Must watch - fully scientific based solution for transition to 100 percent clean energy!
Must watch - fully scientific based solution for transition to 100 percent clean energy!
What: The 2700 square foot passive solar house includes a 5.5 kW solar electric system, solar hot water panels and tank, radiant floor heating and hydronic baseboards, a stunning Tulikivi masonry stove and energy recovery ventilator, LED lighting, Energy Star appliances with condensing clothes dryer, Mitsubishi air to air heat pumps and triple pane windows.
Great care was taken in the construction using prefabricated wall panels, double stud wall construction, insulated concrete form foundation, salvaged stone for outside walls, concrete floors with acid-free eco-stain and water-based sealer, and natural materials are used throughout the house.
When: July 12th, any time between 12 noon and 3pm
Where: Sandisfield, MA
For tour information, call 860 693 4813
For tickets ($15), call 860 623 5487
After the tour visitors are invited to swim in a nearby freshwater lake or bring their canoe or kayak to another uninhabited beautiful lake and/or take a guided hike to a secret small uninhabited lake.
At 7 PM that evening the Sandisfield Arts Center will be the site of a gourmet dinner including wine and prepared by a well-known chef. It will be followed by a concert showcasing magnificent music and professional voices singing arias, duets and trios from well-known operas.
Non-refundable tickets and maps for the tour and outdoor activities can be purchased by going online to www.pace-cleanenergy.org and click on Events. Tour tickets may also be ordered by sending $15 per person to PACE, Donna Grant, 128 Melrose Rd., Broad Brook, Connecticut, 06016 or email:firstname.lastname@example.org. Information should include the ticketholder's phone number, address, and email address.
To order $25 tickets for the gourmet dinner and live concert at the charming nearby Sandisfield Arts Center go online to www.sandisfieldartscenter.org
What: Solarize Newtown is celebrating its first installation of residential solar panels, using the Solarize Connecticutsm approach to community solar adoption. The installation will take place on Saturday, November 9th, at the home of David Stout. Astrum Solar, the official installer for Solarize Newtown, will host the event.
Since Solarize Newtown launched in September, more than 70 Newtown homeowners have asked for solar home assessments to see if their homes would be a good fit for solar. The more residents who participate in the program, the more the price drops, with all residents receiving the lowest possible price for their installation no matter when they sign up for the program. In addition, if Newtown reaches 100 installations, Astrum Solar will donate $25,000 worth of solar panels for a Newtown civic building.
When: Saturday, November 9, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Where: Stout Residence – 9 Grand Place – Newtown, CT
More information about Solarize Newtown, including upcoming workshops, can be found by visiting www.solarizect.com/Newtown. For additional information on Solarize Connecticut or Solarize Newtown, contact Chelsey Saatkamp as shown above.
by Heather Burns
I first met Peter Fusaro, owner, Preferred Builders at a Fairfield County GreenDrinks event that I organized. As we chatted, I remember thinking that Peter wasn't your typical building guy. Unlike many, he was interested in and committed to figuring out how the built environment relates to creating sustainable and resilient communities.
Like most eco-entrepreneurs, Peter is wired to persist until he is successful. And as a winner of the CT Zero Energy Challenge, he's well on his way. The Zero Energy Challenge is Connecticut's premier competition to build homes that consume almost no energy. Homes that produce energy on-site. Homes with cleaner air. Advanced designs and integrated systems that are changing the way we think about residential construction.
Who: Wolfworks Inc.
What: What's it like to live in a home that produces more energy than it uses? After a year living in the first certified Passive House in CT the Honig family in Harwinton is inviting you to come see their home and hear what its like to live there. Their home won the 2013 CT Net Zero Challenge and was described by Enoch Lenge of the CT Energy Efficiency Fund as, "the most efficient and highest performing house we've ever seen." While the energy savings are remarkable, this home is bright, open, and exc
eptionally comfortable without relying on complicated equipment, though it does make smart use of technology.
When: Saturday, October 5th. 10 AM - 2 PM
Where: Town Line Rd. New Hartford, CT.
FOLLOW DIRECTIONS TO TOWN LINE ROAD IN NEW HARTFORD
(GPS systems go to the wrong place if you use the actual address!)
Who: The 18th Annual National Solar Tour with People’s Action for Clean Energy and Sierra Club volunteers.
What: A Canton home with a large solar electric installation and exciting new heating and cooling technologies will be open for free tours. A new 2013 “Solarize Canton” photovoltaic installation features 18 Sunpower 250-watt panels which are leaders in the industry and are more than 20 percent efficient. The Daikin super-efficient air source heating, cooling and humidity-controlling system uses no conventional fuel, greatly reducing energy consumption.
When: Saturday, October 5 - 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m.
Where: To reach the home, turn north onto Lawton Road at the intersection of routes 44 and 177. Travel for .8 mile, bearing left at the fork. Turn right at the top of the hill onto the dirt driveway and follow the parking signs, or park on Lawton Road.
