Green is not just the color of money, it is the color of social-responsibility

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NY Jets Install Largest NFL Solar Power System

The New York Jets has completed the installation of a 690-kW solar power system at the team’s headquarters and training center in Florham Park, New Jersey. The team says this is the largest photovoltaic (PV) installation at a NFL team headquarters, using more than 3,000 Yingli Solar panels.

The solar power system will generate more than 750,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity for the building each year, and is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 540 metric tons each annually.

Syncarpha Capital, the system owner, selected SunDurance Energy for the turnkey design and construction of the project, and partnered with Evolution Energies as the project developer. Work began at the Training Center in late June, and the project was generating power approximately eight weeks later.

All of the power generated by the system will be sold to The New York Jets under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA). By using a PPA, the team expects to save tens of thousands of dollars each year in electricity expenses with no capital outlay.

Nautilus Solar Energy will provide ongoing asset management services.

The Atlantic Health Training Center solar installation also marks another major solar installation for the state of New Jersey, which is currently only second to California in solar energy, according to the team.

Some of the most recent installations include those at Johnson & Johnson and Dow Jones.

According to a survey conducted by ProGreenSports, 80 percent of North American professional sports teams plan to increase their environmental sustainability programs, based on a survey of more than 50 pro teams.  Source: environmental leader

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Sunday, September 26, 2010

World's first hybrid GT race car makes Green sexy

German luxury carmaker Porsche's new 911 GT3 R Hybrid is the world's first hybrid GT racing car, and it was in the United States to compete in the American Le Mans Series, a proven ground for green technology race cars.

At a Washington event, it showed off sleek lines and the ground-breaking new hybrid technology, developed for racing but which Porsche ultimately wants to incorporate into its normal cars -- not that Porsche does any normal cars.

"This car shows that being environmentally efficient doesn't have to be boring. It can be fast, it can be sexy, it can be competitive," Patrick Long, a 29-year-old Porsche factory driver and one of a handful of men to have gripped the wheel and shifted the gears of the new Porsche GT hybrid.

"Hybrids don't have to make no noise and drive slowly down the road. They can be loud, exciting race cars," he said.

The car has the body of a 2010 Porsche 911 GT3 R with a four-liter, flat-six, 480 horsepower combustion engine in the rear.

Up front, its unique hybrid system harnesses two electric motors and a flywheel to generate, store and release power. The Porsche is the first car to use an electromechanical flywheel as the battery, said Christoph Michalik, Porsche's director of motorsports strategy and planning.

When a driver brakes on one of the many curves on a race course, the electric motors, which are coupled to the wheels, generate an electric current that powers up the flywheel, located in the front passenger seat.

Energy is released from the flywheel during normal acceleration and automatically delivered to the front wheels to support the combustion engine and reduce fuel consumption.

Energy can also be requested by the driver -- to overtake a rival racer, for example -- by pushing a paddle on the steering wheel to request a "boost".

In "boost" mode, the car switches from rear-wheel to all-wheel drive, which increases traction and reduces tire wear, and both the front and rear engines are used at 100 percent, the combustion engine delivering 480 horsepower and the front electric motors adding another 160-180 horsepower.

"When you pull the paddle and get the charge, it launches you back in the seat and you'd better be ready and have your lines set up so you stay on the race track. That's roughly 30 percent more horsepower," said Long.

"And all that power is produced by stored kinetic energy that was created from the braking of the car," he added.

In normal accelerating mode, the Porsche GT hybrid lets the combustion engine work less, which cuts down on fuel consumption.

And the car's technology allows drivers to brake later and harder with less wear on parts like brake pads, said Long.

"In endurance races, which this car is made for, if we spend 60 seconds in the pits changing brake pads halfway through the race... no matter how fast your lap times are, if you spend time in the pits you're going to lose the race," he said.

"This Porsche is a glimpse into the future of what high-performance efficiency will be," said Scott Atherton, president of the American Le Mans Series, the only major motorsports series in the world in which cars use alternative energies.

The new Porsche GT hybrid racing car will make its US racing debut on October 2 at the 1,000-mile, 10-hour-maximum final of the American Le Mans Series. A month later it will race in Zhuhai, in China, with Long at the wheel.

