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DEC 19

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In Germany, Renewable Energy Surpasses Nuclear and Coal Energy For First Time
Written by Megan Treacy on 19/12/11   


In 2011, Germany finally saw their renewable energy production top that of almost all other sources of energy, including nuclear, hard-coal and gas-fired power plants.  The only other energy generation source greater than the renewable energy mix was lignite-fired power.

According to canada drugstores americans viagra border a report from German utility BDEW, renewable energy accounted for 20 percent of the country's total energy output, up from 16.4 percent last year.  Lignite-fired output produced 24.6 percent of the electricity.

Nuclear power is dropping off in the country since Chancellor Merkel closed the eight oldest reactors this past year after the order cheapest levitra online Fukushima catastrophe.  Nuclear represented 17.4 percent of the country's electricity load, down from 22.4 percent last year and the country plans to step away from the energy source completely by 2022.

via Bloomberg Businessweek

 

DEC 16

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Incandescent Light Bulb Ban Pushed Back
Written by Megan Treacy on 16/12/11   


A Congressional spending deal made late last night includes a provision that prevents the Department of Energy from enforcing the incandescent light bulb ban set to go in effect in January for another nine months.

The first phase of the ban, which still remains on the books but just can't be enforced, includes higher efficiency standards for 100-watt bulbs.  By the end 2014, all incandescents will be phased out.  According to the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, many American light bulb makers had already started investing money on making the viagra without prescription change from incandescents to more efficient bulbs like halogen, CFLs and LEDs and this delay may now cause them to lose money to foreign competitors still selling the cheaper bulbs.

The delay in enforcement will end on September 30, 2012 at the end of mexico pharmacy the government's fiscal year when hopefully the legislation will be able to www.privateeryachts.com go into effect.

via Chicago Tribune

 

DEC 16

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World's Largest Commercial Bamboo Building
Written by Philip Proefrock on 16/12/11   

Bamboo is considered a green building material, but it is most often found as an adjunct within larger construction using other materials. Recently, however, an entire chocolate factory has been built in Indonesia as the world's largest commercial bamboo structure. The 26,500 square foot (2,460 square meter) facility handles the entire range of operations, from initial processing the beans to final production of chocolate, what they call "beans to bars."

The Big Tree Farms factory, located in Sibang, Bali, not only has the www.slic.de exterior built from bamboo, but bamboo was also used for interior walls, which were made from woven bamboo strips, and stairs which used bamboo plywood for treads. The bamboo was treated with borax for fire-prevention and boric acid to resist insects, and a food-grade coating was applied to interior walls.

What makes bamboo an especially green building material is that it is fast-growing, making it a rapidly renewable resource that doesn't devastate the landscape when it is harvested. Bamboo is strong enough to compare with mild steel in some applications. It is regularly used for construction scaffolding throughout southeast Asia.

via: Architect magazine

 

DEC 15

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New Uses for Wood in Construction
Written by Philip Proefrock on 15/12/11   

Wood is a versatile construction material. It has been used for thousands of years. It has low embodied energy compared to many other building materials, and it serves to sequester carbon. But, compared with steel, it is relatively weak, and that, combined with its inherent combustability, has meant that wood is not used for structures more than a few stories tall. Now, a new development in wood construction called cross-laminated timber (CLT) is making new possibilities available in wood construction.

Cross-laminated timber panels are like massive plywood boards. Instead of shaving a log into a veneer and then gluing it together to make a board a few eighths of an inch thick, a CLT panel is made from pieces of sawn wood and is several inches thick. Like plywood, alternating layers are laid perpendicular to one another, so that the finished panel is stronger and dependablehealthcareservices.com more dimensionally stable than plain wood would be.

Because the panels are many inches thick, there is an inherent fire resistance to the material, which, in the event of viagra no doctor a fire, will char on the outside but will not burn through quickly. Construction with CLT is also faster and requires fewer workers and lighter equipment, which can make construction more affordable.

