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OCT 05

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Sky-scraping Tower Will Power 100,000 Homes with Hot Air
Written by Megan Treacy on 05/10/11   

A 2,600-foot tower planned for the Arizona desert will be the world's second tallest structure and how to buy cialis in canada will be able to link for you buy cheapest levitra power 100,000 homes through hot air alone.

The solar updraft tower, designed by EnviroMission, will work by collecting hot air as it rises from the heated ground surrounding it.  The very tall, narrow tower increases the usefull link cialis online no prescription strength of the hot air flowing upward, where it will turn 32 turbines along the way.

The tower will be able to produce 200 MW of electricity each day and, unlike solar power technologies, will be able to produce electricity at night too since heat from the ground will still be flowing upward and it will operate without the use of water.

This technology comes at a pretty steep price -- $750 million to build -- but since hot air is free, the operating costs going forward will be very minimal and the tower should last at least 80 years.

The tower will be made of concrete, which is a very carbon-heavy material, but the clean energy produced by the tower should cancel out the carbon emissions of order prescription cialis making it within 2.5 years.

via CNN


OCT 05

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University of Maryland Wins 2011 Solar Decathlon
Written by Philip Proefrock on 05/10/11   

The WaterShed, designed and built by a team from the University of Maryland, is the winner of the 2011 Solar Decathlon. In addition to winning the overall competition, the Maryland entry also took first place in the Architecture category and second place in the Market Appeal category, and was in the top 5 in almost every category, including two other categories where they tied with several other teams for first place.

The winning house is just 876 square feet (81.4 square meters) in area. It not only utilizes solar photovoltaic (PV) and solar thermal, but also incorporates water collection, greywater filtration, and an edible garden wall among its numerous features.

Second-place in the Decathlon was won by Purdue University, and the team from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand received the third-place award.

link: Maryland Solar Decathlon Page


OCT 03

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City of Austin Facilities Now Fully Powered by Renewables
Written by Megan Treacy on 03/10/11   

The City of Austin, Texas is viagra canada online pharmacy now the largest U.S. municipality to use only renewable energy to power its facilities.  The city uses Austin Energy's GreenChoice, a voluntary program, to buy their electricity.

The city has bought about 400 million kWh of renewable energy from the program that will get the electricity from a wind farm in West Texas.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Austin Energy sold more renewable energy than any other U.S. utility in 2010, selling 754 million kWh electricity from wind and landfill gas.

via Environmental Leader


SEP 30

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Climate Change Could Cause Chocolate Shortage
Written by Megan Treacy on 30/09/11   

A new report from the International Center for Tropical Agriculture. a funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, found that West Africa, where half of the world's cocoa supply comes from, is becoming less and less suitable for cocoa production as climate change brings higher temperatures and changing rainfall patterns.

The report says that between 2030 and 2050 land suitable for cocoa production will be slashed dramatically, with production having to move to less suitable areas.  This change will make a huge impact on the worldwide industry and hurt the local farmers who rely on cocoa crops for their livelihood.

Global demand for chocolate has been quickly rising as developing nations like China import more of it.  The growing demand and drop in production will mean much higher prices for chocolate.

The study proposes finding new heat and drought resistant crops that could thrive in West Africa, while helping to transition cocoa production to more suitable areas.

via Think Progress


SEP 29

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Germany Covers Old Pit Mine with World's Largest Solar Park
Written by Megan Treacy on 29/09/11   

A new section added onto a huge solar park in Eastern Germany now makes it the largest solar park in the world, but the more interesting fact about this section is that it was built over an old pit mine that had rendered that land useless for years.

The new section added 78 MW to the plant and, amazingly, it was constructed in just three months.

Using land that is otherwise undesirable is a great tactic for large solar developers because not only are they turning the remnants of something that once harmed the environment into an energy plant that is far gentler to it, but it also ensures that there isn't competition for that land for food production or other important uses.

The German solar park near Senftenburg now has a capacity of 166 MW.

via Treehugger

2011 Solar Decathlon Underway
Written by Philip Proefrock on 29/09/11   

It's autumn, and the annual Solar Decathlon is underway (through October 2nd). After being highlighted on the National Mall for several years, this year, the contestants are instead located in West Potomac Park, near the Roosevelt and Jefferson Memorials in Washington DC, maybe less publicly front-and-center, but no less interesting and engaging than in previous years.

The Solar Decathlon teams compete with small, energy efficient model homes that address five key criteria:

Affordable, attractive, and easy to live in
Maintains comfortable and healthy indoor environmental conditions
Supplies energy to household appliances for cooking, cleaning, and entertainment
Provides adequate hot water
Produces as much or more energy than it consumes

This year's contestants include teams from 20 universities from across the US, as well as international teams from Belgium, Canada, China, and New Zealand.

