energy

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Conference: Biomimicry’s Climate-Change Solutions

Posted by on 21 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, climate change, energy, energy efficiency, events, water

On October 20th, The Biomimicry Institute in conjunction with the annual Bioneers conference will be holding a one-day conference “Biomimicry’s Climate-Change Solutions: How Would Nature Do It?”

This landmark one-day intensive reveals the leading edge of biomimetic solutions to climate change, modeled on nature’s operating instructions. It’s designed for action-oriented professionals from the fields of business, finance and investment, science, technology, public policy, education, media and civil society.

Find out more and sign up now!

CEC Report: Biggest, Easiest CO2 Emissions Cuts…Green Buildings

Posted by on 30 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: climate change, energy, green building, research & reports

As I begin a very expensive green remodel project, its heartening to read this news:

Promoting the green design, construction, renovation and operation of buildings could cut North American greenhouse gas emissions that are fuelling climate change more deeply, quickly and cheaply than any other available measure, according to a new report issued by the trinational Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC).

North America’s buildings cause the annual release of more than 2,200 megatons of CO2 into the atmosphere, about 35 percent of the continent’s total. The report says rapid market uptake of currently available and emerging advanced energy-saving technologies could result in over 1,700 fewer megatons of CO2 emissions in 2030, compared to projected emissions that year following a business-as-usual approach. A cut of that size would nearly equal the CO2 emitted by the entire US transportation sector in 2000.

Press release continues…

Read the full report: Green Building in North America: Opportunities and Challenges


Clean Energy Trends

Posted by on 19 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: energy, research & reports

The latest annual edition of Clean Energy Trends has just been published. Joel Makower and his colleagues at Clean Edge have once again identified key trends affecting clean-energy markets and produced their annual forecast, along with 2007’s investment trends.

The five trends we cover in this year’s Trends report cover electric cars (how all of the action seems to be from smaller players, not the major automotive companies); sustainable cities (the emergence of new, fossil-fuel, carbon-neutral cities – in the Middle East, of all places); wind (how the U.S. market is being driven by foreign companies); geothermal energy (it is experiencing a global renaissance, particularly as large, utility-scale projects); and shipping (the new push to create cleaner oceangoing transport, including putting sails on freighters).

Read on…

See It, Manage It

Posted by on 14 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: energy, energy efficiency

http://www.consumerpowerline.com/homejoule/EnergyJouleWiredImage.jpg

When marketing and branding sites like Springwise write about “visualizing energy use”, I feel like we’re making progress:

Though by no means ubiquitous, household energy monitors have been around for some time. A few new entries into the space, however, add a splash of colour and style to make understanding energy consumption more intuitive.

Wattson, first of all, is a sleek, aesthetically pleasing device that shows homeowners through both numbers and colours how much energy they are using in their home…

The Home Joule, meanwhile, resembles a nightlight and plugs into any outlet in a home. The device displays not just energy usage, broadcast wirelessly by the consumer’s energy meter, but also the real-time cost of energy, which comes wirelessly from the energy company…

At a time when nukes are back on the table its critical that we look beyond more energy to simply using the infrastructure we have more efficiently. (See Nega Watt Power and the Apollo Alliance). A ridiculous amount of energy is wasted in so many ways every day. Letsfix the problem before creating new ‘solutions’. Share your solutions…

Google: “To help green technologies, amass scale.”

Posted by on 07 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: cleantech, energy, energy efficiency

Google’s 650,000-core warehouse-size computer

Ever wondered where your search requests goes when you hit the enter key? Read on…

INDIAN WELLS, Calif., Feb 6 (Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOG.O: Quote, Profile , Research) is prepared to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in big commercial alternative-energy projects that traditionally have had trouble getting financing, the executive in charge of its green-energy push said on Wednesday.

The Internet search giant, which has said it will invest in researching green technologies and renewable-energy companies, is eager to help promising technologies amass scale to help drive the cost of alternative energy below the cost of coal. More via Reuters…

Why would google care so much? Power searching requires lots of power…

Beginning 5 years ago, Google took the lead in making a power consumption an issue for IT vendors. No one cared that much before that because no one else was building 100,000+ server data centers using free software and cheap PC hardware. Google wasn’t the only factor, but their use of free software, cheap hardware and massive scale meant that energy consumption became one of the few places they could cut costs. Continued at ZDNet with additional coverage at NYT.

Smart folks over at Google. Here’s hoping their lead is followed.

