.

Ever volatile fuel prices, security of supply, renewable energy cost reductions and environmental-climate concerns are dramatically accelerating the demand for greener alternatives.

It has become a global imperative that we break our addiction to fossil fuels. Providing for the ever increasing energy and transportation needs of the planet is going to take a wide range of alternative energy sources, cleaner fuels, the smart grid and advanced storage solutions.

These technologies are finally establishing themselves in the energy mix and becoming mainstream .....an emerging multi trillion dollar market rapidly becoming one of the most significant industrial sectors this century. The future is bright for renewable energy sources and a greener sustainable world.

Archives

01 Jul - 31 Jul 2011
01 May - 31 May 2011
01 Mar - 31 Mar 2011
01 Feb - 28 Feb 2011
01 Jan - 31 Jan 2011
01 Dec - 31 Dec 2010
01 Oct - 31 Oct 2010
01 Sep - 30 Sep 2010
01 Aug - 31 Aug 2010
01 Jul - 31 Jul 2010
01 Jun - 30 Jun 2010
01 May - 31 May 2010
01 Apr - 30 Apr 2010
01 Mar - 31 Mar 2010
01 Feb - 28 Feb 2010
01 Dec - 31 Dec 2009
01 Nov - 30 Nov 2009
01 Oct - 31 Oct 2009
01 Sep - 30 Sep 2009
01 Aug - 31 Aug 2009
01 Jul - 31 Jul 2009
01 Jun - 30 Jun 2009
01 May - 31 May 2009
01 Apr - 30 Apr 2009
01 Mar - 31 Mar 2009
01 Feb - 28 Feb 2009
01 Jan - 31 Jan 2009
01 Dec - 31 Dec 2008
01 Oct - 31 Oct 2008
01 Sep - 30 Sep 2008
01 Aug - 31 Aug 2008
01 Jul - 31 Jul 2008
01 Jun - 30 Jun 2008
01 May - 31 May 2008
01 Apr - 30 Apr 2008
01 Mar - 31 Mar 2008
01 Feb - 28 Feb 2008
01 Jan - 31 Jan 2008
01 Dec - 31 Dec 2007
01 Nov - 30 Nov 2007
01 Oct - 31 Oct 2007
01 Sep - 30 Sep 2007
01 Aug - 31 Aug 2007







Links

Daily Alternative Energy News Updates
Recent Videos

Alternative Energy Sizing Calculators

Tag Key Word News Search

Article Archives

Last Comments


weblog_text - RSS-XML - ()

XML: RSS Feed 
XML: Atom Feed 

« Bioplastic may become… | Home | Air Force to fly on s… »

The city of blinding lights is starting to see green

31 12 07 - 14:20






The city of blinding lights is starting to see 'green'




By Ben Arnoldy


Las Vegas - It draws busloads of Sin City tourists, it's got more mirrors than the Trump Towers, and sometimes the lights are practically blinding.

But this latest marvel in the Nevada desert isn't a hotel casino. It's a solar thermal plant that provides peak power to nearby Las Vegas, one of the most unlikely places on the planet to be showing signs of environmental fervor.


The city of blinding lights is starting to see 'green'




By Ben Arnoldy


Las Vegas - It draws busloads of Sin City tourists, it's got more mirrors than the Trump Towers, and sometimes the lights are practically blinding.

But this latest marvel in the Nevada desert isn't a hotel casino. It's a solar thermal plant that provides peak power to nearby Las Vegas, one of the most unlikely places on the planet to be showing signs of environmental fervor.

On the Strip itself, not far from the canals at the Venetian and the fake volcano, thousands of hard hats are following ecofriendly building standards at the most expensive privately funded project in US history. The CityCenter condo complex has spawned "green" subcontractors and stocked the local lumberyards with sustainable timber.

The greening of Las Vegas follows a trend seen across the country. But given Vegas's reputation as a place that likes the odds stacked in its favor, it's notable that clean energy and sustainable development no longer look like risky bets.

"In general, the paradigm in Vegas has been pretty wasteful. But it's also very expensive to keep operating that way. So I'm not that surprised," says Ron Pernick, coauthor of "The Clean Tech Revolution."

State lawmakers have seeded some of the changes. Nevada is one of two dozen states requiring that a certain percentage of electricity come from renewable energy. Nevada went further: 5 percent must be solar.

That nudge, along with the sun and open space, attracted the renewable energy firm Acciona to build in Nevada. When its 64-megawatt solar thermal plant went online this summer, it became the first new one in the US since 1991.

