Tag Archives: renewable energy

Cathedrals for Climate Change

Wes Jackson, sustainable agriculture expert and founder of The Land Institute, builds cathedrals. Not the kind that are made of stone, with flying buttresses, soaring arches, and elaborate cherub covered domes. His cathedrals are composed of rich soils, grasses that dance gently in the breeze, and thriving symbiotic ecosystems. His cathedrals venerate nature, where every living creature is a perfect embodiment of enlightenment.

In a recent interview on Green Builder Media’s Impact Series: Game Changers in Sustainability program, Jackson said “the plow has destroyed more options for future generations than the sword.” Simply put, the erosion caused by industrial agricultural practices are depleting our soils, sweeping essential nutrients and chemicals into the sea, creating extensive dead zones, and negatively affecting our ability to maintain fertile fields that can produce enough food to meet our ever growing needs.

Through his work at The Land Institute, Jackson studies nature to develop sustainable solutions that address the problems created by industrialized agricultural practices. He is 20 years into a 100-year plan to organically breed plants that are resistant to pathogens, weeds, and pests. It’s long, painstaking work, and it takes years to yield results. “There is no instant gratification here,” he says, “but if you’re working on something that you can finish in your lifetime, you’re not thinking big enough.” Continue reading

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TerraPass Sells Retail Business, Adopts New Name

San Francisco, May 21, 2014 /3BL Media/ – TerraPass Inc. is pleased to announce it has completed the sale of its retail carbon offset business to JustGreen. TerraPass helped pioneer the voluntary carbon market in the U.S. over the past decade, but going forward will focus on serving large corporate clients seeking to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through renewable energy and carbon offset projects.

As part of this reorganization, JustGreen will assume the TerraPass brand and retail business.  What is now TerraPass Energy & Wholesale will be renamed Origin Climate.

Erin Craig, CEO of TerraPass, said: “This transaction is a big step forward for us, for our customers, and for the environment.  Just Energy’s scale and expertise in serving the retail market means greater support for our retail customers, while allowing us to focus on more tailored carbon offset and renewable energy solutions for our large commercial and industrial clients.”

“Like many of our strategic acquisitions, the TerraPass retail business is a natural fit for Just Energy,” said GP Manalac, EVP of JustGreen.  “This business clearly compliments and enhances our JustGreen initiative, and we look forward to rolling out new sustainability solutions for retail customers.” Continue reading

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EPA Chief Outlines Policies for Renewable Energy

epa-logo-300x224Last week, in a speech before a conference sponsored by the American Council on Renewable Energy, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency laid out an expansive overview of intergovernmental cooperation. EPA head Gina McCarthy said the agency’s goal is to support the rapid pace of renewable energy innovation by establishing new regulations that work with new initiatives. To do so, the EPA is working more closely with the Department of Energy.

The bottom line for supporting renewable energy, says McCarthy, is the bottom line. “It’s not just the right thing to do, but it’s the economically sustainable thing to do.” The EPA chief emphasized the importance of renewable energy to the U.S. economy, and the role of the federal, state, and local governments in incentivizing the sector’s expansion. She noted the 100,000 jobs created by renewable energy projects on public lands undertaken by the Department of the Interior and the 39 states that now operate utility-scale wind energy projects. McCarthy defined the role of the EPA as a supporting one in the rapidly changing renewable energy sector. States and cities are accepted as the main incubators of innovation, and the EPA’s mission is to listen and work closely with them. Such a description might sound positively visionary except that it describes a renewable energy future that is already in action, right now, across the country. Continue reading

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The True Cost of Renewable Energy: Less Than You Think

One of the common arguments against renewable energy is that it costs too much. A recent comparison of wholesale electricity prices shows that coal-generated power costs three cents a kilowatt-hour, new natural gas plants produce at six cents, wind power costs eight cents, and solar, 13 cents. But a recent Wall Street Journal analysis raises two important points that are changing those figures.