The Stadhaus is a 9-story residential building in London which was built using CLT and is the tallest modern building constructed with wood. At present, CLT is primarily a European development, but fabrication plants are under construction in the US, and CLT panels should start to be available within a couple of years.

image: Wood in Design

via: JetsonGreen and BC Forestry

 

DEC 15

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Solar Power Making Its Way to Prisons
Written by Megan Treacy on 15/12/11   


When we think of all the businesses and institutions that we'd like to see embrace renewable energy, prisons don't immediately pop to mind, but huge correctional facilities require a lot of electricity to run and the large flat spaces they most often occupy make them perfect for solar power.

Most recently, two Illinois correctional facilities in Merced County have announced that they'll be running on solar power.  Two arrays consisting of 6,272 solar panels located on land adjacent to the two facilities have a capacity of 1.4 MW and will be able to provide 70 percent of the facilities' peak electricity consumption and www.auburg.de all of buying viagra over the internet the power during off-peak times.

The arrays plus new energy-efficient lighting systems being installed will reduce CO2 emissions by 999.85 tons.  The cost savings will be substantial too.  The county expects to save $300,000 a year on energy costs creating a positive cash flow that could total $9 million in 25 years.

Four California correctional facilities announced in October that they'd be installing solar arrays as well.  All put together the four arrays will have a capacity of 25 MW and save taxpayers $57 million over 20 years.

via Care 2

 

DEC 14

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U.K. Gets Vending Machines for Recycling Batteries, Light Bulbs
Written by Megan Treacy on 14/12/11   


We all know that batteries and CFL light bulbs don't belong in the trash, but recycling locations are not always convenient.  What if your local retail stores just had a vending machine where you could drop these items?  Well, that convenient option could be coming to us soon.

A company called reVend Recycling Ltd. has begun installing recycling vending machines for light bulbs and batteries in the U.K. that not only sort the generic viagra super active canada items, but offer immediate rewards.

The first pilot machine was installed at an IKEA in London with great success.  At that location, recyclers were offered store credit to IKEA based on the amount they were recycling or the choice to donate to one of four charities -- the World Wildlife Fund, Woodland Trust, UNICEF and Save the Children.

The machines accept incandescents, CFLs and LEDs as well as any domestic batteries.  The machines are able to track the bulbs and batteries by type, manufacturer and volume so that each can end up in the appropriate recycling facilities.

The company has signed an agreement with IKEA to install their machines throughout the U.K., Germany and Denmark.  They plan to expand their reach to more parts of Europe as well as into the U.S. very soon.

via Earth 911

 

DEC 12

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EU Could Meet Emission Requirements Through Increased Bike Ridership
Written by Megan Treacy on 12/12/11   

A new report released by the European Cyclists' Federation says that a quarter of the required emissions reduction target for 2020 could be met if all of the European Union had bike ridership levels like Denmark.

The Danish people ride on average 2.6 km per day.  If all of the EU hit that mark, it would reduce emissions by 55 million to 120 million tons a year.  By 2020, that would represent five to 11 percent of the emissions target of a 20 percent reduction below 1990 levels.  If that level of ridership continued, by 2050 it would represent a slash of 63 to 142 million tons or 12 to 26 percent of the transportation sector targets.

Meanwhile in New York City, the transportation department is proving that adding bike lanes and making a city more bike-friendly will in fact increase ridership.  Since making major bike lane improvements in 2007, ridership in the Big Apple has doubled.  With a huge bike sharing program on its way, those numbers should continue to go up.  See a breakdown of best way to take viagra the increases in bike ridership here.

via Yale e360
 

DEC 11

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Alternative Nuclear Power: Pebble Bed Reactor
Written by Philip Proefrock on 11/12/11   

This article is part of a series on alternative possibilities in nuclear power.
Previously at EcoGeek: Alternative Possibilities in Nuclear Power

Pebble Bed Reactor
The pebble-bed reactor was supposed to be another intrinsically safe, and "melt-down proof" design. "Pebble bed reactors are helium-cooled, graphite-moderated reactors in which the www.aumm.nl fuel is in the form of tennis ball-sized spherical "pebbles" encased in a graphite moderator. New fuel pebbles are continuously added at the top of a cylindrical reactor vessel and travel slowly down the column by gravity, until they reach the bottom and uk levitra are removed." Cooling uses an inert gas such as helium, rather than a liquid, which simplifies many of the reactor systems.