"I would not say that Nevada is different from other states [going green], but what they understand is that they have the potential here for development in the state - they have the resources and the needs," says Gilbert Cohen, a senior vice president with Acciona.

In other words, Nevada's leaders are realizing that the state is rich not only in gold and gypsum, but in sun and steam. In the next few years, the state is projected to quadruple its geothermal power production. And solar got another boost: Ausra, a California maker of solar-thermal parts, recently announced it would locate its North American plant in Las Vegas.

But the state is also considering proposals for new coal-fired plants, says Launce Rake with the Progressive Leadership Alliance in Nevada.

"It's not like the first thing people talk about is, 'boy, we have to be environmentally sensitive,'" says Mr. Rake. "But it does indicate that when you change the law to give incentives to engage in particular behaviors, the market will respond."

Another incentive: a rebate on state sales and property taxes for construction that meets Leadership in Energy and Environment Design (LEED) standards. MGM Mirage jumped on it, announcing it would aim for LEED certification with the 68-acre, $7.5 billion CityCenter site - which involved more square footage than all LEED-certified buildings combined in the US at that time.

When fully built, MGM can expect to save money on operating costs like air conditioning and electricity within CityCenter's casino, hotels, condos, shops, and convention center. That's good for MGM, which already owns 10 hotels on the Strip and has a citywide power bill of $350,000 a day.

"Of course the tax incentives have made it an easier decision for everybody," says Cindy Ortega, senior vice president of MGM's energy and environmental services division. "But when you look at risk on something as large as CityCenter, it's more than a financial decision to do something that nobody has ever done before."

It has meant making unusual demands down the supply chains, and creating some services and supplies from scratch:

•No company in Las Vegas could recycle worksite scrap, so MGM capitalized one of its subcontractors to offer the service for CityCenter - and Vegas's future projects.

•Few low-flow bathroom fixtures had the luxury looks MGM wanted, so it worked with suppliers to design a new faucet.

•Some 10,000 workers have been trained on sustainable building practices.

"If you look at the CityCenter project, it primes the pump," says Mr. Pernick. "Not only does it perhaps provide a model for others to follow, it also helps establish the market."

But can any further development in this crowded desert really be considered green?

CityCenter marks a step in the right direction, says Lydia Ball, the regional representative of the Sierra Club. The outward – rather than upward - growth of Las Vegas is the real concern, she says. Sprawl requires more energy to move workers and water greater distances.

Whether there is enough water to add more people, experts say, depends on how it's used. Las Vegas's water usage per capita is comparatively high - but improving. Between 2002 and 2006, Las Vegas added 300,000 people, but the overall water usage dropped by 18 billion gallons.

Those gains came largely from an incentive program that paid homeowners to pull up their lawns in favor of low-water landscaping. Since the incentives began in 1999, the water authority has pulled up enough sod to roll a strip halfway around the planet. The war on grass is warranted: Lawns soak up the majority of water use in Vegas, says J.C. Davis, spokesman for the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

As for indoor water use, he says, nearly all that water gets "recycled," meaning it is captured, treated, and returned to Lake Mead. The city can then draw an equivalent amount of water from the lake.

"They call it recycling. It's been used as an excuse for them not to do anything indoors," says Heather Cooley, coauthor of a recent Las Vegas water study from the Pacific Institute in Oakland, Calif. Moving and treating indoor water gobbles up energy, she says.

The agency could also combat water wasters through aggressive pricing tiers - beyond certain thresholds, the price per gallon spikes.

The water authority is working with developers to offer "water smart" homes outfitted with high-efficiency appliances.

In a down real estate market, "going green, going water smart, and just being very energy efficient has helped" move homes, says Maria Guterman, a saleswoman for Pulte Homes. Used tags: , , ,

No comments yet

Trackback link:

Please enable javascript to generate a trackback url

  
Remember personal info?

Emoticons /

Comment moderation is enabled on this site. This means that your comment will not be visible on this site until it has been approved by an editor.

To prevent automated comment spam we require you to answer this silly question. Trackback spam IP's are tracked, IP range banned, blacklisted and reported, so don't waste your time.
 

  (Register your username / Log in)

Notify:
Hide email:

Small print: All html tags except <b> and <i> will be removed from your comment. You can make links by just typing the url or mail-address.





 

weblog_text - more - ()

Raging wildfires: Climate changes to blame for record season?

Saturday 16 July 2011 at 06:07 am Raging wildfires: Climate changes to blame for record season?


By Pete Spotts


The images are stark: soot-grimed firefighters steering bulldozers or wielding shovels to clear underbrush; curtains of orange flame tracing the contours of summits; aircraft dumping chemicals to slow a fire's progress.

