Thursday, August 14, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 14 August 2014

Top federal officials discuss energy development
August 11 2014 - The potential for renewable energy development in the Southwest is tremendous, but two top officials in President Barack Obama’s administration said Monday much work needs to be done to meet the challenges of exporting that power to market.

Interior Secretary Sally Jewell and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz were among dozens of state and tribal officials who met in Santa Fe as part of the administration’s effort to develop recommendations regarding the transmission, storage and distribution of energy.

Jewell and Moniz said one of the biggest challenges has been working across state lines and Native American jurisdictions to site and permit transmission and pipeline projects. They pointed to the $2 billion SunZia project between New Mexico and Arizona as one example. read more>>>

Climate change and health - joining the dots
In an interview with Global Ideas ahead of the World Health Summit in Berlin, British epidemiologist Sir Andrew Haines makes the case for cutting greenhouse gas now, saying the health of future generations hinges on it.

12.08.2014 - British epidemiologist Sir Andrew Haines headed the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine for almost ten years until September 2010. It's the largest institution of its kind in Europe. Under his leadership, the LSHTM received the 2009 Award for Global Health from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for its work on improving the health of poor people.

Sir Andrew Haines talked with Global Ideas ahead of the annual World Health Summit in Berlin, where he is one of the speakers, about the impact of climate change on the health of the planet's population in both, rich and poor countries. read more>>>

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America’s Top 10 ‘Coolest Schools’ in Sustainability
Which school is the “coolest” when it comes to promoting sustainability and protecting the environment? Sierra Magazine has the answer, again.

August 12, 2014 - For the eighth year, Sierra, the official publication of the Sierra Club, has released its “Coolest Schools” rankings, rating the 173 four-year U.S. colleges and universities who returned a questionnaire created by Sierra and the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education.

And the winner is … the University of California, Irvine. The school has placed in the top 10 for the last five years but this is its first time in the top slot. Among its efforts to become more eco-friendly that earned it the honor: three on-campus solar projects, a 19-megawatt turbine cogeneration plant and regularly exceeding its energy efficiency goals. read more>>>

Green job creation
7 August 2014 - Can the adoption of a green economy really create jobs and lead to sustainable development and economic growth? South Korea’s National Strategy for low carbon and green growth is a great example of how an economic super power is transforming their economy.

If it is good enough for them, why can’t and why isn’t South Africa adopting a similar development strategy?

The strategy undertaken by South Korea illustrates the potential to move to a low carbon economy whilst not jeopardising growth, if anything it has created sustainable growth. In a nutshell, in 2008 South Korea put forward a vision which was to reduce their emissions by 30 percent below its projected emissions growth by 2020. read more>>>


SMA launches inverter-factory in South Africa
07.08.2014 - The SMA Solar Technology AG (SMS) launched an inverter-factory for local production in Cape Town, South Africa. It consists of a production line, storage facilities and a test center for central inverters. With the new factory SMA meets the local content requirements under South Africa’s Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Programme (REIPPP).

According to Thorsten Ronge, General Manager of SMA Sub-Sahara Production Pty Ltd., with its ambitious expansion target for photovoltaics and high solar irradiation, South Africa is a strategically important market for SMA. read more>>>

Simulation models optimize water power
August 6, 2014 - The Columbia River basin in the Pacific Northwest offers great potential for water power; hydroelectric power stations there generate over 20,000 megawatts already. Now a simulation model will help optimize the operation of the extensive dam system.

Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies and Image Exploitation IOSB in Ilmenau are developing information technology to make water power generation systems more efficient. The Advanced System Technology (AST) department is creating simulation and optimization models that consolidate external factors such as weather data, water levels and market prices with system infrastructure and generate optimized plans for operational facilities, such as the opening and closing of sluice gates, reservoir water level regulation and hydro turbine operation. This information helps the operator to fine-tune each hydroelectric power station's generating power to meet current energy economics and to sell the generated power for the highest possible return. read more>>>

Wind and Weather

Solar-Powered Publik Coffee Roasters Greens Your Buzz in Salt Lake City
08/06/14 - Publik Coffee Roasters is the newest and greenest java shop in Salt Lake City. The renovated printing press warehouse turned coffee shop, roaster and event space was designed by Salt Lake City-based Lloyd Architects. The shop is topped with solar panels, and it features reclaimed materials and a clean, industrial chic interior that's the perfect place to get your buzz on.

