Friday, August 29, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 29 August 2014

Hawaii’s Largest Utility Announces Plan To Triple Rooftop Solar By 2030
August 27, 2014 - Hawaiian Electric Companies (HECO) on Tuesday announced their intention to triple the amount of rooftop solar in the state, just one part of a plan that the companies say will make Hawaii the highest renewable energy-using state in the country.

Hawaiian Electric, Maui Electric and Hawaii Electric Light — known together as HECO — proposed a package of initiatives that they said would help Hawaii generate 65 percent of its electricity from renewable energy and slash electric bills by 20 percent, all within the next 16 years. While admittedly vague on how the initiatives will be implemented and how they will impact prices, the package includes efforts to increase energy storage, develop smart grids, and support community solar projects. read more>>>

energyTEAM to exhibit at the Energy Event 2014
Aug. 19, 2014 - The Energy Event 2014, which is being held at the NEC Birmingham, is co- located with the Renewables Event and the Water Event. It is one of the biggest exhibitions in the UK where suppliers right across the energy arena are given the opportunity to showcase their products and services to nearly 6000 visitors.

energyTEAM will be exhibiting at The Energy Event 2014 on Stand G50 within Halls 3-3A at the NEC on 16th -17th September 2014.

The Energy Event is complete FREE to attend and focuses on energy procurement, management and efficiency. Hosting a number of energy suppliers and consultants, The Energy Event offers a great opportunity to network, share ideas and learn about current news and changes in the energy industry. read more>>>

Something new under the sun in British Columbia
Aug. 13, 2014 - The economic future of the city of Kimberley in southeast British Columbia will soon be much brighter due to the $5.3 million SunMine solar project.

Over 4,000 solar-cell modules mounted on 96 solar trackers will follow the sun’s daily movement, maximizing solar exposure and power generation SunMine will be western Canada’s largest solar project and the first solar project in B.C. to sell power to the BC Hydro grid.

SunMine will be located on the former Sullivan Mine site, once one of the world’s largest lead zinc mines, owned by Teck Resources Ltd. Teck is providing the fully reclaimed land and site infrastructure as well as a $2 million contribution towards the project. read more>>>

U.K. developer begins construction of 750-kW Allt Choire small hydro project
08/20/2014 - Scottish energy developer Green Highland Renewables began construction in August of the 750-kW Allt Choire a' Bhalachain small hydroelectric project on the southern side of Loch Garry in Scotland.

The 3 million pound (US$5 million) project, funded by investor Triple Point, is one of two projects Green Highland Renewables is developing in the immediate area. The other is the 1.3-MW Allt Ladaidh project, which is to begin construction in 2015.

Highland Waterworks Ltd. is the main contractor, in their third project for Green Highland Renewables. read more>>>

SA - the world’s fastest growing green building market
21 August 2014 - Nearly eight years ago green building in South Africa was considered as a “right thing to do” for the environment. But more developers are heeding the call for sustainable building as they are becoming more mindful of economic benefits and the country is positioning itself as the fastest growing sustainable building country in the world.

“Environmentally sustainable buildings”, “rain harvesting” and “off-the-grid innovations” have been bandied about for years, but are now gaining credibility.

The growth of green building in South Africa trumps that of established sustainability building regions such as Europe, Australia, United States, United Arab Emirates, Singapore and Brazil. read more>>>

The 2050 Imperative–Carbon Neutral Cities
Aug. 20, 2014 - The International Union of Architects (UIA) has adopted a Declaration committing its member organizations and partners to exercise leadership in planning and designing sustainable, resilient, carbon-neutral and healthy built environments in the world’s cities and towns.

Recognizing the central role architects play in planning and designing the built environment, and the need to reduce carbon emissions to zero by 2050, the Declaration adopted at its 2014 World Congress in Durban, South Africa last week commits the signatories* to: read more>>>

First international commercial flight completed with renewable jet fuel blend
07 August 2014 - The flight took place in late July 2014 using a recently approved jet fuel developed by industrial bioscience company Amyris and energy company Total. The fuel contains 10 percent Farnesane renewable jet fuel

The fuel meets the rigorous performance requirements set for Jet A/A-1 fuel used by the global commercial aviation industry. The revised D7566 standard developed by the international standards group ASTM Committee on Petroleum Products, Liquid Fuels, and Lubricants. The revised standard allows a biomass-based renewable jet fuel on order to support commercial airliner’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

“The ability of this renewable jet fuel to meet the criteria in the definitive standard for use in commercial aviation is a significant milestone in the ongoing collaboration between Amyris and Total” said Philippe Boisseau, read more>>>

E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows Biomass Plant generates electricity for the first time
25 June 2014 - E.ON UK's Blackburn Meadows biomass facility in Sheffield generated electricity and synchronised with the local distribution network for the first time yesterday evening.

