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Duane Reade Lets New Yorkers Decide Where To Deploy Electric Delivery Trucks
by Bart King
July 18, 2012—
New York City’s largest drugstore chain, Duane Reade, is letting customers help decide which stores in the city should be served solely by electric vehicles.
New Yorkers can vote for store locations via an interactive map launched by Mission Electric, a non-profit and city government social engagement campaign focused on enhancing electric vehicle transportation. Participants in the campaign will be entered in a contest to win Duane Reade green gift baskets and gift cards.
Based on the campaign results, the two leading stores will be shifted to electric-only deliveries with five more pre-selected stores to follow in later months. Combined, more than 30 stores have been identified as electric truck ready in the four boroughs of Queens, Bronx, Brooklyn, and Manhattan.
To reduce the impact of air pollution originating from vehicle deliveries, Duane Reade has purchased 14 new Smith Electric trucks that will replace almost 25 percent of the company's truck fleet. The partnership with Mission Electric will reduce Duane Reade's total greenhouse gas impact by about 20 percent. In addition, the electric trucks will reduce noise levels from overnight deliveries, because they do not require combustion and their operation is almost silent.
Bart King is a PR/marketing communications consultant and principal at Cleantech Communications.
ECOmove Creating 500-mile All Electric Car
July 16, 2012
There are plenty of electric cars on the market today. Some of the highway capable models include the Tesla Roadster, Nissan Leaf, Smart ED, Ford Focus Electric, and the Mia Electric. Travel range is the biggest consideration for those interested in owning an electric car. ECOmove, a Danish electric car manufacturer, has come up with a “range anxiety solution” for their newly designed all electric QBEAK car.
ECOmove, Insero E-Mobility and Serenergy have come up with the Modular Energy Carrier concept (MECC) to develop an electric car that has a driving range of 500 miles (800 kilometers) and that is capable of highway speeds.
According to Torque News, “As an all electric car it has a modular battery pack system allowing from one to six modules to power the vehicle, and with six modules the QBEAK has a driving range of 180 miles (300 kilometers) and a top speed of 120 kilometers/hr (75 miles/hr) when outfitted with two 70kw motors.”
The QBEAK isn’t quite up to the 500 mile driving range but it is impressive since each module can hold 4.7 kilowatt-hours of electricity. The cars maximum energy capacity is around 27 kilowatt-hours. A driving range of 180 miles on 27 kilowatt-hours of energy storage is better than the norm on current electric vehicles. Most electric cars have a driving range of a little less than 100 miles on 24 kilowatt-hours of energy. QBEAK uses lightweight components to use the energy more efficiently.
Another bonus of QBEAK is that it is designed with recyclability in mind. The car is made with recyclable materials and the interior is re-arrangeable. The car seats up to six people but with the re-arrangeable interior it can be changed if you need space for travel bags, soccer mom gear, or a variety of other reasons. The use of ARPRO, a light weight material used in certain automotive applications, will help the car use less energy for movement and will also reduce the use of energy needed for heating and cooling.
Although the QBEAK is made with light weight materials they are considered very strong. ECOmove expects to be awarded a five star crash worthiness rating.
QBEAK will go into production at the end of 2012 and is a step toward using MECC designs to create a 500 mile driving range all electric vehicle.
Linda St.Cyr is a writer, blogger, activist, and short story author. When she isn’t writing or raising her kids with her life partner, she is busy being vocal about feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, and bringing attention to human rights violations all over the world.
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“What is the power source of the future? Will it change as dramatically as some predict?”
Bruce Rose, CUI Inc, www.cui.com
Power sources in the future will be used and developed based upon economic, political, environmental and technological considerations. Changes will be dramatic but evolving over decades; the changes will be both in the sources of power and perhaps more so in the consequences of creating and using that power.
A large percentage of the world population is rapidly increasing in their power requirements due to changing from subsistence living to more affluent life styles. Emerging economies are often willing to pay more for their power because of the greater incremental benefit of the increased power consumption as compared to mature economies. These increased costs include direct costs (facilities, distribution and fuel) and indirect costs (pollution and casualties from producing the power, etc.).
Any single type of power source will have challenges which will prevent it from being universally adopted. Deep water oil wells, tar sands, horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing are all more expensive than conventional techniques and sources. Wind and solar power are intermittent in their ability to produce power and presently are heavily subsidized in their production costs. Geothermal sources are limited in regards to where they are located. Nuclear power is facing considerable social and political opposition at the present time. Emerging power sources require development time and large amounts of resources in order to supply a significant amount of the world power demand.
Future power sources will be a combination of advanced conventional and emerging technologies. The world-wide demand for power and the cost of producing that power are both increasing. The primary factor which will determine which power source is employed will be the overall cost of the power relative to the benefit which it provides.
David Norton, TDK-Lambda Americas, www.us.tdk-lambda.com/lp/
It does not require a crystal ball to foresee that changes in power sources will follow recent trends including higher efficiencies, smaller sizes, reduced heat loads and intelligent interfaces. Advances in electronic components and new power topologies have yielded major improvements in conversion efficiencies (AC-DC, DC-DC), facilitated by ultra high operating frequencies that require much smaller magnetic devices (transformers, inductors) and utilize expanded-life capacitive devices, e.g., ceramic capacitors are replacing dry-out-prone electrolytic types. Moreover, high efficiency conversion techniques will reduce and in many cases eliminate the need for failure-prone fans.
Future power sources will integrate more easily with OEM-equipment as packaging techniques evolve (e.g., advanced brick formats). Digital communications between the power sources and the driven electronics will allow the end equipment to minimize the power used as demands vary and even evaluate if the power section has been running too hot, for predictive maintenance scheduling.
As microprocessors evolve into increasingly denser configurations, their drive voltages will continue to reduce, thus necessitating closer couplings of the power section to the processors in order to reduce wasteful voltage drops in the interface cables and etched conductors.
In large internet server arrays the use of “load shedding” where paralleled power sources can be turned On/Off as the network demands vary will play an important part in conserving energy and reducing operational costs.
Patrick Le Fèvre, Ericsson Power Modules, www.ericsson.com
Before considering the power source of the future, it is important to consider how energy generated by fossil fuels and/or renewable sources is actually being used today, and how we could make better use of that energy to make a positive contribution in the eradication of poverty. In the United Nations summary document “The Future We Want” published at Rio+20, §128 includes the statement: “We recognize that improving energy efficiency, increasing the share of renewable energy, cleaner and energy-efficient technologies are important for sustainable development, including addressing climate change”, and it is energy efficiency and optimization that could be the most important component in the power source of the near- and possibly medium-term future.
Ongoing advanced research promises a bright future for new sources of energy, from cold fusion to bio-energy extracted from algae, and there is no doubt in the century to come that some of these will move from the laboratory into commercial reality. But until then, we need to develop solutions to reduce unnecessary power losses. One practical example already being deployed in the ICT industry is intelligent board power optimization that employs advanced algorithms to optimize and deliver only the energy required to power a specific load condition.
Dynamic energy management is a disruptive technology that will require systems architects to become masters of ‘Energy Optimization”, and dramatically change the way systems are designed to reduce both the Total Cost of Ownership and CO2 emissions.
Robert Gendron, Vicor, www.vicorpower.com
The power sources of the future will most likely derive from multiple renewable sources, depending on the specific end need and geographic location. With all of these various sources, the delivery efficiency of the converted power will continue to remain the highest priority. This efficiency performance isn’t solely dependent on the electrical losses in the power transmission and conversion – system size and weight will play an increasingly important role. For example, electric vehicles must not only maximize power from the battery storage, but just as important, also minimize the weight and size of the powertrain.
With efficiency now measured across three metrics (electrical, size, and weight), this places even greater challenges on power harvesting, storage, transmission, and conversion, especially when factoring in emerging off-grid and mobility trends. Power management schemes also need to be further integrated and personalized into our usage habits and lifestyles. The good news is that we are already seeing innovation in battery technologies, materials, conversion architectures, and power management schemes that we are able to utilize today. So as we ponder future power sources we need to consider the end-to-end usage of that power in the most efficient way possible.
Global Warming's Terrifying New Math
Three simple numbers that add up to global catastrophe - and that make clear who the real enemy is
By Bill McKibben
If the pictures of those towering wildfires in Colorado haven't convinced you, or the size of your AC bill this summer, here are some hard numbers about climate change: June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded for our nation – in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the "largest temperature departure from average of any season on record." The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet's history.
Not that our leaders seemed to notice. Last month the world's nations, meeting in Rio for the 20th-anniversary reprise of a massive 1992 environmental summit, accomplished nothing. Unlike George H.W. Bush, who flew in for the first conclave, Barack Obama didn't even attend. It was "a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago," the British journalist George Monbiot wrote; no one paid it much attention, footsteps echoing through the halls "once thronged by multitudes." Since I wrote one of the first books for a general audience about global warming way back in 1989, and since I've spent the intervening decades working ineffectively to slow that warming, I can say with some confidence that we're losing the fight, badly and quickly – losing it because, most of all, we remain in denial about the peril that human civilization is in.
When we think about global warming at all, the arguments tend to be ideological, theological and economic. But to grasp the seriousness of our predicament, you just need to do a little math. For the past year, an easy and powerful bit of arithmetical analysis first published by financial analysts in the U.K. has been making the rounds of environmental conferences and journals, but it hasn't yet broken through to the larger public. This analysis upends most of the conventional political thinking about climate change. And it allows us to understand our precarious – our almost-but-not-quite-finally hopeless – position with three simple numbers.
The First Number: 2° Celsius
If the movie had ended in Hollywood fashion, the Copenhagen climate conference in 2009 would have marked the culmination of the global fight to slow a changing climate. The world's nations had gathered in the December gloom of the Danish capital for what a leading climate economist, Sir Nicholas Stern of Britain, called the "most important gathering since the Second World War, given what is at stake." As Danish energy minister Connie Hedegaard, who presided over the conference, declared at the time: "This is our chance. If we miss it, it could take years before we get a new and better one. If ever."
In the event, of course, we missed it. Copenhagen failed spectacularly. Neither China nor the United States, which between them are responsible for 40 percent of global carbon emissions, was prepared to offer dramatic concessions, and so the conference drifted aimlessly for two weeks until world leaders jetted in for the final day. Amid considerable chaos, President Obama took the lead in drafting a face-saving "Copenhagen Accord" that fooled very few. Its purely voluntary agreements committed no one to anything, and even if countries signaled their intentions to cut carbon emissions, there was no enforcement mechanism. "Copenhagen is a crime scene tonight," an angry Greenpeace official declared, "with the guilty men and women fleeing to the airport." Headline writers were equally brutal: COPENHAGEN: THE MUNICH OF OUR TIMES? asked one.
The accord did contain one important number, however. In Paragraph 1, it formally recognized "the scientific view that the increase in global temperature should be below two degrees Celsius." And in the very next paragraph, it declared that "we agree that deep cuts in global emissions are required... so as to hold the increase in global temperature below two degrees Celsius." By insisting on two degrees – about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit – the accord ratified positions taken earlier in 2009 by the G8, and the so-called Major Economies Forum. It was as conventional as conventional wisdom gets. The number first gained prominence, in fact, at a 1995 climate conference chaired by Angela Merkel, then the German minister of the environment and now the center-right chancellor of the nation.
Some context: So far, we've raised the average temperature of the planet just under 0.8 degrees Celsius, and that has caused far more damage than most scientists expected. (A third of summer sea ice in the Arctic is gone, the oceans are 30 percent more acidic, and since warm air holds more water vapor than cold, the atmosphere over the oceans is a shocking five percent wetter, loading the dice for devastating floods.) Given those impacts, in fact, many scientists have come to think that two degrees is far too lenient a target. "Any number much above one degree involves a gamble," writes Kerry Emanuel of MIT, a leading authority on hurricanes, "and the odds become less and less favorable as the temperature goes up." Thomas Lovejoy, once the World Bank's chief biodiversity adviser, puts it like this: "If we're seeing what we're seeing today at 0.8 degrees Celsius, two degrees is simply too much." NASA scientist James Hansen, the planet's most prominent climatologist, is even blunter: "The target that has been talked about in international negotiations for two degrees of warming is actually a prescription for long-term disaster." At the Copenhagen summit, a spokesman for small island nations warned that many would not survive a two-degree rise: "Some countries will flat-out disappear." When delegates from developing nations were warned that two degrees would represent a "suicide pact" for drought-stricken Africa, many of them started chanting, "One degree, one Africa."
Despite such well-founded misgivings, political realism bested scientific data, and the world settled on the two-degree target – indeed, it's fair to say that it's the only thing about climate change the world has settled on. All told, 167 countries responsible for more than 87 percent of the world's carbon emissions have signed on to the Copenhagen Accord, endorsing the two-degree target. Only a few dozen countries have rejected it, including Kuwait, Nicaragua and Venezuela. Even the United Arab Emirates, which makes most of its money exporting oil and gas, signed on. The official position of planet Earth at the moment is that we can't raise the temperature more than two degrees Celsius – it's become the bottomest of bottom lines. Two degrees.
The Second Number: 565 Gigatons
Scientists estimate that humans can pour roughly 565 more gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by midcentury and still have some reasonable hope of staying below two degrees. ("Reasonable," in this case, means four chances in five, or somewhat worse odds than playing Russian roulette with a six-shooter.)
This idea of a global "carbon budget" emerged about a decade ago, as scientists began to calculate how much oil, coal and gas could still safely be burned. Since we've increased the Earth's temperature by 0.8 degrees so far, we're currently less than halfway to the target. But, in fact, computer models calculate that even if we stopped increasing CO2 now, the temperature would likely still rise another 0.8 degrees, as previously released carbon continues to overheat the atmosphere. That means we're already three-quarters of the way to the two-degree target.
How good are these numbers? No one is insisting that they're exact, but few dispute that they're generally right. The 565-gigaton figure was derived from one of the most sophisticated computer-simulation models that have been built by climate scientists around the world over the past few decades. And the number is being further confirmed by the latest climate-simulation models currently being finalized in advance of the next report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "Looking at them as they come in, they hardly differ at all," says Tom Wigley, an Australian climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. "There's maybe 40 models in the data set now, compared with 20 before. But so far the numbers are pretty much the same. We're just fine-tuning things. I don't think much has changed over the last decade." William Collins, a senior climate scientist at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, agrees. "I think the results of this round of simulations will be quite similar," he says. "We're not getting any free lunch from additional understanding of the climate system."
We're not getting any free lunch from the world's economies, either. With only a single year's lull in 2009 at the height of the financial crisis, we've continued to pour record amounts of carbon into the atmosphere, year after year. In late May, the International Energy Agency published its latest figures – CO2 emissions last year rose to 31.6 gigatons, up 3.2 percent from the year before. America had a warm winter and converted more coal-fired power plants to natural gas, so its emissions fell slightly; China kept booming, so its carbon output (which recently surpassed the U.S.) rose 9.3 percent; the Japanese shut down their fleet of nukes post-Fukushima, so their emissions edged up 2.4 percent. "There have been efforts to use more renewable energy and improve energy efficiency," said Corinne Le Quéré, who runs England's Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. "But what this shows is that so far the effects have been marginal." In fact, study after study predicts that carbon emissions will keep growing by roughly three percent a year – and at that rate, we'll blow through our 565-gigaton allowance in 16 years, around the time today's preschoolers will be graduating from high school. "The new data provide further evidence that the door to a two-degree trajectory is about to close," said Fatih Birol, the IEA's chief economist. In fact, he continued, "When I look at this data, the trend is perfectly in line with a temperature increase of about six degrees." That's almost 11 degrees Fahrenheit, which would create a planet straight out of science fiction.
So, new data in hand, everyone at the Rio conference renewed their ritual calls for serious international action to move us back to a two-degree trajectory. The charade will continue in November, when the next Conference of the Parties (COP) of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change convenes in Qatar. This will be COP 18 – COP 1 was held in Berlin in 1995, and since then the process has accomplished essentially nothing. Even scientists, who are notoriously reluctant to speak out, are slowly overcoming their natural preference to simply provide data. "The message has been consistent for close to 30 years now," Collins says with a wry laugh, "and we have the instrumentation and the computer power required to present the evidence in detail. If we choose to continue on our present course of action, it should be done with a full evaluation of the evidence the scientific community has presented." He pauses, suddenly conscious of being on the record. "I should say, a fuller evaluation of the evidence."
