February 26, 2014 - Fresh off the news that President Obama is making noises about withdrawing all US troops from Afghanistan, the organizations Operation Free and The Solar Foundation have released a first-of-its-kind report that offers returning veterans the prospect of civilian employment in the US solar industry. In a nutshell, the new report demonstrates that veterans are employed in the solar industry at higher than average rates.
That’s a note of optimism for veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, who in this generation have faced a challenging employment picture.
The new report, Veterans in Solar: Securing America’s Energy Future, is all the more significant in light of Republican leadership policy pushing for cuts in food stamps and other safety net services on which many veterans and their families depend.
Veterans Solar Jobs On Active Duty… read more>>>
02/25/2014 - As the Arctic melts, oceans acidify, storms intensify and crops wither in drought-stricken areas of the globe, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the dire consequences of climate change. Faced with the onslaught of polluter cash that line the pockets of politicians and smear the findings of climate scientists, who can we turn to push us in the right direction? How will we move toward a clean energy economy -- and away from the dirty mix of fossil fuels driving us off the climate cliff?
The youth of the world may be our salvation, or at least a big part of the solution. That’s what dozens of students, environmental activists and labor leaders discussed at the Youth Climate Caucus recently in Washington, part of the Good Jobs Green Jobs Conference sponsored by the BlueGreen Alliance, NRDC and a host of other labor, business and environmental organizations. read more>>>
February 26, 2014 - With temperatures plunging across Michigan this winter, homeowners and businesses have been forced to crank up the heat. Now that utility bills are showing up in mailboxes, there’s bound to be some sticker shock.
Since I left my job as a mechanical engineer in the auto industry three years ago to work full-time at the energy efficiency company I founded in Farmington Hills, I’ve learned just how much potential savings are locked up inside Michigan’s buildings. I’ve also learned that tapping into these savings doesn’t just help consumers save money throughout the year and especially during an Arctic blast — it also puts people to work.
Unfortunately, unlike Gov. Rick Snyder, whose recently unveiled energy strategy is a step in the right direction, Congress isn’t getting this message. read more>>>
February 25, 2014 - The next big Texas energy boom does not involve tight gas formations in the Barnett Shale, or deepwater oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico. While fossil resources continue to draw high interest from energy developers and investors in the Lone Star State, Texas' hottest energy prospect is wind power in West Texas and the Panhandle.
That's where a new surge of wind farm development, estimated at 7,500 megawatts of new generation over the next three years, should convert once-sleepy places like Amarillo, Plainview and Lubbock into renewable energy boomtowns.
The new wind power surge, while not a surprise to those familiar with the state's immense wind resource, is coming to fruition thanks to the convergence of several factors. read more>>>
Feb 19, 2014 - Naomi Davis
Place of Residence: Chicago
Why She’s a Game Changer: Davis is the founder of Blacks in Green which seeks to create self-sustaining and healthy Black communities using the new green economy. A New York Times profile of Davis said she sought “simultaneously to rebuild black America and save the planet.”
How does she plan to do that? Blacks in Green functions as a trade association and educational group that seeks to teach Blacks the benefits of the green economy and rebuild neighborhoods in the process. read more>>>
Energy companies must embrace advances in technology in order to become leaders -- that is one of the messages TXU Energy's director of products and innovation, Jennifer Pulliam, delivered at Parks Associates' Smart Energy Summit in Austin, Texas.
TXU Energy has set itself apart in the Texas retail electricity market by building a consumer-focused platform of products that has redefined the customer experience, but Pulliam warned that haphazardly throwing the latest technologies together will not result in superior customer engagement.
"Consumers know they have choices and they want the convenience of using their preferred devices for all interactions," read more>>>
February 20, 2014 - The mining industry uses tremendous amounts of energy in its operations every year, but that is changing due to concern over the volatility of diesel prices, increased pressure from government policies, and a greater need to reduce energy costs and carbon footprint.
The mining industry is under continued pressure from shareholders and external stakeholders to reduce dependence on traditional energy resources. In countries where mining represents a significant percentage of gross domestic product, it can also be a significant draw on the country's electricity grid infrastructure. These external and internal pressures are combining to provide an expansion of market opportunities for renewable energy providers to work with mining companies. In fact, renewable energy technologies will supply between 5 and 8 percent of the world's mining industry power consumption by 2022, according to Navigant Research, presenting expanded market opportunities for those who delve into providing renewable energy to their industrial customers. read more>>>
February 13, 2014 - Buildings are the source of one half to three-quarters of greenhouse-gas emissions in most American cities. Los Angeles, Boston, Chicago, Houston, and six more large cities have joined forces to tackle the problem by targeting their biggest buildings. “The largest buildings tend to be 3 to 4 percent of the overall number of buildings but account for 40 to 50 percent of the square footage and energy consumption. You have this terrific opportunity to work with a handful of buildings and make a big dent,” says Laurie Kerr, director of the City Energy Project (CEP), which launched in late January.
CEP is, in many ways, an outgrowth of the Greener, Greater Buildings Plan, deployed under New York City’s former mayor Michael Bloomberg, which included a pioneering benchmarking program mandating annual energy and water-use reporting by nonresidential buildings larger than 50,000 square feet. Kerr, who helped write New York’s plan, says the data collected by the city since 2012 show that the least efficient big buildings use four to eight times as much energy as their most efficient counterparts, pointing to “a lot of low-hanging fruit” for boosting energy efficiency. read more>>>
February 19, 2014 - The electricity distribution grid is one of the most complex networks in the modern economy, and one of the only advanced networks to not have any storage capabilities, according to Navigant Research. Batteries have not traditionally been an integral part of the utility grid, primarily due to concerns about cost, safety, durability, and efficiency; however, technological advances in electrochemistry have enabled a new generation of advanced batteries to start playing an important role in grid management.
In fact, worldwide revenue from advanced batteries for utility-scale energy storage applications will grow from $164 million in 2014 to more than $2.5 billion in 2023, according to Navigant.
"Unlike most other networked systems, the electricity grid functions mostly without any stored resources," read more>>>
18 February 2014 - The Irish Minister for Communications, Energy & Natural Resources, Mr Pat Rabbitte, T.D., has announced the launch of the Irish government’s new Offshore Renewable Energy Development Plan (OREDP) aimed at providing a framework for the sustainable development of Ireland’s offshore renewable energy resources
The OREDP is designed to facilitate the development of offshore renewable energy across three key pillars – environmental sustainability, technical feasibility and commercial viability by coordinating action across all of the relevant Government policy areas.
“Ireland has a landmass of around 90,000 square kilometres, but a sea area of around 10 times that size, at 900,000 square kilometres” said Mr Rabitte, speaking at the Ocean Energy Industry Forum in Dublin. “Ireland’s position at the Atlantic edge of the EU gives an almost unparalleled offshore energy resource, with suitable conditions available for the development of the full range of current offshore renewable energy technologies.” read more>>>