Blackburn Meadows is now the third biomass plant in E.ON UK's generation portfolio and can provide enough energy to power around 40,000 homes. E.ON's £120 million investment in Blackburn Meadows has increased the energy company's mix of generation assets, helping to ensure future security of supply for the UK. read more>>>

EV universe expanding
August 15, 2014 - While plug-in electric vehicles (PEV) are now available throughout all of the United States, most Canadian provinces and territories, and every Western European country, they are not readily accessible in the Asia-Pacific region, but this will soon change, according to Navigant Research.

Over the next several years, Navigant predicts that Asia-Pacific will actually become the largest market for PEV sales, contributing to a growth of sales in North America, Western Europe, and Asia-Pacific from 352,000 annually in 2014 to 1.8 million in 2023. read more>>>

Solectria Renewables to power 45MW entropy solar projects in North Carolina
20 August 2014 - Seven solar projects anticipated to generate 1.1 billion kWh, enough to power up to 130,000 homes.

Solectria Renewables, LLC has signed a contract to supply 69 SGI 500XTM inverters to Entropy Solar Integrators for seven projects in North Carolina.1 These projects are part of a portfolio being built by Entropy Solar Integrators and financed through affiliates of Entropy Investment Management.

The seven projects are slated to be commissioned by the end of 2014, and are anticipated to generate 1.1 billion kWh -- enough clean energy to power up to 130,000 homes, according to Solectria Renewables. read more>>>

Doing Well and Doing Good with the Green Air Hotel
August 12, 2014 - You don’t win the Radical Innovation Award without proposing to change an entire industry through design. Lip Chiong, principal of Studio Twist, won because his Green Air Hotels may revolutionize how the Chinese hospitality industry works and breathes.

Chiong saw an opportunity for architecture and space-age science to come together to address two different challenges in one fell swoop: the troubled hotel industry and China’s severe pollution problems. In terms of the former, his Shanghai-based firm had extensive experience working in the hospitality industry before, both in refurbishing and designing brand new hotels. He saw that many hotels were struggling to set themselves apart and attract customers. “A typical renovation may be to rebrand the hotel through styling and aesthetics,” says Chiong, “but such a cosmetic touchup will not distinguish or give this type of hotel a truly competitive edge.” In terms of the latter, Beijing’s pollution rating can reach 775 when 300 qualifies as an emergency by the EPA, making health a real selling point. Consequently, his firm collaborated with Bill Wolverton, a NASA scientist, to design an ingenious solution: a literally green hotel that cleans its air using special filtering plants. read more>>>

Air Supply: Pushing the Limits of Passive Sustainability
July 2014 - Although homeowners are embracing sustainability at an increasing clip, they still express reservations about commissioning the highest-performing custom construction. “They wonder whether a strategy really works—the client doesn’t want to be a guinea pig,” observes Moore Ruble Yudell (MRY) partner Buzz Yudell, adding, “Another concern, which I don’t hear so explicitly is that a sustainable building could be sacrificing aesthetic clarity for a machine. Of course, a house can very carefully integrate technology.”

Architects often use their own homes as laboratories of expression and functionality. With the 4,500-square-foot infill residence Yudell and MRY architectural colorist Tina Beebe recently completed in Santa Monica, the husband and wife created an exemplar to break through client misconception. read more>>>

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 28 August 2014

Climate change policies pay for themselves, study says
An MIT climate change study released Sunday indicates the cost of slashing coal-fired carbon emissions would be offset by reduced spending on public health. The EPA-funded study examined climate change policies similar to those proposed by the Obama administration in June.

August 25, 2014 - President Obama’s controversial plan to phase out coal and slash carbon emissions is an expensive one. But a new study suggests it could be cheaper than the alternative: pollution, poor air quality, and accompanying health costs.

Cutting emissions might lower health spending so drastically that the US could end up saving ten times more than it would cost to implement carbon reductions, according to a Massachusetts Institute of Technology study published Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change.

Environmentalists have long argued that curbing pollution is good for protecting local habitats and public health. read more>>>

Solar Could Grow Faster if We Had a Functioning Federal Government
08/25/2014 - It is obvious that the United States federal government is struggling to perform basic governance functions and, as I wrote earlier this summer, it is incapable of leading the transition to a renewable economy. Nevertheless, one of the key elements of that transition, the adoption of solar power, is well underway in the U.S. According to a new report by John Rogers and Laura Wisland, published by the Union of Concerned Scientists:

Solar is undergoing widespread and rapid growth in the United States... The amount of solar PV installed in the United States grew by 485 percent from 2010 to 2013...Solar accounted for an average of 16 percent of electricity capacity installed annually in the United States from 2011 to 2013, and almost 30 percent in 2013.

They note that the price of solar systems has dropped by over 50% since 2007, and that as local government permitting processes become streamlined and as financing options grow, household solar installations are becoming more feasible. read more>>>

Small island states, facing rising seas, seek economic overhaul
Aug 25, 2014 - Small island states facing a "frightening" rise in sea levels will seek investments in everything fron solar energy to fisheries to boost their economies at a U.N. summit next week.

Leaders will meet in Samoa in the Pacific from Sept. 1-4 to drum up partnerships with companies, development banks and donors on projects that bring in dollars and jobs while protecting oceans and environments, organisers said.

