There were two main themes in the solar industry last week, companies are going for solar, renewable energy in a big way and there were numerous advances in solar technologies.
Mars, maker of M&M’s and more might have made the biggest splash last week when it announced its new ‘Sustainable in a Generation’ campaign. Through the campaign Mars will invest $1 billion in sustainability efforts including renewable energy. However, the company also will invest in sustainability in other ways, including by investing in sustainable farming practices in developing nations. The company said its commitment will help ensure its supply chain and the company’s longevity.
A group of Fortune 500 companies including Amazon, Apple, Walmart and more formed the Advanced Energy Buyers Group. The new group, which was organized by Advanced Energy Economy (AEE), will work to promote solar and renewable energy policies at the state level that will make it easier for companies to buy renewable energy. More and more companies are making renewable energy purchases or installing their own renewable energy projects.
Indeed, the newest Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) rated 2,086 companies across the world on their sustainability efforts. The indices help others invest sustainably while helping companies better understand the benefits that sustainability offers them.
Solar and renewable energy are also continuing to lead jobs growth in the US. A new report from the Clean Energy Trust and Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) showed that clean energy is now employing 600,000 people in the midwest. Those are jobs in wind, solar, energy efficiency, and more.
While energy efficiency accounts for the majority of those positions, solar power grew the quickest. Meanwhile, the solar industry showed that the industry supports 38,000 manufacturing jobs in the US.
Research is looking at new ways to harness light. Researchers at Stanford University have created a new material that can actually cool other substances in light. They’ve created a new company, SkyCool Systems, to use the technology for air conditioning and refrigeration.
An international group of researchers have also harnessed light to actually heal perovskite solar panels. Well, light and humidity. The researchers found that a combination of light and humidity can actually permanently fix defects in the solar cells.
In Great Britain 800,000 low-income homes will go solar, saving their occupants $249 million on an annual basis. That’s thanks to a $270 million investment from Dutch investor Maas Capital, which unlocked funding for the $1.3 billion program.
The US capitol, Washington, DC, became the world’s First LEED Platinum City. The city has 19 LEED certified facilities, but its also entered into one of the largest municipal onsite solar projects in the US. The city’s government also is already 100 percent powered by renewable energy.Tweet