Tags: aquaculture, Canton events, CT events, electric cars, garden, green homes, National Solar Tour, organic, Prius, renewable energy, Tesla
What: We hope you can make the time to visit another unique Net Zero Home this Sunday afternoon. Last year Wolfworks designed and built the home that won the 2012 CT Net Zero Challenge. We're back this year with a new home in Farmington that will produce more energy than it uses on an annual basis! We call this a Net Zero Home. This is a special chance to see how we apply Passive House design principles to achieve this remarkable performance. Come inside and take a look around before we close up the walls. See and experience the difference.
When: Sunday 9/22 from 12-3 PM - Rain or Shine!
Where: 17 Metacomet Rd. Farmington, CT. 06030
More information online about the presentations, tours and what you'll learn at the house.
13 April 2013
$15.00 per Person
People's Action for Clean Energy (PACE) is sponsoring a tour that will introduce the public to the latest trends in solar power. This tour will feature two seminars, where experts in the field will talk about how implementing solar panels can help everyone to live cleaner, healthier lives. There will be a presentation on how the solar panels will be able to charge electric vehicles enough that they will be able to handle an 18 mile commute before the fuel from the gas tank even needs to take over. Owners of these electric vehicles will also be available to share their real experiences with these cars. Later, guests will be able to see how entire houses can be customized to reduce energy costs both to the environment and to the family budget. Also, guests will see the incredible opportunity for cost shaving that can be captured by encouraging their entire community to go green. Registration for this tour is required and is non-refundable and it costs a mere $15.
April 4th, 2013
FREE, Registration Required
Central Connecticut State University
New Britain, Connecticut
The CCSU Global Environmental Sustainability Action Coalition invites the public to learn and to teach one another about the actions that we, as human beings, must take to ensure that we live in such a way that we are able to satisfy our needs while ensuring that our children and grandchildren will be able to satisfy their own. The symposium will offer 3 classes, two performances, a panel discussion, a tour, and an optional attendance at the town meeting, as well as opening and closing notes from distinguished professionals in sustainability. This event is FREE: anyone can register online to show up. *Exhibitor tables are still open.
9:45-10:00 AM: Symposium opening and welcome with Dr. Charles Button and Dr. Jack Miller (tentative) at Alumni Hall
10:00-10:45: Transportation, Migration, and Sustainability in Four Worlds Alumni Hall
Dr. John Kelmelis expands upon a possibility raised by the United States National Intelligence Council when they published Global Trends 2030: Alternative World. This work explores four very possible future worlds. Dr. Kelmelis will explain what each of these worlds might mean for our future as well as what strategies we might use to make the most of each circumstance at the local, regional, national, and global levels.
11:00-11:45: Panel Discussion: Electric Cars and Alternative Vehicles Alumni Hall
The president of the New England Electric Auto Association (Dave Oliveria), an environmental writer and speaker (Jim Motavalli), the Senior Associates Autos Editor for Consumer Reports (Eric Evarts), and a natural gas car owner (Joe Booth) all come together in one place to talk about the real value that hybrid, extended hybrid, and electric vehicles hold. This is a special opportunity to discover what users and reviewers genuinely think about these alternative vehicles.
12:00-1:45 (*with second free registration): Water Wars Performance and Lunch Alumni Hall
While you enjoy your lunch, the Sonia Plumb Dance Company will be performing Water Wars. This is an emotionally charged piece of art that exposes the very important and very tenuous relationship that human beings have with one of our primary sources of life: water.
Posted at 03:46 PM in Air Quality, Architecture, Arts, At Home, At Work, Automobiles, Citizen Action, Corporate Social Responsibility, Education, Energy , Environmental Issues, Events, Government, Green Building , Healthcare, Organizations, People, Renewable Energy, Resources, Schools, Transportation | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)
Tags: Central Connecticut State University, Connecticut, Connecticut State Universities, Exhibits, Free, Free Green Events, Green Connecticut, Green Events, New Britain CT, Sustainability, Sustainability Events, Town Hall
How does the concept of molten salt strike you? It is a major component of solar thermal power, which uses the sun's heat to boil water. The water is then used to bring salt to extremely high heat, which stores energy when the sun goes down. While the technology itself is rather simple, it is debatable whether it's the most economical route.
See an excerpt below from an article posted earlier this week in The New York Times.
Storehouses for Solar Energy Can Step In When the Sun Goes Down
By MATTHEW L. WALD
Published: January 2, 2012
If solar energy is eventually going to matter — that is, generate a significant portion of the nation’s electricity — the industry must overcome a major stumbling block, experts say: finding a way to store it for use when the sun isn’t shining.
That challenge seems to be creating an opening for a different form of power, solar thermal, which makes electricity by using the sun’s heat to boil water. The water can be used to heat salt that stores the energy until later, when the sun dips and households power up their appliances and air-conditioning at peak demand hours in the summer.
While I'm not above taking a crack at a good poop joke, this one speaks for itself. Vermont is toying with the idea of using cow manure for electricity. It's certainly not the first time that suggestion has been made. But it is the first time it has been deemed economically feasible. The State of Vermont recently conducted a study that showed the financial as well as the environmental benefits of using a manure-to-power process.
See the excerpt below from ENN.