So far, though, such calls have had little effect. We're in the same position we've been in for a quarter-century: scientific warning followed by political inaction. Among scientists speaking off the record, disgusted candor is the rule. One senior scientist told me, "You know those new cigarette packs, where governments make them put a picture of someone with a hole in their throats? Gas pumps should have something like that."
The Third Number: 2,795 Gigatons
This number is the scariest of all – one that, for the first time, meshes the political and scientific dimensions of our dilemma. It was highlighted last summer by the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a team of London financial analysts and environmentalists who published a report in an effort to educate investors about the possible risks that climate change poses to their stock portfolios. The number describes the amount of carbon already contained in the proven coal and oil and gas reserves of the fossil-fuel companies, and the countries (think Venezuela or Kuwait) that act like fossil-fuel companies. In short, it's the fossil fuel we're currently planning to burn. And the key point is that this new number – 2,795 – is higher than 565. Five times higher.
The Carbon Tracker Initiative – led by James Leaton, an environmentalist who served as an adviser at the accounting giant PricewaterhouseCoopers – combed through proprietary databases to figure out how much oil, gas and coal the world's major energy companies hold in reserve. The numbers aren't perfect – they don't fully reflect the recent surge in unconventional energy sources like shale gas, and they don't accurately reflect coal reserves, which are subject to less stringent reporting requirements than oil and gas. But for the biggest companies, the figures are quite exact: If you burned everything in the inventories of Russia's Lukoil and America's ExxonMobil, for instance, which lead the list of oil and gas companies, each would release more than 40 gigatons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
Which is exactly why this new number, 2,795 gigatons, is such a big deal. Think of two degrees Celsius as the legal drinking limit – equivalent to the 0.08 blood-alcohol level below which you might get away with driving home. The 565 gigatons is how many drinks you could have and still stay below that limit – the six beers, say, you might consume in an evening. And the 2,795 gigatons? That's the three 12-packs the fossil-fuel industry has on the table, already opened and ready to pour.
We have five times as much oil and coal and gas on the books as climate scientists think is safe to burn. We'd have to keep 80 percent of those reserves locked away underground to avoid that fate. Before we knew those numbers, our fate had been likely. Now, barring some massive intervention, it seems certain.
Yes, this coal and gas and oil is still technically in the soil. But it's already economically aboveground – it's figured into share prices, companies are borrowing money against it, nations are basing their budgets on the presumed returns from their patrimony. It explains why the big fossil-fuel companies have fought so hard to prevent the regulation of carbon dioxide – those reserves are their primary asset, the holding that gives their companies their value. It's why they've worked so hard these past years to figure out how to unlock the oil in Canada's tar sands, or how to drill miles beneath the sea, or how to frack the Appalachians.
If you told Exxon or Lukoil that, in order to avoid wrecking the climate, they couldn't pump out their reserves, the value of their companies would plummet. John Fullerton, a former managing director at JP Morgan who now runs the Capital Institute, calculates that at today's market value, those 2,795 gigatons of carbon emissions are worth about $27 trillion. Which is to say, if you paid attention to the scientists and kept 80 percent of it underground, you'd be writing off $20 trillion in assets. The numbers aren't exact, of course, but that carbon bubble makes the housing bubble look small by comparison. It won't necessarily burst – we might well burn all that carbon, in which case investors will do fine. But if we do, the planet will crater. You can have a healthy fossil-fuel balance sheet, or a relatively healthy planet – but now that we know the numbers, it looks like you can't have both. Do the math: 2,795 is five times 565. That's how the story ends.
So far, as I said at the start, environmental efforts to tackle global warming have failed. The planet's emissions of carbon dioxide continue to soar, especially as developing countries emulate (and supplant) the industries of the West. Even in rich countries, small reductions in emissions offer no sign of the real break with the status quo we'd need to upend the iron logic of these three numbers. Germany is one of the only big countries that has actually tried hard to change its energy mix; on one sunny Saturday in late May, that northern-latitude nation generated nearly half its power from solar panels within its borders. That's a small miracle – and it demonstrates that we have the technology to solve our problems. But we lack the will. So far, Germany's the exception; the rule is ever more carbon.
This record of failure means we know a lot about what strategies don't work. Green groups, for instance, have spent a lot of time trying to change individual lifestyles: the iconic twisty light bulb has been installed by the millions, but so have a new generation of energy-sucking flatscreen TVs. Most of us are fundamentally ambivalent about going green: We like cheap flights to warm places, and we're certainly not going to give them up if everyone else is still taking them. Since all of us are in some way the beneficiaries of cheap fossil fuel, tackling climate change has been like trying to build a movement against yourself – it's as if the gay-rights movement had to be constructed entirely from evangelical preachers, or the abolition movement from slaveholders.
People perceive – correctly – that their individual actions will not make a decisive difference in the atmospheric concentration of CO2; by 2010, a poll found that "while recycling is widespread in America and 73 percent of those polled are paying bills online in order to save paper," only four percent had reduced their utility use and only three percent had purchased hybrid cars. Given a hundred years, you could conceivably change lifestyles enough to matter – but time is precisely what we lack.
A more efficient method, of course, would be to work through the political system, and environmentalists have tried that, too, with the same limited success. They've patiently lobbied leaders, trying to convince them of our peril and assuming that politicians would heed the warnings. Sometimes it has seemed to work. Barack Obama, for instance, campaigned more aggressively about climate change than any president before him – the night he won the nomination, he told supporters that his election would mark the moment "the rise of the oceans began to slow and the planet began to heal." And he has achieved one significant change: a steady increase in the fuel efficiency mandated for automobiles. It's the kind of measure, adopted a quarter-century ago, that would have helped enormously. But in light of the numbers I've just described, it's obviously a very small start indeed.
At this point, effective action would require actually keeping most of the carbon the fossil-fuel industry wants to burn safely in the soil, not just changing slightly the speed at which it's burned. And there the president, apparently haunted by the still-echoing cry of "Drill, baby, drill," has gone out of his way to frack and mine. His secretary of interior, for instance, opened up a huge swath of the Powder River Basin in Wyoming for coal extraction: The total basin contains some 67.5 gigatons worth of carbon (or more than 10 percent of the available atmospheric space). He's doing the same thing with Arctic and offshore drilling; in fact, as he explained on the stump in March, "You have my word that we will keep drilling everywhere we can... That's a commitment that I make." The next day, in a yard full of oil pipe in Cushing, Oklahoma, the president promised to work on wind and solar energy but, at the same time, to speed up fossil-fuel development: "Producing more oil and gas here at home has been, and will continue to be, a critical part of an all-of-the-above energy strategy." That is, he's committed to finding even more stock to add to the 2,795-gigaton inventory of unburned carbon.
Sometimes the irony is almost Borat-scale obvious: In early June, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton traveled on a Norwegian research trawler to see firsthand the growing damage from climate change. "Many of the predictions about warming in the Arctic are being surpassed by the actual data," she said, describing the sight as "sobering." But the discussions she traveled to Scandinavia to have with other foreign ministers were mostly about how to make sure Western nations get their share of the estimated $9 trillion in oil (that's more than 90 billion barrels, or 37 gigatons of carbon) that will become accessible as the Arctic ice melts. Last month, the Obama administration indicated that it would give Shell permission to start drilling in sections of the Arctic.
Almost every government with deposits of hydrocarbons straddles the same divide. Canada, for instance, is a liberal democracy renowned for its internationalism – no wonder, then, that it signed on to the Kyoto treaty, promising to cut its carbon emissions substantially by 2012. But the rising price of oil suddenly made the tar sands of Alberta economically attractive – and since, as NASA climatologist James Hansen pointed out in May, they contain as much as 240 gigatons of carbon (or almost half of the available space if we take the 565 limit seriously), that meant Canada's commitment to Kyoto was nonsense. In December, the Canadian government withdrew from the treaty before it faced fines for failing to meet its commitments.
The same kind of hypocrisy applies across the ideological board: In his speech to the Copenhagen conference, Venezuela's Hugo Chavez quoted Rosa Luxemburg, Jean-Jacques Rousseau and "Christ the Redeemer," insisting that "climate change is undoubtedly the most devastating environmental problem of this century." But the next spring, in the Simon Bolivar Hall of the state-run oil company, he signed an agreement with a consortium of international players to develop the vast Orinoco tar sands as "the most significant engine for a comprehensive development of the entire territory and Venezuelan population." The Orinoco deposits are larger than Alberta's – taken together, they'd fill up the whole available atmospheric space.
So: the paths we have tried to tackle global warming have so far produced only gradual, halting shifts. A rapid, transformative change would require building a movement, and movements require enemies. As John F. Kennedy put it, "The civil rights movement should thank God for Bull Connor. He's helped it as much as Abraham Lincoln." And enemies are what climate change has lacked.
But what all these climate numbers make painfully, usefully clear is that the planet does indeed have an enemy – one far more committed to action than governments or individuals. Given this hard math, we need to view the fossil-fuel industry in a new light. It has become a rogue industry, reckless like no other force on Earth. It is Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization. "Lots of companies do rotten things in the course of their business – pay terrible wages, make people work in sweatshops – and we pressure them to change those practices," says veteran anti-corporate leader Naomi Klein, who is at work on a book about the climate crisis. "But these numbers make clear that with the fossil-fuel industry, wrecking the planet is their business model. It's what they do."
According to the Carbon Tracker report, if Exxon burns its current reserves, it would use up more than seven percent of the available atmospheric space between us and the risk of two degrees. BP is just behind, followed by the Russian firm Gazprom, then Chevron, ConocoPhillips and Shell, each of which would fill between three and four percent. Taken together, just these six firms, of the 200 listed in the Carbon Tracker report, would use up more than a quarter of the remaining two-degree budget. Severstal, the Russian mining giant, leads the list of coal companies, followed by firms like BHP Billiton and Peabody. The numbers are simply staggering – this industry, and this industry alone, holds the power to change the physics and chemistry of our planet, and they're planning to use it.
They're clearly cognizant of global warming – they employ some of the world's best scientists, after all, and they're bidding on all those oil leases made possible by the staggering melt of Arctic ice. And yet they relentlessly search for more hydrocarbons – in early March, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson told Wall Street analysts that the company plans to spend $37 billion a year through 2016 (about $100 million a day) searching for yet more oil and gas.
There's not a more reckless man on the planet than Tillerson. Late last month, on the same day the Colorado fires reached their height, he told a New York audience that global warming is real, but dismissed it as an "engineering problem" that has "engineering solutions." Such as? "Changes to weather patterns that move crop-production areas around – we'll adapt to that." This in a week when Kentucky farmers were reporting that corn kernels were "aborting" in record heat, threatening a spike in global food prices. "The fear factor that people want to throw out there to say, 'We just have to stop this,' I do not accept," Tillerson said. Of course not – if he did accept it, he'd have to keep his reserves in the ground. Which would cost him money. It's not an engineering problem, in other words – it's a greed problem.
You could argue that this is simply in the nature of these companies – that having found a profitable vein, they're compelled to keep mining it, more like efficient automatons than people with free will. But as the Supreme Court has made clear, they are people of a sort. In fact, thanks to the size of its bankroll, the fossil-fuel industry has far more free will than the rest of us. These companies don't simply exist in a world whose hungers they fulfill – they help create the boundaries of that world.
Left to our own devices, citizens might decide to regulate carbon and stop short of the brink; according to a recent poll, nearly two-thirds of Americans would back an international agreement that cut carbon emissions 90 percent by 2050. But we aren't left to our own devices. The Koch brothers, for instance, have a combined wealth of $50 billion, meaning they trail only Bill Gates on the list of richest Americans. They've made most of their money in hydrocarbons, they know any system to regulate carbon would cut those profits, and they reportedly plan to lavish as much as $200 million on this year's elections. In 2009, for the first time, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce surpassed both the Republican and Democratic National Committees on political spending; the following year, more than 90 percent of the Chamber's cash went to GOP candidates, many of whom deny the existence of global warming. Not long ago, the Chamber even filed a brief with the EPA urging the agency not to regulate carbon – should the world's scientists turn out to be right and the planet heats up, the Chamber advised, "populations can acclimatize to warmer climates via a range of behavioral, physiological and technological adaptations." As radical goes, demanding that we change our physiology seems right up there.
Environmentalists, understandably, have been loath to make the fossil-fuel industry their enemy, respecting its political power and hoping instead to convince these giants that they should turn away from coal, oil and gas and transform themselves more broadly into "energy companies." Sometimes that strategy appeared to be working – emphasis on appeared. Around the turn of the century, for instance, BP made a brief attempt to restyle itself as "Beyond Petroleum," adapting a logo that looked like the sun and sticking solar panels on some of its gas stations. But its investments in alternative energy were never more than a tiny fraction of its budget for hydrocarbon exploration, and after a few years, many of those were wound down as new CEOs insisted on returning to the company's "core business." In December, BP finally closed its solar division. Shell shut down its solar and wind efforts in 2009. The five biggest oil companies have made more than $1 trillion in profits since the millennium – there's simply too much money to be made on oil and gas and coal to go chasing after zephyrs and sunbeams.
Much of that profit stems from a single historical accident: Alone among businesses, the fossil-fuel industry is allowed to dump its main waste, carbon dioxide, for free. Nobody else gets that break – if you own a restaurant, you have to pay someone to cart away your trash, since piling it in the street would breed rats. But the fossil-fuel industry is different, and for sound historical reasons: Until a quarter-century ago, almost no one knew that CO2 was dangerous. But now that we understand that carbon is heating the planet and acidifying the oceans, its price becomes the central issue.
If you put a price on carbon, through a direct tax or other methods, it would enlist markets in the fight against global warming. Once Exxon has to pay for the damage its carbon is doing to the atmosphere, the price of its products would rise. Consumers would get a strong signal to use less fossil fuel – every time they stopped at the pump, they'd be reminded that you don't need a semimilitary vehicle to go to the grocery store. The economic playing field would now be a level one for nonpolluting energy sources. And you could do it all without bankrupting citizens – a so-called "fee-and-dividend" scheme would put a hefty tax on coal and gas and oil, then simply divide up the proceeds, sending everyone in the country a check each month for their share of the added costs of carbon. By switching to cleaner energy sources, most people would actually come out ahead.
There's only one problem: Putting a price on carbon would reduce the profitability of the fossil-fuel industry. After all, the answer to the question "How high should the price of carbon be?" is "High enough to keep those carbon reserves that would take us past two degrees safely in the ground." The higher the price on carbon, the more of those reserves would be worthless. The fight, in the end, is about whether the industry will succeed in its fight to keep its special pollution break alive past the point of climate catastrophe, or whether, in the economists' parlance, we'll make them internalize those externalities.
It's not clear, of course, that the power of the fossil-fuel industry can be broken. The U.K. analysts who wrote the Carbon Tracker report and drew attention to these numbers had a relatively modest goal – they simply wanted to remind investors that climate change poses a very real risk to the stock prices of energy companies. Say something so big finally happens (a giant hurricane swamps Manhattan, a megadrought wipes out Midwest agriculture) that even the political power of the industry is inadequate to restrain legislators, who manage to regulate carbon. Suddenly those Chevron reserves would be a lot less valuable, and the stock would tank. Given that risk, the Carbon Tracker report warned investors to lessen their exposure, hedge it with some big plays in alternative energy.
"The regular process of economic evolution is that businesses are left with stranded assets all the time," says Nick Robins, who runs HSBC's Climate Change Centre. "Think of film cameras, or typewriters. The question is not whether this will happen. It will. Pension systems have been hit by the dot-com and credit crunch. They'll be hit by this." Still, it hasn't been easy to convince investors, who have shared in the oil industry's record profits. "The reason you get bubbles," sighs Leaton, "is that everyone thinks they're the best analyst – that they'll go to the edge of the cliff and then jump back when everyone else goes over."