Between Jan. 1 and early July of 2011, slightly more than 38,000 wildfires charred the landscape in the United States at a record pace. So far this year, wildfires have consumed just under 4.9 million acres of forest and grassland, a cumulative expanse the size of New Jersey.

That's 1 million more acres than fires consumed during the same period in 2006, which saw a record 9.9 million acres burned for the entire year.

Beyond the numbers, this year's fires may provide the first large-scale tests of the effectiveness of projects undertaken over the past decade to help forests survive wildfires, several specialists say.

The West's forests are adapted to deal with certain types of wildfires, researchers note. But since the mid-1980s, they add, some of these forests have experienced an increasing number of fires to which they are not well adapted.

Many researchers trace this shift in part to climate change. more

Hybrid Moves Into Housing

Sunday 22 May 2011 at 01:14 am Hybrid Moves Into Housing


By Brenda Krueger Huffman

(Chicago) – Recycling - Check. Conserving energy - Check. Hybrid car - Next car, check. Hybrid home system - What? Yes, it’s here. Hybrid has seamlessly, successfully moved into housing.

Safety Power, Inc. was initially started to provide homes with back up power. The company quickly grew to include renewable energy options and advising commercial and industrial clients with electrical conservation. Recently the company has come full circle and began marketing a new more capable type of renewable energy system for homes.

The award winning firm was voted one of the “Top 5 Sustainable Product Companies in Illinois” and continues to grow its residential client base in Illinois, Indiana, and Wisconsin. Safety Power also serves larger firms on the national level.

Robert Brazzale, President of Safety Power, a master electrician turned entrepreneur, began Safety Power in 2007. An avid member of Local First Chicago, Rob believes in assisting sustaining local economies with green collar jobs and belongs to many green orientated groups in Chicago and around the country. more

Are electric car makers missing the trick?

Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 11:12 am Are electric car makers missing the trick?


by Martin Ott

I believe that electric car makers may be driving us all down the road that may result in the same sort of technology failures that we have seen in the past.
I'm not referring to the Sinclair scooter here but cast your mind back to the débâcle of Betamax v VHS home recording systems. The eventual winner was the technically inferior VHS but the battle was not resolved until innumerable consumers had paid out for worthless Betamax systems. Back in the 70's a similar conflict occurred over audio systems when America fell in love with the 8 track tape system that moved magnetic tape in a loop over the player head at a high speed resulting in a better sound. The world market finally dictated that the audio cassette was the way to go but not until millions of consumers had been lumbered with home and in-car systems that went down the technological cul de sac. more

Wind Turbine Manufacturer Acknowledges SGS´s Contribution towards Successful Project Completion

Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 10:57 am by Suresh Varma

The Theni Wind Farm project was developed by CLP India Pvt. Ltd., one of the major wind farm project developers in India. Located in the south western part of Tamilnadu, a southern state of the country, the facility consists of 60 Vestas V82 geared wind turbines. As recognition of its contribution towards the successful execution of this wind power project SGS received Vestas award.

Each turbine at the wind farm has a capacity of 1.65 MW IEC Class IIB machine with a blade diameter of 82 m. After a six-month long completion period, the Theni Wind Farm was officially opened in May, 2010.

Acting as contract engineer during project execution, SGS was responsible for ensuring that all activities were carried out at the site by the contractor in line with the final agreement. In doing so, SGS supervised the quality of construction works, the fulfillment of the technical parameters and kept the project within the scheduled time and contracted price. more

E.ON uses PPC's Broadband Powerline technology in smart grid project

Tuesday 29 March 2011 at 10:37 am E.ON uses PPC's Broadband Powerline technology in smart grid project

by Power Plus Communications

Mannheim - Power Plus Communications AG (PPC), the leading provider of Broadband Powerline Communication systems (BPL) for smart grids has taken on a key role within an E.ON smart grid project to facilitate an extension of Cisco's Connected Grid Solution.

E.ON Westfalen Weser AG is currently trialing smart grid technology within its network of 1.3 million inhabitants and PPC's proven medium voltage BPL solution has connected substations in the project using the existing power grid.

Using BPL technology, standard compliant and IP-based data transfer rates of 5-30 Mbit/s can easily be achieved via the medium voltage cable itself. Within E.ON’s smart grid project, PPC's medium voltage technology facilitated the extension of Cisco's Connected Grid Solution. The Cisco smart grid Router and Switches used in the project are highly compatible with BPL networks, providing a real cost advantage over fiber optic networks – which can be much more expensive where cables are not pre-existing.