"The use of helium and graphite allows the reactor to burn the fuel efficiently and to operate at much higher temperatures than conventional light water reactors." Since the pebble bed reactor was already designed to operate at very high temperatures, and since its cooling medium was a gas, rather than a liquid, the control systems for a pebble bed reactor could be much simpler. The largest problems that need to be dealt with for a boiling water reactor - overheating and coolant boiling away - are not concerns for a pebble bed reactor. The pebble bed also produces less power as the temperature rises, so the design is effectively self-limiting.

 

DEC 09

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Alternative Possibilities in Nuclear Power
Written by Philip Proefrock on 09/12/11   

Nuclear power is still a divisive issue among EcoGeeks. It's clean, at least from a fuel cycle carbon emissions standpoint. But it's a reasonable question whether it is truly cost-effective once all the issues of mining and processing the fuel, and treating and storing the viagra how to buy spent material and waste, along with the security and buy tramadol money order the public safety concerns (which carry their own not-insignificant costs).

There are many who claim that nuclear power is the greenest short-term alternative to coal to reduce carbon emissions from electrical power generation. And, on the other hand, we have seen some countries move to phase-out nuclear power in the aftermath of www.aumm.nl the Fukushima disaster.

However, Fukushima-style boiling-water reactors are not the only way to use nuclear power to produce electricity. For that matter, uranium isn't the only nuclear fuel that could be used. There are other reactor designs and fueling methods have been explored and are under development.

Over the next couple of weeks, we are going to take a look at several alternative nuclear power technologies with an EcoGeek persepctive. We aren't going to draw any final conclusions with this one way or the other. We are advocating neither in favor of nor against any of these alternatives, nor are we for or against nuclear power, in general.

This article is part of a series on alternative possibilities in nuclear power.
Previously at EcoGeek:
Lesson of Fukushima: No-Nukes or Pro-Nukes?

 

DEC 08

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Warren Buffett's Utility Buying 550 MW Solar Farm
Written by Megan Treacy on 08/12/11   


MidAmerican Energy, a utility owned by Warren Buffett's company Berkshire Hathaway, is purchasing a large solar farm in California.  The 550-MW Topaz Solar Farm is being sold by First Solar for an as-yet-unknown price, though construction costs are estimated at about $2 billion.

The solar farm, located in the Carrizo Plain, is currently under construction and should be up and running by 2014.  It will use First Solar's thin-film technology and generate enough electricity to power 160,000 homes.

The Topaz solar farm is MidAmerican Energy's first solar energy purchase, but the utility has already been big on wind, ranking as the #1 utility in America for wind power by controlling 2,909 MW of capacity.

via Treehugger

 

DEC 08

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World's Lightest Solid Unveiled
Written by Philip Proefrock on 08/12/11   

A material that is 100 times lighter than styrofoam has been produced by scientists from the University of California, Irvine and the California Institute of Technology. The unnamed new material is made with nickel phosphorous in a nanoscale lattice. It is 99.99 percent air.

This material is even lighter than silica aerogel, and weighs just 0.9mg per cubic centimeter. The announced plans for the canada medication viagra material include use for battery electrodes and buy levitra online without prescription for acoustic- and vibration-dampening applications. But there will doubtless be other applications that other materials engineers will find for this material.

The techniques used to fashion superlightweight materials may eventually be applicable for use with other materials. Even though there isn't an immediate green tech application for this material doesn't mean that it isn't interesting.

image credit: Dan Little, HRL Laboratories LLC

via: Architect Magazine

 


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