California is about to be the first US state to require solar power on new homes

May 7, 2018 by  
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California is taking a huge step forward in clean energy this week, as the state is expected to require solar energy for just about all new homes, The Orange County Register reported . The California Energy Commission is slated to vote this Wednesday on new standards mandating almost all new houses be equipped with solar panels , beginning in 2020, and it’s expected they’ll approve the move. The Golden State “is about to take a quantum leap in energy standards,” according to California Building Industry Association technical director Bob Raymer. If approved, the solar mandate would cover all houses, apartments, and condominiums as high as three stories obtaining building permits after January 1, 2020, according to The Orange County Register. There could be alternatives or exceptions allowed for structures shaded by other buildings or trees, or if a roof is too small to allow for solar panels. The new provisions would offer compliance credits for builders who install batteries like Tesla’s Powerwall , allowing them to cut the size of solar systems. Homes won’t need to reach true net zero status under these standards, according to The Orange County Register. Related: San Francisco approves measure to require solar panels on new buildings Compared against a 2006 code, these new standards would add around $25,000 to $30,000 to construction costs, according to Meritage Homes ‘ vice president of environmental affairs C.R. Herro speaking to The Orange County Register. $14,000 to $16,000 of that would go to solar; $10,000 to $15,000 would go to increased insulation and appliances, windows, heating, and lighting that is more efficient . Herro said the $25,000 to $30,000 would lead to $50,000 to $60,000 in reduced operating costs during the home solar power system’s 25-year lifespan. Homebuilder and former Orange County Building Industry Association president Bill Watt told The Orange County Register the added costs could mean home prices are too high for many buyers, saying, “We’re not building enough housing already. Why not just pause for a little while, focus on the affordability and housing issues , then circle back?” Sierra Club California director Kathryn Phillips told The Orange County Register, “The technology is developing so fast, we think the timeline was a bit slow.” Via The Orange County Register Images via Pixabay and U.S. Air Force photo by Kenji Thuloweit

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California is about to be the first US state to require solar power on new homes

Portland shuts down a car lane to make room for more cyclists

May 26, 2015 by  
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The city of Portland, Oregon is giving the city’s bikers and pedestrians, if only for a little while. As of Friday (May 22) and through June 5, the city is creating “pop-up” bike and pedestrian lanes by partitioning off a 15-foot wide, one-mile-long stretch of road that is usually reserved for northbound traffic. Portland has the highest rate of commuter cyclists in the U.S. (between six and eight percent), but there has been angst between the cyclists and walkers. Read the rest of Portland shuts down a car lane to make room for more cyclists Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: new bike lanes , oregon bike lane , pop up bike lanes , portland bike lanes , portland oregon , safer biking paths , test bike lanes

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Portland shuts down a car lane to make room for more cyclists

Site Makes Sharing Your Boat, Plane or 2nd Home Easier (and Green?)

June 6, 2011 by  
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Image credit: Britt Reints , used under Creative Commons license. Second homes, boats and planes don’t generally rank up there as “must have” items for your average TreeHugger—although Lloyd did launch a spirited defense of his own “sinful” second home a little while back

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Site Makes Sharing Your Boat, Plane or 2nd Home Easier (and Green?)

Updating Radar Systems Gives Big US & UK Wind Farms the Air Force Stamp of Approval

May 4, 2010 by  
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Here’s what $30 million gets you if you’re in the market for a new radar… photo: Lockheed Martin Remember a little while back when the US Air Force was objecting to the Shepherds Flat wind farm in Oregon because it could interfere with its radar systems. Over in the UK, the RAF had expressed similar concerns about offshore wind farms.

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Updating Radar Systems Gives Big US & UK Wind Farms the Air Force Stamp of Approval

Corn Ethanol Back in the Game Under New EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Rules

February 9, 2010 by  
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photo: Randy Wick via flickr. New Environmental Protection Agency requirements for its Renewable Fuel Standards program have been released which raise an issue which has sat dormant for a little while: How to calculate the greenhouse gas emissions of a renewable fuel while incorporating indirect land-use changes . The last we left it corn ethanol was on the ropes..

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Corn Ethanol Back in the Game Under New EPA Renewable Fuel Standard Rules

90% of Himalayan Glacier Melting Caused by Aerosols & Black Carbon

February 9, 2010 by  
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photo: Wonker via flickr. We’ve reported a number of times on the growing body of knowledge pointing to aerosols being a greater component of climate change than previously thought, and to black carbon soot accelerating Himalayan glacier melting. Well, some new research from the Lawrence Berkeley Nat..

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90% of Himalayan Glacier Melting Caused by Aerosols & Black Carbon

Two Questions for Vegans

February 1, 2010 by  
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As I have been blogging on this site for a little while, I see some of the exchanges in the comment streams on other folk’s posts.  I was surprised to see that Vegans don’t use honey because it involves domsticated bees

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Two Questions for Vegans

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