New Florida legislation could shutter state’s solar uptake

January 26, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Green

A bill recently introduced to the Florida legislature could hamper rooftop solar efforts in the state. Republican Senator Jennifer Bradley introduced the bill, which proposed reducing solar reimbursement rates by up to 75%, among other changes. Why the change? Some critics point out lobbying by Florida Power & Light. According to CNN, “A draft version of the bill Bradley introduced was delivered to her by a Florida Power & Light lobbyist on October 18.” Further, Women Building the Future, a political group associated with Bradley, received a $10,000 donation two days later from NextEra Energy, Florida Power & Light’s parent company. However, Bradley claims her real reason for supporting the legislation is because the solar industry is now “mature, with many competitors, large publicly traded companies, and substantially reduced prices.” Related: Solar panel technology breakthrough to increase efficiency Those opposing the legislation argue it will crush Florida’s solar power uptake. The incentives offered to solar power users, such as payback for the power saved, have encouraged a surge in solar use. If the new bill passes, solar uptake could decline drastically. According to solar industry insiders, the bill could make Florida one of the least attractive states for residential solar consumers. On the other hand, utility power suppliers will gain substantially from the move. “It would mean that we would have to close our business here in the state of Florida and pivot to another state,” said Stephanie Provost, chief marketing officer for Vision Solar, while addressing lawmakers at a recent committee hearing. Currently, Florida solar users are reimbursed at a rate similar to other states. Reimbursement comes in the form of a credit on their monthly bills. While Florida has enjoyed this incentive for some time, it still trails behind other states in solar uptake. Today, only about 90,000 Florida homes run on solar power, representing just 1% of all electric consumers in the state. Florida also ranks 21st in the country in terms of solar residential systems per capita. Steve Rutherford, founder of Tampa Bay Solar, worries about how this legislation could impact his livelihood. “It’s going to be a crusher for the solar industry,” Rutherford told CNN. “For 90% of the people that work for me, this will be a significant blow for their pocketbooks.” Via CNN Lead image via Pexels

See the original post here: 
New Florida legislation could shutter state’s solar uptake

