Sunday, June 30, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 30 June 2013

Community wind popularity increasing in the Heartland
June 26, 2013 - The small wind power industry has been around for 30 years, but is just now reaching a critical juncture with numerous bankruptcies and acquisitions over the last 18 months. Still, the opportunity for small wind power remains strong across a variety of applications in both developed and developing countries. In fact, the worldwide market for small wind systems will reach $723 million by 2018, with $3.3 billion in cumulative sales from 2013 through 2018, according to Navigant Research.

"Small wind is growing primarily as a result of state and national incentives, including a burgeoning market in the United Kingdom," said Dexter Gauntlett, research analyst with Navigant Research. read more>>>

Energy efficiency reduces CO2 emissions for Constellation customers
June 26, 2013 - Through Efficiency Made Easy, Constellation customers have collectively reduced their carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 75,432 metric tons or 166,299,142 pounds over the past two years. According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency data, 75,432 metric tons of CO2 is equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions of 15,715 passenger vehicles.

Launched in early 2011 in the Northeast and Great Lakes regions, Constellation is expanding Efficiency Made Easy nationwide. read more>>>

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Why is China investing so much in U.S. Solar and Wind?
Jun. 20, 2013 - The world’s two largest greenhouse gas emitters—the United States and China—have been forging a growing bond in combating climate change. Just last week, President Obama and President Xi made a landmark agreement to work towards reducing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a potent greenhouse gas. And both the United States and China are leading global investment and development of clean energy. The United States invested $30.4 billion and added 16.9 GW of wind and solar capacity in 2012. China invested $58.4 billion and added 19.2 GW in capacity. read more>>>

Creating a low-carbon, non-nuclear economy: The case of Taiwan
Jun. 16, 2013 - Can Taiwan create a low-carbon economy without nuclear energy? One MIT researcher finds out.

After the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, energy experts and policymakers around the world began to reassess the future of nuclear power. Countries, including Japan and Germany, have since scaled back or plan to shut down their nuclear power — sparking a global debate on how nations will replace nuclear.

Taiwan is just one country where this intense debate is unfolding. read more>>>

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Green Building Is Growing Rapidly in the Retail and Hospitality Sectors, According to New McGraw Hill Construction SmartMarket Report
June 25, 2013 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- According to a new report released today by McGraw Hill Construction in partnership with Waste Management, entitled Green Retail and Hospitality SmartMarket Report: Capitalizing on the Growth in Green Building Investments, owners of retail and hotel establishments are reporting growing levels of green building activity planned over the next two years. The report is based on a study of 79 retail, 30 hotel and 22 restaurant owners conducted in 2013 by McGraw Hill Construction.

The study defined a green building project as one built to LEED or another recognized green building standard, or one that is energy-efficient, water-efficient, and improves indoor air quality and/or engages in material resource conservation. read more>>>

JMB Makes Clinton Global Initiative America Commitment To Build Greenest High-rise In Los Angeles
June 25, 2013 - - Pledge To Develop Century City Center Project & Implement Innovative Training Partnership with Two of the Largest Construction Trade Unions in the Country -

JMB Realty Corporation has announced its Clinton Global Initiative America (CGI America) Commitment to Action. JMB has pledged to develop Century City Center, a new green high-rise in California – and one of only a handful of high-rise buildings in North America designed to achieve the U.S. Green Buildings Council's LEEDTM Platinum certification. Through a partnership with two of the largest construction trade unions in the country that will provide a green construction-training program, the Century City-located 37-story "Green-Rise" will create a total of 6,000 jobs and serve as a model for future high-rise construction. read more>>>

U.S. and India Build Climate, Clean Energy Cooperation
June 24, 2013 (ENS) – India and the United States will combat global climate change, collaborate on energy security and support the development of low-carbon economies to fuel job growth in both countries, government officials said today in New Delhi.

At the annual U.S.-India Strategic Dialogue meeting, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and India’s Minister of External Affairs Salman Khurshid reaffirmed their countries’ strong commitment to work together based on the 2009 U.S.-India Memorandum of Understanding on clean energy, energy efficiency, energy security, and climate change. read more>>>

Poll: Americans Shop With Climate on Their Minds
June 21, 2013 (ENS) – Half of all Americans consider environmental impacts when deciding whether or not to buy a product at least occasionally, according to a new nationally representative survey on attitudes toward climate change conducted by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication.

