Friday Field Notes 081817

And the winner for best headline: What happens to Solar Power in an Eclipse? We’ll Find out Monday. (The New York Times) I mean, really. So true.

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

According to a new study from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, U.S. wind and solar helped prevent up to 12,700 deaths between 2007-2015. “We find cumulative wind and solar air-quality benefits of 2015 U.S. $29.7-112.8 billion mostly from 3,000 to 12,700 avoided premature mortalities,” says author Dev Millsein  (Eco Watch). Amazing, no? I mean, we know solar helps save lives in third world countries; but the fact is easily overlooked in our own backyard.

The Sierra Club announced that it has sued the U.S. Department of Energy over the department’s continued delays in providing information regarding the study into the reliability of the U.S. electricity grid with increased levels of renewable energy. As Mary Anne Hitt, Director of Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal campaign, explains, “The draft study captured the reality of what dozens of policy experts, engineers, and utility managers have been saying for years: wind and solar are helping keep the grid reliable and are powering growth in the energy sector, and the coal and nuclear industries can no longer compete in the open market. If Perry has nothing to hide about interfering with these findings, he should prove it.” (Clean Technica) Hmm . . . word.

Thankfully, states continue to soldier on in the pursuit of renewable energy. Colorado, for instance; a partnership between the Colorado Energy Office, GRID Alternatives, and the Poudre Valley Rural Electric Association, is working to develop the first low-income community solar project in the United States (Clean Technica).

If you’re wondering how Tesla’s solar panels + energy storage might work for you, and you happen to be in Australia, look for Tesla’s tiny house. Made up of sustainable timber, the wee abode boasts six solar panels on its roof, feeding into a single Powerwall battery; and it’s being towed cross-country by, you guessed it, a Tesla Model X (Tech Crunch).

Imagine parking your car–and earning cash while you do so. That’s the plan in Denmark. Newly designed Vehicle-to-Grid (V2G) models receive electricity from the grid and supply excess power during peak demand (Eco Watch). Sounds like a win-win, no?

Could buildings generate their own power with innovative glass blocks? If researchers from the University of Exeter have anything to do with it, they will. They’re working on a new technique to improve efficiency of Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV). “We are aiming to build integrated, affordable, efficient and attractive solar technologies, which have the smallest impact on the local landscape. It’s an exciting venture and one that should capture the imagination of the construction industry, when looking to develop new office blocks and public buildings or infrastructure projects such as train stations and carparks,” says Professor Tapas Mallick (Gears of Biz).

Oh, and the world’s first rigid sail and solar power system is prepping for sea trials (The Log). But that’s pretty much all we (or they, for that matter) have to say about it.


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 more 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.