Ambitious new EV charging network launches in the US

January 19, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Access to charging stations is one of the stumbling blocks for America’s proposed electric vehicle future. Missouri-based EOS Linx found a way to combine its work in advertising, security, data analytics and renewable energy into an interesting package that could quickly boost EV drivers’ charging options. They’re pairing charging stations with 75-inch screens that will advertise stuff to people charging their cars — and even passers-by. Expect these charging stations to pop up at hotels, convenience stores and other businesses, starting with Atlanta , Chattanooga and Dallas . Inhabitat interviewed Jeff Hutchins, chief information officer at EOS Linx, about the company’s plan for its new charging and advertising network. Related: Stadler electric trains are on their way to Germany Inhabitat: What does the name EOS Linx mean? Hutchins: Eos is the Greek goddess of the dawn, who opened the gates of heaven for the sun to rise. EOS “rose” in October 2020 through the linkage of separate business operations that each focused on a component of what is now the EOS integrated platform. By linking the various solutions, EOS is best positioned to maximize the rollout opportunities of the EOS Charge Station and support the growing need for EV infrastructure across the country. Inhabitat: Who are the people who came up with the idea? Hutchins: EOS Linx was founded by the collaborative efforts of Mike Mills, Dan Briggs, myself and Blake Snider. Each founder brought a unique perspective and established history from their respective business lines – solar energy, EV chargers, renewable investments and technology operations and integration. Together, EOS Linx leverages these partnerships and expertise to create new opportunities in the industry. We continue to evolve the vision as we roll out our deployment and learn from our end users. The primary goal of our approach is to drive improvement in the overall user experience.   Inhabitat: What kind of business partners do you have so far? Hutchins: EOS Linx partners are industry experts in a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, digital out-of-home advertising, solar solutions, wireless connectivity and EV charging . We partner with organizations that demonstrate a similar vision and moral ethic committed to making smart community solutions available to everyone. EOS Linx has a robust channel program that encourages participation on all fronts – manufacturing, installation, operations, advertising, technology integration, loyalty program management and site acquisition. We believe that the fastest and most efficient path to a truly sustainable network will come from intelligent partnering and interoperability.   Inhabitat: How did you decide to start with building charging stations in Atlanta, Dallas and Chattanooga? Hutchins: We have a very detailed analytical process where we evaluate every market based on dozens of factors, including economic development, innovation programs, market value, economic diversity, EV readiness, advertising value and many others. We perform analysis on each market, potential partners and each location to determine feasibility. These three markets met our criteria and provided us with great partners and friendly utility programs. We found great anchor location partners, as well, with convenience store co-ops like the Lone Star Business Association Cooperative, Atlanta Retailers Association and Independent Buyer’s Co-Op. We are moving into two more markets in early 2022 that will be announced shortly.  Inhabitat: What percentage of the car charge is coming from your solar panel? Hutchins: The digital out of home (DooH) advertising and all of the technology components are 100% solar powered. The only power that is coming from the grid is for the actual EV charging. Our solar generation provides excess energy beyond what the technology components require, which augments the EV charging where possible. The amount will vary from site to site based on the environmental factors and orientation. In these early deployments, we are focused on gathering the data around power generation and utilization. We will analyze that data and use it to become even more energy efficient and leverage energy storage on a larger scale. We have designed our units to be highly configurable and flexible to adjust the parts and pieces once we have this data . We believe in the utility companies and the services they provide, and we feel it is critical to work with them from both a business and a technical standpoint in designing a solution that provides the best possible experience for the end user. Inhabitat: Please describe a person’s typical charging experience. Hutchins: We want people to feel informed, safe and comfortable when they use our charging network. The EOS Charge Station is equipped with a universal adapter. Charge time varies based on location and the car itself – most stations are equipped with a high end 40amp Level 2 charger, while other locations have fast chargers installed. We work with our site partners to understand their goals and install the best charger for the lifestyle of users and the use case of their specific location. However, since EOS Charge Stations are designed to be modular, an upgraded charger can be installed at anytime business needs change. Inhabitat: Tell us about your missing children campaign. Hutchins: The DooH advertising component included in every EOS Charge Station gives us the ability to serve the community with public service announcements, including our partnership with the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). One 15 second spot within each advertising loop (3 minutes) is dedicated to finding missing children in each market. Our team works closely with the NCMEC to quickly display any alerts received. In addition to our partnership with NCMEC and other public service alerts, EOS Linx also runs an awareness campaign for Code Adam, a missing child safety program. EOS is proud to support the important mission of this organization and program dedicated to keeping children safe. Inhabitat: How are EOS Linx kiosks different from other EV chargers already on the market? Hutchins: EOS Charge Stations are modular – each key component can be upgraded/replaced quickly and easily as needed to meet evolving and changing market demands. This is extremely valuable as new demographics of users continue to emerge and EV charging technology changes faster than it can be permitted and deployed. We strongly believe this separates us from many of the other solutions. We are also very focused on the user experience and aligning that with the deployment location. Inhabitat: How does EOS Linx make its money through the ads and data capture? Hutchins: Our EOS Charge Stations are installed at no cost to our partners – including hotel and convenience store owners. We cover the capital cost, the installation, the operations and maintenance and the electricity . We believe that EOS Charge Stations should be turn-key and hands-off for our location partners. With an EOS Charge Station installed, property owners can provide EV drivers with added convenience and promote sustainability initiatives throughout their communities. We also offer the location partners integrated messaging through the screen and our mobile application. This creates economic value for both the location partner and the EV driver. Ad revenue generated through the DooH advertising displays helps offset the cost of the installation and maintenance for the EOS Charge Stations. The DooH program provides EOS Linx with the tools to continue our mission of renewable energy solutions and ultimately helps support our nation’s ambitious EV growth targets. Inhabitat: What else should people know about EOS Linx? Hutchins: EOS Linx has been an evolving business for the last four years, and coalesced into its current form in 2020. The EOS Linx team and ownership group has a unique background in renewable energy, fund management and distributed implementations. This positions us well to take advantage of the current and future incentives and support the creation of “smart community solutions.” We are also preparing to launch an app this year to enhance the EV user experience and foster a community (with economic benefits) for EV drivers. In addition to locating charging stations, the app will be able to share important aspects of EOS Charge Station locations (including safety and lighting) and encourage users to share their feedback. We want people to feel informed, safe and comfortable when they use our charging network. + EOS Linx Images via EOS Linx

