Tag Archive | Green Energy

Florida Makes Off-Grid Living Illegal – Mandates All Homes Must Be Connected To An Electricity Grid

Solar powered house.

It’s no secret that an opposition to sustainable living exists. Earlier this year, Texas state brought several SWAT teams to a sustainable community and threatened to shut it down. Each one of the community members were initially handcuffed at gunpoint. It was called “The Garden of Eden Community,” and was totally self sustainable. You can read more about that here.

This time, it’s Robin Speronis that’s come under fire. She lives off the grid in Florida, completely independent of the city’s water and electric system. A few weeks ago, officials ruled her off-grid home illegal. Officials cited the International Property Maintenance Code, which mandates that homes be connected to an electricity grid and a running water source. That’s just like saying our dependency on corporations isn’t even a choice. The battle to live without most utilities has been ongoing for Robin, the self-sufficient woman has lived for more than a year and a half using solar energy, a propane camping stove and rain water.

Read the full story here.

Midwestern farmers harvesting solar power

A farm in the Midwest

It’s not just milk, cereal, and soy that’s being produced on Midwestern farms. Increasingly, farmers in the region are also harvesting their own solar power. That’s according to a report in Midwest Energy News:

Solar installations have been taking off in many areas of the Midwest, but perhaps nowhere more so than in farm country.

“It’s a huge buzz now throughout the agriculture industry,” said Todd Miller, sales director for CB Solar in Ankeny, Iowa.

The Midwest is a conservative place, and today’s conservatives tend to reject renewable energy. So what is it about farms that has the region’s growers so eager to reap power from the sun?

For one, farms tend to use a lot of power, with monthly electric bills sometimes running into the thousands of dollars. They need electricity to run fans, to heat and cool barns for dairy cows, to cool milk and produce, to dry grain and move it around.

Read the full story here.

London’s new solar bridge is the largest in the world

Network Rail, which is responsible for Britain’s rail infrastructure, just opened the “world’s largest solar-powered bridge”

Network Rail, which is responsible for Britain’s rail infrastructure, just opened the “world’s largest solar-powered bridge” — which stretches across the Thames, has 4,400 solar panels on it, and will provide half the energy to central London’s Blackfriars train station.

BusinessGreen reports:

The project was one of the most complex to date for Solarcentury, which installed the panels in a series of phases over the past two years, pausing to minimise the impact on the station during the 2012 Olympic Games.

Read the full story here.

Peru’s poorest to get power through government solar plan

More than two million of Peru’s poorest residents will have access to electricity for the first time by 2016 thanks to new $200m solar power program.


A new solar power initiative launched by Peru will see more than two million of its poorest residents gain access to electricity for the first time.

Energy and mining minister Jorge Merino said the scheme will ensure 95% of the country has electricity by the end of 2016, compared to 66% at present.

“This programme is aimed at the poorest people, those who lack access to electric lighting and still use oil lamps, spending their own resources to pay for fuels that harm their health,” he said.

Read the full story here.

Renewables could create quarter of world’s electricity by 2018

Calls for an end to subsidies for fossil fuels as the developing world pushes growth in renewables, which are expected to outstrip gas and nuclear by 2016

As the cost of production drops, renewable energy is expected to account for a quarter of worldwide energy generation by 2018, up from a fifth in 2011.

The International Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts a 40% increase in supply from renewables such as wind, solar and hydropower in the next five years.

Global electricity generation from renewable sources will exceed that of gas and be twice that of nuclear by 2016, according to the IEA report.

“Renewable power sources are increasingly standing on their own merits versus new fossil fuel generation,” said IEA executive director Maria van der Hoeven.

The predictions, in the IEA’s latest medium-term renewable energy market report published in June 2013, are largely based on an expected surge in renewable capacity in developing nations. They are expected to account for two-thirds of all growth in renewables up to 2018.

Read the full story here.

Could algae be the future of green energy?

French Bio-chemist Pierre Calleja testing his algae powered street lamp.