Vermont Experiments in Cow Power
From: David A Gabel, ENN
Published October 17, 2011 10:25 AM
...The process of producing power from manure is relatively simple and straight forward. The average cow is capable of producing over 30 gallons of manure every day. For a large farm with say 1,000 cows, that means 30,000 gallons of manure per day, quite a hefty load! The manure is fed into an anaerobic digester where it stays for 21 days at 100 degrees F. Bacteria convert the waste into methane gas. As the gas builds within the digester, the pressure rises, and the gas is exhausted through piping to the modified natural gas engine. The engine powers the generator, producing electricity. Excess heat from the engine is used to keep the digester warm.
One cow's waste per day is sufficient to power 2 100-watt light bulbs per day. The energy is added to the grid and purchased from the CVPS electric system. For the study, 4,600 customers purchased this power, paying an additional $0.04 per kilowatt hour, or roughly $470,000 annually.
Then there is the leftover manure that comes out of the digester. It is processed through a mechanical separator, and the resulting product is an odorless solid waste. It can be used as bedding for the animals or even sold to the public as fertilizer...
To read more, click here.
Image courtesy of MadCow.net
In a New York Times op-ed article posted on September 28th, it was reported that a wind turbine project meant to impact the effects of global warming will essentially do more harm than good. The project will not only destroy the existing eco-system around it but the electricity generated from it will not even significantly reduce the state's greenhouse gas emissions. So, is this a green-gone-bad situation?
Read the excerpt below:
The Not-So-Green Mountains
By STEVE E. WRIGHT
Published: September 28, 2011
Craftsbury, Vt.---Bulldozers arrived a couple of weeks ago at the base of the nearby Lowell Mountains and began clawing their way through the forest to the ridgeline, where Green Mountain Power plans to erect 21 wind turbines, each rising to 459 feet from the ground to the tip of the blades.
This desecration, in the name of “green” energy, is taking place in Vermont’s Northeast Kingdom on one of the largest tracts of private wild land in the state. Here and in other places — in Maine and off Cape Cod, for instance — the allure of wind power threatens to destroy environmentally sensitive landscapes.
Erecting those turbines along more than three miles of ridgeline requires building roads — with segments of the ridgeline road itself nearly half as wide as one of Vermont’s interstate highways — in places where the travel lanes are now made by bear, moose, bobcat and deer.
It requires changing the profile of the ridgeline to provide access to cranes and service vehicles. This is being accomplished with approximately 700,000 pounds of explosives that will reduce parts of the mountaintops to rubble that will be used to build the access roads.
It also requires the clear-cutting on steep slopes of 134 acres of healthy forest, now ablaze in autumn colors. Studies have shown that clear-cutting can lead to an increase in erosion to high-quality headwater streams, robbing them of life and fouling the water for downstream residents, wild and human.
To read more, click here.
Image courtesy of thefutureofthings.com.
The Solyndra debacle is giving solar energy a bad name. Fossil fuel companies are jumping on the I-told-you-so bandwagon. But the reality is, solar energy has done what other industries have not: provided jobs and lots of them. The Huffington Post has two commentaries the point out that fact--one from Brian Keane, the president of SmartPower; the other by David Fenton, CEO of Fenton, Inc.
Keane's main point is that we can't ignore the numbers. Solar energy employs people in all 50 states. In the past year, solar employment grew nearly 7% while jobs for the rest of the nation grew only 0.7%. Fenton's take on it has more to do with how the homeowner can use solar to save energy and reduce their costs. In about a dozen states, you can lease solar panels at no cost and see an immediate drop in your utility bill.
Is solar really a failure, then? See the excerpts below.
New Job Growth Numbers Tell the Larger Story of Solar
Posted: 9/20/11 10:40 AM ET
By Brian Keane, President, SmartPower
"Let's face it: Solyndra wasn't a winner. But it was the company's inability to keep up with rapidly declining solar panel costs -- not its focus on clean energy technology -- that led to its demise.
Nevertheless, the associated job losses and pique of political scandal have overshadowed the real story of the U.S. solar industry. The larger picture shows that solar businesses are growing -- and creating boatloads of jobs..."
To read more, click here.
Solar Through the Looking Glass
Posted: 9/18/11 10:04 PM ET
By David Fenton, CEO, Fenton, Inc.
"The bankruptcy of one company -- Solyndra -- is being used by oil and coal company agents to portray solar electricity as a failure. It's an outrage how this story is being spun upside down while solar's success is ignored...
Ok so the government, starting under President Bush, made a bad bet on Solyndra, which was hurt precisely by the rapidly falling prices of other solar technologies. But it was only 1 percent of the DOE loan program -- every venture capitalist makes bets that fail. Meanwhile, the small government subsidies to solar have enabled booming demand and rapid price reductions. I feel like Lewis Carroll -- the world is truly upside down. Success is failure.
And dare I mention that this technology, when widely adopted, might save New York from building sea walls from climate change or save Rick Perry's state from becoming toast? And that solar creates seven times more jobs than fossil fuel investments? And that its cost can never go up, as the fuel is -- oh my goodness, another free lunch statement -- free?
