Thursday, January 31, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 31 January 2013

White Sands & Solar Panels
01/30/2013 - The U.S. Army dedicated its largest solar photovoltaic system at White Sands Missile Range in a ceremony led by Brig. Gen. Gwen Bingham, White Sands commander, joined by Katherine Hammack, assistant secretary of the Army for Installations, Energy and Environment.

“I came here about four months ago talking about how White Sands is a national treasure and now we can feel proud that we’re really on the environmental edge,” Bingham said. “It takes passion to do something like this. I’m just excited about the journey that will lie ahead.”

Developed in coordination with the U.S. Army Engineering and Support Center in Huntsville, Ala., Siemens Government Technologies, Inc., and Bostonia, the over-four-megawatt White Sands Missile Range solar energy system will generate about 10 million kilowatt-hours of clean electricity annually, and provide an estimated annual savings of $930,000. read more>>>

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No seeds to weather climate change
JOHANNESBURG, 31 January 2013 (IRIN) - Thembikosi Gumedze, the curator of the national seed bank in cash-strapped Swaziland, has been unable to supply much-needed drought-tolerant food crop seeds to farmers for more than two years.

He has not been able to source the US$7,000 to $10,000 a year needed to produce enough seeds to distribute to the country’s smallholder population.

For almost a year, the bank did not have money to repair its defunct vehicle. Once the vehicle was repaired, the bank was unable to afford the petrol needed to get it on the road. "We have been grounded essentially," Gumedze said over the phone.

As farmers in Swaziland grapple with an increasingly erratic climate, the shortage of funds has affected the bank’s production of climate-resilient maize seeds and hardier legumes, like pigeon peas, that can thrive in drought-like conditions. read more>>>

Hybrids, solar panels and trashing trash: A look at University of Michigan sustainability progress
Jan 30, 2013 - Since University of Michigan President Mary Sue Coleman introduced ambitious sustainability goals 16 months ago, many practices have started to change at the school but there's even more left to do.

In the course of 12 months, the school introduced seven hybrid buses to its transportation fleet. It installed a 2.4-acre solar panel field on north campus and finalized plans for another large array to be constructed this spring.

The most expensive building U-M has ever constructed —the $754 million C.S. Mott Children's and Von Voigtlander Women's Hospital— received a silver LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. Building to LEED code added tens of millions of dollars to the construction cost, but was consistent with the goals Coleman outlined when she announced a $14 million sustainability initiative in September 2011. read more>>> - Buy Best Electronic Gadgets, Laptop Parts, Computer Components, Cell Phone Accessories!

Minneapolis City Council panel passes energy-rating mandate
January 28, 2013 - A Minneapolis City Council panel approved rules Monday to require commercial buildings to receive public ratings based on their energy efficiency.

The goal of the ordinance, sponsored by Council Member Elizabeth Glidden, is to encourage building owners to reduce their energy consumption by posting their scores on a city website. Environmental groups offered full-throated support at a public hearing, while building owners opposed the mandate.

Under the proposal, commercial buildings larger than 50,000 square feet would submit their energy usage information to Energy Star, a government-backed program that offers tools for calculating energy efficiency.

About 50 buildings in Minneapolis already voluntarily display their Energy Star ratings. Kevin Lewis, executive director of the Greater Minneapolis Building Owners and Managers Association, noted the progress building owners have already made conserving energy. read more>>>

Insects` gut microbes hint at Biofuel breakthrough
BEIJING -- Jan. 25, 2013 -- Deep inside insects' guts may lie the key to one of the biofuel industry's great challenges: how to cost-effectively turn tough plant waste into profit-making fuel.

About 50 million tonnes of lignin are produced every year worldwide, mostly as waste after the sugar, or cellulose, in a plant has been converted into ethanol.

Finding a way to process this tough molecule could boost biofuel production and cut the greenhouse gases that are emitted when it is burned as waste.

Insects harbour natural catalysts that could be exploited to convert plant material into biofuels more efficiently, report scientists in a paper in PLoS Genetics this month (10 January). Herbivorous insects often rely on microbes in their guts using these molecules to digest plant materials such as cellulose and lignin. read more>>>

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East Asia will spend $4.8 billion on FGD this year
Jan. 30, 2013 - Power plants in East Asia will spend $4.8 billion on flue gas desulfurization (FGD) this year. This will be 63 percent of the total worldwide expenditure. This is the conclusion reached in FGD World Markets published by the McIlvaine Company.

