Market analysts find green economy market cap matches fossil fuel sector

June 12, 2018 by  
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A new report from FTSE Group finds that sustainable investments have grown as the fossil fuel sector has shrunk, presenting a massive opportunity.

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Market analysts find green economy market cap matches fossil fuel sector

Eco-group faces imprisonment after reviving an abandoned Spanish village

June 8, 2018 by  
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Like many countries around the world, Spain is struggling to address the problem of rural inhabitants abandoning villages to migrate to urban areas. However, there seems to be a light at the end of the tunnel for Fraguas. Nearly 50 years after residents left the small area in northern Castilla-La Mancha, an eco-minded group of people decided to revitalize the village. Since 2013, the community has managed to breathe new life into Fraguas by rebuilding dilapidated homes, installing solar panels , planting vegetable gardens and restoring the area’s natural forest growth. By most accounts, it is a heart-warming story of the reformation of a once-beloved village — that is until the Spanish government decided to start legal proceedings to kick the new residents out of town. After decades of urban migration, the Iberia Peninsula is currently teeming with hundreds, if not thousands, of extinguished communities, many of them up for sale . While most of the villages were left abandoned, the previous residents of Fraguas were bought out by the government in the late 1960s to make way for a planned reforestation program . The village had only a handful of full-time inhabitants and became overgrown by nature’s creep. At one point, it was being used as a military training camp for Spanish soldiers, who took to blowing up the remaining buildings. Related: This revolutionary sustainable community in Atlanta is still thriving 15 years after its founding When the group arrived at the derelict site, they were set on bringing the land back to life through sustainable principles . The members began by clearing out the mass plant growth that had taken over the buildings and streets. Then, they started to reforest the area in and around the village, clear out roads and walking paths and plant orchards and large crops of vegetables. To restore the many dilapidated buildings and homes, the group researched as much as they could about the village’s original layout. As they created their master plan, the team started to draw up plans for installing various green technologies such as  solar panels and a communal gray water system. When the group began to revitalize as an eco-village , they met with various former residents, most of whom gave the group their blessings. One such supporter, Rafael Heras, was born in the village 71 years ago, but left at 19 to work in Madrid. Heras helped the team by describing life in what he calls a simple and self-sufficient area. “There was no electricity and no proper road; we used to keep it clear so that cars could come through,” he said. “It wasn’t a prosperous place, but I had a happy childhood here and people got by quite well.” Another former resident, Isidro Moreno, was also instrumental in the village’s rebirth by providing maps, plans and photos of the area as it was when he was growing up. In his guidebook, he addressed a heartfelt letter to the group. “To the new residents of Fraguas,” it reads. “Let’s see if you can recover this village’s history once more … I want to remind you to treat these stones with the love and respect they deserve, even if today they’re dead and lost among brambles and weeds. In another time, they were alive and were part of the story of the people who struggled so hard to live and who went through so many calamities.” Despite the support of many, there are some powerful adversaries that want to put a stop to the group’s hard work. The regional government recently said that the new residents can no longer stay in the village. In fact, not only is the government trying to evict the collective, but it is going through legal channels to punish the members for their “invasion” of the area. Currently, six members face more than four years imprisonment each along with a fine of up to $30,000 that will be used to demolish and destroy all of the effort that the group put into rebuilding the village over the last five years. According to  The Guardian , the regional government’s representative in Guadalajara Alberto Rojo has suggested that the group would had been better off rebuilding a village on the brink of extinction. He explained that there are more than 200 villages in the same area that have fewer than 50 inhabitants and would love to welcome new neighbors. “Of course we agree that there needs to be re-population initiatives in the province – and let’s hope there will be many – but only in the right kind of places,” he said, adding that the area of Fraguas is part of the Sierra Norte natural park, which is protected by law. Rojo also claimed that the village is in a danger zone for forest fires. Jaime Merino, one of the new residents, dismissed Rojo’s argument about the potential fire danger, insisting that the group has significantly reduced the risk of fire by cleaning up the overrun vegetation, and they have even offered to dig firebreaks around the village. He explained that the government says one thing, but does another. “There’s a certain resistance to this kind of project in this country,” Merino said. “They always say they’re going to take steps to tackle depopulation and find ways to get people back into rural areas, but this is an example of that. That’s the paradox: it’s Guadalajara’s department of agriculture, the environment and rural development that wants to demolish the village.” At this time, the Fraguas collective is going on the offensive to protect the home that they have spent years rebuilding. A Change.org petition has already attracted more than 76,000 signatures, and the group has launched an appeal for contributions on their website to fund legal bills. The group regularly posts updates on their Facebook page as well. + Fraguas Revive Via The Guardian Images via Fraguas Revive

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Eco-group faces imprisonment after reviving an abandoned Spanish village

Welcome day 3

February 15, 2018 by  
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GreenBiz Group CEO Eric Faurot welcomes attendees to the third day of GreenBiz 18.

