Monday, June 2, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 2 June 2014

Deal announced for China to adopt UK's green construction standards
26 May 2014 - Buildings in China will soon be built to British green construction standards in a deal that could boost the UK supply chain by £200 million, Business Secretary Vince Cable announced today on the first leg of a trade mission to the country.

The UK construction firm, Building Research Establishment (BRE), has signed an agreement with the Shenzhen Municipal Government to set up a training and R&D centre in China’s fastest growing city.

The centre in Shenzhen will deliver training on a national scale to other cities and promote its services including certifying buildings to green construction standards. read more>>>

Breathe easy with a green home
May 25, 2014 - It’s a little more expensive than your run-of-the-mill concrete block, but a green home has tangible payoffs in the long run

When you have a third of your net worth invested in your personal residence, opulence isn’t quite enough, especially if you’re an Indian HNI.

Socially conscious and environment-friendly home-owners are increasingly adopting expensive “green” building practices to minimise the footprint of their homes on the ecology, whilst maximising comfort. read more>>>

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Energy-efficient buildings increase return on your realty investment
May 26, 2014 - Everyone loves saving an extra amount every month, but no one really enjoys cramping their lifestyle to cut costs. So, when Nair Manoj Kumar, 39, saw an almost 30 per cent drop in electricity bills after moving into his new apartment at Ghatkopar in Mumbai, he was overjoyed. "We had not made changes to our lifestyle, but to our surprise, the electricity bills were far lower," he says.

Kumar had no clue what a green building was all about when he had bought the apartment. read more>>>

Green construction gets starring role in Portland design firm's Western Oregon University project (Photos)
May 23, 2014 - Portland's Mahlum Architects has been selected to design the new Woodcock Education Center at Western Oregon University in Monmouth.

The center is a demonstration project that will highlight innovative uses of wood products in green buildings.

Gov. John Kitzhaber designated the Woodcock a “demonstration project” under Executive Order 12-16, which seeks to promote new and innovative uses of Oregon’s signature export — timber products — in construction. read more>>>

A breakthrough in power plant waste heat conversion
May 23, 2014 - Through research funded, in part, by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), scientists at MIT and Stanford University have found a new alternative for low-temperature waste-heat conversion into electricity in cases where temperature differences are less than 100 degrees Celsius.

Researchers have spent decades trying to harness the vast amounts of excess, wasted heat generated by industrial processes and electric power plants. Up to this point, most efforts have focused on thermoelectric devices, solid-state materials that can produce electricity from a temperature gradient, but the efficiency has been limited.

The new approach, based on the thermogalvanic effect, combines the charging-discharging cycles of batteries with heating and cooling, so the discharge voltage is higher than charge voltage since the voltage of rechargeable batteries depends on temperature. The system can efficiently harness even relatively small temperature differences. read more>>>

Renewables have the power to reduce UK reliance on foreign fuel imports says Good Energy
22 May 2014 - Good Energy has released data at the Hay Festival revealing that foreign fuel imports now dominate the UK electricity market although renewables have shown tremendous growth.

The data reveals that UK now imports over 60 percent of the fuel it used to generate electricity in 2012, up by 12 percent since 2011. However, Good Energy’s calculations show that renewable technologies such as solar, wind and marine technologies provided over a quarter of all the UK-based power used to generate electricity in 2012. read more>>>

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Wind energy vital as fossil fuels dwindle shows new report
20 May 2014 - RenewableUK says a new report which warns that UK reserves of oil, coal and gas will run out in just over five years shows the need for renewable energy to fill the gap.

Researchers at the Global Sustainability Institute at Anglia Ruskin University have found that the UK has 5.2 years of oil, 4.5 years of coal and 3 years of gas left. Commenting on the report, RenewableUK’s Director of External Affairs, Jennifer Webber, said that it is a timely reminder of the need to develop UK renewable energy resources to the maximum well before fossil fuels dwindle away to nothing. read more>>>

Report ranks Louisiana among top states for green energy jobs
May 22, 2014 - Louisiana was one of the nation's top green energy job creators during the first three months of this year thanks to plans for a $20 million recycled manufacturing plant in the northwest part of the state, according to an analysis by Environmental Entrepreneurs. This is the first time Louisiana has cracked the top 10 since the organization started ranking states by green energy jobs in 2011.

The report said job announcements tied to the solar, wind, energy-efficient recycling and other green industries were down nationwide as the expiration of certain federal tax credits and low natural gas prices crimped overall investment. read more>>>

California's energy innovations reach new highs
May 22, 2014 - Driven by forward-looking policies and the resulting technology innovation, consumer demand for California's clean technology sector products and services is expanding, according to new research.

"As consumers learn more about cost-effective new technologies, demand rises for products that save energy and dollars at home, on our highways, and at work," said F. Noel Perry, founder of the nonpartisan nonprofit group Next 10, who released the research. "California success stories like Solar City, Nest, and others respond by developing more advanced technologies, innovative business models, and lowering prices. Economies of scale kick in which fuel still more consumer demand." read more>>>

Why clean energy will make the U.S. military more effective
May 26, 2014 - When most of us think about military operations, we think of tanks rolling across a desert, large aircraft carriers on the ocean or long lines of Humvees in convoys. These vehicles, and their missions, take a lot of energy and are part of the large category of “operational energy use.” In fact, 75 percent of all military energy use [PDF] is operational.

This operational energy use has created a massive dependence on fossil fuels, resulting in some unintended consequences, which: read more>>>

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