Here is your weekly roundup of the unique, hottest stories related to cleantech, and climate policy for the week of August 27, 2017.

SW USA MAP
Image Credit via Pixabay by AmberAvalona. Under Public Domain via the Creative Commons

The US Southwest is becoming a major player within the US renewable energy sector. Ecowatch.com earlier this week had written a good summary on the rise of clean power within the region. The article points to four southwest state ranking in the top ten in total solar capacity: Arizona (No.3), Nevada (#4), Utah (#6), and Texas (#9). Many southwest states also are becoming major players within the wind energy markets. Texas ranks number one in total capacity nationally with 21.044 GW, Kansas 5th  with 5.1 GW, and Colorado 10th with 3.026GW, according to the American Wind Energy Association.

Ecowatch.com attributes a combination of declining prices for renewables, the investment tax credit (ITC) for solar energy, which is attracting utilities to increase clean power capacity. If that was not enough many southwestern cities have pledged to commit to the Paris climate agreement including Houston, Denver, Phoenix, Reno, and Tucson.

Considering this region has an abundant in solar energy potential, the region can seriously become a big-time player within the US renewable energy game. Policy makers, business, and regional non-governmental organizations will need to all work together in ensuring they are on the train.

Mexico announced this week they are planning to go in on upgrade their grid infrastructure. According to BNAmericas.com the Latin American giant said they plan to put $646 USD million into smart grids over the next eight years. Mexican utility CFE said this year alone they plan to invest approximately $794 USD million in updating transmission and distribution networks. This would allow private and pubic utilities to improve electricity service to consumers.

Mexican Secretary of Energy Pedro Joaquín Coldwell said in a presentation to an audience Mexico can take advantage of current day technology and communications, while utilizing the skills and knowledge of its people to provide a modern-day  safe, efficient and effective grid.

As more renewables are coming onto the grid, smart grid implementation is increasing. Estimates have smart grid markets reaching a total of $120 USD billion by 2020, according to Zion Research.

And finally, The Manitoba Environmental Industries Association is hosting the first annual Western CleanTech Innovation Forum at the Winnipeg Convention Centre November 29th and 30th. The conference will feature 34 technical presentations, and key note presentations from Thomas Homer-Dixon, author of Carbon Shift:  How the Twin Crises of Oil Depletion and Climate Change will Define the Future, and Terry O’Reilly of This I Know. For registration, you can go to the (MEIA) website for more information.

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