Big corporate and civic fleet buyers push for more EV choices

July 12, 2018 by  
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An airy, brick-walled space, next to a Formula E race track, set the scene for a campaign kickoff Tuesday in Brooklyn, New York, intended to promote zero-emission vehicles (ZEVs) as a way to fight climate change at a time when the federal government wants to relax rules to limit tailpipe emissions.

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Big corporate and civic fleet buyers push for more EV choices

Nearly all new US energy capacity came from solar and wind in early 2018

April 25, 2018 by  
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In the first two months of 2018, the United States installed 1,568 megawatts of wind and 565 MW of solar — which accounted for a whopping 98 percent of all new power generation capacity. Meanwhile, only 40 MW of natural gas capacity was installed in the same time period. These findings are detailed in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s (FERC) latest “ Energy Infrastructure Update ,” which arrives even as the Trump administration attempts to align federal policy with the interests of the fossil fuel industry. Despite administration resistance to renewable energy, several states that voted for Trump in the 2016 election are benefiting from the installation of major clean energy projects within their borders. This includes the 170 MW Beaver Creek Wind Project and the 168 MW Prairie Wind Project in Iowa , as well as the 81 MW Stuttgart Solar Project in Arkansas . As the cost of solar and wind energy continues to drop, the fundamental economics of the situation encourage further investments in clean energy. Related: Solar outshined all fossil-fuels sources combined in 2017 The recent FERC report projects that renewable energy will continue to dominate new power generation capacity installed over the next several years. FERC estimates that 147,000, or 69 percent, of the 212,000 MW power generation capacity expected to be installed between now and March 2021 will be from renewable energy sources. It also predicts that coal plants, despite a more industry-friendly administration, will continue to close without replacement, shrinking the number of active coal plants over time. Net coal power generation is expected to fall by 15,000 MW over the next several years. Via Think Progress Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Nearly all new US energy capacity came from solar and wind in early 2018

Greenpeace releases first images of newly-discovered Amazon reef

February 6, 2017 by  
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  Feast your eyes on some of the first images ever made of a unique coral reef near Brazil that turned a lot of heads in the scientific community –  due to its diversity of new species – when it was first discovered in 2016. Sadly, these photos may be some of the last, as oil drilling nearby may damage the reef if it goes ahead. According to The Guardian , the first images of the reef were recently released by Greenpeace, after being taken off the coast of Brazil at a depth of 220 meters by the Greenpeace ship Esperanza. Discovered in in 2016, these are the first images of the 600 mile-long reef that scientists expect will reveal various new species as it is explored further. Spanning the mouth of the Amazon river , from French Guiana to Maranhao State in Brazil, scientists have already found more than 60 species of fish, spiny lobsters and stars in the reef. “This reef system is important for many reasons, including the fact that it has unique characteristics regarding use and availability of light,” Nils Asp, a researcher at the Federal University of Pará in Belém, Brazil, told The Guardian . “It has a huge potential for new species, and it is also important for the economic well-being of fishing communities along the Amazonian coastal zone.” But oil exploration is happening in the area and companies, including Total, BP and Petrobras could start drilling at any point, if they get permission from the Brazilian government. Greenpeace, unsurprisingly, is opposed to the drilling and plans to protect the reef. Related: Ancient city constructed on a coral reef remains the only one of its kind “We must defend the reef and the entire region at the mouth of the Amazon river basin from the corporate greed that puts profits ahead of the environment,” Greenpeace campaigner, Thiago Almeida told The Guardian . Via The Guardian Images via Greenpeace  

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Greenpeace releases first images of newly-discovered Amazon reef

Obama orders US govt to consider climate change a national security issue

September 22, 2016 by  
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In a historic first for the United States, President Barack Obama signed a memorandum this week to require federal policy makers to factor climate change when deciding matters of national security . The directive impacts 20 federal agencies and offices that work on climate science, intelligence and national security. Obama ordered those agencies must “collaborate to ensure the best information on climate impacts is available to strengthen our national security” through the newly formed Federal Climate and National Security Working Group . In the next 90 days, the new working group is required to develop and release an action plan concerning the intersection of climate change and national security . The affected agencies will then be expected to identify steps to carry out that plan. This is the first time US federal agencies will be required to factor in issues related to climate change when developing doctrine, policies, and plans concerning national security. Related: Pentagon report states climate change is an immediate threat to national security “Simply put, our agencies want to protect our nation against this threat,” said Alice Hill, special assistant to the president and senior director for resilience policy at the National Security Council, in a conference call with media. She also said the directive establishes “a unified approach to identify the priorities for the federal government.” The directive could easily be overturned by the next president, but White House officials say the continued effects of climate change will have an increasing impact on national security over time. Debates among politicians may be ongoing about the severity of climate change and some, like Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, still believe security decisions should trump environmental concerns in most cases. Despite previously backing legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions, Graham said Obama’s new directive was “elevating it beyond where it needs to be right now.” Via Washington Post Images via Wikipedia  and Pexels

