Waste Dive guest opinion written by Jesse Grossman, CEO of
New Jersey-based solar energy company Soltage
The promise of utilizing the thousands of closed landfills across the country to produce clean, solar energy has been tantalizingly close to reality for years. In 2013, the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) published their best practices for installing solar on municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, which was a watershed moment in the recognition of landfills as viable solar platforms. With 10,000 closed landfills and other brownfield sites covering 15 million acres across the country, both solar developers and landfill owners have been understandably eager to take advantage of the opportunity. To put that land area into perspective, it’s large enough that if all of the landfills in the US were covered with solar panels we could power the entire country. Read more here.
Image: Landfill Solar Farm. U.S. Department of Energy
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED READING
Renewable Energy World’s November / December 2017 Issue
Articles / Posts
- Lazard shows ongoing cost declines in solar (w/ charts), PV Magazine. The consultancy’s 2017 study finds that the global cost of utility-scale solar has reached an unsubsidized LCOE of under $50 per megawatt-hour, making new solar cost-competitive with running existing coal or nuclear plants.
- California low-income multifamily solar program moves forward, PV Magazine. After two years of delays, the process to implement the $1 billion SOMAH program is moving forward.
- Solar-powered potato farm in northeast Colorado turns up savings — and tasty spuds, Denver Post
- Middlebury College looks to food waste and manure as new energy source, Vermont Digger
- Congregation votes to install solar panels, The Ellsworth American
- Costa Rica Runs Entirely on Renewable Energy for 300 Days, EcoWatch
- If The Developing World Can Go Solar, Maybe Puerto Rico Can Too, NET Nebraska
- Solar Lanterns Serve as Beacon of Hope for Puerto Rico, Sierra Club News
- UN report shows China is becoming major PV technology stakeholder, PV Magazine. The report describes how knowledge assets are shaping the current structure of the PV supply chain, and how China was able to catch up technologically by acquiring the necessary assets to enter at different stages of the value chain.
- BNEF: China to install 54 GW in 2017, PV Magazine. According to a newly released forecast by Bloomberg New Energy Finance, China is likely to install 54 GW of solar PV before the year is out, surpassing previous expectations.
- New global survey reveals that everyone loves green energy — especially the Chinese, Vox
- 6th Annual Top 100 Power People Report Published by Leading Intelligence Service A Word About Wind, North American Clean Energy. Philip Anschutz, American multi-billionaire and owner of the Power Company of Wyoming, has been named as the most influential figure in wind energy this year. Given his background, Anschutz is a somewhat surprising new entrant to the Top 100 report; his estimated $12bn wealth is largely due to the oil drilling company he took over from his father in the 1960’s. However, Anschutz is known for investing in industries that are on the cusp of major change, and the planned 3GW wind farm on his land in Wyoming is testament to the business tycoon’s conviction that wind is on the up. If completed as planned, the project will be the largest onshore wind farm in North America.
- Global storage market to grow sixfold by 2030, BNEF reports, PV Magazine. Global cumulative storage deployment will double six times between 2017 and 2030 to reach 125 GW/305 GWh, with as much as $103 billion pouring into the sector, finds new report by Bloomberg New Energy Finance.
- Quote round-up: What people are saying about DOE’s resiliency proposal, Into the Wind, AWEA Blog
- London Buses to Run on Coffee Grounds, Renewable Energy Magazine. Shell and London-based clean technology company bio-bean have partnered to power some of London’s iconic red buses using a biofuel made partly from used coffee grounds.
- When it comes to investing in the future, go with renewable energy over bitcoin, CNBC. The trading charts for oil and renewable-energy stocks have diverged this year in a way that should open investor eyes. Bitcoin is going gangbusters and getting all the attention, but it’s far easier to understand the dynamics in the energy markets, and they show that renewable energy is not going backward again.