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We've asked the NextEnergy team to share the industry-related news, stories and information that have grabbed their attention this month. We hope you find it useful!

Eric McDonald, Director, Facilities & Infrastructure Development

What he’s reading: Solar developers are ready to meet U.S. clean energy goals. The grid isn’t.

Media: Solar Power World

What makes it interesting: Renewable power was more than 3/4 of new electrical generation installations in the US in 2021. But the small bidirectional, distributed nature of renewable generation is not easily integrated into the national grid which was built for massive transmission. Solar developers are not convinced the grid is ready to absorb distributed generation and meet goals of 100% carbon free by 2035.

Kate Bell, Program Manager

What she’s reading: How ancient waterways could be tapped to cool scorching cities

Media: Fast Company

What makes it interesting: When we think of smart cities technologies and practices, flashy, high-tech solutions often spring to mind. Yet some smart solutions have been around for millennia – they just might need a 21st-century upgrade. Researchers with Cool City are using digital mapping to scope out the underground water systems from antiquity in hopes to better understand their routes and to what extent they could be tapped into for modern irrigation and cooling systems as temperatures continue creeping upward in pavement-cloaked cities.

There is a lot still unknown about these ancient aqueduct systems and the potential cost of accessing and re-fitting them, but I thought this article was useful in framing how to think about potential smart cities solutions. There is a time and a place for inventing cutting-edge technology; there is also use in exploring how to adapt existing resources to meet evolving needs.

Lauren Mattar, Technical Program Manager

What she’s reading: Battery recycling could help make electric vehicle production more sustainable

Media: CBC

What makes it interesting: Production of EV Batteries traditionally raises a number of potential concerns, such as the carbon footprint of mining for the rare minerals used in these batteries and the limited sources of these minerals. This article highlights the importance of creating an EV-battery recycling process, which creates a more sustainable source of these key minerals. EV Battery recycling has been a topic of interest for a while for NextEnergy, with CEO Jim Saber speaking on our work at the EV Battery Recycling and Reuse Conference last month.


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