Stay current: the week’s best solar links


We’ve rounded up our top reads of the week about solar and the future of the energy — so you can stay current.

Cleaner sources of electricity like solar panels are helping drive a promising trend in the fight against climate change: America’s energy-related CO2 emissions in 2015 fell to a three-year low. (Today in Energy / Energy Information Administration)

Despite winter darkness, solar power may have a brighter future in Alaska than one might expect: a recent report from the National Renewable Laboratory finds that solar “can be economically competitive in many remote Alaskan villages and could have a number of benefits, including reducing a village’s dependency on diesel fuel, improving electricity price predictability, providing local environmental benefits, and more.” (Annie Zak / Alaska Dispatch News)

Airplanes currently account for 3% of humanity’s carbon footprint and are also one of the fastest-growing sources of global warming pollution. Several interesting strategies to cut emissions are in the works – including biofuels, futuristic wing designs, and even fuel cells. (Brad Plumer / Vox)

The humongous wildfire continues to burn in Canada, destroying communities and thousands of acres of forests. Elizabeth Kolbert examines the link between the Fort McMurray fire and climate change. (Elizabeth Kolbert / The New Yorker)

Renewable-energy leader Germany just set a stunning new record. On the morning of May 8, renewables covered a record 95% of the country’s electric demand. Solar power’s share of the total peaked at 26.11 gigawatts — the largest of any energy resource (Sandra Enkhart / PV Magazine).

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