Thursday, April 4, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 4 April 2013

Bill McKibben's lessons for business in the age of climate change
April 01, 2013 - Perhaps one of the most well-known climate activists of our times, environmental writer Bill McKibben is on a mission to slow down the effect of greenhouse gases on the earth. Alongside his colleagues at the nongovernmental organization, McKibben has spearheaded a campaign calling upon communities, governments and universities all around the world to take action by divesting from fossil fuel companies.

Last summer, McKibben laid out his case for divestment in Global Warming's Terrifying New Math, an article he wrote for Rolling Stone. The piece stated that while the United Nations' Copenhagen Accord climate agreement recognizes that the earth's temperature should not rise by no more than an amount just under two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), global temperature has already risen about 0.8 degrees Celsius -- and that many scientists such as NASA's James Hansen believe that a rise of two degrees is too much. read more>>>

National Wildlife Federation says environmental effects of BP spill far from over
April 02, 2013 - Two weeks before the third anniversary of the BP Gulf oil spill, the National Wildlife Federation has issued a report declaring that the environmental effects are far from over and recommending ways to respond to lingering impacts and prevent future spills.

In the report, the federation calls for the Justice Department to hold firm in its efforts to hold BP and other parties "fully accountable for gross negligence and willful misconduct" in the ongoing federal civil damages trial being held in New Orleans. Such a ruling could trigger billions of dollars in higher fines under the federal Clean Water Act and Oil Pollution Act. read more>>>

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Greens get billionaire ally, money
04/03/13 - A California billionaire is pledging to spend as much of his fortune as necessary to make climate change “the defining issue of our generation.”

Tom Steyer, who made his riches as a hedge fund manager, told The Hill on Tuesday that he wants to make climate change a campaign issue for years to come and Democratic support for environmental protections as widespread as support for gay marriage and immigration reform.

“The goal here is not to win. The goal here is to destroy these people. We want a smashing victory,” Steyer said of candidates he judges to be on the wrong side of the climate change debate. read more>>>

US, UK renewable energy generation on upward trajectory
click on image to download report for March 2013

April 2, 2013 - Renewable energy sources and natural gas have expanded rapidly over the last four years ending in 2012 compared to the same timeframe ending in 2008, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data.

During the same four years ending in 2012, coal and nuclear power generation, oil imports and use, energy consumption, and CO2 emissions all declined, according to EIA, with domestic energy production from renewable energy sources (i.e., biofuels, biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind) growing by 23.48 percent, and solar and wind more than doubling their output. read more>>>

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Well-tempered lighting: Emitting much more light for less electric-power dissipation
March 27, 2013 - Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) have already become commonplace outdoors in the form of automobile taillights and streetlights. The TU Darmstadt is one of Germany's top research institutions in the field. These light-emitting, semiconductor devices are increasingly being employed for lighting the interiors of buildings, such as offices at the ADAC's Munich headquarters building. The benefit of employing LEDs is that they emit much more light for less electric-power dissipation.

However, to Prof. Tran Quoc Khanh of the TU Darmstadt's Institute for Lighting Technology they represent more than just an opportunity for conserving energy. read more>>>

Dutch electricity market experiences a solar revolution
02 April 2013 - The growth of solar energy within the Dutch electricity market has been much bigger than expected

Solar energy has had a much greater impact on the Dutch energy infrastructure than previously expected according to Dutch solar company Solarplaza. Solar panels will supply a much greater share of domestic electricity needs in the future as gas and coal plants are increasingly taken off line, forcing utilities to look seriously at energy storage solutions and smart-grid development. read more>>>

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Poland’s solar market ready for take-off
21 March 2013 - “Photovoltaics is gaining more and more importance. Poland must not miss out on this development,” said Dr. Stanislaw Pietruszko of the Polish Photovoltaic Association in his welcome address to the participants at the PV Power Plants – EU 2013 Conference.

The event took place in Warsaw, Poland on the 14th and 15th March. An investment workshop on ”Photovoltaics in Poland” took place the day before the conference.

Around 180 experts took the opportunity to discuss the potential of the European photovoltaics industry, with particular regard to Poland. read more>>>

Sochi 2014 “Green” Report Details Innovative Eco-technologies Used in Construction of Olympic Venues
April 01, 2013 - Renewable energy sources, self-powered street lighting, "eco-roofs" and other innovative eco-technologies are being used in the construction of the Olympic venues in Sochi. The full details are contained in the Fifth report on the implementation of "green" building standards, which has been uploaded to the official Sochi 2014 website. We will soon see the eco-initiatives set out in the report bearing fruit in terms of reducing the workload on the engineering and communications networks in the Olympic host city. read more>>>

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