NewEnergyNews: QUICK NEWS, February 16: SOLAR IN THE RED STATES; WIND IS GOOD FOR THE GRID; THE APPLE iCAR

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    Monday, February 16, 2015

    QUICK NEWS, February 16: SOLAR IN THE RED STATES; WIND IS GOOD FOR THE GRID; THE APPLE iCAR

    SOLAR IN THE RED STATES Solar energy is playing surprisingly well in conservative parts of the U.S.

    Chris Mooney, February 13, 2015 (Washington Post)

    “…There are now over 173,000 solar jobs in the United States…But here’s a perhaps less appreciated reality – solar is also catching on in a lot of states that we don’t traditionally think of as being liberal, do-gooder territory…That’s one upshot of [State Solar Jobs Census] from the Solar Foundation…[L]iberal California is the titan: It has 54,690 solar workers now (as of late 2014), or nearly one third of the national total…[but] solar is making inroads in a lot of other states, too, and the places where that’s happening are pretty politically diverse…The fairly conservative state of Arizona (#3 overall for solar jobs) now has 9,170 of solar jobs. Very conservative Texas (#6) has 6,965 of them — having seen a 68 percent job growth in just one year…[T] he swing state of Nevada (#7) now has 5,900 solar jobs, whereas just a year ago it only had 2,800. That’s a staggering 146 percent growth rate. And North Carolina (#8) has 5,600, having shot up 80 percent since last year…[T]hough not in the top 10, very conservative Georgia] now has 2,890 solar jobs and has seen a mind-boggling 261 percent increase in solar employment in just two years…” click here for more

    WIND IS GOOD FOR THE GRID Blowing away myths: Study says wind energy could be even more reliable than baseload power

    Kari Lyderson, February 13, 2015 (Midwest Energy News)

    “…[Wind energy helps build a more reliable and balanced electricity portfolio from] the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) explained how wind can actually be seen as a more reliable source than conventional power plants — one that contributes to rather than inhibits the stability of the grid as a whole…[and therefore a good way] of meeting the Environmental Protection Agency’s carbon reduction goals in the Clean Power Plan. No one disputes that wind is a zero-carbon and low-cost source of energy, but AWEA’s report underscores that…[f]luctuations in supply or demand from any given source do not matter to grid operators… [V]ariations in the level of wind energy output are easily smoothed out over the grid as demand also rises and falls frequently and often unpredictably…Since wind’s variability is more predictable and involves a smaller amount of megawatts than the potential variability of power plants, less reserve electricity is needed…” click here for more

    THE APPLE iCAR Apple gears up to challenge Tesla in electric cars

    Daisuke Wakabayashi and Mike Ramsey, February 13, 2015 (MarketWatch/Wall Street Journal)

    “…[Apple Inc.] has several hundred employees working secretly toward creating an Apple-branded electric vehicle…[T]he project, code-named ‘Titan,’ has an initial design of a vehicle that resembles a minivan, [a source] said…An Apple spokesman declined to comment…[I]t will be several years before an Apple car could hit the road, even if development goes smoothly…[and]Apple may decide not to proceed with building a car…[M]any technologies used in an electric car, such as a long-life battery and in-car electronics, would be useful to other Apple products, including the iPhone and iPad. Apple often investigates technologies and potential products, going as far as building multiple prototypes for some things that it won’t ever sell…But the size of the team and some of the people assigned to it indicate that the company is serious…[Apple CEO Tim Cook reportedly] approved the car project almost a year ago and assigned veteran product design Vice President Steve Zadesky [a former Ford Motor Co. engineer who helped lead the Apple teams that created the iPod and iPhone] to lead the group…In September, Apple hired Johann Jungwirth, who had been the president and chief executive of Mercedes-Benz Research and Development North America…” click here for more

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