India cancels plans for coal power stations as solar prices hit record low

May 26, 2017 by  
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India has canceled plans to construct nearly 14 gigawatts of coal-fired power stations in the country as prices for solar electricity “free fall” to levels once considered impossible, The Independent reports. Experts expect a profound shift in global energy markets as the cost of solar has dropped by 25 percent in some regions. Tim Buckley, the director of energy finance studies at the IEEFA, explains that 13.7GW of coal power projects have been canceled just this month. He added that the dip in solar prices is so low, it will never be repeated. A few factors have contributed to the decline in solar prices. Reportedly, the price of photovoltaic panels — which account for a major percentage of solar power plant’s costs — have dropped by a staggering 30 percent in the past year. This has helped lower prices. Additionally, the Narendra Modi government is working hard to “assure private renewables developers by backing a payment security mechanism,” according to Scroll . For instance, the Solar Energy Corporation of India , the country’s largest solar power purchases, was included in an agreement last year between the Central government, the Reserve Bank of India and the state government. This safeguards it against payment defaults — which is important, as power distribution compares are reportedly notorious for delayed payment to renewable energy producers. Overaggressive bidding is also resulting in a decline in prices, according to The Independent. An auction for a 500-megawatt solar facility, for example, resulted in a tariff of just 2.44 rupees compared to a wholesale price charged by a major coal power utility of 3.2 rupees. That’s a 31 percent difference. Related: Chile’s solar price hits record global low – at half the price of coal “For the first time solar is cheaper than coal in India and the implications this has for transforming global energy markets is profound,” said Buckley. “Measures taken by the Indian Government to improve energy efficiency coupled with ambitious renewable energy targets and the plummeting cost of solar has had an impact on existing as well as proposed coal -fired power plants, rendering an increasing number as financially unviable.” What India is witnessing, says the analyst, is a further indication of the “rise of stranded assets across the Indian power generation sector.” He added, “The caliber of the global financial institutions who are bidding into India’s solar power infrastructure tenders is a strong endorsement of India’s leadership in this energy transformation and will have significant ripple effects into other transforming markets, as is already seen in the UAE, South Africa, Australia, Chile, and Mexico.” In 2017, India’s solar-generation capacity is expected to reach 8.8 gigawatts – a 76 percent increase from 2016. According to renewable energy consultancy Bridge To India, that will make the country the third-largest solar market in the world. Via The Independent Images via Pixabay

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India cancels plans for coal power stations as solar prices hit record low

How Citigroup has gamified employee engagement

January 30, 2017 by  
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“Sustainability has been so focused on impacts to the environment… and lost in the conversation are the people in the building — the occupants,” said Steve Avadek, Director of Sustainability for Citi Realty Services.Avadek sat down with GreenBiz at VERGE 16 to talk about Citigroup’s ambitious green building record and its employee engagement initiatives.

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How Citigroup has gamified employee engagement

Zaha Hadid Architects to build worlds greenest football stadium

November 11, 2016 by  
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As the centerpiece of the pastoral Eco Park , the Forest Green stadium will serve more than just a recreational purpose. The stadium will be built almost entirely of wood for a very low carbon footprint —ZHA says it will have the lowest embodied carbon of any stadium in the world—and pave the way for eco-friendly development in the 100-acre sports and green technology business park. The structure will also accommodate occupational uses outside of football to enable the town to use the stadium year-round. Related: Architects want to transform this football stadium into a giant wave pool “Forest Green Rovers’ new stadium and Eco Park aims to be carbon neutral or carbon negative, including measures such as the provision of on-site renewable energy generation,” said Jim Heverin, Director at ZHA. “The buildings on the site, and their embodied energy, play a substantial role in achieving this ambitious target and demonstrate sustainable architecture can be dynamic and beautiful.” All the timber will be sustainably sourced , from the roof cantilevers and louvered cladding to the seating terraces to the floor slab. A transparent membrane will cover the stadium’s roof to shade the players and spectators, and offer an opportunity for turf growth. + Zaha Hadid Architects Images via Zaha Hadid Architects

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Nissan may soon offer a new subcompact electric car

October 21, 2016 by  
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Nissan ‘s electric car, the Leaf, has been around since the auto-manufacturer launched their 2011 model in December 2010. While there have been hints of a second generation Leaf , comments by Nissan Europe’s Electric Vehicle Director suggest the company may be working on a subcompact electric car instead. Electric Vehicle Director Gareth Dunsmore told Auto Express, “We’ve investing $5.4 billion in electric cars such as the Leaf, so we need to ensure we’re satisfying as many types of customer as possible. In Europe , that could mean looking towards B-segment hatches and SUVs or crossovers.” Thanks to an alliance with French automobile manufacturer Renault , the company has sold over 350,000 fully electric vehicles to date, including 200,000 Leafs. Renault’s ZOE, the best-selling B-segment electric car in Europe, is a five-door hatchback, and Auto Express said a Nissan subcompact electric car may be the ZOE’s “sister car” and even draw on its battery technology and platform. A Nissan subcompact car could be manufactured at the same facility as the ZOE in France, which would enable the facility to produce nearer to capacity. Related: GM’s European Brand Opel Will Be Next Automaker To Release a Subcompact EV However, a subcompact electric car might not be sold in the large American market – at least not initially. Green Car Reports said the market might respond better to an electric crossover. Dunsmore said, “The first people who bought EVs were the proud early adopters. The second people were the fleets. And the third people were families, who wanted affordability and practicality. The Leaf is well placed to deliver to those customers, and will continue to do so. If we look towards crossovers or the B-segment for the next car, those could make perfect sense.” Nissan Corporate Vice President Roel de Vries seemed to back up Dunsmore’s statement when he said, “…we are looking at where we can add more electric cars. The next step would be in another volume sector, which probably isn’t sports cars.” Via Green Car Reports and Auto Express Images via Wikimedia Commons ( 1 , 2 )

