- Climate Change Is Already Costing the Global Economy & 400,000 Lives/Year, Finds Report
- NREL, University of Massachusetts to Collaborate on Marine Energy Research
- Kyocera to Supply 30 MW of Modules for Solar Power Plant in Northern Japan
- South Asia’s Largest Solar PV Plant, Powered by Suntech, Commissioned in Thailand
- First Solar to Build New Mexico Solar Projects Totaling 20 MW for PNM
- Cleantech Link Love
- Busted, Part Deux! Fracking Chemicals Found in Wyoming Water Supply
- Denmark Renewable Energy Generation 40.7% of Electricity Produced in 2011, Wind Energy 28.1%
- Georgia Power to Boost Solar Portfolio to 210 MW over 3 Years
- Ivy League Brains Figure Out How to Make Biodegradable Plastic from Greenhouse Gases
- UK Energy Industry by the Numbers
- Smartphones + Shared Electric Scooters in San Francisco (Scoot)
- 40 MW of Wind Power to be Installed in Northern Poland
- No Brainer — Commercial Buildings Should Save Money by Becoming More Energy Efficient
Posted: 29 Sep 2012 12:00 AM PDT
Developing countries have so far been bearing the brunt of the damage, according to the research. The agricultural production systems there, when damaged by extreme weather, directly cause the deaths of the people depending on them; from malnutrition, poverty, and associated diseases.
Maybe surprising to some people, air pollution from the burning of fossil fuels is itself contributing to the deaths of at the very least 4.5 million people a year, the report found.
By the researchers’ estimate, by 2030, the “cost of climate change and air pollution combined will rise to 3.2% of global GDP, with the world’s least developed countries forecast to bear the brunt, suffering losses of up to 11% of their GDP.”
Sheikh Hasina, prime minister of Bangladesh, said: “A 1C rise in temperature [temperatures have already risen by 0.7C globally since the end of the 19th century] is associated with 10% productivity loss in farming. For us, it means losing about 4m tonnes of food grain, amounting to about $2.5bn. That is about 2% of our GDP. Adding up the damages to property and other losses, we are faced with a total loss of about 3-4% of GDP. Without these losses, we could have easily secured much higher growth.”
Even though the damage has been the worst in developing countries so far, major economies will start to see large damage as the extremes of weather intensify: “droughts, floods and more severe storms – could wipe 2% of the GDP of the US by 2030, while similar effects could cost China $1.2tr by the same date.”
Despite the view taken by many governments that climate change is only a long-term issue, a rapidly growing number of researchers are of the opinion that many recent disasters and events are at least somewhat attributable to climate change. The increasingly rapid melting of the Arctic sea ice is the most obvious of these events — the sea ice melt reached a new record minimum this year, and could be gone by the decade’s end if melting continues at a similar rate. And in the US, the severe and ongoing droughts have substantially raised food prices, and the disrupted monsoon in India has led to widespread agricultural destruction.
Connie Hedegaard, the European Union’s climate chief, last week said: “Climate change and weather extremes are not about a distant future…. Formerly one-off extreme weather episodes seem to be becoming the new normal.”
Michael Zammit Cutajar, former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said: “Climate change is not just a distant threat but a present danger – its economic impact is already with us.”
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 10:30 PM PDT
According to the announcement made by MREC, research will be conducted for three years. MREC is currently leading a pilot marine energy program in the Muskeget Channel off Nantucket. The testing of tidal energy turbines has already started at the site.
During the initial years of the research program, teams from NREL and MREC will focus on developing the test protocols, and assessing the sites and infrastructure for the development of marine energy in the region.
These implementation and testing standards are crucial to industry development, said Miller, MREC executive director.
“The key (to advancing the industry) is to adhere to the same standards and protocols so someone who wants to develop new technology can get into the ocean as quick as possible,” he said. While development is underway, the industry has many steps to take before it is producing energy in a viable, cost-effective way, according to Miller.
Miller described current industry activity as a mix of collaboration and competition with an understanding that venture capital and other funding dollars will likely go to the industry’s leaders.
This collaboration should provide a good research opportunity for the development of marine energy in the region. NREL laboratory is equipped with advanced facilities for testing offshore wind and water power devices, and it maintains a staff of offshore-trained test engineers and technicians who conduct field measurements to verify machine performance and dynamic response.
