tagged w/ Sustainable Investment
Good to see it is being led by the US and China... however, what will it mean if both these countries continue to spew oil and coal emissions out at about the same pace as now? We need to wean off coal and oil and become much more aggressive into bringing affordable accessible solar into people's homes, businesses, etc. Investing is great, but it needs to go beyond that now.Good to see it is being led by the US and China... however, what will it mean if both... more
Technology is no longer the biggest barrier to producing advanced biofuels. Money is.
Engineers and entrepreneurs meeting in San Francisco this week for the 31st Symposium on Biotechnology for Fuels and Chemicals said the industry stands at a major turning point.
Companies trying to make ethanol from grass, crop stubble and wood are building demonstration plants across the country. Within the next two or three years, the world will finally see whether these cellulosic ethanol plants can make large amounts of fuel at competitive prices.
"It's not a question of if it will happen," said James Flatt, senior vice president with Mascoma Corp., which runs a demonstration facility making fuel from wood chips in Rome, N.Y. "We have a handful of companies that are right on the cusp of building commercial-scale facilities to prove this can work."
But this turning point comes as the economy struggles through a severe recession. Biorefineries can cost $200 million to $300 million to build, and financing is hard to find.
"Capital availability has gone down exponentially," Flatt said.
Funding hasn't dried up completely. Doug Cameron, chief science adviser for the Piper Jaffray & Co. investment bank, said money will start to flow again when some of the cellulosic ethanol biorefineries finally open. Unlike older biorefineries, which make ethanol from corn, these next-generation facilities make fuel by breaking down the cellulose in woody plants.
"There's a lot of money out there, a lot of people who want to invest in this but don't know which (projects) to invest in," Cameron said.
The symposium, which started Sunday and ends today, was organized by the Society for Industrial Microbiology and sponsored in part by the Energy Biosciences Institute at UC Berkeley.
While many of the event's panels focused on science, some addressed the larger political debates swirling around biofuels. Attendees talked about balancing food production with fuel production. They discussed ways to calculate the environmental effects of biofuels.Technology is no longer the biggest barrier to producing advanced biofuels. Money is.... more
I THINK THIS TOPIC AREA WOULD BE A INCREDIBLE SOURCE OF IDEAS FOR
" GREEN JELLY ENGINEERS", A GREEN WEB DEVELOPMENT GROUP.I THINK THIS TOPIC AREA WOULD BE A INCREDIBLE SOURCE OF IDEAS FOR
" GREEN JELLY... more
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has announced Top Ten rankings that reveal which utilities in the United States had the most solar electricity integrated into their energy mix as of the end of 2007. The rankings are based on information provided through a survey of utilities and independent research.
"Based on recent announcements and internal discussions with utilities, SEPA anticipates that utilities will quickly become the largest and one of the most important customers for the solar industry," said Julia Hamm, SEPA executive director.
"Whether solar electric systems are developed by utilities, their customers, or solar companies, the utilities' proactive engagement with emerging solar technologies is important to the solar industry as a whole. This market survey and resulting rankings provide a baseline against which increased utility activity can be measured in the future."
For total solar electric capacity by megawatt (MW), Southern California Edison (CA) takes top honors as the most solar integrated utility with the most overall solar capacity (MW) and solar capacity per customer (MW/customer).
Southern California Edison's long-standing contracts with the SEGS concentrating solar thermal (CST) plants drive its large number of solar megawatts. However, with a number of recent large-scale CST announcements by several other utilities, Southern California Edison's top ranking may no longer hold once these new plants are constructed.
California-with its long-standing policies for solar market development-represents the majority of the highest rankings, but utilities in Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin also make the top ten in many categories.
Solar markets are expanding rapidly beyond California and when standardized by the number of customers, interesting results will continue to emerge in the coming years. Next year's survey and report will be based on 2008 data and will be published in early 2009. It will no doubt show a reordering of many of these rankings as the solar markets change.
In the last year, U.S. electric utilities' engagement with grid-connected solar electricity increased significantly, with major photovoltaic (PV) and concentrating solar thermal (CST) announcements by utilities, their customers, and third-party solar developers.
"What has become apparent however is that over the next few years, there will be an unprecedented level of new utility engagement in the solar industry that develops both centralized and distributed systems in new and unique ways. Several U.S. utilities, some of whom aren't in these rankings yet, are positioning themselves to be the solar industries largest and most innovative customers."
Solar Electric Power Association (SEPA) has announced Top Ten rankings that reveal... more
Solar Energy International (SEI), the non-profit pioneer in renewable energy and sustainable building programs, reports a booming trend in popularity of its renewable energy courses.
Throughout the company's 18-year history of providing educational programs to consumers and industry experts, the past year has garnered a record number of registrants, resulting in a 14 percent increase in enrollment in SEI's Renewable Energy Education Program (REEP).
Demand is high for renewable energy experts: employers are seeking a workforce skilled in the field, people are eager to be trained to enter the industry and consumers are enthusiastic to learn how to make their homes more green.