In Atlanta, the Porsche will race against cars including a Corvette powered by cellulosic E85 ethanol, a Mazda that runs on isobutanol; and an Audi that runs on clean diesel, Atherton told AFP.

But because the Porsche's technology is so new, it won't be in the running for a prize at the race.

That's because officials haven't had time to come up with rules and regulations for the sexy, green German car that only made its first outing in May at the Nuerburgring in Germany, dominating the 24-hour race until the rear combustion engine developed a problem with just two hours to go.
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Friday, September 24, 2010

Marines Harness the Sun

The Marine Corps now has the power of the Sun.

Later this year, a company of Marines will deploy to Afghanistan equipped with solar power systems to supplement its gasoline-powered generators. The move is an effort by the service to begin fielding some green technologies to shorten a long and expensive logistics trail.

Company I of the 3rd Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, based at Camp Pendleton, Calif., will deploy with seven Ground Renewable Expeditionary Energy Systems (GREENS). Produced by the Naval Surface Warfare Center's Carderock Division in Maryland, each GREENS can provide up to 300 watts of power, making it an alternative to a small conventional generator. The device features four hybrid rechargeable photovoltaic batteries, a power converter and a controller.

The company tested the GREENS during training drills in August at Twentynine Palms, Calif. National Defense reported that during the exercise, the Marine unit never had to turn on a generator to power its combat operations center. Marine sources said the solar equipment provided 196 hour of continuous power during the exercise.

Besides the solar power systems, the Marines of Company I will also be using LED lights, which are more durable and longer lasting than fluorescent tubes. The company will also deploy solar-powered light trailers designed to illuminate areas such as checkpoints after dark. The timer-operated trailers can run continuously for 12 hours when fully charged by the sun.

The Marine Corps is also looking into other technologies to save power. National Defense notes that the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory is investigating ways to integrate the various types of generators used at Marine facilities into basewide microgrids that would automatically monitor the electric load and switch generators on or off based on consumption.

Alternative power sources are attractive to the Defense Department for environmental and logistical reasons. Environmentally, the Pentagon has a goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 10 percent in three years, although progress on this front has lagged, Wired reported.

The other concern is cutting the military’s logistical needs for forces scattered across Afghanistan’s often inhospitable terrain. Wired notes that according to operational estimates released in 2009, a single soldier in Afghanistan uses 22 gallons of fuel a day, and delivering each gallon to the war zone costs between $300 and $400.  Courtesy of GCN

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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Clinton Global Initiative: Partnership Targets 20% Fleet Emissions Reduction, Wal-Mart Joins Clean By Design

Donlen, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) and GreenDriver are partnering on a  multi-year Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action to cut commercial fleet emissions 20 percent in five years. By working together, the organizations expect to reduce fuel expenditures, petroleum consumption, and global climate change emissions.

Under the commitment pledge, “Commercial Fleet 20% GHG Emissions Reduction,” Donlen, a North American fleet leasing and management company, will work with clients and other companies to baseline fleet emissions and create actionable emissions reduction plans to increase fuel efficiency, reduce miles traveled, use low-carbon fuels, and deploy technologically advanced vehicles.

EDF’s role will be to validate Donlen’s data collection process, reduction strategies, and methodology. Donlen will also use GreenDriver online training and behavior management programs to help commercial and government fleets reduce their CO2 emissions and fuel costs by focusing on the greatest variable in a vehicle’s fuel efficiency: the driver.

Donlen, EDF, and GreenDriver are asking their clients, large commercial fleets, and other fleet management companies, suppliers, and vendors to join in their effort. With nearly three million vehicles in U.S. corporate fleets, the organizations estimate that industry-wide participation could eliminate more than 10 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

“The transportation industry is responsible for 28 percent of the overall greenhouse gas emissions in the United States,” said Gary Rappeport, Donlen CEO. “As a leader in the fleet management industry, it’s important that Donlen takes the initiative to help reduce commercial fleet GHG on a broader scale. The Clinton Global Initiative offers us the perfect venue to address this critically important issue, and we’re proud to collaborate with EDF to be part of the larger work of CGI.”