Image Source: Tony Hisgett
The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only.
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 10:00 PM PDT
This plant is expected to generate enough electricity to power 9,600 households and offset approximately 11,000 tons of CO2 annually.
Construction is slated to start this October, and it is expected to commence operation in March of 2014.
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 05:35 PM PDT
The project is owned by Bangchak Public Petroleum Co., Ltd (BCP), which is engaged in refining and marketing of petroleum products in Thailand. The solar modules for the project were supplied by Suntech, and the engineering, procurement, and construction (EPC) contract was undertaken by Solartron Public Co. Ltd.
In order to educate the community and local people about solar energy, an exhibition center has also been built at the site.
Mr. Bundit Sapianchai, Senior Executive Vice President of Bangchak Petroleum Public Co., Ltd, said: “The Sunny Bangchak project represents an important step in BCP’s aim to promote a green environment and sustainable business in Thailand. Our visitor center at the site will be a landmark for renewable education in Thailand. We chose Suntech because of their excellent track record around the world and their high-efficiency panels which are specifically suited to Thailand’s hot and humid climate.”
"Thailand benefits from strong year-round solar radiation and immense government support and policies which makes it a viable location for solar power development," said Smiti Mittal, engineer at a leading multinational solar engineering firm. "Many private developers have started investing in solar sector in Thailand. Thai government's incentive program wherein solar power projects receive an adder tariff is driving the interest of companies in solar sector from all over the globe," added Ms Mittal.
The country also houses the largest installation of 73 MW NED plant in the Lopburi district, which when fully commissioned will be one of the largest installations of its kind in the world.
Image Credit: Solar panels via Waynenf
The views presented in the above article are author's personal views only
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 05:31 PM PDT
These new solar projects are in addition to five projects totaling 22 MW that First Solar completed for PNM in 2011, and they could be operational as early as 2013. Although, the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission has to approve the project first, which can delay it, but it is supposed to make its final decision in the fourth quarter of 2012.
“First Solar is very pleased to be working again with a leader in renewable energy like PNM,” said Jim Tyler, First Solar Vice President of Engineering, Procurement and Construction. “Our advanced technology and unparalleled experience designing and building solar power plants will help ensure PNM’s customers enjoy many years of clean, reliable solar electricity.”
Source: First Solar
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 07:47 AM PDT
2014 Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive Makes Official, Expensive Debut. “One of the most exciting cars in the electric vehicle world has been the Mercedes SLS AMG E-Cell concept. Well, the official version will be called the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG Electric Drive, and it retains the crazy horsepower, pure-electric power, and insane speeds of the concept.
“And you can only buy it if you live in Europe and can afford to shell out
Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo e-Hybrid Offers 416 Horsepower, 67 MPG. “If any luxury car maker has full-on embraced the potential for hybrid technology, it is Porsche. Their latest concept, the Porsche Panamera Sport Turismo (which I assume is German for ‘kickass station wagon’), is propelled by a plug-in hybrid system that offers up to 67 mpg and 416 horsepower. In the words of George Takei, ‘Ohhh yessssss.’”
California Legalizes Self-Driving Cars. “Mankind has long dreamed about ‘self-driving’ cars, but oddly enough it may be an Internet company, rather than a car company, that makes self-driving cars a reality. Thanks to Google's lobbying efforts, self-driving cars are now legal in the state of California. The ramifications are huge.”
“Huge,” as in, really, really, really big.
Two Teams Complete Round-The-World EV Journey Days Apart. “The Tesla Roadster driven by Rafael de Mestre managed to complete his round-the-world journey on September 16th. He drove over 16,000 miles in under 80 days, becoming the first person to drive around the world in an electric car.
“His competition meanwhile, two Frenchmen driving the Citroen C-Zero, a modified version of the Mitsubishi i, took 8 months to complete their own 16,000 mile journey.”
Audi Crosslane Concept Is A Sporty Hybrid Coupe Worth Building. “Once boring and easy to passover, hybrid concept cars now represent some of the most interesting machines on the show floor. The 2012 Paris Auto Show has its fair share of hybrids, though on of the most interesting is the Audi Crosslane Concept. Part coupe, part crossover, and part convertible, this stylish hybrid wants to be everything to everyone….
