Saturday, December 27, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 27 December 2014

Energy produced from waste – experiences from Norway
Dec. 20, 2014 - The system for waste treatment tends to be similar in all part of Norway due to national environmental strategy and legislation demanding the municipalities to recycle and prevent pollution. The amount of waste increases as economy grows. According to data from Statistics Norway total amount of municipal solid waste (MSW) has increased from 1, 3 . 106 tons in 1995 to 2, 0 . 106 tons in 2005. Larger homes, higher house holding standards, frequent reconstruction together with increased spending on furniture and household appliances are examples of how affluence generates waste.

Using the resources from waste will be important in the years to come. The shortage of energy coupled with an enormous increase and turnover of new products makes it reasonable to develop the technology and infrastructure to turn waste to energy. read more>>>

Utilizing Waste Heat For Power
Dec. 2, 2014 - Continuous duty gen-sets provide base-load power generation in diverse applications around the globe. However, high fuel costs and engine maintenance are pain points felt by operators. A low-maintenance path to significant fuel savings and lower emissions is what the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) had in mind when they approached ElectraTherm to integrate the company’s Green Machine waste heat to power (WHP) generator with a 1.1 MW Cummins KTA-50 generator. ElectraTherm specializes in smallscale, distributed power generation from waste heat, utilizing Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) and proprietary technologies to generate power from low temperature heat ranging from 77o to 116°C. The company’s WHP technology converts various sources of heat into power, including internal combustion engines, small geothermal, biomass, concentrated solar and process heat. To date, ElectraTherm said it has deployed 42 units worldwide, with a cumulative 250 000 operating hours and over 97% availability. rtead more>>>

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Green Construction Being Continuously Innovated in Florida
December 12, 2014 - Green construction enables builders to use resources more efficiently and create more energy-efficient buildings. This efficiency ideally lasts throughout the lifetime of the building, including its design, construction, operation, maintenance, renovation, and demolition.

Close collaboration between designers, architects,and engineers is required throughout various stages of the product.

Sometimes known as “green building” or “sustainable building,” green construction has been getting an increasingly large amount of attention in the United States. Not only is it about being environmentally responsible and resource-efficient, but a lot of businesses simply prefer green building for financial reasons. read more>>>

Mamaroneck builder creates green dream home
December 12, 2014 - I have owned a construction business in Westchester County for over 35 years with my brother Sean. When my wife Diane and I finally had the opportunity to build our own custom home, we decided very quickly that it was going to be green and it was going to be beautiful.

The house would be under 3,000 square feet with four bedrooms, and an open first-floor plan that would satisfy our desire to entertain both large and small groups of friends and family.

We decided to build our home in a coastal colonial style, framing the outside walls with insulated concrete forms — or ICFs as they are called — styrofoam blocks that stack like Legos, then are filled with concrete. read more>>>

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Major power conference hears of importance of microgrids
11/12/2014 - Consumers who need resilient, reliable, “always-on” power that the utility can’t deliver are driving the growth of microgrids in the US.

In addition, renewable energy and energy storage technologies are becoming essential components of microgrids. These were two of the many issues discussed during Wednesday’s Renewable Energy World Conference, North America session titled Microgrids: Opportunities, Challenges, and Innovative Solutions.

Renewable Energy World’s Jennifer Runyon reported on the conference and a parallel survey of utility executives, which showed that more than 80 per cent of North American utilities expect their energy markets to be made up of a mix of large central generation and distributed generation assets by 2030. read more>>>

Building a Green Economy for the Middle East
12/14/2014 - The 21st century is experiencing many huge global transformations. More than half the world's population now live in cities; at the same time, climate change is causing more and more natural disasters, and those disasters are increasingly affecting urban areas. The world's population is also getting younger, with a huge growth in the youth population. One of the regions most affected by these transformations is the Middle East and North Africa.

According to the United Nations Development Programme, Arab countries cover 10 percent of the world's area but receive only 2.1 percent of its average annual precipitation. Per capita renewable water resources has fallen to 743 cubic meters, well below the poverty level of 1,000. Droughts are expected to turn more extreme, and water scarcity is expected to exacerbate both political and economic tensions. read more>>>

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Gray's Final Sustainability Report Outlines Ways D.C. Can Become 'Most Livable City' in U.S.
Dec 11, 2014 - When Mayor Vince Gray rolled out an ambitious 20-year sustainability plan in 2012 that highlighted ways the city could become the "cutting edge of environmental stewardship and protection," it seemed like something of a political booster and pipe dream.

