Saturday, October 6, 2012

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Cleantech News from CleanTechnica

Link to CleanTechnica

Inner Workings of Solar Cell: New Insight into How Solvent Mixtures Affect the Structure of Organic Solar Cells

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 03:57 PM PDT

By controlling how the ‘mixing’ occurs between acceptor and donor layers (solar cell domains) in polymer-based solar cells, efficiency could be greatly boosted, says new research from a team that includes physicists from North Carolina State University.


This new research has given some insight into the most inner workings of these polymer-based solar cells, potentially leading to other future increases in efficiency.

In polymer-based solar cells, there are two domains, the acceptor, and the donor layers. The energy particles that are created by solar cells, excitons, need to be able to move quickly to the “interface of the donor and acceptor domains” for them to be used as an energy source.

It had been previously believed among researchers that making the “donor and acceptor layers as pure as possible was the best way to ensure that the excitons could travel unimpeded,” assuming that in this way solar cells would capture the most energy that they could.

But in the new research it was discovered that some mixing occurring between the two domains was not at all a negative thing. “In fact, if the morphology, or structure, of the mixed domains is small, the solar cell can still be quite efficient.”

North Carolina State physicist Harald Ade says: “We had previously found that the domains in these solar cells weren’t pure. So we looked at how additives affected the production of these cells. When you manufacture the cell, the relative rate of evaporation of the solvents and additives determines how the active layer forms and the donor and acceptor mix. Ideally, you want the solvent to evaporate slowly enough so that the materials have time to separate — otherwise the layers ‘gum up’ and lower the cell’s efficiency. We utilized an additive that slowed evaporation. This controlled the mixing and domain size of the active layer, and the portions that mixed were small.”

These mixed layers ended up having very good efficiency, leading to some thoughts that maybe allowing some mixing of the two layers wasn’t a problem, as long as the domains are small.

“We’re looking for the perfect mix here, both in terms of the solvents and additives we might use in order to manufacture polymer-based solar cells, and in terms of the physical mixing of the domains and how that may affect efficiency,” Ade says.

The findings are being published this month in two different journals, Advanced Energy Materials and Advanced Materials.

Source: North Carolina State University
Image Credit: Brian Collins, copyright Wiley

Bike Share Program Pedals onto the AT&T Wireless Network

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 03:45 PM PDT

Social Bicycles is going to begin using AT&T’s wireless networks to connect its ‘intelligent’ bike-sharing networks later this year.

AT&T and Social Bicycles recently announced that AT&T is “going to be the exclusive mobile internet provider in the United States for their launch this fall in select markets in California, Idaho and New York.”

The company Social Bicycles is a builder of ‘smart bikes’, those that use GPS tracking along with an integrated locking system and connectivity to AT&T’s wireless network. Similar to Zipcars, potential users can “locate, reserve and unlock bikes through a mobile phone application on your smartphone or tablet; allowing for easy pick up and drop off anywhere.”

And when you’re done it’s as easy as locating any bicycle rack that happens to be near your destination and then using the app to check it back in.

“Social Bikes is the first public bike share system that relies completely on a mobile network to track, locate and unlock bikes,” said Ryan Rzepecki, CEO, Social Bikes. “The SoBi system is the only technology that provides a solution for the entire spectrum of bike share. It’s affordable enough for small-scale deployments and robust enough to serve larger municipal deployments. We’re excited about the benefits AT&T network will add to the system.”

One of the main benefits of systems like these is that they are very cheap compared to station-based systems. By using mobile and internet reservations and real-time GPS tracking of their bikes, centralized-stations have become obsolete.


As part of their software, C02 emissions prevented, dollars saved (versus driving), and estimated calories burned are all tracked for the users to see.

Social Bicycles will be launching programs in three major markets in the autumn – Buffalo, NY; Sun Valley, ID; and San Francisco, CA. More markets are expected to open in early 2013.

Source: PRNewswire
Image Credits: Triumph via Wikimedia Commons

Awesome Bus Ad, Reinventing Points of View on Bus Travel (Saturday Night Live Style)

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 03:32 PM PDT

This video from bike-leading Denmark takes us to a new point of view on buses, with a “cool” and comedic twist on bus transportation. At the same time, this shifted perspective is well worth considering, as it wildly imparts unexpected concepts to the experience of riding a bus. Gas2 considers it the best mass transit video ever. Check it out:

Poetry in Travel on Bus

Riding the bus when I was young in Pennsylvania was a way to get to NYC (yes!), and to Stone Harbor, NJ, to see the shore… the ocean. My memories become vividly poetic at this point, populated with unknown faces, alert or sleepy, as we waited to board in predawn hours — we always chose a 4:00 am meeting with the bus to get to the city or the shore by breakfast. I was stirred by the energy and faces one would never see again; I was curious of  others so varied. As they entered the window of my mind’s eye, I perceived their lives as engaging, short vignettes. Sounds of the day beginning, intermingled with pieces of conversations.


Humorous Bus Scenes in Smoke Signals (John Wayne’s Teeth)

Bus travel is also a must-see scene in the movie Smoke Signals. Two young Lakota men exchange a huge glass bottle of change for bus tickets off the reservation. They are journeying to acknowledge the passing of a father in another land. Their bus trip is filled with the enchantment and the strangeness of what it is to travel in such a way.

