Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 18 February 2014

Energy Star Is Not Just for Refrigerators
2/6/2014 - In a previous post I mentioned the importance of air-sealing for energy efficiency in green construction. But you don’t have to just take my word for it—green building programs for new construction, such as Energy Star for Homes, require extensive air-sealing to achieve certification.

Many of us have heard of Energy Star certified lights and appliances. But did you know that the Energy Star is also a green building certification available for a new home?In fact, in its newest version, version 3.0 an Energy Star home is a true distinction from a conventional new home, offering 15%-30% reduction in energy costs—and most importantly of all—quality assurance that the systems in the home will work as they are intended. read more>>>

Green home building expected to more than double by 2016
February 8, 2014 - McGraw Hill Construction, a part of McGraw Hill Financial, released findings from a new Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Green homes comprised 23 percent of the overall residential construction market in 2013 and are expected to grow to between 26 and 33 percent of the market by 2016. This equates to a doubling in the value of green home construction over three years, growing from $36 billion in 2013 to $83-$105 billion in 2016, based on the current McGraw Hill Construction forecast for total residential construction.

According to research dating back to 2006, the green home building market most rapidly accelerated during the housing downturn when builders experienced in green remained in business at higher proportions than those not knowledgeable about energy-efficient and green home building. read more>>>

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Green homes make greener cities
2014-02-07 - In a bid to promote ecological and sustainable housing, the Department of Urban Development and Building Construction (DUDBC) in collaboration with UN Habitat is all set to introduce detailed guidelines for ecological housing by the end of this fiscal year (mid-July). However, UN Habitat has already initiated a three-year Green Homes Project in 2013, which is funded by the European Union (EU). The project focuses on issues like policy making, maintaining supply chain and creating demand for eco-friendly houses especially in Lalitpur, Pokhara and Dharan.

The concept of green homes will incorporate waste and drainage management, use of solar energy, eco-friendly construction materials and technology and terrace garden for better environment. read more>>>

Indonesia Develops Geothermal Power For Green Economy
Feb 8 2014 -- Indonesia will open three geothermal power plants with a total capacity of 62 megawatts this year, as the country is seeking to better tap its renewable energy sources to promote a green economy, reports Vietnam News Agency (VNA).

According to Tisnaldi, geothermal director at the Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, the three plants are expected to help handle the power shortage in the country.

They are part of a project to add 10,000 megawatts of electricity to the capacity of the State Electricity Company of Indonesia, he said.

The official added that about 40 per cent of that target is expected to be sourced from geothermal energy. read more>>>

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Kazakhstan: Green economy of the future?
Kazakhstan is taking the lead among Central Asian countries by aspiring to make the leap to a green economy. Saule Ospanova sets out ten recommendations to help it on its way.

7 February 2014 - Kazakhstan has set itself a tough goal: it aspires to become one of the top 30 competitive developed countries in the world by 2050 while gradually ‘greening’ key economic sectors.

For an oil-producing country which has been in transition since the 1990s, Kazakhstan’s ambitions present many opportunities. But moving away from a ‘brown’ economy to a green one also poses challenges. read more>>>

FICCI to support World Green Economy Summit
Feb 9, 2014 - The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) has announced its support for the inaugural World Green Economy Summit (WGES) in Dubai, which will run alongside this year’s edition of Water, Energy, Technology and Electricity Exhibition (WETEX 2014) from 15-16 April 2014.

With more than two million private and public companies as members, FICCI is the largest and oldest apex business organisation in India, working closely with the government on policy issues and expanding business opportunities for industry. read more>>>

Former Duke Power CEO: I'd want to work in solar
February 7, 2014 - In a recent interview with Energy Biz magazine, outgoing Duke Power Chairman Jim Rogers was asked what he'd have done if he was entering the business today:

I would come into the industry as someone who is an attacker, not a defender. I'd want the solar on the rooftop. I'd want to run that. I'd want the ability to deploy new technologies that lead to productivity gains to the use of electricity in homes and businesses. I would go after the monopoly that I see weakened over the last 25 years. My goal would be to take customers away from utilities as fast as I could, because I think they're vulnerable. Regulations will not be changed fast enough to protect them. The business model will not be changed fast enough.

The industry sees the writing on the wall

With reliability a concern, universities looking to microgrids
The case for colleges and universities to invest in microgrids often includes mitigating the risk of prolonged blackouts caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, and wildfires.

In the Midwest, where those threats are remote or nonexistent, there hasn’t been as great a sense of urgency to boost electric reliability on campuses as there has been on the coasts.

But as electric grid reliability becomes a growing concern, green energy becomes a bigger priority, and the economics of microgrids evolve, more Midwest schools are seeking greater control of their energy use. read more>>>

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Massive Timber Construction: The Next Big Green Thing?
February 18, 2014 - Massive Timber Construction involves the use of very sizable, built up timber sections and panels to replace concrete slabs and steel framing in large-scale developments.

“Although the supply chain is yet to be established in Australia and New Zealand, it has the potential to be the biggest sustainability breakthrough in building construction,” said Rod Bligh, director of Bligh Tanner Consulting Engineers.

Bligh has been exploring mass timber construction as a sustainable, green alternative to concrete and steel framed structures and is currently undertaking further research in this area. read more>>>

ARPA-E FOCUS driving solar tech beyond PV, CSP
February 9, 2014 - In his State of the Union address, President Obama highlighted the United States' growing role as a global leader in solar, as demonstrated in a new industry report which recently found that U.S. utility-scale solar set a record with 2.3 GW installed in 2013. Now the Department of Energy is stepping up with the allocation of $30 million to 12 ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) projects. The projects are intended to develop transformational hybrid solar energy technologies that deliver cost-effective power when the sun is not shining.

These projects, which are funded through ARPA-E's Full-Spectrum Optimized Conversion and Utilization of Sunlight (FOCUS) program will help advance solar energy beyond current photovoltaic (PV) and concentrated solar power (CSP) technologies to drive lower-cost, reliable solar energy deployment. read more>>>

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