But since then, Gray's administration has worked hard to make D.C. one of the greenest and "most livable" cities in the country. And it shows. During his time as mayor, Gray's administration has allocated money to plant more trees in the city, signed legislation to ban polystyrene-made foam containers, increased the size of trash and recycling cans (which then led to a whole fiasco involving removal of old cans, but that's a whole other story), and continued to convert more buildings to be LEED-certified green, making D.C. the national leader in green buildings. Indeed, Gray's scorecard in terms of making D.C. more green and sustainable is pretty high, and the city's energy efficiency continues to grow. read more>>>

Outlook is bright for UK`s solar power potential
Dec. 6, 2014 - Solar energy is sometimes dismissed as a fanciful idea with little to offer so far in such a cloudy country as the UK, but a new report says power from the sun could thrive in Britain in barely five years’ time − without the need for any subsidy.

The report – published on the website of Thema1, a Berlin-based group that works to accelerate the transition to a low-carbon society − says solar energy is leading changes in the power market as hardware costs have fallen relentlessly over the last decade, recalling the boom in the semiconductor industry.

Last month, the German utility E.ON announced that it was hiving off all its conventional fossil fuel generation to focus on renewables and energy services. read more>>>

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Climate Change Performance Index: Global Shift Needs Further Action
Dec. 8, 2014 - Global emissions have reached a new peak, but recent developments indicate a new readiness for action on climate protection. This is the message of the 10th edition of the Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI); a ranking of the climate protection performance of the 58 highest emitters worldwide published by Germanwatch and CAN Europe at the UN Climate Conference in Lima yesterday.

'We see global trends, indicating promising shifts in some of the most relevant sectors for climate protection', says Jan Burck (Germanwatch), author of the Index. 'The rise of emissions has slowed down, and renewables are rapidly growing due to declining costs and massive investments.' read more>>>

Community Solar Takes Off In New York
December 10, 2014 - For the past two years, the NY-Sun Initiative has been working to reach Gov. Cuomo’s goal of increasing New York State’s solar capacity to 3 gigawatts by 2023. So far, the state has installed or contracted 316 megawatts of solar electricity, more than the entire previous decade. And from now until January 30th, schools, non-profits and governments will be able to upgrade to solar systems for bargain basement prices.

According to NRDC, community purchasing programs along the Solarize model (remember our Solarize Brooklyn campaign*?) which allow localize homeowners and groups to join together to aggregate their purchasing power, much in the same way that a large organization can to get good deals for health insurance for members or employees. read more>>>

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Latin America a hotspot for renewable energy development
10 December 2014 - Success stories from seven countries in Latin America and the Caribbean prove that the region is positioned to lead the sustainable energy revolution, according to a WWF report presented Tuesday alongside UN climate talks in Lima, Peru.

The report, Green Energy Leaders, provides examples of renewable energy trend-setting in the region including Costa Rica’s target of 100 per cent renewable energy, Uruguay’s leading clean energy investment and Brazil’s massive pipeline of future wind power capacity. Chile, Mexico, Nicaragua and Peru are also featured in the report.

“The region has all the renewable natural resources it needs to become a paragon for clean energy projects. It offers both an opportunity and a responsibility for future generations,” said Yolanda Kakabadse, President of WWF International. read more>>>

Aora’s solar tulips start shining in Ethiopia, without water!
Investments in solar energy innovations are not dead! Remember those weird and wonderful solar energy harvesting tulips planted in Israel and Spain? Seen miles away the sky-high tulips have found a new commercial home – in Ethiopia, the company announced last week in a press statement.

We’ve covered Aora over the years and thought possibly that this CSP, or concentrated solar thermal power innovation didn’t grow. We were wrong.

The Ethiopian Government, looking for resilient off-grid systems, is now piloting Aora’s system for sustainable development.

