Friday, November 21, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 21 November 2014

Abu Dhabi Energy Company Aims for Solar-Powered Travel
NOV. 18, 2014 - Masdar, Abu Dhabi’s renewable energy company, is hosting the first attempt at a round-the-world flight by a solar-powered aircraft, due to start from the emirate in March.

The Solar Impulse experimental flight program is one of a slew of international projects in which Masdar has invested, reinforcing its status as a pioneer in solar energy innovation.

“We wanted to demonstrate the viability of this revolutionary clean technology,” said Ahmad Belhoul, who took over as chief executive of Masdar, a unit of Mubadala, the Abu Dhabi government’s investment arm, in March. “There have been successful internal flights, but the idea is to have global travel that is exclusively powered by solar energy.” read more>>>

Renewable energy could power 29 million US homes by 2030, new analysis finds
19 Nov 2014 - The US Environmental Protection Agency’s proposal to curb carbon pollution from power plants overestimates the electric power industry’s compliance costs by as much as $9 billion, according to a Natural Resources Defense Council report published today.

Using current data, the report shows, the power sector and its customers could actually save nearly $2 billion in 2020 while meeting the EPA’s carbon reduction targets.

In its first detailed analysis of the agency’s Clean Power Plan, NRDC found that greater reliance on renewable sources of energy and on using energy more efficiently would produce substantial savings to the industry — and to its millions of customers. read more>>>

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China to Place Limit on Coal Use in 2020
NOV. 20, 2014 - China plans to set a cap on coal consumption in 2020, an important step for the country in trying to achieve a recently announced goal of having carbon dioxide emissions peak by around 2030.

The State Council, China’s cabinet, released details of an energy strategy late Wednesday that includes capping coal consumption at 4.2 billion tons in 2020 and having coal be no more than 62 percent of the primary energy mix by that year.

Worldwide, coal burning for industrial use is the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions, which are the biggest catalyst of global climate change. China is the biggest emitter of greenhouses gases in the world, and it uses as much coal each year as the rest of the world combined. read more>>>

Ask Arizona tribes: We need clean power
November 19, 2014 - As the governor of New Mexico for eight years, I understand the challenges facing Native American communities and in particular how climate change disproportionately affects these communities.

As a former U.S. Energy secretary, I also have an intimate understanding of the benefits and opportunities that accrue from policies that help us transition to cleaner sources of energy.

The Environmental Protection Agency unveiled its Clean Power Plan this year, the most significant policy to date for addressing carbon pollution from power plants, the primary cause of climate change in the U.S. read more>>>

Amazon Vows to Run on 100 Percent Renewable Energy
11.19.14 - Apple made the pledge. So did Google and Facebook. But Amazon stayed silent.

Over the past few years, Apple, Google, and Facebook pledged to run their online empires on renewable energy, and considering how large these empires have become—how many data centers and machines are now required to keep them going—this was a vital thing. But despite pressure from the likes of Greenpeace, the environmental activism organization, the other big internet name, Amazon, didn’t budge.

That all changed on Wednesday. With a post on its website, Amazon’s cloud computing division—Amazon Web Services—said it has a “long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.” read more>>>

Report: ​Sacramento residential solar grew six fold in six years
Nov 19, 2014 - The capital region grew its residential solar capacity by six-fold over six years and eclipsed the rest of California in energy efficiency during the same time period, according to a new report by the nonprofit Next10 and consultancy firm Collaborative Economics.

Per capita energy efficiency for Sacramento-area residential homes improved six percent between 2006 and 2012, from 3.54 megawatt hours per person to 3.34 megawatt hours per person, according to the report's author. read more>>>

Affordable Solar Power Could Be Just One 3M Employee Away
Nov 13, 2014 - Those who happen to know one of the 40,000 3M workers across North America can now power down their own utility bills using 3M’s hefty discount on solar panels.

3M is expanding its revolutionary employee solar program to include friends and family, significantly broadening the number of homeowners across the U.S. and Canada who’ll be able to get solar at a reduced rate and take advantage of clean, renewable energy.

"We are so thrilled to give our friends and families the first opportunity on such a progressive initiative," said Gayle Schueller, 3M's vice president of global sustainability, who announced the program’s expansion before hundreds of attendees at the annual Net Impact sustainability conference this weekend in Minneapolis. "Employee feedback has been robust, and we are eager to share this tremendous benefit with others.” read more>>>

Burundi: Launch of the Green Economy Fund
14 November 2014 - On 30 October 2014, the Economic Community of Central African States established a Fund for a Green Economy in Kinshasa (DRC). The fund is meant to regulate the timber industry and protect biodiversity.

According to Remy Ndayishimiye, Communication Officer in the Ministry of Environment, Water, Land and Urban Planning, talk of a Green Economy Fund started at the Congo Basin partnership meeting in 2012. Banks, NGOs, public and private institutions came together to discuss how to protect Central African forests. "Different countries gathered in COMIFAC (the African Forests' Commission, ed.) realised that there wasn't any commitment towards the creation of a Green Economy fund", says Ndayishimiye. read more>>>

Jordanian authorities transform Amman into a green city
2014-11-14 - Efforts are under way in Jordan to transform the capital Amman into a green city and move the kingdom towards a green economy, officials told Al-Shorfa.

These efforts come as Amman takes on duties as one of the newest members of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of the world's megacities committed to addressing climate change.

In October, Amman was named a member of the C40 Cities "in recognition of the measures the capital has adopted for improving the city's environment, infrastructure and public transport", The Jordan Times reported. read more>>>

Fukushima Radioactive Cesium Found Off California Coast
November 11, 2014 - In California waters for the first time, scientists have detected trace amounts of signature radioactive compounds from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant accident triggered by the 2011 earthquake and tsunami off Japan’s Pacific coast.

The radioactivity came from water samples collected and sent in August to the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Massachusetts for analysis by a group of volunteers on the research vessel Point Sur sailing between Dutch Harbor, Alaska, and Eureka, California.

Collected 100 miles (150 km) due west of Eureka, the water samples were found to contain the specific form of radioactivity released into the ocean by the nuclear meltdown at Fukushima Daiichi – cesium-134. read more>>>

Much maligned DOE energy loan program turning a profit
November 14, 2014 - When solar panel makers went bankrupt in 2011, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and President Obama were hit with massive criticism because of the agency's approval of $535 million in federal loan guarantees to Silicon Valley startup Solyndra, a solar panel maker with an unusual technology that found itself unable to compete in the market.

A few more bankruptcies followed. When Congress developed the Energy Policy Act of 2005, there was no intention for it to be a profitable program, and $10 billion was specifically dedicated because of the assumption that there would be failures. The program really got underway when Congress authorized considerable funding as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. Despite the money set aside for failures, the criticism was intense and drawn out when some companies defaulted.

But to the surprise of many, the loan program is turning a profit. It was never dismantled or canceled, although it did go into hibernation mode following the bankruptcies. read more>>>

Open House Hosted for 'Green' Maplewood Fire and Police Station
11/14/2014 - The Maplewood Fire and Police Departments are inviting the public to come check out their new environmentally-friendly station during an open house Saturday.

The new station will replace Fire Station 1 on Century Avenue North and includes four apparatus bays, departmental offices, staff support spaces and a new police substation. Construction on the station began in April. read more>>>


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