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JUN 05

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Empire State Building Saves $2.4 Million in Energy Costs After Retrofit
Written by Megan Treacy on 04/06/12   


When we first heard that the Empire State Building was going to be retrofitted for energy efficiency, we were stoked. Such an iconic building could be a great proving ground for showing building owners big and price levitra small the viagra buy in canada huge benefits of visit our site online viagra prescription making these types of upgrades and has it ever.

One year after the large-scale retrofitting project was completed, the Empire State Building has surpassed expectations and saved $2.4 million in energy costs. The building saved an estimated 4,000 metric tons of carbon, the equivalent carbon offset of a 750-acre pine forest.

The series of efficiency measures were accomplished through a partnership of the Clinton Climate Initiative, the building owners and a group of organizations including the Rocky Mountain Institute. According to the press release, here are some of generic viagra from canada the retrofit details:

"The retrofit project focused on eight innovative improvement measures addressing core building infrastructure, common spaces and tenant suites. Improvement measures performed by Johnson Controls and Jones Lang LaSalle included the refurbishment of all 6,500 windows, a chiller plant retrofit, new building controls, and a web-based tenant energy management system. The project partners developed a detailed engineering design and Johnson Controls guaranteed the energy savings through a $20 million performance contract.  With performance contracting, savings in energy consumption from facility upgrades pay for the generic viagra mexico cialis online order project over the term of the contract. If the savings are not realized, Johnson Controls pays the difference between the value of the measured and cheap viagra lowest prices index verified consumption and the guaranteed consumption under the contract."

While the core efficiency improvements are finished, there is still more work to be done and more positive environmental impacts to be seen. New tenants are set to build out high-performance workspaces and once all spaces are upgraded, the building will save $4.4 million a year, a 38 percent reduction of energy use that will cut carbon emissions by 105,000 metric tons over the next 15 years.

This type of model is incredibly important. According to the World Business Council for Sustainable Development, buildings are responsible for 40 percent of energy consumed in the www.auburg.de U.S. In large cities like New York, commercial buildings make up 75 percent of energy used, meaning retrofit projects can have an even bigger impact. If every commercial building in New York City took on the upgrades that the Empire State Building has, carbon emissions would be reduced by 4 million tons – the equivalent of vizuka.com a typical coal-fired power plant.

 

MAY 31

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Atmospheric CO2 Levels Over Arctic Have Reached 400 Parts Per Million
Written by Megan Treacy on 31/05/12   


The atmosphere over the Arctic has hit a troublesome milestone: the concentration of CO2 has surpassed 400 parts per million. Stations across the region in Alaska, Greenland, Norway and Iceland have recorded the measurements that have surged since the winter and spring have brought a decline in CO2-absorbing vegetation. While the downswing in carbon absorption happens every year, this is the first time in 800,000 years that the CO2 concentration anywhere in the world has been 400 ppm or above.

Before industrialization, global CO2 levels were about 280 ppm but in recent years global levels have reached as high as 395 ppm. The fact that any area of the globe has climbed above the 400 ppm mark concerns climate scientists that even with many countries rolling out carbon reduction measures, it's not making a difference fast enough.

Carnegie Institution ecologist Chris Field, a leader of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, said, “It is an indication that we’re in a different world.”

To that end, scientists have recently discovered that the loss of Arctic summer ice and accelerated warming of that region are altering the cialis soft tabs jet stream, which is likely to increase extreme weather events around the world.

via Yale e360

Image via flickr user Polar Cruises

 

MAY 30

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Prius Now Third Best-Selling Car in the World
Written by Megan Treacy on 30/05/12   


If you thought you were seeing Toyota Priuses absolutely everywhere these days, you were right. The hybrid car has gone from a small, niche vehicle to global top-seller in just over a decade.

High demand in the U.S. and Japanese incentives for domestic vehicles were driving factors in the Prius hitting the third-best selling mark in the first quarter of this year, where Toyota sold 247,230 of the vehicles globally and www.smartersecurity.com 86,027 in the U.S. alone. The expansion of cialis 20mg the Prius family to include four models of vehicles also drove up sales.

Number one Toyota Corolla, number two Ford Focus and the rest of the top five best-selling cars were all smaller, fuel-efficient sedans, which shows a global consensus that fuel efficiency is a necessary feature in a car.