First, costs are falling, due to technological advances such as larger wind turbines and cheaper components for solar power arrays. The latest price data released by the Department of Energy finds that the price of wind-generated energy fell to four cents per kilowatt-hour, not counting the two-cent federal tax subsidy for that startup industry.

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Solar Thin Films, Inc Announces Agreement-In-Principle for $10 million Project

UNIONDALE, N.Y.–()–Solar Thin Films, Inc (OTC Markets: SLTZ) (the “Company”), an environmentally conscious company working to bring new products to market with a strong focus on Fiber Reinforced Plastics technology (FRP), as well as waste to energy and solar energy, announced today an agreement-in-principle to design, supply and construct a modular school and clinic in Uganda, Africa.

The project calls for the design, supply and construction of a 36,000 square foot school and an 8,000 square foot clinic, along with well-water supply and area lighting. The Company’s portion of the $15 million project is approximately $10 million. The Company’s design and prototype drawings have been accepted in principle, subject to finalization of the design and budget. It is expected that final agreements will be signed later this month. Continue reading

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Commercial Building Energy Storage Systems Revenue Will Surpass $7.5 Billion Annually by 2022

BOULDER, Colo.–()–The market for energy storage in commercial buildings is nascent and developing. Although one segment, energy storage systems for uninterruptible power supply (UPS) systems, is mature, the business models for the other two segments within this market – electrical energy storage (EES) systems and thermal energy storage (TES) systems – are still evolving. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, annual revenue from energy storage systems for commercial buildings will grow from $3.9 billion in 2013 to more than $7.5 billion in 2022.

“Today, there is less than 10 gigawatt-hours of cumulative energy storage capacity represented by all commercial building systems, and the vast majority of that capacity is frozen behind meters in UPS systems that are rarely, if ever, called upon”

“Today, there is less than 10 gigawatt-hours of cumulative energy storage capacity represented by all commercial building systems, and the vast majority of that capacity is frozen behind meters in UPS systems that are rarely, if ever, called upon,” says Sam Jaffe, senior research analyst with Navigant Research. “By 2022, such systems will represent a global cumulative capacity of more than 30 gigawatt-hours, most of which will be interacting with the power grids throughout the world on a daily basis.” Continue reading

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New Component Manufacturing Furthers Efficiency Improvement for Siemens Gas Turbines

ERLANGEN, Germany–()–Siemens Energy has recently opened a facility in Charlottesville, Virginia for the innovative commercial production of airfoil ceramic cores for gas turbine blades and vanes using the TOMOSM technology, initially developed by Mikro Systems, Inc. The advancements are expected to improve the cooling capability of gas turbine blading, thus enabling higher levels of engine performance and efficiency for future Siemens Gas Turbines. This technology is available to Siemens as a part of the Technology License agreement with Mikro Systems.

With support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), Mikro Systems was funded via Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants. Mikro Systems and Siemens Energy partnered to develop the application of its patented Tomo-Lithographic Molding (TOMOSM) manufacturing technology to a range of gas turbine components. Continue reading

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Stationary Fuel Cell Market Will Reach $9 Billion in Annual Revenue by 2022

Stationary-Fuel-CellsWhile growing in terms of megawatts and systems shipped, the market for stationary fuel cells is also going through a period of deep restructuring, with a number of companies exiting the space and a handful of new entrants appearing.  Over the last year, the sector has seen a sharp increase in market demand created by government policy initiatives.  According to a recent report from Navigant Research, annual revenue from stationary fuel cells will grow from $1.7 billion in 2013 to $9 billion in 2022.

“Stationary fuel cells are still in the early part of the adoption cycle, with limited availability and affordability,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research.  “During the last year, however, companies have moved to create products for markets where real needs exist—in many cases producing systems that use locally available fuels, can be maintained by local engineers, and do not require very limited operating temperature ranges.  This growing realism will enable the industry to create a secure foundation for future growth.” Continue reading

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