Friday, February 22, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 22 February 2013

Microsoft leads the way with innovative carbon fee model
February 20, 2013 - Last July, Microsoft implemented a carbon fee model for emissions that applies to data centers, software development labs, offices and air travel. Under the new plan, the internal cost for electricity use or air travel, for instance, now includes not only the price the business group pays for the service, but also the price it pays to offset the carbon emissions associated with it.

The fee for carbon emissions goes toward an investment fund that is used for a variety of efficiency, renewable energy and offset projects that help the company reach its set goal of becoming carbon neutral by the middle of the year, said TJ DiCaprio, senior director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft. read more>>>

At work, do women care more than men about sustainability?
February 20, 2013 - Individuals are increasingly seeking jobs where they can be an agent for positive change. This was the main finding of Net Impact’s "Talent Report: What Workers Want in 2012," which I previously covered in "Talent Show" on how a strong CSR program can attract and retain talent. Behind the report was rich data provided by 1,726 respondents.

Liz Maw, the CEO of Net Impact, and I thought it would be interesting to slice the data from a gender perspective. Our key question was, “Who wants to be a catalyst for change more, men or women?” Maw was generous to share the gender cut exclusively with me. read more>>>

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Could Europe run on Renewable Energy alone?
Feb. 19, 2013 - Could Europe run on renewable energy alone? It may not be as far-fetched as some would imagine.

The World Wildlife Federation has released a new report - Putting the EU on Track for 100% Renewable Energy - which shows where Europe needs to be by 2030 in order to reach a fully renewable energy system by 2050. It comes just as the European Commission is beginning to consider post-2020 climate and energy plans.

The report concludes that Europe has significant untapped potential for cutting energy use and maximizing indigenous power sources that could deliver cheaper and more secure energy. read more>>>

Coal-Fired Power Plant Retirements will be Significant but Not a Dominant Factor in Future Capital Expenditures
Feb. 20, 2013 - Hundreds of coal-fired power plants have been or are going to be retired. The peak year will be 2015 when just fewer than 70 units are slated for retirement or switch to natural gas. McIlvaine tracks each retirement initiative along with upgrade expenditures at each plant in the Utility Environmental Upgrade Tracking System.

The power plants planning to retire in 2015 are mostly more than 50 years old. Some will be 65 years old by the 2015 retirement date. Most are small with some as small as 25 MW. The average is less than 200 MW. The total capacity being retired in 2015 (the peak year) is less than five percent of the total coal-fired capacity in the U.S. read more>>>

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New biomass initiative launched in Cambodia
21 February 2013 - A four-year agricultural residue biomass project has been launched by the Cambodian Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, according to a report by Sarah Thust in the Phnom Penh Post.

The project is being supported by the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), the newspaper said.

In unveiling the project, Sat Samy, secretary of state at the Ministry of Industry, Mines and Energy, said his office is supporting three pilot projects under the initiative in factories in Battambang and Kampong Chnnang. read more>>>

Food Carts Go Solar in Argentina
BUENOS AIRES, Feb 21 2013 (IPS) - It’s carnival time in sunny northwest Argentina, and as usual, food vending carts are everywhere. But some of the carts are different this year: they offer food cooked on the spot – by the sun.

During carnival festivities in the Andean highland region of La Puna, which last almost the whole month of February, local promoters of solar power have introduced a fleet of innovative mobile “solar kiosks” in Tilcara, Humahuaca, La Quiaca, Purmamarca and Uquía, popular tourist destinations in the northern Argentine province of Jujuy.

Each kiosk consists of a cart with wheels and a waterproof roof, equipped with a solar-powered parabolic cooker that is essentially a large, curved aluminium dish, resembling a satellite dish, with brackets in the middle to hold the recipients where the food is cooked. read more>>>

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