeze of an air-conditioner. But in the next few years, the way air-conditioners work could change.

 China’s LeEco to Invest $1.8 Billion to Build Electric Car Plant (The Wall Street Journal): Chinese technology and entertainment company LeEco plans to build a 12 billion yuan ($1.8 billion) factory in China to produce smart, internet-connected electric cars. The plant, which will be based near the picturesque Mogan Mountain in the eastern Zhejiang province, will have a production capacity of 400,000 battery-powered vehicles a year, the company said on Wednesday.

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