Saturday, November 5, 2011

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Latest from: CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Share, Tweet, etc. a Post to Invest in Wind Power

Posted: 05 Nov 2011 08:32 AM PDT

wind power offsets

The original founder of one of our sister sites, Planetsave, has started a new project/website — Clickitforgood.com. Basically, he gets green businesses to sponsor actions geared at helping the environment (and, thus, the world). And the sponsorship is based on the social media (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Google+) shares the post gets. I’ve been covering his posts over on Planetsave as they are published (note: he is no longer affiliated with Planetsave in any way), but the most recent one is a clear fit for a story here on CleanTechnica.

The beneficiary of his most recent post’s shares is Renewable Energy Choice Wind Power. With every social media click, 83.5 carbon dioxide pollution will be offset. And if you subscribe to Clickitforgood.com, they will offset a total of 334 pounds of carbon dioxide pollution.

Simple, eh?

Head on over to Share this post for free wind power – Reduce your carbon footprint! to use your clicks for good (well, more so than normal…).

Wind Turbines photo by Auntie K

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Occupy Your Rooftop on Community Solar Day

Posted: 05 Nov 2011 07:26 AM PDT

Yes, the Occupy movement has officially spread to the solar power movement, as it rightfully should. Big business has too much control over our energy policy, our energy habits, our climate, and our communities. It is stalling governmental clean energy action. However, everyone can vote with their money and we can “democratize” our electricity system more by installing solar power on our roofs (if we have them).

occupy your roof community solar day

Community Solar Day, November 20, is the day you could join the movement to get a large portion of our electricity from rooftop solar power.

And, remember, the return on investment (ROI) from putting solar on your roof probably creams the ROI of keeping your money in a savings account or investing it on the stock market.

“As the protesters leading the Occupy Wall Street movement decry the big banks that crashed the economy, robo-foreclose people’s homes and continue to finance mega fossil fuel projects like the Tar Sands, community solar represents one path forward: clean energy created for and by the people,” the folks at Solar Mosaic on its Solar Day page.

“Community solar projects are taking the first steps toward a future where people can move their money out of low-yield savings accounts and into safe and high-yield solar investments that lower carbon emissions and create green jobs and local prosperity.”

Where Will You Be on Community Solar Day?

Solar Mosaic has a map where you can sign up and show that you are going solar on November 20 (also available at meetup.com). You can also add a picture or more of your solar installation to help inspire others.

Activist group Power Shift (as well as numerous others) is also pushing involvement in the day. Lisa Curtis of Power Shift writes:

“Since most of us agree that we support solar to create jobs and reduce reliance on fossil fuels–why not bring those benefits to our own communities by starting a community solar project? On November 20th, I plan to hold a potluck at my church where quite a few church members have expressed interest in going solar. On November 20th, where will you occupy???”

So, will you join in?

Community Solar Day image via meetup.com

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Take Action: Tell Congress to Continue Critical Clean Energy Policies

Posted: 05 Nov 2011 05:59 AM PDT

Solar power, wind power, and even geothermal power have boomed in recent years in the U.S., making the country a leader in these fields. They’ve partly boomed due to dropping costs, more efficient technologies, and more energy-conscious people and businesses. However, a huge part of their growth has been due to a couple of government policies — the federal Production Tax Credit (PTC) and the federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC).

These are set to expire, unfortunately, but a couple of Congressmen, Representative Reichert (R-WA-08) and Representative Blumenauer (D-OR-03), introduced a bill to extend the renewable energy production tax credit on November 2. You can encourage your Representative to support this bill in seconds on this wind power action page. Please do so now!

clean energy action congress

Energy Subsidies Should be More Fair

Now, if you try to make the argument that clean energy shouldn’t be living on subsidies, fine, but that would mean that fossil fuels and nuclear power shouldn’t be living on subsidies either (they get trillions of dollars in subsidies every decade and don’t have to worry about those subsidies expiring like the clean energy industry does). Also, I think it’s important to note that subsidies are often used to get a new or young industry that provides important societal benefits going, and fossil fuel and nuclear industries received a ton more subsidies in their early development than wind and solar. Who’s is getting the short end of the stick when it comes to government subsidies?

A coalition of 24 governors from both the Republican and Democratic party and from each region of the country have gotten behind an extension of the PTC and ITC. I’m sure that number will grow. But Congress has to hear your voice, as well. (The governors are actually calling for much more than this, if you’re interested in reading more about their call to action.)

Now, if you think these subsidies aren’t doing anything, don’t worry, I’ve got an answer for that, too.

clean energy investment needed take action

Clean Energy Subsidies are Creating Jobs, Making the U.S. a Clean Energy Leader

Compared to the previous year, when the PTC has expired and not been immediately renewed, wind energy installations have fallen up to 93% compared to the previous year! The PTC lowers the cost of wind by 90%. Wind power has grown a ton in the U.S. in the last few years and we now have the second-most installed wind power in the world (only behind China — note the image above). Last year, we also had the second-most newly installed wind power (only behind China). We have enough wind power installed to power approximately 10 million homes now! And we have 400 U.S. manufacturing facilities for wind across the U.S. creating thousands of jobs. I could go on and on, but I hope you get the point.

The solar energy situation is similar:

  1. The U.S. solar industry now employs over 100,000 people (more than the coal industry).
  2. The U.S. solar industry is the fastest-growing industry in the country (creating jobs 10 times faster than the rest of the U.S. economy).
  3. There are over 5,000 solar companies across the U.S., some in every state.
  4. Solar PV installations have grown 69% over the last year (40 times faster than the U.S. economy as a whole).
  5. The U.S. solar energy industry is a net exporter, by $2 billion (and is even a net exporter to China).

I could go on and on, but the important point today is that these federal policies are important to solar continued rapid growth. Solar Energy Industry Association president Rhone Resch said last month: "an extension of the 1603 program even for just one year will support 37,000 additional jobs and deploy 2,000 additional megawatts of solar capacity. Let me repeat that – 37,000 new jobs next year."

Clean energy is widely supported by the public, but without pressure on our Congress people, I think you and I both now that most of them will pay more attention to the lobbyists and their political donors (largely the big, rich fossil fuel industry).

So, take action today!

(More on the governors’ call to clean energy action here.)

Photo Credits: UOPowerShift09Third Way

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Hong Kong Police Get Electric Motorcycles

Posted: 05 Nov 2011 04:00 AM PDT

I have to say, I’ve never really cared for motorcycles, but I’m into Hong Kong’s new electric motorbikes. (Go ahead, start making the jokes.)

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