The Guardian: Fossil Fuel Moguls Are Backing Trump With Words, Not Donations
Shale oil billionaire Harold Hamm publicly lavished praise on Donald Trump during the Republican convention last month. Natural-gas mogul T. Boone Pickens is talking with pro Trump super PACs about providing help, including possibly writing a big check and hosting a fundraiser. And coal chieftain Robert Murray spearheaded a big fundraiser for Trump in late June in West Virginia.
But while Trump has garnered the endorsements of several leading fossil fuel chieftains and has often espoused pro-oil and coal rhetoric, his campaign and allied super PACs have seen dismal fundraising yields in the energy sector, seemingly due to nervousness about Trump’s thin policy statements and volatile temperament, as well as the difficult times many big companies are going through, say veteran GOP energy operatives and analysts.
Jalopnik: The Head Roboticist of Google's Self-Driving Car Division Is Out
After nearly a decade with the company, the chief technical officer of Google’s self-driving car project left the company -- along with two other veterans of the car division. The decisions to leave come under a new leader on the project, who reportedly didn’t mesh well with some longtime employees.
Chris Urmson announced his departure from Google on Friday in a post on the website Medium, recapping the seven and a half years he spent on the car project before saying that Friday was his last day as chief technical officer. The program was still a secret when Urmson joined, and The New York Times reports that he took over the lead position in 2013 after Stanford computer scientist Sebastian Thrun left.
Hybrid Cars: Nissan Experiments With Car Sharing, More EVs
Add Nissan to the bandwagon of automakers that are working on car sharing and more EVs.
The company created the Nissan Future Lab in 2014 to research changes in the automotive industry, as well as how the company could stay abreast of trends. It seems that the Future Lab has come to a conclusion that’s in line with the rest of the industry -- that car-sharing and electric vehicles are the way of the near future.
The Future Lab, collaborating with Scoot Networks, uses “living labs” -- research that observes user behavior -- to predict future trends.
Fortune: Why Tesla Is Making Its Own Solar Gear
Days after Tesla and SolarCity agreed on a $2.6 billion acquisition deal, Tesla CEO Elon Musk revealed that a combined company plans to make solar inverters, an important piece of hardware that attaches to solar panels.
The move shows how Tesla’s penchant for making many of its own parts and tools could translate to its new solar business while also highlighting Musk’s focus on vertical integration.
Reuters: Africa Battles to Get Big Solar Projects on the Grid
Sunshine is plentiful, solar panels get cheaper by the year and demand for power is skyrocketing, but the newness of the technology, bureaucratic hurdles and investor fear of uncharted territory have held back the rollout of solar plants across Africa.
Solar accounts for less than 1 percent of Africa's power generation. Outside of South Africa and Algeria, there are only a few utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) plants on the continent, the largest being a 20 MW plant in Ghana.
Reuters collected data on over 3,500 MW of projects that have been commissioned in the past six years -- roughly equal to the combined output of Senegal, Uganda, Mali and Cameroon.