Friday Field Notes 081415


Oh look–vacation photos! Okay, only one (I’ll spare you the other 800); I snapped this while meandering NASA: The Human Adventure. Sure, the photo quality leaves much to be desired, but you can still make out the solar cells. It’s a good reminder that the technology behind solar PV is well traveled; it explored the final frontier long before it ever settled down upon the rooftops of our homes and businesses. It’s sorta awesome.

In other solar news . . .

If you’re thinking of getting an electric vehicle (EV), you may be interested to know 9 out of 10 electric car drivers say they’ll never go back to cars with internal combustion (according to a Ford survey, Green Car Reports).

You may recall, in 1997 37 industrialized countries, plus the European Union (EU), signed up to the Kyoto Protocol, an international treaty to combat global warming. Whatever your beliefs about global warming, this group is making great strides. According to EU data, these countries are actually exceeding their targets to lower greenhouse gas emissions—thanks in large part to the adoption of wind and solar power.

If you’re interested in building design, you may want to check out these 7 solar powered buildings that produce more energy than they use (Engadget). Just keep in mind, the text will not apply to many of you (as in you will not receive cash for generating excess power, but credit—Idahoans, I’m looking at you).

If you’re interested in aerial views, here’s a look at solar power farms from high above (The Weather Channel) . . .

Speaking of taking to the skies, Cochin International Airport, in Kochi India, is set to become the first airport in the country to operate on solar power.

If music’s more your thing, you’ll be happy to know solar made its debut in a music video. Specifically, the hip-hop duo Atmosphere, powered their Sunshine music video with 100% solar power, thanks to Solar Renewable Energy Certificates (SRECs) from SunPort (Clean Technica).

And since it’s been awhile since we discussed what’s going on in the field of solar, I’ll leave you with something to chew on: specifically, utility reforms. With the surge in renewables, reforms to the utility model are coming—but what will they look like? What should they look like? New York State, under the leadership of Public Service Commission chair Audrey Zibelman, is on the frontlines . . . (Medium).