Sunday, March 31, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 31 March 2013

Sulphur-dioxide emissions are falling
Mar. 25, 2013 - A new study confirms that global emissions of sulphur dioxide are declining, which is promising from the point of view of pollution, but a fact that could have implications for global warming.

Global sulphur-dioxide emissions have generally been in decline since the mid-70s, though they did increase from 2000 to 2005, and peaked at 112 Tg (trillions of grams) in 2006. Global SO2 emissions, estimated at 121 Tg in 1990 declined to 103 Tg by 2010.

However, there is a great deal of variability in emissions abatement performance. North America and Europe continue to see reduced emissions levels, but increasing levels of emissions are present in Asia and as a consequence of international shipping. read more>>>

Security Council Takes on Climate Change
March 28, 2013 - In July 2010, exceptionally heavy rains flooded hundreds of thousands of agricultural acres in Pakistan. Nearly 2,000 people died. The floods came as heat waves wreaked similar havoc in Russia and Europe, and while floods swept through China. By the end of the year, 2010 had become one of the hottest years on record globally. Real-world examples of extreme, once-anomalous weather events that climate scientists had been predicting were suddenly frequent and ubiquitous, prompting a heightened sense of urgency from the United Nations, including the UN Security Council.

The floods also came months after the United States government first officially recognized the link between global climate change and threats to peace and security. read more>>>

U.S. Solar Industry Market Increases 34% to $11.5 Billion in 2012
March 28, 2013 - The U.S. Solar Industry has experienced a resurgence over the past year as newly-imposed import tariffs on Chinese solar cells have helped companies compete with their Chinese competitors. According to the Solar Energy Industries Association the U.S. solar industry market increased to $11.5 billion, a year-over-year increase of 34 percent. Five Star Equities examines the outlook for companies in the Solar Industry and provides equity research on SolarCity Corp. and MEMC Electronic Materials, Inc..

In 2012, the U.S. installed a record 3,313 megawatts (MW) of solar photovoltaics (PV). At the end of 2012 the U.S. contained 7,221 MW of PV and 546 MW of concentrating solar power, which is enough to power approximately 1.2 million homes. read more>>>

Egyptian Solar Power
March 28th, 2013 - Egypt is a land of ancient mysteries. It is a desert country with one long river flowing through it. Desert means lots of sun. Egypt is preparing to build a billion dollar solar power plant with help from a suite of international donors. Construction of Kuryamatt, a 150-megawatt hybrid power plant that will use both solar energy and natural gas to generate electricity, is underway 90 kilometers south of Cairo. Plans for a second large solar plant, in Upper Egypt’s Kom Ombo, are also underway.

These moves come after severe power cuts crippled the country last year during the hot summer months when Egyptians blast their air-conditioning units, and power up their stoves to prepare Ramadan feasts. read more>>>

EcoLunchBoxes: Green Your Lunches

The Green Economy Set to Expand
March 28, 2013 - The Green Economy is launching a crowd-sourcing campaign through in April, coinciding with the launch of their redesigned website. The campaign will enable the company to reach new audiences through a series of podcasts.

"We have formed an alliance with a firm of nationally known documentary filmmakers to help us make professional level podcasts that will bring a new dimension to reporting on the green economy," says Tana Kantor, publisher. "To accomplish this, we are going for funding from a number of sources." read more>>>

Calls for target to aid green economy
March 28, 2013 - THE GOVERNMENT must do more to make the Humber a centre for sustainable energy, a conference has heard.

Speakers at Energise England demanded stronger incentives for a low-carbon economy in a bid to kick-start the green economy.

The talk was organised by campaign group Friends Of The Earth and brought together the region's businesses.

