Friday, January 15, 2010

Government Policy

“Green Recovery Hearing” - Congressman Inslee’s view on “doing nothing”

“Hopes Dashed at Copenhagen summit” - A brief summary of the Copenhagen Summit 2009

“Energy secretary on climate Change” - US Energy Secretary, Stephen Chu, describes what he’s doing to create jobs in the energy field

Future Consequences of Global Warming

“60 Minutes - Why Are Honeybees Disappearing” - Explains why honeybees are so important to our food supply

“CNN Planet Peril Water” - CNN discusses the severe consequences of lacking clean water

“Food Shortages from 2009 – Water shortages and the future” - A heart-wrenching look at starvation around the world

“Future Scenario Earth 2050” - A look at what our world might be like in 2050

“Earth 2100 Civilization at the Crossroads” - A look at what our world might be like in 2100

“Earth 2100 Civilization in Ruins” - A look at what our world might be like in 2100

“The Devastating Truth about water” - A world-wide perspective on water

Fisheries and Global Warming: Impacts on Marine Ecosystems and Food Security

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Grow Green Power Plans to Feed (and Power) the World

“Grow Green Power is going to change the world!” It is hard to curb his enthusiasm when Reinhold Ziegler talks about the potential of this new technology platform. GGP brings together high volume organic food production with the ability to generate huge quantities of renewable energy. Using the revolutionary Aeroponic food growth system, these facilities can produce up to 20 times the quantity of a conventional farm while utilizing a fraction of the water.

“Water conservation will be a key reason as to why this platform will develop into a core technology during the 21st century. GGP can be custom designed to serve almost every local issue dealing with sustainable growth while having virtually zero negative impact on its’ surrounding ecosystem”.

Professor Ziegler who has long been a visionary in comprehensive sustainable solutions and the development of “living machines” sees limitless possibilities. “Within the scope of this platform we can marry a host of solutions and technologies, including, waste management, recycling, gasification and methane digestion, as well as protein production from fish and poultry farming.

The ability to construct Grow Green Facilities with a variety of technologies allows for maximizing space production, while allowing each technology to act as a support and feeder source for the other technologies at the site. The carbon from the waste stream and the nitrogen from the fish and poultry effluent serve as great nutrient sources for the agriculture. Solar photovoltaic panels, solar collectors, wind turbines, and gasification and waste burning cogeneration supply the energy for the efficient LED grow lights and surrounding communities. The plant and organic waste off-gas methane as they break down, and combined with bio-char from the closed system burning, we can create a super nutrient infused soil to grow healthier fruits and vegetables. This platform has the potential to solve a major problem by becoming a dependable world wide food source. This is particularly true in the developing world and areas ravaged by drought, however, with global climate patterns changing rapidly, this may be the way the world needs to raise food in the future”.

Wescor’s Solar Wall and Solar Ducting Technology Cuts Commercial Heating Bills

Facility owners looking to cut their heating costs this winter could find an early Christmas present under the tree. Energime partner Wescor has a new solar wall/solar duct technology which can eliminate virtually half the waste associated with heating high bay manufacturing, assembly/storage areas due to the issues of stratification. By warming outside air in their solar ducts and premixing incoming air at the ceiling of the facility, warm air is forced to the working level eliminating up to half of the therms (and money) required to condition the space.

MASDAR video

Monday, January 4, 2010

Energime Begins National Rollout

ENERGIME Renewable Energy Systems will be opening satellite operations across the U.S. this fall. Initial plans call for 2 pilot offices in New York, and St. Louis, with sales integration efforts going forward in Hawaii, Maryland, Los Angeles, Oregon and Idaho.

This rollout is the first step in a more general expansion that will reach into every region of North America by the fall of 2011. For now all teaching and training will be handled via the web until each new region is fully integrated into the Energime family. Energime will coordinate all engineering and design work from their central offices in Everett Washington, while providing logistical, estimating, and networking support as each market is developed.

