People as well as Cars are getting Smart

30 Sep
More than four years after the market launch of the current generation the smart fortwo remains on the road to success. Until today over half a million models of the innovative two-seater have been sold. And sales continue to rise: since the beginning of the year 69,073 smart fortwo have been delivered to customers around the world, 6.6 percent more than in the same period last year.
“Our smart has long since evolved into an icon, which is indispensable in the cities of the world,” says Dr. Annette Winkler, Head of smart.
With the third generation of the smart fortwo electric drive smart is once again setting standards. It will be available for ordering from spring 2012. Those who would like to be among the first owners will have the opportunity to make a reservation online as of the fourth quarter 2011. For the further development of the car the company was able to integrate extensive experience of about 15,000 test runs and customer feedback from various electric mobility projects. For example, this is reflected in clearly improved range and engine performance. Read more

The Heat is On Energy Saving Tips by Family Circle

28 Sep

Hat’s off to Family Circle for publishing an energy saving article as fall approaches; good timing. Simple energy saving solutions can result in significant savings as we all know. The article, The Heat is On: and a Plan to Lower Energy Costs, offers a simple break-down of “Light Green, Medium Green and Dark Green” energy saving tips.

Concentrating Photovoltaics – CPV – Ready for Take-Off?

16 Sep

CPV systems are poised for significant growth thanks to the confluence of several factors: Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS) requiring up to 33% renewables by 2020 in key US states, higher efficiency CPV systems, and lower CPV system costs. In the last year alone, over 300 MW of CPV projects have signed contracts with utilities and are now awaiting regulatory approvals and financing.

Thanks to these large projects, CPV technology companies may be approaching the critical mass needed to cost-effectively manufacture their systems and compete head-to-head with non-concentrating PV.

Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Time: 2:00 p.m. EST/11:00 a.m. PST
Cost: Complimentary!

Speaker: Dr. Jan-Gustav Werthen, Senior Director of Photovoltaics, JDSU; Moderator: Brett Prior, Senior Analyst, GTM Research

Can’t make the live event? Register and the presenters will alert you when the on-demand version is available.

Register to the webinar to hear about the technologies and new breakthroughs that promise continued improvement, including multijunction cell design and high-volume manufacturing techniques. At the end of the event, audience members will be able to ask questions of the panelists and moderator live!

Register now!

 

Useful Links

On another note – here are a few helpful links for those interested in solar:

State and Federal Rebates and Incentives: www.dsireusa.org

Improving your building’s energy efficiency:

http://www.solar-estimate.org/?page=rightforme&subpage=efficiency

Join thousands of fellow supporters in a historic call for clean energy: www.repoweramerica.org/wall/#

Do Materials Matter? Choices Affect Efficiency Cost of PV

21 Jul

For those interested in PV systems, GTM Research and Dupont are presenting a webinar. It is for system developers, system designers, EPCs, installers, financiers, engineering firms, and others who specify, recommend, or influence the selection of PV equipment and components (cells, modules, etc.) for PV installations. The event is sponsored by DuPont.

Webinar Summary:

Over the next five years, photovoltaic (PV) systems will achieve grid parity in many major global markets with low-cost, high-efficiency systems that have 25 or more years of system life. A driving factor in achieving grid parity is the quality and durability of materials in PV cells, modules and other system components. This seminar will explore the crucial role of materials in determining the efficiency, reliability and cost of PV systems. Discussion will focus on key considerations, and provide guideposts for those who specify or influence the selection of PV components.

Date and Time: Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 2PM (ET). For additional info and to register for the PV Systems webinar visit Greentech Media here.

car2go First All-Electric Carsharing Fleet

19 Jul

OilObit.com News/Source: Daimler AG: SAN DIEGO – car2go N. A. LLC, a subsidiary of Daimler North America Corporation, announced that San Diego will be the first North American city to have a 100-percent electric vehicle (EV) carsharing program. San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders, Nicholas Cole, President and CEO of car2go N. A. LLC, and Jonathan Read, CEO of ECOtality, made the official announcement at a news conference at the El Cortez this morning.

