According to a just-released report from the s20 satellite initiative, 16 cities in 13 different countries, encompassing 60 million residents, now have the opportunity to apply for solar energy projects, in order to contribute to global efforts to reduce the use of carbon-emitting power sources. And while the start-up s20 is centered on helping cities respond to the threat of climate change, the initiative also seeks to focus on their own city’s contribution to its own climate future.
On June 25, s20 was officially launched by X-prize founder Peter Diamandis at the TED Global conference in Vancouver, offering cities the chance to volunteer to become X-Prize cities for 2020, 2023, and so on. The international initiative is explicitly designed to make cities more resilient to changes in extreme weather, and to make their own carbon footprint more conscious and manageable.
x-prize s20 s20 solar farms
X-prize s20 pilot
Already one big municipality has jumped aboard: Milan, Italy. This first pilot project will see all 400 land and water frontage municipal properties on the Arno River in the city of Milan become “solar parks” by mid-2020, by letting saplings surrounding the branches of city-owned trees grow to shade and heat the water utilities infrastructure there. Milan is joining X-prize s20 fellow cities London and Mumbai, in also ensuring that city organizations have solar power generation opportunities that will benefit their municipal operation.
Milan solar panels (Photo: Courtesy s20)
There are other city-wide initiatives on the way, too. Since s20 was created, X-prize s20 has also seen a sign-up of five organizations to join the teams that will be seeking solar projects for pilot projects throughout s20’s first phase of service. (This will see projects “graduated” to full-scale design by 2023).
All five groups are devoted to exploring new ways of manufacturing and developing, installing and operating solar-energy systems for the power grid. These five teams will consider different ways in which a million rooftops across the world might be used to ramp up the power grid with a quantity of solar that would be beyond the powering capabilities of even the most politically viable solar market. These five teams will focus on a number of tech terms: structural, fluid, optical, electrical, and architecture, and in order to propose solutions for the contribution that cities can make to a renewable energy future.
Now that all the startup s20 founder are accepting group entries, they plan to award the largest prize of 250,000 Euros (US$296,000), in 2020. For now, we only have three months left to apply, and to file our projects. We have already registered for our big s20 Solar Park.
It takes about a month to go through the entire s20 Solar Park registration process, so we hope that you’ll be among the first to know about all the exciting projects coming down the pike. Please let us know if we’ve missed your project.
x-prize s20 s20 pilot (Photo: Courtesy s20)