In addition to the fleet emissions commitment, the 2010 Clinton Global Initiative kicked off yesterday in New York with a series of pledges to help millions of people in Haiti, Pakistan and the U.S. Gulf Coast, including a $1-billion commitment from Google, reports Financial Times.

Proctor & Gamble’s chief executive also pledged to save one life every hour by donating 2 billion water purification packets every year to developing countries, extending the company’s children’s safe drinking water program.

“In the previous decade, insurance payments [for natural disasters] were three times what they had been in any previous decade, warning that the number of disasters will accelerate with the changing of the climate,” said Bill Clinton, the former U.S. president, reports Financial Times.

A key theme of the panel discussion, moderated by Clinton, was collaboration between corporations, governments and non-profits, reports Financial Times. Panelists included Google chief executive Eric Schmidt, Bob McDonald, chief executive of Procter & Gamble, Melinda Gates, co-chair of the Gates Foundation and Finnish president Tarja Halonen.

Other pledges include eBay founder’s Pierre Omidyar’s $55 million to promote government transparency globally and mobile technology in developing countries, reports San Jose Mercury News, and NRG Energy’s pledge of $1 million to install solar power for water pumps, schools and street lighting in Boucan Carre, Haiti, according to Bloomberg

Clinton said the global initiative will total more than $63 billion in pledges by the end of this session, reports Bloomberg.

Wal-Mart and H&M, two of the world’s largest clothing retailers, together with Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), have committed to working with their Chinese textile suppliers to reduce water, energy, and chemical use in their supply chains. Wal-Mart announced its work with NRDC’s Clean by Design project at the Clinton Global Initiative. H&M made its announcement in September.

NRDC says if 100 small- to medium-sized textile mills implement the organization’s recommended improvements, China would save more than 16 million metric tons of water annually, enough to provide 12.4 million people drinking water for a year. These practices can also eliminate nearly 1 million metric tons of CO2 annually.
Also announced at the global initiative meeting, New York City, Click here for full story

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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Small Business Bill Clears US Senate

The US Senate pass long-stalled Small Business Legislation, which includes an extension through 2010 of Bonus Depreciation, one of the Solar Energy Industry Association's legislative priorities.

The US Congress continues to push through its brief session before Members return home to campaign ahead of the November election. Both the House and Senate are expected to adjourn by Sept. 30.

The Small Business Legislation must now be passed by the House before it heads to the President's desk.

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee holds a hearing on the effectiveness of the Department of Energy Loan Guarantee Program this Thursday, 23 Sept. at 9:30 a.m. SEIA Member First Solar will testify.

SEIA staff continue to work with Congressional staff on finding a legislative vehicle for the Treasury Grant Program extension, but it looks increasingly likely that Congress will be unable to pass any legislation over the next two weeks and any possible movement would take place after the November elections in a lame duck session.   Via: Solar Novus Today

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Sunday, September 19, 2010

Going Greener: Wal-Mart Plan New Solar Power Initiative

The parking lot at the Sam's Club in Palmdale, California looks like others in Wal-Mart Stores' empire, except for one thing. Seventeen wind turbines spin atop the parking lot lights, producing up to 5% of the store's energy.

The turbines, installed in March, represent the largest retail installation of its type in the U.S. and a major test of the technology, Wal-Mart says.

In a nearby city, Lancaster, a Walmart gets 50% of its energy from a potentially revolutionary fuel-cell technology.

And Monday, Wal-Mart is expected to announce plans to almost double the number of locations to have solar, with a next-generation solar technology planned for many of them.

In 2005, Wal-Mart set the goal of being 100% reliant on renewable energy. It didn't give a time frame and hasn't said how far it's come. But given Wal-Mart's 8,400 locations worldwide, it's barely made a dent in the goal. Nonetheless, the world's biggest retailer is running real-world tests on green-energy technologies. Because of its heft, it could quickly deploy winning technologies and propel them into the mass market while proving to other companies that the economics work, renewable-energy experts say.