Isn't it ridiculous that we let the dirty fuel propagandists have the upper hand, and that someone has to intervene to keep the discussion honest? Or maybe we should just give the Saudi Arabia of the future to China."
To read more, click here.
Image courtesy of www.sierraclubgreenhome.com.
On Wednesday, March 23rd at 12:30 pm, St. Luke's LifeWorks (SLLW) will be commemorating a solar energy initiative and partnership with a reception at the Center for Children and their Families building on 141 Franklin Street in Stamford, featuring brief remarks from Congressman Jim Himes. SLLW has selected to partner with Soltage, LLC, a full-service, renewable energy company that develops, finances, builds, and operates solar energy stations on client sites. Soltage, LLC will own and operate the system for 15 years, enabling SLLW to purchase electricity at a discounted rate of 17%. After 15 years, SLLW will likely own the system.
“Even through this harsh winter, the solar installation has been operating as we had hoped,” said Jason Shaplen, Chief Executive Officer of St. Luke’s LifeWorks. “It’s a win-win situation for us. We’re able to go green and help preserve the environment. We also pay less for electricity, allowing us to put the money we save towards our mission to help people move from the streets to health, jobs, and homes.”
“In this tough economy, SLLW is achieving lasting economic benefits that, due to their nonprofit status, can be 50-60% greater by working under our solar services model than if they bought the system themselves” said Vanessa Stewart, Chief Operating Officer of Soltage. The reduced electricity costs will directly contribute to SLLW’s ability to help break the cycle of homelessness by helping people achieve – and maintain – permanent housing and stability in their lives. In addition, this cutting-edge initiative exemplifies St. Luke’s LifeWorks’ commitment to being a results-oriented and cost-effective organization.
To visit the web site, click here or call 203-388-0100.
Image courtesy of hangontomato.com.
This August 10th article from The New York Times discusses a break-through concept in California's San Joaquin Valley: Take polluted and unusable farmland and create a renewable solar project to make electricity. See the excerpt below:
Recycling Land for Green Energy Ideas
By TODD WOODY
Published: August 10, 2010
"Thousands of acres of farmland here in the San Joaquin Valley have been removed from agricultural production, largely because the once fertile land is contaminated by salt buildup from years of irrigation.
But large swaths of those dry fields could have a valuable new use in their future — making electricity.
Farmers and officials at Westlands Water District, a public agency that supplies water to farms in the valley, have agreed to provide land for what would be one of the world’s largest solar energy complexes, to be built on 30,000 acres.
At peak output, the proposed Westlands Solar Park would generate as much electricity as several big nuclear power plants.
Unlike some renewable energy projects blocked by objections that they would despoil the landscape, this one has the support of environmentalists."
Click here to read more of the article.
Image of San Joaquin Valley courtesy of SuperStock.com
by Susan Torres
An aspiring grown-up who loves all things concerning the environment, media, sports, current events, traveling, absurdity and general hilarity, Susan is living in and loving New York City. Having graduated from Northeastern University last May with a bachelor's degree in journalism and minoring in political science and history, she is currently proofreading for a translation services company and doing some freelance writing work on the side.
Breaking News from Connecticut Fund for the Environment : The Appropriations Committee will hold a public hearing on the Governor's latest deficit mitigation package on Thursday, March 11, at 3:00pm.
This important hearing will impact the future of the Connecticut Energy Efficiency Fund and the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, ratepayer-funded programs that save money for homeowners and small businesses while cutting carbon emissions and supporting the state's growing clean energy industry. Contact Tisha Ferguson Outreach Director, CFE 203-787-0646 x108 email@example.com for more information.
Tags: Anaba Winery, Domaine Carneros, Eileen Crane, energy efficiency, Gary Heck, John Sweazey, Korbel, Mendocino Wine Company, organic champagne, organic grapes, Parducci Winery, post-consumer material, Rodney Strong Winery, solar power, sustainable farming, Tom Klein, wind turbine
Tags: biofuel, Bretton Woods Mountain, Cannon Mountain, Cranmore Mountain, energy conscious, green skiing, Jiminy Peak, Loon Mountain, Mad River Glen, New England, recycling program, Shawnee Peak, ski resorts, storm water runoff, Stowe Mountain Resort, Sugarloaf USA, Sunday River, wind turbine
In my recent discussion of green job hunting myths, I argued against the mystique surrounding the green job industry and the psychological and other barriers this presents to those hoping to transition into a green career. Responses from readers ranged from disbelief, to hesitant hope, to specific questions regarding qualifications and resources. In this article, I start to provide some data that may be useful to readers in understanding the projected growth of the green job market and where they might fit in.
What Do We Mean by 'the Green Job Market is Growing'?
According to the United States President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA), green jobs are everywhere, and the growth of the green job market is anticipated to continue to outstrip the growth of other markets. In its July 2009 report, the CEA cited data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) showing projected growth in environmentally-related occupations to be 38% more than all other occupations combined by 2016. This is depicted in the following figure, reproduced from page 8 of their report:
To put this into perspective, it is worth noting that the occupations they considered were actually in a fairly limited range. Specifically, the BLS projections drawn from in the CEA report are based on data for the following occupations only:
Tags: anneli olila, bls, bureau of labor statistics, cea, council of economic advisers, economic projections, environmental occupations, Global Insight, green jobs, olila documents and communication strategies
To read other articles on this site about renewable energy, click here.
