Swipe left on your dream energy supplier [Bloomberg]
Looking for that special wind or solar farm? There’s an app for that. With increasing numbers of small projects offering renewable energy to the market, new digital platforms have emerged pairing consumers with their dream providers. Just like Tinder, the apps match profiles according to desired criteria, such as size of project, credit rating and expected completion date. Some apps even provide an interactive map where users can check out different provider profiles – and send a notification if there’s a match. Contracts signed in 2019 amount to 15.5 gigawatts of clean energy. Green is über sexy, and suppliers know it.
Harnessing the sun [CNN]
In other tech-energy news: Bill Gates backed clean energy startup, Heliogen, has found a way to literally harness the power of the sun to create extreme heat that can be used in industrial applications. Concentrated solar power is currently being used in limited industrial situations but no one has been able to generate the required amount of heat. Enter Heliogen. Using AI, computer vision software and other highly sophisticated technology Heliogen has trained a field of mirrors to reflect solar beams to one specific spot. The applications of this tech are wide-reaching and could disrupt the manufacturing industry…if the sector will agree to go green.
Internet coverage within the Amazon Rainforest [TechCrunch]
Alphabet Inc. is a giant player in everything from Google cloud to self-driving cars, and their next ambitions via Loon (the high-altitude balloon company) are no less impressive. Loon has signed an agreement with Telefonica-owned Internet para Todos (IpT) the company hopes to secure sustained internet connectivity to remote users of the Amazon Rainforest in Peru using stratospheric technology. The initiative, backed by Facebook and the Development Bank of Latin America, hopes to launch in 2020. With a population of potentially 200,000 to receive coverage and the project being the first of its type in terms of commercial deployment with the aim of offering continued internet over a sustained period, it is one to watch.
We all think that we’re surrounded by fake news on social media and sometimes it’s even hard to make the distinction between what’s real and what’s not. But what if we were overestimating the power of targeted ads. A Harvard law professor considers that advertisers assume the targeting leads people to buy things even though this isn’t proven. In fact, targeted political ads published on Facebook could just as easily result in lost votes as they could have no impact. In both cases, he thinks that this is more harmful to the companies’ business model than to democracy. So, who’s fooling who?
In case you haven’t had enough…