Thursday, June 6, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 6 June 2013

U.S. Tailors Regional Climate Plans to Help Farmers Beat the Heat
Jun 5, 2013 - A U.S. effort that will tailor climate-change relief for farmers by region may help build support for efforts to cut carbon emissions tied to global warming, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack said.

Vilsack will introduce U.S. Department of Agriculture programs today to combat the effects of climate volatility. As a Corn Belt drought, the worst since the 1930s, is replaced by the wettest Iowa spring on record, farmers need resources and research to make better choices on planting and dealing with threats from the weather, he said in previewing a speech today at the National Press Club in Washington.

“You’re going to see a lot more stress” on crops and livestock from climate change, he said yesterday in an interview. “You’re going to see crops produced in one area no longer able to be produced, unless we mitigate and adapt now.” read more>>>

Legislators seek offshore wind power restrictions
June 6, 2013 - Two northern Michigan legislators are pursuing significant restrictions on offshore wind power in Michigan and have drawn criticism from those who view wind energy generation as a source for new jobs on the state’s horizon.

Reps. Ray Franz, R-Onekama, and Greg MacMaster, R-Kewadin, co-sponsored House Bill No. 4778 this week. The bill would prevent Michigan from entering into a lease or deed for the siting, placement or construction of a wind turbine on Michigan’s unpatented or submerged lands. The legislation also would prevent leasing similar lands for an electric transmission line — a critical component for offshore wind projects in the Great Lakes. read more>>>

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Bison's wind capacity factor exceeds 40 percent
June 4, 2013 - Bison Wind Energy Center, which delivers renewable energy east to Minnesota across a dedicated transmission line, is complete.

Under construction since 2010, Minnesota Power, a division of Allete, has installed 101 wind turbines producing 292 MW of renewable energy. Bison has already produced about 750,000 megawatt-hours of electricity, which is transmitted along a 465-mile direct current transmission line that Minnesota Power purchased in 2009. read more>>>

Japan’s solar market to rank world’s no. 2 after China
This year, Japan could become world’s second largest solar market after China. The country is making efforts to find alternative sources of energy after the nuclear disaster at Fukushima in 2011 left it with only two working nuclear reactors.

Solar installations will be boosted to a range of 6.1 gigawatts to 9.4 gigawatts in 2013, exceeding an earlier forecast of 3.2 gigawatts to 4 gigawatts, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). China is estimated to add 6.2 gigawatts to 10.5 gigawatts while additions in the United States may total 3.3 gigawatts to 3.9 gigawatts. read more>>>

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NY Solar Bill Close to Becoming Law After Hurricane Sandy Exposes Weak Power Grid
Jun 4, 2013 - Policy Would Build Enough Reliable Solar to Power 400,000 Homes, Create Thousands of Local Jobs, Modernize NY Grid

Business, Environmental Groups Urge Passage of Landmark Solar Bill

Legislation to solidify New York’s solar leadership was successfully reported out of the Assembly Energy Committee late last week. Solar has gained increasing attention from state lawmakers following the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, which exposed New York’s energy infrastructure as grossly outdated and unable to weather the effects of climate change. read more>>>

Biltmore Estate Expands Solar Field with Smart Modules from Upsolar
June 4, 2013 – Upsolar, a leading international provider of solar PV modules, today announced the completion of a 500 kW solar electric system at Biltmore in Asheville, N.C. Constructed by local firm Phillips and Jordan, Inc. (P&J), the PV system features Upsolar's smart module technology powered by Tigo Energy to maximize system performance.

The solar electric system is an expansion of the estate's current solar program, taking the company from a six-acre, 1.2 MW solar system to 1.7 MW on nine acres. Completed in 1895 by George Washington Vanderbilt II, the estate covers 8,000 acres and remains the largest privately owned house in the U.S. today. read more>>>

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Youth body wants thousands of young people in green economy
Jun 5 2013 - The South African Youth Council (SAYC) is driving a programme to get thousands of young people employed in the green economy.

SAYC President Thulani Tshefuta said on Wednesday that they are busy meeting with the government to ensure that the youth benefits from the green economy.

Tshefuta was speaking ahead of the green economy summit the SAYC is hosting in Cape Town at the end of the month. read more>>>

Kazakhstan govt orders to draft plan on transition to green economy
4 June 2013 - Kazakhstan's Prime Minister Serik Akhmetov has instructed the Ministry of Environment to begin developing an action plan for the transition to a 'green' economy.

"The head of state approved a new concept for the transition to a 'green' economy. For the successful implementation of the concept it is necessary to have an action plan, so I instruct the Ministry of Environment to develop it in a two-week period and to submit to the government for approval. It should have a concrete, clear character," Akhmetov said at a government meeting in Astana on June 4. read more>>>

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Smart cities: "It takes an ecosystem"
June 5, 2013 - More than a dozen of the world's top technology firms in areas like smart energy, water and transportation have formed the Smart Cities Council to provide cities with tools and best practices to achieve prosperity and sustainability.

Working under the banner "Livability, Workability, Sustainability," city leaders can tap into the Council to develop a comprehensive and collaborative roadmap for their city on the most effective ways to move forward. read more>>>

Behind Kaiser Permanente's $30 billion commitment to green building
June 05, 2013 - As patients visit hospitals and clinics to seek healing treatments, they might be surprised to learn that these facilities are often big contributors to climate change. In fact, health care facilities in the U.S. use roughly double the energy of office buildings of comparable size. At the same time, the health care sector is in the midst of the largest boom in construction and renovation in history.

A growing number of hospitals and health care systems are reducing their energy use through green building strategies and innovative new technologies that can also save them substantial amounts of money. read more>>>

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