Top Reads + Hot Takes

  1. Groundwater scarcity.

    Using solar-powered pumps to irrigate crops in arid regions like India's Rajasthan desert may not be the best idea if it means depleting the groundwater table, Yale Environment 360 reports.

    This well-researched article raises some critical questions about the unchecked use of technology, irrespective of whether it is clean, and its impact on the underlying environment.

    Amena H. Saiyid

    Washington D.C. Correspondent

  2. Net-zero neighborhoods.

    Canary Media profiles a net-zero neighborhood of 28 homes in Colorado. There are already net-zero neighborhoods in Hawaii, Utah and Wisconsin and more are under construction across the country.

    The homes in the Colorado neighborhood called Geos are designed using the passive house system, which means they have ultra-tight seals and insulation, use solar and have electric building equipment.

    Cat Clifford Headshot

    Cat Clifford

    Senior Science and Economics Correspondent

  3. Rural connections.

    The U.S. Energy Department announced $366 million worth of projects to connect rural communities and Tribal areas across 20 states and 30 Tribal Nations with clean and affordable energy.

    The projects range from installing microgrids at rural community health clinics, revitalizing a hydroelectric dam in Alaska and powering rural Hopi and Navajo communities with clean solar power.

    Amena H. Saiyid

    Washington D.C. Correspondent

  4. Grid battles.

    Utility companies and regulators are butting heads over how to pay for cleaning up the grid, as a recent clash between Illinois regulators and utility company Exelon exemplifies, Bloomberg reports.

    Key quote: “We’re trying to move to a 21st century grid with 19th century rules,” said Calvin Butler, the CEO of Exelon. “You cannot build a grid of the future playing the same old playbook.”

    Cat Clifford Headshot

    Cat Clifford

    Senior Science and Economics Correspondent