- Australia Buys 270-MW Wind Order from Siemens
- Scotland Opens World’s Largest Marine Energy Park
- Portugal to Export Solar Energy to Germany
- Additional 223 MW of Solar Sought in New Jersey
- Olympic Park Receives Green Energy Boost
- Scotland Launches Marine Energy Park to Boost R&D in Wave, Tidal Energy
- Gamesa to Bring an Additional 48 MW of Wind Power to China
- WalMart Celebrates 100th California Solar Installation
- Making Green More Macho
- Another Convert… EV-Doubting Racecar Driver Falls in Love with EVs
- Intro & Closer Look at German Solar Power Revolution
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 10:27 PM PDT
Siemens has received a wind order for 270 megawatts (MW) in Australia for the Snowtown II wind farm from energy retailer TrustPower.
The order will include 90 turbines, while Siemens will also provide maintenance as part of the agreement.
Installing the wind turbines will commence in 2013, with the wind power plant coming online by 2014.
The latest wind order will add towards the already 2,000 MW of wind energy now in the country. It's estimated, by 2016, Australia could have as much as 6,000 MW of wind power.
Located approximately 140 kilometres north of Adelaide, the Snowtown II wind farm will be one of the largest wind farms in the country. The project is also expected to give clean power to the equivalent of 180,000 homes in the region.
Through Siemens’ Environmental Portfolio during the fiscal year 2011, 320 million tons of carbon dioxide have been reduced from the atmosphere.
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 10:18 PM PDT
Scotland opened its first — and the world’s largest — marine energy park earlier this week. The Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters Marine Energy Park (MEP) is expected to have a power capacity of up to 1.6 GW.
The UK leads tidal power in the world, with 46 power devices under development, including the South West MEP that opened earlier in 2012. The US comes in second with 17 tidal power devices, while Canada has 10, ranking third.
It’s estimated that tidal power could create 26,000 jobs and supply up to 20 percent of the UK’s electricity needs by 2050. However, some are still skeptical of the new technology with its high cost of project implementation and difficulty attracting investors.
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 10:16 PM PDT
Once again, renewable energy is proving to be critical in strengthening shaky economies. To make some cash and ease its budget crisis, Portugal is looking to export solar power to Germany.
Luz.On, a Portuguese solar company, is aiming to set up solar parks that will then supply power to more northern nations, especially those with higher renewable energy incentives.
The road to solar exporting isn’t all that easy, though, and Luz.On might face some difficulties navigating the differences between European nations’ energy export laws.
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 07:32 PM PDT
If approved, the very large investment has been estimated to create about 300 jobs each year for five years.
“New Jersey is a national leader in the solar industry. This Administration pledges to continue moving forward with our commitment to develop renewable sources of energy and with corporate partners like PSEG, New Jersey will continue to lead the way,” said New Jersey governor Chris Christie (Source: PSEG)
New Jersey is rated number two among US states for installed solar capacity with 775 MW. California is the leader, with Colorado, Arizona, and Nevada rounding out the top five.
In the first quarter of 2012, New Jersey lead the country in solar installations with 174 MW.
Part of the state’s solar plan includes converting vacant lots, old football fields and brownfields into solar power plants.
Image Credit: Mwanner, Wiki Commons
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 07:25 PM PDT
The Stratford site was originally supposed to be home to a single massive three-blade turbine, but that idea was rejected due to the likelihood that the turbine wouldn’t be any good in the urban environment.
Organisers confirmed on Tuesday that seven vertical axis wind turbines had been installed on the grounds of Olympic Park. Provided by British wind turbine manufacturer Quiet Revolution, the 18-metre tall turbines boast an 8kW capacity and are capable of providing up to 7,500 kWh of power a year if the average wind speeds hover around seven metres a second.
A spokesman for the Olympic Delivery Authority said each turbine cost £40,000, adding that they are expected to pay for themselves within 12 years.
“Sustainability has been designed into the project from the beginning, and as a result the ODA will significantly exceed its 50 per cent target to reduce the carbon footprint of the construction of the Olympic Park,” he said.