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Welcome day 3

Welcome Day 2

February 15, 2018 by  
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GreenBiz CEO Eric Faurot welcomes GreenBiz 18 participants to the second day of the conference.

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Welcome Day 2

New 1 km solar road opens in Jinan, China

December 28, 2017 by  
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China is getting in on the solar road -building action. A one-kilometer stretch of solar highway developed by Qilu Transportation Development Group just opened for testing near Jinan, the capital city of China’s Shandong Province. According to Quartz the expressway has three layers: the solar panels rest in the middle, with insulation below and transparent concrete on top. Solar panels sprawl across 5,875 square meters, or around 63,238 square feet, covering two lanes and one emergency lane in China’s new solar road now open for traffic. These panels can generate one million kilowatt-hours of clean power every year – that’s enough to meet the daily needs of roughly 800 households, according to Xinhua . Project designer Zhang Hongchao, in an interview with CCTV cited by Quartz, said the road can handle 10 times more pressure than normal asphalt roads. Related: France officially opens world’s first solar panel road Qilu Transportation Development Group chairman Xu Chunfu told Xinhua, “The project will save the space for building solar farms and shorten the transmission distance.” The electricity generated by the solar road could go towards powering street lights, a snow-melting system, surveillance cameras, signboards, and toll gate facilities, with excess energy sent to the state grid. The plan is for the clean power to one day also charge electric vehicles . Xu did not disclose the project’s cost to Xinhua, but did claim it was half of similar projects in other countries, saying, “With the development of solar power in China, the cost can be further reduced.” Zhang said the road cost about 3,000 yuan, or $458, per square meter, and as that is more than regular streets, it may take some time for the project to expand. The Qilu Transportation Development Group described the road as the “world’s first freeway photovoltaic pavement experiment section.” There are other solar roadways throughout the world – around a year ago France opened a one kilometer-long solar panel road in Tourouvre-au-Perche. Via Xinhua , Quartz , and Qilu Transportation Development Group Images via Qilu Transportation Development Group

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New 1 km solar road opens in Jinan, China

Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge lights up with 16.7 million colors

July 18, 2017 by  
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A prism of colors bathes the recently completed Nhat Tan Bridge in Hanoi , transforming it into an illuminated work of art. Philips Lighting partnered with Vietnamese construction company the Sun Group to install their cloud-based ActiveSite lighting management system, which can create a staggering 16.7 million different colors. The new Nhat Tan Bridge is Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge . It crosses the Red River in Hanoi , connecting the city to its main airport. Its five colorful spans symbolize the five ancient gates to this capital city. This symbolic quality is further enhanced by Philips’ new lighting system, which can illuminate the bridge in special colors to commemorate events and holidays. Related: Choreographed lights to illuminate New York City bridges and tunnels The new lighting system is for more than just looks, however. Compared to conventional lighting, the new long-life LEDs can deliver up to 75 percent energy savings, significantly cutting operation and maintenance costs. + Nhat Tan Bridge + Philips + Sun Group

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Vietnam’s longest cable-stayed bridge lights up with 16.7 million colors

