Tiny towns standing up to Big Oil. Gigantic marches taking on the future. Technology that works. We started to save ourselves in 2014, but we must make 2015 worth remembering – before it’s too late
23 December 2014 - It was the most thrilling bureaucratic document I’ve ever seen for just one reason: it was dated the 21st day of the month of Thermidor in the Year Six. Written in sepia ink on heavy paper, it recorded an ordinary land auction in France in what we would call the late summer of 1798. But the extraordinary date signaled that it was created when the French Revolution was still the overarching reality of everyday life and such fundamentals as the distribution of power and the nature of government had been reborn in astonishing ways. The new calendar that renamed 1792 as Year One had, after all, been created to start society all over again.
In that little junk shop on a quiet street in San Francisco, I held a relic from one of the great upheavals of the last millennium. It made me think of a remarkable statement the great feminist fantasy writer Ursula K Le Guin had made only a few weeks earlier. In the course of a speech she gave while accepting a book award, she noted:
We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable. So did the divine right of kings. Any human power can be resisted and changed by human beings.
That document I held was written only a few years after the French had gotten over the idea that the divine right of kings was an inescapable reality. The revolutionaries had executed their king for his crimes and were then trying out other forms of government. It’s popular to say that the experiment failed, but that’s too narrow an interpretation. France never again regressed to an absolutist monarchy and its experiments inspired other liberatory movements around the world (while terrifying monarchs and aristocrats everywhere). read more>>>
17 December 2014 - The Exergeia Project, powered by signing Impact Economy, aims to push the boundaries of energy we can use. For that support the invention and innovation in all areas of energy related energy efficiency, generation, storage, transmission and distribution.
The project promoters believe that "it is time to accelerate the cycle of innovation in energy. This can only be achieved if scientific advances reach a high level faster scale. " And set the example of solar energy. "Since the discovery of the photovoltaic effect, by Becquerel in 1839, to manufacture silicon cells first passed over a hundred years." Consistently outstanding advances occurring in the field of materials science, computer technology, engineering ... "But the cycle of innovation is too slow to achieve a model based on 100% renewable throughout our life economy." read more>>>
04 December 2014 - The Middle East Solar Industry Association announced the winners of its annual solar awards at a gala ceremony held at the Emirates Towers Hotel in Dubai on Monday night.
The award ceremony, at which 12 winners were honored, was held in conjunction with the 3rd Annual MENA Clean Energy Forum hosted by the Clean Energy Business Council.
In all, more than 200 dignitaries attended the event. The award winners, representing five different countries, were chosen by an independent panel of judges from around the world.
This year's awards were particularly notable due to the large number of women honored. read more>>>
12/16/14 - It’s one thing to make the decision to go solar, but depending on where in the U.S. you live, the ease with which one connects a household rooftop array to the grid—i.e., actually gets it up and running—can vary greatly. Produced by the advocacy groups Vote Solar and the Interstate Renewable Energy Council, Freeing the Grid ranks each of the 50 states based on two key clean energy programs: net metering and interconnection procedures. Now in its eighth year, the report is showing marked improvements in many states, but some troubling stagnation in others.
So what is net metering and interconnection? Net metering “ensures that renewable energy customers receive full credit on their utility bills for valuable clean power they put back on the grid.” Interconnection refers to the “rules and processes that an energy customer must follow to be able to ‘plug’ their renewable energy system into the electricity grid.” read more>>>
12/16/14 - An astonishing one out of every five households in Australia is now relying on solar energy, a new report from the Australian Bureau of Statistic (ABS) reveals. Just 3 years ago only 5 percent of homes used rooftop solar panels or solar water heating, but today a full 19 percent do. To put that into perspective, by most accounts, fewer than .4 percent of homes in the US rely on solar.
