Thursday, October 23, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 23 October 2014

New Report: Action Needed Now to Fix Climate Change Preparedness Deficit
Conservation, Insurance Leaders Urge Reinvestment in Natural Defenses

10-20-2014 - Climate impacts are hitting home faster than governments are adapting, but it’s not too late to protect our communities with cost-effective, nature-based approaches for risk reduction, according to a new report from the National Wildlife Federation, Allied World Assurance Company Holdings, LG, and Earth Economics. Natural Defenses from Hurricanes and Floods: Protecting America’s Communities and Ecosystems in an Era of Extreme Weather takes an in-depth look at the growing risks we face from these potentially-catastrophic natural hazards, the policy solutions that can safeguard people, property and wildlife habitats, and local case studies that point the way forward. It calls on America to substantially increase our investments in proactive risk reduction measures at a “Marshall Plan” scale that takes into consideration the growing risks from more intense storms, flooding and sea level rise. read more>>>

California looks to curb methane emissions
October 20, 2014 - Pressure is growing on regulators in California and Washington, D.C., to crack down on methane, a greenhouse gas that’s 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide and is accelerating the warming of the planet.

Methane, the main component of natural gas, escapes into the atmosphere through leaks in drilling operations and pipeline delivery. Sometimes the gas is vented or intentionally burned as waste by oil companies, particularly in the Bakken fields of North Dakota.

The Environmental Protection Agency is considering new rules to target methane emissions from oil and gas, which account for a quarter of the methane emissions in the United States, according to the agency. read more>>>

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Hacker, Terrorist Threats Spur Bases to Build Power Grids
Military Worries About Facilities Being Linked to Vulnerable Utility Companies

Oct. 21, 2014 - Fear that utility companies remain vulnerable to hackers, terrorists and natural disasters has the Pentagon pushing construction of independent power grids at military bases across the U.S., including one nearing completion here at the Marine Corps combat center.

The base at Twentynine Palms, home to about 22,000 people and spread across 1,100 square miles of the Mojave Desert, still buys power from Southern California Edison. But soon it will be able to operate even if there is a blackout, using a system of small power plants, solar panels, batteries and diesel generators. It already is saving $10 million a year in energy costs.

Dozens of U.S. bases are marching in the same direction as they try to keep up with the growing power demands of a modern military. “A lot of bases want what we’ve got,” said Gary Morrissett, the energy manager at Twentynine Palms. read more

Climate records are breaking so often now, we’ve stopped paying attention
October 21 2014 - On Monday, we learned from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that last September was the hottest of them all, out of 135 Septembers going back to 1880.The same was true for August 2014. And June of 2014. And May of 2014. What that means is that for each of these months, the combined average global land and ocean surface temperature has never been higher, at least since we started recording these temperatures back in the presidency of Rutherford B. Hayes.

These kinds of records are becoming so regular that they're starting to seem a lot less impressive. They're shrug-inducing. But to think of them in that way is a mistake. A little context shows just how dramatic the warming of the globe, on a month-by-month basis, has actually been. read more>>>

Top 10 Greenest Countries in the World
October 21, 2014 - How green is your native land? The 4th edition of the Global Green Economy Index, produced by private U.S.-based consultancy Dual Citizen LLC, has just been released, and you can look it up. The index provides an in-depth look at how 60 countries and 70 cities are doing in developing more environmentally friendly economies, in actual performance and in how experts perceive their performance.

“We first published the Global Green Economy Index in 2010 guided by a belief that the environment, climate change and green, low-carbon growth would rapidly become defining issues for national policy makers and the global reputation of countries,” says the report’s introduction. “As we went to press, 2,646 events in nearly 162 countries mobilized pressure on over 100 world leaders gathered in New York at the United Nations to take substantive and binding action on climate change. The link between these issues and the reputation of leaders and nation states is more vivid today than ever before.” read more>>>

Ethiopia Shows Developing World How to Make a Green Economy Prosper
Oct 16 2014 (IPS) - Ethiopia has experienced its fair share of environmental damage and degradation but nowadays it is increasingly setting an example on how to combat climate change while also achieving economic growth.

