Friday Field Notes 111717

The Tennessee Department of Tourist Development has installed special viewfinders at the Great Smoky Mountains National Park to help those with colorblindness see Fall colors for the first time. “I’m glad to have seen it. I just wish I had seen this all my life,” says one visitor (EcoWatch).  So, what does this have to do with solar, you ask? Not so much. But we are heading into the Thanksgiving holiday. In that, it’s a good idea to be reminded of things for which to be thankful, that we just might take for granted.

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

Solar and wind are now the cheapest energy around–unless you need to store it (Quartz). So, they’re calling that news, huh? It really seems nothing of the sort. The cost of energy storage has long been a source of contention. Still, technology is rising and prices are dropping. Which should make for an intriguing news item one of these days (hopefully, in the not too distant future) . . .

On the flip side, a report from Finland’s Lappeenranta University of Technology (LUT) and the Energy Watch Group (EWG) says we’re heading toward powering the world with 100% renewable energy by 2050 (EcoWatch). So, there’s that.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: solar power was underestimated by 4,813% in the United States. Four thousand eight hundred and thirteen percent, I tell you! As a matter of fact, solar exceeded the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s prediction for 2016-2017 installation sixteen times–in 2016 alone (Electrek). Granted, predicting the future is no small feat; still, being that far off seems a little embarrassing.

India’s Ministry of New & Renewable Energy is planning to auction off 20 gigawatts of solar power – which would make it the world’s largest solar power tender (Clean Technica). Let’s see how they pull it off, shall we?

The small Moroccan town of Chefchaouen is known for the blue of its buildings. But they’re looking to go green. For the last seven years, they have been working to become ecologically sustainable. “Among the initiatives is an ‘info-energy’ centre to raise awareness about energy savings, photovoltaic panels at several sites, such as the municipal library, that contribute to electricity production, and an environmentally oriented museum is also nearly complete” (Solar Daily).

You could soon charge your phone with ambient light thanks to new solar panel technology from Dracula Technologies. (Even more curious, however did they come up with their name?) For the record: the cells take about an hour to print. So, where can you purchase these fancy fellows? Well, there’s the rub–they aren’t yet commercially viable. But do stay tuned . . . (Extreme Tech)

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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 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.