For the survey, 1,045 adults over 18 years old were polled in April. Pollsters said there was a total average margin of error of plus or minus three percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level. The research was funded by the Surdna Foundation, the 11th Hour Project, the Grantham Foundation, and the V.K. Rasmussen Foundation. read more>>>

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Coalition vows to put green infrastructure at the heart of recovery
Danny Alexander promises significant new support for low carbon energy, rail network, broadband connections and flood defences

27 Jun 2013 - The government has today announced sweeping new infrastructure plans that aim to put a host of clean technologies at the centre of the UK's economic recovery.

Presenting the coalition's new Investing in Britain's Future infrastructure plan to the House of Commons, Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander pledged the new strategy would mobilise over £100bn of infrastructure spend with a particular focus on "unlocking massive investment in cleaner energy, to power our economy forwards". read more>>>

Brittany Peers: Residences by French architect Patrice Bideau feature high performance envelopes
June 2013 - The Brittany region of France has been populated since ancient times, thanks in part to the area’s benign environment. The temperate yet rainy climate could be likened to America’s Pacific Northwest. Extending that comparison to a finer grain, the Bay of Biscay is the France’s Salish Sea and the island-dotted Gulf of Morbihan equates the Puget Sound. From the picturesque gulf town Auray, Patrice Bideau has been practicing architecture since 1991, during which he has specialized in sustainable residences for more than a decade.

Bideau transcended provincial geography in embracing sustainability, explaining that adoption of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997 greatly influenced his change of course. “In France, we were not focused on green building until Kyoto,” he explains, “and even our adoption of better standards depended on the testing and development of higher-performing envelopes.” Now, with proper solar orientation and deep insulation, in an oceanic location architects like Bideau can almost eschew mechanical heating. read more>>>

Friday, June 28, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 28 June 2013

Renewable energy use gaining worldwide: IEA
27 June 2013 - Renewables like solar and wind represent the fastest-growing source of energy power generation and will make up a quarter of the global power mix by 2018, the International Energy Agency said in a report Wednesday.

The IEA said that in 2016 renewable energy will overtake natural gas as a power source and will be twice that of nuclear, and second only to coal as a source of power.

The growth of renewables "is a bright spot in an otherwise bleak assessment of global progress towards a cleaner and more diversified energy mix," said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven. read more>>>

L.A. program lets DWP pay customers to generate solar power
Clean L.A. Solar's goal is to add 150 megawatts, or enough to power 30,000 homes, to the city grids.

June 26, 2013 - Atop a beige apartment complex in North Hollywood, rows of solar panels began providing energy Wednesday as part of what backers say is the nation's largest urban rooftop solar program.

Called Clean L.A. Solar, the program allows the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power to pay customers to generate solar power across the city's vast expanse of flat roof space.

The goal of the effort, the brainchild of the Los Angeles Business Council, is to generate 150 megawatts of solar electricity, or enough to power about 30,000 homes. read more>>>

Chelsea Green Publishing - the leading publisher of sustainable living books since 1985.

Groundwork for Repair America Plan Found in a View From Space
06/27/2013 - In President Obama's climate change speech this week, he harkened back to the wonder of the first humans to orbit the moon. The president quoted something astronaut Jim Lovell said from space in 1968, "It makes you realize, just what you have back there on Earth." Though very few of us have been to space, it's still possible to understand the sense of awe the astronauts felt. Today the BlueGreen Alliance launches the Repair America campaign -- a campaign as much about protecting ourselves and our communities from the effects of climate change as it is preserving Earth's beauty. Repair America is recognition of the fact that the basic systems we rely on are not prepared for the impacts of increasingly severe and frequent weather events. We can't afford to wait, we must act now. read more>>>

Safety office blames ‘holes’ in regulations for Texas factory blast
06/27/13 - A federal safety office is warning Congress that holes in the "patchwork" of chemical safety regulations led to lax oversight of a Texas fertilizer facility that exploded in April.

