Solar Car Circling the World
On Jan. 31, the Solar World GT departed Half moon bay, calif., to begin the six-week U.S. leg of a
21,000-mile ( 34,000-km) route around the globe, propelled only by a rooftop photovoltaic array producing
up to 823 watts. designed to be street legal, the 260-kg
(572-lb), 100-kph (62-mph) two-seater is a collaboration between Solar World and 30 engineering students
from bochum University of Applied Sciences in Germany. The plan was to arrive at Florida A&m University
on march 9. The journey began in Australia in October
2011, and covered more than 3,100 miles before shipping to the United States in december. Following the
U.S. leg, the vehicle and its student crew will travel
through Europe, Africa and Asia before finishing in
Australia in late 2012.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s 2013 Solar Decathlon will be held at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. The 20 student teams selected to participate in Solar Decathlon 2013 include nine returning teams, 11 new teams and four
international teams. The teams are Arizona State University
with the University of New Mexico; Czech Technical University; Hampton University with Old Dominion University (
Virginia); Middlebury College (Vermont); Missouri University of
Science and Technology; Norwich University (Vermont);
Queen’s University with Carleton University and Algonquin
College (Ontario); Santa Clara University (California); Southern California Institute of Architecture
with the California
Institute of Technology (California);
Institute of Technology (New Jersey);
Catholic University of
America with George
Washington University and American
Washington, D.C.); University
of North Carolina, Charlotte;
University of Texas, El Paso,
with El Paso Community College; University of Calgary (Alberta); University of Louisville with
Ball State University and University of Kentucky; Vienna University of Technology (Austria); and West Virginia University.
Or ANGE cOUN Ty GrEAT PArk cOrP.
Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif.
— the site of the next Solar Decathlon —
is noted for its emphasis on sustainability.
States Should Lead
The Brookings-Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation has released a paper, “Leveraging State
Clean Energy Funds for Economic Development,” which
argues that about two dozen clean energy funds (CEFs) now
running in a variety of U.S. states offer a partial response to
the failure of Washington to deliver sensible clean energy
Authors Lewis M. Milford and Mark Muro point out that
more than 20 states have created CEFs, often funded from
small surcharges on utility bills. Over the past decade, CEFs
have invested more than $2.7 billion to support renewable
energy markets, and leveraged another $9.7 billion in federal
and private-sector investment. The resulting $12 billion flows
to more than 72,000 projects ranging from solar to wind,
hydrokinetic and biomass generation.
The report notes that project-only financing will not be
sufficient to drive the growth of new companies or to create
the broader economic development that taxpayers demand
from public investments. It calls for broad adoption of new
economic development efforts now being demonstrated in
California, Massachusetts, New York and elsewhere. It argues
that states should reorient CEF money toward clean energy
economic development specifically directed at job creation.
They can create a variety of private-public partnerships for
fast-growing clean energy companies, including participation
by federal agencies.
The result could be decentralized clean energy initiatives
that rely on states to catalyze regional economic development
without the partisan rancor and obtuseness that has stymied
federal energy policy. Read more at http://bit.ly/x56FzZ.