Thursday, July 31, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 31 July 2014

In Ohio, clean energy is a sound investment
By turning its back on renewable energy, Ohio is missing out on the potential for new businesses

7/29/2014 - RENEWABLE-energy policies help businesses and investors save money, create jobs, and reduce carbon pollution. The recent move by Ohio politicians to freeze the state’s renewable-energy and energy-efficiency standards shows they are not thinking ahead. We need to support policies such as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new Clean Power Plan, which helps us invest in a clean-energy future and cut pollution.

The Needmor Fund is a family foundation that works with others to bring about social justice. We are headquartered in Toledo, and work to help support access to public participation in a democratic society. read more>>>

Could California Go All in On Renewable Energy?
Jul 29, 2014 - A Stanford professor has presented a plan to power all of the Golden State’s energy needs with renewable energy by 2050.

“If implemented, this plan will eliminate air pollution mortality and global warming emissions from California, stabilize prices and create jobs -- there is little downside,” said Mark Z. Jacobson, the study’s lead author and a Stanford professor of civil and environmental engineering, in a press release.

It would take 25,000 onshore 5-megawatt wind turbines, 1,200 concentrated solar plants, 15 million residential rooftop photovoltaic systems, 72 geothermal plants, 5,000 wave devices and 3,400 tidal turbines. read more>>>

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Microgrids: How the U.S. Military Can Benefit
July 23, 2014 - The rise of microgrids — small, site-specific electrical power generation and distribution systems — has been documented among homeowners in disaster-prone areas and noticed by the companies that run the big grids. Nationwide, microgrids produce only about a gigawatt of power collectively, reports say, and many of those projects are by homeowners and institutions such as colleges. But there also another potentially big American player: the Defense Department.

A new analysis released by Red Mountain Insights notes that the military moves a lot of fossil fuel around to generate electricity at its far-flung facilities. “The fuel powers more than 15,000 generators in Afghanistan alone,” the research firm says. “What if, through use of Microgrid technologies, the military could cut that fuel transportation and use in half?” read more>>>

Microgrids: Electricity Goes Local
Jul 23, 2014 - When Hurricane Sandy hit New York in 2012, most of lower Manhattan went dark, and it was almost two weeks before most of the power was restored. But in one building in Greenwich Village, the lights stayed on and the heat kept working (and the building’s population doubled). That’s because, as University of Wisconsin engineering professor Thomas Jahns explained, that building had “its own miniature version of a utility grid”: a microgrid.

Big Old Power Grid

The trillions of watts of electricity used every year in the United States are delivered by just three huge power grids. read more>>>

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Spinach could lead to alternative energy more powerful than Popeye
July 23, 2014 - Spinach gave Popeye super strength, but it also holds the promise of a different power for a group of scientists: the ability to convert sunlight into a clean, efficient alternative fuel.

Purdue University physicists are part of an international group using spinach to study the proteins involved in photosynthesis, the process by which plants convert the sun's energy into carbohydrates used to power cellular processes.

"The proteins we study are part of the most efficient system ever built, capable of converting the energy from the sun into chemical energy with an unrivaled 60 percent efficiency," said Yulia Pushkar, a Purdue assistant professor of physics involved in the research. " read more>>>

Homes Are Getting Greener
There's a lot of potential for improving the energy efficiency of the existing housing stock.

July 22, 2014 - A promising trend in home construction is the rising number of certified green and energy efficient homes. Recent consumer preference surveys indicate that energy-efficient features top homebuyer wish lists. While newly built homes increasingly include such elements, there remains significant market potential for the remodeling sector to improve the existing housing stock.

Industry surveys, such as a 2013 McGraw Hill Construction study of green building by National Association of Home Builders members, detail the degree to which green building practices and products are being deployed in the home building sector. read more>>>

Putting Singapore on the global map for green buildings
In five short years since it was established, the Singapore Green Building Council has put Singapore on the global map for its excellence in green building practices. Vaidehi Shah traces the industry-led NGO's origin and progress.

23 July 2014 - While it is unusual for any government to be involved in setting up NGOs (non-government organizations), this did not deter Singapore’s building authority in helping to create the city-state’s first industry-led organization to champion green building awareness some five years ago.

Never did they imagine that the fledgling Singapore Green Building Council would grow and evolve to become a powerful green building advocate that would put Singapore on the global map. read more>>>

Bluewater Wind finally blowing
July 23, 2014 - NextEra Energy Partners' (NEP) Bluewater Wind Energy Center in Huron County, Ontario has begun commercial operation.

The project is comprised of 37 turbines and capable of generating up to 60 MW of electricity, or enough to power approximately 15,000 homes. The Bluewater Wind Energy Center is owned by Bluewater Wind, LP, an indirect subsidiary of NextEra Energy Canada Partners Holdings, ULC.

"We are proud that the Bluewater Wind Energy Center not only contributes emissions-free electricity to Ontarians, but also that we have been able to significantly contribute to the local economy in Huron County through the development of this important project," said Armando Pimentel, president, NextEra Energy Partners. "We are very proud to add this terrific asset to our growing portfolio." read more>>>

Chelsea Green Publishing - the leading publisher of sustainable living books since 1985.

Hybrid renewable energy system overcomes urban challenges
July 22, 2014 - A hybrid renewable energy project recently commissioned on the rooftop of law firm Myers, Fletcher & Gordon (MFG) in Kingston, Jamaica will harness both wind and solar resources. Windstream, the system's provider, call it the largest in the world.

The nearly $1 million project faced challenges from the beginning: limited roof space common in urban locations and the high cost of traditional wind and solar farms made the hybrid system particularly attractive. read more>>>

Hydrogen breakthrough could make fuel greener
July 22, 2014 - Rutgers researchers have developed a technology that could overcome a major cost barrier to making clean-burning hydrogen fuel. The technology is intended to replace cost-prohibitive platinum for electrolysis reaction. The resulting hydrogen fuel could, potentially, replace fossil fuels.

Finding ways to make electrolysis reactions commercially viable is important because processes that make hydrogen today start with methane -- itself a fossil fuel -- thus the need to consume fossil fuel negates current claims that hydrogen is a "green" fuel, according to the researchers. read more>>>

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