“It is very well known by the international community that Ethiopia is one of the front-runners of international climate policy, if not the leading African country,” Fritz Jung, the representative of bilateral development cooperation at the Addis Ababa German Embassy, tells IPS.

This Horn of Africa nation has learned more than most that one of the most critical challenges facing developing countries is achieving economic prosperity that is sustainable and counters climate change. read more>>>

World’s First Net-Zero Exhibit Space to be Unveiled at Greenbuild 2014
October 16, 2014 - Hanley Wood, the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and EMerge Alliance announced that the world’s first Net Zero Zone will be unveiled at the 2014 Greenbuild International Conference and Expo taking place October 22-24 at the Morial Convention Center in New Orleans.

“Driven by the innovative work of EMerge Alliance and its members, the launch of the new Net Zero Zone will make Greenbuild 2014 the first conference and expo to have exhibition space where booths are fully powered by an on-site microgrid including alternate energy generation, storage and distribution,” said Lindsay Roberts, show director, Greenbuild. “This is an important step for the trade show industry and sends a strong message to the entire green building movement that hybrid power in buildings is both possible and practical.”

The Net Zero Zone at Greenbuild will focus on three areas: read more>>>

Sunswift solar-powered car smashes 26-year EV speed record
Oct 16th 2014 - We're not sure which is more impressive: that a team of Australian students set a new distance-speed record for an electric vehicle or the fact that the driver got that little solar-powered bad boy up to 82 miles per hour. Either way, the Sunswift team at University of New South Wales (NSW) has earned the right to crow about their solar-powered EV. It broke a record that stood for 26 years.

The team performed the feat a few months back, but it has now been officially verified by the Federation Internationale de l'Automobile governing body. The 700-pound car ran at an average speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph) over a 500-kilometer (311-mile) stretch. To put those numbers another way, the Sunswift made a Chicago-to-Detroit-equivalent drive using about 44 cents worth of electricity, and it even had a few miles to spare. G'day, indeed. read more>>>

Panel installation begins on Washington DC universities' 52 MW solar project
16. October 2014 - An innovative solar project involving three universities in Washington, D.C., and a solar plant in North Carolina has begun taking shape after SunEnergy1 announced that it has begun installing JinkoSolar panels at the Duke Energy-owned site.

The 52 MW solar farm in eastern North Carolina, dubbed the Capital Partners Solar Project, is unique in that all solar power generated will be piped to three customers in nearby Washington, D.C., – the higher education establishments of George Washington University, American University and the George Washington University Hospital. read more>>>

Wisconsin Green Building Alliance honors state's greenest projects
Oct. 16, 2014 - Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. tore down a 16-story building to make way for its new office tower, but the company also has worked to rehabilitate some of its older buildings.

Case in point: the seven-story Van Buren Office Building, which the insurance company gutted and modernized. In the process, the architect and construction team on that project made it among the most efficient and environmentally friendly buildings in Wisconsin.

Northwestern Mutual transformed an older space into a modern office building with "remarkable" energy efficiency including LED lighting, daylighting and strong insulation, judges of the Wisconsin Green Building Alliance's annual contest found. read more>>>

Energy sector is key to powering prosperity in sub-Saharan Africa, says IEA
14 October 2014 - Increasing access to modern forms of energy is crucial to unlocking faster economic and social development in sub Saharan Africa, according to the International Energy Agency’s Africa Energy Outlook, a Special Report in the 2014 World Energy Outlook series.

More than 620 million people in the region live without electricity, and nearly 730 million people rely on dangerous, inefficient forms of cooking. The use of solid biomass (mainly wood and charcoal) outweighs that of all other fuels combined, and average electricity consumption per capita is not enough to power a single 50-watt light bulb continuously. read more>>>

Triodos Renewables launches crowdfunded share issue
15 October 2014 - Triodos Renewables has launched a major £5 million share offer aimed at raising funds for investment in constructing new UK renewable energy generation assets.

The money raised by the share issue will be used by the company to further grow electricity generation capacity across the country. Triodos Renewables already owns and operates eleven renewable energy projects across the UK totalling 53MW. This includes the recently constructed Avonmouth wind farm near Bristol. A further four projects are being developed by the company, including one at Boardinghouse in Cambridgeshire. read more>>>

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