“The electric motor can power the Audi Crosslane Concept 53 miles on electrons only at speeds up to 80 mph for the mpg equivalent of up to 258 mpg, or so Audi claims.”
Communities Purchase Solar in Bulk and Drive Down Costs Together. “Think of it like Costco or Sam's Club for purchasing solar photovolatics (PV). Some savvy folks in Oregon thought it would be a great idea to buy PV in bulk for their neighborhood to get a big volume discount and share the savings with neighbors.
“So they created the Solarize campaign, which over the last three years has helped Portland add "[more than] 1.7 MW of distributed PV and [establish] a strong, steady solar installation economy" . In fact, so successful was the Portland model that several other communities started their own Solarize campaigns, including Washington State; Massachusetts; Vermont; San Diego, California; and multi-city campaigns from One Block Off the Grid and GroupEnergy.”
How to Build a Simple Solar Concentrator: SolarFlower Tutorials Now Online. “Just over a year ago, I wrote a post about the SolarFlower, ‘an open source solar energy device which can be made from recycled materials by anyone anywhere…’ At that point, the concept was largely, well, conceptual, as designer Daniel Connell had built several of these sun-tracking solar concentrators himself, but the designs weren't readily available for someone wanting to either build his/her own, or contribute ideas to the project.
“That changed this month: Daniel's published very detailed tutorials for building a Solarflower.”
The True Cost of Renewable Energy—Reality vs. the LA Times. “Yet again, the Los Angeles Times has published a hit piece on renewable energy masquerading as journalism in a front page article from Friday, ’Taxpayers, Ratepayers Will Fund California Solar Plants.’
“The article cites a Stanford economist for the conclusion that contracts for new large-scale solar projects are locked in at prices three to four times the market price of power: ‘But outside experts, including Wolak, the Stanford economist, estimate that Ivanpah power (a large solar project currently under construction) is priced at $90 to $130 per megawatt-hour — three to four times the cost of electricity in the state last year.’
“This is a highly misleading apples-to-oranges comparison, and Wolak should know better….”
How solar PV is turning utilities against consumers. “It the solar industry ever harboured any illusions about the challenges it is facing in imposing itself on a sector that has been virtually unchallenged for more than half a century, then they were certainly shattered by a series of attacks on their industry from utilities and pricing regulators over the last few weeks.
“It is now clear – if it wasn't before – that Australian energy utilities are moving decisively against the proliferation of solar PV in an attempt to protect their revenues and business models, as we predicted they would back in June. This is the claim of the solar industry, and they point to numerous examples of tariff changes, network impediments and the lobbying and influence over regulators.”
American Wind Manufacturers Lay Off 1,100 Workers In One Month, Citing Expiring Wind Tax Credit. “In just over one month, wind manufacturers in the U.S. have announced layoffs of more than 1,130 workers around the country. The layoffs come in states such as Colorado, Florida, and Iowa that are considered ‘battlegrounds’ in national elections.
“Every company shedding employees has blamed the looming expiration of the production tax credit for wind, which is set to lapse at the end of this year.”
Studies: Offshore Wind Potential is Huge. “The U.S. has lagged behind European countries in capturing offshore wind for electricity, but a spate of recent studies suggest that a bigger push might be in order.”
High-Tech Tools Tackle Wind Farm Performance. “From a distance, a wind farm can seem almost placid, turbines turning slowly, steadily, churning out electricity. But there’s more to it than meets the eye.
“The wind, though it can seem consistent, often has varying degrees of turbulence that impact wind turbine performance. Heating and cooling change the wind over the course of the day. A wind farm’s turbines interact in ways that reduce performance and add to structural loads on the turbines, increasing maintenance costs and the overall cost of wind energy.
“Researchers at the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) are learning how to better understand these issues and are working toward effective solutions for the wind industry. Their goal is to maximize turbine performance and minimize structural loads, which will ultimately result in lower-cost wind energy. Toward that goal, NREL researchers are leveraging the lab’s supercomputing resources and have developed high-tech modeling and simulation capabilities.”
