Government Rollbacks Aside, Renewable Energy Is Here to Stay

The energy marketplace has embraced renewable energy production as part of a balanced portfolio.

As Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council writes:
“Despite President Trump’s oft-repeated affinity for coal and a recent spike in U.S. production, energy experts don’t expect a long-term surge in coal production for power plants. There are two main reasons: More natural gas plants are coming on line and renewable sources, mainly wind, are filling the energy gap in many parts of the country.”

Electric vehicle startup NIO unveils self-driving concept car at SXSW

NIO, an electric vehicle startup backed by Chinese venture capitalists, unveiled its first self-driving car concept at SXSW this weekend.

The NIO EVE is a “mobile living area” as much as a vehicle, and has been designed to accommodate long family journeys. The interior has reclining seats that can fold into beds and front seats that can rotate to face the back seats.

Cybersecurity of the Power Grid: A Growing Challenge

Called the “largest interconnected machine,” the U.S. electricity grid is a complex digital and physical system crucial to life and commerce in this country. Today, it is made up of more than 7,000 power plants, 55,000 substations, 160,000 miles of high-voltage transmission lines and millions of miles of low-voltage distribution lines. This web of generators, substations and power lines is organized into three major interconnections, operated by 66 balancing authorities and 3,000 different utilities. That’s a lot of power, and many possible vulnerabilities.

White House’s SXSL shows what it’s like to be in the criminal justice system

The criminal justice system in our country is broken. Just imagine if technologists put their resources and knowledge toward solving some of our country’s biggest issues, instead of toward the next dating app. Today at South by South Lawn, the White House’s first-ever festival of art, ideas and action, I got a glimpse of what that world might look like.

Motorleaf is Nest meets Lego for next-gen agriculture

The world of agricultural technology, or agtech, is rapidly evolving. It’s automating laborious tasks and providing farmers and growers with greater knowledge and insight into their crops than ever before. As technology evolves so does the needs of the farmer and the growing environment. Around 20% of the world’s food production is grown within cities rather rural areas and inherent in this is the multi-billion dollar industry of indoor growing and hydroponics.

Finding the right energy mix for Wisconsin increasingly involves solar

Here’s a fact that will likely surprise anyone who likes to joke, whine or fume about the weather in Wisconsin, which includes most of us: The sun shines over the Badger state more than half the time.

Depending a bit on where you live in Wisconsin, you can expect to see the sun shining 190 out of 365 days a year, counting days that are partly sunny. That’s not Arizona-like sunshine, but it’s not Seattle, either.

Tapping into the sun to produce energy is still a small part of Wisconsin’s overall energy mix, but it’s the fastest-growing component. The Solar Energy Industries Association reports Wisconsin ranks 30th overall among the 50 states in installed solar capacity and that $12 million was spent on solar installations in 2015, up about 70 percent from 2014.

Bosch, Flextronics back CropX to help farmers grow more food without wasting water

A Tel Aviv startup that wants to help farmers produce more food with fewer resources, CropX, has attracted sensor manufacturers Robert Bosch and Flextronics International as strategic backers.

Specifically, Robert Bosch Venture Capital GmbH and accelerator Flex Lab IX added $1 million in venture funding to the Series A round for CropX, which now totals $10 million.