Saturday, March 23, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 March 2013

New Study Shows Energy-Efficient Homes Are 32% Less Risky for Lenders
Many have argued that energy efficiency reduces the risk of mortgage default. Now they have the data to prove it.

March 20, 2013 - When Mike Baldwin built a home for his client in Maryland that was 40 percent more efficient than an average single-family residence, he figured it would command a better price in the market. He was wrong.

An appraiser valued it for $5,000 less than it was built for, saying it was "overbuilt" compared other homes in the area. So thousands of dollars came directly out of Baldwin's pocket.

"Builders aren't going to leap into this market unless energy-efficient homes are appraised differently," said Baldwin, who is president of Baldwin homes.

The problem is far bigger than the one appraiser who didn't value Baldwin's energy-efficient home. It's a systematic issue that goes back to what's valued within a mortgage itself. Even though efficiency retrofits reduce energy bills -- which can account for 15 percent of the cost of home ownership -- the lending industry doesn't factor them into a loan. read more>>>

Why water is a business issue
[Editor's note: In honor of World Water Day today, GreenBiz is launching Liquid Assets, a monthly column that will explore water as a business issue and the ways in which companies can manage water-related risks in an increasingly constrained world.]

Water has emerged as a prominent business and public sector issue in recent years, driven by the lack of access to clean water and sanitation, interruptions in business operations and food production, climate change and more disclosure of water risks. read more>>>

New arrivals from

Dorchester County Public Schools Unveils Solar Array Developed in Collaboration with Washington Gas Energy Systems, Kenyon Energy and REC Solar
CAMBRIDGE, Md. & MCLEAN, Va.-- March 21, 2013 -- Dorchester County Public Schools will unveil its 803-kilowatt solar array at Mace’s Lane Middle School this morning at a recognition ceremony with representatives from Washington Gas Energy Systems, Kenyon Energy, REC Solar and the local community. The ground-mounted installation consists of 3,276 solar panels and is expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions equal to the planting of more than 35,000 pine trees or avoiding the use of 1,780,000 gallons of gasoline over 20 years.

“The completion of this project means that Mace’s Lane Middle School will be powered by clean, renewable energy for the foreseeable future,” said Dorchester County Public Schools Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Henry V. Wagner, Jr. “Beyond the environmental impact, it presents a unique learning opportunity for students throughout the school district to get a hands-on lesson in green power and innovation.” read more>>>

Workforce Adds Certification Testing
March 21, 2013 - Once upon a time, after students had completed Solar One’s workforce training courses, we had to partner with a different organization to administer the Building Performance Institute exams so that our students could receive their certification. But no more!

Solar One’s entire green workforce staff now has both the technical certificates and proctoring certificates to be able to administer the BPI exams to our students without leaving the building. read more>>>

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Kenya: Govt Pushes Ahead on Building a Green Economy
Nairobi — 21 March 2013 - In 2002, Kenya's government announced a plan to embark on some ambitious infrastructure projects, including some that it hoped would kickstart Kenya's move towards a greener economy.

Many citizens dismissed the idea, assuming that, like the pronouncements of previous governments, these too would come to nothing.

However, Kenya today is home to a number of initiatives that help fight the effects of climate change while simultaneously boosting development and creating jobs. And with several other projects in the early stages, experts say the nation may one day stand as an example to others that green ideals and social equity can go hand-in-hand. read more>>>

Market Data: Microgrids - Forecasts for Commercial/Industrial, Community/Utility, Campus/Institutional, Military, and Remote Microgrids: 2013-2020
March 21, 2013 - The microgrid market is currently moving into full-scale commercialization with the launch of dozens of successful pilot programs globally, decreasing costs of solar photovoltaic (PV), and a relaxing of prohibitions against distributed generation operation during times of grid stress, including the ability to island from the larger utility grid during emergencies. As with any new innovation, adoption of microgrids will increase more rapidly as awareness of – and confidence in – the platform's capabilities grows.

For a variety of reasons, North America (and especially the United States) still represents the best overall market for all microgrid segments in terms of aggregate capacity. Key factors include pockets of poor power quality scattered throughout the United States and the structure of behind-the-meter markets for distributed energy resources (DER). read more>>>

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