“We’re proud that car2go has chosen to launch the first North American all-electric carsharing service in San Diego,” said San Diego Mayor Jerry Sanders. “car2go’s launch here further supports our efforts to make San Diego the nation’s electric vehicle capital.”

The all-electric car2go program in San Diego is going to start operations before the end of 2011 with 300 smart fortwo electric drive vehicles. Read more

Oilobit.com: PV Outlook 2010-2015

29 Dec

Solar Panel | Oilobit.comOverall, 2010 was a good year for the PV industry. But, the global PV industry is getting complex as it becomes more and more competitive. What’s the outlook PV technology, production and cost for the next five years?

You can find out what Greentech Media’s Senior Analyst Syyam Mehta thinks during an upcoming webinar. Mehta will discuss findings from the third edition of GTM Research’s PV supply chain report, PV Technology, Production, and Cost Outlook: 2010-2015. The webinar will cover topics such as: Read more

Energy Management Important to Healthcare Leaders

17 Dec

Energy efficiency, Wind MillWe tend to either love or hate the current healthcare industry. Rising insurance costs and outrageous healthcare bills upset us all. But, it appears the industry leaders are taking energy management seriously. According to a recent survey, energy management is more important to healthcare leaders than to executives in other industry sectors.

According to new research from the American Society for Healthcare Engineering and Johnson Controls, energy efficiency continues to grow in importance in the healthcare sector as organizations do more than ever to “go green.” (SOURCE: Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency)

BACKGROUND

In March 2010, Johnson Controls’ Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association (IFMA), and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering (ASHE) conducted a survey of
executives and managers responsible for making investments and managing energy use in commercial buildings across the world. As part of the Energy Efficiency Indicator (EEI) broad survey to look at the trends in energy efficiency throughout the worldwide business community, Johnson Controls wanted to include a separate analysis of responses from organizations in the healthcare industry. Of the 2,882 respondents polled worldwide, 288 operated in the healthcare industry, and 246 were ASHE members.

The EEI survey examines what healthcare organizations are doing in response to rising energy costs, what factors are motivating efficiency improvements, how many organizations are planning to make investments, what payback they expect on energy efficiency investments, and what technologies and practices they have been implementing in their facilities.The Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency, the International Facility Management Association and the American Society for Healthcare Engineering conducted an online survey of decision-makers responsible for managing energy. The Energy Efficiency Indicator survey results included a separate analysis of responses from healthcare organizations. (SOURCE: 2010 Energy Efficiency Indicator – Healthcare Sector Report, Oct. 2010)

Here’s an excerpt of the findings reported by the Johnson Controls Institute for Building Efficiency:

The survey looked at issues such as what organizations are doing in response to rising energy costs, what factors are driving efficiency improvements, what payback they expect on projects, and what technologies and practices they are applying. Highlights of the survey include:

  • 59% of healthcare organizations believe energy management is extremely or very important, compared to 52% of respondents across all industries.
  • 66% of healthcare respondents are paying more attention to energy efficiency than they were a year ago.
  • Cost savings is the biggest factor driving energy efficiency investments in healthcare; enhancing image and taking advantage of government or utility incentives are next.
  • Nearly 50% of healthcare respondents cited energy efficiency in buildings as their top strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
  • The average maximum allowable payback period for energy efficiency investments in healthcare is 3.3 years, down from 4.2 years in 2008.
  • The top barriers to capture of potential energy savings are lack of internal capital and inability to identify projects with sufficient ROI.

Click here to visit the Institute for Building Efficiency and read or download the complete survey report.

Congress to Decide on Renewable Energy Provision in Tax Bill

14 Dec

ACORE is pumping out the PR now that Congress is poised to either let die or renew a provision created by the staff of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways & Means Committee in January 2009. The provision being considered in the pending tax bill will potentially support or inhibit renewable energy projects in 2011. It appears California, Arizona, and Wyoming stand to gain the most based on an analysis prepared by the US Partnership For Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF)..