Read the original: 
Ambitious new EV charging network launches in the US

The climate crisis could sink the UK’s economy by 2045

January 18, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

The U.K. is at risk of losing 1% of its economy every year by 2045 due to the climate crisis . This is according to the U.K. government’s recent assessment of the risks posed by climate change. In a five-year analysis of the climate risk, officials determined that the U.K. stands to lose even more if actions are not taken to reverse the climate crisis.   The assessment found that if global temperatures are allowed to rise above 2 degrees Celsius, more action will be needed for flood defenses, restoration of natural resources such as peatlands, and building a more resilient environment . Other areas that would cost the government include decreased food production and infrastructure destruction from extreme weather events. Flooding alone could cause a loss of at least £1 billion ($1.36 billion) each year by 2050. Related: Climate change is already affecting 85% of world population According to Jo Churchill, the minister for climate adaptation, “The scale and severity of the challenge posed by climate change means we cannot tackle it overnight, and although we’ve made good progress in recent years there is clearly much more that we need to do.” Churchill added that the government will be committing to more significant efforts in dealing with the climate crisis risks to help the country become more resilient. “By recognising the further progress that needs to be made, we’re committing to significantly increasing our efforts and setting a path towards the third national adaptation programme, which will set ambitious and robust policies to make sure we are resilient to climate change into the future,” Churchill said. Climate campaigners, on the other hand, see the U.K.’s plans as short-sighted, since they only seek to mitigate climate impacts instead of solving the problem itself. Signe Norberg of the Aldersgate Group of businesses supporting sustainability said, “Investing in a healthier natural environment is key to making the UK more resilient to the impacts of climate change and it will be critical that the government puts forward ambitious and credible targets under the Environment Act.” Via The Guardian Lead image via Pixabay

