Sunday, January 12, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 12 January 2014

Now THIS Is What We Call Green Jobs: The Restoration Industry 'Restores' The Environment And The Economy
1/08/2014 - Most people associate economic growth with expansion of the human built environment. Constructing more roads and more commercial and residential developments—“gray infrastructure”—means more jobs and a healthier overall economy.

However, increasing gray infrastructure often comes at a cost to natural ecosystems. For instance, over half of the globe’s wetlands, which provide “free” water filtration services, have been lost since 1900. As the global economy eliminates these mostly free services provided by nature’s “green infrastructure,” more “gray infrastructure” must be built to replace the lost ecosystem functions. read more>>>

High-Tech Farm Aims to Reclaim Fukushima’s Contaminated Soil for Crops
Construction has just begun on a futuristic farming project in Japan’s Fukushima prefecture. A combination farm and solar park, the Renewable Energy Village will contain 120 photovoltaic panels that will generate about 30 kilowatts of power to be sold to a local utility company. Crops will be grown beneath those panels in what’s being called a “solar sharing” layout. Of course, the biggest question on most people’s minds isn’t how much energy the project will generate, but whether it’s safe to grow crops in radiation-contaminated soil.

Unfortunately, there aren’t any easy answers to this question. Ultimately, it depends on a number of factors, from the way the soil is treated to which plants are grown. read more>>>

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Hydro: Where the real green jobs are
January 8, 2014 - Over the past few years there's been a lot of talk about green jobs. But one renewable sector scantly mentioned actually supports more jobs than wind or solar combined: Hydro.

Between 200,000 and 300,000 people currently work in or around hydroelectric dams across the United States, according to the National Hydropower Association.

That's small compared to the 2.6 million the oil and gas industry claims it employs, but it's more than wind (80,000, according to the wind industry) and solar (120,000) put together. It's even more than the 206,000 the National Mining Association says work mining coal.

"There's a whole host of individuals involved, with lots of different employment opportunities," said Linda Church Ciocci, the National Hydropower Association's executive director. read more>>>

Green growth to help restart economy, new jobs, says KEVE
08 January, 2014 - Promoting awareness on green growth and making the most of available EU funds to that effect were the focus of a meeting on Wednesday between Environment Commissioner Ioanna Panayiotou and President and Secretary General of the Cyprus Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KEVE) Phidias Pilides and Marios Tsiakis.

In statements after the meeting Pilides said the discussion focused on ways of cooperation so that enterprises, the state and the public in general can proceed with the necessary action in accordance with the acquis communautaire. read more>>>

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An Improved, Cost-Effective Catalyst for Water-Splitting Devices
Jan. 8, 2014 — Solar energy appears to be the only form of renewable that can be exploited at level that matches the world's growing needs. However, it is equally necessary to find efficient ways to store solar energy in order to ensure a consistent energy supply when sunlight is scarce. One of the most efficient ways to achieve this is to use solar energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen, and get the energy back by consuming hydrogen in a fuel cell. But collecting solar energy on a large and sustainable scale means that such cells must be made from materials that are cheap, abundant, and have 10% solar‐to‐hydrogen conversion efficiency.

Publishing in Nature Communications, an EPFL-led team of scientists has found a method to create a high-efficiency, scalable solar water splitting device using cheap materials. read more>>>

StrongVolt introduces SmartCharger
08. January 2014 - The eco-friendly solar charger keeps iPhones, iPads and Android devices charging when others won't. The revolutionary portable solar charger automatically restarts after connection disruptions.

StrongVolt, a leader in portable solar chargers, just announced a breakthrough in portable solar charging.

Their new SmartCharger with SunTrack Technology automatically restarts the charging after clouds or shade disrupt the connection, solving an industry wide problem.

Presently, other solar chargers require you to manually unplug and re-plug in your device to restart; but SunTrack Technology automatically restarts when it senses that the clouds have cleared so you will never worry if your device is charging. read more>>>

The Green Design Lab™ is an in-depth curriculum and program focused on greening New York City schools. The Green Design Lab™ (GDL) curriculum looks at the school building as both a laboratory for learning and a tool for environmental change. Using a creative approach to problem solving, K-12th grade students participate in activities that incorporate science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) to explore and then implement what they have learned by saving energy and creating school-wide sustainability projects.

DIRECT PROGRAM DELIVERY- Schools have the opportunity to participate in the Green Design Lab™ program by applying to receive the Green Design Lab™ Direct Program Delivery. During the program, Solar One educators work with school staff on-site for half a year to deliver the curriculum, support school-wide sustainability projects, and engage the entire school community to reduce energy use. The application process begins in spring for the following school year. Solar One accepts a limited number of schools to participate in the free program each school year. Learn more about other options for having a Solar One educator at your school by downloading our brochure: read more>>>

Transforming Transportation 2014: Better Cities, Better Business
Jan. 8, 2014 - What Will It Take to Keep People Moving in Tomorrow’s Cities? City and Business Leaders Discuss Opportunities for Sustainable Urban Mobility

City and business leaders will gather at the World Bank in Washington, DC for a global forum on the growing potential for sustainable urban mobility in the developing world. The 11th annual Transforming Transportation event is co-organized by the World Bank and EMBARQ, the sustainable urban transport program of the World Resources Institute, on Thursday and Friday January 16-17, 2014, from 9 am to 5 pm. read more>>>

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Potential Net-Energy Metering Rollbacks Won’t Impact Solar Markets in US States in 2014
Jan. 3, 2014 - Despite efforts from some U.S. states to re-evaluate their net-energy metering (NEM) policies, the impact of any potential changes on the U.S. photovoltaics (PV) industry is expected to be negligible in 2014, according to IHS Inc. (NYSE: IHS).

“States including Arizona, Colorado and California are re-evaluating their NEM policies,” said Wade Shafer, senior analyst covering North American PV at IHS. “This has spurred some concern about the development of distributed solar in the U.S., since NEM incentives are critical to supporting the customer-sited PV market. After examining proposed changes and recent utility commission rulings, IHS has determined that net metered PV project economics will not be significantly impacted in 2014.” read more>>>

Energy Department Announces $3 Million to Support Clean Energy Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Jan. 6, 2014 - The Energy Department announce on Jan. 6, $3 million to support clean energy business incubators that provide critical services to entrepreneurs and small businesses and accelerate the commercialization of clean energy technologies.

The National Incubator Initiative for Clean Energy will support incubators across the country to help unleash the creative potential of America's entrepreneurs. Through these incubators, small businesses and entrepreneurs can receive important services to help successfully develop and commercialize clean energy technologies, including mentorship, business development, capital access, and manufacturing support. read more>>>

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