Weekend reads: - Smart Energy Decisions

Energy Efficiency, GHG Emissions, Solar, Sourcing Renewables  -  August 10, 2019

Weekend reads: EV's problem; S-s-s-steam heat

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

Most Profitable Part of Solar Power Is Switching Currents (Bloomberg)  The most profitable corner of the booming U.S. solar industry isn’t making -- or even installing -- panels. It’s building the components that keep electricity flowing to the power grid. They’re called inverters, and the two companies that make the vast majority of premium ones in the U.S. reported their highest revenue ever in the second quarter, propelling their shares to record levels. Enphase Energy Inc., has gone from trading at less than a dollar to ranking among the world’s most valuable solar stocks with a market capitalization of $3.8 billion. 

The Electric-Vehicle Revolution Has A Visibility Problem The Electric-Vehicle Revolution Has A Visibility Problem (Forbes)  Which comes first: the electric vehicle or the charging station? That question has perplexed some experts and officials tasked with nurturing the electrification of transportation in American cities. Some have a clear view: "If you can’t imagine ownership because you can’t see the infrastructure, or the infrastructure’s not there, the demand won’t come," said Laura Pritchard, a Chicago regional manager for Tesla. 

How to address New York City building emissions? One option: Start with steam (WHYY)  Growing up in an old New York City apartment building, Andrew Gladstone associated winter nights with a certain soundtrack. He lived on the Upper West Side in a skyscraper from the 1930s called The Opera, but the music he heard as he lay in bed was not exactly melodic. It would start as a distant hiss, like a snake creeping through the walls, getting louder and louder. Then there would be a low bumping sound that evolved into a higher-pitched clanging, like someone banging on a metal pipe with a hammer.

Crossed wires: Wisconsin transmission proposal sparks debate over best path to 100% clean energy (Utility Dive)  An increasing number of cities, states and companies are pursuing clean energy targets, while improving economics and technologies are expanding the supply of zero-carbon options. But what's the best way to achieve those goals? In the Midwest, a proposed $492–543 million transmission project is raising big questions about renewables, reliability and the evolving American grid. Advocates say the high-voltage line is needed to expand access to wind energy and ensure reliability.

Solar and pollinators: a photo essay (PV Magazine)  A promising new trend is showing signs of incrementally helping the solar industry to increase revenue, decrease operations and management costs, open up new markets, accelerate permitting, decrease litigation risk, and attract new land lease partners. It’s not a new module, inverter, or racking — it’s an innovative approach to the vegetation design and management. Civil engineers working on LEED-certified building design have long known that the vegetation specified in a project can provide meaningful functional benefits, in addition to being a cost-effective way to gain points toward the standards. 

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