Sustainable IT

Sustainable IT news, trends, analysis and practical advice

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rooftop photovoltaic array

How regulators and legislators make it harder for you to use solar power

While solar power is leading other sources for new electrical capacity, the distributed power movement, where homeowners and businesses deploy photovoltaic panels on site, is under assault by utilities and fossil fuel interests.

Apple's solar plant in Maiden, N.C.

Apple’s $850M solar plant rockets it to first place among U.S. corporations

Apple, which has been deploying solar power for years, this week announced another $850M investment, giving it capacity that will push it past Walmart as the largest corporate user of solar energy.

Apple's massive solar farm could power its entire California operations

Apple is investing in a solar plant in Northern California that will generate as much electricity as the company uses for all its operations in the state.

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Renewable energy costs expected to drop 40% in next few years

New data released from the International Renewable Energy Agency shows the price of solar-generated power will reach price parity or become less expensive than electricity generated by traditional methods in many countries.

Photovoltaic panels

U.S. to impose big tariffs on China and Taiwan for dumping solar panels on market

The International Trade Commission has voted to uphold findings that the two countries intentionally saturated the market with cheap photovoltaic cells, undercutting competition and driving prices down.

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Solar industry jobs are growing at 20 times the national rate

In 2014, 31,000 new jobs were created in the solar industry, which accounts for nearly two percent of all new jobs created in the U.S. last year.

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Investment in renewable energy soars for first time in three years

Driven largely by oil price weakness, investments in renewable energy rocketed up 175% in 2014 compared to 2013; this year looks to be bright as well.

toyota

Toyota's fuel-cell patent offer could kick-start a new era in the auto industry

Toyota's announcement that it will issue royalty-free licenses on its 5,680 patents concerning hydrogen fuel-cell technology isn't as sexy as Samsung's 4K TVs or LG's curved mobile phones, but it could have much more significance.

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Solar demand soars 16% this year

About 44 billion watts worth of solar cell technology was purchased in 2014 due to growth in Japan and the U.S. market.

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U.S. utilities face up to $48B revenue loss from solar, efficiency

A report from Accenture showed growth of distributed energy resources and energy efficiency measures could cause significant demand disruption and drive down utilities’ revenues in the U.S. and Europe.

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Ariz. power company plugs a data center directly into the high-voltage grid

The Salt River Project in Phoenix is building a data center at one of its power stations directly atop a high-voltage transmission line.

Honda's FCV

Here's why hydrogen-fueled cars aren't little Hindenburgs

Hydrogen gas is 16 times lighter than air, ignites with just a tenth the energy required to combust a gasoline-air mixture and is stored in fuel tanks pressurized up to 10,000 psi. But hydrogen-fueled cars are unlikely to go up like...

Electricity prices throughout the U.S.

Rooftop solar electricity on pace to beat coal, oil

Rooftop solar power will reach grid parity in all 50 U.S. states in 2016, setting the scene for a dramatic increase in the uptake of household and commercial rooftop solar systems.

Matt Corddry

Facebook gives its server racks a Tesla touch

Facebook is now testing lithium-ion batteries as the backup power source for its server racks and plans to roll them out widely next year.

With LLZO, a garnet ceramic material, batteries could last a lot longer

Researchers are working to develop batteries that can store 10 times more energy than existing lithium-ion batteries.

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Solar power on track to be world’s largest electricity source by 2050

With up to 100 MW being added each day worldwide, photovoltaic energy could be the world’s largest source of electricity by 2050.

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White House sets 20% data center efficiency goal, but finds few takers

Without a carbon tax or anything that penalizes fossil fuel consumption, the federal government has little ability to influence how much energy a data center uses. But it's trying.

solar panels on house roof winter view

Rooftop solar panels could soon cut utility profits by 15% or more

Utilities have reason to worry about solar power cutting into their profits, according to a report this week by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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