Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  February 24, 2018

Weekend reads: Solar sail heads for deep space, Virtual power plants & more

It's the weekend! Kick-back with these must-read energy stories from around the web.


Group Hug: US “Solar Sail” Thin Film Solar Company Heads For Deep Space (Clean Technica)  File this one under G for Group Hug for US taxpayers. The super thin film solar technology of Colorado-based Ascent Solar was nurtured along in part by US taxpayers through the Energy Department during the Obama Administration, and now the company has won a juicy slot in a high profile, “solar sail” deep space exploration program.

Long-term positive for renewables: An interview with Ellen Shenette, manager of EDF Climate Corp (Renewable Energy Magazine)  The Trump administration’s proposed plans to cut the DOE’s renewable energy and energy efficiency program budgets by 65 percent comes on the heels of Trump’s 30 percent tariff on solar imports. EDF Climate Corps wrote an analysis on the potential repercussions of both the tariff and budget cuts on the renewable energy industry, which also suggests the U.S. is handing over its leadership in this sector to countries like China. REM discussed the situation with Ellen Shenette, manager of EDF Climate Corps, who revealed more of what’s at stake in the industry.


When Will Renewables Become The Dominant Source Of Energy? It May Be Sooner Than You Think (Forbes)  As the amount of renewable energy in global electricity networks continues to surge, a new question arises – when will renewables become the dominant source of energy? A new report, the Lloyd’s Register 2018 Technology Radar, examines this issue and also looks at which technologies are likely to have the biggest impact in different countries and what are the key drivers and barriers to success.


Big Energy Confronts An Unfamiliar Power: Competition  (Bloomberg) You may not have noticed, but you're spending a lot less on energy these days. Less than four cents of every dollar of U.S. consumer spending went to gasoline, electricity and natural gas last year, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance's recently published "Sustainable Energy In America Factbook." The oil crash is an obvious cause, but that's just one part of a bigger story.

What Is a Virtual Power Plant, and Why Is Elon Musk Building One? (Madison.com)  Advancements in next-generation energy technologies can make for a confusing landscape where it can be difficult to distinguish valid potential from overblown hype. But given the fact that wind and solar are now cost-competitive with fossil fuels, and energy storage costs are coming down dramatically, it's reasonable to forecast that the current series of innovations will upend the energy industry as we know it.


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