Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 2 April 2013

Microgrids Giving Utilities a Run for Their Money
01 Apr 2013 - According to a new report from Navigant Research, revenue from deployments of microgrids will be just under $10 billion in 2013, rising to more than $40 billion annually by 2020.

"At this point in time, microgrids can provide a quality and diversity of services that incumbent utilities have been unable to match," says Peter Asmus, principal research analyst for Navigant Research. "While utilities have shown institutional biases against the entire concept of microgrids for decades, extreme weather events and the growing recognition of microgrids as potential sources of demand response resources are building engineering and cultural support for these systems in a variety of settings." read more>>>

Energy benefits youth
Apr 2 2013 - Unemployment youth will have access to accredited training at the renewable energy laboratory in the Science and Technology Park located at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ), MEC for economic development Mcebisi Jonas announced during his department’s policy speech in Bhisho last week.

“Training will include solar, wind and photo voltaic energy applications to support the emerging green economy,” Jonas said. “We are pleased to report that the department has enhanced its economic planning and research capacity and has successfully used this to promote the province as a hub for innovation and renewable energy, a rapidly growing green economy.”

Noting catalytic converters and alternate energy, Jonas said new industries have recently made their home in the province.

“For example, a tenant has invested R120m in manufacturing photo voltaic panels, which will create about 150 green jobs,” he said. read more>>>


Walgreens Extends its Renewable Energy Commitment to 22 Stores in Colorado with SolarCity
April 01, 2013 - Walgreens, the nation’s largest drugstore chain, today announced an expansion of its renewable energy initiative to Colorado with SolarCity, a leading provider of clean energy. SolarCity will implement solar systems at 22 Walgreens stores across 14 different cities in Colorado in the coming months. The new solar systems cumulatively will reduce more than 47.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions over the next 20 years, which is comparable to planting 25,711 trees.*

“A strong commitment to the local community is one of our company’s core values,” said Menno Enters, director of Energy and Sustainability at Walgreens. read more>>>

Solar energy brings voters to the polls in Kenya
26 Mar 2013 - As Leseiya Nkontoi queued for hours to vote in Kenya’s tense presidential elections earlier this month, there was one problem she didn’t worry about: How to finish her neglected chores when she got back home late in the evening.

“I have solar lighting in my home,” said the 35-year-old. “This helped me with the kitchen work which I finished late into the night.”

Solar power, increasingly available in this part of Kenya’s Rift Valley, made it considerably easier for many Kenyans to exercise their democratic rights this election season. Clean energy lit polling stations open late into the evening in some places; in others it lit community centres used to provide civil education programmes in the lead-up to the elections or ran biometric voter registration centres. read more>>>

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Nasa's James Hansen retires to pursue climate fight
2 April 2013 - One of the leading voices on the science of global warming is to retire from Nasa this week to be more active in the fight against fossil fuels.

Dr James E Hansen has been the head of the Goddard Institute for Space Research since 1981.

He is sometimes called the "father of global warming" for his early warnings about the impacts of rising levels of greenhouse gases.

But some critics say he has hampered the cause by overstating the risk.

In the 1970s, Dr Hansen focused on studies and computer simulations of the Earth's climate for the purpose of understanding the impact of humans. read more>>>

Melt may explain Antarctica's sea ice expansion
1 April 2013 - Climate change is expanding Antarctica's sea ice, according to a scientific study in the journal Nature Geoscience.

The paradoxical phenomenon is thought to be caused by relatively cold plumes of fresh water derived from melting beneath the Antarctic ice shelves.

This melt water has a relatively low density, so it accumulates in the top layer of the ocean.

The cool surface waters then re-freeze more easily during Autumn and Winter.

This explains the observed peak in sea ice during these seasons, a team from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI) in De Bilt says in its peer-reviewed paper. read more>>>

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