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Intriguing ION2 installation in Seattle responds to the movement of passersby

October 21, 2016 by  
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The 98 acrylic panels of the five-foot-wide by seven-foot-tall ION2 prototype is controlled by a micro-servo motor that rotates each individual panel in response to external input and pre-programmed patterns. A Microsoft Kinect and a panel of 98 buttons create the two inputs to the system by picking up activity outside the storefront. A Grasshopper definition sends angle data to the servos through microprocessors that is then translated in the rotation of the acrylic panels. Related: Kinetic “Cloud Seeding” pavilion creates shade with 30,000 tiny balls made of recycled plastic bottles “The installations we build are like sketches, allowing us to physically manifest an idea and begin to see where our attention should be focused,” said Scott Crawford, LMN Tech Studio founding member. “Tech Studio plays a similar role for the office, exploring other directions of what could be next for building systems as well as the tools within our design process.” + LMN Architects

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Intriguing ION2 installation in Seattle responds to the movement of passersby

CDC issues historic Zika virus warning for northern Miami

August 2, 2016 by  
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Fourteen cases of Zika virus have been reported in the Miami area, leading Center for Disease Control (CDC) officials to issue a health alert for pregnant women and their partners living and traveling in that area of Florida . Although the mosquito-borne virus can go virtually undetected in most people, contracting the illness during pregnancy can lead to microcephaly , a severe birth defect that results in children needing lifelong care. Several other countries, including the United Kingdom, have already issued travel advisories for pregnant women traveling to south Florida. On Monday, officials announced that 10 new cases of Zika virus had been identified, adding to four previously known cases. The diagnosed cases are concentrated, leading health officials to believe the highest risk centers around a one-square-mile zone north of downtown in the Wynwood neighborhood. CDC officials believe these Zika cases all began when individuals contracted the disease locally, rather than while traveling overseas. This marks the first locally transmitted occurrence of the Zika virus within the continental United States. Related: The number of pregnant women in the U.S. with Zika virus just tripled The travel warning applies to women who are currently pregnant as well as those who may become pregnant in the near future, as contracting Zika could cause birth defects even after the fact. “Women who were in this area and left this area recently should wait at least eight weeks before trying to get pregnant,” said CDC Director Tom Frieden at a news conference on Monday. Officials continue to warn residents to take action to discourage mosquitoes , such as getting rid of standing water inside homes and backyards, as well as using insect repellant when outside. Widespread pest control attempts by local agencies haven’t had much of an impact on the Aedes aegypti mosquito, which carries the Zika virus, so additional precautions are now necessary. Health officials also noted that the mosquitoes do not travel more than 150 meters in their lifetime, which means the risk is confined to a small geographic area. Via ABC Images via Wikipedia and CDC

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CDC issues historic Zika virus warning for northern Miami

SpoonLed teaches millennials how to turn food waste into gorgeous meals

March 11, 2016 by  
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In most countries, 18 to 24-year-olds are some of the biggest food wasters, but Youth Food Movement Australia is setting out to change that. The Australian non-profit has developed a new video and event series called SpoonLed that teaches millennials creative cooking hacks for preventing food waste . Participants will learn everything from mastering how to cook produce past its peak, to rescuing the parts of vegetables we normally chuck. Creative Director, Helena Rosebery, says, “It’s not about guilt, it’s about creative solutions – and empowering people to lead and eat by example in social ways that gives food the respect it deserves.” Check out the video below for some cooking tricks you can use right now. + SpoonLed The article above was submitted to us by an Inhabitat reader. Want to see your story on Inhabitat ? Send us a tip by following this link. Remember to follow our instructions carefully to boost your chances of being chosen for publishing!

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SpoonLed teaches millennials how to turn food waste into gorgeous meals

The North Face’s Backyard Project features clothing proudly grown and sewn in the USA

March 6, 2016 by  
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The North Face has jumped on the bandwagon of going local and domestic with production. The outdoor-apparel company just unveiled the fruits of their Backyard Project , a clothing line that not only features garments made in the USA, but are also 100% made from cotton grown in the States. “The Backyard Project is about connecting with local artisans right here in the U.S.A.,” said Sumi Scott, the director of sportswear. “It’s about knowing which farms grew your cotton, who spun the yarn, or how your product was dyed.” Read the rest of The North Face’s Backyard Project features clothing proudly grown and sewn in the USA

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After $500M Lyft bet, GM chases sustainable self-driving cars

January 15, 2016 by  
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General Motors Executive Director of Urban Mobility Peter Kosak weighs in on the automaker’s future in transportation tech.

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After $500M Lyft bet, GM chases sustainable self-driving cars

Starbucks on scaling sustainability innovation

August 3, 2015 by  
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Starbucks’ Director of Environmental Impact, Jim Hanna talks about scaling sustainability, saying without scale, we’re not going to make a dent in solving the world’s climate crisis.

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