Monday, July 28, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 28 July 2014

313,000 Jobs Created, Sustained and 81 Million Metric Tons of Climate Change Pollution Avoided by Repairing Natural Gas Distribution Lines
Jul 24 2014 - A groundbreaking new report from the AFL-CIO and the BlueGreen Alliance released today shows that by accelerating the timeline for repairing leak-prone sections of our nation’s natural gas pipeline distribution system, the U.S. can create more than 300,000 good, family-supporting jobs across the economy, save consumers $1.5 billion in charges for lost gas, and prevent the emission of 81 million metric tons of climate change pollution—the equivalent of taking 17 million cars off the road for a year.

“A 10-year replacement scenario would provide a much-needed economic shot in the arm while helping to limit the amount of methane being emitted into our air,” said Michael Langford, National President of the Utility Workers Union of America (UWUA). “By acting now, we can create and sustain hundreds of thousands of good jobs and provide a huge boost to our economy.” read more>>>

EPA climate rule economically feasible, study says
07/24/14 - Turning to renewable energy sources and energy efficiency programs is becoming more and more economically feasible for utilities across the U.S., according to a new report.

The analysis by advocacy group Ceres concludes that states have the ability to go "beyond the fence" to meet new targets set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) without breaking the budget for utilities.

“Renewable energy and energy efficiency, two of EPA's Clean Power Plan building blocks, are increasingly cost-effective options for electric utilities seeking to lower their carbon emissions,” Ceres President Mindy Lubber said. read more>>>

Michigan’s ‘godfather’ of wind energy now getting into solar
07/25/2014 - He doesn’t particularly like the moniker, but he goes along with it.

Rich Vander Veen, the developer behind Michigan’s largest wind project, has been called by one clean-energy advocate the “wind godfather.”

But now the godfather is working on a sequel.

Earlier this month, Vander Veen was honored for his “vision and action” in his role developing renewable energy in the state, particularly for the nearly 213 megawatt, 133-turbine project in Gratiot County, about 50 miles north of the state Capitol. read more>>>

Why the largest microgrid in the U.S. is in Austin
July 18, 2014 - The University of Texas at Austin houses what is often described as the most integrated and largest microgrid in the U.S., a model for saving energy and money.

Built in 1929 as a steam plant, the facility has evolved to provide 100 percent of the power, heat and cooling for a 20-million square-foot campus with 150 buildings.

The university is known for its premier research facilities, which demand high-quality, reliable power. And its microgrid has delivered with 99.9998 percent reliability over the last 40 years. read more>>>

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Solar Power in India: Making it Affordable for People without Electricity
Have you priced a solar energy system for your home lately? While new incentives and financing options make solar power more attractive than ever, purchasing a system isn’t cheap: you’re still looking at $20,000 minimum in most cases (before incentives, of course). Now, imagine you’ve never been able to afford electricity for your home, and trying to make ends meet on less than $10 a day. A solar system, even a small one that could run a light, and maybe charge a phone, could easily create a ton of opportunity for you and your family… but there’s no way you can afford to purchase one.

400 million people – more than the entire population of the United States – live in such circumstances in India. In spite of these overwhelming numbers, the country’s current prime minister, Narenda Modi, wants all of them to have access to solar power in the next five years… at least enough to power a light bulb. read more>>>

Tidal energy could contribute £27 billion to the UK economy
18 July 2014 - A new report published by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) has found that construction of six tidal lagoons across the UK could contribute £27 billion to UK GDP.

The report assesses the economic benefits that could be derived from Tidal Lagoon Power’s proposed tidal lagoons. It finds that the twelve year construction period could contribute £27 billion to the economy while also generating 36,000 jobs with up to 71,000 jobs at its peak.

Once fully operational, the lagoons could contribute £3.1 billion in GDP annually over the 120-year design life, generating enough energy to power almost 8 million homes. read more>>>

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U.S. falls at the bottom of international energy efficiency rankings
July 18, 2014 - In an international energy efficiency ranking released by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), Germany comes in first, followed by Italy, the European Union, China, and France. The rankings include 16 of the world's largest economies -- Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, and the European Union -- representing more than 81 percent of global gross domestic product and 71 percent of global energy consumption.

Despite their high rankings, ACEEE says there are still substantial opportunities for improved energy efficiency in all of the economies analyzed. read more>>>

Green has to be in
July 18, 2014 - Internationally acclaimed environmentalist R.K. Pachauri says India urgently needs ‘green buildings’ to ensure sustainable use of energy and water. Pachauri said it is estimated that most of the buildings projected to be standing in 2030 are yet to be built and that government should ensure these structures abide by the suggested guidelines that address the environmental impact of India’s construction sector.

“There has to be a radical departure in the construction of new buildings. There is a change in culture which has impacted the consumption of energy, water and other resources. Our rating system has taken stock of buildings and we have prepared a knowhow to get truly green buildings,” Pachauri said in an interview. read more>>>

UN agency calls for jobs focus to green Europe's economy
17 Jul 2014 - The chief of the UN’s International Labour Organisation (ILO) has called on EU environment and labour ministers to align policies to improve sustainable development.

The transition to a green economy is only possible with the active engagement of the world of work," said ILO Director-General Guy Ryder at the first-ever joint meeting of EU ministers of the environment and labour.

“The world does not have to choose between job creation and preserving the environment,” said Ryder. “Environmental sustainability is a must, including from a labour market perspective.” read more>>>

Russian millionaire to invest 20 million euros in building solar power plants in Southern Europe
18.07.2014 - Jelena Baturina, a Russian millionaire and a wife of Yury Luzhkov, former Moscow mayor, plans to invest about 20 million euros in the building of several solar power plants in Italy and other countries in the south of the EU.

As part of these plans, Baturina through its Russian subsidiary Inteco has already signed an agreement with the German Re-Pro for the joint implementation of the project. The partners have not ruled out the possibility of doubling of investments in the near future.

Total capacity of the plants is expected to reach 135 MW. Payback period of the projects is estimated at about five years. read more>>>

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