The St. Louis office under the stewardship of Midwest Regional Director Tom Terrio will oversee Energime developments in an area bordered by Omaha to the west, Michigan and Indiana to the north and east, and Kentucky to the south. “We see many opportunities for setting up manufacturing operations with the huge amount of commercial plants and corporate sites that have been virtually abandoned during the recent economic shakeout. There is a real need to get workers trained and employed in this new green economy and we expect the state governments to be very cooperative in terms of their support” said Terrio.

“We will be paying special attention to Omaha and the state of Michigan as part of our new strategic expansion”.

What is clear is that the range of technologies and services that will be in most demand are likely to vary greatly with each region. This is a direct reflection of the environmental climate as well as the local incentives and legislative support. Farming is a major opportunity in the Midwest, solar and wind will be top items in diesel dependent Hawaii, and with state incentives at $3,50 a watt in New York, everything is on the table.

Negotiations and potential partnering discussions have been underway for what will be Energime’s eventual overseas expansion. Those moves will be restricted to consulting and design for long term projects as the company matures and logistical support becomes available.

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation Breaks Ground

Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation broke ground on its new “green” research tower. The facility will add 185,000 square feet of laboratory, administrative and clinical research space to OMRF’s campus—and will generate a portion of the energy it uses through 24 wind turbines that will sit atop its roof.

“This tower will be the first medical research facility anywhere to harness the wind to help power its labs,” OMRF President Stephen Prescott, M.D., said. “It will be a model of energy efficiency and resource preservation. Just as importantly, it will serve as the keystone for the largest expansion in OMRF’s 63-year history.”

“Most people design a building and then ask, ‘How can we make this green?’” said Prescott. “We worked to install the green features first, and then we designed the rest of the building around those features.”

Perkins and Will are serving as the chief architects for the project with architectural integration of renewable energy and sustainable assets provided by Synergy International.

Copenhagen Conference to Focus on Planet’s Long-term Sustainability

This December the world will meet in Copenhagen at the United Nation’s Climate Change Conference with the aim of agreeing to an ambitious and effective international response to our environmental crisis. This is a crucial year as many top scientists are now warning nervously of the catastrophic consequences of inaction. With newer data pointing to potentially disastrous rises in ocean levels and a continued erosion and eventual collapse of the food chain, it is apparent that the clock is ticking. It is the opinion of many that this next decade will be crucial in determining mankind’s future on this planet.

Federal Energy Plan Gets Mangled in Congress

Coal-fired power plants are the largest source of heat-trapping gases that cause global warming, but President Obama's plan to fight climate change would result in the nation burning more coal a decade from now than it does today. The administration's plan, the centerpiece of a 700-page legislative package, proposes strict limits on emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide. But to attract vital support from congressional Democrats representing heavily coal-dependent areas, authors of the legislation have made a series of concessions that substantially soften its effect on coal, at least over the next decade or so. As a result, the Environmental Protection Agency projects that even if the emissions limits go into effect, the U.S. would use more carbon-dioxide-heavy coal in 2020 than it did in 2005. Despite their best intentions, the government has again come up short. When it got down to it, pork barrel considerations and home state interests were the determining factor in the eventual legislation.

That's because the bill gives utilities a financial incentive to keep burning coal by joining the cap-and-trade system -- a kind of marketplace where polluters could reduce their emissions on paper by buying pollution reductions created by others. These so-called offsets, for example, could be created and sold by farmers who planted trees, which filter carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

Environmental groups also say the bill could set off a boom in the construction of new coal plants because of provisions that would restrict legal efforts to block such projects.

Snohomish PUD Promises Steady Rise in Electric Rates

For years, Snohomish County PUD has been forced to bear the increasing rates of electricity that it buys from the federal government because its commissioners haven’t passed on the cost to customers. On June 23, the utility proposed a new policy that would trigger rate increases whenever the Bonneville Power Administration, the utilities largest electricity provider, boosts the cost of power. PUD electricity rates shot up by more than 50 % in 2001 brought on by the 2000-01 West Coast Energy crisis. With the cost of world-wide energy projected to rise dramatically in the coming years, and the push of the federal government to curb our reliance on foreign imports, it is expected that more such rate increases are on the horizon.