At the heart of Obama's plan: Clean energy (Romney, not so much). “The two candidates are up with dueling ads today – both feature the candidate talking directly to the camera, and by extension to the American people. Both lay out their vision and their agenda for the next four years. But both couldn't be more different.”
GridWeek Explores Smart Policy as Enabler of Smart Grid Value. “Empowered energy consumers. Renewable integration. Greater energy reliability. These Smart Grid value propositions are achieved with the right combination of technology, leadership and policy, which will be addressed at GridWeek, Oct. 2-4, 2012, in Washington, D.C.
“Next week, 100+ speakers will explore how to achieve Smart Grid value – for consumers, utilities, and the environment – from an increasingly complex industry landscape. Discussions will center on Smart Grid drivers, utility business issues and opportunities, and lessons from current projects.”
The Demonization Of Clean Tech: The Five Biggest Myths. “The case for technologies that harness renewable resources, improve efficiency, and reduce emissions has never been stronger, and the industry known as clean tech continues to grow at a staggering pace – global revenues for the ‘Big Three’ sectors of wind power, solar PV, and biofuels hit $246.1 billion in 2011 after a decade of annual growth averaging more than 30 percent. But such an all-encompassing classification – spanning clean energy, advanced transportation, advanced materials, and clean water technologies – has lately made the industry an easy target for opposition, especially in the U.S., where divisive national politics have made pragmatism a rare commodity.
“As a longtime analyst at clean-tech research firm Clean Edge and contributor to the recently published book Clean Tech Nation (coauthored by Clean Edge colleagues Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder), I should be on the front lines defending the clean-tech moniker. But given the noticeable intensifying of false debates surrounding clean tech in the last year, it's worth taking a moment to examine ways in which the industry's far-reaching identity has opened the door to some misplaced antagonism.”
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 06:55 AM PDT
Fracking, Water Contamination and More
Fracking involves pumping a chemical brine underground in order to shake natural gas loose from shale deposits. The water supply at issue in Pavilion is groundwater, or water from wells used by residents, but groundwater contamination from drilling is only one of several water issues linked to fracking.
Another issue is the potential for surface water contamination caused by fracking fluid escaping from the drilling operation, from trucks, from the large lagoons used to store spent fracking fluid, or from the illegal disposal of spent fluid.
That could affect nearby properties, including residential grounds and conservation areas as well as farmland, streams and rivers
The use of injection wells to dispose of spent fracking fluid has also given rise to a connection between earthquakes and fracking, including earthquakes that are large enough to be felt on the surface.
Fracking in Wyoming and Beyond
Fracking is not a particularly new method of drilling, but until recently it was mainly confined to underpopulated areas. Evidence of water contamination, other than anecdotal evidence, was nearly impossible to collect because the gas industry had won exemptions to standard federal regulations that would have required it to disclose the substances used in fracking fluids.
That explains why, for example, the residents of Pavillion have been reporting a suspected link between nearby fracking operations and polluted drinking water wells since the mid-1990′s with no action from federal agencies.
That has been changing under the Obama Administration, which has been steadily putting pressure on the industry to identify the chemicals in fracking brine.
Another change has come with the development of vast, newly accessible gas deposits in the Marcellus Shale formation, which cuts across high-population areas, including parts of New York, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey, where isolated episodes could more easily swell into the public radar.
USGS Fracking Report and Gas Exports
The USGS report comes at an especially bad time for the gas industry. New supplies in the Marcellus and elsewhere are competing with traditional gas states in the Midwest, and legislators from that region have been furiously lobbying Congress to expand the market by allowing them to increase exports overseas.
Our friends over at The Hill have been following the legislative aspect of the story closely and they report that another group of lawmakers is lobbying just as hard for more study of fracking risks before any increase in exports is allowed.
The Hill’s Zack Coleman notes that in a letter this week to the Department of Energy, the group stated its concern that more exports would not only come from conventional wells, but from increased fracking activity, “thus threatening the health of local residents and jobs.”
The legislators raise the issue that to accommodate the export market, farms and local property values would be threatened, and domestic consumers and manufacturers would pay higher prices for electricity.
Encana, the Canadian company that owns the Pavillion wells in question, pushed back hard against EPA’s findings last year, so stay tuned for its response to the USGS report.
Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey.
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 05:15 AM PDT
Wind power accounted for 28.1% of electricity produced in 2011.
Observed energy consumption actually dropped in 2011 by 6.4%, bringing it back almost to the levels it had been at back in 1990. Considering that the 2008 energy agreement Denmark signed called for a drop in adjusted gross energy consumption of just 2% from 2006 to 2011, the full 6.6% drop is truly marvellous.
Another interesting fact to pull out of the numbers is that, while the national GDP grew by 0.8% in 2011, energy efficiency improved by 1.7% over the same period. Subsequently, energy efficiency improvements over the past two decades have allowed for each unit of GDP to require 28.5% less energy in 2011 than in 1990.
Finally, Denmark proved itself to be the only EU member state to be energy self-sufficient in 2011. Denmark was able to produce 110% of its energy needs in 2011, compared with 121% in the previous year.
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 05:06 AM PDT
“We believe the Georgia Power Advanced Solar Initiative will encourage new opportunities for solar development in our state and catapult us to the forefront of this clean, safe energy technology,” said Georgia Power President and CEO Paul Bowers. “This initiative builds upon our record of maintaining not only one of the nation’s safest and most reliable electric systems at rates below the national average, but one of the most innovative as well. We will continue to build a diverse generation portfolio that utilizes the most cost effective and advanced technologies to benefit our customers.”
Georgia Solar Energy Association (GSEA) Executive Director Jessica Moore is closely following the Public Service Commission’s deliberations on this proposal.
“We are glad to see Georgia Power recognize solar as a viable, cost-effective method of delivering electricity to its customers. This is a good first step toward increasing Georgia’s solar infrastructure,” Moore said. “Solar creates jobs, keeps rising energy rates in check and makes Georgia more self-sufficient when it comes to meeting our energy needs.”
“We look forward to working with Georgia Power to ensure a straightforward and simple process for interested Georgia businesses and families who want to install and provide solar to Georgia Power,” says Pete Corbett, President of the Georgia Solar Industry Association (GASEIA).
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 05:00 AM PDT
Making Biodegradable Plastic from Greenhouse Gas
As described by Newlight, the process for making AirflexTM breaks down into a few simple steps. First, a mix of gases, including methane and carbon dioxide, is funneled into a reactor. Next, carbon and oxygen are separated out, and then they are reassembled into a long-chain thermopolymer (aka: a form of plastic).
That’s the basic AirflexTM. With further tweaking, AirflexTM can be processed into different grades of plastic, including substitutes for polypropylene, polyethylene, and polystyrene that perform just as well as their petroleum-based counterparts.
The Sewage Gas Gold Rush
As far as sewage gas goes, it seems like the new operation could fit seamlessly into many modern wastewater treatment facilities that handle household sewage. Municipal sewage treatment is a natural process in which microbes digest organic material, venting copious amounts of methane-rich biogas as they chew along.
In the past, the gas was simply flared off. Nowadays, there is more interest in capturing methane biogas from wastewater plants and reclaiming it to power equipment at the site.
That can help to offset the cost of grid-supplied power. In addition, wastewater treatment plants are already beginning to harvest revenue from biogas, by piping it offsite to the conventional natural gas supply grid.
Waste Gas Comes Into Its Own
Newlight notes that its waste gas-to-plastic process can apply to other kinds of operations that produce waste gas, including landfills and power plants.
Other companies are also beginning to churn out liquid fuels and other substitutes for petroleum product from waste gas. For example, industrial operations are another potential source of raw materials for ethanol, as demonstrated by the New Zealand company LanzaTech.
Biogas from food processing and beverage operations, including biogas from breweries, is another potential feedstock that can sub in for fossil fuels.
Another emerging trend is capturing biogas from livestock operations for use on site or for sale to the grid, a technology that can be scaled down to serve undeveloped communities as well as large farms.
Image (cropped): Courtesy of Newlight.
Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey.
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 04:41 AM PDT
The main points to come from the second quarter in the UK are as follows:
Image Source: Gidzy on Flickr
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 04:28 AM PDT
The Wonders of Smartphones and Scooters
We use smartphones for transportation, maps, looking for routes, plans for buses, talking to our friends, etc. Now, explains Michael Keating, “we just built the smartphone directly into our service of fast easy light transportation.”