Decades-old regulations covering storage of chemicals including ammonium nitrate, a substance at the root of the West, Texas, blast need to be updated, U.S. Chemical Safety Board Chairman Rafael Moure-Eraso said on Thursday.

"Ammonium nitrate fertilizer storage falls under a patchwork of U.S. safety standards and guidances, a patchwork that has many large holes," he said. read more>>>

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Abercrombie signs bill advancing Hawaii's clean energy goals
Jun 27, 2013 - Solar energy has been saving customers hundreds of dollars on their electricity bill, but only for homeowners who can afford thousands of dollars in upfront installation costs. That's about to change.

Through green infrastructure financing, residents can apply for state loans to cover the costs of installing rooftop photovoltaic systems or solar water heaters. Customers then repay the loans over time from the energy savings on their electrical bills. read more>>>

Smart ECO Hub Host Event To Boost Green Economy
Businesses from the North and South have gathered in County Armagh to discuss collaboration in order to sustain growth within the renewable construction sector.

The event, hosted by Smart ECO Hub, took place at Northern Ireland's first zero carbon house to be accredited by the Government, where key speakers delivered the message that sustainable building technologies is a key driver for the green economy in Northern Ireland. read more>>>

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Out with the Old Electrical Grid In with the New (Micro) Grid
June 24, 2013 - Microgrids are becoming a worldwide phenomenon. Currently an estimated $4.5 billion market in the US alone with 1,459 MW online and 1,122 MW in planning or development, the microgrid market is expected to continue to grow as the world demands ever more electricity usage and the grid struggles to keep up. The truth is that the traditional grid was not built to cope with the extraordinary level and fluctuations of present-day demand, and microgrids present the perfect solution. The question (to the utilities) is whether we are ready to embrace the change and adapt. read more>>>

CPUC more than triples Xcel solar capacity
June 25, 2013 - The Colorado Public Utilities Commission has approved a request to increase the 2013 capacity of Xcel Energy's Solar*Rewards program for small-sized solar installations throughout the state. The capacity increase was jointly proposed in April 2012 by the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), the Colorado Solar Energy Industries Association (COSEIA), and Xcel Energy to avoid possible disruption to the program, which encourages the growth of solar energy by offering customers incentives to install solar panels electric systems on their homes and businesses, in 2013. read more>>>

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Conergy builds 4.6MW solar park and carport plants in France
18 June 2013 - The solar park will generate enough energy to supply more than 1,800 homes with the carports providing for a further 36 households

Two orders for installations in La Fare-les-Oliviers, a village near Aix-en-Provence in the South of France, have been completed by Conergy. One of these orders consisted of a 4.5MW solar park on a site in the southeast of the village for a local grid operator and energy provider. The other project consisted of two solar carport plants totalling 100KW which will provide shade for 56 cars in the summer heat of Provence. read more>>>

Sunrun secures $630M to put solar panels on every house in America
June 25, 2013 - Sunrun wants to put solar panels on every home in America. Today, the company announced that it has secured financing for more than $630 million in residential solar projects, led by JP Morgan.

Sunrun claims to have invented “solar power service.” Its approach to solar financing has people leasing solar panels from third-party providers so they can go solar without the actually buying and installing panels. Sunrun owns, insures, monitors, and maintains all the equipment. This model works for consumers, who can lower their energy costs, as well as solar companies that need help adding customers. read more>>>

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 June 2013

Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Highlights and Reactions
WASHINGTON, DC, June 25, 2013 (ENS) – “We don’t have time for a meeting of the Flat Earth Society,” declared President Barack Obama today at Georgetown University, taking aim at climate change deniers as he laid out his National Climate Action Plan. “As a President, as a father, and as an American, I’m here to say we need to act.”

Click here to read the full text of the President’s speech. Click here to see the video. Click here to view the Climate Action Plan.

Often wiping perspiration from his face in the 90 degree heat of the nation’s capital, the President said, “… science, accumulated and reviewed over decades, tells us that our planet is changing in ways that will have profound impacts on all of humankind.” read more>>>

Republicans face limited options on Obama climate plan
6/25/13 - Republican lawmakers may be irate over President Barack Obama’s climate change plans, but there may be little that Congress can do to stop the push for new landmark Environmental Protection Agency rules to cut emissions from power plants.