The fact that the Prius has gone from an "alternative vehicle" in 2000 to a full-fledged mainstream car in 2012 means that same evolution is just as achievable for the all-electric models that have hit the market in the past couple of years, especially as charging infrastructure spreads across the country and around the world.

via Bloomberg

 

 

MAY 28

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Saggy Roads Waste Fuel, Cost Money
Written by Philip Proefrock on 28/05/12   

Civil engineers from MIT have completed a study in which they have determined that vehicle fuel consumption could be reduced by as much as 3 percent by having stiffer roads. Looking at the way forces interact between the tire and the road, the researchers conclude that, "This has the effect of making the tires on the vehicle drive continuously up a slight slope."

Inefficiencies due to saggy roads are responsible for the use of an extra 273 million barrels of crude oil per year (costing $15.6 billion at today’s oil prices) and producing CO2 emissions of www.deboerderijhuizen.nl 46.5 million metric tons. In addition to the fuel savings, building better roads would reduce maintenance costs, providing long-term savings and improved national infrastructure.

“We’re wasting fuel unnecessarily because pavement design has been based solely on minimizing initial costs more than performance — how well the viagra buy now pavement holds up — when it should also take into account the environmental footprint of pavements based on variations in external conditions,” according to Mehdi Akbarian, one of the study's authors.

With over 8.5 million lane miles making up the US roadway network, it would take a long time to revamp the entire system. But the results of the study could be applied to make improvements to the way roads are repaired and maintained, leading to a better road system over time.

Public Domain image by Shadowlink1014/Wikimedia

via: MIT News

 

MAY 28

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SciShow: Geoengineering
Written by Philip Proefrock on 28/05/12   

Geoengineering is the term used to describe large-scale engineering projects meant to manipulate the planetary environment (usually in order to address climate change). Two items related to this topic are covered in this week's SciShow.

The first story notes that scientists in Italy are preparing to examine the supervolcano in the Campi Flegrei Caldera (the area around Naples) by drilling down toward the cialis drug prescription magma underlying the region. The study seeks to better understand the movement of magma in this area. Sensors will be placed 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles) below the surface to gather information. Plans for a deeper bore were cancelled after concerns about the possibility of triggering earthquakes or gas releases.

Also in the news is SPICE (Stratospheric Particle Injection for Climate Engineering) an experimental method to deploy aerosols in the upper atmosphere (to potentially create a 'global cooling effect' to offset global warming). The British team planning this experiment had to put it on hold due to potential conflicts of interest over patents with some of the technology in the program.

More details about all of this can be found in this episode of SciShow on YouTube.

 

MAY 27

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Life-Cycle Analysis Shows Renewables Produce Only 5% of the Emissions of Coal
Written by Philip Proefrock on 27/05/12   

The 'fuel' used to generate power from the sun or the wind is, of course, emissions free. But we realize that it is necessary to look at more than just the fuel input in evaluating the total impacts of various technologies. Life-cycle analysis (LCA) goes beyond the operational comparison and also looks at the impacts of creating the equipment to harness those energies as well as the effects of decomissioning them at their end of life.

Research by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has looked at a wide range of studies carried out to asess the levitra prescription label greenhouse gas effects related to different forms of energy. THe NREL meta-study sought to equalize and levitra generic brand balance the different studies carried out by different researchers in such a fashion that they could be compared with each other.

The conclusions show that "greenhouse-gas emissions from wind power and solar photovoltaics are about 5% of those from coal and that nuclear energy emissions are on par with those from renewable energy."

Renewables such as solar and wind produce far fewer greenhouse-gas emissions than coal, oil or natural gas while in operation. But the meta-analysis looked even deeper, at emissions estimates starting with the manufacture of solar panels, wind turbines, coal plants or natural-gas lines, all the way to the emissions estimates for decommissioning the sites.

While it may seem intuitively obvious, the ability to cross-compare between different studies has not been there previously, and this will allow for better comparison between different techologies, as well as giving a more even picture of the benefits of renewable energy.

via: NA Windpower

 

MAY 27

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Offshore Atlantic Transmission Line Moves Forward
Written by Philip Proefrock on 27/05/12   

A significant regulatory hurdle has been cleared in the development of wind power along the eastern shore of the United States. The Department of the Interior announced a finding of no competitive interest for the proposed Mid-Atlantic offshore wind energy transmission line.

The Atlantic Wind Connection has been under development for a couple of years with companies including Google, investment firm Good Energies, Japanese company Marubeni, and Maryland transmission company Trans-Elect sharing the investment. It will provide an electrical grid backbone with the capacity to transmit 7,000 meagawatts of off-shore wind power to the grid.

The proposed project is a high-voltage, direct-current subsea transmission system that would collect power generated by wind turbine facilities off the Atlantic coasts of Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, and Virginia. The first such offshore infrastructure proposed in the United States, the system's parallel, redundant circuits would total about 790 miles in length.

