Thursday, November 27, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 27 November 2014

UAE serious about green economy, says UN official
November 23, 2014 - The UAE is taking seriously the transition to a greener economy by setting targets to increase the use of renewable energy, said a spokesperson for the United Nations Development Programme.

Helen Clark, a UN undersecretary general and administrator for UNDP, said the UAE had made great progress in this area, including having sustainable plans for Expo2020 and the building of Masdar City.

“We have been associated with the Green Economy Conference in Dubai, the Carbon Centre of Excellence, Carbon Ambassadors, and many other initiatives, and I hope we can keep the strong collaboration going,” she said in an interview with state news agency Wam on Sunday, on the eve of the publication of the UAE State of Energy Report. read more>>>

High school Habitat builders learn about sustainable construction
November 22, 2014 - The students became the teachers at Virginia Tech’s Bishop-Favrao Hall, home to the building construction program.

“I’m just here to facilitate,” Tech wood engineering professor Dan Hindman said.

The event last week brought together juniors and seniors from Hindman’s green building systems class with local high school students from Christiansburg and Giles. The idea was to inspire not only career paths, but also work on a Habitat for Humanity project that will eventually house two needy families. read more>>>

Data centers considering renewable energy to control costs
November 24, 2014 - With energy costs weighing them down, data centers are considering renewable energy as one of the top emerging technologies to address power and cooling costs, according to a Mortenson survey. Of corporate data center executives, data center developers and operators, and information technology providers surveyed at the 2014 Data Center World conference, 84 percent said they needed to consider renewable forms of energy, such as wind and solar, to manage future needs.

Power and cooling considerations are the most important factors determining location, design and construction of data facilities. In fact, survey respondents said what they would most like to change about their facilities is energy efficiency. Nearly half of the participants also believe a better Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE) rating is achievable through improved technologies. read more>>>

Two Years After Sandy, the Conversation Around Energy Resiliency Still Going Strong
November 22, 2014 - Last week, EDF co-hosted a successful first-of-its-kind Resilience Finance Symposium in New Jersey, attended by about 120 participants from a wide spectrum of public and private entities in the state, region, and country.

Held on November 12 with Governor Christie’s Administration and the New Jersey Institute of Technology’s College of Architecture + Design, the all-day Resilience Finance Symposium: Building Resilient and Sustainable Energy Solutions for New Jersey’s Key Infrastructure featured a series of panels on solutions that help keep the lights and heat on during critical times, like microgrids and energy storage, as well as innovative ways of financing resilient energy systems. read more>>>

U.S. Green Building Council, founded by Syracuse's Rick Fedrizzi, receives UN's top environmental award
November 21, 2014 - The United Nations has honored the U.S. Green Building Council, co-founded by Syracuse's Rick Fedrizzi, with its top environmental award.

The UN's Champions of the Earth award is usually given to an individual. However, it was given Wednesday to the Green Building Council for its contribution to sustainable building through its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) green building rating system.

"We see it as a signal that the sustainability of buildings is increasingly being treated as a critical environmental and socio-economic issue, not just in the U.S. but across the world," said Fedrizzi, the council's CEO and founding chair. read more>>>

Microgrids and On-Site Power Offer Relief to an Aging Electricity Grid
November 24, 2014 - Most people remember the Northeast blackout of 2003 that affected some 55 million people in the United States and Ontario, Canada. In that case, a software issue in an alarm system in a control room of FirstEnergy Corp. FE, +0.57% was cited as the source of what could have been a localized blackout that cascaded for hundreds of square miles. There has also been the stark awareness of weakness in the power system through superstorms, such as Hurricane Sandy that bombarded the East Coast last year, signaling that the problem actually runs deeper and points to an aging national electricity grid system that can leave the U.S. susceptible to power outages. Greater recognition of potential outages, whether completely justified or not, of an overworked grid, cyberthreats, brutal weather and even things like squirrels (yes, squirrels) are helping spawn acceptance of new technologies and microgrids that give communities more control of power while reducing stress on the existing grid. As the grid evolves into being less centralized, conglomerates involved in utilities such as General Electric GE, -0.17% will certainly play a role, but a bigger upside may reside in smaller companies with green technologies, including solar plays SolarCity SCTY, -0.67% and First Solar FSLR, +1.14% and Combined Heat and Power firms like Tecogen TGEN, -3.78% in a multiple-win for more consistent power and reduced emissions. read more>>>

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UK pledges to help hardest hit by climate change
20 November 2014 - The UK has committed up to £720 million to the Green Climate Fund, joining other major economies to help developing countries adapt to climate change and go low-carbon.

