Thursday, August 16, 2012

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Dynamic Solar Gets NY-Sun Funding

Posted: 16 Aug 2012 12:01 AM PDT

 
Dynamic Solar was one of the lucky 16 recipients of the $30 million New York (NY)-Sun award on Wednesday.

The purpose of the NY-Sun program is to help businesses and other organizations get electricity from solar energy sources.

The award will allow Dynamic Solar to finance photovoltaic (PV) commercial and industrial projects across New York City and the lower Hudson Valley area. The funding will also help Dynamic Solar to get projects onto the grid by 2013.

“These awards will help large commercial and industrial businesses to invest in solar power, stimulating economic development while helping reduce use of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases emissions,” said New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo in a statement.

“Through the NY-Sun program, the state continues to be a leader in the development of solar energy and making solar power a more attractive option for businesses. These investments will help create green jobs, while protecting the environment and leading to a more sustainable future for our state."

“Developing renewable energy resources is a primary goal of the Commission. Programs that encourage and strengthen renewable resources will help ensure a cleaner environment, ” said Garry Brown, Chairman of the New York State Public Service Commission.

The New York Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA) supports the NY-Sun fund.

Some examples of projects under this program may include projects at universities, colleges, schools, manufacturing facilities, department stores, and apartments.

Source: PR Newswire
Image: Octagon at Roosevelt Island PV Image via flicker


Footwear-Maker Woodland to Offer Indian Consumers Discounts for Buying Eco-Friendly Products

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 10:45 AM PDT

 
Leading leather footwear manufacturer in the Indian subcontinent Woodland has announced an innovative program to reward its customers through eco-friendly initiatives. The company has launched the Pro-Planet program and aims for carbon-neutral retail operations by 2015.

“We want all our stores to be carbon neutral retail chain by 2015, by adopting more environment-friendly measures including planting of saplings all over the country. 2-3 per cent of our profits (around Rs 10 crores) is earmarked for such eco-friendly initiatives every year,” says Harkirat Singh, MD, Woodland Worldwide.

Woodland will also encourage customers to exchange their carbon credits with discounts up to 15-20% on the woodland products.
 

 
A comprehensive carbon accounting has already been carried out in Woodland stores in Delhi and the southern state of Karnataka in order to measure the carbon footprint of each store throughout its retail operations. According to the data collected, 30 outlets in Karnataka have a carbon footprint of 1,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide, whereas 46 outlets in Delhi have a carbon footprint of 2,000 million tonnes of carbon dioxide

Harkirat Singh of Woodland Worldwide says, “We are encouraging our customers to go ‘green'. Our target group is youngsters between 16-24 years who are very informed and concerned about the environment,” says Singh.

Singh says he urges customers to not only go green but also purchase products from companies that follow same motto.

“Once, they buy environment friendly products and collect a carbon credit, they can come and submit it at our store, where we will give them discounts based on the credits. This way we are expecting to collect around 450 carbon credits, thereby doing our bit in helping the environment,” says Amol Dhillan, Vice-President, Strategy & Planning, Woodland India.

The campaign will also encourage customers to avail Woodland e-vouchers by reducing emissions for every solar water heater they use. This will help the stores to negate their carbon footprint by sharing the carbon credits of the customers.

According to the company officials, this green initiative is warmly welcomed by the South market. And the company is looking forward to introducing green camps in other cities to create awareness about the company's new 'carbon neutral' plan.

While the program requires strict accounting methodology to avoid issues like double accounting of the 'carbon credits', the initiative as such is highly appreciable as it would incentivize the customers to buy eco-friendly products not just from Woodland but other retail brands as well. The company is said to have partnered with MTV, Lufthansa, and Volkswagen for its eco-friendly initiatives.

The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only.


UK Study Finds Vampire Energy Bloody Costly

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 10:39 AM PDT

 
For those of you who love to waste money and energy, ignore the following: Unplug your electrical devices when not in use! Keeping gadgets plugged in sucks electricity out of your home and money from your wallet.

It’s the same old song and dance, but another study. This one, out of the UK, has found vampire energy to be more costly and wasteful than previously thought. The study, “Powering the nation- household electricity using-habits revealed,” showed that households could be spending up to $1,340 a year on appliances that are turned off, but still plugged in. As a nation, the study reports that the UK spends up to $2 billion yearly in electricity for non-active appliances.

So, think long and hard if you actually need all your cell phone/laptop/camera chargers plugged in tonight.

Source: Earth Techling
Image:  Carpathian Prince via Shutterstock


Cycle Superhighways in New York, Copenhagen, London

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 10:35 AM PDT

 

Cyclists are gaining ground in New York City, Copenhagen, and London. The City Fix recently reported that New York City has more than 300 miles of bike lanes throughout all five boroughs, and a bike-sharing service that will have at least 10,000 bikes has started in the city.

London is doing well with its biking routes, adding more than 72 miles of cycling paths to connect the city center and outer boroughs. It also has a fairly large bike-sharing system (or scheme, as they call it) in place.
 

 
But the big daddy of all the cycling superhighways is Copenhagen. In April, the city planners opened the first of 26 routes that will connect the suburbs to the city. The additional 186 miles of routes will add to an impressive 217 miles of existing cycle ways. And the icing on the cake: Copenhagen also has a free bike-sharing system.

Source: The City Fix
Image: Parys Ryszard via Shutterstock 


Electric Hybrid Trucks & SUVs from Via Motors Could Be a Game Changer

Posted: 15 Aug 2012 12:19 AM PDT

 
Don't look now, but it looks like the evolution of electric automobiles may finally be turning towards trucks and sports utility vehicles (SUVs) thanks to Via Motors.

Recently, I watched a video featuring Jay Leno' s Garage. In the 12-minute video, Leno discusses what "more or less is a truck version of the Chevy Volt," called VTrux. Via Motors board member Bob Lutz, who was instrumental in getting the Chevy Volt off the ground, further discussed the potential of these new hybrid electric trucks and SUVs in the market.

What I found interesting is that the new hybrid electric pickup truck will allow you to drive the first 40 miles purely on electricity, resulting in close to zero emissions. That is partly thanks to a 24kWh Li-ion battery pack as part of the Via Motors Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) power train. The vehicle takes about four hours to charge at 220, according to CarTech.

After it reaches the first 40 miles, a small V6 engine can give the truck an extra 400 miles, according to Lutz.
 

 
The new hybrid electric trucks will get around 100 estimated miles per gallon in fuel economy, according to Via Motors website. The company even points out that the new electric hybrid trucks can cut 75% off fuel costs. Meanwhile, charging the vehicle daily can possibly reduce refilling the gas tank to even less than ten times a year, and cost six cents per mile (driving in electric mode).

General Motors builds the basic specs of the truck, then sends it to Via Motors, who then electrically modifies it, Lutz said.

Currently, the first deliveries are going to big fleets, including PG&E, who are testing it out, Lutz said.  He expects high-volume production of standardized vehicles is eight to nine months out.

While some may have moaned about gas-guzzling SUV and pick-up trucks as environmentally unsustainable in the past (or even today), and sales of SUVs and pickup trucks have slowed in recent years, the idea of a hybrid electric pickup truck may pump some new life into the truck market, as Lutz acknowledged in the video. He noted that the drop in sales is due to high gas prices and their negative environmental impact. Of course, electric hybrid trucks get around both of those hurdles.

Sources:  egm CarTech, Via Motors
Image Credit: VTrux via Flickr


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