Sunday, April 7, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 7 April 2013

Vancouver drops Provincial Sales Tax from renewable energy systems
03 April 2013 - Exemptions from PST in the province include solar hot water, solar PV, wind-generated electricity and micro-hydro systems

The province of Vancouver in British Columbia, Canada, has made renewable energy a little cheaper courtesy of the exemptions from the Provincial Sales Tax system (PST).

The exemptions include solar hot water, solar PV, wind-generated electricity and micro-hydro systems and are effective as from April 1st. Details of the exemptions are outlined in the provincial government’s ‘energy conservation’ category of the PST exemption list. Instead of the 12 percent Harmonised Sales Tax (HST) applied to these systems, there will only be a 5 percent Goods and Services Tax (GST). read more>>>

US Agriculture Department Invites applications for renewable energy projects
29 March 2013 - US Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack has announced that USDA is seeking applications from agricultural producers and rural small businesses for support for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.

Funding is available from USDA's Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).

"The Obama Administration continues its commitment to help our nation become more energy independent by partnering with agricultural producers and rural small businesses as they build renewable energy systems and reduce energy usage," Vilsack said. "These investments will not only help our farmers and rural small businesses reduce energy costs, but also provide a new potential revenue source and stabilize their operations' bottom lines." read more>>>

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Renewables are now a major contributor to UK energy
29 March 2013 - Government figures reveal that 11.3 percent of UK electricity demand in 2012 was generated by renewable energy.

Renewable energy generation in 2012 was up by 20 percent on the previous year according to government figures, thereby confirming the strong performance of renewables within the wider UK energy network. 11.3 percent of the country’s electricity supply was generated by renewables last year and 12.5 percent in the fourth quarter.

Much of the growth in the sector has been achieved by new on and offshore wind farms in spite of lower than average wind speeds over the course of the year. read more>>>

Time for a bold green jobs plan for B.C.
April 4, 2013 - Opinion: The provincial budget was shamefully silent on climate change and employment; we can do better

Here is an inconvenient truth: The 2013 provincial budget was shamefully silent on the challenges facing our climate and our environment. And it followed a throne speech that not only failed to mention climate change, but hung British Columbia’s entire future prosperity — and job creation plans — on the production of five liquefied natural gas plants, none of which has yet been constructed.

The truth is that our future prosperity depends on integrating sustainability as a key driver of our province’s economic development. B.C. needs bold and purposeful policy and action to meet the biggest challenge of our time: climate change. Failure to act will be immensely costly to our ecology and our economy. read more>>>

EcoLunchBoxes: Green Your Lunches

How an energy planning tool changed decision-making at MSU
April 04, 2013 - What if you had to identify solutions and implement changes that would result in a 45 percent greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction for your organization by 2020?

What if your goals also included achieving a 20 percent increase in your renewable energy sources by 2020? As a leader aware of your limited financial resources, how would you guide your organization to success?

Generically, these would be difficult questions.

4 sustainability lessons for every corporation
April 04, 2013 - Over the past month, we've discussed some of the key barriers that prevent companies from integrating sustainability considerations into their long-term strategies.

Countless companies across the world struggle with these obstacles: capital budgeting processes that fail to account for sustainability initiatives' benefits; financial teams whose goals don't align with those of the sustainability teams; and uncertainty about how to implement metrics that properly account for external environmental costs.

A handful of companies, however, are starting to identify effective ways to break down these barriers. read more>>>

Enel Green Power's first Chilean wind farm enters service
03 April 2013 - Enel Green Power has connected to the grid its first wind farm in Chile, located in Talinay (region of Coquimbo).

The Talinay wind farm has an installed capacity of 90 MW and will be able to generate up to 200 million kWh per year once fully operational.

“This first wind farm,” said Francesco Starace, CEO of Enel Green Power, “represents one more step forward in our growth strategy in Chile, a country blessed by a huge potential in the renewable energy sector. Once the Valle de Los Vientos wind farm will be completed, we will have tripled our initial installed capacity, thereby significantly consolidating our footprint in this country”. read more>>>

More energy developments getting health checkups
April 5, 2013 - The Health Impact Project has announced new grant recipients of funding to conduct health impact assessments (HIA) on energy projects.

"Our new grantees will use health impact assessments to uncover opportunities to improve health in a wide range of policy decisions, as well as to identify and avoid potential unintended consequences," said Aaron Wernham, director of the Health Impact Project.

For example, one grant recipient, the Kentucky Environmental Foundation, in collaboration with the Purchase District Health Department, will have an HIA to examine the potential health benefits and risks of the retrofit or retirement of the Tennessee Valley Authority's Shawnee coal plant in Paducah, Kentucky. read more>>>

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