“These seven turbines serve a valuable dual function by providing 40 per cent of the energy for high-powered streetlights as well contributing to the overall renewable energy target. The turbines are connected to the Park’s energy supply, which feed renewable energy into the Olympic Park energy network during the day, which offsets power used by the lamp at night.”
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 07:12 PM PDT
Scotland officially launched its first marine energy park in Pentland Firth. Pentland Firth separates Orkney Islands from Caithness in the north of Scotland and the region is known for its turbulent waters with tides being among the fastest in the world.
The park aims to create investment and research opportunities in the marine energy sector. The park will house already established world's leading European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC), which tests wave and tidal energy devices with developers from all over the world.
EMEC was established in 2003 with £30 billion funding from UK and Scottish governments, local councils, and the European Union. It has 14 full-scale test berths for testing both wave and tidal energy converters. Companies like Scottish Power Renewables and E.ON use EMEC to test wave power capture machines.
The park will be jointly promoted by UK and Scottish government to attract private investment in the tidal and wave energy sector and marine energy student from universities.
The marine energy park was officially launched by UK Energy Minister, Greg Barker at the Caithness port of Scrabster.
Pentland Firth and Orkney Waters is the first area in UK to be made available for the commercial wave and tidal power development. The Crown Estate, a commercial property business firm, has awarded licences to developers to build up to 1.6 GW of marine energy capacity in the Pentland Firth and Orkney area, making it the largest wave and tidal development zone in the world.
UK's energy minister, Greg Barker said, “Marine power is a growing green, clean source of power which has the potential to sustain thousands of jobs in a sector worth a possible £15 billion to the economy by 2050.”
He also said that energy from waves or tides has the potential to generate 27 GW of electricity alone in UK by 2050, which is equivalent to the power generated from eight coal-fired power plants. The UK government has also announced details of UK's first marine energy park located off southwest England earlier this year.
The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 07:09 PM PDT
Spanish wind turbine manufacturer Gamesa, has recently signed a deal with Chinese company Huadian Group to offer an extra 48 megawatts (MW) of wind energy to the Liyushian wind farm in the Chinese province of Fuijan.
The deal will allow Gamesa to give its G87-2.0MW wind turbines to Huadian Group, which will be delivered onsite by August 31, 2012.
There has also been some improvements made to the G87-2.0MW wind turbine compared to the G80-2.0MW wind turbine as noted below:
Gamesa, since 2000, has installed near 3,000 wind turbines in China at more than 60 sites.
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 07:05 PM PDT
Walmart reached a very special renewable energy milestone this week. The mammoth retail giant revealed San Diego’s College Avenue store as it’s 100th store in California to use rooftop solar panels. It’s all part of the broad range plan to have 100% of their energy come from renewable sources.
"At Walmart, we believe sustainability is about living better," said Kimberly Sentovich, Senior Vice President of the Pacific Division for Walmart, in a statement
"By using one of California's greatest resources – sunshine – and employing renewable technology with our California-based partners, we will continue developing solutions that are both good for the environment and good for business," she said.
The retail giant has worked with Californian-based solar company SolarCity to help create more than 3,000 California contract construction jobs.
Meanwhile, SolarCity has hired 1,213 new employees since taking on its first Walmart project back in September 2010.
While WalMart’s run of sustainable development in solar energy by teaming up with SolarCity has been good for job creation, it also has an extremely positive effect on the environment.
Accordiing to Walmart, its efforts in going towards solar power in California will create 70 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of renewable clean power each year. That’s approximately the same as powering more than 5,400 homes.
It also means 21,700 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each year will be taken out of the atmosphere, or the same as 4,100 cars off the road.
Meanwhile, solar power will give about 10% to 30% of the facilities’ electricity needs.
"Walmart is showing other businesses that you can create jobs and reduce air pollution by using better energy," said SolarCity CEO Lyndon Rive in a statement.
"In Walmart, other businesses seeking efficiency and smart energy policy have a strong example to follow," she said.
Los Angeles leads the way with 43 stores that have solar technology installed, followed by the Bay Area with 17 stores, and San Diego with 13.
Local politicians and environmentalists applauded the recent milestone.
"Walmart has demonstrated a real commitment to solar energy systems here in San Diego and throughout California, and hopefully other companies will make the move to do the same on their rooftops," said Tony Young, San Diego City Council President in a statement.