The rest is here:
The climate crisis could sink the UK’s economy by 2045

New chip brand upcycles corn germ for water-saving snack

January 17, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Americans eat a million tons of tortilla chips per year. But as we crunch our snack foods , few of us ever realize their water cost. Million tons of chips have a water footprint of 180 billion gallons. Josh Death, founder of Kazoo Snacks, wants people to enjoy a chip while not decimating Earth’s water supply. His new, water-saving tortilla chip brand upcycles corn germ to save 20 gallons of water per bag of chips. Death talked to Inhabitat about why chips require so much water and how he hopes to change American snacking. Related: Fast food, snacks and treats that are surprisingly vegan Inhabitat: How did you find out that traditional chip-making processes use so much water? Death: I can see how some might assume that it’s the chip production that’s water-intensive, but the abundant water-use actually takes place before the corn is even in the hands of manufacturers. Tortilla chips are made using large quantities of corn, and growing that corn requires water. Lots of water. Growing just one pound of corn requires 110 gallons of freshwater. In 2020, for example, the U.S. consumed 1 million tons of tortilla chips. To grow enough corn to meet this demand for one year’s worth of consumption, it would take 180 billion gallons of water. Very few of us are aware of the demand our food consumption places on our agricultural systems, but this is why sustainable agriculture, combined with eco-friendly manufacturing, is so important. At Kazoo, we’re able to save water by using upcycled corn germ, which just so happens to be the most nutrient-dense part of the corn kernel. This allows us to make a tortilla chip that uses less corn and less water, without compromising taste. Inhabitat: How did you get into the chip business? Death: I’m an intellectual property lawyer and have worked in the pharmaceutical and banking industry for 20 plus years; but at my core, I have always been somewhat of a frustrated entrepreneur who truly wants to make a difference. Several years ago, I helped co-develop the non-toxic disinfectant Cleanwell and Benefect. I entered the chip industry by a confluence of three factors: a desire for a new business opportunity, an internal calling to create a snack that was better for the Earth and an inclination to create a better snack for people that doubly served as a leading example of how food manufacturers can conserve water and waste less. I experimented with several ideas before finding promise of all three factors in Kazoo. Inhabitat: Tell us about developing the water-saving process. Death: The water saving aspect comes from sourcing corn germ for our chips, which is a by-product of the corn starch industry. Ironically, the difficulties we faced with the development of Kazoo was related to the corn germ. Namely, getting a large amount of corn germ into a tortilla chip that tasted great and was workable in a typical tortilla chip plant. I worked with three different labs over about three years to get a workable product on the bench, and then about another year sourcing a co-packer who could work with our revised process and scale up the bench samples. The last lab I worked with was with the top corn scientist in the world. They were keen to work with me because no one had ever accomplished what I was aiming to achieve.  My co-packer has been amazing as well. Scaling up from the bench to full commercial production exposed numerous other challenges that needed to be overcome. I faced a number of obstacles, as many leading food scientists and manufacturers didn’t believe producing a chip using 40% upcycled corn germ and only 60% fresh corn was possible — but we did it. And our water savings claims aren’t just fluff. We went the extra mile of having our calculations vetted and validated by former FDA food lawyers. We also presented our claims to the U.S. Water Council, who called Kazoo “a unicorn.” Today, we are the only 100% sustainable tortilla chip on the market, and the only brand to present its water-saving claims on its packaging . We do this because we believe consumers have a desire to eat more sustainably, but just need a heads up about what’s actually sustainable as they’re in the store shopping. Placing our water savings claims front and center on our packaging will hopefully allow consumers to choose the more sustainable option. Inhabitat: Do you know of other products that require surprising amounts of water to produce? Death: All corn products require a substantial amount of water to grow the corn. In 2020, approximately one million tons of tortilla chips were consumed in the U.S. Assuming all U.S. corn was used (likely) that would have required about 180 billion gallons of fresh water. If our process had been used to process the same amount of corn , we could save 58 billion gallons of water per year. We’re only a few short years away from facing a global water crisis. It’s also been documented that things like coffee , meat, rice and wheat all take a substantial amount of water to grow. It’s interesting, because just about every CPG brand needs water to manufacture their product . And if you look at the data, it’s clear that the food industry is partially responsible for the state of our water crisis, as it regularly uses 70% of the world’s waters. A new study by an organization called Ceres outlines the destruction the food industry is having on our world’s water supply. It shows that most CPG brands simply aren’t acting fast enough. It’s a great and humbling feeling to be among the few brands being progressive about this issue, and the only brand on the market to be focused exclusively on water conservation, without compromising taste. It isn’t commonplace for any of us to think about water- waste while snacking on our favorite foods, but we’re hoping to change that with Kazoo. Inhabitat: How did you come up with the name Kazoo Snacks? Death: Environmental sustainability is a challenging issue that has polarized people and some of the best-known advocates are quite divisive. I wanted a brand that was innocent, fun and brought back fond carefree memories to people – making music on the kazoo when you were a kid – it didn’t matter your musical talent, you could play the kazoo and sound great. Inhabitat: What else should readers know about Kazoo Snacks? Death: That we’re trying. There are a lot of things we want to accomplish, but it’s a journey.  We want more sustainable packaging but that’s a massive industry challenge, and we’ll move with the leaders as new materials become available. We’d like to offer consumers organic tortilla chips, but our goal is to reduce waste by making use of corn germ that would typically go to waste streams or animal feed – which is mindboggling because it’s the most nutrient-dense part of corn. As more mainstream brands switch to organic corn, there will be more organic corn germ to use in our products. As that happens, we’ll be sure to make the switch. We’d also like consumers to know that we need your support.  Grocery chains and other distributors recognize sustainability is a trend, but they don’t know how it will play out and if it will be good business. As such, we need customers to support products like Kazoo so that we can become more recognized in the public eye like “organic” food was. Our goal is to save one billion gallons of water by 2025. Sustainability is not just a trend. It is a lifestyle forward to a better future. Together we can move the needle. + Kazoo Chips Images via Teresa Bergen and Pexels

