Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 September 2014

Taking a Call for Climate Change to the Streets
SEPT. 21, 2014 - Legions of demonstrators frustrated by international inaction on global warming descended on New York City on Sunday, marching through the heart of Manhattan with a message of alarm for world leaders set to gather this week at the United Nations for a summit meeting on climate change.

Coursing through Midtown, from Columbus Circle to Times Square and the Far West Side, the People’s Climate March was a spectacle even for a city known for doing things big, and it was joined, in solidarity, by demonstrations on Sunday across the globe, from Paris to Papua New Guinea.

“I’m here because I really feel that every major social movement in this country has come when people get together,” said Carol Sutton of Norwalk, Conn., the president of a teachers’ union. “It begins in the streets.” read more>>>

Combating climate change can be economically beneficial
September 22, 2014 - A major international report published last week could be a game changer in the fierce political debate about climate change in the United States.

The synthesis of "The New Climate Economy Report" was launched at the headquarters of the United Nations in New York on Sept. 16 and officially submitted to Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. Its key finding was that at least 50 percent of the reductions in greenhouse gases required to avoid dangerous climate change could be achieved through measures that have other additional economic benefits.

The report, which was produced by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, revealed that the 15 countries with the highest annual emissions of greenhouse gases lose the equivalent of 4.4 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) each year due to premature deaths caused by air pollution. read more>>>

Thanks to Solar, This Steel City Is Turning Into a Clean Energy Powerhouse
September 21, 2014 - At the turn of the 20th century, the city of Lackawanna, in Western New York, was home to one of the largest steel companies in the world. The Lackawanna Steel Company, later purchased by the Bethlehem Steel Company, gave the small city its name. For decades the plant pumped pollution into the environment, expelling benzene emissions into the air and contaminating the water.

But if this 150-year-old town was once recognizable for the smokestacks that billowed above the factory, it’s changing that image.

The plot of land where the Lackawanna Steel plant once stood is now home to one of the largest wind energy farms in the world. It’s also the future site of Lackawanna’s Steel Sun project, a solar farm that hopes to accommodate 13,000 solar panels. read more>>>

USDA invests in 8 renewable energy projects in SD
September 21, 2014 - The U.S. Department of Agriculture will provide funds to eight projects in rural South Dakota that focus in renewable energy and energy efficiency.

The agency says the funding includes loan guarantees and grants for solar energy projects to create jobs and advance the use of renewable fuels.

The projects are located in Brown, Clark, Codington, Deuel, Kingsbury and Marshall counties.

Nationwide, the department is investing $68 million in more than 500 similar projects. read more>>>

Rockefellers to switch investments to 'clean energy'
22 September 2014 - The Rockefeller Brothers Fund is joining a coalition of philanthropists pledging to rid themselves of more than $50 bn (£31 bn) in fossil fuel assets.

The announcement will be made on Monday, a day before the UN climate change summit opens on Tuesday.

Some 650 individuals and 180 institutions have joined the coalition.

It is part of a growing global initiative called Global Divest-Invest, which began on university campuses several years ago, the New York Times reports. read more>>>

Energy challenge nets local businesses 11 percent savings
September 15, 2014 - The Snohomish County Public Utility District (PUD), with the help of non-profit PECI and support of the Bonneville Power Administration (BPA), recently wrapped up a behavior-based energy-efficiency project with encouraging results. The energy-saving pilot, designed and implemented by PECI, showed how local businesses can build detailed awareness of their energy use and make substantive changes to save.

With the average U.S. commercial building wasting 30 percent of the energy paid for by its owners, the potential to reduce energy waste is attractive to utilities, building professionals, members of the energy industry and business owners alike. Driving the cause is an increase in energy management and information systems (EMIS), which synthesize and display a building's energy use data, allowing occupants to leverage the information to make positive improvements in how they manage their energy use. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

South Africa's strong case for green retrofitting
15 September 2014 - Despite South Africa being the fastest growing green building market in the world, most buildings in the office sector do not comply with environmental sustainability standards. But there is a strong case for green retrofitting.

While South Africa is only playing catch-up to its developed and developing counters, United States-based McGraw-Hill Construction in its World Green Building Trends survey notes that 58% of South African firms surveyed reported future green commercial retrofits by 2015.

