NREL study: Active power control of wind turbines can improve power grid reliability

The Energy Department’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), along with partners from the Electric Power Research Institute and the University of Colorado have completed a comprehensive study to understand how wind power technology can assist the power grid by controlling the active power output being placed onto the system. The rest of the power system’s resources have traditionally been adjusted around wind to support a reliable and efficient system. The research that led to this report challenges that concept. The…

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Growing Up With Vertical Gardens

The following is a short photo summary of a new trendy way to be green in tight urban situations. It is growing gardens in a new direction, literally, vertical. These vertical gardens can be very formally designed, all green plants or beautiful colored flowered plants, or they can be simply staged and just as amazing. Many different people; designers, landscape architects, botanists and environmentalists have all came up with their take on vertical gardens. One person is credited with inventing the…

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How feasible is a carbon tax?

Ask the experts at Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center As signs of climate change become harder to ignore municipalities around the globe and across the country are evaluating ways to put a price on emissions. One of those options, a carbon tax, is growing in prevalence. As states from Washington to Massachusetts consider how a carbon tax might be deployed within their borders, they’re looking to research done by Portland State University’s Northwest Economic Research Center (NERC). NERC…

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Recent Study: Suburban Sprawl Cancels Carbon Footprint Savings of Dense Urban Cores

Lessons learned in history relate directly to lessons learned from everyday experiences. People developed and moved to the suburbs because more space was needed to start and expand families and because they wanted fresh air away from the industrial working environments that the cities provided. Today, it seems to take us longer to learn lessons. We need more evidence and more trends before we take full advantage of what is already present plus we want the best of both worlds.…

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79 years of monitoring demonstrates dramatic forest change

Long-term changes to forests affect biodiversity and how future fires burn. A team of scientists led by Research Ecologist Dr. Eric Knapp, from the U.S. Forest Service’s Pacific Southwest Research Station, found dramatic differences in forests today compared to historic conditions prior to logging and fire suppression. The team conducted their research in the Forest Service’s Stanislaus-Tuolumne Experimental Forest on the Stanislaus National Forest in the central Sierra Nevada, remeasuring three large historical plots originally established in 1929 to evaluate…

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Methane hydrates and global warming

Dissolution of hydrates off Svalbard caused by natural processes Methane hydrates are fragile. At the sea floor the ice-like solid fuel composed of water and methane is only stable at high pressure and low temperature. In some areas, for instance in the North Atlantic off the coast of Svalbard, scientists have detected gas flares regularly. The reasons for their occurrence were still unclear but one hypothesis was that global warming might cause the dissolution of gas hydrates. Over the past…

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Environmental fiscal reform would improve the environment and reduce the informal economy

Researchers at the UPV/EHU-University of the Basque Country and the BC3 (Basque Centre for Climate Change) are proposing measures to improve the environment and the efficiency of the tax system: CO2 emissions should be taxed and taxes on labor should be The effect that the introduction of environmental fiscal reform would have on an economic system has been the focus of study since the 1990s. However, studies of this type have until now failed to take the informal economy into…

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Guest Post: How To Build Your Own Solar Panels

Thanks to Agnes Jimenez, for providing this post on how to build your own solar panels. There is no second opinion about the enormous benefits of solar electricity. With the ever rising prices of fuel and hence the on-grid electricity, the only viable option we are left with is to switch to the off-grid solar photovoltaic electricity for our household needs. As much attractive as it seems, the price of solar panels is one of the major reasons why people…

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Seattle Adopts Plan for Saving Energy Resources in City-Owned Buildings

Aims to Achieve 20% Energy Savings by 2020 The City of Seattle has adopted a Resource Conservation Management Plan (RCMP) that outlines how the City will reduce energy use in City-owned buildings 20% by 2020. A 20% energy use reduction by 2020 (compared to the 2008 baseline) would also result in utility cost savings of roughly $2.75 million per year after reaching the reduction goal. The RCMP was adopted by City Council resolution 31491 on December 16. While resource conservation is…

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World e-Waste Map Released

E-waste and managing its disposal in a safe way is a worldwide problem that won’t go away, especially as population numbers continue to grow. This e-waste map will assist individuals in understanding the scope of this danger. Annual world volume of end-of-life electronics expected to jump one-third to 65.4 million tonnes by 2017; New report details US generation and destinations of shipments of used electronics leaving households; methodology offers world guide By 2017, all of the year’s end-of-life refrigerators, TVs,…

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New Material for Solar Panels Could Make Them Cheaper and More Efficient

An expanding number of people and businesses show interest in using renewable energy solutions like solar. Cost is proving to be the stumbling block, however. Today, we are posting articles concerning the cost of solar, one concerning two studies from NREL about the soft costs of solar installation, and this press announcement from Argonne National Laboratory and the University of Pennsylvania about a new material that will contribute to reducing the costs of solar panels. A unique solar panel design…

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Asia’s Leading Environmental Show IE Expo 2014 Expands Sector for Air Pollution Control

Air pollution in China’s major cities hazardous to health IE expo 2014 During the next few years, environmental protection and improving the quality of the air in particular are one of the key topics facing the Chinese government. To adapt itself to the special needs of the Chinese market, IE expo 2014 is expanding the sector for air pollution control by adding new product categories. In doing so, it is reinforcing its leading position as China’s largest trade fair for…

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New Society Publishers: Two Coming Natural Building Books of Interest

We received word from New Society Publishers about two upcoming books that should interest readers at GBE. Natural building expert Chris Magwood’s newest book, Making Better Buildings: A Comparative Guide to Sustainable Construction for Homeowners and Contractors will be published next February. Making Better Buildings is the first book to systematically describe the real-world implications of the most popular green and natural building materials and techniques objectively presenting the pros, cons and overall viability of each. Chris Magwood has designed…

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Lucid Stead by Phillip K. Smith, III

“Lucid Stead” Project Statement – Phillip K. Smith, III After the long, dusty, bumpy, anxious trip out into the far edges of Joshua Tree, you open your car door and for the first time experience the quiet of the desert. It’s at that point that you realize you are in a place that is highly different than where you just came from. Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and…

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Financial decision makers need weather and climate information to manage risks

Climate change is no longer simply a political argument. Maximizing returns on financial investments depends on accurately understanding and effectively accounting for weather and climate risks, according to a new study by the American Meteorological Society (AMS) Policy Program. The study also found that weather events create and exacerbate risks to financial investments by causing 1) direct physical impacts on the investments themselves, 2) degradation of critical supporting infrastructure, 3) changes in the availability of key resources, 4) changes to…

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