- San Diego ranks 1st in California in solar energy use thanks in large part to the California Solar Initiative which is spearheaded by the California Center for Sustainable Education and San Diego Gas & Electric. “With 4,500 rooftop installations generating nearly 37 megawatts ( MW) of electricity, San Diego’s solar panels produce more than $9 million worth of power annually. The report states that if San Diego were a nation unto itself, it would rank among the top 25 nations in the world in terms of solar capacity, with more solar power than Mexico.”
- I came across this graphic and had to share. It may be funny but the message is clear, we spend too much time in the shower (myself included) and one of the easiest and most effective ways to save water and energy is by taking shorter showers.
- If you are interested in business or entrepreneurship you should read this article – two friends who started a company by turning waste into fungal gold.
In the developing world, solar is now cheaper than fossil fuels. Millions of households in Africa now have access to cleaner and safer electricity as they make the switch from kerosene lamps to efficient LED lighting and small solar panels. In most parts of the world, electricity produced by traditional power plants is much cheaper than solar electricity but people who have no grid access in Africa have found that using solar to power lighting and other essential items sometimes costs half as much as using kerosene lamps. Read more here.
- And to continue the trend, I will leave you with this video explaining the importance of the number 350.
Category Archives: Department of Energy
- Perhaps the biggest news of the week came from the office of the President. The Obama administration rejected the current proposal for the Keystone XL Pipeline which would carry over 500,000 barrels of oil a day across key aquifers that supply drinking and irrigation water to much of the Great Plains. The pipeline is not gone forever as TransCanada, the company behind Keystone XL, can submit another proposal suggesting a different route. Read more about the fight.
- The second biggest story came from our office. We are successfully packed and ready to take on the International Builders Show in 3 weeks. The trade show booth crate was packed in record time with minimal hang-ups. Anywhere Solar will be showing off our newest solar module!
- In other news, the Department of Energy released a report“showing that waves and tidal currents off the nation’s coasts could contribute significantly to the United States’ total annual electricity production, further diversify the nation’s energy portfolio, and provide clean, renewable energy to coastal cities and communities.” Go Ocean!
- Finally, we leave you with this cool video about a windmill farmer.
- This past week our office discovered the brilliance of StumbleUpon. Among the first things we “stumbled” upon were some very interesting stories about the future of the solar industry. One thing that kept popping up was the idea that solar can (and hopefully will) power the Earth. This blog highlights some more of the more ambitious and jaw dropping solar ideas – click through to read about the desert and deep space.
- Staying with the future of solar theme, we found an article today summarizing a report out of the University of Texas where Xiaoyang Zhu found a way to “increase the efficiency of solar cells to 66 percent.” Right now, cells in production are between 12-20% efficiency.
- Ford has begun manufacturing the Ford Focus Electric which boasts 100 mpg equivalency and a revolutionary charging systems that “should be able to fully recharge in three to four hours – half the time of Nissan Leaf.” The Focus Electric will be available for order in California and New York next year. This new EV may not be much of an improvment on the cars already on the market but shows that large car manufacturers are dedicated to implementing new technologies and improving on the electric vehicle.
- More Military News – “The U.S. Navy is moving forward with plans to create a ‘Green Strike Force’ by purchasing 450,000 gallons of drop-in biofuel to be used on jets and vessels.” Read more here.
- And finally we leave you with an awesome video from Ice Cube and Pacific Standard Time. Ice Cube studied architectural drafting before he started his career as a rap artist and in this short film he explores Los Angeles and highlights Eames Architecture – pioneers in green building.
Each and every day we come across some very interesting goodies on the World Wide Web. Each week we will compile our favorites right here so you can share in some of that goodness. Here is Volume 1 for your viewing pleasure!
- Terracycle – we did a spotlight (found here) on this wonderful company recently and love what they are doing. They are signing people up to collect anything from pens to juice boxes to candy wrappers to cork to cell phones to key boards and back again. They pay for you to ship it to them and then they “upcycle it” (turn it into a cool new product or material). For example here is a large tote bag made entirely from used Capri Sun drink pouches and here is a short video with the founder and CEO of Terracycle, Tom Szaky.
- PlanetSolar– The logbook of the crew with the goal to be the “first to circumnavigate the globe in a “solar” boat, i.e. one driven by a silent, pollution-free electrical engine powered exclusively by solar energy.”
- Solar Power is not just for your roof anymore. Within the next five years expect to see it popping up in your siding, windows, walls, and more. Installed building integrated photovoltaic technology is predicted to exceed 1 gigawatt by 2016.
- Solar Roadways – An awesome documentary clip explaining the research and development of solar roadways. I encourage you all to watch!
- And finally, in light of the recent success of The Muppets…
I also ran across a few businesses that seem to be leading their peers by making their surrounding environment a priority. We stopped in the Brooklyn Brewery for some tastings and a tour. They recently expanded their brewing operations and were operating a very impressive business in Brooklyn’s Williamsburg neighborhood. We tried a few different beers and even though I am turned off by odd flavors in beer I was very happy with the Pumpkin Ale. During our tasting I noticed that they advertised these cool compostable cups. This lead me to do some more research and I also found out that “the company’s brewery and headquarters in Brooklyn are 100% powered by Newwind Energy.”
It began at the office when us employees thought we were losing our minds, having a seizure, or both. The lights flickered, then poof, we were in the dark. Considering that it was already 3:30 PM, we thought this was a perfect opportunity to wrap things up for the day and head home early. Lucky for us, nearly 5 million other people thought the same thing, which made the drive home thrilling as we inched along in traffic (It took around 2 hours to drive 16 miles).