This was a great week for clean energy with new discoveries about increasing absorbency in solar panel tech and ever increasing investment in cleantech showing up in the stock market. Around the U.S., different states are making headlines: Illinois is doubling it’s commitment to energy efficiency, with its efforts already culminating in $2.5 million of savings, and California lawmakers extending the states commitment to climate change mitigation. Massachusetts is making headlines with the success of its landfill solar fields.
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- Scientists have developed a solar cell that’s more efficient than any other currently on the market by using innovative technology capable of capturing more parts of the solar spectrum. Innovation like this is crucial for the mitigating the effects of climate change.
“If this technology is scaled up, solar panels would require roughly half the space to produce the same amount of energy as the systems in place today due to their greater efficiency.”
- Clean energy stocks are on the up and up. An index of 40 publicly-traded solar companies, wind-turbine component makers and others that benefit from reduced fossil fuel consumption is up 20 percent this year. That’s more than double the S&P 500’s 9.8 percent gain. And better than the 8.3 percent rise by an index of leading coal companies.
“We are seeing catalysts for these markets driven by the fact that people increasingly realize clean energy is more profitable than conventional energy,” said David Richardson, an executive director at Impax Asset Management, which focuses on sustainability and has about $8.7 billion under management, up 32 percent this year.”
Solar Power World – 20-year-old closed landfill now home to 2.5 MW of solar in Massachusetts
- Closed since 1998, the MT Sullivan Landfill in Massachusetts now contains 7,938 solar panels on over 6 acres of land. The 2.5-MW capacity generates enough energy to power 400 homes in the region.
“We are excited to create additional, long-term value for the closed landfill by supplying clean energy to the area’s residents and businesses,” said Roshni Mali, Director from Captona Partners, and project manager for the Hudson/Stow, Berkley, and Chicopee solar projects.”
Bloomberg New Energy Finance– Big Oil Just Woke Up to Threat of Rising Electric Car Demand
- By 2040, electric cars will outsell gasoline and diesel models, due to a rapid decline in the cost of lithium-ion battery units. This will be about 530 million plug in cars on the road, a third of the worldwide total number of cars.
“What oil companies and car companies are saying is diverging,” said McKerracher, the BNEF analyst. “This is a trillion dollar question, and somebody is going to be wrong.”
Inside Climate News – South Miami Approves Solar Roof Rules, Inspired by a Teenager
- South Miami just became Florida’s first city to require new homes to include rooftop solar installations, thanks to a teenage girl, Delaney Reynolds, who helped write the ordinance.
“Climate change is the biggest issue that my generation will ever face in our lifetime,” Reynolds said. “We’re going to be the ones who inherit this mess, and we’re going to be the ones to solve it as well.”
- California’s legislature passed a package of bills this week that extends the state’s signature plan to address climate change by a decade, sending Governor Jerry Brown a cap-and-trade plan that uses market forces to cuts greenhouse gas emissions.
“Tonight, California stood tall and once again, boldly confronted the existential threat of our time. Republicans and Democrats set aside their difference, came together and took courageous action. That’s what good government looks like,” Brown said in a statement.”
The Energy Collective – New Plan Could Double $2.5 Billion Energy Efficiency Success in Illinois
- To date, customers of ComEd, Illinois’ largest electric utility, have saved $2.5 Billion through the utility’s energy efficiency program. This is thanks to a plan under the Future Energy Jobs Act, the most significatn climate and clean energy bill in state history.
“Efficiency isn’t just about saving money – lower energy use means less pollution, so Illinoisans can live longer and healthier lives. That’s the true value of energy efficiency.”
Bonus Photo Gallery – Bloomberg New Energy Finance– Japan’s Renewable-Energy Revolution
- These images, from a series of flights over the Tokyo and Kobe/Osaka regions of Japan, show a range of photovoltaic projects on former golf courses, quarries, dams, man-made islands and floating projects on ponds and reservoirs.
“Japan’s approach to stewardship of its land and water resources is distinct from that of the U.S. As an island nation with a millennia-long history, the concepts of reuse, repurposing and multiple use are intrinsic to Japanese culture.”