Thursday, July 11, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 11 July 2013

Unions Call For Local Jobs to be Part of Green Energy Future
July 10, 2013 - The theme of taking action today to combat climate change tomorrow ran rampant through Tuesday’s BlueGreen Alliance roundtable on president Obama’s recently released climate change plan.

While the event spent very little time talking about the specifics of the president’s plan, it did offer several opinions on making sure climate control efforts also benefit the local economy.

United Steelworkers International (USW) President Leo Gerard jumped quickly on the idea of upgrading various types of infrastructure to both create construction jobs and reduce greenhouse emissions. But he warned that any government spending on such projects must have a “buy local” provision. read more>>>

Climate change's heat intensifies drought in the USA
July 9, 2013 - In this browning patch of land in central Texas, C.J. Teare could be fined for using fresh water to keep her decades-old oak trees alive so she relies on soapy water left over from washing clothes.

"I've never seen it like this before," says Teare, a grandmother who has lived in her modest Lakeside Beach ranch for 20 years. Her community has been under emergency water restrictions since January 2012, when it became the first to run dry during Texas' ongoing three-year drought. It stays afloat with six daily truckloads of water. read more>>>

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Chicago to get more electricity from wind farms
July 09, 2013 - Illinois wind farms now supply 5 percent of the electricity used by Chicago residents and small businesses who participate in a new aggregation program, Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office said Tuesday, lauding what environmentalists say could serve as a model for other communities.

Hundreds of Illinois cities and towns have adopted aggregation, which allows them to bundle residential and small business customers to buy cheaper electricity in bulk from smaller suppliers. Chicago last year chose Integrys Energy Services to supply electricity to customers in an effort to save money and to ease pollution by eliminating coal-based power.

The other 95 percent of electricity supplied by Integrys comes from natural gas. read more>>>

Stella is the World's First Solar-Powered Family Car!
07/05/13 - The Netherlands’ Solar Team Eindhoven just unveiled Stella, the world’s first solar-powered family car! The team comprises a group of 22 students who want to show the world that a family car that runs on solar energy is a real possibility today. The four-passenger vehicle is not only powered by the sun, but it also features new technologies that make it many times lighter and more efficient than today’s cars.

Using lightweight materials like carbon and aluminum, Stella has a range of around 373 miles. The energy generated by the car’s solar panels is also more than the car actually needs, which gives Stella the ability to send it excess energy to the power grid. That means she is also the world’s first “energy-positive car.” read more>>>

Middlebury's InSite Solar-Powered Home is Made From Materials Sourced Within 10 Miles
07/05/13 - Students from Middlebury College have designed InSite - a thoughtful solar-powered home that will compete in the 2013 Solar Decathlon architecture competition. In addition to a unique solar power system and a clever mechanical chimney core, the use of locally-sourced and reclaimed materials sets this house apart from some of the other collegiate designs we've seen so far. Hit the jump to learn more.

Following five points of InSiteful design, the Middlebury team has sought to build a home that is economically, environmentally and socially sustainable. Clad with reclaimed barnwood from Vermont, the steel-framed structure is finished off with 48 14 inch-thick wall panels and an 18 inch roof. Cellulose, which has a low embodied energy footprint, is used for insulation to ensure minimal thermal loss. Even more impressively, the floors are made with Maple felled and milled within 10 miles of the Bread Loaf campus! read more>>>

Microgrids offer new freedom
Jul. 7, 2013 - Independence is a very broad concept. Here in the United States, it is most frequently associated with July Fourth and how we as a nation are no longer being encumbered by a distant monarchy in what is now known as the United Kingdom. But go to parts of Africa and other parts of the developing world, and the concept of independence takes on a much more fundamental meaning: self-sufficiency, and in the extreme, survival.

Independence here is deeply intertwined with the notion of access to the most fundamental of basic human needs such as food, lights and, increasingly, laptops and mobile phones. These citizens of the world are still often slaves to subsistence approaches to harvesting energy. read more>>>

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Champion Nano-Rust for Producing Solar Hydrogen
July 7, 2013 — In the quest for the production of renewable and clean energy, photoelectrochemical cells (PECs) constitute a sort of a Holy Grail. PECs are devices able of splitting water molecules into hydrogen and oxygen in a single operation, thanks to solar radiation. "As a matter of fact, we've already discovered this precious chalice, says Michael Gr├Ątzel, Director of the Laboratory of Photonics and Interfaces (LPI) at EPFL and inventor of dye-sensitized photoelectrochemical cells. Today we have just reached an important milestone on the path that will lead us forward to profitable industrial applications." read more>>>

Biofuels driving green jobs and growth in the UK economy
08/07/2013 - The Renewable Energy Association (REA) welcomes the opening of Vivergo's bioethanol plant at Saltend, near Hull. The plant's development has already created and supported over 1,000 jobs, and will result in 80 full time, highly skilled jobs at the site.

As well as producing 420 million litres of renewable transport fuel every year, the £350 million plant will also become the UK's largest single source supplier of animal feed, generating 500,000 tonnes of animal feed co-products annually for use by UK livestock farmers. read more>>>

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Another feather in UAE’s green energy cap
London Array project establishes its role as a knowledge centre in the field of renewable energy

July 7, 2013 - Economic diversification has long been a strategic goal of the UAE, so it is only appropriate that the country apply that policy to what has for decades been a cornerstone of its economy: Energy. The country proved it had the political will to do so last week, when UAE Minister of Foreign Affairs Shaikh Abdullah Bin Zayed Al Nahyan and British Prime Minister David Cameron launched the 175-turbine London Array project, the world’s largest offshore wind farm. The array, which is partly owned by Abu Dhabi-based Masdar, will supply about half-a-million UK homes with power.

The wind farm is another step forward for the development of green energy and firmly establishing the UAE’s role as a knowledge centre in the field of renewable energy, which also includes solar and nuclear power. read more>>>

Wind industry evolving to meet new demands
July 8, 2013 - In 2012, world wind power capacity grew to approximately 285.7 GW with the addition of 44.9 GW in new installations for an increase of 18.6 percent in the total wind power installation base, according to Navigant Research.

In the five years after the 2008 financial crisis, average annual growth has been 17.8 percent, even with traditionally large markets for wind power in economic recession in both North America and Europe, Navigant said. Although market growth will fluctuate over the next several years, according to the research, 241.6 GW will be added between 2012 and 2017, at an average growth rate of 5.1 percent annually. read more>>>

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