So pure self-interest probably won't spark a transformative challenge to fossil fuel. But moral outrage just might – and that's the real meaning of this new math. It could, plausibly, give rise to a real movement.
Once, in recent corporate history, anger forced an industry to make basic changes. That was the campaign in the 1980s demanding divestment from companies doing business in South Africa. It rose first on college campuses and then spread to municipal and state governments; 155 campuses eventually divested, and by the end of the decade, more than 80 cities, 25 states and 19 counties had taken some form of binding economic action against companies connected to the apartheid regime. "The end of apartheid stands as one of the crowning accomplishments of the past century," as Archbishop Desmond Tutu put it, "but we would not have succeeded without the help of international pressure," especially from "the divestment movement of the 1980s."
The fossil-fuel industry is obviously a tougher opponent, and even if you could force the hand of particular companies, you'd still have to figure out a strategy for dealing with all the sovereign nations that, in effect, act as fossil-fuel companies. But the link for college students is even more obvious in this case. If their college's endowment portfolio has fossil-fuel stock, then their educations are being subsidized by investments that guarantee they won't have much of a planet on which to make use of their degree. (The same logic applies to the world's largest investors, pension funds, which are also theoretically interested in the future – that's when their members will "enjoy their retirement.") "Given the severity of the climate crisis, a comparable demand that our institutions dump stock from companies that are destroying the planet would not only be appropriate but effective," says Bob Massie, a former anti-apartheid activist who helped found the Investor Network on Climate Risk. "The message is simple: We have had enough. We must sever the ties with those who profit from climate change – now."
Movements rarely have predictable outcomes. But any campaign that weakens the fossil-fuel industry's political standing clearly increases the chances of retiring its special breaks. Consider President Obama's signal achievement in the climate fight, the large increase he won in mileage requirements for cars. Scientists, environmentalists and engineers had advocated such policies for decades, but until Detroit came under severe financial pressure, it was politically powerful enough to fend them off. If people come to understand the cold, mathematical truth – that the fossil-fuel industry is systematically undermining the planet's physical systems – it might weaken it enough to matter politically. Exxon and their ilk might drop their opposition to a fee-and-dividend solution; they might even decide to become true energy companies, this time for real.
Even if such a campaign is possible, however, we may have waited too long to start it. To make a real difference – to keep us under a temperature increase of two degrees – you'd need to change carbon pricing in Washington, and then use that victory to leverage similar shifts around the world. At this point, what happens in the U.S. is most important for how it will influence China and India, where emissions are growing fastest. (In early June, researchers concluded that China has probably under-reported its emissions by up to 20 percent.) The three numbers I've described are daunting – they may define an essentially impossible future. But at least they provide intellectual clarity about the greatest challenge humans have ever faced. We know how much we can burn, and we know who's planning to burn more. Climate change operates on a geological scale and time frame, but it's not an impersonal force of nature; the more carefully you do the math, the more thoroughly you realize that this is, at bottom, a moral issue; we have met the enemy and they is Shell.
Meanwhile the tide of numbers continues. The week after the Rio conference limped to its conclusion, Arctic sea ice hit the lowest level ever recorded for that date. Last month, on a single weekend, Tropical Storm Debby dumped more than 20 inches of rain on Florida – the earliest the season's fourth-named cyclone has ever arrived. At the same time, the largest fire in New Mexico history burned on, and the most destructive fire in Colorado's annals claimed 346 homes in Colorado Springs – breaking a record set the week before in Fort Collins. This month, scientists issued a new study concluding that global warming has dramatically increased the likelihood of severe heat and drought – days after a heat wave across the Plains and Midwest broke records that had stood since the Dust Bowl, threatening this year's harvest. You want a big number? In the course of this month, a quadrillion kernels of corn need to pollinate across the grain belt, something they can't do if temperatures remain off the charts. Just like us, our crops are adapted to the Holocene, the 11,000-year period of climatic stability we're now leaving... in the dust.
This story is from the August 2nd, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone.
September 27th & 28th, 2012
Dolce Hotel & Resort
201 Aberdeen Parkway
Peachtree City GA 30269
1762 BREWER BLVD, Atlanta, GA 30310
The Third Annual Greeninitiativesconference will take place Sept 27th-28th 2012 in Luxurious Peachtree City, GA. Like this Page for the latest updates on the event.
To bring together America's Top Executives from the Private and Public Sectors respectively to exchange ideas and best practices on the "game changing issues" of Sustainability & Corporate Social Responsibility.
The 2012 Greeninitiativesconference is an intimate “Senior Level Strategy Session” for Top Execs from America’s largest companies and large government organizations. Business leaders and academics alike have hailed Sustainability as the next mega-trend in business much the same way that “JIT” (just in time inventory) and CRM technologies and strategies sparked a revolution in the 80’s and 90’s and... is now de rigeur.
Many of Americas leading Global Brands like Dow Chemical, Coca-Cola, HP, Interfaceflor and Wellsfargo will be represented by their top executives. These men and women are the world’s foremost strategists, thought leaders and trend setters. They will convey leading edge content and stimulate discussion of fundamental issues through visionary keynote presentations, real-life case studies and interactive sessions.
By attending you will receive a boardroom level view of the attendant challenges, hurdles, pitfalls and opportunities that sustainability and corporate social responsibility bring.
A thorough appreciation of this most important issue across different functional areas is a business imperative if an organization is to get the most out of operating in an environmentally sustainable manner. The Green initiatives conference will examine everything from product design to supply chain to enabling a corporate culture that embraces a different and new way of thinking all the way to green buildings.
Speaker Faculty at the 2012 Green Initiatives Conference
Robert F. Kennedy Jr
Visionary Environmental Business Leader & Advocate
Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s reputation as a resolute defender of the environment stems from a litany of successful legal actions. Kennedy was named one of Time magazine's “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. The group's achievement helped spawn more than 160 Waterkeeper organizations across the globe. In 2009, he was named one of Rolling Stone’s “100 Agents of Change.”
Kennedy was also featured in the acclaimed environmental documentary The Last Mountain, the Sundance 2011 official selection. The film examines the struggle to save Coal River Mountain in Coal River Valley, West Virginia — the last mountain in the area untouched by the mining practice of mountain top removal. Kennedy is a professor of environmental law at Pace University School of Law and serves as co-director of the school’s Environmental Litigation Clinic. He also serves as senior attorney for the Natural Resources Defense Council, chief prosecuting attorney for the Hudson Riverkeeper, president-at-large of the Waterkeeper Alliance, is a partner on the CleanTech investment team of Silicon Valley’s VantagePoint Capital Ventures, is the environmental advisor to Napo Pharmaceuticals, and serves on the board of directors for Westinghouse Solar. Earlier in his career, he served as assistant district attorney in New York City. He is credited with leading the fight to protect New York City's water supply. The New York City watershed agreement, which he negotiated on behalf of environmentalists and New York City watershed consumers, is regarded as an international model in stakeholder consensus negotiations and sustainable development. He also helped lead the fight to turn back the anti-environmental legislation during the 104th Congress. He has also worked on environmental issues across the Americas, and has assisted several indigenous tribes in Latin America and Canada in successfully negotiating treaties protecting traditional homelands.
Among his published books are the New York Times best-seller Crimes Against Nature (2004); The Riverkeepers (1997); and Judge Frank M. Johnson Jr: A Biography (1977). His articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times, the Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, Rolling Stone, Atlantic Monthly, Esquire, The Nation, Outside magazine, the Village Voice, and many other publications. Kennedy’s award-winning articles have also been included in anthologies of America’s best crime writing, best political writing and best science writing. Kennedy is a graduate of Harvard University. He studied at the London School of Economics and earned his law degree from the University of Virginia Law School. Following graduation, he attended Pace University School of Law, where he earned a master’s degree in environmental law.
Karen D Cochran
LEED AP, CFM, CCIM, RPA, FMA, Corporate Real Estate Strategy and Lead Sustainability
Pacific Gas and Electric Company
With over 20 years of corporate real estate experience, Karen combines her project management, building management, space planning and strategy skills together to address facility management issues from all perspectives.. She is currently acting as Sustainability Manager for Pacific Gas and Electric with over 6 million square feet including 200 sites across Northern and Central California. She has been an active member of IFMA for many years; on the board of the San Francisco chapter for 5 years. She is President of IFMA SF, a position she has held since July 2010.
Karen has a degree in architecture from Rice University, and holds several professional designations including CFM, LEED AP, CCIM, RPA and FMA. Karen is also an accomplished, award winning surfer. Corporate Bio Pacific Gas and Electric Company, a subsidiary of PG&E Corporation (NYSE:PCG), is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the United States. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California.
As Vice President of Sustainability for Interface, Erin ensures that Interface’s aggressive Mission Zero goals are met. She leads a team that provides technical assistance and support to the company’s global business units to achieve the company’s aggressive sustainability vision. She helps the company address sustainability at all levels, including in operations and management, with employees and customers, and in policy forums.
Erin also has an external role working with NGOs as an advisor on Boards and steering committees to develop standards and market guidance to drive sustainable business. Because of Interface’s mission to engage others, she is a frequent lecturer on sustainable business to senior management teams, Universities and the growing green consumer sector. She has spoken on sustainable business at a variety of conferences and forums including: Bioneers, Globe, Greenbuild, SXSW, Businesses for Social Responsibility and many others. Erin is a magna cum laude graduate of the Vermont Law School, where she earned her Masters Degree in Studies in Environmental Law and her Juris Doctor degree.
Interface Bio Since its founding in 1973, Interface has grown into a billion-dollar corporation, named by Fortune as one of the “Most Admired Companies in America” and the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” It has diversified and globalized its businesses, with sales in 110 countries and manufacturing facilities on four continents and is now the world’s leading producer of soft-surfaced modular floor coverings. In 1994, Interface Founder Ray Anderson challenged us to pursue a bold new vision "Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits - and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence" The Interface journey toward sustainability has been a momentous shift in the way we operate our business and see the world.
Chief Operating Officer
Patron Spirits International A.G.
John McDonnell has enjoyed a career filled with opportunities to launch and market successful global spirits brands. He began at Joseph E. Seagram & Sons, where he spent years in domestic and international sales and marketing.
John distinguished himself at Seagram with his strategic use of marketing instead of cost-cutting to increase revenue, despite difficult times. As Country Manager for Taiwan, his leadership turned the business around in just three years ... from a $13 million loss to a $21 million profit.
He joined Patrón and was appointed to his current position in January, 2005. In this role, he monitors and manages the company’s day-to-day activities, reporting to the Chief Executive Officer. John has helped the company enjoy remarkable growth -- from 340,000 cases in 2005 to a global portfolio of 2.2 million cases in 2011. He helped close the company’s acquisition of ultrapremium Ultimat vodka and has led the company’s international and duty-free expansion into over 130 countries and islands worldwide.
John’s many responsibilities include overseeing Patrón’s manufacturing, sales, and marketing, including online social media. He is also actively involved with the company’s leadership in environmental responsibility. Patrón installed the first reverse osmosis water treatment plant in the history of tequila in Mexico, has become one of the largest consumers of recycled glass in that country, and has been certified for years with ISO 14001 for environmental performance in reducing waste, cleaning the air, and limiting noise.
In February 2012, John was elected Chairman of the Distilled Spirits Council of the United States (DISCUS), the national trade association representing America’s leading distillers. He is also co-owner of an entrepreneurial venture, now in its second decade: The Action Group USA, a beverage sales and marketing consulting firm.
On behalf of Patrón, John is a strong supporter of numerous philanthropic and charitable organizations. The company works to make a real difference on issues ranging from children’s health, to hunger and clean water, to the rebuilding of New Orleans. In addition, he contributes considerable time and energy to civic and educational causes in his native Boston.
Jennifer R. Dolin
Manager of Sustainability and Environmental Affairs
Jennifer Dolin has been with OSRAM SYLVANIA since 2004, where she is the manager of sustainability and environmental affairs. She oversees environmental sustainability issues including lamp and ballast recycling, greenhouse gas emissions reporting, the company's Green Team, and OSRAM SYLVANIA’s Global Care corporate responsibility initiatives. With over 20 years of experience developing public and private environmental policy, her areas of expertise include lamp recycling programs, green building methods and solutions to combat climate change. Ms. Dolin spent 10 years with the United States Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, DC, first as an early member of the ENERGY STAR® labeling team and then as the creator and manager of the SmartWay program for the Office of Transportation and Air Quality (OTAQ).
Ms. Dolin holds a masters degree from Tufts University in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. Professionally, Ms. Dolin is a LEED® Accredited Professional, an original member of the BSR/ASHRAE/IESNA/USGBC Green Buildings Standards Project Committee 189, a member of the California AB1109 Lighting Task Force, chair of the Greenbuild Exhibitor Advisory Working Group, a founding board member of the North Shore Transportation Management Association, a member of the TFM Green Building Advisory Board, and a member of the UL Environment 106 standard committee for luminaires. In 2011, Ms. Dolin was a speaker at the Greenbuild International Conference and Expo discussing “The Truth About LEDs.”
OSRAM SYLVANIA is a leader in lighting solutions and services, specializing in innovative design and energy saving technology. The company sells products for homes, businesses and vehicles primarily under the SYLVANIA brand name, and also under the OSRAM brand. Headquartered in Danvers, Mass., OSRAM SYLVANIA is the North American operation of OSRAM AG, a wholly owned subsidiary of Siemens AG. For more information, visit www.sylvania.com or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
Founder & CEO
Marty Metro is the Founder & CEO of UsedCardboardBoxes.com (UCB), a venture-funded reuse company tackling the gratuitous $50 billion cardboard industry in the US, where most boxes are used once, then recycled or simply thrown away. A former “Big 6” consultant with an MBA, Metro has become a prolific eco-entrepreneur, successfully balancing the need for financial returns with his passion for environmental and social responsibility.
Metro was far from an overnight success. In 2002, he initially launched a retail model to serve the Los Angeles area, with dreams of a national franchise. This first attempt was undercapitalized and riddled with logistical challenges. In 2005, Metro was forced to cease operations and absorb over $300,000 of personal debt. Devastated but not discouraged, Metro took a “day job” as an ERP consultant and devoted his nights and weekends to pursuing his dream. Within a year, Metro raised venture capital, rewrote the business plan and launched a more scalable, tech-centric model, known today as UCB. Beginning with a pilot distribution center in Los Angeles, Metro expanded UCB across the entire country.
Today, UCB works with some of the largest manufacturers, distributors and retailers in the country. They “rescue” quality used boxes from within a supply chain, and often pays more than the recycling rate. UCB then inspects, sorts and inventories those very same boxes to be resold as a low-cost, eco-friendly alternative to new. Most boxes are sold by the truckload to other large companies and many are used to make UCB’s eco-friendly moving kits, for consumers.
Executive Director Gary Oppenheimer, a CNN Hero, TEDx speaker, Master Gardener, Rutgers Environmental Steward, Huffington Post's "Greatest Person of the Day", Huffington Post's 2011 Game Changer, winner of the Russell Berrie Foundation's "Making A Difference" award, winner of the Glynwood 2011 "Wave of the Future" award, Echoing Green semifinalist and founder of the AmpleHarvest.org Campaign now makes his home in the mountains of northern New Jersey after having lived on a boat on the Hudson River in Manhattan since 1978.
After graduating from college with a degree in psychology, he promptly lost all interest in the field and instead became one of the early geeks in the personal computing arena (he soldered a computer together in 1976 - he still has it but is now afraid to now power it up) and designed a prototype email program for a mini-computer in 1977 while working for a New York bank. Although it never went any further, he was "hooked" on computers. In 1985, MCI asked Gary to help them sell and support the then fledging MCI Mail electronic mail service. Within a few years, he became their largest global sales agent (including producing what is believe to be the first "ezine" - published from 1985 to 1996) - while working from a home office located on the boat. In the early 2000's after buying a home deep in the woods in a rural northern New Jersey and planting an orchard and garden, Gary realized he actually needed to learn how to grow things and became a Master Gardener. A year later, he completed the Rutgers Environmental Stewards program.