These forecasts do not include repair parts and upgrades nor do they include consumables such as lime and limestone. Total expenditures by the power plants for FGD will exceed $15 billion in 2013.

The forces shaping the market include:

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 30 January 2013

The Great Climate Disconnect
Jan. 24, 2013 - The year ahead will be dominated by growing tension between ever-stronger evidence of climate change and the inadequacy of the global policy response. Drought in the USA in 2012 highlighted the vulnerability of commodity prices to intensified weather risk, and 2013 is set to be another year of above-average global temperatures. But global greenhouse gas emissions are continuing to rise, putting the world on track for overshooting the 2ºC “safe” target and ending up in a 4ºC world.

Governments are continuing negotiations to narrow the gap between the current targets for reducing emissions and the levels that scientists tell us are needed to limit climate change to 2ºC . Significant steps toward a new global climate agreement are not expected until the end of 2015. But the next 12 months will nevertheless be a year of transition—there is positive momentum emerging for low-carbon technologies, and negative pressures against “green growth” looks set to lessen. read more>>>

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Clean energy could become cleaner and better performing
January 29, 2013 - The National Science Foundation has awarded researchers from the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly), Case Western Reserve University, University of Pennsylvania, Rochester Institute of Technology, University of Sheffield in the United Kingdom, University of MONS in Belgium, University of Bologna in Italy and Santa Catarina State University in Brazil with a grant to explore ways in which biological-based materials can be used in the manufacture of turbine blades, solar panels and other components for the clean-energy industry.

As petroleum costs rise, this research will become increasingly valuable. New materials and chemical process will be developed which can be used to increase performance in solar cells and wind turbine blades. read more>>>

DOD to drive cleantech market
January 29, 2013 - The Department of Defense (DOD) has high goal for its renewable energy use. It's all part of the goal to reduce its energy costs (approximately $20 billion per year) and reliance on fossil fuels, as well as increase energy security.

According to Pike Research, DOD will increase its total installed capacity of renewable energy sources from 80 MW in 2013 to more than 3,200 MW by 2025. That's a more than fourfold increase in 12 years. read more>>>

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Five trends driving action on sustainability in 2013
January 30, 2013 - After an election year when energy and climate change policies were not central to the national discussion, it may seem interest in sustainability has flagged in the U.S. In fact, the public and private sectors, working together and separately, continue to progress on policies and strategies that support both ecological and economic goals.

This is evident in the commercial property sector. More than 28 billion square feet -- about 40 percent of the country’s inventory -- now use ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager to monitor and report energy performance. LEED-certified properties in the U.S. and 130 other countries topped the 2 billion-square-foot mark this summer, and the U.S. Green Building Council notes that another 2 million square feet is certified each day. On the public-sector side, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo recently announced plans to reduce energy by 20 percent at state-occupied buildings. read more>>>

What was missing from the sustainability conversation at Davos
January 29, 2013 - While sustainability has become a top priority for many leading global businesses, adoption remains slow and patchy. That’s reflected by the fact that, at the World Economic Forum in Davos, sustainability has continued to be discussed as a standalone topic, rather like the Internet was a decade or two ago. Only when it is eventually embedded in all conversations will we know progress has been made.

Building the circular economy stoked particular interest in Davos this year. How long we must wait until the concept becomes the norm for businesses at a global scale will depend on our ability to break down barriers through new forms of collaboration. read more>>>

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There's plenty of good growth prospects in the green economy
January 30, 2013 - Inside Track Q&A : John Heally, founder, Absolutely Organic

What is special about your business?

Absolutely Organic is the oldest surviving organic food home delivery service in Dublin.

We started in a neighbour’s garage in Dublin 15 years ago. Everything we sell is certified organic and we are certified and inspected annually.

We have stayed true to our core values of trust, quality and customer focus and have continued to support local organic growers when others have walked away from these great people. We offer the biggest range of organic food items (over 600) with free delivery around greater Dublin.