The Atlantic coast of the United States is a vast, as-yet untapped source of potential wind power. In addition to being resource-rich, it is also a heavily populated part of the country with a great deal of electrical demand, and wind farms along this part of the country can do a great deal of good. The next step for the project will be to evaluate potential environmental impacts.  Construction of the project is expected to take 10 years in total.

via: US Dept. of Interior

 

MAY 25

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Morocco Building 500 MW Solar Power Project
Written by Megan Treacy on 25/05/12   


Morocco is a country that is bursting with solar power potential -- it gets 3,000 hours a year of sunshine -- but it relies heavily on the import of fossil fuels. That may be turning around with plans for a 500 MW solar complex to include solar PV and concentrating solar installations and a larger goal to reach 2,000 MW of installed solar power capacity by 2020.

The complex will be built in Ouarzazate and should be completed by 2015. The first phase will be a parabolic trough facility. When completed, the project will prevent 240,000 tons of CO2 emissions per year, the equivalent of taking 80,000 cars off the road. The large project has been funded by at least partially funded by a $297 million loan from the World Bank.

Morocco also has great wind power potential along its coastline with a technical potential of about 10,000 MW, though a lack of transmission infrastructure to get that power into the best levitra prices grid is holding development back. Morocco's plans to install a mix of solar and wind power could reduce its fossil fuel imports by 2.5 million tons a year and carbon emissions by 9 million tons a year.

via CleanTechnica

 
Solar Impulse Making a Transcontinental Voyage
Written by Philip Proefrock on 25/05/12   

Solar powered flight will reach a new milestone this week as the Solar Impulse makes a transcontinental voyage. The solar powered airplane has already completed the first leg of its journey with a 17 hour trip from their base in Switzerland to Madrid. The final destination of this trip is for the plane to fly on to Morocco.

Solar Impulse has previously completed a 24 hour flight, but that was done largely by circling in place. The current flight extends the Solar Impulse team's activity to address issues such as logistics and viagra 10mg storms in the flight path. All of this is in preparation for the eventual around the world flight planned for 2013.

Previously at EcoGeek: The Solar Impulse: Around the World Without Fuel

link: Solar Impulse

 

MAY 22

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T. Boone Pickens Walks Away from Alternative Fuels All Together
Written by Megan Treacy on 21/05/12   


Once upon a time, ex-oil baron T. Boone Pickens was one of wind energy's biggest proponents with plans for the world's biggest wind farm in Texas and massive transmission structure to get that clean power into our homes. He also backed natural gas as an alternative fuel for cars and trucks. He had a plan to save America and he was passionate, well, until it wasn't making him money like he thought it would.

Three years ago, he backed away from his commitment to build the giant wind farm and transmission lines when the economy took a downturn. Then he completely abandoned his wind energy aspirations when the market just wasn't working for him. Now he's doing the same with natural gas, taking himself out of the alternative energy game completely.

In an interview with Marketplace, Pickens explained that the low price of natural gas was basically keeping him from making money and because the viagra discussionsdiscount priced viagra country (namely Congress) was dragging its heels on coming up with a solid energy plan he said he'd "had about all this I want to fool with."

While we were never as excited by his natural gas plans as the grand ones he had for wind energy, we kept hoping that this billionaire oil man would surprise us all and deliver some really big wind projects. But now, if natural gas is too risky for him, there's no way he's ever coming back around on wind. So long, Mr. Pickens. We enjoyed your enthusiasm while it lasted.

 

 

MAY 18

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Nevada Home to World's First Hybrid Solar-Geothermal Plant
Written by Megan Treacy on 18/05/12   


Nevada's Stillwater geothermal plant has added a solar array to become the world's first hybrid solar-geothermal plant. Enel Green Power North America installed more than 89,000 solar panels with a capacity of 26 MW to the site. The plant's combined capacity is now 59 MW of clean energy capable of powering more than 50,000 homes.

Solar and geothermal are a match made in heaven. Both are great sources of clean energy, but solar power needs a backup for when the sun isn't shining (whether nighttime or a cloudy day). That's where geothermal is a great partner. It's a consistent form of energy that can smooth out the gaps in solar power and during the day when demand is greatest, you have the benefit of receiving power from both sources.

The project received $40 million in tax support from the Department of Energy through the Recovery Act. Stillwater is one of 14 geothermal sites in Nevada and Utah that received investments from the DOE to accelerate geothermal power development.

DOE Secretary Steven Chu says “As the first of its kind in the world, this project demonstrates how we can tap renewable energy sources to provide clean power for American families and businesses and deploy every available source of American energy."

via DOE

Image via Nevada State Office of Energy

 


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