Here’s the full press release provided by ACORE:

Congress Poised to Save $25 Billion of Renewable Energy Projects in 17 States;
Key Vote Due on the “1603” Incentive for American Entrepreneurs;

California, Arizona and Wyoming to Stand to Benefit the Most

December 14, 2010 – Washington, DC: The US Partnership For Renewable Energy Finance (US PREF) introduced an analysis that a provision being considered in the pending tax bill stands to save at least $25 billion of renewable energy projects in 17 states in 2011, among which California, Arizona, and Wyoming stand to gain the most. Read more

Bailout Bill Big Win For Wind, Hybrids and Solar

07 Oct

Passed by Congress and signed into law by President Bush, the bailout legislation includes a $17 billion energy tax package; a big win for solar, wind and hybrids.

Here’s a summary of articles on the topic with links to the publishers and their full stories:

Wired.com: Bailout Bill Benefits Wind and Solar Power Companies.

The general public may not be thrilled with the $700 billion “financial rescue” package that the House approved and President Bush signed Friday, but the alternative energy industry cheered its passage because the legislation includes renewals of tax breaks that company executives had worried would expire at the end of the year.

ClimateProgress.com: The biggest winner is certainly solar. As Scott Sklar, former head of the Solar Energy Industries Association and now President of the Stella Group summarizes:

This package extends the 30-percent federal investment tax credit for both residential and commercial solar, small wind, ground-coupled heat pumps installations from 4 – 8 years. This bill also completely eliminates the $2,000 monetary cap for residential solar electric installations. This bill also provides a incentive tax credit (ITC) for water energy applications
(tidal, wave, and ocean currents and thermal) and combined heat and power. The federal production tax credit was extened for biomass power, geothermal and wind energy as well.

Also according to ClimateProgress.com, the 8-year extension of the ITC is a crucial step in ensuring the success in this country of one of the most critical climate solutions – solar baseload or concentrated stored thermal electric, which the solar industry considers one of the single most important issues the federal government needs to address for stable growth.

Plug in hybrids also benefit from the bailout package as reported by the Green Car Congress:

The credit is a base $2,500 plus $417 for each kWh of battery pack capacity in excess of 4 kWh, to a maximum of $7,500 for light-duty vehicles; $10,000 for vehicles with gross vehicle weights of more than 10,000 but less than 14,000 pounds; $12,500 for vehicles with a GVW of more than 14,000 but less than 26,000 pounds; and $15,000 for any vehicle with a GVW of more than 26,000 pounds.

Phaseout of the credit is to begin after the total number of qualified PHEVs in the US sold after 31 December 2008 is at least 250,000.

Qualifying vehicles must have a battery pack with at least 4 kWh of capacity–a provision that will preclude the inclusion of the first generation of Toyota PHEVs as well, potentially, as other lower all-electric range plug-ins.

ClimateProgress.com: This is a heck of a kickstart for plug-in hybrids, especially since $1 billion has been set aside for this tax credit. The Electric Drive Transportation Association also reports “The credit is available against the alternative minimum tax,” which is very good news. That means the upscale first buyers of this $45,000 car will actually be able to take advantage of this credit (see here).

Lots of other clean technologies benefited. For instance, “The measure increases the tax credit limitation for fuel cells from $500 to $1,500 per half kilowatt of capacity.” Frankly, $500 was the equivalent of doing nothing, whereas $1,500 may actually make some stationary fuel cells competitive. Geothermal
heat pumps
and cogeneration systems both get a well-deserved new 10% ITC.

DailyKos: A comprehensive article on the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (the “Bailout Plan”).

Environmental and Waste Management Industry Global Outlook Report

16 Sep

The environment and waste management industry is subject to various laws and regulations governing the environment across the world; known as “cradle to grave” laws here in the United States that regulate the treatment, handling and disposal of hazardous substances and the discharge of pollutants. Editors at Global Industry Analysts recently published a report on the global outlook for the industry. The following is their press release concerning the report. Read more

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