3/14/2013 - Imagine 16 million solar panels blanketing large pieces of land and covering roofs of homes and businesses. That was the number installed in the United States in 2012, when 3.3 gigawatts of the solar equipment materialized to representing a 76% annual growth.
Cumulatively, the country had about 7.2 gigawatts of solar generation capacity from solar panels by the end of 2012, according to a report by GTM Research the Solar Energy Industries Association. That capacity doesn’t mean consumers could tap that much power from solar power projects. The amount of production depends on whether the sun is up and unobstructed by clouds.
The size of the U.S. market grew 34% to $11.5 billion in 2012 from $8.6 billion in 2011. Major solar panel makers include First Solar, Suntech Power, Trina Solar, Sharp and SunPower. read more>>>
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The budget released last night by Senate Democrats calls for substantial investments in energy infrastructure and research as mechanisms to boost the economy and address the effects of climate change.
The plan is heavy on calls for infrastructure investments, including transmission lines, "smart grid" technology, water management and mass transit. The document is not binding on lawmakers but presents Democrats' priorities for the coming years.
The budget also highlights climate change as a key challenge and dedicates continued funds to U.S. EPA and other agencies fighting it. read more>>>
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With policy focus, creative use of technology, and good management, minigrids can deliver 100 percent electrification for the ~1.5 billion mostly rural people worldwide — affordably, without global warming emissions, and within ten years. In urban deployments, renewables-powered minigrids will de-stress the electricity infrastructure. A whole new business is poised to launch. The time to begin is now.
Just as the miracle of universal telephony was inconceivable twenty years ago, yet it happened, universal electricity access is likely now. A whole new business with distributed topology, distinct from today’s centralized infrastructure, is taking birth. read more>>>
March 14, 2013 - As companies tackle environmental sustainability initiatives, such as developing a climate change strategy, early steps involve getting the CEO on board and committing to public goals.
But the process doesn't stop there. In fact, that's only the beginning. Companies also need to find the money to implement projects and make good on the promised goals, all while delivering financial results.
Finding the money: A case study from Johnson & Johnson read more>>>
March 13, 2013 - Google is expanding its already massive headquarters by more than a million square feet, and one of the new design elements is a green roof.
Working with Seattle-based design firm NBBJ, the 42-acre expansion will be double the size of its 65-building headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. This is the company's first foray into new construction. So far the Googleplex has been designed by retrofitting existing buildings.
The new design, dubbed Bay View, consists of nine similarly shaped buildings, mostly four-stories high, that look like bent rectangles. read more>>>
March 14, 2013 - The utility industry is facing a potential workforce crisis, with vast, looming retirements but few qualified workers to slide in and take the reins.
Almost half of existing utility workers are getting closer retirement. Replacing these workers with skilled associates will take years of training new people and utilities are scrambling to find ways to build up their dwindling workforce.
Connecticut Light & Power (CL&P) has an innovative way to recruit new skilled employees. read more>>>