Many islands from the Indian Ocean to the Caribbean are suffering erosion and coastal flooding from storm surges as global warming raises sea levels by melting ice from the Himalayas to Greenland. read more>>>

China Weighs $16 Billion Car-Charging Fund
Aug 26, 2014 - China is considering providing as much as 100 billion yuan ($16 billion) in government funding to build electric-vehicle charging facilities and spur demand for clean cars, according to two people familiar with the matter.

The policy will be announced soon, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. The people declined to provide further details of the plan such as how long the program would last or whether the chargers would be compatible with cars made by Tesla Motors Inc. read more>>>

Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty
AUG. 26, 2014 - The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress.

In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. read more>>>

U.N. Draft Report Lists Unchecked Emissions’ Risks
AUG. 26, 2014 - Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report.

Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain and other climate extremes are also being felt around the world as a result of human-produced emissions, the draft report said, and those problems are likely to intensify unless the gases are brought under control. read more>>>

Turkmenistan systematically moving to ‘green’ economy, president says
20 August 2014 - Turkmenistan is systematically moving to 'green' economy, the use of modern environmentally friendly and resource-saving technologies in industry, and in the oil and gas, power generation and transportation sectors, Turkmen President Gurbanguly Berdymuhamedov said.

He made the remarks at a meeting with the heads of General Electric (USA), Mitsubishi Corporation (Japan) and Çalyk Holding (Turkey) companies, according to message from Turkmen government.

During the meeting, Berdymuhamedov said Turkmenistan, consistently realizing major projects of regional and inter-regional significance in energy sector, is taking a highly responsible approach to international cooperation in the protection of environment, which is an extremely important area. read more>>>

New toolkit to help SMEs benefit from green economy
21 August 2014 - The Institute for Sustainability has launched a free toolkit, which details the opportunities arising from the growing onshore renewable energy and related low carbon markets, to help built environment SMEs.

The Renewable Energy Toolkit aims to help businesses increase their understanding of the markets so they can supply and deliver onshore renewable energy technologies and related services. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

Going green ‘good for business’
August 20, 2014 - ADOPTING green growth as a strategy can make Filipino businesses competitive, especially during economically challenging times, according to speakers at yesterday’s Green Innovation for Competitiveness Forum.

Volker Steigerwald, GIZ project manager of the Promotion of Green Economic Development (ProGED), said it is time for Filipino enterprises to adopt good environmental practices for them to capture a good slice of the growing green economy.

Compared to past years, Steigerwald said enterprises are now more aware of what green practices can do to mitigate the effects of climate change in their business operations. He said past natural calamities served as an eye-opener on the importance of adopting good environmental practices. read more>>>

Organic photovoltaic cells of the future: Using charge formation efficiency to screen materials for future devices
August 19, 2014 - Organic photovoltaic cells -- a type of solar cell that uses polymeric materials to capture sunlight -- show tremendous promise as energy conversion devices, thanks to key attributes such as flexibility and low-cost production.

But one giant hurdle holding back organic photovoltaic technologies have been the complexity of their power conversion processes, which involve separate charge formation and transport processes.

To maneuver around this problem, a team of researchers in Japan has developed a method to determine the absolute value of the charge formation efficiency. The secret of their method, as they report in Applied Physics Letters, is the combination of two types of spectroscopy. read more>>>

A semi-artificial leaf faster than 'natural' photosynthesis
August 20, 2014 - Cooperation between chemists and biologists from the Ruhr-University Bochum has resulted in a new method for the very efficient integration of photosynthetic proteins in photovoltaics. Their recent report in Chemistry -- a European Journal, selected as a very important paper (VIP) by the journal, offers a new immobilization strategy that yields electron transfer rates exceeding for the first time rates observed in natural photosynthesis. This discovery opens the possibility for the construction of semi-artificial leaves functioning as photovoltaic devices with drastically increased performance.

Photosystem 1, a robust and efficient light harvesting protein read more>>>

Adomani EV school bus approved for use in California
Aug 20th 2014 - Your children or grandchildren may very well be riding an electric bus to school soon, and probably sooner still if they live in California. We've just recently seen the funding of the National Strategies demo buses. Now another fully electric school bus has been approved in the Golden State. The California Highway Patrol has greenlighted the Adomani EV bus for use in the Gilroy Unified School District (GUSD).

Lucky pupils in the Garlic Capital of the World will be riding a 2007 Blue Bird All American school bus, converted from diesel to electric by Adomani. It has a range of 40 miles, plenty of charge to meet the route's 22 miles. The EV bus uses the same charging plug as the Nissan Leaf and Chevrolet Volt for easy charging. The GUSD has installed solar panels to power its charging station, making the Adomani Blue Bird truly capable of emission-free rides.

The bus was apparently quick to be approved upon inspection, with verbal approval coming just one day later. Newly appointed Adomani board member Jim Reynolds, a school bus industry expert, says, "That is by far the fastest I have seen approval come in. I was anticipating a few months of processing." read more>>>