Companies Commit to Clean Energy

by Sharon Ha

Companies are beginning to show increased interest in investment and implementation of clean energy. The RE100 initiative, which encourages companies to go 100% renewable, currently has 56 businesses signed up and continues to grow. Many of these companies are influential and established brands, such as Ikea, Adobe, and Coca- Cola Enterprises. Furthermore, Intel recently constructed the largest corporate solar carport in the US at its Folsom, California campus. The solar carport will be able to meet over 50% of the campus’s energy needs. Additionally, Google, Apple, and more than 20 other companies have signed contracts to supply their respective headquarters with clean energy. However, there is still a long way to go to ensure that clean energy is sustainable and profitable for businesses. In this GreenBiz article, reporter Heather Clancy outlines three different ways that companies can best utilize renewable energy. Continue reading

Googles’s Project Loon Sending Solar Powered Wi-Fi Balloons to Remote Areas

by Samantha Englert

In US Cities, one never really worries about Internet connectivity; yet, nearly two-thirds of the global community does not have Internet access. To address this worldwide coverage gap, scientists from Google recently announced at a TED conference their plans to test launch fleets of solar powered high-altitude wi-fi balloons with telecommunication carriers in Indonesia. The mission of this work, referred to as Project Loon, a name chosen to represent both ‘flight’ and ‘insanity,’ is to supply Internet connectivity to rural and remote regions around the world, and to ensure coverage during and after disasters. Continue reading

Google Makes New Clean Energy Purchases After Abandoning R&D Efforts

by Liza Farr

During the last few years, Google has had a roller coaster ride with clean energy. In 2007, they started their RERomm, Dec 4, 2014). In 2011, however, Google stopped this program completely, with the reasoning that they determined this effort would not actually reverse climate change, or make new renewable energy cheaper than existing coal. Critics argued that both of these goals are widely considered impossible, and chastised the company for ending the R&D program. Likely, Google realized with plummeting global renewable energy prices, there was more money to be made in renewable energy deployment than in research and development (Romm, Dec 4, 2014). Continue reading

Nest: Smart Tech That Pays for Itself

by Hannah Brown

Google gets into the saving the environment game with their learning thermostat, Nest. For $249, this thermostat begins to make homes into the futuristic abodes like those found in the Disney Channel original movie, Smart House, where a teenage computer savant wins a computerized house for his family (imdb.com). But instead of making perfect smoothies and cleaning your room, Nest creates personalized schedules for the temperature of your house, turns down it’s power when it senses that no one is at home, shows you your energy efficiency, and can be controlled remotely from your phone (nest.com). Using Nest, people can now prepare a warmed home when they’re returning after a cold outing or ensure that they are not unnecessarily chilling an empty building. Continue reading