The Sahara Desert is one of the driest and most desolate places on our planet. Its lack of vegetation, low humidity and extremely high sunshine duration (over 4000 hours of direct sunlight annually) make it one of the hottest places on Earth. This barrenness, while seemingly presenting the Sahara as a useless space for development, has piqued the interest of researchers invested in renewable energy, specifically solar and wind energy.

A satellite image of the Sahara from space. (NASA)

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If an expert told you that your power rates were going way up, but your energy bills would go down such that you’d end up paying less than before, would you be more interested in renewable energy?

It’s more than an academic question; it’s the story being told in many countries throughout Europe, countries that are making a concerted effort to cut their greenhouse gas emissions by switching to renewables.

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Elon Musk gives a speech at the Powerpack Celebration in South Australia on September 29, 2017. (Screenshot via Youtube)

Riding high after a $50 million bet by Elon Musk that Tesla would be able to install the world’s largest battery system in South Australia in under 100 days, the massive Powerpack is now proving its worth.

The Loy Yang A 3 coal power plant in Victoria is one of the biggest power plants in Australia. On two different occasions, Loy Yang’s power grid experienced an outage, and both times, Tesla’s Powerpack battery was able to stabilize it within milliseconds, an especially impressive feat given that the coal plant is over 620 miles away.

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Screenshot via Corporate Carbon Policy Footprint Report.

The Corporate Carbon Policy Footprint (CCPF) must scare the bejesus out of climate activists.

Released in August, the CCPF argues that the bad guys take 35 of the top 50 most influential positions among companies informing climate policy in democratic governments around the world. The world’s heaviest polluters not only have a seat at the table when it comes to influencing and writing government policy, they have an overwhelming majority of seats.

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The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind.

And shining through the heavens. And churning beneath the Earth. And roiling in the waves.

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More than a few of President Donald Trump’s appointees to key cabinet posts hope to diminish — or even shutter — the very agencies they now lead.

In the 2012 primaries, Texas Governor Rick Perry famously said that he wanted to abolish the Department of Energy. Fast forward five years, and he’s now the Secretary of Energy. Betsy DeVos is a staunch supporter of private and charter schools — so long as they are unfettered by government oversight — but she has been a loud and vocal critic of public schools in America, and her many provocative statements sent ripples of fear through the educational community. DeVos is now Secretary of Education.

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[DIGEST: TechCrunch, Fortune, The Verge, Consumer Reports, Business Insider]

Exactly one year after Tesla Inc. announced it would design a solar-power-generating roof, the company has begun installing the first versions of its product — on Tesla employees’ homes.

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