This week in renewable energy: 6/14/13

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.

Solar power, nonprofits, and social change

  • via flickrNonprofits and schools across the nation continue to go solar. This week we heard about installations at the Boys & Girls Club, Habitat for Humanity, community colleges, high schools, and agencies serving developmentally disabled individuals. Jessica Hop of the Boys & Girls Club explained, “We are a non-profit so any funds we can divert to our programs and helping the kids, it’s a win-win for us.”
  • Low-income communities struggling to recover from Hurricane Sandy will receive solar arrays as a part of Global Green’s Solar for Sandy program. (Solar Industry Magazine)
  • Students at Connecticut’s Platt Technical High School built the state’s fourth high-tech “E-house.” The home was constructed out of only recycled materials and is powered completely by solar power. “Our students will have a much better chance of getting jobs knowing what they know about the future, not what works today,” explained principal Sheila Williams. (WTNH)
  • Solar-powered yachts will help researchers study climate change and unlock ecological mysteries of the Gulf Stream. (Miami Herald)

Public policy

  • In the first quarter, the number of US solar installations is up 33% from the same time in 2012. Politico details how public policy influences the adoption of renewable power.
  • Thanks to its support for clean energy, Massachusetts ranks #1 in solar job creation. (Get Solar)
  • Minnesota Public Radio offers a guide to Minnesota’s solar power law. (MPR)
  • Bill Clinton talks solar policy. (Bloomberg Businessweek)

Our outdated energy grid’s outages cost the U.S. economy $25 billion or more every year, according to a recent Morgan Stanley study using Department of Energy data. Recent extreme weather events have had devastating effects on our aging infrastructure and make a stronger case than ever to build a more resilient and reliable energy system. Distributed solar energy will help us to build that resilience and reliability, both for the nation and for individual owners of homes and buildings.  — Bill Clinton

Global progress

  • via WikimediaGermany’s investment in renewable power is paying off and encouraging other European nations to play catch-up. It’s estimated that within a couple of years, residents of the UK will be paying twice as much for electricity as Germans. (Bloomberg)
  • In India, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy unveiled plans for gigantic, new solar power projects. (The Economic Times)
  • Japan aims to unseat Germany as the world leader in renewable power. (CNN Money)
  • The world’s largest coal company, Coal India, is turning to solar power to reduce its utility bills. (Christian Science Monitor)

Bonnaroo creative commonsFun and sun

  • This year, the massive music festival Bonnaroo will get about 20% of its power from solar– and they’re not the only rock festival employing renewable energy to power all those amps. (US News & World Report; Spokesman-Review)

What do you think was the most important solar power 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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