These scooters are for short trips around the city, replacing the bus, taxi, etc. All you need is a CA driver’s license and you can rent one. Getting around the city used to be a trouble, but not now.
Many Reasons for Scooters
San Francisco is Committed to Environmental Economy
"San Francisco is committed to making the Bay Area the center for the EV market, reducing our reliance on foreign oil, and boosting our green economy," said Mayor Lee. "Scoot’s launch combines the innovation of San Francisco companies with our City’s commitment to a green economy to provide yet another clean alternative mode of transportation for everyone."
Electric Scooters Made in America for China (10,000,000 a year)
As the video above notes, electric scooters are being made in huge quantities for China. This makes them affordable for us, replacing gas-chugging cars for quiet trips around the city.
From Keating: “Right now to use Scoot's network it costs $10 to sign up, $5 per month, and $5 per hour. There's also a $10 per day option (that seems like a steal), and a $25 per month package that includes four half day rides. Additionally there's an option to rent out your own personal Scoot for $185 per month.”
The company recently closed a $550,000 round of funding with several high-profile angel investors, including Tim Young (About.me, Socialcast), Lisa Gansky (Ofoto, The Mesh), & Jerry Fiddler (Zygote Ventures, Wind River). Scoot is also an alumni of the Greenstart accelerator program in SF, where it was selected as part of the top 2% from a pool of 165 startups and received a $115,000 investment from that.
Again, how Scoot works:
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 02:39 AM PDT
The turbines are going to dot the skyline of Wicko on the Polish coast of the Baltic Sea, about 50 miles away from Gdansk. Vestas reports that “Poland has the potential of reaching 7 GW of installed capacity by 2020.”
Aldesa Nowa Energia Sp. z o. o. is the engineering and construction contractor; Tauron Polska Energia S.A. will own the Wicko wind farm.
Posted: 28 Sep 2012 02:00 AM PDT
Commercial building energy efficiency strategies (or energy efficiency strategies for any building) can be quick and easy, or can be more focused on the long term — but there are options to save significant money every step of the way.
Oddly, not all building owners are aware – or even care about — the savings. Here are some industry facts that should motivate commercial building owners to become more energy efficient:
Why isn't everyone on board?
Let's look at some of the reasons — and rebuttals — why energy saving hold-outs are overlooking the advantages adopting ECMs. (You might be among them.)
1. Leased or rented buildings and offices often pass along utility costs (electricity, gas, water) to their tenants. Landlords may believe there's no upside to investing in saving tenants on their energy bill. Rebuttal:
2. Many building owners, who see the value in greater energy efficiency, are daunted by not knowing where to begin. Suggestions:
3. The aforementioned can effect savings of 5-20%, depending on the building, and are often covered within existing operating budgets. (Turning off lights and HVAC systems when not in use can immediately save at least 2%.) The building manager may want to hire an Energy Management System (EMS) expert, or may follow these steps on their own. Here is the sequence:
4. Capital improvements that can achieve energy efficiencies upwards of 75% are usually financed. These heavy investments must be carefully analyzed in terms of cost/reward, ROI, and expected payback. These are the subject for another article, but are summarized here:
Selecting an EMS service provider
There are literally hundreds of providers to chose from, but, fortunately, they tend to cluster in three general markets. For example:
1. For small-to-medium sized commercial buildings, the choices are fewer, are more attractively priced, and offer much shorter ROIs. Some "contract providers" are able to provide the benchmarking, auditing, and upgrading of basic equipment at minimal upfront cost. (Providers are paid from what they save the client on their energy bill).
2. For large industrial, commercial, or government energy users. These EMS projects are almost always heavily financed with high margin contracts involving long payouts (years). As you would expect, large established companies are dominant here, such as:
3. At the other end of the spectrum is the residential or consumer market,which is potentially huge — however, very uniformed. Of course, there are early adopters, but most of this market is budget restricted and apathetic. Major players include:
While the battle wages in Washington and among private investors over funding for clean energy solutions such as solar and wind, it is good to know the "low-hanging fruit" of energy conservation is alive and well.
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