Wal-Mart, one of the largest corporations in the world, has made the opening move toward its goal of 100% renewable energy operation. As reported in Energy & Power Management Magazine under the headline “Wal-Mart Launches Solar Power Pilot Project”, Wal-Mart announced its intention to purchase solar panels from BP Solar, SunEdison LLC, and PowerLight for installation at 22 pilot locations. Each solar installation is expected to provide up to 30 percent of the power demand for the facility where it is installed.
The 22 participating Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club stores will be in California and Hawaii, where power is expensive. Given Wal-Mart’s concern for the bottom line, this project will demonstrate one of the long-held axioms of this blog: if executed correctly, renewable energy is more economical than conventional fossil fuel energy (see Energy Technology is NOT a Bubble). In fact, David Ozment, director of energy for Wal-Mart, said that pilot project stores are expected to achieve savings over their current utility rates immediately — as soon as the first day of operation.
The engineers and inventors of the post WWII period turned their attention to advancements in electronics, communication, and entertainment. Breakthrough inventions range from LEGOs and computer gaming to the integrated circuit and Ethernet -- a range of advancements that have little in common except they changed our lives.
Neil Fromer is the executive director of the Resnick Institute, a program for energy and sustainability at the California Institute of Technology, working to develop new ideas and research technologies related to providing a sustainable future. He spoke to us about the severity of the current drought in California and how solar energy can help prevent such situations in the future.
From home enthusiasts to workers on the manufacturing floor, everyone's imagination is captured by the potential of 3D printing. Prototyping, spare parts creation, art delivery, human organ creation, and even mass product production are all being targeted as current and potential uses for the technology.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.