Image courtesy of the California Department of Fish and Game.
The New York Times has an editorial from yesterday's edition about Cape Wind.
"After eight years of arduous state and federal environmental reviews, the promoters of Cape Wind, a wind energy project off the Massachusetts coast, had every reason to believe that they were home free. Then the Wampanoag tribes asked the Interior Department to declare all of Nantucket Sound, where the 130 wind turbines would be built, a “traditional cultural property” and, they hoped, block construction.
Tribal officials say their culture requires them to greet the sunrise each day and that this ritual requires unobstructed views. Their claim should be rejected by the responsible federal and state officials. Another round of bureaucratic reviews would drag out an approval process that has gone on much too long and give opponents time to find some other way to derail the effort..."
To read more of the story from The New York Times, click here.
To read an earlier article on this site about the not-in-my-backyard attitude about wind turbines including Cape Wind, click here.
Image courtesy of DustNetworks.com
Via Debra Caviness
Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced the state is dedicating $4 million in federal stimulus funds to help homeowners and businesses pay for the installation of solar-powered hot water heating systems, an investment that will lower utility bills and promote the use of alternative fuels.
“I am proud of Connecticut’s leadership in promoting and using greener, cleaner technology,” Governor Rell said. “This incentive will help hundreds of families and businesses make the switch to renewable energy by saving them money on installation costs and ultimately their hot water bills. It would also be a much-needed boost in business for those who sell and install these systems.”The new Solar Thermal Incentive Program is part of the comprehensive State Energy Plan that has qualified for $38 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA). The broad-based plan includes programs that:
Tags: CCEF, clean energy ct, Connecticut Clean Energy Fund, ct green business, ct green living, federal stimulus ct, governor jodi rell, Lisa Dondy, renewable energy ct, solar hot water incentives, Solar Thermal Incentive Program
by Eileen Weber
For every car ride, bus trip, or vacation par avion, we expel greenhouse gases from fossil fuels into the air. We are heavily dependent on foreign oil. We still use coal as a source of power. We have irreparably changed our climate as a result.
But according to a Washington Post article dated October 20, 2008, there are some companies that are trying to make a difference. Alternative fuels such as ethanol derived from corn or diesel derived from algae are taking center stage.
But fuels based on crops like corn have their own environmental price tag. The farming process of those “macro-crops” uses fossil fuels to get the job done.
Companies like Florida-based PetroAlgae are working hard to find a sustainable solution to the problem. They produce “micro-crops” of algae that are broken down into a fuel source and a protein base. The product can be used to fire up a 747 or it can be extracted as a protein filler for animal feed. And who knows? Rich in amino acids, you may find these protein isolates in your next strawberry smoothie some day.
The crops are environmentally safe and sustainable. They are grown in raised pools with no toxic run-off. Almost all of the water that is used to irrigate the crops is recycled for the next crop. Nothing goes to waste.
According to the PetroAlgae web site, algae-based fuel is functionally identical to fossil fuels. And since the algae micro-crops consume twice their body weight in CO2, they’re carbon neutral as well.
Thank you to our Friends at Connecticut Fund for the Environment, who say that YOU...the readers and supporters of CT GreenScene are making a difference!
"On behalf of Connecticut Fund for the Environment, thank you for your testimony and calls of support throughout the legislative session! Your enthusiasm has been a tremendous help.
Now we need one last big push to get these key bills through the Senate. Please call your senators immediately to make sure these bills make it to the floor before the end of session tomorrow."
Growing Solar Power
Our allies have been working hard on this bill, and it’s paid off! HB 6635, An Act Concerning Solar Power, passed the House unanimously yesterday. Let’s get it through the Senate and get started—the bill will create at least 30 megawatts worth of new residential solar, encourage large-scale commercial solar projects, and create a new financing model for renewable energy credits.
By ANGELA CHARLTON Associated Press Writer After several years with a relatively low profile
under President George W. Bush, the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency "is back on the job," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told The
Associated Press on Thursday during a trip to Paris. What the
EPA does domestically this year will be watched closely overseas.
Nations worldwide are working toward a major meeting in Copenhagen in
December aimed at producing a new global climate pact. The U.S.
position on curbing its own pollution and helping poor countries adapt
to global warming is seen as key to any new pact. Jackson was
in Paris for international talks on how rich governments can include
global climate concerns in overall development aid. She
dismissed worries that economic downturn was cutting into aid
commitments or investment in new energy resources. She said the United
States should take the lead on clean energy technology, recession or
After several years with a relatively low profile under President George W. Bush, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency "is back on the job," EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson told The Associated Press on Thursday during a trip to Paris.
What the EPA does domestically this year will be watched closely overseas. Nations worldwide are working toward a major meeting in Copenhagen in December aimed at producing a new global climate pact. The U.S. position on curbing its own pollution and helping poor countries adapt to global warming is seen as key to any new pact.
Jackson was in Paris for international talks on how rich governments can include global climate concerns in overall development aid.
