Even considering the turmoil in the overall stock market this week, advanced energy is on a bit of a Wall Street rollercoaster. Specifically, wind is riding a wave, while solar shares are in the doldrums – even though both advanced energy technologies are on a roll.
On August 3, the U.S. EPA rolled out its final Clean Power Plan regulation for greenhouse gas emissions at existing power plants. Reaction in the states varied, with some new states deciding to sue EPA and others quietly noting they are well positioned to meet their targets. But the response under consideration in North Carolina stands out for being not only self-defeating in its resistance to the EPA rule, but also costly to ratepayers.
“We are at another inflection point in California policy,” said Howard Wenger of SunPower Corp., an AEE board member. With legislation pending across the street in the Capitol to raise California’s already high standards for renewable energy and building efficiency, and adding a target of cutting petroleum use in half, all by 2030, what better context could there be for AEE’s third annual “Pathway to 2050” conference? The capacity crowd of nearly 400 gathered in the Sacramento Convention Center got a full sense of that inflection point – and the stakes for industry growth – from key policy makers and business leaders in a full day of dialogue and networking on August 20.
Since it was founded in 1998, Google has revolutionized a lot of things: cartography, communication, how we retrieve information. This week, Google’s at it again, this time with advanced energy. Google announced Project Sunroof, what it calls a “treasure map” for rooftop solar. As the video announcing the project says, people already ask Google questions about solar. “There’s all this stuff to figure out,” the voiceover says, “like, how many panels do you need? Who’s going to install them? How much would you actually save? And how do you tell if your house even gets enough sun?” Between its search algorithms, calculating engines, and mapping technology, Google thinks it has the answers to these questions, and Project Sunroof is going to give them to you – if only in three locations, so far.