The Good News Report

The Good News Report

July 16, 2018

Electric garbage trucks, solar-powered water delivery and efficiency-minded drones — if this week’s green-energy news is any indication, things are moving in the right direction.

Well-Disposed Toward Sustainability

New York could be getting a new resident as soon as next year: the city’s first all-electric garbage truck. Unlike other service vehicles, such as patrol cars and fire trucks, garbage trucks follow predictable routes and return home at the same time every day, which means they can be left to charge on a set schedule. Electric vehicles are also quieter — making them an attractive option for nighttime and early-morning routes. The Department of Sanitation will start testing the vehicle in 2019.

Sweet Charity

Charitable groups have been using solar-energy technology for good works. For example, a group of Virginia Mennonites recently assembled to install solar panels on the roof of the Thrift & Gift complex in Harrisonburg. Spokesperson Jeff Heie contends that the project fits with the group’s tradition of “barn-raising,” and that moving away from reliance on fossil fuels serves to “minimize conflict over energy” throughout the world.

Powerful Impact

Similarly, the Yemeni government has taken ownership of a UN Migration Agency project to deliver water using solar power. “Power generated by the 940 solar panels installed on three schools in Amanat Al Asimah and Sana’a Governorates began pumping water to residents of the neighbourhoods of Shu’aub, Al Madinah Al Syahya, and Sho’ob two weeks ago,” the UN reported Wednesday. Ninety percent of Yemen’s population has limited access to water, according to the UN, which said this delivery system would benefit over 50,000 people every day.

Inspector Gadgets

Like any technology, drones can be an agent for good in the right hands. When used responsibly, they could even reduce the environmental impact of the growing home-delivery market. Now, Spain’s largest utility provider is employing drones to inspect that country’s energy infrastructure. Using infrared, the devices can locate defective wind turbines, solar panels and power lines in hopes of improving overall efficiency.

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