Over the next several years, he expanded his home gardens, became a lecturer, an environmental commissioner in his town, advocated for region wide watershed preservation laws and became the director of a community garden. Aware of the increasing hunger problem in America and, in 2009, after seeing the amount of wasted food in the community garden as well as other gardens around the country, he created the AmpleHarvest.org Campaign - a nationwide effort to enable America's 40+ million home gardeners who grow food to be able to easily find a local food pantry eager for their excess garden bounty. Backed by the USDA, Google Inc. the National Gardening Association, the National Council of Churches and many faith and service organizations, AmpleHarvest.org is now helping 5,091 food pantries be accessible to local gardeners and other donors.
Gary has presented AmpleHarvest.org to USDA People's Garden Initiative Conference in Washington DC, was interviewed live by CNN anchor Ali Velshi after being introduced on Larry King Live as a CNN Hero, has spoken at Wharton's Social Impact Conference and at food bank conferences, did a webinar for 100,000 invited USDA employees on gardening and hunger, has twice lectured at the Bergen LEADS program and has been interviewed numerous time by both print and electronic (local and network) media outlets nationwide. AmpleHarvest.org, working closely with First Lady Michelle Obama's Let's Move! initiative to improve fresh food access at thousands of food pantries nationwide, was noted by Michelle Obama in a speech and had the opportunity to meet the President and First Lady at the White House.He enjoys long distance cycling, boating, hiking, farming (chickens for eggs and vegetables), attacking challenges of all sorts, pondering unusual questions and discussing political/social issues at a neighborhood tavern with people who generally don't agree with him. Gary is a firm believer in the notion that to do the impossible, you must first believe it isn't. Gary is the proud father of a University of Connecticut Honors Senior (also a nationally ranked bicycle racer) and is married to a remarkable woman who has put up with him all these years.
Sustainability Program Manager
Exel/DHL Supply Chain America
Emily Davis is Sustainability Program Manager for Exel/DHL Supply Chain Americas where she manages carbon reduction and waste management initiatives for their third party logistics across the US, Canada and Latin America. Formerly, she worked in the Office of Sustainability as Manager, Product Stewardship, Manager Packaging Sustainability and as Forest Conservation Associate for International Paper Company, at the company’s global corporate headquarters in Memphis, TN. She holds an MBA in environmental management from the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University, is an ASCP certified medical technologist, and received her undergraduate degree in Biological Sciences and Art History from the University Of Notre Dame. Prior to work at International Paper she was a medical technologist at Denver Veterans Administration Hospital, Chicago’s Northwestern Hospital, and Nashville’s St. Thomas Medical Center.
Exel is the North American leader in contract logistics, providing customer-focused solutions to a wide range of industries including automotive, consumer, retail, engineering and manufacturing, life sciences and healthcare, technology, energy and chemicals. Exel’s innovative supply chain solutions, skilled people and regional coverage bring together all aspects of contract logistics in addition to a wide range of integrated, value-added and specialist services. Exel is a wholly owned entity of Deutsche Post DHL, the world’s leading logistics group. For more information, visit www.exel.com.
Vice President and Chief Sustainability Officer
As vice president and chief sustainability officer, Cynthia oversees the CA Technologies Office of Sustainability and is responsible for global sustainability strategy and initiatives for the company. Cynthia also meets with customers looking to use IT management solutions to further their sustainability efforts.
Since joining CA Technologies in 2010, Cynthia has established a track record with measurable results for the company's sustainability program. She has extended the scope of the company’s sustainability initiatives, and established a cross-functional advisory board and program management office.
In addition, she has helped enhance the environmental performance of CA Technologies operations by working with internal teams to further leverage the use of the company’s energy, carbon and sustainability management solution, CA ecoSoftware. Prior to joining CA Technologies, Cynthia was chief marketing officer at Utimaco Safeware. Previously, she was senior director of marketing for EMC Global Services. Cynthia also has held positions in the public and private sectors, including vice president of global marketing for Unisys Corporation’s network and desktop services division, and director for the United Services Organization (USO) in Germany.
Earlier in her career, Cynthia served as a government liaison for Rogers & Wells in Washington, D.C.; and a legislative correspondent for former Senator Lowell Weicker, Jr. Cynthia earned a master of business administration degree from Thunderbird School of Global Management and a bachelor of arts degree from Boston College. She speaks German and lives in a LEED-certified home in Massachusetts.
Public and Intergovermental Affairs Specialist
Daniel Blackman serves as a Public and Intergovernmental Affairs specialist, and has consulted entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Green Building Council, National Wildlife Federation, Georgia Conservancy, City of Atlanta, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. In 2006, his passion for energy and the environment was fueled when he was appointed by the Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation to serve on an Environmental Policy Commission co-sponsored by an organization representing members of the United States Congress to address renewable energy and public health issues in disadvantaged communities throughout America.
Additionally, Mr. Blackman has 10 of experience serving as a cause-marketing consultant. Through activism, impartation, and leadership Daniel Blackman uses his influence to bring together people diverse in culture and generation with the hope of inspiring action, education, and true change through social responsibility.
Mr. Blackman's entrepreneurial background has afforded him the opportunity to serve in various capacities with some of the most notable brands including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Women's Nationa Basketball Association, Walt Disney World, Radio One, Sony Music Entertainment, J Records, Essence Magazine, Usher's New Look Foundation, and working directly with high-profile athletes and entertainers; which has given him an innovative approach to leadership development and coalition building. Daniel Blackman serves as a Public and Intergovernmental Affairs specialist, and has consulted entities such as the Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Green Building Council, National Wildlife Federation, Georgia Conservancy, City of Atlanta, and the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy.
In 2006, his passion for energy and the environment was fueled when he was appointed by the Chairman of the National Wildlife Federation to serve on an Environmental Policy Commission co-sponsored by an organization representing members of the United States Congress to address renewable energy and public health issues in disadvantaged communities throughout America.
Additionally, Mr. Blackman has 10 of experience serving as a cause-marketing consultant. Through activism, impartation, and leadership Daniel Blackman uses his influence to bring together people diverse in culture and generation with the hope of inspiring action, education, and true change through social responsibility. Mr. Blackman's entrepreneurial background has afforded him the opportunity to serve in various capacities with some of the most notable brands including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, Women's National Basketball Association, Walt Disney World, Radio One, Sony Music Entertainment, J Records, Essence Magazine, Usher's New Look Foundation, and working directly with high-profile athletes and entertainers; which has given him an innovative approach to leadership development and coalition building.
Global Education Initiatives Leader
As the global education initiatives leader, Gretchen Digby focuses on establishing and leading a world-class internal and external energy efficiency and sustainability training curriculum. She creates and leverages Center for Energy Efficiency and Sustainability affiliations with universities, other companies, NGOs, thought leaders and Ingersoll Rand University to co-develop and deploy dynamic learning opportunities. Her efforts include management of a resource bank of speakers and materials, mission-related white papers and other educational tools for a variety of audiences. Gretchen joined Ingersoll Rand in 2001 as Manager, Safety and Health Engineering and was most recently Director of Safety for enterprise environmental, health and safety. Prior roles included Senior EHS Engineer at Capsule Environmental Engineering and Engineering Services Manager at Milliken & Company. Gretchen holds a Bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University.
Vice President - Safety, Security and Environmental (SS & E)
David L. Campbell joined American Airlines as Vice President – Safety, Security and Environmental (SS&E) in December 2009. Campbell's responsibilities include the development and refinement of Safety, Security & Environmental Management Systems as well as the regulatory relationships with the FAA, TSA, NTSB, EPA, OSHA and other agencies such as IATA, ICAO and A4A.
Prior to this appointment, Campbell was Senior Vice President of Technical Operations for American Eagle Airlines, where he was responsible for overseeing the Flight Department, System Operation Control (SOC) and the Maintenance and Engineering departments.
Campbell joined American in 1988 as an Aircraft Maintenance Technician in Tulsa, Okla. After a promotion to Supervisor in 1989, he worked in production at both the Tulsa and Alliance bases before shifting to Inspection Supervisory work at Alliance. In 1992, he was named Manager – Quality Assurance at Alliance and later performed that function in Tulsa until being named the Director – Quality Assurance in 1996. Prior to his appointment at AFW and MCI, Campbell served as the Managing Director – Quality Assurance at the Tulsa maintenance base. In 1998, Campbell was appointed as the Vice President – Base Maintenance for Alliance (AFW) and Kansas City (MCI) where he was responsible for all operations at both bases.
Campbell is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force where he served as an Aircraft Mechanic for four years. Currently, Campbell serves on the Board of Directors for the American Airlines Federal Credit Union, Fort Worth Police Officer Award Foundation Advisory Board, and the North Texas Leaders and Executives Advocating Diversity Advisory Board. He is also an avid supporter of the C.R.P. Future Pilots Flight School in Dallas, which helps train at-risk high school students to become certified pilots and mechanics.
A native of Sardis, Miss., Campbell is a 1988 graduate of Louisiana Tech University and holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Texas at Arlington.
American Airlines, American Eagle and the AmericanConnection® carrier serve 260 airports in more than 50 countries and territories with, on average, more than 3,500 daily flights. The combined network fleet numbers more than 900 aircraft. American's award-winning website, AA.com®, provides users with easy access to check and book fares, plus personalized news, information and travel offers. American Airlines is a founding member of the oneworld® alliance, which brings together some of the best and biggest names in the airline business, enabling them to offer their customers more services and benefits than any airline can provide on its own. Together, its members and members-elect serve more than 900 destinations with more than 9,000 daily flights to 150 countries and territories. American Airlines, Inc. and American Eagle Airlines, Inc. are subsidiaries of AMR Corporation. American Airlines, American Eagle, AmericanConnection, AA.com, and AAdvantage are trademarks of American Airlines, Inc. AMR Corporation common stock trades under the symbol “AAMRQ” on the OTCQB marketplace, operated by OTC Markets Group.
Lauren P. Alterman
Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environment
Lauren P. Alterman is Vice President of Health, Safety, and Environment for Saint-Gobain Corporation, the world's largest building materials company. For the past three and a half years, she has been responsible for environment, health, and safety matters, for more than 175 manufacturing facilities and 155 distribution locations in North America.
In this capacity, her chief responsibility is to manage all legal issues and aspects of compliance related to EHS. Among her responsibilities, she manages 45 Superfund sites and private party cleanups. She reviews new technology to control emissions from the company's facilities. Alterman negotiates and resolves NOVs and NONs for environmental issues, including FIFRA, TSCA, Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, RCRA as well as federal and state issued OSHA citations.
Alterman serves as a company representative to various industry groups including, Silica Panel, North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, Glass Packaging Institute and Glass Manufacturing Industry Council. She is also a member of the “Green Team,” in which she handles product related sustainable development and green house gas issues.
She assists in the development of EHS policies for North America and interfaces with international EHS managers to share best practices and create streamlined approach to managing EHS.
She was promoted to Vice President of EHS after serving as Associate General Counsel at Saint-Gobain Corporation for 15 years. Prior to joining Saint-Gobain, Alterman worked for Archer & Greiner, P.C., where she actively participated in all phases of litigation while representing numerous corporations and individuals.
Ms. Alterman received her B.A. from Mount Union College and her J.D. from Capital University Law School.
Saint-Gobain, the world’s largest building materials company, has its North American headquarters in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. As the world leader in sustainable habitat, Saint-Gobain is committed to inventing solutions to help professionals and communities around the world build and renovate comfortable, healthy, economical and energy-efficient buildings. The company has more than 265 locations in North America and approximately 19,000 employees. In the United States and Canada, Saint-Gobain reported sales of approximately $7.7 billion in 2011.
Saint-Gobain’s family of companies in North America includes CertainTeed Corporation, which offers the most comprehensive portfolio of interior and exterior building products in North America, as well as Saint-Gobain Abrasives, Saint-Gobain ADFORS (previously known as Saint-Gobain Technical Fabrics), Vetrotech Saint-Gobain North America, Saint-Gobain Glass, Saint-Gobain Solar and Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics.
Recognized as a 2009 and 2010 ENERGY STAR Partner of the Year by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Saint-Gobain earned the 2011 and 2012 ENERGY STAR Sustained Excellence Award, the highest level of recognition for outstanding contributions to protecting the environment through energy efficiency. For more information about Saint-Gobain in North America, visit www.saint-gobain-northamerica.com and connect with the company on Facebook and Twitter.
Since its founding in 1973, Interface has grown into a billion-dollar corporation, named by Fortune as one of the “Most Admired Companies in America” and the “100 Best Companies to Work For.” It has diversified and globalized its businesses, with sales in 110 countries and manufacturing facilities on four continents and is now the world’s leading producer of soft-surfaced modular floorcoverings. In 1994, Interface Founder Ray Anderson challenged us to pursue a bold new vision "Be the first company that, by its deeds, shows the entire world what sustainability is in all its dimensions: people, process, product, place and profits - and in doing so, become restorative through the power of influence" The Interface journey toward sustainability has been a momentousshift in the way we operate our business and see the world.
Director, Sustainable Solutions
As the founder and director of HDR Sustainable Design Services, Michaella Wittmann has been a leader in the sustainability and green building industry for more than sixteen years. As a strong proponent of matching sustainable strategies to the goals and characteristics of each project, she has worked closely with a multitude of clients to balance environmental, economic, and social equity goals. Her aptitude for leadership, innovation, and integration have led clients in all industry sectors to the successful completion of projects that have benefits such as reduced environmental impact, increased productivity, improved quality and reduced operations and maintenance expenditures. Michaella has worked on over 20 LEED projects, written sustainable guidelines for government agencies and organizations, trained over 3000 people in various aspects of sustainability, and integrated sustainability into multi-million dollar infrastructure projects.
Head Supply Chain
Chintan currently heads Supply Chain operations at BIC Inc- Canada
His Career spans 19 years, leading both hard and soft supply chain initiatives across the globe. He has worked and live in Australia, Germany, India, the USA and Canada. A practical hands-on leader, Chintan has an extensive background in supply chain design, technology, integration and optimization.
Chintan's many areas of expertise include: cash-to-cash cycle, consolidating mission critical projects, lean & green Global Supply Chain and delivering Lean Supply Chain to organizations.
Chintan holds a B.eng and M.Eng in electronics and Systems Engineering complimented with an MBA in operations from University of South Australia.
South East Recycling Development Council
Will Sagar is Executive Director with the Southeast Recycling Development Council. SERDC’s mission is to unite industry, government, and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast. Efforts include a specific focus upon the economic impact of the recycling industry. He works from his home town of Brevard, North Carolina.
Will Sagar graduated from the University of North Carolina with a double major on Economics and Mathematics. After selling the excavation business he built and operated for a decade, he was the Solid Waste Director for Transylvania County, NC for 16 years. While there he started the recycling program, built the first lined landfill in Western North Carolina; implemented a Pay As You Throw program, which applied utility pricing to waste collecting resulting in a doubling of the recycling program; established a permanent Household Hazardous Waste collection; and started an electronics recycling program. Later with Henderson County, he started electronics collection and created a county energy accounting system.
Will is the immediate Past President of the Board of Directors the Carolina Recycling Association. The mission of the Carolina Recycling Association is to conserve resources by advancing recycling and waste reduction throughout the Carolinas. He also chairs the Board of The Free Clinic of Transylvania County, which serves the medical needs of the uninsured.
SERDC’s mission is to unite industry, government and non-government organizations to promote sustainable recycling in the Southeast. Efforts include a specific focus upon the economic impact of the recycling industry. Visit us at www.serdc.org or Please click on logo below to go to our website.
Rudly Raphael, President at qSample, has more than 12 years of professional experience in the online market research industry. As president of qSample, Rudly is responsible for implementing internal system infrastructure to streamline business processes, channel communication, and drive the evolution of panel and sampling management system that will provide added value to qSample and its clients.
Rudly has designed and implemented sophisticated in-house CRM and customized research solutions. As President of qSample, he oversees all aspects of research logistical design involving quantitative methodology. Rudly attended Wentworth Institute Of Technology, majoring in electrical engineering. He's also a graduate of Harvard University.
