Wells Fargo pledges $200 billion for low-carbon economy projects

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The money will go towards companies and projects involved with clean technologies, renewable energy and more.

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Wells Fargo pledges $200 billion for low-carbon economy projects

Meet Daisy, Apple’s latest robot for recovering and reusing iPhone components

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

She can disassemble up to 200 smartphones in an hour.

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Meet Daisy, Apple’s latest robot for recovering and reusing iPhone components

Solar outshined all fossil-fuels sources combined in 2017

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green

Last year, the world invested more in solar power than all fossil-fuel sources combined. Investors and governments installed an all-time record of 157 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energy capacity, according to a new report from the United Nations (UN). In 2017, the world installed 98 W of solar capacity, nearly half of which was in China. The net new capacity from fossil fuels was only 70W in 2017. “We are at a turning point … from fossil fuels to the renewable world,” UN Environment head Erik Solheim told Reuters . “The markets are there and renewables can take on coal, they can take on oil and gas.” Although renewable energy is clearly the way of the future, fossil fuels remain the dominant source of energy on the planet. Only 12.1 percent of the world’s electricity came from renewable energy sources, an improvement on 5.2 percent in 2007. This boom in renewable energy has been backed by strong investment in recent years. In 2017, global investment in renewable energy rose by two percent. China invested $122.6 billion, 45 percent of global investment and the most of any country, into the industry in the same year. Related: World’s largest solar energy project will be 100 times bigger than any other on the planet Governments and investors have noticed a change in the fundamentals behind renewable energy. “Much lower costs … are the driver of solar investment worldwide,” said report lead author Angus McCrone told Reuters . For example, the cost of energy production through large-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) decreased by 15 percent last year to $86 per megawatt hour. Even with an administration hostile to renewable energy in the White House, the drive towards renewable energy continues. “Trump can no more brake this than those who opposed the Industrial Revolution could stop the Industrial Revolution,” said Solheim. President Trump recently signed a government spending bill that retained many of the existing tax credits for renewable energy in the United States . Via Reuters Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Solar outshined all fossil-fuels sources combined in 2017

Intuit hatches plan to help customers and employees buy clean power

April 19, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Here’s an innovative new option for smaller businesses to reduce their carbon footprint.

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Intuit hatches plan to help customers and employees buy clean power

How to push buildings to new levels of efficiency

April 17, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Carbon Lighthouse and Redaptive make small fixes to buildings that bring big cuts in power use.

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How to push buildings to new levels of efficiency

6 solar roads shaking up infrastructure around the world

April 16, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Roads aren’t just for walking or driving anymore. Solar road or pathway projects around the world are showing that streets can both provide firm footing and generate clean energy . Inhabitat rounded up six projects in places as diverse as China and rural Georgia to highlight potentially game-changing technologies in the solar road sphere. Solar Roadways use modular solar panels covered in tempered glass Scott and Julie Brusaw launched Solar Roadways a few years back with the goal of transforming regular asphalt roads into energy -generating thruways. The Brusaws aimed to use  modular solar panels topped with tempered glass as replacement for standard pavement and, in 2016, celebrated the first public installation  of these panels in their hometown of Sandpoint, Idaho. While they’d also announced plans to bring their solar roads to a section of Route 66 in Missouri, it appears the project fell through. Late last year,  St. Louis Public Radio said the project wouldn’t be moving forward; according to Scott Brusaw, it “dissolved due to a variety of complex red tape factors.” But Solar Roadways is still at work to bring their product to roads and recently shared on Facebook  that they’ve met with interested connections from South Korea, Australia, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, and Austria. Related: This bike lane in Korea is topped with 20 miles of solar panels France opens one-kilometer solar road with 2,880 solar panels In late 2016, France opened what was then the first solar road in the world: a one-kilometer stretch in Tourouvre-au-Perche, built with technology from Colas’ Wattway . The 2,880-panel road was said to generate enough energy to power street lights in the 3,400-person village. Rural Georgia gets a test stretch of Wattway’s solar roads Wattway’s solar roads hit the United States a few months after the road in France. The Ray C. Anderson Foundation installed 538 square feet of the solar road near the Alabama and Georgia border — the first Wattway pilot in America. The solar road was part of the foundation’s project The Ray , an 18-mile living laboratory testing renewable technologies that also includes  bioswales and a solar-powered electric car charging station . Solar panel expressway pops up in China Just a few months ago, a one-kilometer solar road, developed by Qilu Transportation Development Group , opened in Jinan, China . Three layers make up the road: insulation on the bottom, solar panels in the middle, and transparent concrete on top. The solar panels cover around 63,238 square feet in two lanes and one emergency lane, and can generate one million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy every year. In a strange twist , thieves actually took a small portion of the road days after it debuted; since the panels wouldn’t have been worth a lot of money, people speculated they might have wanted to learn the workings of the technology. The road was later repaired. Solar-powered bike path has generated more power than anticipated Solar panels aren’t just for highways. Bike lanes can make great use of them too, if one in Krommenie, Netherlands is any indication. After one year, the SolaRoad solar-paneled bike path  generated 70 kilowatt-hours per square meter, enough power for around three houses – and even more than the designers expected. Sten de Wit of TNO , the research organization behind SolaRoad, said most people don’t even notice the difference between the solar bike path and a regular one. Solar sidewalk helps charge electric cars Sidewalks can benefit from solar panels, too. Platio recently installed a 50-square foot solar sidewalk, created with recycled plastic , that pulls double duty: people can walk across it as it generates clean energy used to charge electric vehicles . Platio installed the 720-watt peak capacity system at a Prologis facility in Budapest — and the process only took one day. When the solar sidewalk isn’t busy charging EVs, energy it generates helps power a nearby office building. Images via Solar Roadways Facebook , Vianney Lecointre on Twitter , The Ray , Qilu Transportation Development Group , SolaRoad Netherlands, and courtesy of Platio

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6 solar roads shaking up infrastructure around the world

Episode 120: Google’s power play, Uber’s bike bet, underground gardens

April 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

In this episode, we unpack the evolution of corporate renewable energy procurement and ponder how ride-sharing services will disrupt the future of urban design.

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Episode 120: Google’s power play, Uber’s bike bet, underground gardens

Why more businesses should reassess the voluntary carbon market

April 13, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Science-based carbon targets and climate risk disclosures are practical motivators.

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Why more businesses should reassess the voluntary carbon market

This is the most noteworthy part of Apple’s 100% clean power milestone

April 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Other big companies should emulate the tech giant’s focus on helping suppliers get there, too.

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This is the most noteworthy part of Apple’s 100% clean power milestone

How to infuse distributed generation with institutional capital

April 11, 2018 by  
Filed under Business, Green

The yieldco and asset-backed security models could both be highly relevant.

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How to infuse distributed generation with institutional capital

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