Thursday, December 18, 2014

Alternative Clean Energy Roundup: 18 December 2014

First Solar targets residential solar customers
December 10, 2014 - Tempe-based First Solar Inc. is teaming up with Colorado's Clean Energy Collective to develop community solar projects that will allow people to use solar without putting panels on their roofs.

For First Solar, the deal marks its first major foray into the residential solar market.

Community solar projects are large solar plants that allow customers to purchase blocks of the electricity they produce. They take advantage of the cheaper cost of building large plants compared with rooftop-solar arrays. read more>>>

Copenhagen Lighting the Way to Greener, More Efficient Cities
DEC. 8, 2014 - On a busy road in the center of town here, a string of green lights embedded in the bike path — the “Green Wave” — flashes on, helping cyclists avoid red traffic lights.

On a main artery into the city, truck drivers can see on smartphones when the next light will change. And in a nearby suburb, new LED streetlights brighten only as vehicles approach, dimming once they pass.

Aimed at saving money, cutting the use of fossil fuels and easing mobility, the installations are part of a growing wireless network of streetlamps and sensors that officials hope will help this city of roughly 1.2 million meet its ambitious goal of becoming the world’s first carbon-neutral capital by 2025. read more>>>

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Lima climate deal: Every single country now plans to tackle emissions. Sort of.
December 14, 2014 - At this year's UN climate conference in Lima, Peru, representatives from 196 countries agreed to a deal that could eventually commit every nation to slow the growth of its greenhouse-gas emissions.

Over the next six months, each nation will be required to submit a plan for how it will address future emissions. These plans will form the basis of a major new climate agreement to be negotiated in Paris at the end of 2015 and take effect by 2020.

The actual content of each country's plan, however, is entirely voluntary. read more>>>

Senators push for more distributed wind power funding
12/12/14 - A bipartisan group of senators is asking the Energy Department to allocate more funding for small wind energy applications.

The senators, led by Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) told the Energy Department to dedicate more of its funds through its renewable energy technology program to distributed wind power, in which turbines are located near power users and not in large farms.

“We believe distributed wind power systems deserve sustained, and increased support,” the senators wrote.

“Distributed wind power systems, spanning a wide variety of applications across communities, businesses, and farms and ranches nationwide, clearly have the potential to contribute many gigawatts of electricity similar to other renewable technologies,” they said. read more>>>

Barnes & Noble

New report says NC could be clean energy leader with bold push from lawmakers
Dec 15, 2014 - Congress is working on renewing tax credits that could fuel progress with offshore wind energy, especially right here in North Carolina.

That's according to a new report from Environment North Carolina. Experts say North Carolina could be a national leader in renewable energy if lawmakers act now and aggressively.

Officials believe our beaches have near unlimited potential for wind energy because of the long coastlines, shallow seabed, and relatively consistent wind flow. read more>>>

Iowa projected to add 1,330 energy jobs in 2015
December 15, 2014 - Iowa could add about 1,300 more advanced energy jobs next year, pushing up employment in wind, solar, renewable fuels and energy efficiency to nearly 24,000, according to a report from the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.

The Washington, D.C., advocacy group said advanced energy this year made up 1.3 percent of Iowa’s total workforce with 22,643 workers at 1,427 companies. It’s expected to climb 6 percent to 23,979 in 2015, according to the report that’s based on an industry survey. read more>>>

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White House issues climate change guide for hospitals
December 15, 2014 - Declaring climate change to be a public health hazard, the Obama administration issued suggestions Monday to help hospitals and other health care facilities cope with multiple threats of extreme weather.

Health care industry leaders are visiting the White House on Monday to endorse the new report — "Primary Protection: Enhancing Health Care Resilience for a Changing Climate" — and to pledge to follow the guidelines that are proposed.

The "guide and tool kit" is designed to help health care providers and others assure "the continuity of quality health and human care before, during and after extreme weather events," the report said. read more>>>

US and India to announce joint climate change action during Obama visit
15 December 2014 - America and India will unveil joint efforts to fight climate change when Barack Obama visits New Delhi next month, as the US tries to keep up the momentum of international negotiations.

Obama’s visit – on the back of the United Nations talks in Lima – is seen as a key moment to persuade one of the world’s biggest carbon polluters to step up its efforts to fight climate change.

After China and the US, India is the world’s third largest producer of the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change – although it is responsible for only about 6% of such emissions globally. read more>>>

EcoloBlue Water from Air

9 Things Scientists Did This Year To Ensure A Better Climate Future
December 15, 2014 - While in many ways this was the year of “I’m not a scientist” — a refrain used by politicians to eschew responsibility for an issue they’ve decided doesn’t behoove them or their donors — actual scientists were working hard, and mostly behind the scenes, to address an issue they see as preeminent to the future well-being of humankind.

Ninety-seven percent of scientists already agree that global warming is driven by human activity and the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. While politicians work to obscure this consensus, scientists are working to better understand the implications of climate change and how to best deal with them through adaptation, mitigation, and innovation. read more>>>

Microgrid project to help electricity reliability in NY's North Country
10 December, 2014 - A wide group of entities including GE, DOE, NREL, National Grid and Clarkson University are partnering in a research project aimed to mprove the reliability and resiliency of electricity delivery in northern New York.

The works will be focused in the Village of Potsdam, near the Canadian border, an area prone to ice storms that could damage utility lines and other above-ground power infrastructure.

With a $1-2 million grant from DOE, and a contribution of $300,000 from GE, the project intends to develop an Enhanced Microgrid Control System (eMCS) which is designed to be the key element for keeping the town's electricity system working for several days despite an eventual disconnection from the main power station. read more>>>

Sustainable Style for Kitchen and Dining

GIZ allocating $50m for green construction in Egypt
09 Dec 14 - German development company GIZ is allocating $50m of European Union (EU) and German government funds for green construction and sustainable community projects in Egypt. Gunther Wehenpohl, the company’s programme coordinator, said GIZ will work with the Egyptian government in 17 projects, which started in July 2014 in cooperation with NGOs, the private sector, and local authorities.

The first phase will be developing Ain Shams and Ezbet Al-Nasr regions in Cairo, and Warraq and Jazerat Al-Dahab in Giza, and the second phase is developing three regions in Qaliubiya, according to reports. read more>>>

New technique could harvest more of the sun's energy
December 9, 2014 - As solar panels become less expensive and capable of generating more power, solar energy is becoming a more commercially viable alternative source of electricity. However, the photovoltaic cells now used to turn sunlight into electricity can only absorb and use a small fraction of that light, and that means a significant amount of solar energy goes untapped.

A new technology created by researchers from Caltech, and described in a paper published online in the October 30 issue of Science Express, represents a first step toward harnessing that lost energy.

Sunlight is composed of many wavelengths of light. In a traditional solar panel, silicon atoms are struck by sunlight and the atoms' outermost electrons absorb energy from some of these wavelengths of sunlight, causing the electrons to get excited. read more>>>

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