The most crucial phase of a research study is the acquisition of a reliable sample: one comprised of a population who satisfies the research criteria and who are likely to participate in the research planned.
qSample combines years of professional experience with the latest achievements in research and sampling technology. We provide quality sample in the form of the MicroPanel network: a community of respondents pre-screened and double-opted in for participation in a wide range of research studies (online surveys, focus groups, mystery shopping, etc). Nimble technology empowers clients to create a custom sample satisfying research criterion of any degree of specificity.
For firms that are in need of quality sample, qSample completes the circle, by providing access to a strong sample of the intended target. We cover general consumers, business to business professionals, IT Decision makers, physicians, generation Y and access to other population in various regions.
VP Environmental Innovation & Sustainability
Ron Jarvis joined The Home Depot in February 1995 as a Product Merchandise Manager.
Since then he has held various positions in merchandising and operations. Those include Divisional Merchandise Manager, Environmental Global Product Manager, Merchandising Vice President, VP- Environmental Innovation and Senior Vice President of Pro Business, Tool Rental and Environmental Innovation.
Ron now leads all of The Home Depot sustainability efforts as Vice President of Environmental Innovation/Sustainability and Chairman of the Environmental Council.
Ron is a member of the Yale Forest Forum, a Board member of The Home Depot Foundation as well as an Outward Bound Board member.
A native of North Carolina, Ron holds a BA degree from North Carolina State University in Business Management/Economics.
The Home Depot is the world's largest home improvement specialty retailer, with 2,254 retail stores in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Guam, 10 Canadian provinces, Mexico and China. In fiscal 2011, The Home Depot had sales of $70.4 billion and earnings of $3.9 billion. The Company employs more than 300,000 associates. The Home Depot's stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: HD) and is included in the Dow Jones industrial average and Standard
Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience, LLC (BMS)
Dr. Patrick is the Sustainability coordinator for Bayer Corporation and Bayer MaterialScience, LLC (BMS). In this role she develops strategy that facilitates progress towards and tracks progress towards the focal points of Bayer’s regional North American vision on sustainable development. With 24 years of experience, Dr. Patrick has established herself as an effective leader of challenging technical initiatives and bringing valuable innovations to the business marketplace.
Most recently, Dr. Patrick led the Creative Center for Bayer MaterialScience LLC. The Creative Center uses proven tools and a systematic approach to manage the often times, unclear front end of innovation; tracking social, economic, and technology trends and identifying potential growth areas ripe for BMS material innovations. In addition, the Creative Center currently brings value to BMS by facilitating creative process with our colleagues and customers in the quest for future business, shining a light on target-rich areas for BMS innovations and building a network based on our credibility as experienced innovators.
Dr. Patrick received her Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell University of Lewisburg, Pennsylvania in 1984. She went on to receive her Master of Science and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California in 1987 and 1988 respectively. She serves on the board of the Association of Climate Change Officers (ACCO), as a member of the Society for Women Engineers (SWE) and Association for Managers of Innovation (AMI).
Patrick was honored by the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh with a Women’s Leadership Award for her demonstrated leadership and excellence in the workplace and the region.
Bayer MaterialScience LLC is one of the leading producers of polymers and high-performance plastics in North America and is part of the global Bayer MaterialScience business with approximately 14,800 employees at 30 production sites around the world and 2011 sales of 10.8 billion euros. Bayer MaterialScience’s 2011 sales in North America were $2.9 billion. The company manufactures high-tech polymer materials and develops innovative solutions for products used in many areas of daily life. The main segments served are the automotive, electrical and electronics, construction, medical, and sports and leisure industries. Sustainability is central to Bayer MaterialScience LLC’s business and is based around the key areas of innovation, product stewardship, excellence in corporate management, social responsibility and respect for the environment. Visit us at www.bayer.com
Caroline M. Fisher, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Management & Information Science
University of Missouri
Bowling Green State University, Doctor of Philosophy, 1975
MBA, University of New Orleans, 1982 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award Examiner, 1999, 2000, 2002
CAROLINE M. FISHER, Ph.D. is the chair of the Department of Business and Information Technology at Missouri University of Science and Technology, formerly the University of Missouri - Rolla (UMR). She joined UMR as the chair of business administration and the associate dean of the School of Management and Information Systems in August 2005. From August 2006 to August 2007, she served as the Interim Dean of the School of Management and Information Systems. She came to UMR from Loyola University New Orleans where she taught since 1985 and held the position of Bank One/Francis C. Doyle Distinguished Professor of Marketing at the College of Business. She served as coordinator of the marketing department, directed Loyola's Six Sigma executive training program, established and ran the Master of Quality Management program from 1993 to 2002, and was the director of the MBA program from 1992 to 1994.
Dr. Fisher has taught Customer Focus and Satisfaction, Strategic Quality Management, Statistics, Statistical Process Control, Design of Experiments, Quality Function Deployment, Consumer Analysis and Research, Promotions Management, and E-commerce. She conducts research in the theory of quality management and in customer satisfaction and loyalty. Prior to starting as a professor of marketing, she ran a marketing research company. Dr. Fisher's research has been published in a variety of professional journals. She has co-authored a book on service development and improvement with Quality Press published in April 2003. She is a Baldrige National Quality Award examiner (1999, 2000, and 2002) and has served as chairman of the board of the Louisiana Quality Foundation.
Sustainable Manufacturing Manager
McCormick & Company
Jeff is the Sustainable Manufacturing Manager for McCormick & Company, the world’s leading producer of spices and seasonings. In this role, he establishes best practices for McCormick’s retail manufacturing and distribution facilities for energy efficiency, renewable energy, waste reduction, and other sustainability initiatives. Prior to his current role, he worked for over 10 years in Project Engineering at McCormick, installing packaging equipment and new packaging production lines. He has 20 years of project management experience in manufacturing. Jeff serves on the Company’s Corporate Sustainability Committee and is a member of the Baltimore County Sustainability Network. Jeff has both a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MBA from the University of Maryland.
McCormick is a global leader in the manufacture, marketing and distribution of spices, herbs, seasonings, specialty foods and flavors to the entire food industry. From our first products in 1889 to the innovative spices, seasonings and flavorings we now offer, McCormick has always brought our customers and consumers the best ingredients and expertise available. Through the years, our company has grown in accordance with certain core values and beliefs. We conduct our business ethically in a manner driven by our respect for our industry, our employees, our communities where we live and work and our environment. It is a recipe for success that has served us since 1889.
Delaware Student Generates Hydrogen from Sunlight
Written by Sandra Henderson | 19 April 2012
A Ph.D. student at the University of Delaware (UD), Newark, Delaware (US), could be days away from creating solar hydrogen, a truly clean fuel with zero emissions. Erik Koepf intends to achieve this breakthrough with his own reactor, which he designed to use highly concentrated sunlight and zinc oxide powder to produce hydrogen in a theoretically self-sustaining cycle. Essentially, he wants to thermochemically store solar energy and bottle it.
“Solar fuels represent a game change for sustainable energy, because energy storage is such a crucial component of any energy system,” says the UD doctoral candidate in mechanical engineering. His objective, Koepf says, was to “design and demonstrate a novel solar thermo-chemical reactor to affect the first step of a water-splitting cycle capable of providing a clean and renewable source of hydrogen from sunlight and water.”
Researchers around the world have been trying to generate hydrogen renewably from sunlight for years. Taking this novel approach, Koepf could be the first to be successful at “affecting a solar-driven reaction.” What he is doing differently? “The reactor design is unique in its geometric configuration and the way that reactants are delivered to the reaction-chamber,” he explains. Koepf’s conical solar reactor uses gravity to feed zinc oxide powder into the well-insulated cavity at the core through 15 hoppers mounted on top of the device (see photo). The reactant is then subjected to highly concentrated sunlight from above.
During the next few weeks, Koepf is testing his solar reactor for the first time at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland. He is onsite right now, setting up his experiment. At their solar simulator facility, he will be able to beam light down into his reactor that is so concentrated it simulates the astonishing amount of energy of 10,000 suns. The temperature in the reactor will soar to over 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit, nearly one-third the temperature of the sun's surface. Once hot, the hoppers will feed zinc oxide powder onto the ceramic layer, causing a reaction that decomposes the powder into pure zinc vapor. In a subsequent step, the zinc will be reacted with water to produce solar hydrogen.
One fascinating aspect of Koepf’s concept is that the zinc oxide is reusable, potentially making the entire process self-sustaining. The inventor explains in detail: “Zinc oxide plus sunlight creates zinc and oxygen. The oxygen is released, and the zinc is collected. Then, zinc and water create zinc oxide plus hydrogen. The hydrogen is collected for use as a fuel, and the zinc oxide is returned to the first step. So, the net reaction is ‘sunlight + water = hydrogen + oxygen.’ The zinc oxide theoretically never has to be reintroduced into the cycle.”
The outcome Koepf is hoping for, in his own words, is “Storing solar energy in the form of metallic zinc and bringing it home in a bottle.”
Koepf, who is working with the University to patent his system, says his reactor was generally designed to be used in a solar power tower concentrating system. “In the long run, hydrogen might become our primary medium for energy storage and transportation, as it can be derived, stored and used via many energy pathways,” he says. “I would guess we should see solar hydrogen at a pump in California in 15 to 20 years.”
Written by Sandra Henderson, Research Editor, Solar Novus Today
Photo: Erik Koepf (left) and his advisor Ajay Prasad with solar reactor prototype, University of Delaware
Fuel Cell Research Laboratory • 126 Spencer Lab • Newark, DE 19716 • USA
Phone: 302-831-4064 • E-mail: prasad@...
Eastern devision: 302.897.4254
Western devision: 650.766.1200
12 Atkins Avenue
Wilmington, DE 19805
10.5 MW: Conergy builds the Saarland's largest solar park on historic estate
Von Boch investor family chooses Conergy quality "Made in Germany"
Hamburg, 14 June 2012 – Hot on the heels of the opening of its 8 megawatt solar
park in Grimmen in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, Conergy announces a new
project in the Saarland region. The 10.5
megawatt power plant that the system supplier is building on the historic
Linslerhof estate, owned by the von Boch investor family, will be the Saarland's
biggest solar installation. The solar park is being built near the French
border, on an area of land alongside a railway line. Just like at the
headquarters of their porcelain manufacturing company, Villeroy & Boch, 40
kilometres away, the family has opted for 100% German quality: Conergy will act
as main contractor and will be responsible for the installation of the park
as well as the supply of Conergy components.
"The planned changes to solar subsidies naturally had an influence on our
decision," says Wendelin von Boch. "We are on a tight schedule, as the park has
to be finished by the end of June. We therefore
needed to find extremely reliable and professional partners, and that's why we
have turned to Conergy.
We are looking for high quality, not only in planning and implementation, but
also in the components – we know from experience that quality always pays off."
Conergy Board Member Alexander Gorski comments: "We are delighted to have won
this challenging and prestigious project. Our customers trust Conergy and highly
regard our years of experience and the
quality of our installations. As a company, Conergy is in a strong position. In
Germany, but also abroad, where we are enjoying a lot of success in our sales.
In 2011 we set a new course for Conergy's future
with the successful refinancing and numerous restructuring measures. We are
already starting to reap the benefits of these measures. Not only through an
improved cost structure, but also through the number of projects that we are
winning, such as this one for the von Boch family."
Along with a focus on quality, for many years the von Boch family have
concentrated on environmental issues at their historic hotel. Food, drink and
equipment are all from Germany, mostly, actually, from the immediate surrounding
area. Water for non-drinking purposes is drawn from the estate's own well in
order to save water. Alongside the 500 kilowatt rooftop installations, the
idyllic 815-acre property now boasts a solar power plant. 44,000 Conergy
PowerPlus modules on Conergy SolarLinea mounting systems will produce clean
energy from this summer onwards, which will then be fed into the grid by 30
Conergy IPG 300C central inverters. In total, the solar installations on the
property will generate more than 10,000 megawatt hours of solar power per year –
enough electricity to supply 90% of the townspeople in Überherrn with
electricity or 20 times as much as the needs of the hotel and spa complex on the
It is not only the Linslerhof that is setting a precedent: Überherrn's mayor,
Bernd Gillo, has also been promoting alternative energy sources in his community
since 2008 by having all public buildings fitted with solar installations. "We
are responsible for the next generation, therefore sustainable, emission-free
energy is very important, especially where tourism is concerned. That is why we
are delighted about the new installation being built on the Linslerhof estate,"
says Mayor Gillo. "The local community can play an
active role in the shift towards alternative energy – they can take a share of
the Linslerhof solar plant via a small citizens' solar park."
About Conergy Conergy delivers solar energy systems from a single source. As a
system supplier, Conergy offers all components for a solar installation as well
as all related services.
With its portfolio of modules, inverters and mounting systems, the solar expert
creates Conergy System Technology, which is efficient solar energy systems for
private or commercial rooftops, as well as for multi-Megawatt Parks.
Conergy System Services deliver a "Worry-Free Package" for Conergy solar
installations – from "A" for architectural planning to "Y" for yield insurance
and "Z" for zero trouble. Conergy's experts not only install on-site turn-key
solar projects, but they also manage the planning and financing, project
implementation, system monitoring, operation and on-going maintenance of the
project for maximum performance. With this comprehensive technology and service
package, Conergy offers yield insurance for its installations.
Conergy System Sales brings Conergy premium products to more than 40 countries.
From "A" for Australia to "T" for Tunisia – the solar expert supports
homeowners, installers, wholesalers and investors
in their efforts to "go solar". With sales activities on five continents,
Conergy has close relationships with all its customers. In 2011, around three
quarters of Conergy's sales were generated outside of Germany.
Listed on the Frankfurt stock exchange, Conergy employs around 1,300 people
worldwide. Since Conergy's founding in 1998, it has produced and sold 2 GW of
clean solar energy. Thus, in 2011 Conergy solar installations have generated
more power than a nuclear reactor.
MAXWELL TECHNOLOGIES' ULTRACAPACITOR-BASED ENGINE START MODULE FOR MEDIUM AND
HEAVY DUTY TRUCKS WINS INNOVATION AWARD FROM R&D MAGAZINE
New Product Extends Battery Life, Eliminates Starting Failures and Downtime
SAN DIEGO, Calif. (June 21, 2012) – Maxwell Technologies, Inc. (Nasdaq: MXWL)
announced today that the editors of R&D Magazine have recognized Maxwell's
ultracapacitor-based Engine Start Module (ESM) for medium and heavy duty trucks
as one of the 100 most technologically significant products introduced into the
marketplace over the past year.
Since 1963, the R&D 100 Awards have identified revolutionary technologies newly
introduced to the market. Winners of the R&D 100 Awards are selected by an
independent judging panel and the editors of R&D Magazine. The publication and
its online portal serve research scientists, engineers, and other technical
staff members at high tech industrial companies and public and private
laboratories around the world. A full list of this year's winners is available
Maxwell's ESM incorporates patented ultracapacitor technology to provide the
power required to reliably start Class 6 to 8 medium and heavy duty trucks. The
ESM form factor is identical to the Battery Council International (BCI) Group 31
batteries used in most Class 6-8 MD/HD trucks in North America, making it an
easy-to-install aftermarket product for trucks currently in service.
"Numerous trucking industry sources confirm the need for a more reliable and
cost-effective starting solution, said Van Andrews, Maxwell's senior vice
president, sales and marketing. "The ESM provides an "onboard jump start"
capability that virtually eliminates starting failures due to extreme
temperatures or depletion of batteries' cranking power by repetitive starting
for deliveries or the use of battery power for heating, air conditioning,
entertainment systems and other "hotel loads" in states where engine idling is
limited by law."
