Last week marked the annual celebration of Earth Day, with companies like Apple and Walmart announcing new initiatives to reduce their impact on the world. Meanwhile a Kentucky coal company’s plans to install the state’s first huge solar farm on top of a former strip mine gained a lot of attention and Vermont was named the nation’s greenest state in a new ranking.
It was a busy week for solar and Earth Day events, like the March on Science demonstrations organized around the US last week. One stunner was the news that a former strip mine site in Kentucky, the heart of coal country where President Donald Trump crowed about bringing back coal-mining jobs, will become home to the state’s first giant solar farm. That follows news that solar was also striking a vein in coal country when it was announced that the Kentucky Coal Mining Museum will be powered by solar.
Then again it should be no surprise given that solar growth continues to outpace expectations. A new report by an international group of scientists, led by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, contended that by 2030 the world could have 10 terawatts (10,000 gigawatts) of solar power installed. The scientists, who published their research in Science, found that the most optimistic projections have under-represented the actual deployment of solar over the last decade and suggested that continued improvements in technology and policies will help push solar penetration higher than expected throughout the world.
Apple announced that it’s almost 100 percent powered by renewable energy, just four years into launching its green energy program. That’s impressive, but the company announced plans to make products in the future with fully recycled materials, which would be revolutionary for a giant electronics company like Apple.
Following a little behind Apple, Walmart announced Project Gigaton, a new initiative to get its suppliers to convert to renewable energy and reduce their emissions. The retail giant said that its efforts to use renewable energy and reduce emissions has led to significant savings for the company and it will show it’s suppliers how they can take similar efforts.
Vermont topped WalletHub’s Wallethub’s 2017 Greenest State Rankings last week. The annual rankings ascribed it 78.88 out of 100 possible points, ranking the Green Mountain state on its environmental quality, eco-friendly policies and contributions to reducing climate-change.Tweet