Archive for the ‘#green’ Tag

Invest 2% of GDP in 10 Sectors Result: A Green Global Economy | CleanTechnica   Leave a comment

International policies that would direct “just 2 percent of global GDP into 10 key sectors would kick-start” the global transition to a more sustainable, ‘Green Economy,’ according to a UN Environmental Program report.

All the elements to enact a transition to a “low-carbon, resource-efficient and socially inclusive global economic model” are here now, and businesses and governments are already promoting and fostering greater investments in 10 key sectors UNEP has singled out: agriculture, energy, buildings, water, forestry, fisheries, manufacturing, waste, tourism and transport.

Investing 2 percent of global GDP in these sectors would not only “shift the global economy on to a more sustainable growth trajectory, but it would maintain or increase growth over time compared to the current business models,” according to UNEP’s “Towards a Green Economy: Pathways to Sustainable Development and Poverty Eradication.”

Investing $100 billion to $300 billion per year in sustainable agriculture between now and 2050, according to UNEP, “could lead to better soil quality and better yields for major crops, representing a 10% increase over the current strategies.”

“The elements of a transition to a Green Economy are clearly emerging across developing and developed countries alike,” UNEP executive director Achim Steiner stated. “There are now some nations going further and faster than others, which is in many ways generating a ‘pull factor’ that, if maintained, may bring others along over the coming months and years.”

Time is Ripe

The time is ripe, the UN points out, as UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) negotiators, stakeholders and participating observers prepare to convene in Durban, South Africa at the end of the month to try and negotiate an extension or a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.

“With the world looking ahead to the Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development in June 2012, the UNEP Green Economy report challenges the myth that there is a trade-off between the economy and the environment,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in a statement issued on the release of the report.

“With smart public policies, governments can grow their economies, generate decent employment and accelerate social progress in a way that keeps humanity’s ecological footprint within the planet’s carrying capacity.”

via Invest 2% of GDP in 10 Sectors Result: A Green Global Economy | CleanTechnica.

Posted November 18, 2011 by arnoneumann in Environment, Green

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United Completes First Commercial Biofuel Powered Flight   Leave a comment

United Airlines just announced that Flight 1403, scheduled to take off today, Monday November 7th will be powered by Solazyme’s algae-derived biofuel. This will be the world’s first commercial biofuel powered flight. The flight’s route, from Houston to Chicago, is significant in several ways. First, the departure from Houston can be taken to symbolize a departure from the  ”big oil” that Houston has come to represent. Second, it represents a full merging of United and Continental. The flight will be traveling from Continental’s hub in Houston to United’s hub in Chicago. Continental pilots will be manning the cockpit of the United 737-800 Eco-Skies aircraft.The fuel, branded Solafuel, is a 40/60 blend of algae-based fuel and traditional petroleum-based jet fuel that was produced by a partnership between Solazyme and UOP.Back in February, Solazyme announced a partnership with Qantas to provide biofuel to the Australian carrier, but United has beaten them to the punch with the first commercial flight. Solazyme was also the first company to produce an algae-derived jet fuel that met FAA specifications. In what is certain to become a major new industry, a major competitor has emerged in Sapphire Energy, which was named one of the top ten green startups of 2010, receiving more than $100 million in venture capital funding.Other players in this new field that were also spotlighted at last week’s Algal Biofuels Organization ABO Summit in Minneapolis include Phycal, BioProcess Algae, Heliae and Algenol.Two years ago, Continental Airlines launched the first US biofuel test flight, also from Houston, burning a blend of 50 percent standard aviation fuel, 3 percent algae-based fuel from Sapphire also partnering with UOP and 47 percent jatropha oil. A month earlier, Air New Zealand ran a test flight using 50/50 jet fuel and jatropha oil. Some consider jatropha, a tropical succulent, a promising jet fuel alternative, but concerns have been raised about the amount of water required to grow it, which is said to be five times more than corn or sugar cane.Meanwhile, Solazyme is producing not only oil, but also food, chemicals and pharmaceuticals. Last month they announced an expanded agreement with Unilever to produce algae-derived oils for making soap and other personal care products, presumably, to cut back on the use of palm oil and petroleum-derived components.A week later, their Solazyme Roquette Nutritionals subsidiary announced that it will begin producing its microalgae derived food ingredient, Whole Algalin Flour, at Roquette’s commercial production plant in Lestrem, France.Writing about the ABO conference, biofuels analyst Jim Lane says, “It could be that biofuels, renewable chemicals and materials have an overly complicated and wrongly-told story. What investors have been trained to think is that “green” equals “higher costs,” [meaning it] is a luxury, requires subsidies, and is currently unaffordable. Their belief: carbon mitigation is a cost that will be saddled on the hard-pressed and possibly unemployed consumer. They have come to believe that renewables equal subsidies… The message of the industry’s current investors to the world: the military should provide the capital for renewable diesel, that airlines should build out aviation biofuels, that governments need to provide incentives, tax credits, mandates and tariffs for the development at scale of everything else. And that anything not already paid for by any of the above should be paid for by oil companies, who apparently should be delighted at the opportunity to invest in putting themselves out of business.”RP Siegel, PE, is the President of Rain Mountain LLC. He is also the co-author of the eco-thriller Vapor Trails, the first in a series covering the human side of various sustainability issues including energy, food, and water.  Like airplanes, we all leave behind a vapor trail. And though we can easily see others’, we rarely see our own.

via United Completes First Commercial Biofuel Powered Flight.