The main gas emitted by cars — carbon dioxide, or CO2 — is one of the major green house gasses, which contributes global warming and climate change. What if that CO2 exhaust was reused into something much more beneficial, such as powering street lamps?

The French bio-chemist Pierre Calleja invented carbon capture lamp that is designed to run without electricity by using the carbon emissions it gobbles up from passing cars.

Calleia is the CEO and founder of Fermentalg, a company that focuses on working with microalgae and fermentation processes, he and his team developed his lamp to double as a habitat for microalgae, which adsorbs solar energy and consumed carbon dioxide. The team installed one of these lamps in a parking garage in Bordeaux, France to exhibit the lamp’s ability to continuously illuminate places, even in unlit places.

These lights could help against rising carbon emissions and climate change.

For more on Calleja’s work, check out the video below.


Solar Energy Provides Rays of Hope

Is it possible to transform Providence’s rooftops into a renewable-energy hotspot?

With plenty of rooftops, cities would seem ideal places for taking advantage of solar energy. Imagine a sea of solar panels spread out across Providence’s skyline. Rhode Island’s Capital City transformed into an urban solar field.

All of these renewable energy-producing arrays would help our embattled environment catch its breath after centuries slathered in fossil-fuel particulates, pollution and gases. A sea of rooftop solar panels also would help lessen the heat-island effect that plagues so many urban areas. A recent study by the University of California, San Diego showed that solar panels act as roof shades, keeping a building up to 5 degrees cooler during the day.

But solarizing Providence’s rooftops would admittedly be ambitious and definitely expensive. The idea, however, isn’t without precedent. Both Brown University and Providence College have incorporated solar rooftop panels into their energy infrastructure. The roof of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority’s John H. Chafee Transportation, Operations and Maintenance Center on Melrose Street is home to a solar array.

Read the full story here.

Wave Energy technology produces both clean water and clean energy

Carnegie Wave Energy.

Instead of generating electricity at sea and sending it to shore, a different kind of wave energy device is in the works in Australia, and it promises to deliver not only emissions-free electricity, but also emissions-free desalinated water.

The technology, called CETO after a Greek sea goddess, is being developed by Carnegie Wave Energy Limited, and their upcoming 2MW pilot project near the Perth Wave Energy demo site will be the first wave powered desalination plant in world.

Read the full story here.

Forest Ethics

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This is Forest Ethics, a conservation organization devoted to the protection of forests. To date they’ve secured protection agreements for 65 million acres of forests and helped move billions of dollars of corporate buying towards environmentally responsible market solutions.

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Recently the Canadian government has been conducting an unprecedented dismantling of environmental laws and review processes — heavily scrutinizing environmental groups, and attempting to limit the public’s ability to advocate strongly and oppose these attacks. In response, Forest Ethics created two independent nonprofit entities in Canada, ForestEthics Solutions Society and ForestEthics Advocacy Association, in April 2012. ForestEthics Solutions continues to craft world-renown environmental solutions such as the Great Bear Rainforest Agreement and the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. ForestEthics Advocacy is able to devote an unlimited amount of its time and resources to environmental advocacy-to ensure that destructive projects and weakened environmental laws are vigorously and successfully opposed.

For more on Forest Ethics, please click the link below.

Forest Ethics

Green Business Peterborough


The Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce and GreenUP have created the Green Business Peterborough Program. The program recognizes businesses that have pledged to and have implemented strategies to reduce waste, save energy, and adopt sustainable business practices.

Any business can become greener. A wide variety of sustainable practices can be put in place that will result in significant improvement to the workplace. Energy efficiency and other sustainable practices frequently offer long-term cost savings, allowing businesses to contribute to the community while becoming more economically competitive.

The Chamber of Commerce generates clean solar electricity through the OPA MicroFIT Program.

The Chamber of Commerce generates clean solar electricity through the OPA
MicroFIT Program.

GreenUP uses window awnings to shade the windows and reduce air conditioning costs.

GreenUP uses window awnings to shade the windows and reduce
air conditioning costs.

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Green Business Peterborough