"If these technologies can pass the Wal-Mart hurdle, other people will say, 'We ought to look into it. It's not just a novelty,' " says Gwen Ruta, vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Wal-Mart — one of the USA's largest private users of electricity — isn't pursuing renewables just for good PR. It'll turn to green energy, but only if it costs the same as or less than traditional power. So far, more than 90% of Wal-Mart's renewable projects have met that bar, says David Ozment, Wal-Mart's director of energy.

Since 2008, Wal-Mart's solar facilities, now numbering 31 in California and Hawaii, have even cut the retailer's energy costs by $1 million, Ozment says. That's small change for a company with annual revenue of $405 billion. But it's noteworthy because solar is still, on a national basis, more expensive than traditional energy, such as coal.

Some environmental groups have criticized Wal-Mart for not being more green. Advocacy group Wal-Mart Watch also says that Wal-Mart's green efforts divert attention away from the pollution created by the distance that many shoppers drive to get to its stores, which are often on the edges of cities. But other retail and green analysts say Wal-Mart is pursuing renewables with as much pace as possible, given the economics.

"They're trying to figure out how to apply their low-price model to solar, which isn't low-price," says Joel Makower, executive editor of "This is hard stuff."

A big push to go green

Wal-Mart's work on renewables has happened in conjunction with its other major steps to go green. Five years ago, Wal-Mart pledged to eventually send no waste to landfills because everything is re-used, and to sell only products that sustain people and the environment. The company has since opened prototype stores that are 25% more energy-efficient, thanks to such steps as using more skylights and lights that automatically dim. Its U.S. truck fleet has become 60% more efficient, in part because of better route planning. By 2013, Wal-Mart wants its 100,000 suppliers to reduce packaging by 5%.

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Saturday, September 18, 2010

LEED Roundup – Johnson Controls, Westinghouse, Medline, Frito-Lay, ASH

Here’s the latest roundup of some of the most recent businesses and organizations that have earned the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification. These include Johnson Controls, Westinghouse, Medline, Frito-Lay, and the American Society of Hematology (ASH).

Here are highlights for each LEED certification project.

Johnson Controls’ Glendale corporate campus features hundreds of wireless controllers and sensors communicating throughout buildings on the 33-acre site, which feed information to the company’s Metasys building management system. Providing continuous monitoring of energy consumed per square foot, variances can be detected and the systems adjusted automatically or with handheld devices from any location via the Internet, according to the company.

The corporate campus has been awarded LEED Platinum certification and is touted as the largest concentration of LEED Platinum buildings — four — on one site.

The company’s energy use has been reduced by 21 percent, despite the recent doubling of space by adding 160,000 square feet. Greenhouse gas emissions also have been reduced annually by more than 827,000 pounds of carbon dioxide equivalent thanks to on-site solar electricity generation. Water use has been reduced by 595,000 gallons annually by collecting and recycling rain water and the addition of low-flow fixtures.

Each employee has desktop control of workspace temperature, lighting, airflow volume, and can introduce white noise to mask sound. The environmental systems turn off in a workspace when an employee is gone for more than 10 minutes, reducing air conditioning and electrical loads, says the company.

Other features include a geothermal heat pump, a 31,115 sq.-ft. ground-mounted solar photovoltaic array, 14,335 sq.-ft. of solar film on the roof, skylights, automatic window shades and rooftop rainwater collection.

Johnson Controls expects to recoup its investment on making the campus energy-efficient within eight years.

In Tennessee, Westinghouse Electric Company’s Boiling Water Reactor (BWR) Service Center office building at its Chattanooga campus has achieved LEED Silver certification. Key environmental features include a storm water management control system (built using local building materials), a building design that allows 90 percent daylight views to all occupants, and the addition of bike racks and changing rooms to accommodate alternate transportation to the work place.

Westinghouse’s new headquarters facility located in Cranberry Township, Pa., is also expected to achieve LEED certified status.

Medline Industries, a manufacturer and distributor of healthcare supplies in the U.S., received LEED silver certification for its 66,000 sq.-ft. service facility in Dubuque, Iowa.
The building features daylight harvesting, energy-efficient lighting, solar-tracking skylights, advanced building insulation materials, tankless hot water heaters and a geothermal heating system.
Medline says the installation of these and other green technologies resulted in an electrical use reduction of 320,565 kWh, which avoids more than 230 metric tons of carbon dioxide.

PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay Beloit, Wis., facility is touted as the state’s first food manufacturing site to be awarded LEED Gold for Existing Buildings. PepsiCo’s Frito-Lay business unit now has five LEED for Existing Buildings Gold-certified manufacturing facilities.       Read Full Article

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Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Indiana Comes in Last on ‘Green’ State Ranking

Washington, Colorado, Massachusetts, New York, and California are the greenest states, according to a NMI survey of more than 3,000 U.S. consumers in the 25 largest states.

The least green states are Virginia, South Carolina, Ohio, Georgia, and Indiana. The survey is part of NMI’s U.S. LOHAS consumer report.

NMI says leading green states are known for pioneering new environmental policies, driving the marketing for green products and enjoying outdoor activities.

Study results can help marketers and product developers identify regions for test marketing, targeting and new product introductions, says NMI. Marketersalso may find that different states respond to different messaging and communication strategies. As an example, consumers in greener states are likely to respond to a global message on environmental responsibility and green living, while those in less green states will need more immediate and personal benefits, according to NMI.

Here’s the ranking of the 25 largest states from the most to the least greenest. The analysis is based on seven criteria: the proportion of consumers in each state who have purchased carbon offsets, organic foods, renewable power, and hybrid vehicles and those who compost, reuse grocery bags, and donate money to environmental groups.




–New York



–New Jersey









–North Carolina






–South Carolina




Source: Environmental Leader

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Monday, September 13, 2010

Environmental, Business Leaders Support Call for 100% U.S. Green Grid by 2020

Green energy advocate Tom Weis is riding 2,500 miles from Colorado to Washington, DC on a human-powered, electric-assist "rocket trike," calling for a national goal of a 100% U.S. renewable electricity grid by 2020.

The ride and goal are backed by prominent environmental and business leaders demanding urgent action from Congress and the White House in response to a deteriorating global climate.

The ride began at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's wind technology center on Sunday, the 48th anniversary of a historic speech by President Kennedy calling on the U.S. to land a man on the Moon within a decade. "The urgency of our economic and planetary meltdown demands a modern-day green energy 'moon shot' for America," Weis said. "We need a call to action from our President today challenging America to once again do something great."

Over eight weeks, Weis plans to visit a dozen states to profile solar, wind, geothermal and efficiency solutions, as well as polluting energy problems like coal burning, nuclear power and mountaintop removal mining. A petition issuing the 100% by 2020 demand is posted at:

Sponsor Lester Brown, President of Earth Policy Institute and author of Plan B 4.0, says the 100% by 2020 goal is "achievable," citing precedents for such rapid economic conversions. "During World War II, America mobilized its resources at a stunning pace, leading the Allied Forces to victory in three-and-a-half short years," he said. "We need a similar, American-led green energy mobilization today to save civilization."

Citing the job-producing benefits of renewable energy development, David Blittersdorf, CEO of AllEarth Renewables, Inc., another ride sponsor, said, "Our industry is uniquely poised to put Americans back to work greening the grid. It is time for renewable energy leaders to embrace this bold national goal."

Ride backer Dr. James Walker, past president of the American Wind Energy Association and vice chair of enXco, Inc., agreed: "The wind industry needs to support a crash program to responsibly deploy as much wind power as humanly possible between now and 2020." He cited the industry's creation of 85,000 jobs in the last five years, as well as its cost competitiveness with coal, as reasons to favor wind over polluting energy sources.

Phil Radford, Executive Director of Greenpeace, another sponsor, addressed the urgent need to end coal burning, saying, "Contrary to what the coal industry would have you believe, coal is anything but clean or cheap. Each year, more than 23,000 Americans die prematurely due to coal-fired power plant pollution. No one should have to die to keep the lights on."

"Congress and the President need to endorse this bold goal now," said author and supporter Bill McKibben, founder of and the "world's best green journalist," as described by TIME magazine. "Fossil fuels are wrecking the planet and scientists are telling us we have very little time to act if we want to keep living on Earth."