By combining their technology at Westfalen Weser, PPC and Cisco have ensured the evolution of fast and efficient smart grids which are controlled on an IP basis. This increases the reliability of the power grid, fulfills regulations and drives down costs. At the same time this modern smart grids communications technology makes it possible to effectively integrate renewable energy into the grid. more

MIT Infrastructure "Life Cycle" Study is Progress Both Left & Right Can Embrace - Part 2, Fiscal Responsibility

Saturday 19 February 2011 at 09:02 am By Brenda Krueger Huffman


Chicago – Perhaps moving to the center is where we all need to be politically on the environment and effective spending compatibility. Not all green technology is crazy, and not all business profit or government expenditure is evil.

Even if you do not believe in man caused climate change, we can all agree leaving a cleaner planet and a more fiscally responsible government for the next generation is preferable to not doing so.

Perhaps green technology can be cost effective, and government fiscal responsibility may realistically include affordable green initiatives. Honest “life cycle analysis” and “life cycle cost analysis” study considerations should be a political compromise starting point both the left and the right can embrace. more

Global warming: Impact of receding snow and ice surprises scientists

Thursday 27 January 2011 at 11:05 am Global warming: Impact of receding snow and ice surprises scientists

By Pete Spotts


Washington - A long-term retreat in snow and ice cover in the Northern Hemisphere is weakening the ability of these seasonal cloaks of white to reflect sunlight back into space and cool global climate, according to a study published this week.

Indeed, over the past 30 years, the cooling effect from this so-called cryosphere – essentially areas covered by snow and ice at least part of the year – appears to have weakened at more than twice the pace projected by global climate models, the research team conducting the work estimates.

The study, which appeared online Sunday in the journal Nature Geoscience, represents a first cut at trying to calculate from direct measurements the impact of climate change on the Northern Hemisphere's cryosphere. The study was conducted by a team of federal and university scientists who examined data gathered between 1979 and 2008. more

EPA presents plan on greenhouse gases

Wednesday 05 January 2011 at 10:38 pm By Mark Clayton


Washington - Setting the stage for a New Year battle royal between Congress and the White House over greenhouse gas emissions, the US Environmental Protection Agency Thursday laid out a timetable for the nation's largest carbon emitters – power plants and refineries – to begin curbing those pollutants.

Republicans have said all year that they plan to pull out all the stops to keep the EPA from phasing in greenhouse gas (GHG) regulations beginning in 2011, saying they would damage the energy industry, raise prices, and cost jobs.

Rep. Fred Upton (R) of Michigan, the incoming chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, has said he opposes the regulations on greenhouse gases and indicated he would lead efforts to revoke EPA regulations in the next Congress. The new regulations, he says, will likely lead to the shut down of coal-fired power plants.

"To protect jobs and fortify our energy security, we should be working to bring more power online, not shutting plants down," Mr. Upton said in a statement. "We are woefully unprepared to meet our nation's growing energy demands, yet this administration's 'none of the above' energy policy will do nothing but cost jobs, make energy more expensive, and increase our dependence on foreign sources of energy."

Environmentalists lauded the EPA's move. more

Supreme Court takes global warming case that targets power companies

Monday 13 December 2010 at 03:21 am By Warren Richey,


Washington - The US Supreme Court on Monday agreed to examine a major environmental lawsuit that seeks to force six electric power companies to cap and reduce their carbon-dioxide emissions to fight global warming.

The lawsuit - filed in 2004 by eight states, the City of New York, and three land trusts - targets what it claims are the largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the United States and among the largest in the world.

It seeks a judicial order declaring that the fossil-fueled power plants are a "public nuisance." It also seeks a judicial order capping the plants' greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the plants to adopt a schedule of reduced emissions in future years. more

Outside Cancun climate conference, Caribbean Sea testifies to global warming

Monday 13 December 2010 at 03:09 am By Ezra Fieser,


Bayahibe, Dominican Republic - This summer's extreme heat may seem like a distant memory as winter approaches the United States.

But the summer that broke heat records across the Northern Hemisphere is still being felt below the surface of the Caribbean Sea: 2010 will likely be one of the most deadly years on record for coral reefs.

If diplomats attending the two-week global climate change talks that opened Monday in Cancun, Mexico, want more evidence of the negative and potentially devastating affects of warming temperatures, they need look no further than the blue sea outside their hotels. Researchers say that throughout the Caribbean coral reefs are "bleaching," a condition that occurs when they are under extreme stress due to warmer-than-normal sea temperatures. more