She dismissed worries that economic downturn was cutting into aid commitments or investment in new energy resources. She said the United States should take the lead on clean energy technology, recession or no.
by Eileen Weber
But the environment is one industry that continues to grow despite what happens on Wall Street. If it’s green, it’s growing. President Barack Obama has even carved out a nice section of his stimulus package to incorporate green jobs. With that kind of support, the trend may only continue.
In a New York Times article dated March 23rd, Heather Burns-DeMelo, the Executive Director of the Connecticut Alliance for Sustainable Enterprise and the Editor for this web site, said we should expect to see an increase in “green collar jobs” with the boost in environmental training and education.
Tags: case, clean energy, connectictut alliance for sustainable enterprise, environmental industry, green business ct, green collar jobs, heather burns-demelo, job loss, renewable energy, sustainable business ct, Union of Concerned Scientists
TOKSOOK BAY, Alaska — Beyond the fishing boats, the snug homes and the tanks of diesel fuel marking this Eskimo village on the Bering Sea, three huge wind turbines tower over the tundra. Their blades spin slowly in a breeze cold enough to freeze skin.
One of the nation’s harshest landscapes, it turns out, is becoming fertile ground for green power.
As interest in cleaning up power generation grows around the country, Alaska is fast becoming a testing ground for new technologies and an unlikely experiment in oil-state support for renewable energy. Alaskans once cast a wary eye on anything smacking of environmentalism, but today they are investing heavily in green power, not so much to reduce emissions as to save cash.
Posted by GreenReport, Monday, February 9, 2009
Renewable energy is not “Green” energy, claims a prominent scientist with Rockefeller University in New York, who played an early role in raising public awareness about the reality of global warming. The study—which was recently published in a scholarly journal—is highly critical of what he believes to be the misleading and false promises associated with “renewable energy”.
“A fundamental credo of being green is that you cause minimal interference with the landscape. We should be farming less land, logging less forest and trawling less ocean - disturbing the landscape less and sparing land for nature. But all of these renewable sources of energy are incredibly invasive and aggressive with regard to nature. Renewables may be renewable, but they are not green,” said researcher Jesse Ausubel, at the Rockefeller University in New York.
The study concludes that if we build enough wind farms, damn enough rivers and grow sufficient biomass to produce ample kilowatts to make any real difference in meeting global energy demands—we would have to allow for a huge invasion of nature, which he says is unacceptable.
By calculating the amount of energy that each renewable source can produce in terms of the area of land disturbed, Ausubel determined that renewable energy is more of a recipe for disaster than a plausible way to save the world.
The results, published in the current issue of International Journal of Nuclear Governance, Economy and Ecology, asserts that in order to have met the electricity demand back in 2005 for the United States, an area the size of Texas would have to be covered with wind structures running round the clock to extract, store and transport the energy.
New York City would require the entire area of Connecticut to become a wind farm to fully power all its electrical equipment and gadgets.
If you think there's a spot in your town that has good wind potential, the Clean Energy Fund is launching a small wind demonstration project that will supply up to TWO turbines free for research and testing purposes. Proposed locations should have a wind speed of 5 meters/sec at 30 meters. CCEF is particularly interested in installations with educational benefits.
Contact: Roger Smith
Clean Water Action
645 Farmington Ave, Third Floor
Hartford, CT 06105
by Eileen Weber
As Rick Fuentes said in his blog on FreshEnergy.org, “Coal is what, a 300-year-old industry? Ancient. Wind is just getting its ability to buy booze. And to say that the new industry is neck-and-neck with the old one is amazing.”
With a 70% increase in wind jobs since 2007, the industry hit a high of 85,000 at the end of 2008. Coal mining jobs were at 81,000. A relatively new energy source has gained lots of ground in a short of span of time.
According to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), coal is the largest source for greenhouse gas emissions and is used to generate about half of the electricity in the U.S. Other sources such as gas, oil, and nuclear power don’t even come close.
Much of the wind industry is rooted in the Midwest and West Coast. Many of the turbines are being placed on Native American reservations where open tracts of land are readily available. The residents on these reservations say this is a way for the tribes to generate much-needed income off a natural resource.
In five days we will inaugurate our first African American president. It's momentous. It's historic. And it's about time.
Back in the early days of the primary campaign some black leaders raised the question, is Obama black enough. My only question is this - is he green enough.
I think he just may be. I sure hope so. I have watched with pleasure and relief at the science/climate/energy/environment team he has put in place and each appointment raised my level of optimism. Could Barack Obama really be our first green president?
We are faced with an historic opportunity. At no other time would it have been possible to get Congress to approve the kind of spending that could really jump-start the new clean green economy we so desperately need. Only a financial melt-down of current proportions can shake that kind of money from the tree.
It will take bold action and a lot of very smart decisions to make this work, and I'm waiting with bated breath to see if Obama and his team can pull it off. Back in December I wrote a post for my blog, The Future is Green entitled "What we need now" in which I suggested that this administration should be judged primarily on the extent to which the next four to eight years is devoted to energy and climate policy. In my mind, nothing else matters. Nothing else matters because everything else hinges on this.
