WEEKLY NEWSFLASH 2/6/2017-2/10/2017: The Future of Electric Vehicles, Renewables on the Rise & How the NFL Went Green


Electric vehicle sales reached an all time high in 2016 and could continue to grow because of new innovations. Wind energy is also on the rise, becoming the most used form of renewable energy in the US. The jump has been fueled by the national adaptation of offshore wind. In the same time period, the cost of solar implementation has dramatically decreased, causing the amount of projects and jobs in the sector to increase. The soaring attention and application of clean energy was reflected on the Nation’s biggest stage, the Superbowl: NRG stadium in Houston was powered by 100% renewables during the game.

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Forbes- U.S. Electric Vehicle Sales Soared in 2016

  • Electric Vehicle sales skyrocketed in 2016. In the United States, the industry saw a 37% growth from the previous year. Around the globe, sales have been growing at an even faster rate and experts predict the trend will continue upwards. 

Greentech Media- The Key to Autonomous Electric Vehicles Takes Another Step Towards Commercialization

  • One of the greatest challenges interfering with the adaptation of autonomous vehicles is their ability to refuel. This week, wireless power transfer company WiTricity announced a partnership with auto manufacturer Nissan. The goal of the partnership is to pair Nissan’s industry clout and WiTricity’s expertise to develop self-charging, unmanned vehicles. The partnership could be a big win for autonomous travel and green transportation.

“In order for us to realize a future of transportation that is electrified, shared and autonomous, we need a wireless charging solution that works for all vehicles.”

The HillWind Tops Nation in Renewable Energy Capacity for First Time

  • Due to rapid growth in 2016, wind power has become the most used form of renewable energy in the nation. Wind power surpassed hydropower dams at the top of the list, and rose to the fourth most commonly used form of electricity. An estimated 100,000 people are employed in the industry. 

“Growing this made-in-the-USA clean energy resource helps rural communities pay for new roads, bridges, and schools, while bringing back manufacturing jobs to the Rust Belt.”

The New York Times- Offshore Wind Moves Into Energy’s Mainstream

  • Once a fringe investment with no clear future, offshore wind has entered the mainstream. A diverse group of investors has flooded the market with capital and initiated many large-scale projects. Technology enhancements and high demand for renewable energy have driven costs down and made the projects more appealing. 

“Those falling prices have raised hopes that offshore wind can soon compete with conventional power sources like natural gas and, eventually, do without subsidies.”

BBC- Wind Energy to be Created Using Lamp-Posts 

  • An IT company in Scotland is developing wind turbines that attach to street-lamps. The system, which combines a small turbine and inverter system can feed directly into the national grid. The developers expect each system to save a half ton of carbon from being released into the environment.

“It chimes with the policies of the major political parties in Scotland and can deliver both clean green energy as well as meaningful financial benefits for hosts such as local government and private owners alike.”

Vox- 2 Remarkable Facts That Illustrate Solar Power’s Declining Costs

  • The cost of solar energy has dramatically decreased over the last several years, becoming one of the most affordable forms of electricity. One reason is increasing scale. As solar and wind become cheaper, they are able to take advantage of economies of scale. Additionally, utility scale solar has become cheaper that natural gas. 

“If solar costs keep dropping, then in a few more years there will be no remaining ambiguity: Utility-scale solar will be the cheapest form of new electricity almost everywhere. Where it isn’t, wind will be. And rooftop solar will be edging out natural gas.”

The Guardian- U.S. Energy Project Adds 30,000 New Solar Connections in Nigeria

  • The U.S. energy project dubbed “Power Africa” has added 30,000 new solar connections in Nigeria. The project seeks to enhance electricity in rural homes and promote industry throughout Africa. To date, Power Africa has invested over $40 billion in on and off-grid solar projects.

“Expanding both on and off grid access to energy will not only help individuals and businesses, but will help overcome some of the obstacles to Nigeria being able to fulfill its full economic potential.”

Solar Industry Magazine- Renewable Energy Will Power the Superbowl

  • The Super Bowl wasn’t just a win for New England; clean energy had a big day as well. NRG Stadium used 100% Green-e certified renewable energy to power the event. The initiative shows how the entertainment industry can go green, even on the year’s biggest night .

“At NRG, we want fans to benefit from sustainable solutions, and together with the NFL, we can demonstrate that even a huge event like the Super Bowl can significantly reduce its energy usage.”