See the original post:
New chip brand upcycles corn germ for water-saving snack

Prague Meander competition to reinvent Prague neighborhood

January 14, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Urban planning is central for new or re-imagined areas that house and employ the population. Sometimes it’s a process that happens before a city even takes root. Other times, as in the case of Prague Meander, an area is given a second life. Prague has opened the doors for an international competitive dialogue, which is a design competition that incorporates a variety of professional planners. This includes landscape architects, architects or urban designers and  water  engineers creating a blueprint that meets the needs of all invested parties such as politicians, administrators and important local entities. Related: New riverside development in China will be an urban renewal   This competitive dialogue is focused on a 56-hectare piece of land located on the bank of the Prague Meander and site of a future, but now outdated, plan for Maniny Park. The districts of Karlín and Libe? suffered significant flood damage in 2002, changing the future of the then mostly working-class neighborhood. The area is targeted for continued growth to connect the business and residential builds of the past 20 years with other improvements in the region. The resulting design of this competition will embrace all these aspects of the area. “The aim of the project is to prepare a Rohan Island and Libe? Island Concept Plan, i.e. a strategic development plan for the next decades, and, most importantly, to draw up a detailed landscape study of the Maniny Park project, which will provide flood protection and bring people closer to the river,” explained Petr Hlavá?ek, the Deputy Mayor responsible for Territorial Planning. With a new plan in place, the development will happen gradually and remain somewhat flexible to changing needs as it comes together. The primary goal for the region is not only to provide a natural metropolitan park but to connect the region to the city and the river. Perhaps the premier goal, however, is to offer flood protection against inevitable future events.  “The competitive dialogue concerns a 56-hectare site alongside the Vltava River, the vast majority of which is not developable with buildings. The future handling of this area should respect the history of the site, build on its character, strengthen its identity and reflect the wildness of the local landscape,” said Petr Hlubu?ek, Deputy Mayor of Prague for the  Environment .  With an emphasis on the natural surroundings of the river and parkways, the development will mirror the community vibe of the future Vltava Philharmonic Hall on the opposite bank.  + IPR Praha Images via IPR Praha

Excerpt from:
Prague Meander competition to reinvent Prague neighborhood

Net-zero emissions area will be built on renewable energy

January 11, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green

Comments Off on Net-zero emissions area will be built on renewable energy

Bjarke Ingels Group’s (BIG) Oslo Science City is part of Oslo’s 2019 Strategy for the Development of the Knowledge Capital, a 1.4 million square meter hub that aims to house 150,000 scientists, entrepreneurs and students. The area will also contribute to the country’s shift to renewable energy. Oslo Science City was developed by not only Bjarke Ingels Group, but A-lab, mobility experts CIVITAS, design community COMTE BUREAU and advisors Dr. Tim Moonen/THE BUSINESS OF CITIES and Leo Grünfeld/MENON ECONOMICS. Related: Nearly 5,000 prefab concrete panels wrap BIG-designed “outdoor urban room” in France In central Oslo, home to 300 start-up companies, 7,500 researchers, 10,000 hospital employees and 30,000 students, a feasibility study has been underway to create an innovation district for Norway . The idea: to support 22% projected growth for Oslo by 2045, or about 1.6 million inhabitants. Oslo Science City plans to create an innovation district that aims to be a net-zero emissions area built on renewable energy and circular economic principles. “Our design for Oslo Science City seeks to strengthen and develop the existing communities and neighborhoods while expanding the area’s diversity through new spaces to live, work and share knowledge,” said Bjarke Ingels, founder and creative director of BIG. “To manifest the identity of Oslo Science City, the elements of the master plan are tied together in a continuous loop of welcoming multifunctional buildings and spaces that open out towards the streets and create an engaging urban environment.” Oslo Science City is designed to house Norway’s largest life sciences building for research and teaching, which will be completed by 2026. It will also have an expansion of the existing Oslo Cancer Cluster. Another research center called Climate, Energy and Environment will create a campus and center for research and innovation between the country’s leading research institute SINTEF , The Norwegian Geotechnical Institute, the Norwegian Institute for Energy Technology, the Norwegian Institute for Water Research and the Norwegian Institute for Air Research, among others.  Digitalization and Computational Science will be housed here too, which aims to foster collaborations between the Department of Informatics at the University of Oslo . In addition, there will be collaboration with The Norwegian Computing Center and Norwegian Artificial Intelligence Research Consortium, which explores artificial intelligence, machine learning and robotics. There will also be a Department of  Democracy and Inclusion, where new knowledge will be developed. It will be about the threats and solutions to strengthen democracy, the role of democratic institutions in a time of technological disruption, increased economic inequality and anti-democratic forces.  Oslo Science City aims to excel in planning processes as well. There will be efficient land use and densification kept in mind, along with increasing the amount of biomass in the area. Oslo Science City will include not only eco-friendly buildings, but a green corridor through the hub, extensive tree planting and emissions-free mobility solutions. + Bjarke Ingels Group Images via PLAYTIME and Bjarke Ingels Group