I'll be watching.
by Elizabeth G. Howard
I had really just one thing on my Christmas list this year that I REALLY wanted, and this is it: a wall-mountable pencil sharpener.
I don't have to tell most of you who are over the age of 30 what the nostalgia factor of this item is. You can instantly remember the scent of pencil shavings and hear in your memory the familiar grinding noise, the one you made as you cranked away at the wall-mounted sharpener in your third-grade classroom.
At my school, it was the one place in the whole school you could go without asking permission. Mrs. Bacchus (yes, that was her real name... amazing the awareness of names you achieve when you are grown up. My first-grade teacher was Mrs. Lemming) would eyeball you as you got up, so you'd have to give body signals to ensure she knew just where you were headed-- and not, apparently, to escape out the door to pull the fire alarm.
The Forest for the Trees
But for me, it was more than the nostalgia. I love to write anything anywhere, not just virtually. And as I progressed through My Office Life, I noticed that pens were all disposable, as were even the pencils, in their clicky-plastic casing. The only time you ever came across a real PENCIL, made of wood, was at trade shows, where they were given as quirky gifts that were merely there to carry around a logo. To use them, you had to cram their heads into sad, whirring electronic sharpeners that inevitably lived on that one secretary's desk that you didn't much like to talk to anyway.
What We Are Made Of
So it was these two things that pushed me to edge of desire this season of receiving. Colin was renovating a room and needed a pencil to mark the boards he was cutting. I discovered we had just one busted out pencil in our house. The eraser was gone, and its lead was warn to the nub, unusable without a sharpener. Colin had to use a pen to mark the boards, a pure travesty in my mind.
My Dad always has had a wall-mounted pencil sharpener in his shop and he used it as frequently as his children did as they worked on their math homework. He reminded us that we all make mistakes, and we have the tools to fix them.
So now I have my Boston X-Acto Wall/Table-Mountable Pencil Sharpener KS, Model 1041. It is made in China and I can see that it isn't as sturdy as the ones I used a a kid. But I was happy to receive it shipped in a box with almost all paper packaging. The simplicity of my sharpener reminds me of my own strengths, of the energy I have to give to things, and all the extra crap we don't need.
I think it makes me more human, and I like that.
by Eileen Weber
The last time I included the word “poo” in a blog entry, it referred to the water filter that converts sewage into potable water for impoverished areas. I can’t say that poo is a topic I spend oodles of time thinking about. But today, I am.
In yesterday’s New York Times, an article focused on a Dutch pig farm in the town of Sterksel that burns excrement. They trap the resulting methane and convert that gas into electricity. That’s substantial when, according to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, 18% of livestock generate greenhouse gas emissions. Essentially, poo becomes renewable energy with this technology.
In other European cities, the process involves using sealed tanks in which the organic waste is anaerobically digested by bacteria. This throws off “biogas”, 70% of which is methane and 30% is carbon dioxide. The two gases, both of which are noxious for the environment, can then be separated.
The Netherlands, however, is not the first country to tackle this issue. For a number of years, India has been burning cow manure for the methane it produces. In 1994, the town of Lille, France, produced a bus that was powered by biomethane. And in 2005, Sweden produced its first biogas-fueled train.
With the current political campaigns focused on the downturn in the economy, people are tightening their belts. As a result, alternative forms of energy have come to the forefront.
One alternative energy solution that has been gaining attention is wind power. In a New York Times article earlier this week, green jobs are moving into the Midwest and many of them are due to the wind turbines that are being installed for various projects.
Recently, Governor Jon Corzine of New Jersey told the Associated Press that his state plans to increase their wind power by 13% which would power approximately 1 million homes. Corzine was also quoted as saying his state was looking to “harness this potential wind source off our coasts, and bring economic development, environmental benefits, and, new, green jobs to the Garden State.”
Earlier this month, New Jersey was granted the rights to build wind turbines off shore. It is estimated that 20% the state’s power will come from renewable energy.
Massachusetts hopes to do just that with its Cape Wind project. Off the coast of Nantucket in a shallow water area called the Horseshoe Shoal, wind turbines have been planned with the expectation that the overall megawatt production rate will be 75% of the electricity demand for Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket combined.
Looking for something to do with the kids this weekend? Here’s something fun: the OneThing™ Conservation Expo at the Connecticut Convention Center in Hartford.
Touted as the “World’s Fair of Energy Conservation”, The OneThing™ Expo is part of Governor Jodi Rell’s initiative for positive change in energy conservation. Within the OneThing™ Expo will be the OneThing-Palooza!, a 24,000 foot space of interactive, hands-on activities for kids.
The Stepping Stones Museum for Children of Norwalk collaborated with the Connecticut Science Center to premiere their first traveling exhibit, Conservation Quest. It will be featured in the OneThing-Palooza! area.
“This is a first in a series of energy-themed exhibits we’re planning,” said Robin Wexler, the Manager of Marketing and Communications at Stepping Stones. “This will be an opportunity for children to explore healthy living.”
by Eileen Weber
Do you have more energy after you work out? You might if you were a member of The Green Microgym in Portland, Ore. Thanks to owner Adam Boesel, these members generate electricity—up to 350 kilowatts—every time they hop on the equipment. Imagine making enough electricity to power your refrigerator for the better part of a year just by burning those extra calories.
