There are a few unlikely partners in wind and solar energy these days. Many companies like Walmart and Ikea are taking big steps in wind and solar energy advocacy. Even NASA is looking toward a greener type of space exploration. It is great to see corporations like Walmart and Ikea, and federal agencies like NASA get behind green energy. However, their motives may not simply be about making earth a better place. It could be more aimed toward profit. Solar energy is beginning to trend as innovative uses for green energy are becoming more common around the world. It can be seen in travel, fashion and space exploration. There is no doubt that going green is great, but at what cost?
Walmart and Ikea Going Green for Profit
Walmart is often the symbol of greed, exploitation, and killer of small businesses in communities around the world. They have taken steps to clean up their public image, and solar power may be one of them. According to data, corporations and non-utility buyers have lofty contracts for wind power. Companies across the U.S. like Walmart have bought 4,500 megawatts of wind power, which is enough to power more than one million homes. Unfortunately, Walmart might be making a financial decision, instead of one with public image in mind. Wind power is becoming more financially beneficial for big corporations since its humble beginnings. Ikea has taken a different approach to going green, putting solar panels on shelves for purchase. This puts consumers behind the wheel of solar alternatives. Ikea will offer solar panels for order online and in three U.K. stores.
The Solar Powered NASA Space Program
Going green doesn’t really seem to fit in the same sentence as NASA, but the U.S. space agency has plans to eventually launch a green space something. NASA is so adamant on giving solar and electric energy a go; they plan to invest roughly $67 million into a specific space project. This, of course, puts the commitments of Walmart and Ikea to shame. NASA has entrusted $67 million to Aerojet Rocketdyne with hopes of launching a Solar Electric Propulsion system. This system will be used for deep space travel. It boasts lower thrust and is fuel-efficient. Take that Tesla. Goes to show, that the bigger the budget, the greener your ambitions can be.
Cool Innovative Solar Stuff
There is a lot of pretty cool solar powered stuff out there in the world. Some of which people are simply not aware of. For example, 40% of George Airport in South Africa is powered by solar energy. It is Africa’s first solar-powered airport with an average of 600,000 passengers coming and going annually. There is also a solar-powered airplane called the Solar Impulse 2. It has even flown across the Pacific Ocean successfully. If fashion and innovative solar technology are more your speed, there are solar coats and shirts that can charge your mobile phone. Solar is indeed pretty cool.
— SOLAR IMPULSE (@solarimpulse) April 24, 2016