December 17, 2013 - To commence the end of the year, the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is taking a look back at what has been done in terms of federal climate change and energy policy, as well as what steps need to be taken in the new year.
Overall, the Obama Administration gets high marks from the NRDC for launching a comprehensive climate action plan, which at its center aims to curb power plant pollution driving climate change. This set in motion decisive steps to come to grips with the pollution that drives climate change. Now the task is to see all the initiatives in the plan over the finish line, according to NRDC. read more>>>
December 17, 2013 - Consumers Energy has selected 31 solar powered projects offered by businesses, homeowners and nonprofit groups across Michigan's Lower Peninsula to supply renewable energy to customers. The suppliers were chosen as part of the company's Experimental Advanced Renewable Program (EARP). The program provides for the long-term purchase of renewable energy generated by solar energy systems owned by electric customers.
"Consumers Energy is working to develop energy supply plans for the future, and that includes adding solar energy to our balanced approach," said Timothy Sparks, Consumers Energy's vice president of energy supply operations. read more>>>
Report shows that incorporating environmentally-friendly construction, like green roofs, porous sidewalks and rain gardens, into a building can save owners cash over time.
December 17, 2013 - Green infrastructure projects, more typically built by the city’s public sector, can have quantifiable benefits for private residential and commercial building owners as well, according to a study released Tuesday by a city-based nonprofit.
The Natural Resources Defense Council set out several examples of how incorporating environmentally-friendly construction, like green roofs, porous sidewalks and rain gardens, into a building can save owners cash over time.
“The report shows why it’s essential for players in the commercial real estate industry to consider the full range of green infrastructure benefits, in order to make wise investment decisions,” Larry Levine, the author of the report and an attorney, wrote in a recent blog post, indicating the improvements would help energy costs go down and property values go up. read more>>>
December 18, 2013 - EDF Renewable Energy announces the close of the Membership Interest Purchase and Sale Agreement (MIPSA) and start of construction for the Lancaster Solar Project. EDF Renewable Energy and Urban Green Technologies LLC (UGT), a utility-scale solar developer, signed the MIPSA in October 2013.
The 5.86MWp ground-mount fixed tilt solar photovoltaic project is located on approximately 26 acres of privately owned land at the former Shirley Airport, 50 miles northwest of Boston, Mass. The power generated will be delivered to the Town of Billerica, Massachusetts under a long-term Power Purchase Agreement, pursuant to the State’s Virtual Net Metering Credits Program. EDF Renewable Energy will develop, own and operate the solar project with commercial operation expected in Spring, 2014. read more>>>
December 16, 2013 - Last Tuesday officials from Dubai declared they would transform the city into one of the most sustainable municipalities in the world by 2020. Although Dubai has expressed the aspiration before, namely as part of an initiative to expand parkland, this latest statement incorporates multiple kinds of environmental performance: Speaking locally at an event sponsored by the Dubai Chamber, city directors Hussain Nasser Lootah and Mohammad Mashroom laid out strategies for increasing solar production, capturing energy from waste, and mandating more rigorous green building.
Dubai’s first photovoltaic plant went online in late October, and the 13-megawatt facility will expand to 1,000 megawatts by 2030. A new version of the Dubai Green Building Code rolls out in early 2014, as well. read more>>>
December 17, 2013 - The Smart Cities Council, an industry coalition to advance smart city development and innovation, is branching out internationally, establishing the first regional chapter of the Global Smart Cities Council in India. The new chapter is a major milestone in developing cities to operate at their greatest potential with a balance of livability, workability and sustainability.
With a population expected to reach 590 million by 2030, nearly twice that of the United States, Indian cities are poised to experience tremendous pressure on urban infrastructure and key public services. Additionally, its rapidly growing economy makes it an obvious location to leverage information and communications technology to help cities on a global scale. read more>>>
17 December 2013 - The renewable energy trade association RenewableUK has published detailed new scientific research on wind energy acoustics
A study to investigate the causes of, and solutions to, the occurrence of an acoustic characteristic known as “Other Amplitude Modulation” (OAM), has been carried out by UK renewable energy trade association.
The report explains the differences between “Normal Amplitude Modulation” (NAM), which is the common swishing sound made by turbine blades as they pass through the air, and OAM, which is an infrequent and uncommon sound which typically lasts only for a few minutes. read more>>>
Dec 18, 2013 - Before there was the grid, there was the microgrid.
Electrification in the United States often proceeded from a diesel generator and local distribution in an isolated town to the development of the big utilities and complex grid of generation, transmission and distribution of the 21st century.
Now, however, a convergence of smart grid technology, renewable energy development, and an increasing number of weather-related grid outages is sending us back to the future and a new kind of microgrid. read more>>>
Opinion: The choice is between secular stagnation and sustainable growth
Dec 19, 2013 - Sometimes it takes only a few minutes to change the way we think about things. A month ago, Larry Summers spent about ten minutes at an IMF research seminar questioning why US economic growth was stagnant.
He said that since the end of the financial crisis there has been no evidence of growth that would restore economic equilibrium at the level of full employment. This is what he called “secular stagnation”.
His remarks have shaken the economic profession and media more than all the learned lectures and policy papers published since the financial crisis began. He has reshaped our understanding of the economic world we live in.
That’s no small achievement for a ten minute address. read more>>>
Dec. 18, 2013 - The human toll for poor air quality is worse than for road traffic accidents, making it the number one environmental cause of premature death in the EU. It also impacts the quality of life due to asthma or respiratory problems. The Commission is responding with new measures to reduce air pollution, adopted pm December 18. The clean air policy package updates existing legislation and further reduces harmful emissions from industry, traffic, energy plants and agriculture, with a view to reducing their impact on human health and the environment. Air pollution causes also lost working days, and high healthcare costs, with vulnerable groups such as children, asthmatics and the elderly the worst affected. It also damages ecosystems through excess nitrogen pollution (eutrophication) and acid rain. The direct costs to society from air pollution, including damage to crops and buildings, amount to about €23 billion per year. The benefits to people's health from implementing the package are around €40 billion a year, over 12 times the costs of pollution abatement, which are estimated to reach € 3.4 billion per year in 2030. read more>>>