Unlike Group 31 Lead-acid or Absorbent Glass-Mat (AGM) batteries that store
energy by means of a chemical reaction, the ESM stores energy in an electric
field within the ultracapacitor cells. This electrostatic energy storage
mechanism enables ultracapacitors to charge and discharge in as little as
fractions of seconds, perform normally over a broad temperature range (-40°C to
+60°C), operate reliably through one million or more charge/discharge cycles and
resist shock, vibration and overcharging. Key features and benefits of the ESM
• Reliable starting for diesel engines up to 15 liters at temperatures from
-40ºC to 60ºC;
• Maintenance-free operation and "life of the vehicle" reliability;
• Four-year warranty
• Industry standard Group 31 battery form factor for easy integration with
• Built-in quick charging system (15 minutes or less);
• Promotes extended battery life; fully compatible with existing battery
• Green technology with no heavy metals or toxic substances requiring special
About R&D Magazine
Since its founding in 1959 as Industrial Research, R&D Magazine has served
research scientists, engineers and technical staff at laboratories around the
world, providing timely, informative news and useful technical articles that
broaden readers' knowledge of the research and development industry and improve
the quality of their work. R&D Magazine is a publication of Advantage Business
About Maxwell Technologies
Maxwell is a leading developer and manufacturer of innovative, cost-effective
energy storage and power delivery solutions. Our ultracapacitor products provide
safe and reliable power solutions for applications in consumer and industrial
electronics, transportation and telecommunications. Our high-voltage grading and
coupling capacitors help to ensure the safety and reliability of electric
utility infrastructure and other applications involving transport, distribution
and measurement of high-voltage electrical energy. Our radiation-mitigated
microelectronic products include power modules, memory modules and single board
computers that incorporate powerful commercial silicon for superior performance
and high reliability in aerospace applications. For more information, please
visit our website: www.maxwell.com.
*Not all applications of the ESM experience similar performance characteristics;
see datasheet for further details. Additional terms and conditions shall apply
at the time of purchase.
Danish MECc EV project promises 500 mile range and "refuel" time of less than three minutes
By Paul Ridden
July 26, 2012
A collaborative project involving ECOmove, Insero E-Mobility and Serenergy is aiming to produce a fuel cell range extender for battery electric vehicles (BEVs) that should boost the distance between charges to at least 497 miles (800 km). The first vehicle to receive the new bio-methanol-based Modular Energy Carrier concept (MECc) cells will be the QBEAK car we featured yesterday.
The air-cooled, high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) power system with integrated reformer (to allow it to run on bio-methanol) has been developed by Serenergy and will be available as a basic MECc range extender with a 2.5kW fuel cell and tank, but a modular design caters for more cells/tanks to be added for greater range. The system converts bio-methanol into DC current to charge a vehicle's onboard batteries, with waste heat directed to the cabin heating/cooling system.
A fuel cell developed by Serenergy
Incorporating the combined fuel cell/BEV technology into an electric vehicle is claimed to extend its range by at least four times that of many EVs available today and will offer drivers a tank "refuel" time of less than three minutes, similar to gasoline cars. Other reported system benefits include improved charge stability that could extend the life of an EV's batteries, and low cost rollout of fueling points (as the existing fuel distribution infrastructure could be used).
The project is being managed by Insero E-Mobility and will be first implemented in the shortly-to-be-available QBEAK electric vehicle from ECOmove. The group has also secured the backing of the Danish government in the form of financial support under the Energy Technology Development and Demonstration Program.
The air-cooled, high temperature polymer electrolyte membrane (HTPEM) power system with integrated reformer (to allow it to run on bio-methanol) has been developed by Serenergy and will be first implemented in the shortly-to-be-available QBEAK electric vehicle from ECOmove
1-Hour Interview With Elon Musk: Tesla, SolarCity, Electric Planes, 'Fool Cells", and Lots More...
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Cars
July 16, 2012
Portrait of a Serial Entrepreneur Who Thinks Big
Sarah Lacy of PandoDaily, a site that covers the startup world in Silicon Valley, sat down for 1 hour with hyperkinetic entrepreneur Elon Musk. They covered a lot of ground in the interview, and I think that a lot of it will be of interest to TreeHugger readers. Maybe not everything - after all, PandoDaily's focus isn't the environment - but Elon Musk is pretty funny and such a character (Tony Stark in Jon Favreau's Iron Man film was partly based on him) that things stay entertaining. It's also refreshing to see an entrepreneur who isn't just thinking about building another social media app, but rather is tackling big problems that few others are attacking well.
Some of the things covered are: What Tesla Motors' mission is, SolarCity (mentioning again the imminent IPO), Musk's idea for an electric plane that would be much more efficient than the current generation of planes, why hydrogen fuel cells won't make it in cars, the "hyperloop" 5th mode of transportation (!?), SpaceX and retiring on Mars, why Fisker Automotive is failing (according to Musk), how tough things got for his companies in 2008, and much more.
As mentioned above, the interview is an hour long, so make sure you have enough time before watching.
FedEx to Test 100% Electric Nissan e-NV200
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Cars
July 12, 2012
FedEx will test the Nissan e-NV200 electric van in the Yokohama area in Japan starting this month. FedEx has already conducted a trial in Europe last winter, and hopefully this one will be enough to convince them to incorporate more electric vehicles into their large fleet. They would be a perfect early-adopter for electric vehicles; while the electric vans wouldn't do (yet) for long-distance deliveries, they would be perfect to do the end run to people's homes. Electric vehicles do best in the city, and the lower speeds and frequent stops (good for regenerative braking) and predictable routes would give them huge benefits over gas or diesel vehicles.
Masamichi Ujiie, regional vice president, North Pacific, FedEx Express, said, “FedEx has been implementing various environmentally-friendly initiatives all over the world. Since 2005 our goal has been to make our vehicle fleet 20% more fuel efficient by 2020. FedEx is gradually shifting its delivery fleet to more efficient vehicles and increasing its investment in all-electric and alternative drivetrain vehicles.
The Nissan NV200 was chosen as the base vehicle for New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow—the exclusive taxi of New York City. Hopefully this means an eventual transition to the electric version (maybe in few years when battery technology has improved further and costs less, and there are more fast-charging stations around the city).
See also: Tesla CEO Predicts More Than Half of New Cars to be Electric in 20 Years
Good after ‘Bad’
Series about the workers at ‘Area 51’ will follow Walter White’s final act
July 27, 2012
If you are thinking that Armageddon can’t come fast enough now that AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and “Mad Men” are nearing their ends, put away the survival gear.
There is something to live for, after all.
AMC just closed a deal this week to begin creating a new scripted series, “Area 51,” based on the best-selling book of the same title by Annie Jacobsen, The Post has learned.
Already aboard the “Area 51” spacecraft project are Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead”) as executive producer, Todd E. Kessler (“The Unit,” “The Good Wife,” “Rome),” as writer and Jacobsen as a co-producer.
In case you don’t know what Area 51 is, then clearly you haven’t been abducted by aliens (the space kind, not the border-crossing kind) since that crash in Roswell, NM, 65 years ago.
Area 51 is a remote, secretive, high-security portion of Edwards Air Force Base in Nevada — where, rumor has it, the military keeps living and/or dead alien creatures, as well as pieces of a flying saucer recovered from a crash site in nearby Roswell in 1947.
Government officials maintain (wink, wink) that Area 51 is merely a testing site where experimental aircraft and weapons systems are developed.
Yesterday Joel Stillerman, head of original programming at AMC, said he thinks that the “Area 51” series will adhere more closely to Jacobsen’s non-fiction book than sci-fi. That means less “ET” and more CIA.
“Gale brought us the book and loved the way it presented an oral history of the place. She has this whole technology/futuristic thing going on.”
The 1950s/’60’s-era series will focus on the workers in Area 51 who protect America’s deepest, darkest secrets — including the remains of the “alien” crash at Roswell — and how they become infected with Cold War paranoia.
I’m thinking military Don Draper.
Jacobsen maintains in her book that the aliens found at the Roswell crash site weren’t from another planet but were the horrible results of American experiments on human beings .
She believes the crash signalled not an alien invasion but the start of the Cold War.
Pilots are already being shot for "Low Winter Sun,” a murder mystery involving cops and criminals, starring James Ransone and Mark Strong (who starred in the UK version), and an as-yet-untitled legal thriller about morals, ethics, politicians and lawyers. Talk about oxymorons all in a row.
Can these shows ever replace “Mad Men” and “Breaking Bad?”
The evil geniuses at AMC were clever enough to scoop up “Mad Men” after HBO turned it down, “Breaking Bad” after FX rejected it, and “ The Walking Dead” after NBC nixed it. Believe it.
BMW Recalls Series 1 ActiveE Electric Car Over Power Steering Problems
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Cars
July 10, 2012
Apparently this ultimate driving machine is having some problems. There aren't that many BMW ActiveE out there (around 700 EVs on two-year leases), which will make the task of recalling all of them for power steering issues easier.
Apparently, BMW is experiencing some growing pains with its electric car demonstration program. This isn't a huge deal and I don't want to sound too harsh; I'm glad that BMW is working on electric cars and doing some real-world tests with leased cars. When working with a new technology, you're bound to face new challenges. But I do wish that they would jump with both feet and start designing vehicles to be electric from the ground up. If they don't, they will eventually get their lunch eaten by companies like Tesla, and maybe even Nissan (a pure EV Infiniti is at the R&D phase, I'm sure).
Here's the all-caps press release from the NHTSA:
Vehicle Make / Model: Model Year(s):
BMW / ACTIVEE 2011
BMW / Z4 2012
Manufacturer: BMW OF NORTH AMERICA, LLC Mfr's Report Date: JUN 28, 2012
NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number: 12V302000 NHTSA Action Number: N/A
Component: STEERING:ELECTRIC POWER ASSIST SYSTEM
Potential Number of Units Affected: 162
BMW IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2011 1-SERIES ACTIVE E AND MODEL YEAR 2012 Z4 VEHICLES. VARIATIONS IN ELECTRICAL CURRENT MAY OCCUR WITHIN THE ELECTRIC POWER STEERING ASSISTANCE SYSTEM, LEADING TO SUDDEN LOSS OF POWER STEERING ASSISTANCE.
SUDDEN LOSS OF STEERING ASSISTANCE MAY INCREASE THE STEERING EFFORT REQUIRED TO CONTROL THE DIRECTION OF A VEHICLE, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH.
BMW WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE THE STEERING ASSISTANCE MODULE, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN DURING JULY 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT BMW CUSTOMER RELATIONS AT 1-800-525-7417.
CUSTOMERS MAY CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY: 1-800-424-9153); OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV.
Beyond The Car: PAT Is An Autonomous, Shared Vision of The Future of Transportation
Transportation / Cars
July 2, 2012
Miles Keller/CC BY 2.0
Last November, I was part of a charrette at the Institute without boundaries that was asked to "Imagine a new sustainable mobility vehicle and a new future for the automobile-manufacturing sector beyond the car." It was one of the most inspiring exercises I ever participated in, watching industry experts, talented designers and incredibly talented students putting together not just a vehicle design but an entire system of transportation. Now it has gone from drawing to model, and is on exhibit at MOVE- the Transportation Expo at the Brickworks in Toronto.
Institute without boundaries/Screen capture
The key points about the system (covered in greater detail in my earlier post) were:
· In 2040, the car will be shared.
· In 2040, the car will be a lot lighter and smaller.
· In 2040, the car won't run on fossil fuels.
· In 2040, the car will be completely autonomous.
The implications of shared, autonomous cars are huge, the single biggest one is that 90% of them become unnecessary, since we are no longer parking them; they just go away and serve someone else. Even if they travel more slowly, you will get to your destination more quickly, because they won't have to stop at traffic lights; they will just flow through each other's streams of traffic at intersections.
Institute without Boundaries/Screen capture
Designer Miles Keller describes the concept, now known as PAT (People and things):
The entire vehicle would be made out of composites, ala the Boeing Dreamliner, and for the reason: weight is enemy! Very important when you're carrying heavy batteries and you're trying to minimize the volume of the mechanical components. The windows are all intended to be a touch sensitive LCD glass matrix.
Institute Without Boundaries/via
I particularly liked the idea of the smart seats; since you are not driving, they can adjust to let you lie down and watch a movie on the LCD wall, or sit up and enjoy a martini on the drive home from work.
From video/Screen capture
No martini configuration in the finished display, however.
from Video/Screen capture
The PAT vehicles can be ganged together end to end, train-like for longer distance travel, or side by side if you are travelling together.
from video/Screen capture
There are many who will say "get a bike" and that this is all pie in the sky. I thought the same thing at the start of the charrette in November. In the end, I was convinced that all of the components necessary to do this exist, that it actually makes a lot of sense, and that there was a well thought out transition from our current way of getting around in 2012 to this vision for 2040. It is clever stuff at MOVE: The Transportation Expo
Matt Hexemer/CC BY 2.0
Model being built at Custom Prototypes. See more photos of exhibit by Mark Andrew Boyer at Inhabitat
Breakthrough Material for Carbon Capture Developed
Science / Climate Change
July 25, 2012
Anyone who read Bill Kibben's newest writing on Global Warming's Terrifying New Math, cannot help but see the catastrophic potential of existing fossil fuel reserves.
In despair of a political solution that never arrives, one can only put their dwindling hope in technical solutions.
The problem with removing carbon dioxide from air, even from flue gases where it is more concentrated, is that the small, gaseous molecule is difficult to trap and isolate. Carbon capture currently costs 30% of the energy efficiency of fossil-fuel power plants, mostly used to regenerate the solvents in which the CO2 is absorbed.
For carbon sequestration to play a role in the future of energy (especially absent high carbon-cost taxes or penalties), new technical solutions to optimize this process will be required.
Novel Material for Low Temp Carbon Capture
One such breakthrough just published in the scientific journal Nature, reports on the behavior of a novel tetra-carboxylate indium complex.
The researchers are calling the new material Nott-202a. The breakthrough arises due to a unique interlinked framework of organic and metallic crystal structures, which creates honeycomb-like pores that selectively trap carbon dioxide at low temperatures. Because carbon dioxide fits into the crystal lattice like a hand in a glove, it gets stuck on the "filter" while other gases in the "flue gas" (the mixture of combustion products emitted from fossil fuel burning) can pass through to go up the stack or through additional pollution control devices (to prevent smog, acid rain, or other side effects of power plants).
Because the material appears to be quite expensive, it will surely not be used to store CO2 for disposal, but only to capture it so that it can be "sequestered" or stored someplace other than the atmosphere. Because it would be too expensive to store all of the gases emitted by power plants (not to mention that these gases can be quite corrosive if not properly separated), the capture step is critical to sequestration. Currently, injecting CO2 underground leads the race for industrial technologies to sequester large amounts of carbon dioxide, but saving money on capture might also free funds to study the problem of storing CO2, or even converting it to a valuable resource.
The research was conducted with funding from the European COORDSPACE ('Chemistry of coordination space: extraction, storage, activation and catalysis') project, intended to keep European companies on the cutting edge of evolving materials technology.
Uruguay to Buy 500 Electric Buses from BYD by 2015
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Public Transportation
July 19, 2012
For a while we heard a lot about BYD and how they were going to be the next big thing in electric cars because of their superior battery technology. Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway even invested in the Chinese company. Well, apparently having great battery technology isn't enough... They've scaled back and delayed a lot of their plans for electric cars (maybe they'll come back with a vengeance later once they've worked out the kinks), but they seem to be doing well with electric buses.
We recently wrote about how the city of Windsor was buying some, and now we learn that the president of Uruguay and BYD have signed a deal for 500 electric BYD buses.
"I am very pleased that Uruguay will have this environmental-friendly bus and new technology. I am looking forward to seeing electric vehicle technology in this country as we are very devoted to the protection of the environment," said President Mujica.
Mr. Juan Carlos Lopez Mena, President of Buquebus, Uruguay’s largest tourism company, stated, "I am ready to invest heavily in a natural Uruguay – I will replace my whole tourism bus fleet with new energy buses." BYD Senior Business Director Stanley Lin Tang commented, “Uruguay is an important tourism market yet it imports all of its petroleum. Promoting electric vehicles not only contributes to environmental protection and economic recovery, but it also improves Uruguay's energy security." Dr. Sasson Attie, President of CTS Auto S.A. represented the third partner of the project.
The BYD GreenCity buses in question have a range of 250 kilometers (155 miles) per charge in urban conditions, where they will be used. Energy consumption is less than 130 kWh per 100 km. They are powered by BYD's Iron-Phosphate battery technology, boasting the "highest safety, longest service life and most environmentally-friendly rechargeable chemistry" according to the company.
