Sunday, March 10, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 10 March 2013

2 Mich. members of Congress renew push for auto research funding
March 8, 2013 - Two Michigan members of Congress have again introduced legislation seeking to authorize new funding for vehicle research.

U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Lansing and U.S. Rep. Gary Peters of Bloomfield Township on Thursday introduced the Advanced Vehicle Technology Act of 2013 to promote private and public partnerships to improve fuel efficiency. They introduced similar bills in 2011 and 2009; both got caught in Senate filibusters despite bipartisan House support.

The pair says the bill would spur the development of clean auto technologies and "create thousands of good-paying middle-class jobs across our country, especially in Michigan."

Support for research efforts has declined among House Republicans amid an effort to cut spending, and it's unclear if the measure will get a vote this year. read more>>>

The link between climate change and the food on your plate
click on graphic to enlarge

March 06, 2013 - A North Carolina banana is small but sweet. About half the size of its Costa Rican counterpart, it grows from a single tree in Chatham County. There it winters inside a building at the Plant in Pittsboro. After the April frost, it sunbathes in the North Carolina heat and humidity until late fall.

"My husband wants to be able to say bananas can be grown in North Carolina," laughs Tami Schwerin, executive director of The Abundance Foundation, which is located at the Plant. The group educates people about local food and renewable energy. It also is exploring local solutions for agriculture in the face of climate change.

Although the Schwerins don't have enough bananas to sell now, the tropical fruit could pop up in North Carolina farmers markets by mid-century. And if global temperatures continue to rise, as they're expected to do, it's not unthinkable that by 2100 local bananas could sit in bins alongside new heat-tolerant varieties of North Carolina apples. read more>>>

EcoloBlue Life & Energy

Solar One Tours Prism Solar
February 28, 2013 - On Thursday February 21, Solar One took a day trip up the Hudson, stopping in Cold Spring for a meeting with ecoartspace and Habitats for Artists (more on that soon! Super cool top secret project in special undisclosed location!) on our way to meet the Eco-Pioneer in Poughkeepsie and a tour of the factory of Prism Solar.

Prism’s panels, which have just started to be commercially available, are unusually efficient due to their double-glass construction, which allows light to penetrate the panels, and the cells to collect additional light reflected from the panel’s underside.

Some panels also alternate strips of holographic film with the more conventional silicon wafers. While the holographs can’t collect electricity directly from sunlight, what they can do is be custom engineered to conduct the next most optimal wavelength of light to the panel, beyond the usual 42 degrees. This can increase the panel’s efficiency (the amount of electricity that a panel is capable of capturing) by up to 30%! read more>>>

Greece Installed 300MW of Solar PV in January Alone!
03/07/13 - Even during an economic and political crisis, Greece has reason to boast. The country installed an amazing 300 MW of solar PV in the month of January alone, a third more than was installed last year and greater than solar giant Germany at 275 MW. LAGIE, the operator of Greece’s electric grid, reported that 282 MW were from ground-mounted PV projects and 18MW came from rooftop arrays. The current solar PV capacity for Greece is 1.72 GW, and it is projected that their cumulative capacity will jump to 2.58 GW by the end of the year. So, just how did Greece accomplish this feat in a time of financial stress?

The rise in Greece’s solar PV projects is due partially to the upcoming changes in the country’s solar feed-in tariffs. Lower rates begin on March 11, inciting a rush in development. Greece’s Ministry of Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks (MINDEV) also introduced a bill in February that is intended to create a friendly environment for solar companies. read more>>>

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FedEx Fleet Blasts Past Fuel Efficiency Target
MEMPHIS, Tennessee, March 8, 2013 (ENS) – New hybrid and electric vehicles added to the Fedex fleet have helped the world’s largest express transportation company achieve its fuel efficiency goal years ahead of schedule.

In 2008, FedEx set the U.S. transportation industry’s first fuel efficiency goal – to make the FedEx Express global vehicle fleet 20 percent more efficient than its 2005 performance by 2020.

Now, Fedex is announcing it has reached this goal with 22 percent cumulative improvement, and it has gone ahead and raised the bar. read more>>>

Weaning From Fossil Fuels and Growing a Green Economy
MANILA: 8 March 2013 - Policies must play catch-up to innovation. Such was the case with the electric utility industry in the United States: The industry began in the early 1880s, and the federal government’s regulation of utilities began in the 1930s, with the Depression underway.

Similar innovation in technology and policy development could be underway for renewable energy. The mantra of green jobs and green industries from an expansion of carbon-mitigation activities like solar and wind farms, biomass and hydro systems, nuclear and other clean-energy sources has been around for a while, but the challenge is implementation. Pronouncements by President Barack Obama in his second inaugural address and State of the Union address, to lead in sustainable energy, have rekindled ambitions not just in the US but also elsewhere.Diverse innovation on climate protection could build support for global treaty. read more>>>

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