This week in renewable energy: 10/11/13

Every Friday, Community Renewable Energy shares important clean energy developments– and some that are just plain cool.

Here’s what we were reading this week.

Bright ideas

  • America has increased its enregy efficiencyThe Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) released a study showing that America is becoming more energy efficient and our dependence on fossil fuels is lessening.
  • This week marked the opening of the first-ever large-scale solar power plant with thermal storage capabilities in the US. The plant, located in Arizona, produces enough energy to power 70,000 homes! According to Computerworld, its clean power offsets 500,000 tons of harmful carbon emissions and created 2,000+ jobs.
  • Solar panels might just be one of the smartest investment a homeowner can make. The Journal of Appraisers and Wells Fargo released a study showing that adding solar power to a home increases its value by 3-4%. 

Empowered Africa

  • File:Africa map.jpgGhanese women are poised to lead their country’s solar revolution. Currently, in Ghana, only about 60% of citizen have access to reliable electricity, and most of that access is concentrated in urban centers. (Responding to Climate Change)
  • The first large-scale solar plant in South Africa has now been producing clean, affordable energy for nearly a month. (Clean Energy Authority)
  • Soon, Ghana will be home to Africa’s largest solar power plant, and the benefits go far beyond helping the environment. Hundreds of people are receiving job training and 2,700 more jobs could be created indirectly. (Clean Technica)
  • Ethiopia is investing in geothermal power. According to Sustainable Business, “Ethiopia’s Corbetti Caldera area is considered one of the top geothermal resources in the world – part of East Africa’s Great Rift Valley, which spans eight countries. It has the potential for an estimated 20 GW of geothermal.”

Cities and schools embrace solar

  • Bowdoin College is gearing up to install the largest solar power array in Maine. In fact, it will be almost eight times bigger than any solar plant in the state! (The Times Record)
  • Greenwich, Connecticut is going solar, too. The city itself stands to save a huge amount on energy with its solar installation, and over sixty households have signed up for a residential solar evaluation to see how they can benefit from going green. (Greenwich Time) 
  • Monroe County in Indiana has become a leader of sustainability in the Midwest. The county is planning to build the largest solar array in the state, government vehicles may soon run on alternative fuels, and county officials are implementing a community outreach plan designed to boost green innovation. Money saved through renewable energy and sustainable efforts will provide funding for future projects. (Great Lakes Echo)

What do you think was the most important renewable energy story this week? Share your insights and thoughts below or by email.

For news about sustainable community and economic development, visit Praxia Partners’ blog.

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