There has been a lot of chatter recently, both in Colorado and across the nation, about the growing need to develop a new energy infrastructure to replace the country’s aging stock of coal-fired power plants. With solar panel prices falling by 30 percent last year and continuing to fall this year, renewables are well on their way to becoming the cheapest solution to new power generation. In fact, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency, both in 2015 and 2016, wind and solar power accounted for about two-thirds of all newly added electricity generation capacity nationwide.
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Built in 2011, the Ecotech Institute campus is one of the few LEED Gold-certified schools in Colorado. The 62,000-square-foot facility is an architectural marker of efficiency and sustainability in the Denver metro area. However, not everyone knows the details behind the technologies that went into its creation.
Large-scale construction projects are nothing new in the energy sector. However, an upcoming wind farm in the middle of the North Sea may soon set a new renewable energy record.
The energy industry has traditionally been divided into two opposing camps: the fossil fuels, such as oil, coal and natural gas; and the renewables, which include solar, wind, hydro and biofuel-derived energy. And while the two camps often compete with each other, that relationship may soon change.
Solar power has grown into a leading source of renewable energy in recent years. According to a 2016 report by the International Energy Agency (IEA), solar is now the world’s fastest-growing form of renewable energy, with net generation increasing by an average of 8.3 percent every year. Besides the energy sector, however, solar is now making significant advances into the global transportation industry.