Sustainability Reads: May 11- May 17

With Tesla Entering Market, Hopes for Home Batteries Grow
Without batteries to store solar energy produced during the day, homes equipped with solar PV are forced to draw electricity from the grid when the sun isn’t shining. And homeowners usually end up paying more for that electricity than they receive as payment for selling the excess solar energy they produce during the day back into the grid. Batteries are just still too expensive for widespread use and one of the main obstacles to maximizing the benefits of residential PV. However, hopes are high as Tesla moves into the market to provide relatively low-cost batteries. A recent announcement said the company will sell a 10 kilowatt-hour, lithium-ion battery in the U.S. for $3,500, and another lower-capacity model for $3,000. This is about half that of comparable battery systems for sale in Germany, the country with the most solar energy production and home batteries. The batteries are expected to be available in Europe this year and Asia in 2016, but international pricing hasn’t been announced yet. By Kate Galbraith at the New York Times.

China and India call on rich countries to step up climate change efforts
In a rare joint statement by China and India, the countries, who are large emitters, called on developed countries to honor a pledge of $100 billion annual climate aid by 2020. The statement also called on developed countries to raise their pre-2020 emission reduction targets. In the joint statement, neither country made any commitment or plans to reduce their own GHG emissions, but they did state that they would submit their INDCs before the climate talks in Paris this December. Indian prime minister Narendra Modi has said that the country will focus on adopting clean energy capacity –wanting to quintuple India’s renewable energy capacity by 2022, but said the country still needs to industrialize and lift its population out of poverty. The statement did also claim that India and China would continue to work together regarding clean energy technologies, energy conservation and renewable energy. At the Guardian.

World’s First ‘Solar Road’ Is Generating Even More Power Than Expected
An experimental bike path in Krommenie, a village northwest of Amsterdam, that also functions as a giant solar cell has far exceeded expectations in the six months it’s been in use: it is reported that it has generated enough energy to power a one-person household for an entire year. The bike path, which is 70 meters long, has regular solar panels, covered by a centimeter-thick layer of safety glass that is skid-resistant and strong enough to support vehicles, bikes and pedestrians. The power generated from the path is fed into the electricity grid. By Jacqueline Howard at the Huffington Post. 

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