"This latest renewable energy effort is another step forward in San Diego's clean-energy mission and will help make our city a better, more sustainable place for current residents and our next generation," he said.
"Walmart does not just talk the talk, it walks the walk," said Mary D. Nichols, Chair of the California Air Resources Board in the statement.
"Walmart's work to expand and accelerate its solar power initiative program here in California demonstrates its commitment to sustainability. Walmart has helped create local jobs, reduce costs for its own operations, and protect the environment. We encourage other businesses to follow Walmart's lead," she said.
Meanwhile, Gwen Ruta, vice president of Environmental Defense Fund's Corporate Partnership Program, in the statement praised WalMart’s work on promoting the green economy with it’s 100th solar installation in California.
Source & Photo Credit: WalMart
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 04:00 AM PDT
"It's kind of embarrassing," Emmanuel of Oakland, California, responded when asked about carrying a reusable shopping bag. "It looks like a man-purse."1
Emmanuel was part of a recent OgilvyEarth study entitled, Mainstream Green: Moving Sustainability from Niche to Normal, which investigated the discrepancy between Americans' actions and intentions around sustainable living and shopping behaviors, otherwise known as the Green Gap. Drawing from interviews of environmental experts, ethnographies of urban consumers, and 1,800 survey respondents representative of the U.S. adult population, OgilvyEarth's research confirmed that the Green Gap is driven partly by avoidance of the "crunchy granola hippy" and "rich elitist snob" images of going green.
What sparked media buzz, however, was OgilvyEarth's conclusion that men like Emmanuel are often self-conscious about using canvas shopping bags, drinking from reusable water bottles, or driving Prius hybrids. Put simply, men saw green as too feminine. Among surveyed respondents, 85 percent said that they saw women as more involved than men in the environmental movement, and 82 percent said that going green was definitely more feminine than masculine. Indeed, when segmenting respondents by their green activities, women dominated the ranks of "Super Greens" whereas men were more often identified as "Green Rejecters."
OgilvyEarth's gender gap findings aren't surprising. Past academic studies and polls have long found that women tend to express greater environmental responsibility than men.2-4 Given that moms do most of the shopping, cooking, and maintaining of households—controlling 85 percent of household spending5—green marketers have instinctively crafted their advertising and products to appeal to women. This strategy may be holding back the embrace of green behaviors by men.
Lessons from the famously successful Don't Mess with Texas campaign are instructive in how green can be made more macho through message framing that connects sustainability and masculine values.
Don't Mess with Texas
Some people think it's the state motto, but Tim McClure of the Austin-based ad agency GSD&M first coined the ubiquitous Don't Mess with Texas slogan as part of the State Department of Highways and Public Transportation's 1985 anti-littering campaign.6 The slogan started out as a simple bumper sticker. The televised 1986 Cotton Bowl football game included blues music legend Stevie Ray Vaughan turning to his audience after a stirring rendition of "The Eyes of Texas" to drawl, "Don't mess with Texas." He had struck a chord. Fans went wild.
The campaign's primary target—males aged 16 to 24 who had previously thought little about tossing trash on Texas roadways—were swayed. Don't Mess with Texas bumper stickers appeared on pickup trucks across the state and, according to the Institute for Applied Research, within its first year, the campaign reduced roadside trash by 29 percent. By 1990, litter was reduced by more than 72 percent!
Vaughan and a parade of other star Texan musicians, athletes, actors, and comedians lent their talents to Don't Mess with Texas commercials to broaden the appeal to these young men. Through music and humor, they told a story that trashing Texas was simply unbecoming of "real" Texans.
The catchphrase eventually appeared on everything from hats to apparel to coffee mugs. It became a punch line in movies, political campaigns, and sports. Don't Mess with Texas was embedded in pop culture. The campaign endures today, exhibiting extremely high awareness and public understanding of the slogan's meaning.7
Winning Hearts over Minds
Don't Mess with Texas united a green behavior—anti-littering—with what was near and dear to the hearts of young macho Texans—Texas pride. The state's tough history and self-reliant culture are exceptionally potent among young males, and the slogan cast litterers as "outsiders" or "imposters" insulting the honor of Texas.