Aora’s tulips collect solar energy from 50 small mirrors and then focus the energy to heat oil and air, creating pressure to drive turbines in the tulips. The turbines create electricity. The solution runs without steam and water, important for off grid locations where there is no water. read more>>>

Friday, December 26, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 December 2014

Let's leave behind the age of fossil fuel. Welcome to Year One of the climate revolution
Tiny towns standing up to Big Oil. Gigantic marches taking on the future. Technology that works. We started to save ourselves in 2014, but we must make 2015 worth remembering – before it’s too late

23 December 2014 - It was the most thrilling bureaucratic document I’ve ever seen for just one reason: it was dated the 21st day of the month of Thermidor in the Year Six. Written in sepia ink on heavy paper, it recorded an ordinary land auction in France in what we would call the late summer of 1798. But the extraordinary date signaled that it was created when the French Revolution was still the overarching reality of everyday life and such fundamentals as the distribution of power and the nature of government had been reborn in astonishing ways. The new calendar that renamed 1792 as Year One had, after all, been created to start society all over again.

In that little junk shop on a quiet street in San Francisco, I held a relic from one of the great upheavals of the last millennium. It made me think of a remarkable statement the great feminist fantasy writer Ursula K Le Guin had made only a few weeks earlier. In the course of a speech she gave while accepting a book award, she noted:

We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.

That document I held was written only a few years after the French had gotten over the idea that the divine right of kings was an inescapable reality. The revolutionaries had executed their king for his crimes and were then trying out other forms of government. It’s popular to say that the experiment failed, but that’s too narrow an interpretation. France never again regressed to an absolutist monarchy and its experiments inspired other liberatory movements around the world (while terrifying monarchs and aristocrats everywhere). read more>>>

Exergeia Project: do you have any idea shattering energy?
17 December 2014 - The Exergeia Project, powered by signing Impact Economy, aims to push the boundaries of energy we can use. For that support the invention and innovation in all areas of energy related energy efficiency, generation, storage, transmission and distribution.

The project promoters believe that "it is time to accelerate the cycle of innovation in energy. This can only be achieved if scientific advances reach a high level faster scale. " And set the example of solar energy. "Since the discovery of the photovoltaic effect, by Becquerel in 1839, to manufacture silicon cells first passed over a hundred years." Consistently outstanding advances occurring in the field of materials science, computer technology, engineering ... "But the cycle of innovation is too slow to achieve a model based on 100% renewable throughout our life economy." read more>>>

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MESIA announces winners of the 2014 Solar Awards
04 December 2014 - The Middle East Solar Industry Association announced the winners of its annual solar awards at a gala ceremony held at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai on Monday night.

The award ceremony, at which 12 winners were honored, was held in conjunction with the 3rd Annual MENA Clean Energy Forum hosted by the Clean Energy Business Council.

In all, more than 200 dignitaries attended the event. The award winners, representing five different countries, were chosen by an independent panel of judges from around the world.

This year's awards were particularly notable due to the large number of women honored. read more>>>

How solar friendly is your state? The Freeing the Grid report finds out
12/16/14 - It’s one thing to make the decision to go solar, but depending on where in the U.S. you live, the ease with which one connects a household rooftop array to the grid—i.e., actually gets it up and running—can vary greatly. Produced by the advocacy groups Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Freeing the Grid ranks each of the 50 states based on two key clean energy programs: net metering and interconnection procedures. Now in its eighth year, the report is showing marked improvements in many states, but some troubling stagnation in others.

So what is net metering and interconnection? Net metering “ensures that renewable energy customers receive full credit on their utility bills for valuable clean power they put back on the grid.” Interconnection refers to the “rules and processes that an energy customer must follow to be able to ‘plug’ their renewable energy system into the electricity grid.” read more>>>

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One in five houses in Australia is using solar energy
12/16/14 - An astonishing one out of every five households in Australia is now relying on solar energy, a new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) reveals. Just 3 years ago only 5 percent of homes used rooftop solar panels or solar water heating, but today a full 19 percent do. To put that into perspective, by most accounts, fewer than .4 percent of homes in the US rely on solar.