What has been your major success to date?

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 29 January 2013

Solar Power: A Catalyst for Microgrids
January 27, 2013 - Solar power is becoming increasingly affordable and easier to install. Because of this, many areas are using them to create their own Microgrids. This article focuses on how solar panels encourage Microgrid creation and discusses what the future holds for solar energy in the residential arena.

A Brief Overview

Microgrids are a new way to make energy services available to communities and areas that are currently off-grid. The Worldwide figures are staggering when you consider that about one and a half billion people lack any sort of electricity supply and the numbers are understandably much higher in rural areas than in cities, although there are still 21 million people in cities without an electricity supply. Microgrids are considered to be a practical and relatively inexpensive way to supply areas with a reliable power source.

The Role of Microgrids

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Europe Sets Common Standard for Electric Vehicle Charging
January 28, 2013 - The “Type 2″ plug developed by the German company Mennekes will be the common standard for charging electrified vehicles across the European Union, the European Commission has announced.

Long sought by EU automakers, the common standard was announced Thursday as part of a set measures to build alternative fuel stations across Europe with common standards for their design and use.

Clean fuel that helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions is being held back by three main barriers, the Commission said – the high cost of vehicles, a low level of consumer acceptance, and the lack of recharging and refueling stations. read more>>>

Governments Strike First Global Mercury Control Treaty
January 26, 2013 - A worldwide ban on the manufacture, export and import of batteries and other products that contain mercury will be in place by 2020 under the provisions of the world’s first treaty agreed by 147 governments at a United Nations forum in Geneva.

Mercury and most of its compounds are highly toxic to humans, animals and ecosystems. High doses can be fatal to humans, but even relatively low doses can seriously affect the nervous system and have been linked with possible harmful effects on the cardiovascular, immune and reproductive systems.

In the presence of bacteria, mercury can change into methylmercury, its most toxic form. Methylmercury easily passes through both the placenta and the blood-brain barrier, so exposure of women of child-bearing age and of children, is of greatest concern. read more>>>

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Nuclear to play second fiddle to renewables in western Europe
24. January 2013 - With the UK government under fire as opponents of its Energy Bill claim it is biased towards nuclear and gas at the expense of renewables, new research could make interesting reading for Tory Chancellor George Osborne.

In a week which saw UK solar installers announce their intention to sue the coalition government over the drastic reductions applied to solar FiT payments, new research claims nuclear is being phased out across the top 10 western European power markets – including the UK – in favor of renewables.

A report from 'business intelligence providers' GBI Research predicts that the UK, along with the likes of Germany, Spain and Sweden, will see a reduction in nuclear installed generating capacity whilst renewables capacity will rise. read more>>>

SCE spurring growth of California Green Communities
January 27, 2013 - In 2009, Southern California Edison (SCE) helped launch a community-based challenge encouraging cities to adopt innovative, individually-designed and tailored environmental practices with the goal of a sustainable future through activities like adopting more energy-efficient technologies for facilities. Today, some major players are throwing their support behind this push for a green economy.

Currently, the focus of the California Green Communities (CGC) program is on helping Southern California cities achieve their goals for a sustainable future but the added support of companies like Toyota and Radisson Hotels could spur the rollout of a similar program across the country, according to Hal Conklin, chair of the USA Green Communities Board of Directors. read more>>>

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Building Integrated Photovoltaics Set for Huge Comeback
02 January 2013 - Despite current weak conditions, the global market for Building Integrated Photovoltaics (BIPV) is set for huge long-term growth, with beneficiaries including both the solar industry and the construction industry, a new report says.

In its Building Integrated Photovoltaics report, clean energy research provider Pike Research says current market conditions for BIPV systems – photovoltaic materials which are used in place of conventional building materials in parts of the building envelope such as the roof, skylight or facade – are being constrained by weak global construction and the withdrawal in many countries of subsidies for solar power.

