This week in renewable energy: 9/27/13

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.

Community-owned solar shines

Australia embraces community-owned power

  • Community Power Network recently released a great guide for Renewable Energy Co-ops.
  • It seems like every week, a new community launches their solar garden. This week, we read about Logan County, Colorado beginning construction on theirs. (Journal-Advocate)
  •  Community-owned power isn’t just catching on in America–it’s also becoming popular in Australia. (Green Optimist)

Cities, nonprofits, and schools

  • The EPA’s Green Power Community of the Year Award went to Mercer Island, Washington, thanks to its engaged citizenry and a city-owned solar installation. (Mercer Island Patch)
  • The Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salem, Virginia continues to make progress installing 6,000 solar panels, which will produce 10% of the hospital’s energy needs. (Roanoke Times)
  • The Department of Energy granted Indiana’s Valparaiso University over $2 million for their work on solar power. From the AP report:

The plan calls for Valparaiso’s team of engineers and scientists to develop a novel electrochemical cell that produces magnesium using solar-thermal energy and electrochemical processes. The advanced hybrid cell uses concentrated solar power for heating, minimizing the electricity requirement for magnesium separation. Valparaiso University will formally dedicate the James Markiewicz Solar Energy Research Facility on Friday [9/27].

Global progress

  • India hopes to generate an astonishing 10,000 megawatts of solar power by 2017. (PennEnergy)
  • Japan is up to 10 gigawatts of solar power capacity. Only Germany, the US, Italy, and China have broken the 10 GW threshold, though many more countries are poised to join them. (EcoSeed)
  • Abu Dhabi hosted an international gathering for a workshop on solar power. “‘In many of the participating developing countries, renewable technologies have the potential to bring electricity to rural population who often lack access to power,’ said Frank Wouters, deputy director-general of the International Renewable Energy Agency.” (The National)
  • One of the largest farms in Anatolia in Turkey is adding enough solar capacity to produce all of its own energy– with some to spare. As the project progresses, they plan to sell the excess energy, which means solar power will not only be saving them money it’ll actually be making them money in the long-run. (PV Magazine)
  • In 2013, more solar power than wind power will be installed, which, amazingly, has never happened before. (The Verge)


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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