Out of the 19 percent of homes using solar, 14 percent is attributed to roof panelling. “Add in solar hot water heating and we’re up to 19 per cent, so one in five households are now using some form of solar power.” said Karen Connaughton from the ABS. read more>>>
16.12.2014 - The German company DHYBRID Power Systems has installed a hybrid power supply for a public project on the Maldives. The project was funded by the World Bank. The solar energy power plant on the island Thinadhoo reduces the amount of diesel fuel consumed by 800 litres per day.
The Maldives archipelago in the Indian Ocean is far from the mainland. This means that its population is dependent on a local power supply. Diesel generators are important for securing the energy supply but they have ecological and economic drawbacks, so the ministry has decided for a hybrid solution. read more>>>
15 December 2014 - The operator of the South Australia electricity network says it is to trial micro-grids with solar and battery storage in regional areas as a potentially cost-effective alternative to building or replacing poles and wires.
SA Power Networks, in its latest submission to the Australian Energy Regulator for spending over the next five years, says “micro-grid” technology has “particular promise” – both as a cheaper alternative to diesel, and as a potential solution to weather related black-outs that frequently plague regional areas.
In its submission, SA Power Networks says it needs to upgrade 31 remote power lines, and it will use a solar and battery storage based micro grid for one one them – at a cost of $2.8 million. read more>>>
Dec 14, 2014 - Picture an office that cleans up after itself, improves indoor air quality with nanotech-formulated paint, and responds to sunlight by magically adjusting window tint, all while fighting climate change. Then imagine entering your workspace to find your desk light on and the temperature just as you like it. These innovations are already at work in some modern buildings, in the shape of the networked ecosystem of “intelligent” building equipment and devices.
Beyond the “Wow!” factor and the large-scale benefits to our planet, green and smart building technologies are changing the way we live and work, and creating business opportunities for technology innovators, commercial building owners and tenants.
Buildings designed with sustainability-supporting materials, big-data-crunching automated systems and onsite clean energy are expected to represent 55 percent of all U.S. commercial and institutional construction by 2015, according to McGraw-Hill Construction’s 2013 Dodge Construction Green Outlook. read more>>>
December 13, 2014 - Thomas Edison established the first direct current power system in 1882. It distributed electricity to 59 customers on Wall Street in New York City. Today, the electric grid includes more than 6 million miles of transmission and distribution lines designed primarily with centralized controls, supplying more than 143 million residential, commercial and industrial customers.
The expansion of the grid was noted as one of the most remarkable achievements of the 20th century and contributed to the rapid economic and industrial growth of the United States. However, in the late 20th century, the grid began to be connected in popular thought with concerns about increasing electricity prices and climate change. read more>>>
December 17, 2014 - A group of high schoolers in Danbury are unveiling a first of its kind project today.
Considered the nations first green construction laboratories for high school students, The E House initiative provides a clean energy and energy efficiency curriculum.
It gives students the opportunity to conduct hands on fieldwork in various labs, preparing them for a green career after graduation. read more>>>
December 16, 2014 - The Ridgewood Board of Education (BOE) this month joined with the municipality in furthering its mission to be Sustainable Jersey certified.
At a board meeting on Dec. 1, trustees voted to participate in Sustainable Jersey for Schools to focus attention on the environment and pursue initiatives toward certification.
The program pushes concepts like reduce, reuse, recycle; adhering to green building standards for construction and renovation; and encourages making eco-friendly purchases for things like paper, equipment and cleaning products. read more>>>
Dec 18 2014 - Dubai's experts on green economy discuss focus areas and deliberate the foundation of sustainable development through the Green Jobs Programme.
- Panel deliberates on methods of implementing green economic development, cultivating green practices across the business sector and sustaining the future of Dubai
- Dubai Carbon Centre of Excellence (DCCE) steps up efforts to transfer knowledge masses on Green Jobs and talent acquisition programme
Dubai - Dubai's thought leaders, heading the green economy revolution, met over the Emirate's status and outlook at a high level panel discussion, at the Raffles Hotel on 18th December. read more>>>