Pike says, however, that long-term growth prospects are excellent. Between now and 2017, Pike expects overall annual generating capacity of BIPV systems around the world to grow from just over 400 megawatts (MW) to 2,250 MW. read more>>>

Monday, January 28, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 28 January 2013

The only thing they have left they can do, as the attacks that locked the brakes into alternative energy sources we were developing, starting some forty years back, have now lost all meaning as they have been shown to be wrong as these, on climate change, are also being shown to be already. Back then forward they were about fossil fuels being never ending and plentiful, though it took millions of years to form and only minutes to waste. That they were and would always be cheap forms of energy, and that they were clean sources of energy damaging nothing else from using them.

Exclusive: Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science
Audit trail reveals that donors linked to fossil fuel industry are backing global warming sceptics

24 January 2013 - A secretive funding organisation in the United States that guarantees anonymity for its billionaire donors has emerged as a major operator in the climate "counter movement" to undermine the science of global warming, The Independent has learnt.

The Donors Trust, along with its sister group Donors Capital Fund, based in Alexandria, Virginia, is funnelling millions of dollars into the effort to cast doubt on climate change without revealing the identities of its wealthy backers or that they have links to the fossil fuel industry.

However, an audit trail reveals that Donors is being indirectly supported by the American billionaire Charles Koch who, with his brother David, jointly owns a majority stake in Koch Industries, a large oil, gas and chemicals conglomerate based in Kansas.

Millions of dollars has been paid to Donors through a third-party organisation, called the Knowledge and Progress Fund, with is operated by the Koch family but does not advertise its Koch connections. read more>>>

Back then it wasn't the koch brothers but others that were just as greedy and wealthy then, and threw these decades names have changed but wealth has only grown and used even in more powerful ways and means to suppress many important and growth for everyone issues to the gain for more and more power and wealth for the few!

Related to above the book by Climate Scientist Michael E. Mann: "The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars: Dispatches from the Front Lines"

The Eco-friendly Future Of U.S. Army Technologies
01/27/2013 - Check out the U.S. Army‘s fuel-efficient demonstrator, or FED.

The FED sports a number of fuel-saving technologies, such as low-rolling resistance tires, and optimized super turbo charged engine, lightweight aluminum armored cab, and it’s 70% more fuel efficient.

Now, you won’t see troops rolling all over the globe in these eco-friendly babies just yet, but it does serve as an example of the kind of technologies that are being researched and developed for the U.S. military forces. read more>>>

Bloomberg New Energy Finance names 2012's top deal-makers
17 January 2013 - Bloomberg New Energy Finance has unveiled its assessment of the leading investors and service providers in clean energy and the energy smart technologies sectors.

The list shows different leaders from the previous year in every single category, among them the European Investment Bank in asset finance, Japan-based Toray Industries in mergers and acquisitions, Germany-based HEAG in venture capital and private equity, and Goldman Sachs in public markets.

“This is the eighth year we have prepared annual league tables showing the most active deal-makers in the sector," said Michael Liebreich, chief executive of Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

"The transactions in 2012 that helped to produce winners this time included everything from a $1billion-plus offshore wind financing, to a $701 million energy storage acquisition, to an $18 million venture capital investment in a solid-state lighting technology developer,” he added. read more>>>

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Climate change denial is falling faster then the forty some years of other special interest well financed memes that the people easily bought into to suppress the developing growth of the much needed industry in alternative clean energy. Even the usual easily conned parrots of the memes can't deny the obvious of what's happening around them, to them and let alone all over! But the special interests funding the denier's along with their politicians, federal and state, have managed to waste valuable time, especially as the economy and jobs of were collapsing, these past recent years as have the new reagan capitalists with so little investment in economic growth, the basis of that new capitalism! Even blocking government investments that helped create the once thriving economic growth we were the envie of!

Climate change: No more denying it
January 26, 2013 - Withering drought, vast wildfires, town-leveling tornadoes, fierce heat -- not to mention superstorm Sandy -- all made 2012 one of the worst years in terms of lives lost and property destroyed from extreme weather.

Most scientists believe climate change is partly to blame for last year's wild weather. Jeffrey Kluger, Time magazine's senior editor for science and technology, spoke to Jim Axelrod and Rebecca Jarvis about the record temperatures and massive storms and why we're seeing more of these extremes.

First, Kluger wanted to be clear on the distinction between weather and climate.

"Weather is the short term event: A day, a week, a month, even a year," he said. "Climate is these large, thematic changes." read more>>>