This week in renewable energy: 8/2/13

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.

The American West could tap into solar powerBright ideas

  • The US Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative is designed to boost solar capacity across the nation. A study out of the University of California, Berkeley, suggests that in the American West could derive 1/3 of their energy from solar power if SunShot succeeds. (UC Berkeley)
  • An article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences makes some great points about the value of solar power. It uses New Jersey as an example to show that there are massive benefits to adding solar power capacity regardless of whether a state is perceived to be “sunny” or not. From the piece:

… cloudier New Jersey is actually the state that will get the most value from switching to photovoltaics, not because of the amount of sunlight in the Garden State but because adding solar power capacity there would result in the greatest reductions of greenhouse gas emissions and dangerous pollutants.

Community-owned solar

  • Harlem welcomes a new solar co-op. (New York Daily News)
  • Minnesota’s first community-owned solar project is gearing up. (Minneapolis Star Tribune)
  • Military families in Hawaii benefit from solar power, and low-income households in California are saving money with PV panels. (Monterey County Weekly)
  • Seattle residents can buy into a new solar installation on the Seattle Aquarium.

Solar power in the classroom

  • Young man in Central of photovoltaic panels.Lyle Wilson, of the Oglala Lakota College, teaches Sioux students about solar panel design and installation. Students get a hands-on lesson in science and technology, and they also have the opportunity to jumpstart a career in the growing solar power industry. (Department of Energy)
  • Solar power saves schools money and offers unique educational opportunities for students. Culver City schools will go solar. Just this week, schools in Connecticut, Virginia, New York, Arizona, and South Carolina announced they are investigating– or already installing– solar panels.
  • A solar initiative in Tanzania will connect rural schools with solar power. (All Africa)

Solar innovation

  • What a cool idea: A solar-powered tent. Being able to charge my cell phone or ipod while I’m camping? Yes, please. (Wired)

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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