Original post:
Net-zero emissions area will be built on renewable energy

How to use long-term thinking when choosing near-term energy solutions

January 11, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on How to use long-term thinking when choosing near-term energy solutions

Sponsored: When discussing which energy solutions businesses should prioritize, Shell Energy applies this three-phase approach.

Original post:
How to use long-term thinking when choosing near-term energy solutions

LIVDEN decorative tiles are made with recycled materials

January 7, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Eco, Green, Recycle

Comments Off on LIVDEN decorative tiles are made with recycled materials

Founders (and step-sisters) Georgie Smith and Hilary Gibbs began with a simple idea to expand options for interior design with decorative tiles to accent any space. They then embedded the idea of sustainability into the business plan and launched LIVDEN. The fresh and innovative patterns add a unique flair to walls and countertops with minimal environmental impact. Each tile is made using upcycled post-consumer materials. The duo identifies their core values as sustainability, originality and accessibility and the newest Fall 2021 Capsule Collection seems to embrace all three. Related: Eco Method Interiors marries environmental science and design The company designs two types of tiles. The PaperStone tiles are created from recycled paper and a non-petroleum resin comprised of 90% recycled melamine and 100% recycled phenolic saturated papers. According to the website, “PaperStone products are also certified recycled by the Rainforest Alliance to the Forest Stewardship Council® (FSC®) standards.” Terrazzo, the second type of tile, contains 65% to 66% post-consumer recycled material.   In addition to a focus on material selection, the company is dedicated to pairing with green manufacturing partners in order to minimize resources and waste . “From the onset of LIVDEN, one of our highest priorities was fostering relationships with manufacturers that shared our commitment to and passion for the environment,” said LIVDEN. “We are fortunate to have partnered with like-minded, eco-conscious suppliers who innovative sustainable manufacturing methods and continually work to lessen their environmental impact.”  All materials and products are sourced and manufactured in the U.S. The company is headquartered in San Diego, California . Manufacturers are located in Washington and Florida. The company thinks it’s important to minimize transport emissions while creating domestic job opportunities saying, “Our manufacturing partners are domestically based, and we are incredibly proud to offer a made-in-the-USA product that’s fueled by American craftsmanship.”  At a local level, LIVDEN shows its commitment to the community through recycling all metals, glass and plastics that leaves the facility. It also organizes annual community service events and offers employees full benefits and livable wages.  + LIVDEN  Images via LIVDEN 

Read the original post:
LIVDEN decorative tiles are made with recycled materials

To create better products and a better society, we need designers

January 7, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on To create better products and a better society, we need designers

Designers’ skills could help business leaders and policymakers approach the wider systemic issues more effectively.

Here is the original:
To create better products and a better society, we need designers

What does Deere’s fully autonomous tractor mean for sustainability in agriculture?

January 7, 2022 by  
Filed under Business, Green

Comments Off on What does Deere’s fully autonomous tractor mean for sustainability in agriculture?

While an unmanned tractor can help with labor shortages and overcoming seasonal limitations, the sustainability implications are a little more varied.

Read the original post:
What does Deere’s fully autonomous tractor mean for sustainability in agriculture?

Next Page »

Bad Behavior has blocked 8397 access attempts in the last 7 days.