Thursday, August 8, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 8 August 2013

Right-of-way boost for US offshore
05/08/2013 - The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management has finalised a streamlining of its right-of-way application that makes it easier for offshore wind farm developers to gain permission for cabling.

The so-called Form 0009 covers ROW grants for submerged land on the outer continental shelf and was published as a draft in the Federal Register on August 29 last year. read more>>>

New Mexico is the driest of the dry
Aug. 6, 2013 - As an extended drought bakes the West, nowhere are ravages of changes in the climate worse than in New Mexico.

Scientists in the West have a particular way of walking a landscape and divining its secrets: They kick a toe into loamy soil or drag a boot heel across the desert's crust, leaning down to squint at the tiny excavation.

Try that maneuver in New Mexico these days and it yields nothing but bad news in a puff of dust. read more>>>

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EPA looking at contaminated sites for renewable energy
August 5, 2013 - There are a lot of contaminated sites in the US. Many are former landfills that are urban mounds of varying size, and they are often devoid of trees. This makes them good candidate sites for solar power or other forms of renewable energy. This is a win-win opportunity in many instances!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently updated its RE-Powering Mapping and Screening Tool, which will now provide preliminary screening results for renewable energy potential at 66,000, up from 24,000, contaminated lands, landfills, and mine sites across the country. read more>>>

NOAA: 2012 shows climate change with record sea-level rise, Arctic melting, heated-up oceans
August 6 2013 - A new massive federal study says the world in 2012 sweltered with continued signs of climate change. Rising sea levels, snow melt, heat buildup in the oceans, and melting Arctic sea ice and Greenland ice sheets, all broke or nearly broke records, but temperatures only sneaked into the top 10.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Tuesday issued a peer-reviewed 260-page report, which agency chief Kathryn Sullivan calls its annual “checking on the pulse of the planet.” The report, written by 384 scientists around the world, compiles data already released, but it puts them in context of what’s been happening to Earth over decades. read more>>>

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When It Comes to Disaster Resilience, Washington Is Leaving City Officials Out to Dry
Cities have become the laboratories of democracy and the engines of economic growth. But a disengaged, miserly national government is making it harder for mayors to prepare for the next catastrophe.

With the federal government increasingly locked into what increasingly seems to be a War Games-style no-win scenario, city governments—which are both considerably smaller and considerably more politically homogenous than Washington—are getting their due as the real laboratories of democracy. read more>>>

New Clean Energy Breakthroughs Offer Better Tomorrow
August 6th, 2013 - Finnish scientists have found a way to turn dead wood into high quality biofuel for less than one euro a litre. They believe they can convert more than half the energy of raw wood – ligno-cellulosic biomass, if you prefer the technical term – into something that will drive a taxi, a tractor or a tank.

Biofuels were long ago proposed as an alternative to fossil fuels: they are not exactly carbon-free, but they exploit the carbon freshly captured by plants so the carbon dioxide returned to the atmosphere was going to get back there anyway, from compost, leaf litter, food waste or firewood. read more>>>

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Global warming already having dramatic impacts in California, new report says
08/08/2013 - Rising ocean waters. Bigger and more frequent forest fires. More brutally hot summer days.

These aren't the usual predictions about global warming based on computer forecasts. They're changes already happening in California, according to a detailed new report issued Thursday by the California Environmental Protection Agency.

Climate change is "an immediate and growing threat" affecting the state's water supplies, farm industry, forests, wildlife and public health, the report says. read more>>>

DOT says it's working to 'protect' transit systems from climate change
08/07/13 - The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) said on Wednesday that it has "been working hard to help America's transit agencies protect themselves against the negative effects of climate change."

The agency said the effort is part of President Obama's commitment to address climate change in his second term.

"2012 brought us the warmest year on record for the continental United States," the agency wrote in a blog post. "It also brought us more than $100 billion in damages from climate and weather disasters, including $65 billion from Hurricane Sandy alone. read more>>>

Solar towers could fuel hydrogen-based economy
2 August 2013 - A hydrogen production plant has been designed that could fuel a sustainable green economy with nothing more than sunlight and water.

A team of researchers has developed a radically new technique in which sunlight is concentrated by a vast array of mirrors onto a single point on top of a central tower several hundred feet tall. read more>>>

Asheville green industry gets a boost
08/02/2013 - Here's the press release from Green Festival, Inc:

Messe Stuttgart joins forces with Asheville-based Green Festival

Europe’s leading organizer of trade shows for the Sustainable Economy comes to Western North Carolina

August 2, 2013 - European sustainable event leader Messe Stuttgart announces a partnership with Asheville-based Green Festival, Inc. The partnership is expected to strengthen and expand sustainability oriented events throughout North America and bring more jobs to Asheville, North Carolina. read more>>>

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