Actor and activist supporter Ed Begley, Jr. added, "If China can produce 100 million electric bikes, America can produce a new fleet of green-grid electric cars and kick our addiction to oil."

"Nobody can tell me America can't do this," Weis concluded. "We have a long history of fresh, entrepreneurial thinking that uniquely suits us for this historic task. It is time for us to once again step up and help protect the world."  Source: Newswire

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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hartford Opens State’s First Gold LEED School

What better place to learn about the environment than a school building dedicated to energy savings, ecological study and green initiatives?

Hartford Public Schools built the first LEED gold certified school in Connecticut for The front entrance to the Mary M. Hooker Environmental Studies Magnet School that opened Aug. 30. The $41-million facility taps into national trends of using ecology to teach basic elementary curriculum, putting students in eco-friendly buildings and creating environments conducive to learning.

The K-8 facility is a place where fish, butterflies and energy savings teach math, science and social studies.

“It makes sense to put that kind of curriculum in a LEED building like that,” said Charles Rothenberger, staff attorney for the Connecticut Fund for the Environment. “Hopefully, this will be a trend with any new school.”

The Hooker elementary school first opened on Sherbrooke Avenue in Hartford in 1952, named after the first female state representative in Connecticut and descendent of Hartford founder Thomas Hooker. Although the school switched to an environmental curriculum several years ago, this is its first year as one of 12 Hartford magnet schools, meant to draw students in for its alternative learning methods.

The reconstruction of the facility toward the LEED green building certification program started in April 2009 and included 70,000 sq. ft. in renovations and a 30,000 sq. ft. addition. The innovative construction needed to achieve the gold certification required Bloomfield general contractor PDS Engineering & Construction, Inc. to grasp new techniques as the facility was stripped down and built up from its basic structure.

“It was a big learning curve for us, but we grabbed it and ran,” said Joe Lucia, PDS project superintendent.

Among the many features are a 60-kilowatt co-generation system to power and heat the building; sensors to adjust lighting intensity based upon the level of natural light; a heating and cooling system set at a constant 74 degrees that can adjust to various temperatures in different areas of the building; a white roof to reflect heat; and waterless urinals. All of the building’s components were made within 500 miles, and 98 percent of the materials demolished during the reconstruction were recycled.
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Saturday, September 11, 2010

Getting A Handle On State's 'Green' Economy

Surveys will soon begin arriving at companies throughout New York State that have a role or a future in the so-called "green" economy.

As many as 20,000 businesses will be contacted as the State Department of Labor seeks to identify how many people now have green jobs, what companies feel they need when it comes to training, and what the outlook is for green jobs, said Michelle Duffy, a Labor Department spokeswoman.

The work is being funded with a $1.1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.

The State Labor Department is working with several other agencies and organizations, including the Energy and Environmental Technology Applications Center (E2TAC) at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering of the University at Albany.

"My sense is that we've been pretty aggressive right from the beginning" in developing green technologies and job opportunities, said Pradeep Haldar, director of E2TAC. He said he believes just a handful of states were chosen to participate in the survey.

Once results have been received and tabulated, policy makers and educators will be able to determine what's needed in terms of training and support.

The field is expected to thrive as efforts build to reduce energy consumption and increase energy efficiency in uses from cars to houses.

Already, Hudson Valley Community College is training students in renewable energy technologies. GE Renewable Energy has established its headquarters in Schenectady, and CNSE is exploring ways to improve clean and renewable energy technologies at the nanoscale level.

Preliminary results should be available in late autumn, Haldar and Duffy said.   Source

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Thursday, September 9, 2010

Global Energy Efficient Lighting Market to Hit $32.2 Billion by 2015

From 2010 to 2015, the global energy efficient lighting market is projected to increase from $13.5 billion to $32.2 billion, according to the latest issue of EL Insights. This represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 19% during this time period.

Today, 20% of the world’s electricity is used for lighting. Electricity consumption can be reduced to 4% with the full-scale adoption of LED (light-emitting diode) and could translate to a savings of 334 million barrels of oil per year in the United States. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the adoption of LED lighting in the U.S. over the next 20 years would reduce electricity consumption by 25%, save an accumulated $120 billion in energy costs, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 246 metric tons of carbon.

