Friday, December 13, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 13 December 2013

Government’s Infrastructure Carbon Review paves way for a more sustainable construction industry
Dec 4, 2013 - For Balfour Beatty, effective carbon management makes business sense and is already part of its wider sustainability strategy.

It is one of nine contractors who have signed a new joint initiative to reduce carbon in infrastructure.

With infrastructure and related areas such as energy accounting for around half of all UK emissions, cutting the volume of materials used in construction and using existing resources more efficiently will significantly reduce costs as well as carbon.

The Infrastructure Carbon Review (ICR), developed by the British Treasury, the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills and the Green Construction Board (GCB), calls for Clients to embed carbon reduction into procurement of infrastructure. read more>>>

Green Education Center Along East River to Be Elevated 15 Feet
November 25, 2013 - An educational group's new green building on the East River waterfront will feature teaching space, kayak storage, solar panels and storm protections, according to designs released to DNAinfo New York.

The earlier designs for Solar One's proposed Solar 2 building in Stuyvesant Cove Park near East 22nd Street to house educational programs and serve as an example of green architecture had to be changed following Hurricane Sandy when the area was flooded.

Under the new designs, the 8,000-square-foot building will be elevated 15 feet off the ground to protect it from floods, and the building will include additional insulation to keep it warmer in case of a power outage, officials said. read more>>>

SunEdison Introduces New York City's Largest Solar Energy Project
NEW YORK, Dec. 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- SunEdison (NYSE: SUNE), one of the world's largest solar energy providers, last week introduced an innovative renewable energy project in partnership with America's largest city.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, alongside SunEdison officials, unveiled a progressive partnership to build what will be the City's largest solar energy project. "Freshkills was once the site of the largest landfill in the world. Soon it will be one of the City's largest parks, and the site of the largest solar power installation ever developed within the five boroughs," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Over the last twelve years we've restored wetlands and vegetation and opened new parks and soccer fields at the edges of the site. Thanks to the agreement today with SunEdison, we will increase the amount of solar energy produced in New York City by 50 percent."

The project, which is scheduled to break ground in the second half of 2015, will consist of two photovoltaic systems totaling up to 10 megawatts (MW) in size, and will utilize between 30,000 and 35,000 high efficiency solar panels installed across 47 acres leased to SunEdison at Freshkills Park. The project will increase the city's renewable energy capacity by 50 percent and will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local pollutants. read more>>>

U.S. Solar PV Generation Increased by a Whopping 83% in 2012
12/04/13 - The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) just released the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book on behalf of the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy – and the report found that photovoltaic solar energy generation jumped by a whopping 83 percent! The report is released each year and it addresses green energy generation and clean energy investment across the United States.

According to the 2012 Renewable Energy Data Book, renewable energy now represents 14 percent of total installed capacity and more than 12 percent of total electric generation in the U.S. This equates to an impressive renewable electricity capacity of more than 163 gigawatts (GW). read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Poll says most Coloradans support solar net metering
December 5, 2013 - Nearly four in five Colorado voters (78 percent) support solar net metering, a renewable energy policy that gives rooftop solar customers full retail credit for the excess energy they put back on the grid for the utility to sell, according to a new poll from the bipartisan research team of Public Opinion Strategies and Keating Research. The majority of the poll's respondents are against Xcel's proposal to change this policy.

Poll results show that statewide support for net metering exceeds 70 percent in every region around the state and is greater than 60 percent across all of the key voter groups in Colorado. The Alliance for Solar Choice (TASC) echoes the poll results. read more>>>

N.C. seeks a sustainable future, faces policy fight
December 5, 2013 - A combination of government policies, utilities companies, startups and activist groups are increasingly defining the path to renewable energy in North Carolina.

During the last seven years, Duke Energy, the sole provider of energy in North Carolina, spent $3 billion for renewable generations, according to Randy Wheeless, communication manager at Duke Energy. Last month, Duke Energy announced it would build three utility-scale solar-power projects, totaling 30 megawatts, in Eastern North Carolina.

In 2007, the North Carolina General Assembly passed the Renewable Portfolio Standard, which required that 12.5 percent of all energy must be generated by renewable sources by 2020. read more>>>

Taking Green-Powered Island Microgrids to Commercial Scale
December 9, 2013 - Microgrids -- self-contained islands of power generation and consumption -- are still an expensive and experimental alternative to tapping into the “macro-grid” they’re connected to. But what if the microgrid doesn’t have any other choice but to stand on its own?

That’s the conundrum facing small islands across the globe. Most islands rely on costly and polluting diesel or oil-fired generators for electricity, making them eager candidates for wind, solar and other renewables. But integrating lots of intermittent green power without introducing instability and uncertainty to island grids is a tricky proposition.

These factors have made islands a natural testing ground for microgrids, including a handful that have moved toward near-independence from fossil-fuel-fired generation. read more>>>

"Great opportunities for a green economy"
December 05, 2013 - The action plan on climate change for the Barents Cooperation was approved at the Ministerial meeting in Inari, northern Finland on Thursday.

At the meeting, taking place at the Sami Center, Niinistö expressed his concern over the effects of economic pressures and climate change on the northern nature. The Minister, however, sees the Barents Region as an area that offers opportunities for developing a green economy.

“The cold climates and long distances of northern areas encourage people to come up with energy-efficient and smart technologies,” said Niinistö. read more>>>

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Green consumers alive and well, but living in emerging economies
December 05, 2013 - To those of us seemingly surrounded by climate burnout and indifference, it is perhaps comforting that important places in the world are experiencing their first big wave of green consumerism.

This is the picture that emerges from GlobeScan's latest 20-country consumer poll that tracks climate concerns and low-carbon behavior. Results show low-carbon consumer behavior is surging in emerging economies such as China, India, Indonesia and Mexico. Asked what, if anything, they have done over the last year to reduce climate change, increasing numbers of consumers in these countries volunteered that they had bought energy-saving light bulbs or low-energy appliances.

Meanwhile, these same behaviors have dropped away in industrialized countries such as the U.S., U.K. and Germany since 2009. read more>>>

Bang Bang Unveils Colorful Solar-Powered Tents
12/05/13 - Bang Bang Tents offer a flashy alternative to boring camping gear - complete with brightly colored exteriors and integrated solar panels! Former MTV festival presenter Rob Bertucci was tired of losing his way in a sea of tents at festivals and wanted a way to stand out. His battery was also always dying and he needed a good home base to recharge both his phone and his body. So he started Bang Bang Tents, which generate enough electricity to power computers, phones, cameras and speakers to keep rockers rocking through festivals.

Bang Bang Tents are four person tents that come in six different styles. Blend more into the landscape with one that looks like grass, chopped wood or butterflies, or stand out with psychedelic jelly bean, mandala or geometric patterns. Tents are made to be long-lasting and easy to set up and should stand up to a downpour or the hot baking sun. While the tents were originally designed to appeal to those headed to a music festival, they are a more fun alternative to your standard outdoor tent varieties. read more>>>

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