Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 30 July 2013

Efficiency Drove U.S. Emissions Decline, Not Natural Gas, Study Says
Conventional wisdom says switching to natural gas is why CO2 fell last year, but a recent analysis found a different explanation.

Jul 30, 2013 - Aggressive energy efficiency efforts by households, companies and motorists led to the decline in carbon dioxide emissions from energy use in the United States, according to a recent report. The finding contradicts recent studies that say the power sector's shift away from coal to cheap natural gas caused the bulk of reductions.

U.S. emissions last year fell by 205 million metric tons, or 4 percent, from 2011 levels. read more>>>

Study: Global warming puts South American water supplies at risk
July 29, 2013 - Water supplies in South America could be threatened with ongoing global warming moving rain-bearing winds away from their normal paths, researchers say.

A reconstruction of past changes in the North and Central Patagonian Ice-field, which plays a vital role in the hydrology of the region, suggests the field had suddenly contracted around 15,000 years ago after a southerly migration took westerly winds toward the South Pole, they said. read more>>>

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Harmonizing EV and smart grid technology
July 24, 2013 - Plug-in hybrid sales doubled in the first six months of 2013 compared to the same period in 2012 with sales expected to grow further as the next generation of cars and grid systems demonstrate even greater cost saving for consumers, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

That is why the DOE has launched the Electric Vehicle-Smart Grid Interoperability Center at Argonne National Laboratory. The Center will work to ensure that vehicles, charging stations, communications and networking systems work in unison with the electric grid, harmonizing emerging EV and smart grid technologies. read more>>>

SolarCity to Provide Solar Electricity to 7,500 Military Homes at Island Palm Communities at Multiple Army Bases in Hawai’i
July 24, 2013 - SolarCity SCTY +1.10% today announced plans to add 12.8 megawatts of new solar generation capacity to provide solar power to up to 7,500 military homes at Lend Lease-managed Island Palm Communities throughout the island of Oahu, including Fort Shafter, Schofield Barracks, Wheeler Army Airfield, Aliamanu Military Reservation, Helemano Military Reservation and Tripler Army Medical Center in Hawai'i. The projects are the latest to be announced under SolarCity's SolarStrong initiative, a five-year plan to build more than $1 billion in solar projects to provide power to up to 120,000 military homes in the United States. SolarCity has now initiated projects that are expected to provide renewable power to approximately 22,000 military homes when completed. read more>>>

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Microgrid grants will power key services
July 24, 2013 - Gov. Dannel P. Malloy braved the mid-afternoon heat Wednesday to announce a new program he said will help residents left out in the cold when the next superstorm strikes.

The city is receiving nearly $3 million for three natural gas turbines that will power City Hall, the Police Department and the senior center in the event of a citywide power outage.

"This is an exciting day for all of us in the city of Bridgeport," Mayor Bill Finch said during a news conference outside the Margaret E. Morton Government Center. read more>>>

UK green economy celebrates as government figures show £6bn boost
Government data confirms green goods and services market grew nearly five per cent to £128bn in 2011/12

25 Jul 2013 - The UK's green goods and services market increased almost five per cent to more than £128bn during 2011/12, according to government figures released last week.

While the rest of the economy remained virtually flat, sales in green markets grew by almost £6bn, while the sector racked up a trade surplus of £5.2bn. read more>>>

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Liverpool's learning green lessons from Los Angeles
23 Jul 2013 - A leading Los Angeles low carbon expert is helping Liverpool to launch its Green Partnership, sharing her experiences of creating a sustainable city.

The idea that going green hinders economic development has been discredited by the strategies of successful and progressive cities around like Los Angeles, Hamburg, Sydney and New York who are building their future prosperity on a high value / low carbon economic vision.

Liverpool is now adding its name to this prestigious list, saying the city cannot afford not to embrace a pioneering low agenda. read more>>>

Cost of Arctic methane release could be `size of global economy`
Jul. 24, 2013 - Economic modelling shows that the possible methane emissions caused by shrinking sea ice from just one area of the Arctic could come with a global price tag of 60 trillion dollars - the size of the world economy in 2012 according to a new report.

As the Arctic warms and sea ice melts at an unprecedented rate, hitting a record low last summer, the thawing of offshore 'permafrost' - frozen soil - in the region is releasing methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.

Scientists have previously warned that there are vast reservoirs of methane in the Arctic, hundreds of billions of tonnes of a gas many times worse than carbon dioxide for global warming - of which only a fraction needs releasing into the atmosphere to trigger possibly catastrophic climate change. read more>>>

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University professors in US receive grant to develop biomass conversion project
25 July 2013 - Professors David Domermuth and Ok-Youn Yu of Appalachian State University in the US have received a $45,000 grant from the N.C. Agricultural Foundation for a project to economically convert biomass to biofuel and useful biochar.

Both professors are with the university's Department of Technology and Environmental Design.

The grant, along with a current grant from the EPA, is being used to complete the university’s bioshelter/greenhouse at the Watauga County Landfill where the biomass conversion will occur. read more>>>

Central Maine Power promoting EVs with grants
July 25, 2013 - Central Maine Power Company (CMP) is offering incentives to organizations that wish to try out plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) in an effort to encourage the use of hybrid and electric cars in the state.

Through the Plug-In Electric Vehicle Grant Program, selected organizations will receive up to $15,000 to support the lease or purchase of eligible vehicles. A portion of the grant may be applied toward the purchase and installation of a Level 2 or 3 charging station. read more>>>

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