Posted November 12, 2011 by arnoneumann in aerospace, Biofuel, Environment, Green

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Vanadium miners ready, hoping for green tech boom | Reuters   Leave a comment

Renewable energy like solar and wind are becoming part of the power mix as nations look to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, but power generation depends on favorable weather.

Mass storage batteries such as the vanadium redox flow battery can help by capturing the energy as it is generated, storing it and releasing it as needed.

China is investing heavily in the technology. Prudent Energy recently raised $30 million to try to reduce the cost of its vanadium battery systems, while China Strategic Holding is spending nearly $300 million to build the world’s largest vanadium battery, according to industry reports.

Once you get energy storage into the whole smart grid technology, it can largely reduce the cost and lead to the faster implementation,” said Liyu Li, a chemist with the U.S. Department of Energy’s Pacific Northwest National Laboratory.

“With just a little more work, the battery could potentially increase the use of wind, solar and other renewable power sources,” said Li. “But we need to make sure the cost is acceptable compared with other technologies.”

via Vanadium miners ready, hoping for green tech boom | Reuters.

Posted November 12, 2011 by arnoneumann in Energy, Vanadium

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Unlocking a $500 billion green industry, without government aid — Cleantech News and Analysis   Leave a comment

The Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) legislation enables property owners to accept a voluntary tax assessment as a means of repaying upfront financing of energy efficiency and renewable energy improvements. Twenty-six states in the United States, along with Australia, and New Zealand, have enacted legislation enabling the secure and scalable financing PACE structure. PACE has yet to take off in the U.S. for homes because of uncertainties in the financing of the program from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. But, the commercial side, now solidly financed, can take off.

The key motivator behind PACE is a sound one: there’s “no upfront capital cost.” No upfront capital cost was a key in unlocking the deployment of solar when, at SunEdison, I created the power purchase agreement for the solar industry.  It enabled companies like Walmart, Staples, and Whole Foods to buy energy rather than buying a solar system.  They pay for the energy used over time.  It made solar make business sense.

Now, with this business consortium, we are unlocking the financing for the deployment of 20-year old technologies like more efficient lighting, cooling and heating, and water saving toilets.

When I tell most people about this new program, the immediate reaction is, “Well that’s a no brainer.”  But simple, obvious, powerful, business-sense solutions take brains. It then becomes a “no brainer decision” for buyers creating $500 billion dollar industries.”

 

via Unlocking a $500 billion green industry, without government aid — Cleantech News and Analysis.

Posted September 22, 2011 by arnoneumann in Energy, finance

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Hamburg is the European Green Capital 2011 | Going Green | The Earth Times   Leave a comment

Hamburg has vision, measurable goals and  definitive strategies to get, keep it on track and ultimately reach its enironmental goals. All cities can achieve that  if they aspire to and enforce their collective will.

 

“Taking over the crown from Stockholm, Hamburg has emerged the European Green Capital 2011 in the competition organised by the European Commission. The European Commission believes that the future of European environmental protection lies in the hands of its cities who have to manage its resources of energy and combat issues of climate change since they have the most potential to develop and apply solutions to battling matters that harm the environment.

That’s why its creation of the title European Green Capital has a three fold objective of rewarding cities who have shown environmental awareness and a consistency in green practices, to encourage them to act as role models to other cities in Europe and set plans to  achieve optimum environmentally friendly standards of living and functioning. Hamburg with its population of about 1.8 million has aimed to reduce its green house gas emissions by at least 80% by 2050. Its climate change combat plan for 2010 was a comprehensive one. Hamburg’s long term vision and future strategies for its environmental initiatives saw it emerge a winner.

More than rewards

But winning here isn’t just about prizes. The city now has to frame and implement intelligent solutions to its issues of urban living, development of its renewable energies and aim to increase sustainable consumption.”

via Hamburg is the European Green Capital 2011 | Going Green | The Earth Times.

Posted July 31, 2011 by arnoneumann in Cities, Green

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Why Sustainability Needs a Makeover   Leave a comment

 

 

“Even though the sustainability movement has come a long way, it’s clear that it could benefit from some rebranding. At Sustainable Brands ’11, key insights from consumer research shed some light on where practitioners can refocus their efforts.

OgilvyEarth recently released results of a 2011 study called Mainstream Green: Moving sustainability from niche to normal. The study focused on what OgilvyEarth refers to as the Green Gap – the gap between what people say they intend to do and what they actually do when it comes to green. Here are some key findings:… ”

via Why Sustainability Needs a Makeover.

Posted June 15, 2011 by arnoneumann in Green, Sustainability

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Top Ten Highlights of the League of Green Embassies | CleanTechies Blog – CleanTechies.com   Leave a comment

“The League of Green Embassies was created by the United States Department of State. It was established as an initiative to promote international cooperation for clean technologies and energy efficiency. There are three major objectives of the League of Green Embassies are, “To advance the Presidential mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in USG buildings; to demonstrate the capabilities of U.S. products and technologies to the world market; and to increase the exports of U.S. products and services in line with the national Export Initiative.” When the league was established in 2007, it was run by former U.S Ambassador to Sweden, Michael M. Wood. In 2010, the U.S. Embassy in Helskini’s ambassador, Bruce J. Orek, took over the league.”

via Top Ten Highlights of the League of Green Embassies | CleanTechies Blog – CleanTechies.com.

Although this is USA centric , all nations can take note and focus on the methods and merits of greeen building… nad principles of sustainability.

Posted May 31, 2011 by arnoneumann in Buildings, Green

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