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Archive for the ‘Sustainability’ Category

Distributed Wind Energy Market Report

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2014
Figure 1: 2013 Distributed Wind Market Applications (a) by Project and (b) by Capacity

UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
The purpose of this report is to quantify and summarize the 2013 U.S. distributed wind market to help plan and guide future investments and decisions by industry, utilities, state and federal agencies, and other interested parties. Distributed wind is defined in terms of technology application based on a wind project’s location relative to end-use and power-distribution infrastructure, rather than on turbine or project size. While the distributed wind market includes wind turbines and projects of many sizes, this report breaks the market into two segments when appropriate: wind turbines up through 100 kW (in nominal capacity) referred to in this report as “small wind,” and wind turbines greater than 100 kW used in distributed applications.

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CLEAN ENERGY WORKS FOR US: 2nd Quarter 2014 Report

Monday, September 1st, 2014
50-STATE BREAKDOWN: WHERE WERE THE ANNOUNCEMENTS?

ENVIRONMENTAL ENTREPRENEURS
More than 12,500 clean energy and clean transportation jobs and clean transportation were announced in 29 states in the second quarter of 2014. This is more than twice the number of jobs announced in the first quarter of the year. Solar generation once again led all sectors — with more than 5,300 jobs announced — as declining module prices and growing private-sector investment expanded job opportunities in the industry. Meanwhile, the wind industry announced about 2,700 jobs, mostly because projects that qualified for the recently expired Production Tax Credit began construction. Wind manufacturers, including Vestas in Colorado and Gearbox Express in Wisconsin, reported hiring additional manufacturing employees to match turbine demand. The biggest hiring boost to the U.S. clean energy manufacturing sector came from the automotive industry, with General Motors and Tesla announcing 1,900 manufacturing jobs to produce electric vehicles.

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Dollars Well Spent: Solar Energy in Massachusetts

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
Dollars Well Spent: Solar Energy in Massachusetts

Celebrating the summer solstice, the longest day of the year, Undersecretary for Energy Mark Sylvia (then Department of Energy Resources (DOER) Commissioner) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner David Cash toured six solar investments across the Commonwealth from sun up to sun down. The tour made stops in Chatham, Barnstable, Pembroke, Worcester, Easthampton and Pittsfield, touting the installation of more than 10 megawatts (MW) of solar power on former landfills, and at wastewater treatment plants and drinking water facilities in those communities. The state’s comprehensive solar policies have led to growing deployment of solar power at homes, businesses, schools, parking lots and elsewhere. There is at least one solar installation in 350 of the 351 communities across the Commonwealth, totaling more than 615 MW, which is enough electricity to power nearly 94,000 homes.

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The External Costs of Fossil Fuels; Environmental and Health Value of Solar

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014
U.S. Net Electricity Generation

ENERGY & POLICY INSTITUTE
Ratepayers and customers have been led to believe that a power plant burning coal or natural gas is the cheapest form of electricity and therefore, should be prioritized over renewable energy generation. However, ratepayers are paying for more than the cost of the fossil fuel that is used to generate electricity. Utility customers pay for the cleanup of toxic spills and health costs associated with burning dirty energy sources. Furthermore, ratepayer’s money spent importing fossil fuels from other states causes unforeseen negative economic impacts when local renewable energy systems could provide economic benefits. Utilities have little economic incentive to reduce fuel costs since the cost of coal and natural gas are passed directly through to customers. Finally, customers ultimately pay for the impacts of climate change, including water scarcity, both of which are fueled and exacerbated by the burning of fossil fuels.

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Los Angeles County: Profile of Clean Energy Investment Potential

Monday, August 25th, 2014
Mid-century Warming in the Los Angeles Region

ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FUND
UCLA LUSKIN CENTER FOR INNOVATION
The Environmental Defense Fund commissioned the UCLA Luskin Center for Innovation to profile the potential for clean energy investments in Los Angeles County. The Los Angeles Solar and Efficiency Report (LASER): An Atlas of Investment Potential is multi-faceted. The LASER Atlas begins with this particular profile of clean energy investment potential at the county level. Other profiles that comprise the LASER Atlas are at the sub-regional level…This county level overview is designed to help community stakeholders identify areas of high potential for solar energy and the benefits of green economic investment. These benefits include capitalizing on incoming state and local funding while creating jobs and building community resilience to current environmental health and energy threats that climate change will exacerbate.

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Reggie Watts Goes Solar for #ClickClean

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014
Reggie Watts Goes Solar for #ClickClean

Together, we can stop clicking dirty. Join us, and ask Internet companies to switch to a greener online, so we can all enjoy a greener offline. Learn what’s up at clickclean.org
#ClickClean

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The Southern Megalopolis: Using the Past to Predict the Future of Urban Sprawl in the Southeast U.S.

Friday, August 15th, 2014
Figure 1. Business-as-usual urbanization scenario for the Southeast US.

DEPARTMENT OF APPLIED ECOLOGY
NORTH CAROLINA STATE UNIVERSITY
Cities are expanding, and as they do urban sprawl–low-density urban development outside the urban core–is expanding even more rapidly. In some regions, expansion of suburban habitats as a result of shifts to automobile-dependent living has led to increases in the urban footprint even where populations have not shown large increases. Urban sprawl increases the connectivity among urban habitats while simultaneously fragmenting non-urban habitats such as forests and grasslands. These changes have a variety of effects on species and ecosystems, including impacts to water pollution, disturbance dynamics, local climate, and predator-prey relationships. Urban sprawl will also, almost certainly, influence the ability of species to respond to climate change, in as much as it creates barriers to the movement of species that cannot survive in cities and corridors for those who can. Knowledge about the potential future character of urban sprawl is thus useful to a variety of stakeholders, including resource managers, conservation organizations, and urban planners.

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Five Years of Learning From Communities and Coordinating Federal Investments

Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Figure 1: Many Americans prefer to live in more convenient, walkable neighborhoods. Source: National Association of Realtors 2013.

PARTNERSHIP FOR SUSTAINABLE COMMUNITIES
Many of our communities and housing options, built for a different time, are not what Americans want today. Research from the real estate industry shows that more people want to live in more convenient, walkable neighborhoods (Figure 1). A National Association of Realtors survey showed that half of Americans prefer a neighborhood with a variety of housing types, including multifamily and single-family homes; shops, restaurants, and amenities within walking distance; and nearby public transportation over a neighborhood with only single-family homes and few transportation options besides driving. Walkable communities are particularly important to millennials, who make up the largest percentage of the U.S. population; one research firm estimates that about 70 percent of them see walkability as “important” or “vital” when choosing a home.

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Infographic: How Wind Power Helps the Economy

Tuesday, August 12th, 2014
AWEA: Top Wind Energy Factoids

Wind Energy and the Economy: Infographic from the American Wind Energy Association

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Energy to Spare: NIST Completes Successful Net-Zero Energy House Experiment

Tuesday, July 29th, 2014
Energy to Spare: NIST Completes Successful Net-Zero Energy House Experiment

NIST conducted a year-long experiment to prove it could build a modern, spacious house that would create as much energy as it uses. This “net-zero” house was home to a virtual family that consumed as much energy as an average American family of four. Thanks to the house’s energy efficient construction and appliances, and solar panels for producing electricity and hot water, the house made more energy than the family used. The house will serve as a testbed for new energy efficient technologies for decades to come.

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