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Obama orders US govt to consider climate change a national security issue

Urban Rigger: affordable floating dorms made from shipping containers in Copenhagen

September 22, 2016 by  
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Copenhagen icon and world-renowned architect Bjarke Ingels designed the Urban Rigger units, but the idea was the brainchild of Kim Loudrop, an entrepreneur who founded the Urban Rigger startup. Loudrop sought to create a “revolutionary and innovative floating dwelling system” that took advantage of unused prime real estate—the water. The urgent student housing shortage galvanized the entrepreneur, who also noticed that 80 percent of major universities in Europe were centrally located in cities, with many near bodies of water. The floating Urban Rigger dorms built on the water seemed like a natural solution. Copenhagen was used as the first testing ground—the city is one of the ten costliest cities in the world to live in—but the startup has hopes of expanding the patented concept worldwide. Flexible, floating, and undeniably cool, the mobile Urban Rigger units offer waterfront living at a fraction of the normal cost. BIG’s 680-square-meter modular design comprises nine stacked shipping container units organized in a circle to frame a centralized winter garden and common area. Each modular shipping container dorm houses 12 students, who have their own bedroom, bathroom, and kitchen, but also have access to a 160-square-meter common green courtyard, kayak landing, bathing platform, barbecue area, and 65-square-meter communal roof terrace. Related: 7,500 affordable floating homes could help fight London’s crippling housing crisis To meet carbon neutral status, the floating dorms are powered by solar energy and a hydro-based heat-exchange system that draws on seawater as a natural source of heat. NASA-developed aerogel is used to insulate the interiors, while Grundfos energy-saving pumps are installed for wastewater, heating, circulation, and drinking water. Urban Rigger says the shipping containers, made entirely of Corten Steel, are upcycled to save on materials, energy, and cost . According to Fast Company , each energy-efficient shipping container dormitory is manufactured at a Polish shipyard for $700 to $800 per square foot. Urban Rigger has already begun plans to build their next 24-unit project in Sweden and is fielding requests from North America. But the success of the startup will depend on the willingness of cities to open up their waterfront properties to the affordable floating dwellings. Fortunately, the company and Ingels are optimistic. “We might be in a situation where the goodwill of addressing an issue that is important to the government means that we’d get some access to the key waterfront sites under their control,” Ingels told Fast Company . The architect also sees potential in the experimental model for future applications in refugee housing and his firm even has plans of building Urban Rigger housing for their interns. + Urban Rigger Via Fast Company Images via Urban Rigger and BIG

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Urban Rigger: affordable floating dorms made from shipping containers in Copenhagen

Mesmerizing resin table illuminates a Starry Sea with LED lights

September 22, 2016 by  
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Chapelin’s series was born on the island of St. Martin, where he featured his notable “Lagoon” series of tables. Slabs of marble are sourced from the nearby island of Anguilla, each with distinctly different character. The “Starry Sea” is meant to mimic the contours of the Caribbean sea, using blue acrylic to give the stunning impression of varying depth, underwater terrain, and coastal landscapes. Related: Breathtaking new “Lagoon” tables capture the beauty of the ocean An LED light system illuminates the table with the use of a rechargeable battery, giving up to 300 hours of light per charge. A remote control is included, but by downloading the LED Magic Color app onto your smartphone, you can control a wide range of hypnotizing hues and unique luminous effects. Even on the cloudiest of nights, you can enjoy both the visual effect of the sea and glimmering stars right in your living room. + La Table Images via Alexandre Chapelin

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Mesmerizing resin table illuminates a Starry Sea with LED lights