2007 New Clean Energy Investments

Posted by on 05 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: cleantech, energy

Wondering just how much money is flowing to clean energy? Over $100B according to a report by analysts New Energy Finance.

The clean energy sector powered ahead in 2007, according to analysts New Energy Finance. In spite of difficult conditions on the credit markets, the amount of new money invested in the sector grew to $117.2 billion, up 41% from 2006’s $83.0 billion*, and more than $20 billion ahead of predictions. Overview continued at Clean Edge…

There appears to be great progress, though its always worth casting a skeptical eye over analyst reports.

GE Energy Financial Services 2010 Investing Target: $6B

Posted by on 05 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: cleantech, company, energy

GE Energy Financial Services

Cleantech growth continues at a pace: GE Energy Financial Services recently raised its 2010 renewable energy investing target by 50 percent to $6 billion. GE Energy Financial Services recently crossed the $3 billion mark with a $300 million investment in wind projects spanning four states.

“Thanks to our strong customer relationships, our expertise, GE’s technical capabilities, high fossil fuel prices and popular support for cleaner power, renewable energy has become our fastest-growing business,” said Alex Urquhart, President and CEO of GE Energy Financial Services. “With our broad capabilities to invest equity and debt within and outside the United States — not only in wind but in solar, biomass, hydro and geothermal power — we have become a major player in a $60 billion annual renewable energy market.” Continued in Company Press Release…

Here’s hoping full thought is given to the manufacturing and siting stages so that we don’t just have ‘clean energy’, but it can also be ‘green energy’. (Of course the greenest energy is the energy that isn’t produced – see my recent post on NegaWatt Power.)

:: More via Google News

Nature Inspires Ocean Power Solution

Posted by on 03 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: biomimicry, energy

The emerging science of biomimicry has yielded another innovative solution to one of our most pressing problems: clean, renewable energy.

BioPower Systems Awarded $5 Million Renewable Energy Development Grant

Sydney, Australia, 4 February 2008: Australia’s ocean energy company, BioPower Systems Pty Limited, has been awarded a $5 million grant under the Australian Government’s AusIndustry Renewable Energy Development Initiative (REDI). The grant will be matched by BioPower to fund a $10.3 million, two-year project involving the deployment and ocean-testing of the company’s proprietary wave and tidal- current energy converters. The funds will also be used in the development of new designs and production methods in preparation for the manufacture of commercial products at the end of the pilot project in 2009.

BioPower System’s ocean power conversion technologies are based on the concept of biomimicry, using biological species as inspiration in engineering design. The bioWAVE wave power system and bioSTREAM tidal power system are visibly reminiscent of sea plants and swimming species. The inventor of these ocean power technologies, BioPower’s Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Tim Finnigan, said: “Some of the traits that we observe in large sea plants and fish provide us with clues on how to design machines that will function well in the ocean environment, convert energy efficiently, and survive in the worst storms.” Continued…

:: Picture: BioPower System’s “bioWAVE

Algal Biofuel: Moving from ‘Crude’ Oil to ‘Cultured’ Oil

Posted by on 03 Feb 2008 | Tagged as: energy

http://www.algaefuels.org/Algae-SM.jpg

The concept of algal biofuel has been discussed for decades but we may finally be seeing scalable solutions. CNet writer Michael Kanellos offers some insights in Algae: Another way to grow edible oils. Cnet also offers up a video on LiveFuels a national alliance of labs and scientists dedicated to transforming algae into biocrude by the year 2010. Two Australian companies – Linc Energy and Bio Clean Coal – have another approach. They’re working together to run emissions from a coal plant through a bioreactor to make biodiesel.

::Photo via AlgaeFuels.org

Negawatt Power

Posted by on 30 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: energy, energy efficiency

While solar, wind and biofuels have had plenty of attention, the unsung superhero of clean energy is Negawatts – a term coined by Amory Lovins in a 1989 Green Energy Conference. Two decades later, with a growing corporate interest in efficiency programs, energy efficiency may be this year’s hot trend in cleantech M&A & IPOs.

“Wall Street has piled billions into solar panels, wind farms, and other alternatives to oil and gas, but many investors also see big opportunities in making better use of older, dirtier energy sources…

…Boosting efficiency could be the easiest, quickest way to reduce emissions of harmful greenhouse gasses, starting with the task of installing new metering hardware and usage control systems in every home and building, proponents say. Continued over at PlanetArk via Reuters…

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