In efforts to accommodate the demand, SEI increased this year's course offerings by adding five additional in-person PV (photovoltaic/solar electric) workshops and one additional online PV course compared to 2007.
Despite the increased number of participants as a result of the additional classes, SEI's waiting-lists have hit record highs for the 2008 PV workshops. This year alone, 1,700 people have already signed up for SEI's workshops and online courses.
In total, an anticipated 300 more people will take the company's renewable energy workshops and online courses in 2008 than in 2007, representing a 14 percent spike in enrollment in SEI courses overall.
"From a global perspective, solar energy has been - and continues to be - an important commodity. The increase in demand is reflective of the changing state of the world's energy resources," said Johnny Weiss, executive director of Solar Energy International.
"The world is so eager for trained renewable energy professionals that students often get hired while still completing our programs. This is a very exciting time for the industry and the environment."
We can do this.Solar Energy International (SEI), the non-profit pioneer in renewable energy and... more
A new report from NanoMarkets predicts that the market for building integrated photovoltaics (BIPV) will reach more than $4.0 billion in revenues ($US) by 2013 and surpassing $8 billion in 2015.
The report, "Building Integrated Photovoltaics Markets: 2008" is the next in a series from NanoMarkets examining the emerging solar energy market.
+ By 2013, there will be an installed capacity of 10.8 GWp of BIPV, of which 4.6 GWp will come from Europe and 3.7 GWp from the U.S. Approximately 7.0 GWp of total BIPV capacity by 2013 will be from residential applications.
Although the market will remain dominated by rooftop installations, facade BIPV will account for 1.1 GWp by 2013.
+ Much of the growth in the BIPV market will be generated by a new generation of BIPV products. By 2013 the PV-encapsulated roofing product market, consisting of solar tiles, slates, and shingles will generate $2.5 billion in revenues. Also by 2013, facade products such as solar curtain walls, building cladding and atrium glass will produce $430 million in revenues.
Solar cladding is a very competitive alternative to conventional cladding materials and is claimed to provide similar aesthetics to marble and bronze but at a fraction of the cost. Solar curtain walls present a special opportunity since they are easier to receive planning permission and permits for compared with conventional roof-mounted PV.
Here comes the sun... A new report from NanoMarkets predicts that the market for building integrated... more
An influential coalition of investors has this week called on the US Senate to deliver binding emission reduction targets or risk undermining firms' long-term competitiveness.
The group of more than 50 institutional investors, including Deutsche Asset Management, F&C Asset Management, and the world's largest hedge fund the Man Group, wrote to senate majority leader Harry Reid and senate minority leader Mitch McConnell, calling for a national climate policy to reduce US greenhouse gas emissions by between 60 and 90 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050.
The targets are in line with those proposed under the Lieberman-Warner climate bill, which will be debated in the Senate early next month.
The letter also urges Senate leaders to increase pressure on regulatory bodies such as the Securities and Exchange Commission to issue clear guidance on what climate change risks firms should disclose to investors.
The coalition, which has been organised by ethical investment lobby group Ceres, said there was a strong business case for enacting more stringent carbon targets and legislation.
"Investors hate uncertainty, and that is the problem they face today," said Mindy S Lubber, president of Ceres and director of INCR. "Strong and decisive action from Washington will open the floodgates on large-scale clean technology investments, enabling US investors and businesses to lead instead of lag on climate change solutions."
Oregon state treasurer Randall Edwards, whose office manages $80bn (£40bn) in assets, agreed that far from damaging the economy as its critics claim, the Lieberman-Warner bill would create opportunities for investors. "It is time for Congress to step up to the plate and tackle climate change. Any further delay is inexcusable," he said "The Lieberman-Warner bill would give investors such as myself the ability to see the risks involved so we can begin rebuilding our economy by investing in green technologies."
The calls come in the same week as Democratic Senator Barbara Boxer released an overview of a package of amendments to the Lieberman-Warner bill which are expected to form part of the proposed legislation. The amendments contain a number of measures designed to minimise the financial impact of the planned cap-and-trade scheme, including a mechanism to reduce the price of carbon credits if they hit a certain level and proposals for an $800bn (£400bn) tax relief fund to help consumers cope with rising energy costs.
Yes, 90% by 2050... That's what I'm talking about.This bill is going to be debated on the floor starting tomorrow. Please contact your senators and tell them that even though this is a start, we need to do much better to pass a more comprehensive bill that truly meets the demands and addresses the adverse effects climate change will have on our country and our world if left unchecked. And that means new forms of energy aggressively brought to market to wean us off the destructive energies that pollute our planet and put us all at risk.An influential coalition of investors has this week called on the US Senate to deliver... more
If you listen to the rhetoric, nuclear power is back. Smashing atoms will replace burning carbon-based coal, gas and oil. In the face of a disaster movie-like future of runaway climate change--bringing drought, floods, famine and social breakdown--carbon-free nukes are cast as the deus ex machina to save us at the last minute.
