Monday, April 15, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 15 April 2013

Of Smart Grids and Resilience: Where’s My Microgrid?
April 13, 2013 - You can’t throw a stone at smart grid conference these days and not hit a panel talking about microgrids.

The chatter is incessant, but the actual work done to date has been far more limited. Deep-pocketed players, like the U.S. Department of Defense, universities and large corporations, are all investigating microgrids, but only a few -- mostly universities -- are pulling the trigger on building them out.

In the U.S., the price of power is relatively cheap compared to the cost of building and maintaining your own mini-grid. But other factors are starting to come into play. Resiliency, the buzzword of 2013, is making people take another look at the microgrid concept. read more>>>

TUC slams government 'dithering' on energy and climate policy
Unions warn lack of clarity on government’s green economy strategy is costing the UK jobs and undermining competitiveness

15 Apr 2013 - The TUC has today slammed the government's failure to stimulate more investment in the green economy, arguing that continued "dithering" over environmental and climate policy has badly undermined job creation efforts.

The Trade Union Congress (TUC) will today host an event in London on Growing the Green Economy at which General Secretary Frances O'Grady will argue that while unions and businesses are united in their desire to build a low carbon economy they are being hampered by a lack of clarity regarding the government's green policies.

"With the economy flat-lining and the government failing to deliver the industrial rebalancing it promised, we urgently need to invest in and grow our low-carbon industries," read more>>>

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Kazakhstan to spend 1 percent of GDP on green economy
15.04.2013 - Kazakhstan will annually spend at least 1 percent of GDP for transition to the green economy, reports citing Kazakhstan Environmental Protection Minister Nurlan Kapparov as saying at the conference called Creation of green economy in Kazakhstan.

“It is yet hard to say how much it will cost to switch to the green economy. But I can say how other countries have done it. China, for example, undertook to invest 1.5 percent of GDP into the green economy. read more>>>

Community Ownership, Leadership, and Inclusion Required in the Green Economy
April 12, 2013 - Over the past twenty years, the U.S. has seen devastating racial inequities in income, wealth, criminal justice, and health. Income insecurity has disproportionately risen during the economic recovery. The number of African Americans earning minimum wage increased by 16.6% and Latinos by 15.8% compared to 5.2% for White Americans. Wealth disparities are at record highs with White median wealth being 20 times greater than Black median wealth and 18 times greater than Latino median wealth. Disparities in the justice system include African Americans composing 40% of the prison population yet only 13% of the general population. Health inequities in heart disease, asthma, and HIV/AIDS further restrict economic opportunities and wealth creation by draining time, energy, and resources in communities of color. These racial inequalities are interconnected. They help define local and regional economic opportunities and determine the human, financial, and social capital available to create sustainable economies. read more>>>

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European banks want more hard data on risks from frackers
April 12, 2013 - Europe's Climate Principles Framework Initiative, which includes some of the world's largest banks, has released new guidelines on fracking for energy companies.

"Fracking" is the popular term for horizontal drilling and well completion operations using hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from shale formations. The banks, including Crédit Agricole S.A. and Standard Chartered Bank, wish to see quantitative data on key performance indicators showing how energy companies are managing and reducing environmental risks and community impacts in their fracking operations. read more>>>

Working towards national sustainability using a regional approach
April 11, 2013 - Mark "Puck" Mykleby, a colonel who retired from the Marine Corps in 2011, is a senior fellow at the New America Foundation working on what he calls a "grand strategy" for the United States. The strategy focuses on activating the public, private and civil sectors to collaborate on long-term regional investment strategies focused on smart growth, regenerative agriculture and resource productivity.

The project is focused in the following four regions: Upper Midwest (Minneapolis, Minn.-Milwaukee, Wis.), Lake Erie area (Detroit, Mich.-Youngstown, Ohio), Southeast (Charleston, S.C.-Savannah, Ga.) and California (Silicon Valley-Salinas).

GreenBiz recently spoke with Mykleby to learn more about his vision. read more>>>

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