Worlds largest offshore wind farm opens in The Netherlands

May 9, 2017 by  
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Dutch officials have increased the country’s clean energy repertoire with the world’s largest offshore wind farm . Opened on Monday, Gemini wind park has 150 wind turbines spinning approximately 53 miles (85 kilometers) off the northern coast of The Netherlands ; the project is capable of generating about 600 megawatts at full winds – enough to power 785,000 Dutch households. The wind park, which was conceived in 2010 and cost $3 billion (2.8-billion-euro), comprises a collaboration between Canadian renewable energy company Northland Power, wind turbine producer Siemens Wind Power, Dutch maritime contractor Van Oord and the waste processing company HVC. “We are now officially in the operational stage,” said Matthias Haag, the company’s managing director, in a press release.” This been “quite a complex” operation, Haag added, “particularly as this wind park lies relatively far offshore… so it took quite a lot of logistics.” Over the next 15 years, the Gemini wind park will be able to generate about 13 percent of the country’s total renewable energy supply or about 25 percent of its wind power . This, in turn, will meet the energy requirements of about 1.5 million people. Related: Scotland’s latest wind farm will help fund 500 new affordable homes Phys.org estimates that the wind park will help reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 1.25 billion tons. Fossil fuels continue to make up approximately 95 percent of The Netherland’s energy supply, according to a 2016 report from the ministry of economics affairs. However, by sourcing 14 percent of its energy from clean sources – including wind and solar – by 2025, the Dutch country will be en route to becoming carbon neutral by 2050. Hopefully, the example The Netherlands has set will inspire other countries to follow suit in an effort to curb climate change . Via Phys

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Worlds largest offshore wind farm opens in The Netherlands

Solar power now provides twice as many jobs as coal in U.S.

February 8, 2017 by  
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Regardless of what one fossil fuel-loving president might like, renewable energy is flourishing in the United States. A new survey from nonprofit The Solar Foundation reveals there are more than twice as many workers employed in the solar industry as there are in coal . The solar industry employs over 260,000 people, and pays a median wage of $25.96 an hour. In 2016, the solar industry created one out of every 50 jobs added, according to The Solar Foundation’s findings. These solar jobs can be found in all 50 states. Employers the foundation surveyed said they anticipate a 10 percent employment increase in the next 12 months. The industry employs 28 percent women, 17 percent Latino or Hispanic, and seven percent African American. Also, there are seven percent veterans in the overall United States workforce , compared to nine percent in solar jobs. Related: The Keystone XL pipeline would only create 35 full-time, permanent jobs According to the report, even though solar accounts for just 1.3 percent of America’s electricity, “Solar employs slightly more workers than natural gas , over twice as many as coal, over three times that of wind energy , and almost five times the number employed in nuclear energy . Only oil /petroleum has more employment (by 38 percent) than solar.” But Vox points out in order for solar to overtake polluting energy sources, it needs to be cheap. Right now solar requires more manpower per megawatt-hour than any other form of power. For the industry to bring costs down, they’ll likely need to automate some jobs, and won’t require as many human workers. On the other hand, solar may need to employ lots of people initially to gain political clout. Vox cites information from the Center for Responsive Politics , which reveals renewable companies spend far less on lobbying than oil and gas companies. But if an industry creates jobs – as solar does – it may garner more influence. For example, even some Republicans now defend wind and solar production tax credits, as wind energy is a noteworthy source of jobs in states like Ohio and Iowa. Trump can wipe any mention of solar from his White House energy page for now, but should solar and other renewable energy industries keep on adding jobs, he may just have to pay more attention. + The Solar Foundation Via Vox Images via 10 10 on Flickr and Student Design and and Experiential Learning Center on Flickr

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Autistic craftsmen create sustainable, stylish furniture for maacraft

March 22, 2016 by  
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Maacraft is dedicated to producing homewares that blend contemporary design with socially-conscious manufacturing and sustainability. Behind the quality-made products, there are employees living with autism , helped by highly qualified professionals in a supportive and protective environment. Besides the meaningful work that pays a living wage, the program also contributes to social skill development as well as physical and emotional fitness. As a result all products are individually handcrafted in top quality, using only natural materials. The collection features a series of small-sized furniture pieces and homewares: stools, tables and boxes made from wood; poufs, bowls and baskets made of willow. + maacraft 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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Video: Creating Green Jobs

