Thursday, February 7, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 7 February 2013

New Studies Indicate Green Building Construction and Operations Remain Strong Despite Economy
February 6, 2013 - Two new studies by McGraw-Hill Construction (MGH) and one study by Turner Construction, both international building contractors, indicate the demand for Green buildings is increasing even with a struggling worldwide economy.

Further, according to one of the MGH studies, 81% of U.S. executives now believe the public expects them to “institutionalize” sustainability.

According to Stephen Ashkin, CEO of Sustainability Dashboard Tools LLC, this “institutionalizing” of sustainability is very significant.

“The public now expects organizations to focus on sustainability, report on their efforts, and reduce their impacts,” says Ashkin. “This means sustainability is now becoming an essential part of how business is conducted and part of the corporate culture. read more>>>

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Waste Heat From Cities Has Global Climate Effects
February 5, 2013 - The waste heat generated by everyday energy consumption in urban areas is influencing major atmospheric circulation systems and causing continental-scale surface warming in high latitudes, new research has found.

Led by Guang Zhang, a research meteorologist at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego, the scientists report that waste heat released in major cities in the Northern Hemisphere causes as much as one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees F) of winter warming in high latitudes of the North America and Eurasian continents.

“What we found is that energy use from multiple urban areas collectively can warm the atmosphere remotely, thousands of miles away from the energy consumption regions,” Zhang said. “This is accomplished through atmospheric circulation change.” read more>>>

Clean fuel standards driving biofuel industry
February 7, 2013 - Within the next decade, the U.S. biofuel market could be worth more than $60 billion with 26 biorefineries expected to open by 2015, according to research by environmental policy advocates Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2).

According to E2, U.S. and Canadian biofuel production capacity increased from 427 million gallons in 2011 to more than 685 million gallons in 2012 and is expected to increase to 2.6 billion gallons by 2015.

States that will benefit the most from the biofuel industry are those that support sound clean fuel policies. read more>>>

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IEA shows how Sweden can build on its impressive low-carbon successes
STOCKHOLM -- Feb. 5, 2013 -- Sweden, which already has one of the lowest-carbon economies among OECD countries, has ambitious goals for its energy sector: It seeks to achieve a fossil-fuel-independent vehicle fleet by 2030 and no net greenhouse-gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. The country must now identify the most viable pathways and technologies to meet these objectives at least cost and with minimum risk to energy security, according to a review of Sweden's energy policies released today by the International Energy Agency(IEA).

The report, Energy Policies of IEA Countries - Sweden 2013 Review, commends Sweden for its leadership in energy R&D, notably smart grids and second-generation biofuels, and its commitment to the northern European energy market. Sweden's renewable electricity certificate system - now in a joint market with Norway - has steadily increased renewable energy supply while limiting the cost to consumers. Today, Sweden's electricity supply is almost completely carbon-free, and the country has a very low share of fossil fuels in its energy mix thanks to strong energy and CO2 taxation in the sectors not covered by the EU carbon market. Sweden has opted to allow for the replacement of its existing nuclear reactors at the end of their lifetime. read more>>>

The transformation of the U.S. Energy Sector
Feb. 1, 2013 - The US is consuming energy considerably more efficiently and with lower emissions than just five years ago thanks to a slew of modern technologies that are changing decades-old patterns, research firm Bloomberg New Energy Finance and industry group the Business Council for Sustainable Energy find in a new report.

The Sustainable Energy in America 2013 Factbook portrays a dynamic and rapidly changing US energy landscape. Natural gas and renewables have gained market share largely at the expense of conventional resources. Energy efficiency is also making a major impact, and as a result energy demand has fallen steeply. read more>>>

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Southern Research Institute Helps U.S. Navy Generate Electricity from Low-Grade Waste Heat
Feb. 4, 2013 - Southern Research Institute today announced it has finalized plans to demonstrate an Organic Rankine Cycle (ORC) generator at the U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering and Expeditionary Warfare Center, Mobile Utilities Support Equipment (MUSE) Division in Port Hueneme, Calif. which could potentially produce up to 624 gross megawatt hours of electricity in a year using waste heat and deliver a new source of energy to remote military installations.

This evaluation, conducted by Southern Research under a program funded by the U.S. Dept. of Defense’s (DoD’s) Environmental Security Technology Certification Program (ESTCP), is expected to provide independently verified information about the efficiencies and value of using waste heat to power technology to reduce energy costs, and environmental impacts, for military facilities. The mission of the ESTCP program is to find solutions that will advance the military’s high-priority environmental and energy goals. read more>>>

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