Saturday, January 26, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 January 2013

Myths And Facts About Solar Energy
January 24, 2013 - Conservative media have denigrated solar energy by denying its sustainability, ignoring its successes, and arguing the U.S. should simply cede the solar market to China. Yet this booming industry has made great strides, and with the right policies can become a major source of our power.

MYTH: Solar Energy Is "Dirty"

* * Claiming that a "green future" would be "dirty," the Taxpayer Protection Alliance's Drew Johnson wrote in a Washington Examiner op-ed that "It turns out that it takes a lot of power (and a lot of carbon) to build solar panels and wind turbines." [Washington Examiner, 7/24/12]
* * A Wall Street Journal editorial lent some credence to the claim that solar "really doesn't reduce greenhouse gas emissions" because the carbon savings from solar projects on desert land could be "negat[ed]" by disturbing caliche deposits that release carbon dioxide. [Wall Street Journal, 9/4/12]
* * At the American Enterprise Institute's blog, Kenneth Green promoted a press release claiming that "Solar cells do not offset greenhouse gases" because solar cell production emits gases that "make carbon dioxide (CO2) seem harmless." [American Enterprise Institute, 1/23/13]

FACT: Solar Energy Can Greatly Reduce Pollution

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Seeing Forest and Trees
A biomass heating facility makes use of wood chips while blending into the landscape.

January 2013 - Move over, mulch, wood chips are gaining ground as a renewable fuel source. According to the U.S. Department of Energy’s Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy division, today biomass surpasses hydropower to represent more than half of all renewable energy used in America. Wood chips—usually waste from the manufacturing of paper, lumber, and other products—are the most popular form of biomass.

Whereas money-conscious consumers may choose wood chips for proximity and local abundance, sustainability advocates are embracing them to divert landfill and lower emissions. Burning the material produces less sulfur dioxide than other fuels, for instance. Moreover, the practice is considered carbon-neutral, because it releases only the carbon sequestered during tree growth—not to mention that sustainably managed sources of wood chips replant trees in order to capture that carbon yet again. read more>>>

Green BIM: How Building Information Modeling is Contributing to Green Design and Construction
The new SmartMarket Report, Green BIM: How Building Information Modeling is Contributing to Green Design and Construction provides insight into the convergence of two key trends, green building and BIM. Using BIM on green projects is still such a new practice that the industry is still trying to fully grasp its implications. This report contains market research data on how BIM is being used for green projects and what the key drivers and obstacles are to further adoption. It reveals that industry expectation is strong for striking growth in Green BIM practice within the next three years and offers a vision of the future of Green BIM gathered from green building experts and BIM technology leaders. read more>>>

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Democrats send wish list to Obama for executive action on climate change
01/24/13 - Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) on Thursday outlined a slate of climate change actions that President Obama could execute with his own authority.

The lawmakers conveyed a bleak outlook for climate legislation this Congress, noting considerable Republican opposition in the House. But they said Obama’s climate comments during his Monday inaugural address raised the prospects for administrative action to address the issue.

“Congress has not been interested in acting, especially in the House, in the last two years. So we’re calling on the president to develop a plan for the administration to take action without action without Congress. … That may well spur Congress to act,” Waxman, the top Democrat on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, told reporters Thursday. read more>>>

'Jobs', 'jobs', 'jobs'!!! What a certain political party, playing their no ideologies politics, have been blocking, even well before the economic collapse, in all sectors of the economy, but especially in the very recent couple of years after getting hired, federal and states, on running on 'jobs' and the 'economic growth' needed! Well paying jobs were created, manufacturing, construction trades, R&D, more, in alternatives when we were the first to head in that direction some forty years ago, only to be heavily blocked by the same special interests doing so now and heavily funding the same type mouth pieces to carry their message!

Obama climate push to tie environment, jobs: White House adviser
Jan 24, 2013 - President Barack Obama will renew his push to spur investment in renewable energy projects that create jobs as a key part of his second-term strategy for tackling climate change, a top White House policy adviser said on Thursday.

This time around, though, Obama won't have the $90 billion in economic stimulus funds that his administration earlier pumped into clean energy and "green jobs" projects.

Instead, Obama wants to see "targeted and smart" investments in research and demonstration projects, and will also use the upcoming corporate tax reform process to try to "level the playing field" for renewable forms of energy, said Brian Deese, deputy director of the National Economic Council. read more>>>

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SCE wins first place for combining water, energy efficiency programs
January 25, 2013 - The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) and the Alliance for Water Efficiency (AWE) have presented the first-ever awards for exceptional efficiency programs that save both energy and water.

"The program award winners and honorable mentions demonstrate the innovative ways governments, utilities, businesses, and nonprofits are cost-effectively saving water and energy," said Mary Ann Dickinson, president and CEO of AWE.

Southern California Edison (SCE) received a first place "Exemplary" program award for its leak detection pilot, which focuses on high-efficiency toilets, landscape irrigation, large customer and water agency site audits, leak detections, and water systems testing. read more>>>

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