Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 3 September 2013

Winners Announced in China's First-Ever Solar Decathlon
August 23, 2013 - Perhaps it is fitting that two teams from the Asia-Pacific reigned in the first Solar Decathlon ever held in Asia. The University of Wollongong from Australia and the South China University of Technology came first and second, respectively, beating 19 teams from nine countries.

Out of the 10 judging categories, the two teams ranked first in seven of them, including architecture, engineering, solar application, energy balance, market appeal, home entertainment, and appliances. Chalmers University of Technology from Sweden received third place. The intercollegiate competition, which promotes innovative, energy-efficient, solar-powered residential designs, was hosted in Datong in northern China by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), National Energy Administration of China (the DOE’s Chinese counterpart), and Peking University. read more>>>

Butterfly Wings + Carbon Nanotubes = New 'Nanobiocomposite' Material
Aug. 28, 2013 — Leveraging the amazing natural properties of the Morpho butterfly's wings, scientists have developed a nanobiocomposite material that shows promise for wearable electronic devices, highly sensitive light sensors and sustainable batteries. A report on the new hybrid material appears in the journal ACS Nano.

Eijiro Miyako and colleagues explain that Morpho butterfly wings have natural properties that are beyond the capabilities of any current technology to reproduce artificially. In addition to being lightweight, thin and flexible, the butterfly's wings absorb solar energy, shed water quickly and are self-cleaning. read more>>>

Immediate global action needed to reduce aviation climate impact - Report
Aug. 27, 2013 - A new scientific report released today highlights the critical importance of taking early action when implementing measures to reduce the climate impact of rapidly increasing emissions from aviation. With a decision expected shortly on how and when to tackle international aviation emissions, this new report increases the pressure on the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) not to defer a decision on the adoption of a market-based measure (MBM).

Over the past 2 years momentum had been building towards a decision at the 38th ICAO General Assembly, scheduled to begin in Montreal in late September [1], on the need for an effective global MBM. But political differences amongst key states now threaten yet again a decision this year on how and when the sector should address its growing contribution to climate change – the next Assembly is not until 2016. read more>>>

New carbon footprint tool launched to calculate the carbon footprint of pharmaceutical products
Aug. 22, 2013 - ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) collaborates with the Carbon Trust to help pharmaceutical companies quickly estimate the carbon footprint of tablet medicines distributed in blister packs

ABPI (Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry) collaborates with the Carbon Trust to help pharmaceutical companies quickly estimate the carbon footprint of tablet medicines distributed in blister packs

Development of new tool funded by ABPI, AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmith Kline, Janssen (J&J), Eli Lilly, and Pfizer

The ABPI, in association with the Carbon Trust, has today launched a spread sheet based tool to enable UK companies to estimate the carbon footprint of tablet medicines in blister packs. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Desert plantations could help capture carbon
Aug. 26, 2013 - Planting trees in coastal deserts could capture carbon dioxide, reduce harsh desert temperatures, boost rainfall, revitalise soils and produce cheap biofuels, say scientists.

Large-scale plantations of the hardy jatropha tree, Jatropha curcas, could help sequester carbon dioxide through a process known as 'carbon farming', according to a study based on data gathered in Mexico and Oman that was published in Earth System Dynamics last month (31 July).

Each hectare of the tree could soak up 17-25 tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, they say, at a cost of 42-63 euros (about US$56-84) per tonne of gas, the paper says. This makes the technique competitive with high-tech carbon capture and storage. read more>>>

China’s power sector heads towards a cleaner future
Aug. 27, 2013 - China’s power capacity will more than double by 2030 and renewables including large hydro will account for more than half of new plants, eroding coal’s dominant share and attracting investment of $1.4 trillion. China’s power sector carbon emissions could be in decline by 2027.

China’s power sector is expected to go through significant changes through to 2030, according to a new report released by Bloomberg New Energy Finance. China will add 88GW of new power plants annually from now until 2030, which is equivalent to building the UK’s total generating capacity every year. read more>>>

wind turbines

San Francisco's State of Emergency and Microgrids
August 28, 2013 - California Governor Edmund Brown, Jr., recently declared a state of emergency for the City and ‎County of San Francisco. The City and County of San Francisco and the San Francisco Public ‎Utilities Commission had previously declared their own states of emergency and requested that ‎Governor Brown do the same. The reason: wildfires threatening critical electric infrastructure that ‎provides service to San Francisco. (These are the same wildfires threatening Yosemite National ‎Park). Transmission lines and two of the three hydropower facilities serving San Francisco have ‎been shut down as a result of the wildfires, which are threatening San Francisco’s electricity ‎supply. As a result of the declaration, San Francisco is authorized to spend $600,000 to purchase ‎electricity on the open market.‎ read more>>>

Net-what?! the net-zero building trend and you
Aug 28, 2013 - This just in, in case you missed it: Green design is hot. And with a flood of different approaches, products, certification programs, and more hitting the market, it's hard for eco-conscious consumers to keep it all straight. Here at Networx, we like to empower you, the consumer, with the information you need to make great choices about your life -- and if we can help the environment along the way, so much the better.

Today, we're taking a closer look at so-called "net zero" home design and construction. In a nutshell, it involves building a home that has an annual net energy consumption of, well, zero. Such homes use a combination of alternative energy generation methods like solar and wind to harvest energy and efficiency measures such as high-efficiency HVAC systems, specially-designed insulating windows, and more, all to reduce energy use in the first place. read more>>>

Get Started With Green Energy at GoGreenSoalr.com

Hydrogen Fuel from Sunlight: Researchers Make Unique Semiconductor/Catalyst Construct
Aug. 29, 2013 — In the search for clean, green sustainable energy sources to meet human needs for generations to come, perhaps no technology matches the ultimate potential of artificial photosynthesis. Bionic leaves that could produce energy-dense fuels from nothing more than sunlight, water and atmosphere-warming carbon dioxide, with no byproducts other than oxygen, represent an ideal alternative to fossil fuels but also pose numerous scientific challenges. A major step toward meeting at least one of these challenges has been achieved by researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)'s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) working at the Joint Center for Artificial Photosynthesis (JCAP). read more>>>

City of Lemoore and Chevron Energy Solutions Break Ground on Project to Save Nearly $45 Million in Energy Costs
LEMOORE, Calif., Aug. 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The City of Lemoore and Chevron Energy Solutions are starting the construction of an expansive solar installation to power domestic water wells, a wastewater treatment plant, the Cinnamon Municipal Complex, Police Department, and several other facilities throughout the city.

The project is expected to generate over 3 megawatts of electricity and reduce purchases from the electric utility by close to 100 percent for most of the facilities included. Over its life, and after paying all its costs, the City of Lemoore is expected to save close to $45 million.

This will be the third project Chevron Energy Solutions has undertaken for the City of Lemoore in the past 5 years. read more>>>

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