We’re trying something new. We’re geeks here at Vote Solar, and find ourselves reading some pretty cool stories about solar. So we thought, hey, our members would probably love these stories too.
We know there’s a lot of neat stuff on solar out there, from infographics to articles to innovations. So every Friday, we’ll serve you up what we think is the coolest, and we encourage you to send in your stories too.
So without further ado, our first edition of our weekly top solar picks:
Get smarter. Win debates.
Vote Solar’s webinar this week was smashing success! The topic was “Understanding U.S. Energy Subsidies” presented by Doug Koplow, founder of EarthTrack.net. Doug discussed how decades of federal and state policies and regulations have stacked up in favor of fossil fuels. He also provided fodder for some witty comebacks and solid gold rebuttals to win debates about energy subsidies. This info should also help you win that argument with your cranky uncle at Thanksgiving dinner.
Infographics: More than a thousand words
Speaking of subsidies, subsidize this! We all know the energy market is an unfair playing field, but GOOD and Deeplocal illustrate how unfair it really is. While we think this graphic is cool, skewed subsidies is decidedly un-cool.
On the bright side, over the last 15 years, renewable energy has come a long way. To celebrate, Green Mountain Energy made an infographic that shows the big strides we’ve made, and the even bigger ones we’ve still yet to make.
What’s seems more counter-intuitive, solar powering cars, or BMW leading the effort for solar EV car sharing? Answer? Neither. BMW DriveNow EV car sharing is coming to the San Francisco Bay Area.
Beamers aren’t the first though. I-GO, a car-sharing company in Chicago, has had a very successful run, garnering all sorts of media and spurring Zipcar to follow suite (in Texas!) and even the state of Illinois to do more for EVs.
Where are the young people?
Our friends at Solar Mosaic posted a blog with the largest youth climate organization in the world – Energy Action Coalition. An interesting read that discusses clean energy, the youth movement, and begins to address the question of how to get young people on board the solar train.
Solar power = People Power
Big shout out to members in California, because they helped get SB 843- the Shared Solar Bill- over an important hurdle. There are a few more in the race, but we’re sure Vote Solarians can make it happen! Stay tuned- we’re so close to winning!
Michigan might have the most important clean energy vote in the country, and it just got welcome new support from Former Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuzis. He endorses 25 by 25 campaign and explains how renewables open utility monopolies to competition, making the conservative case for the initiative.
In New York, Gov. Cuomo signed bills apart of the NY-Sun Initiative into law. While we applaud this great first step, we’d like to see Gov. Cuomo go further to make NY the solar leader it really should be.
Improving Quality of Life, Thanks to Solar
Earlier this week, Andrea Skinner posted a guest blog on our site about solar on the Thai-Burma border. She’s been working with The Border Green Energy Team (BGET), an organization that promotes solar energy adoption in villages and refugee camps scattered along the Thai-Burma border, aiding migrant Burmese seeking refuge from civil war.
A story came past our eyes from the Green Schools Alliance, of an incredible solar panel project Sacred Valley did for the community of Qelqanqa in Peru. They brought solar lights to families so that children would be able do homework and study at night – giving them more opportunity to succeed.
End of the Line
Perhaps the most interesting story that floated by us was Bill Gates funding solar toilets. The Gates Foundation aims to tackle poor sanitation in the developing world with Toilet 2.0. The winner – The California Institute of Technology scored $100,000 for its solar-powered toilet that actually generates electricity from your waste.