Publik Coffee Roasters is located not far from downtown Salt Lake City in an up-and-coming district. The name Publik comes from the Dutch word ‘publiek’ for community, and it encapsulates the shop’s ethos of “quality over quantity, community over corporate, and planet over profit.” The flagship space features a coffee shop, roasting facilities, meeting rooms and a large event area. The company also runs a coffee shop out of the Kimball Art Center in Park City, UT and it will soon be renovating another space in Salt Lake City. read more>>>

Scientists Create Cheap, Efficient Spray-On Solar Cells
08/06/14 - For the first time, scientists have figured out a way to create efficient, affordable spray-on solar cells. While the concept itself isn’t something new, spray-on technology in the past has been so inefficient or costly that it didn’t hold much promise for changing the way we make solar panels. But now, using a new material called perovskite, scientists have created a spray-painting process that could change the solar game.

Right now the gold standard for solar power is silicon, which has a light absorbing efficiency of about 25%. Organic cells hover right around 10% and, until now, spray-on technology never got out of the single digits. But perovskite, which is a calcium titanium oxide mineral, can get as high as 19% efficiency – not far off of silicon. read more>>>

Massive Peoples’ Climate March Planned for UN Opening
August 6, 2014 - Hundreds of thousands of activists plan to head for New York City on September 21 to take part in the People’s Climate March ahead of the United Nations Climate Summit. They hope it will turn into the largest climate protection rally in history.

There, at the invitation of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, heads of state will meet on September 23 to discuss a global pact to limit the greenhouse gases responsible for climate change.

Ban has been traveling around the world to build consensus among governments on a legally-binding global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The agreement is due to be signed in Paris at the end of 2015. It would take effect in 2020. read more>>>

Beijing Bans Coal-Burning to Clear the Air
August 6, 2014 - China’s capital city of Beijing will ban coal sales and the burning of coal in its six main districts by the end of 2020 to cut air pollution, local officials said on Monday.

The Beijing Municipal Environmental Protection Bureau announced that the districts of Dongcheng, Xicheng, Chaoyang, Haidian, Fengtai and Shijingshan will stop using coal and close coal-burning power plants and other coal-fired facilities over the next six-and-a-half years.

Beijing residents will use cleaner sources of energy such as natural gas to generate electricity for heating, cooking and other activities, the bureau said. read more>>>

Solar Royal Solar Ventilation Attic Fan

Tesla, Panasonic to Build ‘Gigafactory’ for Electric Car Batteries
August 4, 2014 - Electric car batteries are about to get cheaper and more abundant. Panasonic Corporation and Tesla Motors signed an agreement Thursday detailing their cooperation to construct and operate the Gigafactory, a $5 billion, large-scale lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in the United States.

In a letter to shareholders Thursday, Tesla announced it has broken ground in Reno, Nevada, on a site that could “potentially be” the location for the giant battery factory. Jennifer Cooper, communications director for the Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval’s Office of Economic Development, told reporters that discussions with Tesla are taking place but “remain confidential.” read more>>>

'Solar Garden' Could Sprout Atop Former Norwich Landfill
08/03/2014 - For years, the Rogers Road landfill has been a liability to the city, which has borne the cost of capping the dump area, monitoring nearby groundwater for contamination and cleaning it up.

Now that large, capped landfill area could bring the city new revenue and provide another source of clean energy for Norwich Public Utilities customers.

The Connecticut Municipal Electric Energy Cooperative , NPU officials and principals from Brightfields Development LLC will give a presentation at 7 p.m. Monday to the Norwich City Council on a plan to build a $10 million , 3-megawatt "solar garden" at the old landfill.

NPU General Manager John Bilda said plans are preliminary. The city would have to reach a lease agreement with Brightfields to use the city-owned landfill property -- bringing new revenue to the city -- and CMEEC would purchase the power from the company and sell it as part of its power supply through circuits provided by NPU. read more>>>

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