The projects are judged on enter site viagra pharmacy in india ten different contests throughout the week. Public voting for the People's Choice Award runs through Sunday, when the final winner will be announced.

Link: Gallery of Houses

China May Surpass U.S. Per Capita Carbon Emission Levels By 2017
Written by Megan Treacy on 28/09/11   

A new report form the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency says that China's per capita carbon emissions are rising at such a pace that the country could reach, or even surpass, U.S. levels by 2017.

The report states that China's per capita carbon emission were at 2.2 tons in 1990, but have since risen to 6.8 tons.  That amount is about equal with Italy and more than France.  During that same time frame, U.S. per capita emissions have dropped from 19.7 tons to 16.9 tons.

China became the world leader in total greenhouse gas emissions back in 2007 and has doubled its emissions since 2003.

This breakneck speed of development and increasing carbon emissions has caused environmentalists to say that China should now be considered a developed nation during climate change talks, which would means it would be expected to take on more responsibility in controlling carbon emissions.

via Yale e360


SEP 27

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Google Puts Up $75 Million for Residential Solar Installations
Written by Megan Treacy on 27/09/11   

Google has set up a $75 million fund that will pay for about 3,000 residential solar installations in California, Colorado and Arizona.  The fund will be overseen by Clean Power Finance who will work with installers to offer financing options to homeowners.

The fund will allow homeowners who want to incorporate solar power in their homes, but can't afford the high upfront costs of a solar power system, to enter into lease agreements or power purchase agreements with the just try! cheap cialis uk installers.

This fund is cialis online no presription the second for Google, who also created a $280 million residential solar fund that California-based SolarCity will administer.  That fund will be overseeing installations, lease agreements and power purchase agreements in 11 states and visit web site levitra info Washington, D.C.

The popularity of residential and it's great! express levitra delivery small scale solar is at a high because of the federal and state tax incentives for homeowners.  Companies who invest in these projects (i.e. Google), get large tax credits as well.

via Forbes


SEP 26

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Iceland Getting World's First Zero-Carbon Data Center
Written by Megan Treacy on 26/09/11   

A new pre-fab data center will soon be heading to Iceland where it will become the world's first to achieve zero carbon status.  The IT company Colt will build the center's 37 components and then ship them off to Iceland where they will be assembled.

The ability for this data center to operate without carbon emissions has everything to do with its placement in Iceland.  The center will be powered exclusively by geothermal and hydroelectric sources and cooling will be taken care of by using the cold Iceland air.

The 500 square meter facility will only take four months to complete.  It will contain the servers of cheapest generic cialis UK data hosting company Verne.  The facility will be able to supply 100 MW of computer load at any time and the capacity will be expanded as demand grows.

via Guardian


SEP 23

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Evaporation from Trees Has Global Cooling Effect
Written by Megan Treacy on 23/09/11   

Scientists at the Carnegie Institution's Global Ecology department have published a study that found that evaporation from trees has a cooling effect on the climate.

Because water vapor is known to act as a greenhouse gas, scientists were unsure what role evaporation played, but it turns out that evaporation from trees causes low-level clouds to viagra com form in the atmosphere, which reflect the the best site sales viagra sun's rays.  The scientists created models that showed that not only did cooling occur locally (which was already known), but that the effect was a global one where tree evaporation created more low-level clouds around the world.

Trees have proven themselves to be great climate regulators and this new finding just adds to the list of reasons to preserve our forests and plant new trees.

via Yale e360


SEP 22

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Harvard Professor Builds Carbon-Sucking Machine
Written by Megan Treacy on 22/09/11   

Harvard applied physics professor David Keith is building a machine that can suck carbon dioxide from the air.  Keith has started a company called Carbon Engineering that has attracted venture capitalists that see a future for this technology.

The machine uses a three-step process to filter the air and separate and sequester the carbon dioxide.  First, a fan sucks air into the machine where it enters a 31-foot-long chamber filled with wavy plastic material.  A sodium hydroxide solution runs down that plastic and reacts with the CO2 to pull it out of the air and turn it into carbonate solids.  Those solids then go into a 900 degree Celsius kiln where they're broken down and become a stream of pure CO2.  That pure CO2 is then capture where it can go on to be stored underground or used for other purposes.

The machine reuses ash left behind in the kiln to cialis 200mg regenerate the sodium hydroxide solution and the process continues.

Of course the removal of the CO2 from the air is never the tricky part of these projects, rather it's what is done with the captured CO2 that leaves people feeling unsure.  The permanence of underground storage is still untested.

But the potential for the technology has generated some interest.  Bill Gates and other billionaire investors have given money to Keith's project and Keith himself hopes that it can be scaled up to a size that could actually make a positive impact on the environment.

via NPR




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