Weekly Newsflash: 2/20/2017-2/27/2017: Promoting Renewable Energy by Focusing on Customers and Efficiency

This week news was announced that clean energy is employing more than 3 million people in the US. To further promote the movement, researchers, engineers and product developers are creating ways to make clean energy more appealing to the average consumer. Innovators are developing the next generation of green solutions that will eliminate bottlenecks, utilize the best aspects of multiple technologies & appeal to a wider audience.

What news have you been reading this week? Share with us @GreentownLabs!


CleanTechniaBoom! US Clean Energy Jobs Top 3 Million

  • A study published by the Advanced Energy Economy this week reveals that clean energy employment has topped 3 million nationwide. The figure is comparable to the number of people working at major clothing retail chains. Studies also indicate that an additional 200,000 jobs could be generated this year. 

“The wide range of advanced energy goods and services added up to $200 billion in 2015, putting the clean sector over that of pharmaceuticals manufacturing.”

Wicked Local, Medford– Could Massachusetts Run on All Renewable Energy by 2050?

  • A bill working its way through City Hall proposes that Massachusetts become 100% reliant on renewables by 2050. The mandate is gaining serious traction amongst local leaders and thousands of students and activists are working hard to make it pass.

  • “This signifies a tremendous opportunity to put the environment at the forefront of our public policy discussion.”

EndgadgetEndless Nuclear Power Can Be Found in the Seas

  • Energy analysts are identifying nuclear power as a way to bridge the gap between fossil fuels and renewables. They believe it is an effective resource while solar, wind and other renewables continue to develop. Currently, nuclear power is limited by the ability to extract uranium efficiently. Researchers at Stanford have found away to collect three times as much uranium from the ocean. This development has the potential to limit CO2 emissions during a time of transition. 

“For much of this century, some fraction of our electricity will need to come from sources that we can turn on and off. I believe nuclear power should be part of that mix.”

Telegram– Beyond the Energizer Bunny- Devins Firm Bets on Liquid Energy Storage

  • The MassCEC recently awarded energy company WattJule with 150,000 in funding. The company is dedicated to creating a liquid energy storage system. The goal of the project is to limit the use and cost of electricity during peak hours, when it is more expensive. Adaptation of this method could solve environmental problems and help consumers lower their energy bill.

“Our platform will have a lot of energy storage-type applications, such as using them in Smart Grids, for emergency backup, peak demand reduction, and frequency regulation, but our focus is bulk energy storage over long lengths of time.”

CleanTechnia– GE Renewable Energy To Supply 1st Integrated Solar-Wind Hybrid Projects in US

  • GE ventures has developed the world’s first solar-wind hybrid project. The small scale installation is expected to be in commercial operation by the end of the year. GE believes it can increase output by utilizing the most effective aspects of each technology.

“By leveraging the complementary nature of wind and solar, this unique project shows how GE is driving technology innovation that will help customers deliver more renewable energy in an even more efficient manner”

CleanTechnia– Scottish Highland Council Approves “Novel Floating Wind Farm” Demonstration

  • A developing trend in the world of clean energy is floating wind farms. Finding the right location to implement a wind farm can be costly and wasteful. Floating farms negate these concerns and make it possible to create wind energy in more locations. This week, the Highland Council in Scotland approved a major installation that could help floating wind farms increase in popularity.  

“Floating offshore wind farms open up the possibility of installing offshore wind turbines much further out to sea, where the wind is more consistent and strong.”

MIT News– Solar Panels Get a Face-Lift With Custom Designs

  • Aesthetically undesirable panels and limited customization options are major detractors from solar use. Sistine Solar, a Greentown Labs member designs panels. Customers can choose to camoflouge panels with their roofs, use them as ads or simply express creativity. 

“There is a tremendous desire by homeowners to cut utility bills, and solar is finding reception with them — and homeowners care a lot about aesthetics.”