Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 26 February 2014

New Report Highlights Growth In Solar Jobs For Veterans
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…

For Our Youth, Good Jobs Are Green Jobs
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>>>

Lower your bills with energy efficient products from

How energy incentives could help the state economy grow
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>>>

New power lines will make Texas the world's 5th-largest wind power producer
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>>>

Green Living Everyday

Naomi Davis: Blacks in Green Founder Pushing For Self-Sufficient Communities Using The Green Economy
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>>>

Embracing technology advances in energy
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>>>

Renewable energy transforming mining industry energy use
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>>>

10 U.S. Cities Tackle Efficiency
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>>>

Lithium ion "clear leader" in utility-scale battery energy storage apps
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>>>

Irish government launches new offshore renewable energy plan
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>>>

Monday, February 24, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 24 February 2014

Africa: The Green Economy and the Brics Countries - Bringing Them Together
17 February 2014 - The 'green economy' has been around as a concept since the 1970s but gained relevance again in the wake of the global economic recession in 2009 as government leaders looked towards new economic opportunities through sustainable, equitable and resilient economic growth.

International institutions such as the UN helped to shape the thinking around, and define green growth and its constituents, including economic development and social inclusion.

All these concepts are of significance to Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa (the emerging-economy geo-political bloc known as 'the BRICS').

This paper aims to contextualise the development of green economies in the BRICS countries, highlighting important steps the individual countries in the BRICS have taken to establish systems to support the development of a green economy. read more>>>

USGBC Releases the Top 10 States in Nation for LEED Green Building
Illinois leads among all states in 2013; mid-Atlantic region of Washington, D.C, Maryland and Virginia tops list

Feb. 18, 2014 - Today, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) released its ranking of the Top 10 States for LEED®, the world's most widely used and recognized green building rating system. The list highlights the regions around the country that are at the forefront of sustainable building design and transformation. Utilizing less energy, LEED-certified spaces save money for families, businesses and taxpayers; reduce carbon emissions; and contribute to a healthier environment for residents, workers and the larger community.

"The list of the Top 10 States for LEED is a continuing indicator of the widespread recognition of our national imperative to create healthier, high-performing buildings that are better for the environment as well as the people who use them every day," said Rick Fedrizzi, president, CEO and founding chair, USGBC. read more>>>

Green Living Everyday

Man Builds Cozy Tin Can Cabin out of Shipping Containers in Northern Wisconsin
02/17/14 - One of the many side effects of the tiny home movement is that people are starting to realize that building their own home is not as complicated as DIY home building used to be. For one ambitious man, the experience of building his own shipping container cabin in northern Wisconsin was definitely a learning experience filled with both pros and cons. His project, the Tin Can Cabin, was built out of three repurposed metal containers. With no professional building or architecture experience, Steve managed to design and build the 480 square foot cabin by himself and furnish the home all at an amazing cost of just under $36,000.

With Steve doing the majority of the work on the home, the recently-finished Tin Can Cabin took almost four years to complete. With little building experience, he first consulted with an engineer in order to avoid any major mistakes in the building process. read more>>>

Nanoelectronics key to advances in renewable energy
February 16, 2014 - Nanoscale technology looks promising as a major contributor to advancements needed to fulfill the potential of emerging sources of clean, renewable energy.

Progress in the comparatively new area of nanoelectronics in particular could be the basis for new manufacturing processes and devices to make renewable energy systems and technologies more efficient and cost-effective.

Stephen Goodnick will focus on what nanoelectronics advances could do to help push the performance of solar energy systems to the next level in his talk at the 2014 annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Feb. 13-17 in Chicago. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Duke Energy doubling Carolina solar capacity
February 17, 2014 - Duke Energy is looking to add 300 MW of new solar energy capacity in its Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress territories, to be in service by the end of 2015.

The company's request for proposal (RFP) is targeting solar facilities greater than 5 MW and is limited to projects that are in the company's current transmission and distribution queue, as those have the best chance of being completed by year end 2015.

The request for proposal gives bidders the flexibility to offer power and associated renewable energy certificates and/or to provide a turnkey solution in which Duke Energy takes ownership of the new facility. The ownership option gives Duke Energy additional benefits. read more>>>

Green Growth Initiative – From vision to implementation
February 17, 2014 - The global growth model is clearly on an unsustainable pathway. An exponentially expanding population, extravagant consumption patterns, rising greenhouse gases triggering catastrophic climate changes, dwindling biodiversity reserves, rapid and unregulated urbanization - these are just some of the environmentally alarming trends delivered by the existing model for economic growth. Thus, it is no surprise that while the global GDP has more than doubled in the past three decades the planet has paid a very heavy price with more than 60% of its natural ecosystems being degraded.

It was these concerns that gave birth to the idea of a global green economy. The aim was to revisit, revise, rethink and improve the clearly unsustainable growth model and come up with a viable solution. read more>>>

NY Green Bank open for business
February 13, 2014 - Business operations for the New York Green Bank have begun, which is expected to accelerate the transition to a more cost-effective, resilient and clean energy system for the state. The largest green bank in the nation, the NY Green Bank is the largest green bank in the nation is seeking to facilitate the financing of creditworthy clean-energy projects in New York state.

"The NY Green Bank will be the catalyst for significantly accelerating the flow of private capital to energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and will send a message to the financial markets that expanding our clean energy economy is a priority for New York State," Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said in a statement. read more>>>

Leading the growth of solar energy in New Zealand
Feb. 10, 2014 - New Zealand has focused on the use of eco-conscious, renewable energy. And Panasonic New Zealand has been promoting solar panels for homes and businesses with the belief that solar power holds the key to energy solutions. This video introduces various projects Panasonic is undertaking in New Zealand with its partner companies and the mounting expectations for the renewable energy business. New Zealand gets ample sunlight, and the demand for use of solar power is increasing. Please take a look at some of Panasonic's activities in the land of the Kiwi.

Various Sectors for Solar Panels

Download Standards from ANSI

New grid inter-connectivity in Chile to boost solar industry
Feb. 11, 2014 - Last month the Chilean Senate passed a law which allows the inter-connectivity between the central electricity system (SIC) and the north electricity system (SING). This connection will improve the entry of energy powered by CSP plants.

The Chilean Senate has finally taken a step forward the inter-connection of the two biggest electricity systems in the country. With the recent approval of the law, the SIC and SING systems will be able to connect and therefore balance the generation and demand of energy in each system.

For solar energy this is a significant development since radiation is more powerful in the northern region, while the strongest demand in on the central system. Consequently, the inter-connection of the two grids will allow solar plants to supply the SIC energy demand while entering the system through the SING. read more>>>

China announces $1.6 billion air pollution fund
Feb. 12, 2014 - China's Cabinet has announced that 10 billion yuan ($1.6 billion) has been set aside this year to reward cities and regions that make significant progress in controlling air pollution, highlighting how the issue has become a priority for the leadership.

The fund will be set up to reward rather than offer subsidies for the prevention and control of air pollution in the key areas, according to a statement released after a Wednesday meeting of the State Council led by Premier Li Keqiang. It said controlling pollutants such as particulate matter in the air should be a key task.

The statement said the consumption of coal should be controlled and also called for increased efforts to promote high-quality gasoline for vehicles, energy saving in construction and the use of environmentally friendly boilers. read more>>>