Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 19 November 2014

Tiny Batteries Could Revolutionize Green Energy
Nanotechnology could dramatically improve energy storage for electronics, cars, and buildings.

November 17, 2014 - Tiny is big in the quest to build batteries that store more energy for cars, buildings, and personal electronics.

Nanosize batteries that are 80,000 times thinner than a human hair represent a promising new front. They could advance the use of electric vehicles, now limited by short driving ranges, and of renewable energy, which needs storage for times when the wind doesn't blow or the sun doesn't shine.

The latest breakthrough: a "nanopore" that's the ultimate in miniaturization. It's a hole in a ceramic sheet, no thicker than a grain of salt, that contains all the components a battery needs to produce electric current. One billion of these holes, connected in a honeycomb fashion, could fit on a postage stamp. read more>>>

Largest African Solar Energy Plant Comes Online In South Africa
November 11, 2014 - SolarReserve, a leading global developer of utility-scale solar power projects and advanced solar thermal technology, today announced that the 96 megawatt (MW) photovoltaic (PV) Jasper solar power project completed construction and is fully operational, almost two months ahead of schedule. Jasper is located in South Africa's Northern Cape in a solar park that also includes the 75 MW Lesedi solar power project which came online in May, and the proposed 100 MW Redstone concentrated solar thermal power (CSP) plant featuring SolarReserve's industry-leading CSP technology with integrated energy storage.

The Jasper Project generated about 1 million man-hours during construction, peaking at over 800 on-site construction jobs. As part of the South African Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer Procurement Program (REIPPPP), the project will set aside a percentage of total project revenues for Enterprise Development and Socio-Economic Development for the benefit of the local communities. read more>>>

INFOGRAPHIC: Could the Entire World Really Run on Solar Power?
11/10/14 - It’s pretty safe to say that we all know that we have to find an alternative to fossil fuels as soon as possible, and the most viable answer to the planet’s energy needs is visible to us any time we look upward. The amount of solar energy that hits just 1 square mile of this planet over the course of a year is equal to 4 million barrels of oil, and the energy that hits the Earth in a mere 40 minutes can fuel all of humanity’s energy needs for a year. Isn’t that incredible? Check out the infographic below to learn more about all the ways that solar power is the way to go, and how we can go about making it a reality worldwide. read more>>>

Building Know-How For A Sustainable Future
November 11, 2014 – Southface, a founding member organization of EarthShare Georgia, has been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) to accept veteran education benefits from those who have served in the military, who are currently on active duty, or are dependents of a disabled or deceased veteran for over 90 percent of Southface courses. Qualifying students will receive a 100 percent tuition reimbursement on Southface courses and associated certification exams that prepare students for careers in the green building sector.

The most recent employment numbers show that opportunities are improving across the nation. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the September 2014 national unemployment rate of 5.9 percent is the lowest it has been since the beginning of the Great Recession. However, this downward trend is not distributed equally across the states. Georgia has the highest unemployment rate of any state in the nation, tipping the scales at 7.9 percent. read more>>>

Co-ops growing solar in 34 states
November 11, 2014 - Solar development by electric cooperatives has great potential for expansion and is growing rapidly. Member-owned, not-for-profit co-ops currently have online or are planning to develop 240 MW of owned and purchased solar capacity in 34 states.

Co-ops are making significant investments in renewable resource generation, using loans from the Rural Utilities Service and other sources. With solar becoming more cost-competitive, electric co-ops are poised to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in new projects. read more>>>

Solar industry bounces back after recession
November 11, 2014 - Through a combination of a more robust economy, falling production costs, consumer demand and other factors, solar industry growth is accelerating quickly. Residential and commercial solar dropped substantially during the housing bubble of a few years ago but have been roaring back.

While utility-scale solar still accounts for a very small amount of the country's total power generation, it doubled in 2013 and is expected to do so again by the end of 2015, with about two-thirds of that generation coming from California, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. And customer-sited photovoltaic capacity (rooftop solar installations) is expected to exceed utility-scale solar between 2013 and 2015. read more>>>

Urban Farming Takes Root in Downtown Los Angeles
11/12/2014 - Amid the rooftops of downtown's Financial District , basil, parsley and vegetables line a raised-bed garden. The 6th floor plot, part of a trend of urban farming in downtown Los Angeles , serves a restaurant at the members-only Jonathan Club .