In addition, according to EL Insights, from 2010 to 2012, growth will be strongest in commercial lighting, and residential lighting growth will follow from 2012 to 2015. LED technology is on track to capture nearly 50% of the $4.4 billion commercial lighting market by 2020.

According to EL Insights, here’s what companies can expect:

–Incumbent manufacturers of traditional lighting will face challenges to offer LEDs at the same price point as emerging, solely-LED manufacturing companies which will benefit from economies of scale and continue the rapid decline of prices until reaching global stasis.

–Barriers to entry are low for LED manufacturers, and start- ups can introduce new technology within 3 months, opposed to 18 months from traditional manufacturers.

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Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Huge Growth At Largest Wind Farm

A massive expansion is to take place at Europe's largest onshore wind farm, which is situated in East Renfrewshire.

ScottishPower Renewables is to add another 75 turbines to Whitelee wind farm on Eaglesham Moor by 2012.

This will bring the number of turbines on site to 215 - raising electricity generating capacity by two thirds.

The 140 turbines currently at the wind farm, to the south of Glasgow, can produce enough electricity to power 180,000 homes.

The expansion will see its generating capacity increase from 322MW to 539MW - enough to power about 300,000 homes.

Since the site began producing electricity in 2008, ScottishPower Renewables has secured further planning consent - in May and December 2009 - to expand.
'Major project'

The growth will see 69 Alstom ECO 100 turbines added, each with a 3MW capacity - greater than the current 2MW models.

Six ECO 74 turbines with 1.67 MW capacity each will also be added.

Simon Christian, UK director of ScottishPower Renewables, said: "The agreement with Alstom means that work will start shortly on this major extension at Whitelee wind farm, and we expect to be generating electricity by 2012.

"By itself at 217MW, the extension would be one of the largest onshore wind farms in the UK, so we are starting another major construction project in Scotland.

"Whitelee wind farm is already the largest onshore wind farm in Europe and this extension pushing the overall capacity to 539MW will make it one of the largest in the world."

Mr Christian said the extension project would also provide up to 200 jobs.

Source: BBC News

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Thursday, September 2, 2010

Ten Ways to Save Money by Going Green

It's been the hottest summer on record, from New York to Tokyo. Russia is scorched earth. This year's global temperatures may surpass those of 1998: If so, that would mean the two hottest years on record have been in the last 13.

The National Academy of Sciences recently published a survey of nearly 1,400 climate researchers worldwide. About 97% believe that we are causing global warming. (Meanwhile, the deniers cling to their peculiar upside-down logic: "You can't prove for certain that my house is going to catch fire, so fire codes are a total waste of time, and there is no point buying an extinguisher.")

If you're worried about the environment, here are 10 "green" moves you can make that also have a payback—they'll help the earth and your wallet.

1. Stop the energy leaks from your home. 
 Just over a fifth of U.S. energy consumption happens at people's homes, says the Department of Energy. That costs the average homeowner $2,400 a year. Half of that goes to heating and cooling, much of which is pure waste. Insulate ceilings and walls. Seal cracks and gaps. "Often people have so many small leaks around the home that it's the equivalent of having a three-foot by three-foot window wide open," says Kateri Callahan, president of the Washington-based nonprofit Alliance to Save Energy.

2. Change your light bulbs. 
 The typical household has 46, says the Department of Energy. But only five of them are energy-efficient compact fluorescents. These can cut light bills by 75%. Don't like CFs? Matt Patsky, veteran green investor and the CEO of Trillium Asset Management, says new LEDs are much better still. They cut energy use by 95% and emit a much softer light. They're more expensive, but prices are coming down pretty quickly.

3. Stop heating an empty house.
Or a house when everyone is asleep. Get programmable thermostats. They can cost as little as $50. "They typically pay for themselves in three months," says ASE's Ms. Callahan. They can cut your heating and cooling bills by 10%, she says, without any effect on your comfort at all. Turning down the thermostat in winter (and up in summer) a little helps too: Experts say each degree can trim 2%-3% from your heating bill.