Furthermore the survey, which tracks 62 countries pegs the country's take up of green building to grow three-fold, from a measured 16% in 2012 to 52% by 2015. read more>>>

Netherlands embassy workshop to focus on green buildings
September 14, 2014 - Focusing on the use of cutting edge technology in green buildings and the educational system, the LEX group will orgainse a one-day workshop at the Oman Chamber of Commerce and Industry (OCCI) here on September 29.

This workshop is a part of a bilateral business event, entitled 'Building for Better Learning', to be organisd by the Embassy of the Netherlands and in association with the OCCI.

"LEX wants to use cutting edge knowledge about green building and educational systems to provide Omani youth with the best," said Barbara Joziasse, the Dutch ambassador to the Sultanate, who is looking forward to the finalisation of the new PDO School, where these modern standards have been introduced by the LEX Group. read more>>>

Sun Jack - world's most powerful solar charger!

Green technology to lead to new jobs at British manufacturing company
15 September 2014 - Naylor Industries Plc has received funding for a green energy project that will boost its sales and employment.

The Barnsley-based manufacturing company that specializes in building and constructing products such as clay pipes, plastic ducting and drainage, and concrete products, intends to invest a large sum of money into its Cawthorne factory to upgrade it with green technology that will include smart utility metering, energy efficient lighting, and a plastic reprocessing plant.

The £2.5 million project will help to lower energy consumption in the factory. read more>>>

Amazing Passive Home in Freezing Wisconsin Uses Less Energy Than a Hair Dryer to Stay Warm!
09/14/14 - Last year Wisconsin experienced one of its roughest winters in years, but Sonya Newenhouse and her family scarcely felt the affects in their German-certified passive house. While snow covered the ground and fierce winds whipped around the trees, this 970-square-foot home stayed warm using less energy than it requires to run a hair dryer! Despite exterior temperatures that hovered at 30 degrees below zero, interior temperatures averaged between 68 and 86 degrees Fahrenheit - an extraordinary feat made possible by air-tight insulation, triple-paned windows and doors, and strategic passive design. Approximately 80 to 90 percent more efficient than the standard home, NewenHouses are exceptionally well-designed, and by the end of next year, they will most likely be available in three different sizes - all below 1,000 square feet. Inhabitat spent the night in Viroqua, where we enjoyed a nice warm shower despite a gray cloudy day and homemade scones filled with fresh raspberries from the organic garden. Hit the jump for more information about the many facets of this home's superior performance, and flip through our gallery of images for a virtual tour. read more>>>

Mini solar becoming big business
September 12, 2014 - The market for solar photovoltaic (PV) consumer products has expanded significantly in recent years driven by an ecosystem of companies, competitive products, and innovative financing mechanisms that have emerged in an opportunity to reduce poverty in the developing world and increasing profits in the developed world, according to Navigant Research.

In the developing world, according to the report, pico solar systems are providing new alternatives for people who previously had no choice but to pay high prices for low-quality and polluting fuel-based lighting, such as kerosene lamps, giving communities access to compact, clean, and affordable off-grid lighting and other electric devices.

Miniature solar photovoltaic systems, including pico solar and solar home systems, are moving rapidly from specialized niches for enthusiasts and early adopters into the mainstream, and are particularly well-suited for applications in the developing world, where they provide lighting, cell phone charging, and power for small direct current (DC) appliances in areas where the power grid is unreliable or nonexistent, Navigant contends. read more>>>

Central America increasing solar capacity
September 12, 2014 - Central America is attracting global attention from photovoltaic (PV) developers, as it prepares to install 1.5 GW of PV capacity from 2012 through 2018, according to IHS Technology.

In 2014, IHS predicts that total PV capacity for the six countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua and Panama will reach 22 MW -- up from 6 MW in 2013 -- and 243 MW in 2015. However, it is from 2016 to 2018 when IHS says the solar market will make its greatest strides in the region, with aggregate PV capacity accounting for 81 percent of the six-year projected total.

El Salvador recently awarded 94 MW of PV in a tender that originally targeted a much smaller level amounting to 60 MW of PV together with an additional 40 MW of wind as part of the original mix, according to IHS. Via tenders like these, regulators in El Salvador, Guatemala and Panama are looking to blend in affordable renewable power in the electricity mix. read more>>>

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