The BYD buses have been in service in four cities including Shenzhen, Changsha, Shaoguan and Xi’an accumulating over 5.6 million kilometers (or 3.4 M miles) by the end of April 2012. The first BYD electric buses will arrive in Uruguay before end of 2012 with targets to have over 500 buses running on roads by 2015.
US Navy Moving Forward With Biofuels Program, Against Republican Opposition
Energy / Renewable Energy
July 9, 2012
US Navy/CC BY 2.0
Remember the US Navy's Green Strike Force, billed as the fleet of the future, powered by biofuels? And remember how Republicans in Congress are upset about the costs of it all, even though a big part of the whole project is push the development of biofuels so that costs will fall?
Well, despite that Republican opposition, the Navy is going ahead with their biofuels plans, citing the importance of having a secure energy supply, domestically sourced.
Reuters reports that the Navy and Energy Department are spending $210 million (with the Navy supplying the majority of the funding) as matching funds to build three biofuels refineries. The total cost will be $420 million, with the end result being 30 million gallons of biofuels produced annually.
The first phase of the project, starting this fall, will comprise of $30 million of public funding, to be matched equally by private investment. The second phase will begin in 2013, with the initial awardees cut down to a final three companies, who will together receive $180 million in financing.
California's Air Resources Board Approves $27 Million in Incentives for Greener Vehicles
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Cars
July 9, 2012
Incentives for Progress
The California Air Resources Board (better known as CARB) has approved $27 million for its Air Quality Improvement Program, a statewide effort to provide incentives for the purchase of advanced-technology passenger cars and heavy-duty trucks.
Ten million dollars will go to incentives for hybrid and zero-emission trucks and buses. Another $2 million of funding will be used for advanced-technology demonstration projects supporting the commercialization of new vehicle and equipment technologies to help pave the way for healthier air for California. [...]
ARB will use the majority of those funds for its California Clean Vehicle Rebate Project to provide incentives for the purchase of zero-emission and plug-in hybrid passenger cars. Complementing this investment will be up to an additional $5 million dollars from the California Energy Commission.
This is good news because green vehicles (electric cars and buses, plug in hybrids, etc) often face a chicken & egg kind of problem. We can forecast that at some point they will be much more affordable and perform better thanks to economies of scale and further incremental improvements in technology, and these vehicles will be a lot more practical once there's a big network of fast-charging stations everywhere, but to get to that point, we need early adopters to spend more on the current models.
Targeted incentives can be a great way to jumpstart things and get moving forward until we reach a point where these incentives won't be required anymore. The important thing for these incentives to work is to make them based on results rather than on technologies; don't pick the winners, just reward reaching certain targets (low CO2 emissions, low smog-forming emissions, etc).
Another thing to watch for is rules that encourage "compliance models", ie. automakers that make a few hundred electric cars just to meet regulations. It's much better to give incentives for truly mainstream models that are available to widely and not just a fleet customer or two.
This Nissan LEAF Was Turned Into... A Stretch Limo?!
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Cars
July 19, 2012
Green Luxury: Fits 8 Adults!
After the LEAF police car, here comes the LEAF limo! An hotel in Tennessee wanted something special to shuttle around its VIP guests, and since the average trip was less than 5 miles, they didn't need something with a huge driving range. The opted for something quite unique: A modified LEAF electric car, stretched into a luxurious limo that can accomodate 8 adults.
A company out of Missouri made the modifications. They kept most of the Nissan LEAF's essential parts intact. There is still just one battery pack, but it now sits in the back for balance. They added about 400 pounds in the center of the car to make room for more seating. And they added mirrors, plush leather and cedar paneling, synonymous with luxury limos.
Here's a video of it in action:
While one electric limo won't change too much for the environment, the idea behind this is good. Before people embrace a new technology, they need to get familiar with it. In the same way that people were hesitant at first about hybrids, but over time they got used to them because they saw more of them around (including in taxi and commercial fleets), the more people are exposed to electric vehicles, the better. The article about the hotel mentions that most passengers of the LEAF limo had never seen or been in an electric car before. Now, they might not rush out and buy one because of this, but it'll certainly feel more familiar, and be more on their mind, and they might follow developments in the field with more interest and later consider getting one.
In other words: Buying an electric car after just reading some reviews and doing a test-drive can feel like a big leap in the dark. But if you've ridden in electric taxis and seen electric delivery vans and see a few LEAFs around the neighborhood, it suddenly feels less risky. There is comfort in numbers.
Of 100 Million Miles Driven by Chevy Volts So Far, 2/3 Have Been in Electric Mode
Michael Graham Richard
Transportation / Cars
July 18, 2012
So Does the Volt Count as 2/3 of An Electric Car?
All the Chevrolet Volts on the road (about 25,000) have just cumulatively reached the symbolic milestone of 100 million miles driven. Of those miles, about two-thirds were driven in electric-only mode, and the rest used the gasoline range extender engine. That's a pretty good ratio, and probably better than many critics of the plug-in hybrid model feared. And if we deconstruct the numbers a bit, it means that significantly more than 2/3 of trips taken with the Volt are all-electric, since by definition the electric trips are shorter than the ones that end up using some gasoline, and so there are more trips per mile on the electric side.
© Michael Graham Richard
The 2013 Volt should do even better because of the slightly longer electric driving range, and we can expect that future generations of plug-in hybrids will keep further improving on that EV vs gas ratio, though at a certain point battery technology and the deployment of fast-charging stations will probably have progressed enough that most drivers will be able to dump the gasoline engine altogether and go 100% electric.
If you want more stats on the Volt, VoltStats.net is a great source of info. It shows that many Volt owners drive more than 90% of their miles in 100% electric mode.
Via Hybrid Cars
0044 - 207- 877 0634
International Green Awardsâ„¢ & WWF-UK are looking for innovations in products, services and business models that can lead to more sustainable outcomes!
New for 2012, the WWF-UK Green Game-Changers category looks for bold and innovative thinking to inspire others and push forward the urgent transition to a more sustainable future. This is the chance to be recognised as a true 'game-changer' by WWF-UK and the International Green Awardsâ„¢.
For more information, entry criteria and to apply, visit our website.
Smarter Business Platform - Apply Now
This year, each entry will be evaluated against eight sustainability indicators that should form a part of any sustainability strategy.
Visit our sustainability platform to register and enter.
Sustainability Roadshow - Australia; August 2012
In association with Models of Sustainability and Success (MOSS), we are organising best practice summits across Australia.
Register your interest for one of these free summits now!
Have you voted in our celebrity poll yet?
This year's nominees include 10 well known global celebrities including George Clooney, Ian Somerhalder, Penelope Cruz, Nadya Hutagalung, Erykah Badu, and Sachin Tendulkar.
International Green Awardsâ„¢
Tower 42, 25 Old Broad Street, London EC2N 1HN
See-Through Solar Cells Make Energy from Infrared Light
Technology / Solar Technology
July 25, 2012
Bogdan Migulski/CC BY 2.0
UCLA is a smart and sunny place, so it's no surprise that a team of researchers from the university published a paper this month revealing a new kind of transparent solar cell. We've seen technology similar to this before, using carbon nanotubes or super-thin transparent coating, but this one is a bit different. It converts infrared light into electricity.
Engadget reports the polymer solar cells are 66 percent transparent and convert 4 percent of the light into electricity. The study was published in the journal ACS Nano on July 4. According to a UCLA press release, the cells are made from a photoactive plastic that converts the infrared light. Yang Yang, a UCLA professor of materials science and engineering, and director of the Nano Renewable Energy Center at California NanoSystems Institute (CNSI), said:
Our new PSCs are made from plastic-like materials and are lightweight and flexible. More importantly, they can be produced in high volume at low cost.
The possible applications for this technology, if it turns out to be as efficient and practical as Yang purports, are what we've seen transparent solar cells proposed for before: coating windows and covering cell phones. Now to find a way to pair them with this nanotechnology to make windows that keep you cool as well as charged.
For Immediate Release
August 1st, 2012
Libbe HaLevy, Communications Coordinator, CAN, info@... - 818-353-8399 (9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pacific time)
Gene Stone, ROSE and CAN, genston@... - 949-233-7724 (7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Priscilla Star priscillaastar@... 631-680-5163
3-Day DC Rally for Nuclear Free Future Seeks to Mobilize Election Year Policy Shifts on Nuclear Issues
Thousands of anti-nuclear activists from across the U.S. will converge on Washington, D.C. this September 20-22, 2012 for a three-day Rally for a Nuclear-Free Future. A Capitol Hill briefing, citizen lobbying, and several peaceful demonstrations -- including an "Occupy" action -- will mobilize stronger grassroots awareness about the ongoing risks to public health and safety posed by the nuclear power industry.
Thousands of anti-nuclear activists from across the U.S. will converge on Washington, D.C. this September 20- 22, 2012 for a Rally for a Nuclear-Free Future. The three-day event, brought together by the grassroots network Coalition Against Nukes (CAN – http://www.coalitionagainstnukes.org), will feature a Congressional briefing on nuclear dangers attended by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, a peaceful demonstration at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), presentation of petitions at the embassies of Japan and India, and a demonstration at the Capitol to increase awareness of the dangers of nuclear power plants and spread of global radiation.
Speakers over the three days (confirmed) will include: nationally recognized experts Dr. Arjun Makhijani, President, Institute for Energy and Environmental Research (IEER); Arnie Gundersen of www.Fairewinds.com; Alice Slater of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation; Michael Mariotte of Nuclear Information and Resource Service (NIRS); Beyond Nuclear's Paul Gunter; Harvey Wasserman of www.nukefree.org; congressman Dennis Kucinich; Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein; and Japanese activist Yuko Tonohira.
"In the wake of the ongoing disaster at the Fukushima nuclear plants, we are witnessing a mass uprising against nuclear power in Japan," said Gene Stone of Residents Organized for a Safe Environment (ROSE), a watchdog group working to keep the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Station shut down permanently in Southern California. "Let's hope that it doesn't take a major nuclear catastrophe in the United States for the American people to awaken to the dangers posed by the production of nuclear energy."
A vocal and visible grassroots anti-nuclear movement has re-emerged across the United States since the ongoing catastrophe at Fukushima Daiichi began on March 11th of 2011. Citizens watchdog groups from across the country have expressed outrage over the U.S. government's reckless pro-nuclear agenda and the dangers posed by the deteriorating condition of the 104 aging nuclear reactors in the United States – 23 of them GE Mark I reactors, which are the same design as the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plants in Japan.
Organizers have scheduled a range of peaceful actions:
* Thursday, Sept. 20: Parents and Children Against Nukes rally on the Capitol grounds (11:30 - 1:00); Congressional briefing (2:00 - 4:00); and a gathering of musicians, speakers and some surprise guests at Busboys and Poets.
* Friday, Sept. 21: International Nuclear-Free Solidarity, with petitions to the Japanese and Indian embassies (9:30 - 11:30); A No Nukes/No War/Occupy peaceful protest outside the NRC (2:00-5:00); film screenings and a candlelight vigil.
* Saturday, Sept. 22: "What's Next" strategy session for national and regional groups to set agenda and establish ongoing dialog with our elected officials at the local, state and federal levels.
"It is time to raise our voices more urgently about the dangers of nuclear energy production and place it at the forefront of the national agenda," said Priscilla Star, who founded the Coalition Against Nukes after the catastrophic accident at Fukushima. "In an effort to mobilize an election year policy shift, we hope to break through the apathy and silence on nuclear issues condoned by our elected officials and the two major party presidential candidates," Star said.
According to CAN organizer Michael Leonardi, "The Nuclear Regulatory Commission allows nuclear reactors to operate by weakening safety standards and ignoring safety issues. This puts millions of Americans, trillions of dollars of real estate, and water and food supplies at risk of a major nuclear accident. Nuclear watchdog groups from Vermont to Virginia, from Florida to the Great Lakes, and from Portland to Southern California are outraged at the government’s reckless pro nuclear agenda and the omnipresent danger posed by this country's 104 aging nuclear reactors."
"On Friday, we will take our movement directly to the headquarters of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission," said Peter Rugh of the Occupy Wall Street movement in New York City.
Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League (BREDL) - Cape Downwinders - Environmental Solidarity Occupy Wall Street - Fukushima Diary - Green Party - Jill Stein For President - Helen Caldicott Foundation - Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition (IPSEC) - Manhattan Project - Mothers for Peace - NIRS - No Nukes NW - Nuclear Age Peace Foundation - Nuclear Hotseat - Nuke Professional - Ohio Sierra Club Nuclear Committee - OWS Environmental Solidarity Working Group - Orange country Green Party of CA - Peace Nick (Detroit) - The Peace Resource Center of San Diego - Physicians For Social Responsibility - Pilgrim Anti-Nuclear Action group - Cecile Pineda, author of Devil’s Tango - S.A.F.E. Carolinas - San Clemente Green - Radiation and Public Health Project - Radiation Truth - Residents Organized for a Safe Environment - Rock The Reactors - Shut Down Indian Point Now - Shut Down San Onofre - Solartopia - Todos Somos Japan - Fissures in the Planetary Apparatus - Toledo Coalition For Safe Energy - Tri-Valley CARES - Veterans For Peace - War Is A Crime.org.
About Coalition Against Nukes
Coalition Against Nukes (CAN) is a proactive grassroots citizens group focused on nuclear issues, which actively networks with elected officials; creates and circulates petitions; organizes peaceful marches, rallies and public events; and disseminates information on why the nuclear power industry (beginning with uranium mining) must be stopped. It was founded by longtime activist Priscilla Star soon after the catastrophic nuclear accident at Fukushima, Japan, which began on March 11, 2011 and continues to this day..
Libbe HaLevy, Communications Coordinator, CAN, info@... - 818-353-8399 (9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m. Pacific time)
Gene Stone, ROSE and CAN, genston@... - 949-233-7724 (7:30 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.)
Priscilla Star priscillaastar@... 631-680-5163
Mar 22nd 2012, 18:02 by The Economist online
THE main problem with both wind and solar energy is not their cost (which is falling satisfactorily with every passing year) but their intermittency. Supplying power to the grid when the air is calm or the sun below the horizon means storing a surplus when the day is blustery and the sun is up. And, at the moment, this is expensive.
Cheap and abundant materials for making batteries, though, might change that. Which is why a paper in this week's Science, by Grzegorz Milczarek of Poznan University of Technology, in Poland, and Olle Inganas of Linköping University, in Sweden, may prove important. For these two researchers propose making one of a battery's three components, its cathode, out of the waste from paper mills.
A battery—any battery—consists of two electrodes (an anode and a cathode) and an electrolyte. Current, in the form of positive ions such as protons (the nuclei of hydrogen atoms), flows through the electrolyte from anode to cathode while a balancing current of electrons, which are negatively charged, makes the same journey via an external circuit. The electrons can be employed, before they return to the battery, to do useful work. To recharge the battery, electrons are pushed in the other direction by (say) the current from a solar cell and the ions are thus drawn back whence they came.
Electrolytes are often made of simple, abundant (and therefore cheap) chemicals. The electrodes, however, are not. They usually require metals (lead, zinc, nickel or lithium, for example) whose cost renders so-called grid-scale batteries prohibitively expensive. Making cheaper electrodes would be a big step towards grid-scale batteries and that is what, in the case of the cathode, Dr Milczarek and Dr Inganas hope they have done.
A good cathode material must be capable of receiving and storing charge, in the form of positive ions and electrons, in large amounts. Lignin, one of the two main components of wood, can be modified to do just that. And lignin is cheap. Paper is made mainly of cellulose, the other component of wood, so the effluent from paper mills, known as black or brown liquor, is mainly water and lignin.
The reason Dr Milczarek and Dr Inganas thought lignin molecules suitable for cathodes was that they are rich in chemical groups called phenols, and phenols are easily turned into related groups called quinones. It is these quinones that are the crucial components. In combination with a second type of chemical called a polypyrrole, they provide just the sort of electron and proton receptors a cathode requires. Polypyrroles are not as cheap as lignin, but compared with metals they are not expensive.