Since the previous Congress, House Republicans have exercised their majority power to pass measures calling for expanded oil and gas production, restricting EPA and cancelling other Obama environmental and energy initiatives. {keeping the country in the heading backwards mentality - js} read more>>>

Chelsea Green Publishing - the leading publisher of sustainable living books since 1985.

Five Reasons for Obama to Sell Climate Change as a Health Issue
June 24, 2013 - After five years of referring to climate change as a long-term climate and humanitarian problem, President Obama is trying a new strategy. In a speech Tuesday to sell a package of regulations to limit greenhouse gases from power plants, Obama will list the ways a warming planet impacts human health now, White House officials say.

The strategy may have legs. Despite the growing consensus among scientists of how humans are impacting the atmosphere, how to confront climate change—or in some cases, whether it even exists—has deadlocked along party lines. read more>>>

Renewable Energy Incentives Survive Lobby Attack
June 24, 2013 - For renewable energy supporters, this was supposed to be a year of statehouse setbacks.

“States Cooling to Renewable Energy” read the headline of a March Wall Street Journal story reporting that more than a dozen legislatures were weighing proposals to roll back or abolish mandates that utilities purchase a certain amount of renewable energy. Mandates are in place in 29 states and Washington, D.C. read more>>>

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Construction projects getting ‘green’ light
June 21, 2013 - Big city projects aren’t the only ones going green — energy efficiency also is going mainstream in commercial construction throughout the state as tenants demand it and developers reap the benefits.

With many communities adopting the state’s so-called Stretch Energy Code, most new construction must demonstrate entry-level LEED certified energy efficiency before projects can be permitted. Every community doesn’t have a green energy code such as Boston’s that requires LEED certification for city projects, but the stretch code is moving all construction in a green direction. read more>>>

Saudi Arabia’s Investment in Green Building Hits $26 Billion
21 June 2013 - The total amount of investment by Saudi Arabia in green building construction projects and developments now exceeds $26 billion, according to the latest figures from government officials.

Saudi Green Building (SGB) Forum secretary general Faisal Al-Fadl said the $26 billion in green construction investment is spread amongst 76 new environmentally friendly projects, the majority of which are situated in the Saudi Arabian capital of Riyadh. read more>>>

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AEC to boost demand for 'green' offices
June 21, 2013 - The demand for "green" offices in Thailand will grow when the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) comes into effect in 2015, as more multinationals setting up regional operations will opt for renting such facilities rather than normal office buildings, according to an expert.

Assistant Professor Atch Sreshthaputra, a lecturer in the Architecture Faculty of Chulalongkorn University and an expert in green buildings, said most property developers still had concerns about the cost of constructing green buildings, believing that the investment would be higher than for a normal building. read more>>>

Mapping the Renewable Energy Revolution
20 June 2013 - A new World Bank program is helping developing countries map their renewable energy potential in a new way that produces rich, nationwide data.

The project goes beyond existing solar and wind maps to provide the granular data governments need to understand the country’s full resource potential and to pinpoint the best locations for serving the population.

Pakistan encapsulates the renewable energy challenge faced by many developing and emerging countries. read more>>>

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GE collaborate with PHG Energy on waste-to-energy technology
17 June 2013 - The two companies have helped to develop a project to produce electricity from waste material using GE’s Clean Cycle Heat-To-Power generator

GE Power & Water and Nashville-based PHG Energy have successfully collaborated in a project to produce electricity from waste material using GE’s Clean Cycle heat-to-power generator.

The generator is manufactured by GE Power & Water and is used around the world to convert waste heat into electricity. read more>>>

Training key to green economy: Motlanthe
24 June, 2013 - Training and education are vital for moving towards a green economy, Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe said.

"Investment in skills development should be at the centre of our attempts to build a green economy," he said at a Green Economy National Youth Summit in Cape Town.

"All these efforts and initiatives should be aligned to prioritising localisation of energy products and services." read more>>>