It is evident that the key to success for clean energy businesses, or any businesses for that matter, is to specifically cater to Millennials. This may not come as a surprise, but Millennials (people about 18-35 years old) are growing up and becoming the leaders and big investors in the United States. This means that understanding the needs and values of this generation, and then molding business practices to that, is crucial.
Researchers and energy experts for years have toted the obvious environmental benefits of transitioning from fossil-fuel based energy to renewable technologies, such as wind and solar; but a new study out of Michigan Technology University has calculated the tremendous health benefits of this renewable energy transition, and the results are overwhelming.
The Massachusetts Department of Energy Resources (DOER) has recently rolled out regulations governing a new solar incentive program that aims to develop 1,600 MW of new solar capacity in the state. The new program has been dubbed the Solar Massachusetts Renewable Target Program, or the SMART Program for short. Solar industry advocates have praised the Mass. DOER for its policy innovation, but understanding the new program is likely difficult for non-industry folks. Let’s try to break it down:
California has long been the state for dreamers and doers. In recent history, it has also harnessed its ample sunlight to create the largest solar industry and most solar energy generation in the nation.
Nevada’s promising rooftop solar industry hit a wall last year, after state legislation slashed rates for net metering and cut into financial incentives for homeowners. The new standard rendered solar panels a costly investment out of range for a majority of Nevadans, and was pushed largely by the state’s Public Utilities Commission (PUC).
Photo from Washington Post.
Information originating from the National Energy Administration (NEA) showed that in 2016 alone, China implemented 34.24 gigawatts (GW) of additional solar energy. With a confirmed goal of 110 GW by 2020, project deployment is centered predominantly in the east, with large-scale endeavours overshadowing a previously-planned carve-out for distributed generation. Industry experts believe that the figure is likely to be exceeded by the final date, and may soon eclipse the American market for clean energy.
While solar energy is experiencing widespread growth around the world, many regions, especially those with highly concentrated urban areas, have grappled with issues of space. Metropolitan areas in Asia, the UK, and Brazil struggle to find adequate space for solar panels, which typically need to be affixed to a surface such as a rooftop, facade of a building, or the ground.
The U.S. has an estimated 30 billion barrels of proven oil reserves, and in 2015 used an average of 19.4 million barrels of oil per day, or 7 billion barrels per year.
If the U.S. was to invest in drilling these oil reserves down to the last drop, we would have only enough oil to last 4 years.
Photo: PowerMundo via REEEP
Discussions surrounding the modernization of energy are often concentrated on updating extensive networks of fossil fuel-reliant power plants in developed countries. But what about the myriad populations around the world who don't yet have electric power of any sort?