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2019 was the second largest year ever for corporate solar investments

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Throughout 2019, tech companies such as Apple and Facebook, retailers such as Walmart and Target, and other corporations from real estate companies to banks installed a combined 1,283 megawatts of new commercial solar capacity in the United States—enough to power more than 243,000 homes.

That figure comes from the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest Solar Means Business report. After 2017, 2019 was the second largest year on record for corporate solar investments (corporations installed 1,368 megawatts of solar capacity in 2017). U.S. corporations have invested in a cumulative total of 8,300 megawatts of solar power.

SEIA’s annual report tracks both on-site (solar panels on the roof of your local Walmart or Target) and off-site (when a company gets its energy from a separate solar farm) commercial solar installations. Though slightly behind 2017 in terms of overall added solar capacity, 2019 was a record year for on-site solar installations, with 845 megawatts of solar power installed right on company premises.

The annual report also ranks the top corporate solar users, based on a company’s overall solar capacity. Apple leads the country in terms of most solar capacity, followed by Amazon, Walmart, Target, and then Google in the top five. Walmart installed the most new solar in 2019 with 122 megawatts, which increased the company’s overall solar use by 35%. Now, Walmart has a total of 331 megawatts of solar capacity overall. Each week, according to SEIA, more than 7.2 million people—2.2% of the country’s population—shop at a Walmart store with a solar installation.

The top 10 corporate solar users:
1. Apple
2. Amazon
3. Walmart
4. Target
5. Google
6. Kaiser Permanente
7. Switch
8. Prologis
9. Facebook
10. Solvay

This surge in solar power is a result of both corporate environmental commitments and the fact that solar can save these

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There May Be Two Dozen Superhabitable Planets Outside the Solar System, According to Scientists

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There May Be Two Dozen Superhabitable Planets Outside the Solar System, According to Scientists

They’re more than 100-light-years away!

Looking for a safe place to travel on vacation with your family? Instead of an island getaway or road trip across the country, how about any of the 24 recently discovered superhabitable planets in outer space? Astronauts have discovered two dozen planets that are capable of sustaining human life, according to a report published in the journal Astrobiology. The study, which was led by Washington State University geobiologist Dirk Schulze-Makuch, found that these “super-habitable” worlds are older, larger, warmer, and moister than Earth.

Getty / Lev Savitskiy

“With the next space telescopes coming up, we will get more information, so it is important to select some targets,” said Schulze-Makuch in a statement. “We have to focus on certain planets that have the most promising conditions for complex life. However, we have to be careful to not get stuck looking for a second Earth, because there could be planets that might be more suitable for life than ours.”

Related: Astronomers Discovered a New Planet Deep in the Galaxy That Could Be Another Earth

Each of the 24 planets met a certain list of criteria pre-determined by researchers. One of the key factors is that all of the planets exist in the habitable orbit around a star where liquid water can exist due to an ideal temperature. Other conditions that were considered for a superhabitable planet include the life expectancy of the host star; size and mass of the planets; and surface temperature of the planets. The planets are all also significantly larger than Earth, which means that there is even more habitable land available. The warm temperature and larger mass could also mean that the planets are well suited to supporting

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When Is The Next Solar And Lunar Eclipse? They’re Sooner Than You Think

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Eclipses are perhaps the most spectacular celestial events of all.

During an hours-long lunar eclipse the full Moon can turn a reddish-copper color for a few hours, while solar eclipses—which can last for just a few minutes—often leave onlookers scarred for life … in a good way!

In fact, if you’ve ever witnessed the brief totality of a total solar eclipse—when the world around you turns into twilight and you see the Sun’s bright white corona for a few seconds—you’ll know why there are thousands of dedicated eclipse-chasers who try to see as many as they can.

Trouble is, solar and lunar eclipses don’t come around very often.

However, there are now a few coming up fast.

MORE FROM FORBESCorona Vs Corona: It’s 100 Days Until The Rare Eclipse Coronavirus Is Named After. Will You See It?

In 2020 there are six eclipses; four lunar eclipses and two solar eclipses. We’re almost through with them, having already had lunar eclipses on:

There was also a solar eclipse—a rare kind called an annular or “ring of fire” eclipse:

So what’s left in 2020? One lunar eclipse—and the best one of the year for North Americans—and a rare total solar eclipse, the best eclipse of 2020, which will be seen only from South America.

Sadly, COVID-19 is playing havoc with that one.

Here’s everything you need to know about the next solar and lunar eclipses coming up soon, and the next eclipses of all kinds visible from North America.

When is the next lunar eclipse?

Date: Monday, November 30, 2020

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China’s Carbon-Neutral Pledge Boosts Solar Rally

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Wind turbines on farmland


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Investors can generally ignore goals that world leaders promise the U.N. General Assembly they will achieve 40 years from now. Chinese President
Xi Jinping
’s recent pledge to make his country carbon neutral by 2060 is an exception. 

The scope of Xi’s ambition, in a country that still gets two-thirds of its power from coal, is breathtaking. Follow-up documents from a Tsinghua University think tank estimate China will have to spend $15 trillion on green transformation, increasing solar power six times and wind more than three times. 

But these aims are underpinned by achievements. From a standing start 10 years ago, China has created seven of the world’s top 10 solar module manufacturers, says Xiaojing Sun, who follows the sector for consultant Wood Mackenzie.

These upstarts have largely wiped out European competitors on price, while high U.S. import tariffs have failed to stimulate a domestic industry. “The Chinese have been very good at leveraging other countries’ subsidies to sell into those markets,” says Louis Schwartz, CEO of consultant China Strategies. China is less dominant, but still a top player, in the race to build electric vehicles and their all-important batteries.

Buying the relevant Chinese stocks is another question, however. A lot of good news is already baked in, especially for solar producers, after recent price surges. Shares of industry leader

JinkoSolar

(ticker: JKS) have nearly doubled this year, and No. 2

JA Solar Technology

(002459.China) more than tripled, on expectations of a global green reboot after Covid-19 and a potential election victory for environmentally minded U.S. Democrats. “I can see pockets where companies have become expensive on a short-term basis,” says Will Riley, who manages Guinness Asset Management’s Global Energy fund. 

The headlong growth of renewable energy leaves companies challenged to keep up

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How Coal-Loving Australia Became the Leader in Rooftop Solar

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CAIRNS, Australia — Australia is the world’s second-largest exporter of coal, which plays an outsize role in its economy and politics. But the country has also quietly become a renewable energy powerhouse.

About one in four Australian homes have rooftop solar panels, a larger share than in any other major economy, and the rate of installations far outpaces the global average. The country is well ahead of Germany, Japan and California, which are widely considered leaders in clean energy. In California, which leads U.S. states in the use of solar power, less than 10 percent of utility customers have rooftop solar panels.

Most Australians who have embraced solar do not appear to have done so for altruistic reasons like wanting to fight climate change. Many are responding to incentives offered by state governments in the absence of a coordinated federal approach, a sharp drop in the price of solar panels in recent years and an increase in electricity rates.

Politically conservative homeowners have also embraced solar to become less reliant on the electricity grid in keeping with the high value many Australians place on rugged individualism.

In two of the country’s most populous states — Queensland, a conservative stronghold, and New South Wales, home to left-leaning Sydney — as many as half of homes have solar panels.

“The future for New South Wales and indeed the country is one where our energy comes from sun, wind and pumped hydro, not just because it’s good for the environment but because it’s good for the economy” said Matt Kean, minister for energy and environment in New South Wales.

“That’s one of the reasons we’ve got the highest penetration of rooftop solar anywhere on the planet,” he added. “People are doing that because they want to save money.”

But many state governments have