The funds will target developing countries, including the most vulnerable, to help them adapt to the adverse effects of climate change and limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The UK contribution is drawn from existing funds earmarked for international climate work under the UK’s commitment for 0.7 percent of gross national income to overseas development assistance. The climate fund now stands at around $9 billion, including $3 billion from the US, $1.5billion from Japan, $1billion from Germany, and $1billion from France. read more>>>

CT community combines ancient Greek and modern hydropower technology
November 21, 2014 - Meriden, Connecticut has taken an interesting approach to shaving its electric bills by generating power from water that normally would spill over a dam. A project is underway to take advantage of technology commonly attributed to Archimedes.

Referred to as screw generator technology, it involves sinking a large screw underground adjacent to the dam. Water that would normally spill over the top of the dam is channeled to the screw which propels it to turn and generate electricity.

The community anticipates that the screw generator-equipped Hanover dam will generate up to 900,000 kilowatts (.9 megawatts) of power and save almost $20,000 every year in electricity costs and associated property taxes over 20 years, according to the Record Journal. The electricity will be sent to the Connecticut Light & Power electric grid and the city will buy it back. read more>>>

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More than 2,250 new jobs in British wind industry
21.11.2014 - New figures, revealed in RenewableUK (link is external)’s annual report Wind Energy in the UK (link is external), show that the number of people directly employed in the wind energy industry in the UK – excluded small wind – has increased by more than 6,300 in four years, rising from 9,100 in 2010 to 15,400 in 2014. The report also shows that the number of indirect jobs (for example supplying components) has increased by 8 % since September 2013 to nearly 15,000 jobs. This means that more than 30,400 people owe their livelihoods to wind in the UK, mainly in STEM careers (based on qualifications in science, technology, engineering and maths). More than 2,250 direct and indirect jobs in onshore and offshore wind have been created in just over 12 months.

To coincide with the new report, the Energy Secretary Edward Davey helped RenewableUK to launch a new campaign, Faces of Wind Energy (link is external), at its annual conference in Manchester. read more>>>

Nigeria: 'Green Economy, an Inclusive Means to Sustainable National Development
20 November 2014 - Green economy policies have been identified by experts as the nation's power of transition as it is capable of eradicating poverty as well as sustained economic growth, enhancing social inclusion, improving human welfare, creating opportunities for employment and decent work for all, while maintaining the healthy functioning of the earths ecosystems.

The Guest lecturer at the 14th Memorial Lecture in honour of Prof. Anthony Adegbola and National President, Nigerian Association of Agricultural Economists, Prof. Peter Okuneye noted that the adoption of the green economy has the potential to take Nigeria out of rising poverty in the face of bourgeoning population, increasing risk of food insecurity and environmental degradation thereby urging governments at all levels to incentivise such policies by providing enabling conditions, setting high standards across all sectors as well as running its own operations in a consistent, green and ethical manner. read more>>>

BMW i3 wins Green Car of the Year award
November 20, 2014 - BMW's i3 on Thursday became the first electric car to be named Green Car of the Year, the top honor among automakers developing eco-friendly cars gathered here at the Los Angeles Auto Show.

It wasn't just the car itself that led to the victory, but BMW's entire strategy around sustainable transportation, says Ron Cogan, publisher of the Green Car Journal, which sponsors the award, in a statement. BMW used innovative technologies, materials and construction methods in the making of the i3, not just the fact that it is electric.

"BMW's i3 is a milestone vehicle in many respects and illustrates the automaker's expansive vision of future motoring," says Cogan in a statement. read more>>>

Sustainable buildings good for today and future generations
November 21 2014 - Awareness of sustainable construction among developers remains low but efforts continue to promote the advantages of green buildings.

Indonesia is witnessing rapid urban development, with residential buildings mushrooming, as residents are eager to live better and more comfortably.

However, the development activities are frequently conducted at the expense of the environment as buildings are known as the source of carbon emissions.

Uncontrolled urban development activities that produce carbon emissions will lead to severe environmental degradation, which will affect future generations. read more>>>

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