Friday Field Notes 120817

It’s December; before we know it, 2017 will boast its own ghost of Christmas Past. Needless to say, there are many out there already looking toward the New Year . . . including London-based development company, Crown Agents. Their recently released report titled The Solar Revolution predicts 2018 will be “the global tipping point for solar power . . . that tumbling prices and dramatic improvements in technology mean that, for the first time, this under-exploited source of renewable energy will be viable, profitable, and sustainable.” (Clean Technica) Bright New Year, indeed.

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

William Brangham (PBS) reports on Rethinking the utility company as solar power heats up.  It’s interesting to see how Vermont’s Green Mountain Power is handling the shift to renewable energy. (Hint: Green Mountain Power CEO Mary Powell likes to describe her company as an un-utility.)

Gore Mountain Ski Resort completed the installation of their 5.3 megawatt solar system–the largest dedicated to a ski resort in the nation, mind you. “It’s clear from this project that the benefit of solar development extends far beyond the offtaker,” says Borrego Solar Project Developer Rob Garrity. To start, they hired local workers, invested in the local economy. Now that the system’s up and running, it will help reduce the ski resort’s carbon footprint; and “The landowners receive additional income that helps safeguard their livelihood . . . ” (Solar Daily) Needless to say, congratulations all around.

Harvesting algae to supercharge solar panels? That’s the plan–at least according to Sofie Allert, CEO and co-founder of The Swedish Algae Factory, a commercial research lab farming diatoms . . . algae that trap light by growing tiny glass shells, don’t ya know (Wired).

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), in 2017, 2.1 billion people around the world lacked access to safe water at home. WHO also estimates 361,000 children under the age of 5 die each year due to diarrhea caused by consuming contaminated water. Forbes takes a look at how solar power can help solve this crisis.

In Bali, non-profit organization, Kopernic is providing disaster relief in the form of masks, goggles, water filters, solar lights, and solar TVs to people affected by the active volcano, Mount Agung (PV Magazine).

Chances are good, you’ve seen a delivery truck or two in your neighborhood as of late. Now, if you happen to be in Fort Lauderdale, it may just be a UPS eTrike you see. (Clean Technica) Adorable, that’s what it is . . . of course, the fact that it emits zero emissions is pretty great, too.


Now, for our disclaimer: Friday Field Notes is a weekly post about the goings on in (and possible 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.