Friday Field Notes 020119

Do you recall the dawn of 2017? So many feared the renewable energy industry was doomed, all because of the forty-fifth president of the United States. Perhaps we should not be quite so quick to judge. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, solar PV installer is expected to be the fasted growing occupation by 2026 (with wind turbine technician coming in a close second). And according to Deloitte’s 2019 Renewable Energy Industry Outlook, demand for renewable energy will continue to rise in the year ahead (American Council on Renewable Energy). The key: continuing to use our minds to create smarter solutions–solutions that not only meet the needs of today, but prepare for tomorrow . . . then working together to see it through.

Now, for this week’s solar news . . .

Black & Veatch’s 2019 Strategic Directions: Smart Utilities Report was released this week. After analyzing survey results from hundreds of utility operators, they find business models are changing: not simply to accommodate growing volumes of renewable energy coming onto the grid, but to meet customer demand–from the integration of distributed energy resources (DER) to electric vehicles (EVs).

Seems India’s opening solar tinder was a little overwhelming to perspective bidders. One lonely bid answered their initial request for the development of solar farms to generate 10 gigawatts (GWs) of power. The bid has since been tossed, and the government has lowered the tinder to 3 GWs of generated capacity (Bloomberg Quint).

You might say Taiwan is Google’s backyard. They opened a data center at Changhua County in 2013 (investing over $660 million in the first two years); now Google’s signed a deal to buy power from a 10 Megawatt solar farm in Tainan City. First they had to lobby to change Taiwan’s Electricity Act (which previously only allowed utility companies to buy renewable energy direct). As Mars Hanna, a senior lead of Global Energy Policy and Markets and Google, explains, “Our inaugural renewable energy project in Asia is an encouraging example of what’s possible when forward-thinking government officials, local stakeholders and companies work together for a brighter future.” (Data Center Dynamics)

In Denver, Colorado there’s a little place called Sustainability Park (S*Park, if you want to look cool). A mixed-use development, it offers residents unique, sustainability features such as composting, “trash valet” services, electric charging stations, green spaces, and more–including rooftop solar. The 100 kilowatt solar project will provide clean energy to tenants, as well as neighborhood subscribers (Solar Power World).

Lastly, we will leave you with our favorite quote from the week (by Tina Casey, Clean Technica): “. . . Trump’s energy policy amounts to nothing more than a massive game of whack-a-mole, and the moles are winning.”

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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 views and commentary are purely the opinion of the writers.