Friends Of The Earth executive director Andy Atkins said: "The plan is to help galvanise businesses and others to seek a very different future. read more>>>

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US Agriculture Department Invites applications for renewable energy projects
29 March 2013 - US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is seeking applications from agricultural producers and rural small businesses for support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP)

"The Obama Administration continues its commitment to help our nation become more energy independent by partnering with agricultural producers and rural small businesses as they build renewable energy systems and reduce energy usage," Vilsack said. "These investments will not only help our farmers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs, but also provide a new potential revenue source and stabilize their operations' bottom lines." read more>>>

Renewables are now a major contributor to UK energy
29 March 2013 - Government figures reveal that 11.3 percent of UK electricity demand in 2012 was generated by renewable energy.

Renewable energy generation in 2012 was up by 20 percent on the previous year according to government figures, thereby confirming the strong performance of renewables within the wider UK energy network. 11.3 percent of the country’s electricity supply was generated by renewables last year and 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

Much of the growth in the sector has been achieved by new on and offshore wind farms in spite of lower than average wind speeds over the course of the year. read more>>>

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 30 March 2013

Sustainable roofing systems prepare to take control of burgeoning GCC green construction movement
March 26 - 2013 - The company that supplied the thatched roofs for bungalows and villas on the Lebanon World Island of the Dubai World development is hoping its environmentally friendly and sustainable roofing systems can now take the UAE by storm.

Cape Reed Group of Companies recently completed their part in the landmark project off Dubai's coast in 2012, and have since just finished a project on Sir Baniyas Island in Abu Dhabi, where they supplied the natural cape reed thatched roofs for 64 bungalows and several public buildings. read more>>>

CSP Today speaks with SASIA about the future of Solar Energy in the Middle East
Mar. 18, 2013 - With the lead-up to MENASOL 2013, Browning Rockwell Founder and Director of SASIA (Saudi Arabia Solar Industries Association) shares his views on both CSP and PV in the MENA region.

Now that the industry has had time to consider the 54GW renewable energy strategy in place for Saudi Arabia for 2032, what are your conclusions?

I still believe its early days as it’s been out for a few weeks now. There has been a discussion for the past couple of years for that sort of magnitude of a programme but it wasn’t formally announced until the white paper and other announcements came February 20th, so I think there still a lot of discussion to be had. The industry right now has been asked to respond to the white paper by April 5th. I know a number of individual companies as well as SASIA who are going to present an industry response to it, but it’s the first step into the process. So I think it’s unfolding and I like to say we were waiting for the marathon to begin; now it has begun and it’s going to be a series of milestones that will happen. read more>>>

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OneRoof Energy Announces New Solar Design and Sales Management Software
March 26, 2013 - OneRoof Energy, Inc., one of the nation’s fastest growing solar finance providers, announced two new solar design and sales management tools that are helping dealers to bring solar electric systems to more residents throughout the country. The San Diego-based company, which estimates it will supply solar to more than 7,000 homes in 2013, rolled-out this month SunOpps Lite, an interactive iPad app that allows dealers to instantly assess the bottom line viability of solar for a homeowner. SunOpps Lite complements OneRoof Energy’s new web-based platform, SunOpps, a user-friendly, scalable platform that gives dealers and referral partners the ability to create, track and customize proposals and lease agreements from lead to close. read more>>>

JinkoSolar Donates 200 Modules to Earthquake-Stricken School in Medolla, Italy, in Cooperation with 'Rock No War'
March 26, 2013 - JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd., a leading global PV solar power product manufacturer, today announced that it has donated 200 high-performance polycrystalline modules for a Rooftop PV system in a school in Medolla, Italy. Medolla was one of the towns most affected by the earthquake that struck the Emilia Romagna region of Italy in the May 2012.

The ribbon cutting ceremony for this new earthquake-resistant building took place on Saturday, March 23, 2013.The school is equipped with the latest energy saving technology more>>>

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Verengo Solar Launches Zero-Down Home Solar in New York State
March 26, 2013 - Verengo Solar, the nation's leading residential solar installation specialist, today announced it is expanding into New York with the aim of making affordable clean home energy available throughout the state.