And so it proved. The two researchers' measurements suggest the lignin-polypyrrole combination does, indeed, make an effective cathode, able to store a lot of charge. These are early days, obviously. But if someone could now come up with an equally cheap anode, the age of the wooden battery—and with it the age of reliable, always-on alternative energy—might yet dawn.
Grzegorz Milczarek Institute of Chemistry and Technical Electrochemistry, Poznan University of Technology, Piotrowo 3, 60-965 Poznan, Poland.
Olle Inganäs Biomolecular and Organic Electronics, Department of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, Linköping University, S-581 83 Linköping, Sweden.
Renewable and cheap materials in electrodes could meet the need for low-cost, intermittent electrical energy storage in a renewable energy system if sufficient charge density is obtained. Brown liquor, the waste product from paper processing, contains lignin derivatives. Polymer cathodes can be prepared by electrochemical oxidation of pyrrole to polypyrrole in solutions of lignin derivatives. The quinone group in lignin is used for electron and proton storage and exchange during redox cycling, thus combining charge storage in lignin and polypyrrole in an interpenetrating polypyrrole/lignin composite.
Science 23 March 2012:
Vol. 335 no. 6075 pp. 1468-1471
Power Plants: Could a Rechargeable Battery Be Made from Paper and Pulp By-Products?
Experimenting with plant lignin as a replacement for lithium and other metals, scientists create a rechargeable battery--but much work lies ahead to translate it into a usable power source
| March 22, 2012
Despite decades of predictions that a fully electronic, paperless society is almost upon us, we still live in a world populated with printed documents. This insatiable demand for plant cellulose–based writing and packaging materials may end up having a silver lining: a component for a new type of low-cost, Earth-friendly rechargeable battery.
Researchers Grzegorz Milczarek from Poznan University of Technology in Poland and Olle Inganäs from Linköping University in Sweden, have combined a polymer with a waste material from the paper and pulp industry to create a new kind of battery cathode, which today are mostly made from nonrenewable metals such as lithium or cobalt. Specifically, Milczarek and Inganäs used lignin, an organic substance binding the cells, fibers and vessels that make up wood. Plants are made up of as much as 30 percent lignin, is the second-most abundant renewable carbon source on the planet after cellulose, according to the International Lignin Institute in Switzerland. Each year, paper processing generates between 35 million and 45 million metric tons of a dark waste product known as brown liquor, which is rich in lignin derivatives.
Most batteries consist of electrochemical cells with two electrodes—an anode and a cathode—and are filled with an electrolyte. The aggregate effect of the chemical reactions taking place within the electrolyte creates a flow of electrons between the anode and the cathode, resulting in the discharge of electricity.
Milczarek and Inganäs combined lignin derivatives with a polymer known as "polypyrrole" to make their test cathodes, which varied in thickness. The insulating qualities of lignin derivatives combined with the conductivity of polypyrrole create a composite material that effectively holds an electric charge, according to the scientists, whose research appears in the March 23 issue of Science.
The inspiration for the research came from the process plants use to convert light energy to stored chemical energy. In photosynthesis, electrochemically active molecules known as quinones transport electrons and protons, Inganäs explains. Animals also make use of quinones in metabolism, "to build the pH gradient which drives synthesis of ATP, or adenosine triphosphate," he adds. If nature could create such a renewable metabolic process, the professor of biomolecular and organic electronics reasons, why not consider it as the basis for charge storage in a renewable system?
The researchers have much work ahead of them, and Inganäs cautions that it is premature to compare their prototype battery system with inorganic two-electrode batteries fabricated with metals. "There are many things to do in order to improve the charge density of the electrode, which is what we are doing now," Inganäs says.
The biggest disadvantage to the proposed approach, however, is that the electrodes lose their charge within hours when they are idle. The researchers hope that different types of lignin derivatives could solve the problem. Given the diversity of plant life on this planet, there is no shortage of samples for the researchers to study.
Sponsorship: green wave or greenwash?
19th July, 2012 by Martin Wright
Martin Wright, Editor in Chief of Green Futures, reflects on the role of corporate sponsorship – for the Games, and for the magazine.
Is sponsorship this summer’s dirty word?
The involvement of major corporate sponsors in the Olympics has led to some fierce criticism. Some see sponsorship as tarnishing the whole spirit of the Games. Others argue that to take money from businesses involved in oil, or nuclear power, or sugary drinks, or any one of a number of other controversial areas, makes a mockery of London’s claims to be the ‘greenest Games ever’. And some view the exclusive rights awarded the sponsors – along with what are seen as draconian efforts to enforce them – as smacking too much of bullying by the big boys.
These are legitimate questions which deserve a response. They could also be levelled at Green Futures: after all, we also enjoy the support of corporate and other partners.
For the Games organisers, the answer is clear. Without investment from the London2012 sponsors, the staging of the Games simply would not be possible. But they don’t just balance the books, says David Stubbs, Head of Sustainability: they bring valuable support in working towards LOCOG’s sustainability goals.
“We are proud to partner with companies that will help us achieve our objectives for delivering truly sustainable Games”, he affirms. “Our sustainability strategy and policies were clearly set out before our sponsors signed up. All sponsors, licensees and suppliers have to adhere to these standards. We are confident that our partners are doing so, and we continue to work with them to ensure we achieve the most sustainable Games possible.”
Stubbs sees delivering the Games as a journey for everyone involved. “We are learning from each other”, he says, “and setting new standards as we go.”
Our view at Green Futures is not dissimilar. Our Special Editions – on subjects as varied as the future of food, retrofit design or the co-operative movement – are made possible by the support of a number of partners. Some of these are trusts and NGOs, others government bodies, and many are businesses. In the case of our Olympics special, Beyond the Finish, they include several of the London 2012 sponsors.
We make no apologies for this – far from it. We are very happy to receive the support of our partners. Without it, we would not have the means to produce and distribute publications like Beyond the Finish to a wide range of readers in business, government, the media and elsewhere.
But in doing so, we are emphatically not giving a blanket ‘green stamp of approval’ to all of our partners’ activities. Virtually every single one of them – along with the vast majority of businesses large and small – engages in some activities that are, at present, unsustainable, and which need to change. But each one of them has the potential to be a wholly sustainable company – even if that might involve some radical departures from present practice to achieve it. And some of their sustainability initiatives around the Olympics – from new transport schemes and construction methods to green energy and youth programmes – are clear examples of progress towards that goal. Small, incremental steps, sure, but they deserve recognition. We hope our coverage encourages others in business and elsewhere to look at ways to emulate, and improve upon them.
Some might argue that, were it available, funding from another source – government or charitable, say – would be preferable; would in some way be ‘cleaner’. I am not sure this is the case. Some of the largest contributors to tax revenues, for example, are businesses which cause huge damage to the environment. And some charitable trusts are themselves endowed with money earned through not exactly sustainable means.
So I am pleased that with Beyond the Finish – as with all our Special Editions and, indeed, the magazine as a whole – we are able to be wholly transparent about the source of our funding.
And when it comes to working with business in general, one thing is certain. If our society is to make the decisive shift towards a sustainable future which is so urgently needed, then we need business – including the world’s major corporations – to play a key role in making that happen. – Martin Wright
August 3, 2012, Friday, Westport, CT
Classic Car Gathering & Cruise Night
At Dragone Classic Motorcars
176 Post Road West, Westport, CT
Bring your Show Car out for a fun evening
Everyone is welcome!
All Show Vehicles, No Cut Off Year!
Door Prizes - Food - Give Aways - Beverages
Kathryn & Her Cool Vintage Good Humor Truck Filled With Treats!
Come & see some outstanding Vintage Vehicles.
Featuring: The Amazing Seth Carley, DJ (Mr. Car Show)
Spinning all your favorite Car Tunes!
Don't Miss Out - C'mon Down!
Tell Congress to Expedite Renewable Energy
Sign this petition to tell Congress to expedite renewable energy. We can transition to a cleaner, renewable energy future, but Congress needs to pass the legislation to get us there.
Signing this petition sends an email to U.S. Sen. Jeff Bingaman (D-NM), chair of the Senate Committee on Energy & Natural Resources, U.S. Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) and the House Energy & Commerce Committee.
This petition unites the voices of Americans who demand our leaders take seriously the energy and climate crisis and immediately work to implement the policies to move our country toward a sustainable future.
I WANT CONGRESS TO PASS A RENEWABLE ENERGY POLICY THAT:
• Mandates an aggressive RES (renewable electricity standard)
• Sets a limit and tax on greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4)
• Puts an end to subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power
• Provides incentives for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects
• Modernizes the electrical grid
• Provides market certainty to accelerate investment in renewable energy
• Invests in research and development for battery storage and renewable energy technologies
• Encourages distributed generation to help localize energy generation
• Defines renewable as non-combustion sources of energy
• Puts Americans back to work by creating green jobs and a sustainable economy
• Makes the U.S. a leader in fighting climate change and global warming
• Puts the health of people and the planet before corporate profits
Endorsing Organizations: 350.org, Climate Crisis Solutions, Coal River Mountain Watch, DeSmogBlog, Environmental Advocates of New York, Heartwood, Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, Indian Point Safe Energy Coalition, Nuclear Information and Resource Service, Riverkeeper, Coalition Against Nukes, Rock The Reactors, Safe Energy Association, Sullivan Area Citizens for Responsible Energy, The Story of Stuff Project, Truthout, Waterkeeper Alliance.
Endorsing Companies: Sun Veil Solar
If your organization or company is interested in endorsing this petition, email Stefanie at spear (at) ecowatch.org.
This petition is the start of a campaign to address the need for a federal renewable energy policy. This petition can help serve as a basis for bipartisan legislation that members of Congress can introduce in their committees and ultimately on the House and Senate floor.
New England Takes Step Toward Clean Energy Revolution
by Angela Beniwal on Wednesday 01 August 2012
Governors from the six New England states have decided to move forward with a process to jointly procure renewable energy in the near future. The proposal was presented by Massachusetts' Assistant Secretary of Energy Steven Clarke on behalf of Gov. Deval Patrick, D-Mass., during the New England Governors' Conference in Vermont Monday. The governors voted unanimously to approve the proposal.
"It's a big priority for Gov. Patrick and a key component to our clean energy future here in Massachusetts, so we're really excited about the prospect of collaborating with the other states," Clarke tells Renew Grid.
The states plan to release a joint request for proposals (RFP) in 2013 for a "significant amount of renewable energy." The New England States Committee on Electricity (NESCOE) will be in charge of developing and implementing a plan on behalf of the New England governors.
"The Massachusetts clean energy revolution is well under way, thanks to leadership from Gov. Patrick and the legislature, and I look forward to working with my counterparts in the other New England states to further this revolution," Massachusetts' Energy and Environment Secretary Rick Sullivan said in a statement.
In 2009, the New England governors adopted the New England Governors' Renewable Energy Blueprint, which includes technical analysis from ISO New England (ISO-NE) that identifies significant renewable resources in the area.
While Clarke says it is too early to tell exactly how much energy will be sought, he cites a request for information (RFI) issued by NESCOE in 2011 that resulted in over 4 GW of generation and transmission proposals.
"We anticipate that this could be significant in terms of both transmission and generation," he says. "It will really make a key difference in our energy mix going forward."
The RFP is expected to be technology agnostic; however, the New England region has quite a bit of wind energy potential.
"Wind energy is the most cost-effective RPS-compliant renewable source of generation now, so we anticipate that wind will play a key role in this," says Clarke.
The 2010 New England Wind Integration Study from ISO-NE found that up to 12 GW of onshore and offshore wind could be developed in the region, potentially meeting up to 24% of the region's annual electricity needs. The study estimated that adding 12 GW of wind power and building new transmission lines would cost between $19 billion to $25 billion.
ISO-NE says it supports this collaboration.
"The ISO has worked closely with the states and NESCOE on the region's renewable energy potential, including providing the technical analysis (The New England 2030 Power System Study) underpinning the Renewable Energy Blueprint developed by the governors in 2009, and we will continue to provide information and technical analysis to the states as needed," Marcia Blomberg, spokesperson for ISO-NE, tells Renew Grid.
A status report on the RFI from NESCOE stated that transmission projects in various stages of development had been identified and could possibly facilitate the delivery of the additional renewable energy.
"The information submitted in response to the RFI provided the New England states with a reasonable basis to conclude, preliminarily, that coordinating the states' efforts with respect to the competitive procurement and delivery of such resources may enable the states to achieve their various objectives in a more cost-effective manner than if each state sought to independently satisfy all of their individual clean energy objectives," NESCOE stated in the status report.
Clarke says that economies of scale and utilizing market forces to help reduce the delivered cost of renewables are some of the benefits of procuring energy as group as opposed to going it alone.
He adds the states in New England are not large enough to warrant big renewable generation and transmission investments by themselves.
"If all the states combine … then you're talking a significant amount of demand for renewable energy," Clarke explains. "And if you combine all those states in a coordinated regional procurement, you can help with the investments in projects and large-scale transmission infrastructure."
While existing transmission might be adequate to accommodate some of the new generation, large amounts of offshore wind, for example, will require additional investment.
"There is some low-hanging fruit in the region that will probably benefit from this procurement, but there is also an abundance of resources - both onshore and offshore - that require new transmission investments and developments," says Clarke. "No single state on its own could really bolster that type of development, but when you combine them all, then you're talking about significant resource potential."
NESCOE now plans to gather a procurement team composed of senior energy officials from each of the six states. Over the course of the next year, the team will finalize all of RFP details.
A Monthly Update of Market Research and Industry Analysis Reports
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LIST OF MULTICLIENT MARKET RESEARCH REPORTS AVAILABLE FROM iRAP
ADVANCED MATERIALS Piezoelectric Ceramic, Polymer, and Ceramic/Polymer Composite Devices - Types, Materials, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets (New)
Electro-active Polymer Actuators and Sensors - Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets (New)
Piezoelectric Crystals and Crystal Devices - Types, Materials, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets
Production and Application of Carbon Nanotubes, Carbon Nanowires, Fullerenes, Graphene and Nanodiamonds - A Global Technology Survey and Market Analysis (New)
For more details, watch a YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5g49xJHHm3Y
Nanolithography Equipment for IT, Electronics and Photonics - A Technology, Industry and Global Market Analysis
Nano-enabled Batteries for Portable and Rechargeable Applications: Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets (New)
For more details, watch a YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLKEeVKZhqY
Flexible Thin Film Batteries - A Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis
Ultra-low Power (Microwatt) Energy Harvesting for wireless Switches and Wireless Sensor Networking - Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry and Market Analysis
Ultracapacitors - A Global Industry and Market Analysis
Fuel Cells, Hydrogen Energy and Related Nanotechnologies: A Global Industry, Technology and Market Analysis. A Supplementary Directory profiles more than 800 companies, government organizations and universities involved in commercializing fuel cells, hydrogen energy and related nanotechnologies.
Large-Format Rechargeable Lithium-Ion Batteries for Electric Energy Storage in Transport - Types, Applications, New Developments, Industry Structure and Global Markets.
Micro Fuel Cells for Handheld Consumer Electronic Products - A Global Industry and Market Analysis
Advanced Solid State Memory Systems - Emerging Non-Volatile Memory Technologies, Industry Trends and Market Analysis (New)
For more details, watch a YouTube video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RuM3rK00EXY
Piezoelectric Operated Actuators and Motors - A Global Industry and Market Analysis
Silicon MEMS Oscillators - A Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis
MEMS Microphones - A Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis
Nano-Enabled Packaging for the Food and Beverage Industry - A Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis
Branded Organic baby Foods - New Developments, Global Industry and Market Analysis
Nano-Enabled Packaging for the Pharmaceutical Industry - A Global Technology, Industry and Market Analysis
The Future of North American Rotational Molding
Guide to North American Rotomolders
Packaging Thermoforming in the New Normal Economy
The Profile Extrusion Business in the New Normal Economy
Industrial Thermoforming: Where it's been, where it is headed
The New Economics of Energy: Implications for Composite Processors
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