Monday, July 29, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 29 July 2013

Why It Finally Makes Political Sense to Talk About Climate Change
New polls show that voters increasingly view climate global-warming deniers as cranks. The White House is paying attention.

July 25, 2013 - In the summer of 2009, a dozen Democratic members of Congress took a deep breath and put their political futures on the line, voting for historic global-warming legislation President Obama had told them was a top priority. After the bill squeaked through the House, Democrats pleaded with the White House: After taking this risk, they needed Obama to go to bat for them—and the bill—with speeches, campaign appearances, constituent outreach, anything.

He didn’t. Behind the scenes, White House advisers counseled the president not to waste his political capital on climate change. It was too risky. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid pulled the plug on the bill in summer 2010. That fall, Republicans went hard after House Democrats who had voted for it, causing many to lose their seats—and Democrats to lose control of the House. And on the campaign trail last year, Obama followed the advice of his staff and barely mentioned climate change, to the dismay of his environmental base.

Suddenly, that’s all changed.

Does Lake Michigan's record low mark beginning of new era for Great Lakes?
Despite above-average precipitation, lake has seen below-average water levels for 14 years running. Less ice cover and more dark open water may explain why.

Patric Kuptz means it when he says he grew up on the Great Lakes.

"I've spent most of my life within 50 feet of here," the 37-year-old said on a sunny May morning, working on a boat near his third-generation family home — a brown brick duplex at the edge of Milwaukee's South Shore Yacht Club. read more>>>

Show you care. Find eco-friendly gifts at Green Living Everyday

On Rooftops, a Rival for Utilities
July 26, 2013 - For years, power companies have watched warily as solar panels have sprouted across the nation’s rooftops. Now, in almost panicked tones, they are fighting hard to slow the spread.

Alarmed by what they say has become an existential threat to their business, utility companies are moving to roll back government incentives aimed at promoting solar energy and other renewable sources of power. At stake, the companies say, is nothing less than the future of the American electricity industry. read more>>>

MSU Works On Eliminating EV ‘Range Anxiety’ Through Better Batteries
July 28, 2013 - Like people who drive gas-powered cars, those who drive electric vehicles are always on the lookout for where they can get their next “fill up.” Or, in their case, battery charge.

This so-called “range anxiety” could someday be eased a bit thanks to a team of Michigan State University researchers.

In the lab of Jeff Sakamoto, an associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science, he and his team are looking to improve upon the lithium ion battery, a rechargeable battery that works well in hybrid and plug-in hybrid vehicles, but still needs improvement for all-electric vehicles. read more>>>

Portable Power & Off-Grid solar - RV/Camping Products

Banks Boost Green Credit for Green Growth
2013-07-20 - Major Chinese banks have vowed to offer strong credit support for the development of green economy amid China's drive to promote ecological progress and curb pollution.

Building a mechanism to provide positive incentives will be key to the development of green finance, according to a consensus reached by more than 10 financial institutions including the "big four" state-owned banks at an on-going ecological forum in Guiyang, capital city of southwest China's Guizhou Province.

The "big four" refers to Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, China Construction Bank, Bank of China and Agricultural Bank of China. read more>>>

Microgrids Going Mainstream

July 2013 - As alternative-energy sources become more commonplace, the need for infrastructure to support their expanding reach into mainstream energy markets is also on the rise. Microgrids have emerged as an ideal technology to meet this growing demand. A recent study confirms the interplay of the two trends.

According to Boulder, Colo.-based Navigant Research, microgrid deployments are evolving, and this market is becoming increasingly robust as new vendors enter. read more>>>

Eco Safety Products: Archtectural - Decorative - Industrial - Marine & Maintenance Chemicals

“Excellently positioned to take the green economy to a higher level quickly”
07-18-2013 - Green Chemistry Campus: at the intersection of agriculture and chemistry

The Bergen op Zoom region, in the Southwestern part of the Netherlands, is the centre of the new green economy – for those who did not know yet. They have it all: strong agrofood industries, a strong agricultural sector with many side streams, ambitious and international chemical companies, a thriving logistical sector and many good transport links. The Green Chemistry Campus, established in 2011 at the site of chemical giant SABIC, will develop the green economy with powerful innovations. read more>>>

Mercedes Unveils Solar-Powered 'Vision' Golf Cart of the Future
07/23/13 - Mercedes-Benz has unveiled the Vision, which the automaker is touting as the golf cart of the future. Today’s golf carts rarely set hearts on fire with their slab sided minimalistic designs, but the Vision takes Mercedes-Benz design cues and applies them to create a golf cart that is not only sexy, but also green with its solar-powered electric motor.

How did Mercedes-Benz come up with the concept?

Quake Kare, Inc.

Norwegian Town Creates 'Artificial Sun' to Light Up Dark Winter Days
07/23/13 - The small Norwegian town of Rjukan is getting its own artificial sun this month. Engineers are completing The Mirror Project—a system of three 300 square foot heliostatic mirrors that redirect winter light into the valley, turning one of the biggest town squares into a sunny meeting place. The entire mechanism is controlled by a central computer that adjusts the position of the mirrors.

Three huge mirrors were installed on the face of a neighboring mountain a few days ago that will redirect the sun down onto the town. The light will create a 2,000-square-foot circle on the town square which is usually in shadow. Costing less than a million dollars, the Mirror Project will bring light to the Norwegian town which is, from September until the end of March, in near perpetual darkness. read more>>>

WorldGBC and IFC aim to ramp up green construction
The World Green Building Council and IFC, a member of the World Bank Group are joining forces in an effort to rapidly scale up sustainable construction in emerging markets

24 Jul 2013 - The partnership perfectly demonstrates the commitment of both the WorldGBC and IFC to play a leading role in transforming the urban environment of emerging markets and mitigate climate change.

It’s understood that the WorldGBC has agreed to connect its network of national green building councils to IFC’s investment and advisory programme. The WorldGBC’s local affiliate councils will certify green buildings through IFC’s new web application, EDGE. read more>>>

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