Out of the 19 percent of homes using solar, 14 percent is attributed to roof panelling. “Add in solar hot water heating and we’re up to 19 per cent, so one in five households are now using some form of solar power.” said Karen Connaughton from the ABS. read more>>>

Maldives: PV hybrid system saves 800 litres of diesel a day
16.12.2014 - The German company DHYBRID Power Systems has installed a hybrid power supply for a public project on the Maldives. The project was funded by the World Bank. The solar energy power plant on the island Thinadhoo reduces the amount of diesel fuel consumed by 800 litres per day.

The Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean is far from the mainland. This means that its population is dependent on a local power supply. Diesel generators are important for securing the energy supply but they have ecological and economic drawbacks, so the ministry has decided for a hybrid solution. read more>>>

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S.A. network operator to trial micro grids for regional towns
15 December 2014 - The operator of the South Australia electricity network says it is to trial micro-grids with solar and battery storage in regional areas as a potentially cost-effective alternative to building or replacing poles and wires.

SA Power Networks, in its latest submission to the Australian Energy Regulator for spending over the next five years, says “micro-grid” technology has “particular promise” – both as a cheaper alternative to diesel, and as a potential solution to weather related black-outs that frequently plague regional areas.

In its submission, SA Power Networks says it needs to upgrade 31 remote power lines, and it will use a solar and battery storage based micro grid for one one them – at a cost of $2.8 million. read more>>>

Green Building Technology You’ll Never See But Can Experience Now
Dec 14, 2014 - Picture an office that cleans up after itself, improves indoor air quality with nanotech-formulated paint, and responds to sunlight by magically adjusting window tint, all while fighting climate change. Then imagine entering your workspace to find your desk light on and the temperature just as you like it. These innovations are already at work in some modern buildings, in the shape of the networked ecosystem of “intelligent” building equipment and devices.

Beyond the “Wow!” factor and the large-scale benefits to our planet, green and smart building technologies are changing the way we live and work, and creating business opportunities for technology innovators, commercial building owners and tenants.

Buildings designed with sustainability-supporting materials, big-data-crunching automated systems and onsite clean energy are expected to represent 55 percent of all U.S. commercial and institutional construction by 2015, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2013 Dodge Construction Green Outlook. read more>>>

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Internship offers insight into efforts to transform energy distribution
December 13, 2014 - Thomas Edison established the first direct current power system in 1882. It distributed electricity to 59 customers on Wall Street in New York City. Today, the electric grid includes more than 6 million miles of transmission and distribution lines designed primarily with centralized controls, supplying more than 143 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.

The expansion of the grid was noted as one of the most remarkable achievements of the 20th century and contributed to the rapid economic and industrial growth of the United States. However, in the late 20th century, the grid began to be connected in popular thought with concerns about increasing electricity prices and climate change. read more>>>

Danbury students unveil The E House for green initiative
December 17, 2014 - A group of high schoolers in Danbury are unveiling a first of its kind project today.

Considered the nations first green construction laboratories for high school students, The E House initiative provides a clean energy and energy efficiency curriculum.

It gives students the opportunity to conduct hands on fieldwork in various labs, preparing them for a green career after graduation. read more>>>

DIY Solar Projects: How to Put the Sun to Work in Your Home

Ridgewood schools stepping up green initiatives
December 16, 2014 - The Ridgewood Board of Education (BOE) this month joined with the municipality in furthering its mission to be Sustainable Jersey certified.

At a board meeting on Dec. 1, trustees voted to participate in Sustainable Jersey for Schools to focus attention on the environment and pursue initiatives toward certification.

The program pushes concepts like reduce, reuse, recycle; adhering to green building standards for construction and renovation; and encourages making eco-friendly purchases for things like paper, equipment and cleaning products. read more>>>

Green Jobs programme officially launched
Dec 18 2014 - Dubai's experts on green economy discuss focus areas and deliberate the foundation of sustainable development through the Green Jobs Programme.

- Panel deliberates on methods of implementing green economic development, cultivating green practices across the business sector and sustaining the future of Dubai

- Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) steps up efforts to transfer knowledge masses on Green Jobs and talent acquisition programme

Dubai - Dubai's thought leaders, heading the green economy revolution, met over the Emirate's status and outlook at a high level panel discussion, at the Raffles Hotel on 18th December. read more>>>