"This was a dream of mine since I was a kid," said Matthew Allnatt , Jonathan Club's chief operating officer, who on Tuesday showed off the garden to a group from a UCLA conference on sustainable agriculture.

Started in 2010, the garden was expanded last year. The fruits, herbs and vegetables are used by chefs at The Grill, the Jonathan Club's restaurant.

Urban farming isn't new in downtown. Blue Velvet, a now-shuttered City West restaurant, launched a vegetable garden on its roof in 2009. Residents in the Biscuit Lofts, a brick loft building in the Arts District , also launched a community garden in 2009. read more>>>

At World Sustainable Building Conference in Barcelona, a Global Call for Energy-Efficiency
11/09/2014 - In this Mediterranean port city where Antoni Gaudi's surreal architectural masterpieces have forever altered the skyline and raised expectations, an international gathering of sustainable building experts has plotted changes to the world's built landscape that could be as revolutionary and even more transformational.

Meeting in the architectural shadow of Gaudi's inimitable Sagrada Familia church, a parade of presenters and leaders at the World Sustainable Building Conference called for an urgent and widely replicable "green building" response to a looming world housing crisis that has potentially grave impacts on climate change.

"This is like the Kyoto for building, and the building sector for Kyoto ," said Antonio Lucio Gil , the conference's global vision chair, referring to the 1997 conference in Japan that set global greenhouse gas reduction goals. read more>>>

Europe’s Largest Solar Power Plant Under Construction in France
November 10, 2014 - New massive solar power plant is about to make France a serious contender for the ever-so-wanted title of ‘Europe’s greatest’ in renewable energy. Constructed and managed by the French-based firm Neoen, the biggest solar power plant is set to begin full operation in one year from now.

Over the past few years, the renewable energy sector in Europe has blossomed. Various projects are now in full operation and every new one is bigger and better than the previous. Germany plays a big role in this, as there was a moment in time earlier this year when they were making it to the news with record breaking statistics every other day. But while they are picking the fruits of their success, others are quietly catching up. read more>>>

Report: The demand for green homes isn't going anywhere
November 10, 2014 - Consumers often are willing to pay more for homes and products from a builder who is committed to protecting the environment, a Nielsen poll shows. So builders who are hoping to tap the market for green homes—which will double by 2016, McGraw Hill Construction estimates—are well-advised to make that commitment, and to make the case to energy-and environmentally conscious house hunters that they’re buying from a builder who cares about the same things their customers do. read more>>>

Sun Jack - world's most powerful solar charger!

Eden Project partners with Good Energy to promote renewables
10 November 2014 - The UK’s Eden Project environmental centre has teamed up with its new power supplier, Good Energy, to help visitors understand how their energy use affects the environment.

The Eden Project now obtains all its electricity from Good Energy which sources its supplies from renewable projects such as the Delabole Wind Farm in Cornwall and other renewable energy projects. The environmental centre is now actively working with Good Energy in order to engage and inspire visitors to reconnect with where the energy they use comes from. The Eden Project is intending to develop a fun learning programme for visitors which could include energy-themed exhibitions and displays, workshops, and short courses. read more>>>

IRENA opens council meeting amid global calls for expanding renewable energy
07 November 2014 - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) gathered representatives from over 90 countries in Abu Dhabi to review and recommend actions to scale-up renewable energy around the world.

The two-day meeting opened on the heels of the release of the latest report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which recommended the decarbonisation of the world’s energy mix by 2100.

“Any solution to address climate change requires a massive scale-up in renewable energy,” said IRENA Director-General Adnan Z. Amin. “And as momentum builds around the climate issue, so does the focus on renewable energy – because not only can renewable energy combined with energy efficiency keep the global climate to a two degree temperature rise, it can do so affordably.” read more>>>


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