Treadmills. Stationary Bikes. Elliptical trainers. Everything you need for a great workout—and it’s a way to keep the environment clean. Boesel had solar panels installed to generate electricity. Whatever electricity remains unused goes back to the main power grid.
“I’ve worked in big gyms and small gyms,” Boesel said, “but I’ve chosen to differentiate myself by being green.” Because Portland is an eco-friendly area, residents are thrilled with the concept. Originally started in Hong Kong, the use of solar panels to power a facility’s electricity is a renewable energy system that is gaining momentum.
If you enjoy a cold brew with your favorite meal yet want to do your part for the planet, there is a new "green" beer. The Lucky Labrador brewing company installed their solar panels in December of 2007 and began production of the Sun Beer in February of 2008. They are the first brewing company to use the sun in quite this manner. Unlike other companies like Sierra Nevada, who use the sun hitting photovoltaic panels to generate electricity, Lucky Lab's solar hot water system installed by Ra Energy , heats the brewpub's water.
Although Lucky Lab uses the sun for the brewing, they still use natural gas to create the final product. The finishing product is a light summer ale and was released in the summer of 2008.
Trees are experts at converting the sun into energy, and the people at Solar Botanic Energy Systems have come up with a way to create artificial trees in order to harness the power of the sun and wind. With the use of nanotechnology, the twenty different species of trees that Solar Botanic Energy creates will create energy much the same way that regular trees do. Due to the combination of photovoltaic and thermovoltaic in the nanoleaves, they are able to convert light and heat into energy. Almost all of the light from the sun will be absorbed, except for the green light, and the leaves will also absorb the infrared wave, or radiation, even hours after the sun has set.
To fully integrate all the aspects of a tree, Solar Botanic Energy has also infused the twigs and branches with nano piezo-electric elements. These elements detect the stresses on the twigs and branches whenever the leaves flap in the wind or rain. Every time they flap, the nano piezo-electric elements will produce thousands of picowatts of energy. The stronger the wind, the more energy the tree can produce.
Solar Botanic Energy has decided to start plant their first palm tree in the Middle East. This palm tree should produce 5000 kilowatts hours per year. The company has already begun offering these trees to the government. The lifespan of these trees are about 30 years. Not only does it offer cheaper electricity alternatives, it also offers the same benefits as regular trees from shade to windbreaking and cooling. Solar Botanic Energy offers low installation costs and there is also governmental grants available for the planting of the trees.
Learn more at the Solar Botanic Energy System site.
Mark your calendar for the second annual Green Summit Energy Fair in Wethersfield, Connecticut! The summit will take place at the Wethersfield High School, from 11 am to 2 pm.
Town Councilor, Matthew Forrest, set up the Green Summit last year in order to respond to the ever growing energy and gas prices in Wethersfield and to have his residents come up with ideas on living a greener life. The second annual event will include vendor and community booths giving more information concerning renewable energy and showcase experiments created by Wethersfield students. Key note speakers will talk about sustainability issues, fossil-fuel dependence, and energy conservation funding.
Attendees can also take part in workshops that will go over recycling, rain barrels, composting and describing various renewable energy sources. Attendees will also have the opportunity to give feedback back to the town on whether the town is headed in the right direction towards a greener future.
Thule Inc., best known for its vehicle roof rack systems, will install a 318-kilowatt solar power system at its U.S. headquarters in Seymour, Connecticut.
Thule’s system will consist of two separate arrays with a total of 1,876 solar panels mounted on the rooftop of the Thule Distribution Center. The PV system will supply an estimated 324,800 kWh annually, or about 26 percent of the facility’s electrical needs.
The Connecticut Clean Energy Fund has approved a $1.3 million grant for the project. The project is organized as a power purchase agreement with Nautilus Solar Energy acting as the system owner. Under the PPA, Thule purchases the electricity produced by the system at a fixed price below its current utility rate, and Nautilus receives federal tax incentives, rebates and renewable energy credits associated with the project.
Article from EnvironmentalLeader.com
Kohl’s Department Stores plans to convert more than 50 of its existing stores in New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland to solar power. That represents nearly 80 percent of its locations in these three states. The work began in January. When it’s complete, Kohl’s says it will be the largest retail host of solar power.
Kohl’s also has converted more than 25 of its 88 California locations to solar power and plans to activate about 50 more sites in the state. Solar installations are under way at three Kohl’s locations in Wisconsin and the company hopes to add other states to its solar program before year-end. On average, solar panels provide 30 percent of a stores’ annual energy.
In April 2007, Kohl’s made the largest commitment to solar energy in U.S. history.
Kohl’s was the thirteenth largest corporate purchaser of green power in the U.S., according to the US EPA.
The company has also plans to pursue LEED certification for every store to break ground in 2008 — or more than 80 locations.
Safeway recently announced new solar installations. Here’s a rundown on other solar installations within the retail space. New financing models are prompting more retailers to take the solar plunge