Thursday, March 13, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 13 March 2014

Schadenfreude and the Future of Energy Storage
March 5, 2014 - I had the pleasure this past week of attending the ARPA-E Summit in Washington, D.C. The ARPA-E Summit is always for me one of the most interesting programs on the industry calendar. Although the Summit focuses primarily on highlighting new energy technologies, much of its program is devoted to discussing the future of energy and the future of the economy more generally. These discussions are often more interesting than the individual new technologies themselves.

This year was no exception. Several speakers and panelists talked about the future of microgrids, distributed generation and distributed storage. Although there was plenty of good news about progress in those technologies and the market opportunities relating to them, the good news was tempered, as usual, by many bemoaning the high price of those new technologies and the need for utilities to move slowly in adopting them. read more>>>

Sustainable development through green economy
06 Mar, 2014 - A green economy is necessary if sustainable development is to be realised. For countries at all levels of development, the drive towards environmental sustainability and greener economies is gaining momentum. More fundamentally, employment and social inclusion must be integral parts of any sustainable development strategy and must be included in policies that address climate change and ensure the preservation of the environment. In a word, sustainable development indicates the development which meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Moving towards a green economy can be an important driver in this effort. read more>>>

Green Living Everyday

SWISS MANAGEMENT FORUM: Constructing a green future
03 March 2014 - Sustainability in commercial building development and management is no longer just a vision, but is fast becoming a reality and, indeed, a new industry standard. Its benefits not only lie in a reduced environmental footprint, but also in potential cost savings in areas like energy and maintenance.

This year’s Swiss Management Forum, the signature event of the Swiss-Czech Chamber of Commerce (HST), focuses on this topic from various angles. A panel of experts will present and discuss aspects of architectural and technical planning, the evolution of building materials, and aspects of maintenance and management. Being held at the PricewaterhouseCoopers Czech headquarters, in one of Prague’s environmentally most advanced office buildings, the Forum will also offer a real “hands-on” experience. read more>>>

‘Sustainable’ Doesn’t Have to Cost More
03 March 2014 - In addition, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency says buildings are responsible for 30 per cent of raw materials used, and account for 30 per cent of the waste stream.

“Green” or “sustainable building” aims to improve those metrics through changes to material selection, siting, energy efficiency, waste reduction, and indoor air quality, while creating healthy and efficient structures.

Many builders and building owners have worked to make their structures greener, caulking air leaks, adding insulation, and upgrading HVAC equipment with more efficient units. Over the last two decades, the field of building science has played an increasingly important role in improving energy efficiency. Best practices are now tested and evaluated, and rating systems such as LEED and Green Star provide a checklist for new construction to adhere to. read more>>>

Vietnam Pursues Green Economy: Forum
HANOI, March 3 2014 -- A forum on creating a greener Vietnamese economy took place in Hanoi from Feb 28 to March 1 which was attended by Vice Chairwoman of the National Assembly, Tong Thi Phong, Vietnam News Agency (VNA) reported.

Discussions at the forum helped publicise the Government's policies for the development of a green economy and raise public awareness of the effective and eco-friendly use of natural resources.

Addressing the forum, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Nguyen Linh Ngoc said a green economy is one that results in improved human well-being and social equity, while significantly reducing environmental risks and ecological scarcities .

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, "in its simplest expression, a green economy can be thought of as one which is low carbon , resource efficient and socially inclusive." read more>>>

St. Pete College warms to solar power
March 2, 2014 - A couple of green campuses in Pinellas County are getting a little greener.

St. Petersburg College in December fired up solar power systems at its Seminole and Clearwater campuses, providing 100 kilowatts of power and saving the college about $20,000 a year on its electric bill.

The college was chosen last summer for a $516,000 grant from Duke Energy Florida’s SunSense Schools program, which selects a host college or university annually based on criteria such as attendance, energy consumption and plans to use the solar array as an educational and research tool. read more>>>

Africa urged to accelerate transition to green economy to boost food security
2014-3-3 - The UN Environment Programme (UNEP) on Monday called on Africa to speed up transition to green economy to boost food security in the continent.

Speaking at the celebrations to mark Africa Environment Day and Wangari Maathai Day in Nairobi, UNEP Executive Director Achim Steiner noted that diverse pathways to greener and more-inclusive economies are already being pursued across the continent.

"This transition must be accelerated to stay ahead of the many challenges, from climate change to land degradation, that the continent is increasingly facing," he added.

More than 200 young people and high-level experts meeting in Nairobi on Monday to review key environmental issues impacting Africa, including illegal wildlife crime, forest conservation and food security. read more>>>

European support for climate change action 'not dented by financial crash'
Eurobarometer poll finds public in worst-hit members states such as Spain and Greece still support moves to greener economy

3 March 2014 - The financial crisis and recession across Europe have not put people off fighting climate change, a new poll for the European Commission has shown.

It found the number of people supporting a “green economy” has risen in the past three years. At least two thirds of people in all EU member states said that transforming the economy on to a green footing, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and investing in green technologies, would boost the economy and reduce unemployment.

Even in those member states that have suffered the worst effects of the financial crisis and recession, a large majority are of the opinion that energy efficiency and moves to a greener economy could be beneficial. Nearly nine in ten over respondents in Greece, Spain and Portugal said they believed that fighting climate change and using energy more efficiently would boost the economy and jobs. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

VA clinic goes green with geothermal heat pump
03/01/2014 - Veterans Affairs officials may have begun drilling on Mare Island in recent weeks, but oil isn't what they're after.

Instead, the Mare Island VA Outpatient Clinic will look to wean itself from fossil fuels as one of three local clinics receiving geothermal heating systems this year. The other two are in Martinez and San Francisco.

The clinic is part of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs' Northern California Healthcare System.

Some 6,000 veterans receive services, including primary and mental health care, from the clinic annually, officials said. read more>>>

School Solar Power
Mar 01, 2014 - Port St. Joe Junior and Senior High School has become partially solar powered.

The school used a 100-thousand dollar grant from Duke Energy to pay for 40-solar panels and their installation.

On clear days the panels can generate 10-thousand watts of energy an hour. It's not nearly enough to operate the entire school. But it can power about 3-large classrooms. read more>>>


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