Saturday, July 19, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 19 July 2014

Offshore Wind Deal Boosts Clean Energy Investments by 9%
Jul 15, 2014 - Global investment in clean energy increased to $63.6 billion in the second quarter, boosted by the biggest deal in the industry’s history, Bloomberg New Energy Finance said.

Financing swelled 9 percent from a year earlier, and 33 percent from the first quarter, the London-based research company said today in an e-mailed statement. The main driver was the $3.8 billion backing of a 600-megawatt offshore wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands.

The increase marks a reversal after investments declined more than 20 percent from a 2011 peak, Michael Liebreich, chairman of BNEF’s advisory board, said in the statement. read more>>>

The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard
The International Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranks the world's largest economies on their energy efficiency policies and programs. The rankings include Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union.

Thirty-one different energy efficiency indicators have been analyzed for each economy ranked in the report. The rankings are determined by scoring out of 100 possible points. Points can be earned in four different categories, including buildings, industry, transportation, and national effort, which measures overall or cross-cutting indicators of energy use at the national level. read more>>>

Small Wind Turbine Generator for Clean Energy Power Production

Microsoft Greens the Internet With Its Largest Wind Energy Investment
July 15, 2014 - A new project from Microsoft will help the company make its Web footprint greener and help power Bing, XBox Live and other services with wind energy.

It also represents the company’s largest wind energy purchase.

The company took to its blog Monday morning to reveal plans for the Pilot Hill Wind Project—a 175 megawatt (MW) wind facility about 60 miles from Chicago, IL. Construction is under way with the farm scheduled to provide green power in 2015. read more>>>

The EPA’s carbon plan asks the least from states that pollute the most
July 16 2014 - The EPA’s Clean Power Plan is undoubtedly one of the biggest regulatory events in decades. The proposed rule under the Clean Air Act is the centerpiece of the Obama Administration’s strategy to address climate change, and its champions laud it as an important step in combating climate change and a boon to public health, while its detractors say it represents a war on coal and an abuse of executive power.

The rule provides every state with a target carbon-emissions intensity for its power plants, with preliminary standards kicking in by 2020 and full goals to be achieved by 2030. But where do those targets come from, and how demanding are they? read more>>>

Without Much Straining, Minnesota Reins In Its Utilities’ Carbon Emissions
JULY 17, 2014 - When city leaders and state legislators agreed last year to fund roughly half the $1 billion cost of a new stadium for the Minnesota Vikings, they attached the usual strings for such projects: It had to be architecturally iconic, employ steel made from Minnesota iron ore and offer at least a few cheap seats.

It also had to be energy efficient, from lighting to building materials to the sources of its power. In this state, that is not unusual. Minnesota has mandated sharp reductions in energy use in every new state-financed building for more than a decade, and in renovated buildings for more than five years. read more>>>

Brilliance from Sea to Shining Sea: Which States are the Clean Energy Superstars?
July 17, 2014 - A great new report from the smart folks at CleanEdge looks in depth at which states are leading the clean energy charge in the United States. And, given the many ways to look at, the list of clean energy superstars is long. Here are eight slices from their analysis.

The Clean Energy Technology Leaders - Technology is one way to think about leadership—who’s getting what built, and how far out in front some states are.

Renewable electricity generation – How much of states’ electricity production comes from utility-scale wind, solar, and geothermal? The answer is more than 25 percent, in the case of leaders Iowa and South Dakota, and more than 15 percent for several others. read more>>>

Spring2012 428 x 60 - Outdoor Solar Lighting

China Focus: Green finance needs government intervention: experts
July 11, 2014 - The Chinese government should strengthen its control over financing of green projects in order to help the green economy grow, experts say during an environmental protection forum in Guiyang, capital of southwest China's Guizhou Province.

Ma Jun, economist with the People's Bank of China, the central bank, said there is currently little incentive for green investment in China, so polluting projects enjoy an oversupply of capital while environmentally friendly ones are faced with a severe capital shortage.

The country should build a policy system to direct more investment into the green sector, Ma said at the forum, scheduled to run from Thursday to Saturday. read more>>>

Net-Zero Boulder Home for Two Attorneys Produces 140% of the Energy it Needs
07/10/14 - This net-zero home designed for two Boulder, CO environmental attorneys by HMH Architecture & Interiors is built with sustainable materials throughout. The window design optimizes the amount of sunlight that comes in to keep the home cool in the summer and warm in the winter, while a 10kW rooftop solar array and hot water solar system produces 140 percent of the home’s energy every year. The excess power is sold back to Xcel Energy, which will eventually help pay off the initial investment. A beautiful showcase of cutting edge solar technology and green materials, the home is warm and livable – an essential component of this impressive design. read more>>>

6 Isolated Luxury Retreats for Off-Grid Living
07/12/14 - Going off-grid and using natural resources like the sun or wind to power your home is one of the modern ways to rebel against the system, and designers are proving that you don't need to sacrifice comfort or style in order to do so. You don't have to spend your life in a tent or live in a hobbit house to be completely self-sufficient—in fact, approximately 1.7 billion people are living off-grid worldwide at this very moment. Whether your goal is to reduce your carbon footprint, to save money, to prepare for the collapse of the oil economy, or just to be independent, check out this collection of off-grid retreats - including a sun-powered Alpine capsule and France's highest building! read more>>>

The city of Montréal makes it easier to charge electric cars downtown
03 July 2014 - It's just gotten easier to charge electric vehicles in downtown Montréal.

On Tuesday, Pierre Arcand, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources, inaugurated the first curbside charging stations for electric vehicles (EVs) in downtown Montréal, with Montréal’s executive committee member in charge of transportation, Aref Salem, and Hydro-Québec President and Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vandal, representing the Electric Circuit, in attendance. read more>>>

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