"With the NY-Sun Initiative, now is a great time for New Yorkers to go solar and save money," said Peter Olmstead of citizen's advocacy group Vote Solar. "As a nationally recognized solar leader, already serving thousands of customers and supporting hundreds of jobs elsewhere in the country, Verengo's entry to the Empire State is a clear signal that New York is on its way to becoming a solar powerhouse." read more>>>

Solar power aiding jobs in Colorado
March 26, 2013 - Colorado is experiencing unprecedented growth in its solar power industry. The state hosts 246 power companies -- up from 40 four years ago -- and employs 6,200 workers.

Several factors have driven the industry's expansion in Colorado and across the country. read more>>>

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Research Release: SmartGrid Customer Engagement Success Stories
SGCC has found that utilities who are taking an active approach to integrate education and engagement into their residential, customer-facing smart grid programs have discovered a high degree of consumer satisfaction and acceptance. This and more can be found in our new research report released free to SGCC members and $75.00 for non-members.

SGCC’s Smart Grid Customer Engagement Success Stories report spotlights the strategies and tactics employed by four energy utilities in the U.S., CenterPoint Energy, Oklahoma Gas & Electric, San Diego Gas & Electric, and Southern California Edison, to successfully engage customers with the benefits of the smart grid, smart meters, demand response and other enabling technology and devices for home energy management. read more>>>

Congress needs institutionalized sources of expertise, paper says
New America fellow says CRS and GAO are insufficient

March 27, 2013 - Members of Congress need experts who can provide them unbiased research and facts, and its current sources of expertise aren't sufficient, a new paper from the New America Foundation says.

The paper (.pdf), published March 26, says the Congressional Research Service and Government Accountability Office have been inadequate. Their reports are "dense and text-heavy even as the demographic of congressional staff gets younger, more tech-dependent and more expectant of tweet-sized input," writes Lorelei Kelly, the New America research fellow who authored the paper. read more>>>

Friday, March 29, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 29 March 2013

Is The Sky The Limit For Wind Power?
March 27, 2013 - Wind power is growing faster than ever — almost half of the new sources of electricity added to the U.S. power grid last year were wind farms.

But is the sky the limit? Several scientists now say it's actually possible to have so many turbines that they start to lose power. They steal each other's wind.

Sailboat captains experience a similar phenomenon; they call it "dirty air." If you're sailing directly downwind of another sailboat, you'll slow down. That's because the lead boat creates a turbulent vortex of air behind it as the wind spills off its sails. As sailors know, "dirty air" means less power. read & listen to>>>

EU to Start Debate on Energy, Climate Rules Amid Crisis
Mar 27, 2013 - The European Union’s executive started a debate today on EU climate and energy rules as the crisis-ridden bloc seeks a long-term plan to cut greenhouse gases and promote clean power technologies.

While the 27-nation bloc is making “good progress” toward its 2020 goals to boost the share of renewable energy and cut greenhouse gases, a framework for the subsequent decade is needed to give investors legal certainty, spur innovation and prepare for a global climate deal, the European Commission said in a consultation paper published in Brussels. read more>>>

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UK firm nets major contract from Chinese wind turbine producer
26 March 2013 - Oxfordshire-based vision system manufacturer, Meta Vision Systems, has received an order from a large Chinese windtower manufacturer for 14 of its DLS digital laser scanners. They will be used to automate welding operations during production of monopiles for offshore wind installations.

Meta’s DLS is unique among laser vision sensors for welding in that it uses the scanning spot principle rather than the more usual laser stripe method. The scanning spot system has significant advantages when welding the deep joints that are common when manufacturing monopoles, where wall thickness can be over 100 mm. read more>>>

Solarexpo/The Innovation Cloud to launch new project to foster global growth of renewables
26 March 2013 - Solarexpo/The Innovation Cloud will launch the "Internationalization Hot Spot," a new project for investment opportunities in emerging renewables at its inaugural conference, 8-10 May at the pavilions of the Fiera Milano-Rho in Milan.