Even a few greens support nuclear power--most famously James Lovelock, father of the Gaia theory. In the popular press, discussion of nuclear energy is dominated by its boosters, thanks in part to sophisticated industry PR.
In an effort to jump-start a "nuclear renaissance," the Bush Administration has pushed one package of subsidies after another. For the past two years a program of federal loan guarantees has sat waiting for utilities to build nukes. Last year's appropriations bill set the total amount on offer at $18.5 billion. And now the Lieberman-Warner climate change bill is gaining momentum and will likely accrue amendments that will offer yet more money.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) expects up to thirty applications to be filed to build atomic plants; five or six of those proposals are moving through the complicated multi-stage process. But no new atomic power stations have been fully licensed or have broken ground. And two newly proposed projects have just been shelved.
The fact is, nuclear power has not recovered from the crisis that hit it three decades ago with the reactor fire at Browns Ferry, Alabama, in 1975 and the meltdown at Three Mile Island in 1979. Then came what seemed to be the coup de grâce: Chernobyl in 1986. The last nuclear power plant ordered by a US utility, the TVA's Watts Bar 1, began construction in 1973 and took twenty-three years to complete. Nuclear power has been in steady decline worldwide since 1984, with almost as many plants canceled as completed since then.
All of which raises the question: why is the much-storied "nuclear renaissance" so slow to get rolling? Who is holding up the show? In a nutshell, blame Warren Buffett and the banks--they won't put up the cash.
"Wall street doesn't like nuclear power," says Arjun Makhijani of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. The fundamental fact is that nuclear power is too expensive and risky to attract the necessary commercial investors. Even with vast government subsidies, it is difficult or almost impossible to get proper financing and insurance. The massive federal subsidies on offer will cover up to 80 percent of construction costs of several nuclear power plants in addition to generous production tax credits, as well as risk insurance. But consider this: the average two-reactor nuclear power plant is estimated to cost $10 billion to $18 billion to build. That's before cost overruns, and no US nuclear power plant has ever been delivered on time or on budget.
much more at the link.If you listen to the rhetoric, nuclear power is back. Smashing atoms will replace... more
Joint venture partners SkyPower and SunEdison Canada have announced the official groundbreaking of First Light, North America's largest solar photovoltaic energy park to date, located on approximately 300 acres of land in Lennox and Addington County, Ontario. Construction of the 19-megawatt (MW) solar park is anticipated to be completed by the end of 2009. Local communities will benefit from clean renewable energy sufficient to power more than 2,000 homes annually.
The Government of Ontario in concert with the Ontario Power Authority, which launched the innovative Standard Offer Program in 2006, have created a unique program that provides a platform for stimulating investment and job creation in the renewable energy sector.
The historic groundbreaking of First Light demonstrates the strong support of the provincial government, municipal leaders, and communities and is a clear indication that Ontario's renewable energy targets are achievable. First Light is an important first step of many towards delivering secure, sustainable and clean energy to Ontarians for generations to come.
First Light will be built in two phases. The power generated from the project will be distributed through the Hydro One utility, providing clean energy to customers in the Township of Stone Mills for 20 years.
The environmental and health benefits of the two-phase facility are substantial. It is estimated that First Light will reduce yearly carbon emissions by an amount equal to displacing 4,200 cars and light trucks each driving 12,000 miles per year.
"Through innovation, creativity and hard work, SkyPower, SunEdison and the Province of Ontario are 'making dirt fly' and, most important, putting assets in the ground to help mitigate climate change," stated Theodore Roosevelt IV, Managing Director at Lehman Brothers, and Chairman of the Firm's Global Council on Climate Change.
Joint venture partners SkyPower and SunEdison Canada have announced the official... more
Navigant Consulting has announced plans to launch a major multi-client study on the convergence of the Smart Grid with Photovoltaics (PV). This comprehensive and focused study will help participating organizations identify the key technology components of a PV Smart Grid; understand how the Smart Grid could create additional value for distributed PV; gain insight to the implications for utilities; and identify trends and valuable market opportunities.
Navigant Consulting is accepting participants for the study.
"It's an exciting time for PV and we see tremendous opportunity with regards to the emerging Smart Grid," stated Lisa Frantzis, Managing Director, and leader of the Renewable Energy Team within Navigant Consulting's Energy Practice.
"We're seeing companies positioning themselves now for leadership in this rapidly converging PV Smart Grid future. This study will describe the likely evolution of PV and PV-enabling Smart Grid technologies, and the potential for new business models that will arise out of the convergence of the two."
Navigant Consulting has announced plans to launch a major multi-client study on the... more
I'm not sure of the residual GHGs that would be used in the conversion or in its use, but it's good to see companies looking for ways to meet energy needs without compromising food sources. I'm not sure of the residual GHGs that would be used in the conversion or in its... more
Now the nation should follow with solar being cheaper and easier for us civilians to have. Kudos to the U.S. Air Force.Now the nation should follow with solar being cheaper and easier for us civilians to... more