Clean Energy News

New Developments in Agrivoltaics


Agriculture is the world’s largest industry, employing over one billion people and generating over $1.3 trillion dollars worth of food annually. Cropland occupies around 50% of the land on Earth. It is not surprising then that the agricultural industry consumes a large amount of energy. In 2016, the agricultural industry consumed 1,872 Btu of energy, 1.9% of total US energy consumption. Farms need this energy to power machinery, irrigate crops, cool and heat facilities, provide lighting, and dry grains. Agrivoltaics, or the installation of solar panels over cropland can provide a multitude of benefits, helping source required energy from clean, renewable sources.

What is "Greenwashing"?


Today, consumers and investors are becoming increasingly focused on supporting sustainable businesses. The demand for sustainable goods has increased by over 71% in recent years, and companies are rapidly changing to keep up. According to a national survey conducted in a 2006 study, millennials are more responsive to institutions that are environmentally friendly. The results of the study showed that 83% of millennials will place more trust in an organization that is socially and environmentally responsible. Another study, conducted by the Mortgage Lender Network of the USA found that 94% of Americans prefer to work in a setting that is designed to be both energy efficient and ecologically sound. However, not all companies are truthful when it comes to claims regarding their increased devotion to sustainability. Lately, many companies have been accused of “Greenwashing”, or claiming to have greener funds and products than they actually do.

Brownfields to Brightfields: Repurposing Old Landfills


At the end of their lifespan, landfills are typically capped and grassed over, but they remain contaminated, unstable, and unsuitable for development. These capped landfills are referred to as “Brownfield sites”, which are defined as any former industrial or commercial site whose future use is affected by real or perceived environmental contamination. However, by installing solar farms on retired landfills, Brownfields can be turned into what are known as “Brightfields”, defined by the U.S. Department of Energy as any solar project built on a brownfield site. Brightfields are becoming increasingly popular and provide many benefits to the surrounding communities.

Solar Energy 101


Solar energy is becoming increasingly widespread as the world works to move away from fossil fuels. Solar is the cleanest and most abundant renewable energy source available, with more energy from the Sun hitting the Earth in just one hour than is used by everyone in the world for an entire year. Over the last decade, the solar market has grown at a rate of 33% each year, with more than 130 GW of solar panels having been installed in the US, enough to power 23 million households. Some of the main reasons industries, businesses, and homeowners are switching to solar include diversifying their energy sources, improving their efficiency, and saving money. It is important to understand the fundamentals of solar so you can feel empowered to join the renewable energy movement.

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