February 18, 2016 by  
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You already know that recycling is important for the amount it saves from going to landfills — scrap recycling diverts 40 million metric tons of useful materials a year — but did you know that job creation is also a huge benefit? Scrap recycling…

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Hoffice: Swedish freelancers transform their homes into vibrant co-working spaces

February 3, 2016 by  
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While working from home can be a great thing, it can be hard if you’re the kind of person who needs human interaction to stay inspired, or if you have trouble staying focused outside of an office. And for some people, the cost of renting a desk in a co-working space is a little too steep. That’s why a Swedish project, Hoffice , is designed to help freelancers and telecommuters transform their homes or apartments into temporary co-working spaces. Read the rest of Hoffice: Swedish freelancers transform their homes into vibrant co-working spaces

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Why Microsoft is dropping data centers on the ocean floor

February 3, 2016 by  
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With the demand for cloud storage growing ever-larger, companies that rely on vast data networks are starting to try out some unusual approaches to meet demand. Not only is the need for more data centers going to increase in coming years, but these servers also need to be located as close to their users as possible in order to allow for lightning-fast access. That’s why Microsoft is trying something that might sound a little crazy at first blush: the company is experimenting with data centers installed on the ocean floor . Read the rest of Why Microsoft is dropping data centers on the ocean floor

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Hidden African lion population discovered in remote part of Ethiopia

February 3, 2016 by  
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A previously unknown population of African lions was caught on camera during an expedition into a remote Ethiopian national park. The Born Free Foundation , an international wildlife group, announced the find on Monday, and provided proof in the form of images captured by motion-activated cameras. The species is listed as vulnerable , so the discovery has conservationists overjoyed and filled with renewed hope for the survival of the jungle king. Read the rest of Hidden African lion population discovered in remote part of Ethiopia

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Bernie Sanders declares war on global warming with ambitious climate plan

December 15, 2015 by  
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Bernie Sanders has attacked Hillary Clinton’s climate plan as “not enough” and slammed the Paris climate pact for going “nowhere near far enough.” With his recently unveiled “People Before Polluters” climate plan , the independent Vermont senator and 2016 Democratic presidential contender, who calls climate change the greatest single threat facing the planet and the biggest national security threat , is apparently ready to take unprecedented steps to combat global warming if elected to the highest office in the United States. Read the rest of Bernie Sanders declares war on global warming with ambitious climate plan

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Is Bernie Sanders our best defense against climate change?

July 29, 2015 by  
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Could Bernie Sanders be our best hope to save the planet from catastrophic climate change by leading a clean energy revolution in the United States? The 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, whose populist message has been drawing big crowds across the country, is gaining on Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton. On Sunday, the Clinton campaign announced her plan to combat climate change. The following day, in an email to supporters, Sanders laid out the problem and solution. Sanders put the climate crisis in stark terms: “The scientific community is virtually unanimous in telling us that climate change is real, is caused by human activity, and is already bringing catastrophic damage to our planet. Yet, the Republican Party is prepared to reject science in order to gain campaign contributions from the Koch brothers , Big Energy companies and others who make billions on fossil fuels. If we do not act boldly on climate change, the planet we leave to our grandchildren may be uninhabitable.” Read the rest of Is Bernie Sanders our best defense against climate change?

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Renewable energy costs to drop 40 percent in next two years

February 2, 2015 by  
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A new report released by the International Renewable Energy Association (IRENA) has exceptionally good news for the future of renewable energy . Costs are set to drop by almost 40 percent in the next two years, with solar PV leading the pack in cost decreases, and “biomass for power, hydropower, geothermal and onshore wind… all now provid[ing] electricity competitively compared to fossil fuel-fired power generation.” Read the rest of Renewable energy costs to drop 40 percent in next two years Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: “wind power” , abu dhabi , biomass , costs , fossil fuels , geothermal , green economy , green energy , green jobs , grid parity , IRENA , renewable energy , Solar Power

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