UK opens its first ‘pay-as-you-feel’ food waste grocery store

September 22, 2016 by  
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The first food waste grocery store in the United Kingdom has opened, operating on a “pay-as-you-feel” model to help people on tight budgets obtain vital nutrition for their families. The Real Junk Food Project opened the store in Pudsey, near Leeds, and the warehouse is full of many of the same products found in regular supermarkets, except that they are closer to their expiration dates or have dinged or dented packaging. For whatever price they can afford, people can buy fresh pasta, juice, pasta sauce, fruit, vegetables, and even desserts. Globally, more than 1.3 billion metric tons of food is wasted or spoiled each year and some 795 million people lack regular access to healthy food. Finding ways to divert some of that food waste into hungry mouths has both environmental and public health benefits, so these so-called “food waste supermarkets” are a growing trend. The Real Junk Food Project opened the UK’s first such store after its success with a number of pay-as-you-feel cafes around the UK serving freshly prepared meals made from food destined to be wasted. Related: 400 million meals are wasted every year in the UK alone Since the store’s initial opening on August 29, staff of the Real Junk Food Project have attempted to operate the food waste supermarket (which is awaiting an official name) seven days a week (based on availability) to make food as accessible as possible to the local community. The organizers partner with other local nonprofits working to “rescue” food from the waste stream, stocking the warehouse shelves with all sorts of fresh foods that don’t quite meet the standards of regular grocery stores but are still perfectly suitable for consumption. This is the first such store in the UK, but it echoes similar programs elsewhere in Europe, such as Denmark’s WeFood , which started selling expired food products earlier this year in an effort to reduce food waste and connect people with affordable food. Via The Independent Images via The Real Junk Food Project

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UK opens its first ‘pay-as-you-feel’ food waste grocery store

Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

September 22, 2016 by  
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Cold hard science in the clean energy space has a wonderful way of debunking misinformation fueled by politics and corporate greed, and nobody does that better than the husband and wife team behind the Land Art Generator Initiative (LAGI). Elizabeth and Monoian and Robert Ferry have dished up an illuminating new infographic which demonstrates how much surface area is required to transition California away from energy sources that jeopardize planetary health to 100 percent renewables; take a closer look after the jump. LAGI writes: “Starting in 2009 with the Surface Area Required to Power the World with Solar , we have been making the case that the renewable energy transition, while a huge undertaking, is not any more ambitious in scale than previous human endeavors, and that the footprint on our environment can be designed to be in harmony with nature and provide a unique benefit to human culture.” The graphic depicts a mix of renewable energy technologies and how much land would be required to implement them – based on how much power each county currently consumes. “Much of the infrastructure can be located within our cities—on rooftops and through creative and community-owned applications in public spaces,” they write on their blog . “The rest could easily be located in the places that have already been disturbed by oil and gas extraction—the dark dots on the map.” In other words, the transition need not absorb more land than has already been appropriated to provide California residents with energy, and it is realistic for the State to attain a 100 percent renewable energy economy by 2050. Related: Elon Musk’s idea for powering the entire US with solar energy holds a lot of water In their study The Future of Solar Energy , MIT demonstrates that the same land use principle in California essentially applies to the entire country. LAGI wrote, “We were fascinated to learn across the entire US, the land area required to satisfy 100% of U.S. 2050 energy demand with PV would be no larger than the surface area that has already been ‘disturbed by surface mining for coal’.” They added that given the unprecedented threat of human-induced climate change , the global community can’t afford to pursue a less rigorous stance on climate change than California has done. Indeed, they question whether even that will be enough to avert the worst effects of warming temperatures and its cascade of consequences. “Don’t ask how much it will cost because that is the wrong question,” they said. “What will be the cost to the children born in 2016 if we do not act now? The technology exists to begin today, and the economic stimulus effect of a WPA-scale regenerative infrastructure project for the 21st century will bestow positive benefits for generations.” + Land Art Generator Initiative

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Brilliant graphic shows surface area required to power California with 100% renewables

Are we headed toward a solar tax cliff?

July 2, 2015 by  
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What’s the best solution for phasing out the federal investment tax credit? And will that solution be politically viable?

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Are we headed toward a solar tax cliff?

US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems

January 22, 2015 by  
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A couple of weeks ago, the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), an environmental law firm that sues the US government on behalf of the environment, filed a suit in federal court against the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service . The CBD allege that outdated, “once-through” water cooling intake structures are responsible for the deaths of sea turtles and other protected species. This suit is being supported by organizations such as the Sierra Club, California Coastkeeper Alliance, Waterkeeper Alliance, and several others. Read the rest of US Environmental organizations sue wildlife services over outdated, sea turtle-killing cooling systems Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Animals , Atlantic sturgeon , Biodiversity , center for biodiversity , cooling systems , dying sea turtles , endangered sea life , endangered species , Environment , federal , fish , Fish and Wildlife Service , florida , Hudson Riverkeeper , industry , killer whales , lawsuit , lawyers , manatees , national , national marine fisheries service , Nature , ocean , ocean life , orca , orcas , power plants , protected species , river organisms , sea life , sea lions , sea turtles , seals , shortnose sturgeon , Sierra Club , status quo , sturgeon , suing , Suncoast Waterkeeper , turtles , u.s. , water issues , waterkeeper alliance , Wildlife

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