Monday, January 20, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 20 January 2014

Are we ready to seize green opportunities?
January 16 2014 - SOUTH Africa’s green economy can stimulate growth, enhance competitiveness and open new markets, locally and globally. Abundant natural resources —predominantly solar and wind, but also the minerals needed for the development of green technologies and biodiversity — and a solid financial sector and innovative industries position the country to play a leading role in a greener world.

Green activities already contribute substantially to the South African economy, such as in the platinum value chain for the manufacturing of catalytic converters, as well as in renewable energy, resource efficiency, recycling, biodiversity conservation and tourism. read more>>>

European Parliament calls for three binding climate and energy targets in 2030
Jan. 9, 2014 - The Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE) and the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI) Committees have jointly called on the European Council and the Commission to adopt and implement three binding 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions, renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.

“This is a key message from the European Parliament ahead of the publication of the European Commission’s Communication on Climate and Energy 2030 Framework”, said Rainer Hinrichs-Rahlwes, President of the European Renewable Energy Council (EREC). read more>>>

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Ship owners could save up to €9m a year with advanced emissions monitoring
Jan. 8, 2014 - Advanced emissions monitoring of large ships calling at EU ports could help save owners and operators of large ships up to €9 million/year, according to a new study published by sustainable transport group T&E. These savings would come from lower operational costs of using automated systems such as fuel flow meters or continuous emissions monitoring, which are already used by many of the world’s largest shipping companies.

The cost savings arise from the electronic collection and reporting of data, which doesn’t require man-hours, as well as the accuracy and verifiability of the data, which significantly reduces verification costs by third parties. read more>>>

SolarCity to introduce Solar Financial Products for individuals, institutions of all sizes
Jan. 15, 2014 - SolarCity® (Nasdaq: SCTY) is transforming energy delivery by making solar power more accessible and affordable than previously possible—now the company wants to provide a new avenue for individuals and institutions from around the world to participate in and benefit from that transformation. SolarCity today (Jan. 15) announced plans to launch a new, Web-based investment platform through which it intends to allow a broad range of investors, including both individuals and organizations of all sizes, to participate directly in solar investments that have previously only been available to large financial institutions.

“People want to support clean energy development. Customers are seeing the benefits of getting solar for their homes but they would like to participate in other ways as well,” said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive. read more>>>

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2014: green construction opportunities will come to those best qualified
15th January 2014 - For firms with the right low carbon skills and training, 2014 looks promising. But explains Tony Howard of CITB, the national training school for construction, those without could well run into difficulties as sustainability qualifications become a legal requirement.

The UK Government remains committed to developing a more energy efficient built environment and in the Autumn of 2013 announced £60 million of new investment into low carbon construction. The impact in 2014 will be a marked increase in work opportunities. But when it comes to low carbon skills and training, recent legislative announcements have shifted the focus from competitive advantage to legal obligation.

So what’s on the horizon?

Local Focus at Eco-Friendly Farmers Park Development
01/15/2014 - Construction is wrapping up at the newest eco-friendly development in Springfield, a new mixed-use complex called Farmers Park.

You can see it from the James River Freeway at Glenstone Ave.

The idea behind the Farmers Park complex is having a community, with a focus on local food and local shops.

The developers said sustainable buildings like this one are important to the future of Springfield. read more>>>

Indian Microgrids Aim to Bring Millions out of Darkness
16 Jan 2014 - Powered by solar panels and biomass, microgrids are spreading slowly across India, where 300 million people live without electricity. But can these off-grid technologies be scaled-up to bring low-carbon power to tens of millions of people?

Bharath Kumar was furious that the lights went out an hour early. His candy-making operation in the village of Tamkuha, in northern India, had been plunged into darkness at mid-batch, forcing him to use a weak, battery-powered lantern to manage his boiling pots. read more>>>

2014 State of the State Puts New York on a Clear Path to Energy Independence
January 16, 2014 - On January 8 in Albany, Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his 2014 State of the State address. While the broadcast version of the address focused on tax relief, affordable housing and airport renovations, the print version of the address has a section with some very welcome and ambitious plans for energy independence for New York- not by focusing on hydraulic fracturing (more commonly known as fracking) but by increasing the amount of decentralized electricity generation. In other words, community solar, where neighbors band together to buy or lease systems together, lowering their initial costs and creating a neighborhood microgrid that can help restore power during blackouts and superstorms.

The relevant section on solar begins on page 70, and here’s a sample of what’s in store for community solar in NY in 2014: read more>>>

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Green Globes Gets a New Leader
January 16, 2014 - The U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED standard, long synonymous with environmentally conscious construction in the U.S., is being forced to share some of its limelight, first with the Living Building Challenge, which has only certified a handful of buildings since its 2006 launch but is steadily gaining momentum since its 2006 launch, and now with Green Globes.

The rating system, which advertises cheaper and faster certification, is winning some important backers. In October the U.S. Government Services Administration (GSA) recommended, for the first time, that federal agencies consider Green Globes in addition to LEED. And last month the organization that controls Green Globes certification in the U.S., the Portland-based Green Building Institute (GBI), recruited a new president with significant street cred: Tucson-based green-building consultant Jerry Yudelson, who the USGBC included in its first round of LEED Fellows. read more>>>

Worsening wealth gap seen as biggest risk facing the world in 2014
16 January 2014 - The chronic gap between the incomes of the richest and poorest citizens is seen as the risk that is most likely to cause serious damage globally in the coming decade, according to over 700 global experts that contributed to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks 2014 report, released today.

Taking a 10-year outlook, the report assesses 31 risks that are global in nature and have the potential to cause significant negative impact across entire countries and industries if they take place. The risks are grouped under five classifications – economic, environmental, geopolitical, societal and technological – and measured in terms of their likelihood and potential impact. read more>>>

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