Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 19 February 2013

Forecasters worry about another drought in 2013
Feb 17, 2013 - After suffering through the worst drought in decades last year, farmers across the Midwest should brace for another round of hot and dry conditions in 2013, weather forecasters warn.

As the spring planting season nears, forecasters have expressed concern that much of the Midwest could remain starved for moisture, though they caution it’s too early to safely predict the weather several months out. The Midwest could see a late-summer increase in rainfall, but the relief will be much too late to help farmers, according to one prediction from a University of Missouri researcher. read more>>>

The Top 10 Hardest-Hit States for Crop Damage
February 18th, 2013 - The searing U.S. drought of 2012 devastated the nation’s corn crop, pushing yields down in some states to their lowest levels in nearly 30 years. According to recently-released numbers from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Missouri, Illinois and Indiana were among the hardest hit Corn Belt states, with yields at 28-, 26-, and 22-year lows, respectively.

To put the severity and impact of the 2012 U.S. drought in context, the top 10 hardest-hit states for crop damage are illustrated in the interactive graphic above. With several states seeing their lowest corn crops in more than 20 years, along with damaged soybean and sorghum harvests, the interactive shows how 2012 ranks against the past 27 years for all 10 states. read more>>>

Homewind: Wind Turbines, Power Kits & Components

Wales needs ‘rapid’ transition to green economy
19 February 2013 - Yesterday (18 February), the Climate Change Commission for Wales launched its Second Annual Report reviewing the progress of the Welsh Government’s Climate Change Strategy (published in 2010) and called on the Welsh Government to ‘make the transition to a low carbon economy (and make it now)’.

The Climate Change Commission for Wales report builds on the findings from the UK Committee on Climate Change (UKCCC) Progress Report to Welsh Government, which concluded that although Wales has ‘continued to make progress implementing emissions reduction policies’, it will need to see a ‘continued and increased effort across all sectors’ if it is to meet its self imposed emission target of reducing emissions by three per cent annually. read more>>>

UNEP-China Cooperation Solidifies With Shanghai Agreement on Green Economy, Wildlife Protection and Youth Engagement
18 Feb 2013 - China emphasized its growing focus on environmental issues and strengthened its links with the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) today when senior officials from Shanghai Municipality signed agreements with UNEP on the green economy, wildlife protection and supporting youth engagement.

The expanded collaboration was signed at the launch of the Green Shanghai Art Photography Exhibition in UNEP's Nairobi headquarters, which is aimed at sharing the experiences and lessons of Shanghai's green development with delegates at a meeting of UNEP's Governing Council.

The council is meeting for the first time under universal membership, the first step in the process to strengthen and upgrade UNEP called for at Rio+20 and approved by the UN General Assembly in December 2012. read more>>>

Quake Kare, Inc.

Energy laws, efficiency paying off for MI renewables
February 19, 2013 - A new Michigan Public Service Commission (MPSC) report {58page pdf} shows that renewable energy programs are driving utility projects and Michigan's economy.

The success is attributed, in part, to Michigan's energy law, the renewable energy standard and energy efficiency.

"During 2011…Contracts for utility scale projects…were approved, and solar pilot programs that utilize Michigan labor in their installations continued and expanded," according to the report. "The actual cost of renewable energy contracts submitted to the Commission to date continues to show a downward pricing trend. This was the case in the previous report, and continues to be true." read more>>>

Hydrokinetics: The Biggest Source of Renewable Energy You Never Heard Of
January 30th, 2013 - Renewable energy has certainly made tremendous progress in the past decade. Indeed, most people would acknowledge that it has grown from being little more than a mascot, to a full-fledged member of the energy generation team.

And yet, despite the fact that people as reputable as the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) have come out and said that renewables could provide 80 percent of our electricity by 2050, there are still plenty of naysayers who remain convinced that renewables will continue to play little more than a minor role in our energy future. read more>>>

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