Elon Musk has a simple plan to power the US entirely on renewable energy

July 18, 2017 by  
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With all the talk in the US about bringing back more coal and opening more oil reserves, it can be discouraging for those of us dreaming of a sustainable energy future. But Elon Musk, who is always looking at what we can do, rather than what we can’t, has laid out a feasible plan for moving the US entirely onto renewable energy. Speaking at the National Governors Association meeting this week, Musk talked about how little real estate it would require –  just 100 square miles of solar panels – to power the country. According to Musk, the country could be powered with just 100 square miles of solar panels and one square mile for battery storage. Solar makes the most sense for large-scale deployment, he said, because the sun is essentially a giant fusion reactor in the sky. “If you wanted to power the entire United States with solar panels, it would take a fairly small corner of Nevada or Texas or Utah; you only need about 100 miles by 100 miles of solar panels to power the entire United States. The batteries you need to store the energy, so you have 24/7 power, is 1 mile by 1 mile. One square-mile,” he said. Related: Elon Musk reveals his big plan for colonizing Mars Right now, just under 15 percent of the country runs on renewable energy. But with Musk’s plan, that number could be 100 percent. His plan includes combining rooftop solar, like Tesla’s new solar roof , with utility-scale solar. During the transition, Musk says that we’d likely need to rely on transition power like wind, hydro, geothermal and nuclear energy as we make the adjustment. During that time, we’d need to focus on building up infrastructure, along with encouraging local solar power to limit the amount of transmission lines that would need to be laid. You can watch the entire speech below: Via Inverse images via Tesla and the National Governors Association

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Elon Musk has a simple plan to power the US entirely on renewable energy

Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

July 18, 2017 by  
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How do you combine countryside tranquility with urban style? MW|Works Architecture+Design strikes a thoughtful balance in Helen Street, a beautiful modern home with handsome craftsmanship and careful attention to detail. Filled with light and views of the landscape, this lovely Seattle home is built largely of wood, from the heavy reclaimed timber cladding to the naturally weathered cedar plank roof. Helen Street was commissioned by clients who had been living on a rural property east of Seattle but found themselves drawn back to the vibrancy of city life. Thus, the architects were tasked to create a home with a smaller footprint than the client’s former house that still retained the peaceful setting of the countryside as well as easy indoor/outdoor living. The new-build is located on an urban corner lot in the walkable Madison Valley neighborhood next to Washington Park Arboretum , and comfortably houses the two clients and their two dogs. Related: Shapeshifting Tent House blurs the line between indoor and outdoor spaces A courtyard is located at the heart of the home, bringing natural light and greenery deep in the interior. “Territorial view corridors helped identify where the building could be very transparent and where privacy was more important,” wrote the architects. “The material palette was simple with a largely glassy main level with solid volumes crisply detailed in cement panels.” Naturally weathered cedar planks clad the roof plane and master suite, while stacked and blackened reclaimed timber clad the exterior. + MW|Works Architecture+Design Images by Andrew Pogue

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Light-filled timber home is a modern zen haven in Seattle

Larger-than-life pineapple origami structure pops up on a historic UK landscape

July 18, 2017 by  
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If you love pineapples, prepare to pine over this gorgeous sculpture that’s popped up at the National Trust’s historic Berrington Hall in Herefordshire. Heather and Ivan Morison of Studio Morison designed Look! Look! Look!, a stunning sculptural pavilion in the shape of pineapple origami. The temporary installation is both beautiful and functional, and also draws attention to iconic landscape designer Capability Brown’s final masterpiece, the walled garden at the Georgian mansion. The Look! Look! Look! pavilion was developed as part of the National Trust and Arts Council England’s Trust New Art , a program of projects that brings new art to unique and historic settings. The dusty pink pineapple pavilion is instantly eye-catching and takes inspiration from Berrington’s Georgian history, particularly the use of exotic fruit like pineapples that were thought to have once been grown at the garden as a symbol of the family’s wealth and contemporariness. The pavilion’s delicate folds echo the geometric shapes found in the mansion’s interior. Studio Morison used paper origami to craft the pineapple structure and then worked with structural engineers Artura to bring the designs to life. Set on a sunken metal foundation frame, the 100-square-meter pavilion is made of CNC-milled timber pieces constructed into an intricate jigsaw totaling 90 frames. A special weather-resistant woven fabric, supplied by Mermet, is overlaid atop the timber structure. The interior features a weather-resistant wooden cobbled floor. Related: Luxembourg bar renovation mimics Japanese origami for a low footprint “The final piece looks strong and sculptural from far away, but takes on a translucent appearance from inside,” reads the press release. “The artists have also created bespoke, sculptural furniture housed inside the pavilion which echoes the geometric form of the structure.” Look! Look! Look! is open to the public until December 2019 and hosts a series of programs such as music and yoga. + Studio Morison Images via Ivan Morison

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Larger-than-life pineapple origami structure pops up on a historic UK landscape

Millennials to the world: Ignore Trump

June 4, 2017 by  
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How the Paris decision is seen by America’s largest living generation, the group poised to inherit climate change’s fast-approaching challenges.

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Millennials to the world: Ignore Trump

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