Friday, September 6, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 6 September 2013

Great Lakes shrinking: what's the business cost?
Low water levels already are disrupting industries – including shipping and tourism – that rely on the world's largest navigation system and freshwater resource

4 September 2013 - Sea levels may be rising, but North America's Great Lakes are suffering from just the opposite problem: their water levels have been falling for the last decade and a half. Borne of glacial melt – but now at the mercy of the skies for most of their nourishment – the Great Lakes have been hit hard by shorter winters and warmer summers. Water temperatures and evaporation rates have increased, while water levels have remained below average for more than 14 years.

"We have not seen anything like this in our recorded history," Frank Quinn, an emeritus hydrologist with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinal earlier this year. read more>>>

Global warming in one unmistakably compelling chart
4 September 2013 - If you have any doubt the balance of the globe has warmed over the last century, view this chart:

Produced by NASA, the chart illustrates how temperatures have compared to “normal” (or the 1951-1980 average) from 1880 to present, from pole to pole (-90 latitude to 90 latitude).

From the 1880 to the 1920s, blue and green shades dominate the chart, signaling cooler than normal temperatures in that era. Then, from the 1930s to the 1970s, warmer yellow, oranges, and reds shades ooze in, balancing the cooler shades.

But since the 1970s, the blue and green shades rapidly erode and oranges and reds take over, dramatically. read more>>>

County considers LED office lights to save $80K a year on electricity
Sep. 5, 2013 - County commissioners are investigating the possibility of converting the lighting in county-owned buildings from fluorescent to light emitting diodes (LEDs) after officials of a Baltimore, Ohio, company indicated the county could save at least $80,000 per year on lighting costs with their system.

Commissioners on Tuesday said they would consider converting an undetermined office area on a trial basis and asked Tri-Tech LED Systems CEO Scott Graham to prepare a cost estimate for converting more than 4,000 fixtures in 10 county buildings. read more>>>

Maui Electric: Less Wind Energy Wasted, More Savings to Come
09/04/2013 - Thanks to a few operational changes, Maui Electric says it is now using 91 percent of the Valley Isle’s available wind energy.

The nearly 20 percent improvement is expected to trim $22 annually off a typical Maui home’s electric bill, MECO said Wednesday.

The company expects to push it up to 98 percent — another $7 to $10 in savings — with additional changes over the next several years. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Climate change threatens Caribbean's water supply
6 Sep, 2013 - Experts are sounding a new alarm about the effects of climate change for parts of the Caribbean - the depletion of already strained drinking water throughout much of the region.

Rising sea levels could contaminate supplies of fresh water and changing climate patterns could result in less rain to supply reservoirs in the coming decades, scientists and officials warned at a conference in St. Lucia this week. read more>>>

'Green' employment is growing steadily (but quietly)
September 5, 2013 - Renewable energy, water management, sustainable building technology, and other planet-friendly fields are producing a fresh crop of jobs.

FORTUNE -- Dear Annie: Since I have a son and a daughter starting college right now, I read your recent article on picking a major with interest. My daughter plans to study environmental engineering, and I'm just wondering, is that a smart choice? It seems to me that there was a lot of talk about "green" jobs a few years ago, but now that seems to have faded away, to the point where you hardly ever hear anything about job creation connected to sustainability. I'm all for my children pursuing their interests while they're in college, but I'd also like to see them get opportunities in their chosen fields after they graduate. What do you think? -- Monterey Mom read more>>>

wind turbines

European Association for Renewable Energy celebrates 25th year
30 August 2013 - Eurosolar, the European Association for Renewable Energy, celebrated its 25th year as a organization with a gathering of nearly 100 members, friends and supporters on 24 August 2013.

The initiative was founded in Bonn by Hermann Scheer on the very same day in 1988.

During the celebration, founding members, representatives of Eurosolar’s international sections, the World Council for Renewable Energy (WCRE) and Eurosolar's Board of Trustees presented their views of Eurosolar's past 25 years. read more>>>

Spray-On Solar Cells? New Nanoparticles Make Solar Cells Cheaper to Manufacture
Aug. 30, 2013 — University of Alberta researchers have found that abundant materials in Earth's crust can be used to make inexpensive and easily manufactured nanoparticle-based solar cells.

The discovery, several years in the making, is an important step forward in making solar power more accessible to parts of the world that are off the traditional electricity grid or face high power costs, such as the Canadian North, said researcher Jillian Buriak, a chemistry professor and senior research officer of the National Institute for Nanotechnology based on the U of A campus. read more>>>

Get Started With Green Energy at

Solar Energy: A Richer Harvest On the Horizon
Aug. 31, 2013 — Semiconductor nanostructures are poised to play a big role in future solar-powered hydrogen generation systems, according to a new study by researchers at the A*STAR Institute of High Performance Computing1. Hui Pan and Yong-Wei Zhang report that model interfaces made from gallium nitride (GaN) and zinc oxide (ZnO) semiconductors have tunable magnetic and light-harvesting capabilities -- factors that can greatly improve the photocatalytic transformation of water into hydrogen fuel. read more>>>

Green Desert: Green jobs continue to be created
Aug. 31, 2013 - Do I have a green job?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ official definition of a green job is one that either produces goods or provides services that benefit the environment or conserves natural resources, or is focused on making business production processes more environmentally friendly and, again, using fewer natural resources.

While most writers hope their work has some small impact, I don’t know if, strictly speaking, I qualify for full green status, though I might squeak in under the bureau’s subcategory for increasing public awareness of environmental issues. read more>>>

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