Interestingly, not everyone liked Don't Mess with Texas when it was first proposed. Representatives of Keep Texas Beautiful requested the slogan be tweaked to "Pleasedon't mess with Texas." The idea was rejected. The slogan needed to be an acerbic decree, using the very same bristly patois respected and used by its audience.
In a 2006 retrospect on the campaign, McClure and his colleague Roy Spence wrote, "identifying the target audience and targeting a message to them in their own anthropological language can work wonders."6
More formally, messages that appeal to mental "frames"—the cognitive structures that people use to understand and interpret reality8—home in on people's values, assumptions, and aspirations to better connect and resonate with a target audience. This kind of message framing encourages people to act on their deepest heartfelt ideals and beliefs by appealing to emotions, rather than just logic. Nike's famous Just Do It campaign dares young athletes to pursue their passions without excuse—by purchasing Nike shoes, of course.
Green marketing research indicates that framing green product advertising along consumers' self-interests and values, rather than on broad messages of "save the planet," can expand mainstream appeal.9 For example, framing toxic-free carpet cleaner as "safe for crawling babies" provides a compelling emotional appeal to parents regardless of the product's environmental benefit.
Building a Macho Frame
Message framing and strong narratives can help develop a more masculine image for sustainability by tapping into the deep and motivational macho values of target audiences. While the Don't Mess with Texas slogan called men to protect the honor of Texas, macho-ness may be manifested by other values such as:
Some green marketers are already leveraging these macho values effectively in their advertising and product design. Tesla Motors, for example, has framed its sleekly designed plug-in electric vehicles with adrenalin-rushing speed capabilities and heart-pumping ads to appeal to the macho competitiveness and risk-taking of affluent male drivers. Likewise, Patagonia's advertising has aligned its environmentally responsible clothing and gear with outdoor enthusiasts' aspirations of self-reliance, ambition, and respect for nature.
Narrative connects issues with values.11 It can bring abstract ideas to life. Compelling stories told again and again, or with variation, can educate and persuade audiences about their relationship to issues and why they should care.
One popular Don't Mess with Texas commercial in 1986, for example, showed Dallas Cowboy football stars Randy White and Ed "Too Tall" Jones trash talking as they picked up litter along the road.12
Announcer: "What are a couple of football stars doing alongside the road?"
The commercial conveyed all the elements of a good macho narrative—conflict between villains (litterers disrespecting Texas) and admired brawny heroes (football stars picking up trash) with a clear moral: dispose of your trash responsibly. White and Jones exhibited the masculine values of duty, responsibility, and honor with a clear aggressive warning—mess with Texas, and they'd mess with you.
A Green Marlboro Man?
OgilvyEarth's study concluded that sustainability needs its own Marlboro Man—the iconic cowboy who changed the image of the once "mild as May" filtered women's Marlboro Cigarette in the 1950s.13 Within months of his introduction, the attractive but menacingly emotionless roughneck working in the rugged outdoors transformed Marlboro into the macho cigarette brand.
Turbine cowboys. Wind power could draw on a parallel all-American, self-reliant cowboy figure, given that wind projects are typically sited on cattle ranges in the rural heartland. Interestingly, Texas oilman T. Boone Pickens, who often sports a Stetson hat, has become one of America's leading wind energy advocates. His Pickens Plan promotes domestic wind and natural gas development as economically rational and good for America, and his "army" of Pickens Plan followers has become a significant grassroots movement.14,15
In a related bit of irony, the big oil-and-gas state of Texas leads the country in wind energy development, and many rural Texas communities proudly promote their wind farms. Billboards by the Economic Development Corporation of Pampa, Texas, tout, "Where the wheat grows, the oil flows, and the wind blows," and portray wind turbines alongside Texan landscape fixtures like livestock, crops, and oil derricks.
The Weather Channel's new reality TV series Turbine Cowboys capitalizes on the perceived riskiness of wind farm construction,16 following the path of other popular "macho job" cable programming like Ice Road Truckers and Deadliest Catch. These programs aim at professional male viewers longing for the blue-collar perils and physical excitement of jobs that subdue nature.17 Many other green jobs have a similar masculine appeal—from construction workers retrofitting buildings for energy efficiency to drilling rig operators boring steam wells for geothermal power.