The intent of the project is to provide marketing and business intelligence tools -- combined with a matchmaking service -- to promote investment opportunities for Italian operators in new emerging markets for renewable energies. read more>>>

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South Africa: Brics Group to Promote Green Economy
28 March 2013 - The BRICS countries - Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa - have pledged to support one another in their collective fight against global warming and climate change.

Delegates attending the 5th BRICS summit in Durban on Wednesday signed a multilateral agreement on climate cooperation and the green economy, which will see the exchange of technical and financial support to address the impact of climate change on developing countries. read more>>>

Global warming predictions prove accurate
Analysis of climate change modelling for past 15 years reveal accurate forecasts of rising global temperatures

27 March 2013 - Forecasts of global temperature rises over the past 15 years have proved remarkably accurate, new analysis of scientists' modelling of climate change shows.

The debate around the accuracy of climate modelling and forecasting has been especially intense recently, due to suggestions that forecasts have exaggerated the warming observed so far – and therefore also the level warming that can be expected in the future. But the new research casts serious doubts on these claims, and should give a boost to confidence in scientific predictions of climate change. read more>>>

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 28 March 2013

Solar Plane Prepares for Flight Across America
March 28, 2013 - A solar-powered plane that has wowed aviation fans in Europe is preparing to fly across North America.

The Swiss creators of the Solar Impulse are announcing Thursday which U.S. cities the experimental plane will visit during its "Across America" tour that kicks off in May.

Bertrand Piccard and André Borschberg will display the aircraft and discuss the cross-country trip at a news conference at the NASA Ames Research Center in Mountain View. read more>>>

10 bike-friendly cities around the globe
Where bicycles rule

People who want to enjoy an Earth-friendly vacation often seek out public transportation when they visit a city. Trains and buses can significantly lower a traveler’s carbon footprint — and so can walking. But what about bicycles? Most urban areas have some sort of bike scene, but dangerous roads and lots of car traffic (not to mention aggressive drivers) can make it hazardous to undertake a pedal-powered sightseeing tour. read more>>>

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U.S. seeks land conservation to adapt to climate change
March 26, 2013 - How to protect plants and animals from climate change? That's the goal behind a new climate adaptation strategy released by the Obama administration.

Climate change threatens U.S. fish, wildlife and plants, including brook trout, the lesser prairie-chicken and the Joshua tree, the Obama administration said Tuesday in releasing its first national strategy on climate adaptation. read more>>>

Arctic ice loss may drive extreme weather patterns
March 26, 2013 - Anyone forced to shovel their car out of a snowbank this winter might wonder just how it is a blizzard can occur in a warming climate.

The answer, climate scientists say, may have to do with record sea ice losses in the Arctic.

At a Tuesday news conference, several researchers said that warming conditions in the Arctic may be weakening jet stream currents and causing extreme weather systems to linger in northern mid-latitudes. read more>>>

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Is the U.S. Insurance Industry Prepared for Climate Change?
Mar. 8, 2013 - Analysis of first-ever industry-wide survey finds that only 23 of 184 companies have comprehensive climate change strategies, yet some leaders are emerging.

Ceres proposes recommendations to insurers and regulators to maintain insurability in a warming world.

2012 was the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states and the second most extreme weather year in United States history.Insurers are increasingly acknowledging that extreme weather has become the new normal, yet a new report from Ceres finds that many in the industry are only just beginning to think about how to address the effects climate change may have on their business – while a small group of companies is leading the way. read more>>>

Building tune-ups can provide fault detection and diagnosis
March 25, 2013 - Buildings often go through their entire lifecycle without ever being "tuned up." Building commissioning services offer such tune-ups to ensure that a commercial building's equipment and control systems are performing as they should.

The demand for building commissioning services is expanding worldwide with North America driving the market -- accounting for $13.8 billion or nearly half of the $28.8 billion in total worldwide revenue for building commissioning services through 2020, according to Navigant Research. read more>>>