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>>>

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