We’ve rounded up our top reads of the week about solar and the future of the energy — so you can stay current.
-Solar power in the US continues to get cheaper and cheaper. The cost of solar projects in 2015 fell up to 17% depending on the market segment. Residential rooftop solar also became more affordable than ever, and 2016 is poised to be the strongest year ever for the solar industry, according to GTM research. [PV Magazine/Ian Clover]
-Intensive water use by power plants is a central driver of China’s ongoing water scarcity challenge. Greater adoption of renewables like solar and wind, alongside other technology improvements, could help provide relief. An analysis shows that such efforts could shrink the water intensity of Chinese power generation by more than 40%. [CleanTechnica/Joshua Hill]
-Solar rooftops continue to gain momentum in communities where affordable energy can have its greatest impact. The majority of California’s residential solar installations, for example, are taking place in middle-income neighborhoods. A new report offers a long-term, nationwide vision for making solar accessible to people of all income levels. [GreenBiz/Barbara Grady]
-Cochin International Airport – one of India’s busiest – recently became the world’s first fully solar-powered airport. Perhaps inspired by Cochin’s zero-rupee energy bill, other airports around the country are also making plans to go solar. [CNN Money/Jethro Mullen]
-A new breed of double-decker buses has arrived in London. The look is similar to the classic model, but these coaches are 100% powered by electricity – traveling up to 180 miles on a single charge. [The Independent/Emma Henderson]
-Not to be outdone by London’s electric buses, Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray has announced a plan to halve global warming pollution from his city’s vehicle fleet by 2025, and proposed expanding the total number of electric vehicles on Seattle’s streets to 15,000 by the same year. [Seattle Times/Lynda Mapes]