Friday Field Notes 060917

Ah, summertime . . . the bright, sunny days of frolic and adventure, daydreams and–research and development. You see, fifth through eighth graders will soon be making their way to Orlando, Florida to compete for the national title of the Junior Solar Sprint Championship. Students like Hayden Loarie and Ramses Lara, who will be competing with their high-tech solar powered model car made from a 3D printer, “Dan II.” According to Loarie, working on the car “builds our skill sets and gets our brains to start thinking in an engineering way. We can take that and apply to the future moving forward.” (San Diego Union Tribune) We wish them all the best. May they inspire us all to work in a little productivity this summer, too.

With that, here’s a look at the week in solar news . . .

Hawaii becomes the first U.S. state to formally adopt the Paris Climate Pledge. Governor David Ige explains, “As an island state, we are especially aware of the limits of our natural environment. We see the impacts of our actions. In this day and age, it is time for states and governors to lead.” (Eco Watch) With that, a big ‘thank you’ to Hawaii and Governor Ige, for paving the way . . .

President Trump has suggested installing solar panels on his infamous border wall–to help the project pay for itself (Market Watch). You know, my mama always told me, If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. So, I guess that’s really all I have to say about that.

During Tesla’s annual shareholders meeting, Elon Musk discussed plans to unveil Tesla’s Semi . . . as in, an electric “big rig.” Apparently a prototype has already been shown to those who purchase heavy-duty trucks. “They all love it,” he said. “They just want to know how many can they buy, and how soon . . . we’re getting them closely involved in the design process.” (Geek Wire) Interesting, no?

Jaguar Land Rover has announced the start of their Lighting Up Lives initiative. Together with ClimateCare, they plan to bring solar power to over 1 million people in Kenya. They’re adopting solar at home, as well. Jaguar Land Rover plans to move to 100 percent renewable electricity for its facilities in the United Kingdom (The Drive).

In Southeast Asia (as in other parts of the world, we might add), investors are increasingly pursuing solar projects. “Dramatically falling costs of solar energy technologies means businesses and governments are choosing renewable energy not for environmental reasons but for economic ones,” says Roberto De Vido, spokesman for Singapore-based Equis, one of Asia’s biggest green energy-focused investment firms with $2.7 billion in committed capital. “It simply makes good business sense. And that’s a trend that’s not going to change” (Reuters).

Early last year (2016), the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that the world would add 50 gigawatts of added solar energy capacity before solar’s growth rate would level out and start to decline, this year (2017). Well, that conjecture was a little off. Solar energy growth continues to skyrocket compared to predictions (Business Insider). There’s a slight chance that’s one of the reasons it looks so very promising to investors.

In memorializing Prince last year, it came to light that he had been an anonymous patron of solar power. Bloomberg takes a look at how his grant monies continue to make a difference by helping clean-tech entrepreneurs in Oakland, California.

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Now, for our disclaimer: Friday Field Notes is a weekly post about the goings on in (and possibly around) the field of solar. We simply link to news articles from the week to help you stay in the loop. While we try to stick with reputable sources, we cannot attest to the accuracy of each and every piece. Furthermore, the links and subsequent commentary are purely the opinion of the writers. They do not necessarily reflect the views of the company, nor should they be considered professional opinion, backing, and/or advice.