4. Rethink your appliances.
Replace any old ones with new, energy-efficient models. The older your current fridge or washing machine, the faster the payback. The more efficient models today have an EnergyStar seal from the Department of Energy. They typically use about 30% less power than a model without the seal, experts say (more details at As for your TV: The bigger the screen, the more power it's using. How big do you need? Do you really want to see, say, a life-size Snooki when you're watching "Jersey Shore"?

5. Stop leaving your computers and home entertainment systems on standby overnight.
The screen's black but they're still sucking power, needlessly. Power strips make it easier to switch everything off at once, and new smart strips make it easier, for example, to power down the TV while leaving the TiVo connected.

6. Make the most of your green taxpayer incentives.
For example, Uncle Sam is offering to pay up to $1,500 of your costs on things like insulation or better-insulated windows, although the program expires at the end of this year. Your state government may provide additional incentives. The best overall guide to these deals is available at DSIRE, the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency.

7. Tackle your hot water heater.
  It's one of your biggest energy users. Put insulation around the heater and the pipes. And dial down the thermostat. They are often set at 140 degrees. That's way too high: The Energy Department suggests turning it down to 115 to 120 degrees instead.

8. Drive a more-efficient car. 
 How wasteful are we on the roads? I once watched a young woman drive through the cobbled streets of Boston's historic North End in a monstrous, gas-guzzling Hummer. She looked sillier than Michael Dukakis in that tank. What are we thinking? Super-efficient hybrids can be pricey, but Jessica Caldwell, director of pricing and analysis at car experts Edmunds, says there are a lot of deals around at the moment that can bring the price down. And you don't have to go hybrid: Ms. Caldwell notes the small Nissan Versa gets 29 miles to the gallon and only costs $16,000.

9. Get a home energy audit.
The price of these has come down. For a few hundred dollars, experts using high-tech gadgetry, infrared scanners and computer models will analyze your home, work out in detail all the ways it's wasting energy and tell you what you can do to stop it. As the average home uses about $2,400 worth of energy per year, the payback is often impressive. Matt Golden, chief executive of San Francisco-based specialists Recurve, says he often finds he can cut bills by 20% to 40% just by eliminating waste. An audit can also help you rethink your heating and water systems, and identify possible sources of renewable energy, from solar paneling to a geothermal heat pump, that can help the environment and may save you money over time. Check for firms accredited by the trade body, the Building Performance Institute.

10. Buy an e-book reader.
If you read a lot, they are very green. Traditional books, newspapers and magazines aren't: They do a lot of environmental damage, from cutting down trees to manufacturing and distribution. Emma Ritch, senior research analyst at the CleanTech Group, an environmental consulting firm, has done the numbers. Bottom line: A device like the Kindle has about the same impact on the environment as 23 books, or 280 newspapers, or 177 magazines, or some mixture thereof. So if you're going to use it to read more than that, you're helping the environment. By my reckoning, someone who buys a newspaper a day, a magazine a week and three books a month will break even by the fifth month. 
Source: Wall Street Journal

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Cisco to Buy Wireless Smart Grid Firm

Cisco Systems (CSCO) is expanding its foray into smart-grid technology, which helps utilities and consumers manage their electricity supply and consumption by providing realtime information about power usage, generation, and pricing. The company Thursday said it plans to buy a startup, San Francisco-based Arch Rock, which is developing wireless-networking equipment based on Internet Protocol for the electrical grid.

Cisco has built its business around making equipment that uses the same standard. The San Jose, Calif.-based company sells wireless routers, data storage devices and other equipment that makes it possible to make phone calls and browse the Internet. The network-equipment giant has long expressed an interest in entering the smart grid, but has mostly kept mum about its plans while many startups and some tech giants, such as General Electric, launched products and announced sales.

That's changed in recent months, as Cisco began discussing its smart-grid products. The company in June introduced a device to allow consumers to view and manage their electricity use. Cisco also made a big splash yesterday when it announced a technology development plan with Itron (ITRI), a long-time meter maker based in Liberty Lake, Wash. The pact brought together two big players in their respective fields and set them up to compete with the likes of GE (GE) and Silver Spring Networks, a private company in Silicon Valley that is reportedly working on an initial public offering.

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