Narratives celebrating the skill, courage, and resourcefulness of macho American cowboys and workers striving to win energy independence and freedom from despotic oil-rich nations could broaden the acceptance of renewable energy and green jobs.
Army green. Probably the most macho of professions pursuing green is the military. Oil has long been the lifeblood of the U.S. military to move men, machines, and munitions. The recent wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, however, have exposed the security risks of such oil dependence. War-zone oil transports have become easy targets, with over 3,000 American soldiers and contractors killed in military fuel convoys between 2003 and 2007.18
Consequently, the Pentagon has launched alternative energy and efficiency measures to reduce the military's oil dependence. A Marines combat unit in Afghanistan, for example, has been outfitted with portable solar panels to recharge electronics, eliminating the need for electric generator fuel. The Army is developing hybrid trucks, and the Air Force has been flying planes on biofuels for years.
Retired military generals Wesley Clark and Colin Powell have become leading advocates of American renewable energy for the sake of national security and energy independence.
Commercial green products inspired by military uses, such as solar-clad camouflage tents, solar-powered backpacks, and roll-up solar mat chargers, could appeal to hunters and outdoor enthusiasts. Green industries could do well by honoring returned military veterans with employment opportunities building a new, more energy-secure and independent America.
Mean, green driving machine. Probably, the most suspect of green initiatives today is the plug-in electric vehicle (EV). President Obama wants one million EVs on the road by 2015, but sales have so far been anemic and the public narrative has gone awry over "range anxiety," the Chevrolet Volt's crash test battery fires, and the Nissan Leaf's wimpy golf cart looks.19 A bizarre TV ad showing a thankful polar bear hugging a Leaf owner has many viewers scratching their heads.20 The Leaf may be good for polar bears because of low emissions, but what's in it for drivers?
Cars are sold to reflect aspirations and personalities. To appeal to the macho heart, EVs must match beloved, traditional, gasoline-powered cars in style, performance, and name. Compared to the masculine competitiveness of the Charger or Patriot, or the sex appeal of the Viper or Mustang, names like Volt and Leaf simply don't cut it.
While EVs can't rev and roar beyond the whisper of a refrigerator, marketers should focus on their macho realities. The constant torque of EVs provides for a potential acceleration punch that can best high-performance gasoline-powered cars. Motor Trend confirmed that the Tesla Roadster Sport can race from zero to 60 miles per hour in 3.7 seconds.21Ads showing EVs tethered to electrical plug outlets should be abandoned in favor of ads depicting aerodynamic EVs speeding past high-priced gasoline signs on the open road—an appeal to the macho values of self-determination and freedom from oil.
Don't Mess with Macho Dads
As the Don't Mess with Texas campaign illustrates, savvy message framing and marketing can encourage green actions among men who are otherwise indifferent to most environmental concerns. Many sustainability issues have ready-built macho narratives that could bridge sustainability's gender gap if promoted effectively—think the ruggedness of Patagonia, the power of Tesla.
Perhaps the most macho of responsibilities for men is that of being a father. Marketing research indicates that men often worry about having what it takes to be a good dad, and most men wish they could spend more quality time with their kids.22 Marketers can engage these aspirations by framing sustainable behaviors and using green products as opportunities for fathers to be role models and providers for their children.
One path forward may be narratives portraying dads spending quality time with their children recycling cans, bike riding to the park, protecting wildlife on camping trips, improving home efficiency by installing LEDs and caulking windows, visiting solar farms, and remembering to bring the reusable shopping bag to the supermarket—even if the bag resembles a man-purse. Aligning sustainability issues with being a good dad can help men become green mentors for the next generation. Drawing on a father's love and sense of duty, responsibility, and integrity can make green more macho.
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 02:00 AM PDT
Here’s the full Gas2 post and video:
Video: Rally Driver Bill Caswell Becomes An EV Believer (via Gas 2.0)
There are plenty of people in the world of motorsports who will dismiss electric vehicles as a distraction, unable to compete on a professional level. And while electric vehicle racers are slowly winning the hearts and minds of doubters, sometimes a reformed doubter can the strongest advocate. Bill…
Posted: 01 Aug 2012 01:00 AM PDT
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