Bus experiences are always unique. In fact, when I do the bike–bus mix on a normal daily run, I find the same episodes of poetry arise. There is just something about immersion in culture that one only finds through mass transit. After enjoying the cool bus video above once, twice, or more times, don’t miss the bus scene in Smoke Signals (posted below), which includes a song about John Wayne. The young Lakota men are truly inspired and entertaining on their bus trip.

The advertisement for the top video is for the company Midttraffik, a mass transit bus company in Denmark. It is truly a great video. As Gas2 notes, it is “obviously seeking to making riding the bus much cooler than it actually is. And you know what? The ad works, at least for me.”

I guess I am just that rare person that experiences that different sense of “cool” — I have always thought of buses, and even more so trains, as very cool. Whatever your perception of cool is, enjoy the Midttraffik video; in particular, the sarcastic, dramatic music and slow-motion technology.

Smooth Sailing for Wind Power with New Flow Battery… or Not

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 09:48 AM PDT

Wind power is ready for another leap into the future, with the announcement that a new redox flow battery from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) is going into commercial development by the company UniEnergy Technologies LLC. The new grid-scale flow batteries can store huge amounts of energy from wind turbines, which basically eliminates the herky-jerky, unpredictable nature of “raw” wind power straight from the skies and packages it into a steady, reliable stream. Unfortunately, that new battery could find itself all dressed up and nowhere to go, because “the usual suspects” in Congress are stalling a crucial tax credit for the U.S. wind power industry.

pnnl and unienergy partner on flow batteries for wind power

What is a Redox Flow Battery?

Basic redox flow battery technology has been around since the 1970s (redox stands for reduction-oxidation). They work by storing power in the form of liquid chemicals kept in two separate tanks. The system literally does “flow,” since to generate electricity the liquid electrolytes are pumped from the tanks through a reactor.

Aside from being able to store vast amounts of energy from intermittent sources like wind and solar power, flow batteries can be idled for long periods without losing capacity, and they can be activated quickly when needed.

The problem until recently has been that flow battery technology has been bulky, expensive, and unable to handle a reasonable range of temperatures.

PNNL researchers solved these problems by focusing on a type of flow battery that uses two different vanadium ions (vanadium is a soft, silvery gray metallic element).

PNNL and UniEnergy partner on flow battery

Image: Courtesy of PNNL

Conventional redox flow technology relies on sulfuric acid. The PNNL team gained a 70% increase in storage capacity by adding hydrochloric acid. The hydrochloric acid also enabled the flow battery to operate in a wider range of temperatures.

The result is a flow battery that requires tanks far smaller than previous technology, without wasting energy on extra equipment needed for temperature control.

UniEnergy Built This! So Did We!

UniEnergy has entered into a licensing agreement with PNNL to tweak the technology a little further for developing commercial products that can be used by electric utilities, industry customers, and power generators, including wind farms and solar installations.

PNNL, of course, is a taxpayer-funded facility under the Department of Energy, so if the battery is a success and fortune smiles on the good folks at UniEnergy, we can all give ourselves a pat on the back. Sandia National Laboratory is working on another flow battery based on liquid salts, too, by the way.

About that Wind Energy Tax Credit…

Come to think of it, let’s not count our chickens before they hatch. The federal wind tax credit is the alternative energy industry’s equivalent of the kind of taxpayer support that has been showered on the fossil fuel industry for generations.

There is nothing new or controversial about it. This kind of support is meant to sustain a vital industry and create new jobs, and given recent job growth in the wind industry (including a cool wind power jobs for veterans program) it has been a smashing success.

Nevertheless, a routine extension due up this year has turned into a political firefight, because the aforementioned usual suspects in Congress (yes, leadership in the Republican party) are refusing to grant it.

Aside from provoking outrage from the wind power industry and major corporate supporters like Starbucks, the lack of support for the wind industry has caused a rift in the Republican Party.

The controversy intensified last summer after Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney declared his opposition to the wind tax credit. He also threw more fuel on the fire during the first presidential debate by supporting the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, while also stating that he would be open to eliminating subsidies for the oil and gas industry.

Images: Wind turbine by vaxomatic (some rights reserved), infographic by PNNL (some rights reserved)

Follow me on Twitter: @TinaMCasey

WattPeople Helps Consumers See Benefit of Solar Bundling

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 09:37 AM PDT

The solar proposition is becoming more and more a part of the everyday conversation, and households are being marketed all manner of solar panel solutions for their homes. WattPeople has taken it a step further, future-proofing you for that day when you also find yourself driving an electric car in need of charging.

WattPeople has created a web application that allows users to sum up their total energy usage, taking into account not only their regular electricity bill, but also the average cost of gasoline and the number of miles driven in a year. You can select the electric vehicle of your choice to see whether the Solar EV Bundle is right for you.

What is the Solar EV Bundle? Simply put, buy a home solar installation as well as an electric car.

The WattPeople SolarEV Bundle

“The average American household spends $111 per month on electricity, $220 per month on gas for the car, and costs are increasing every year,” said WattPeople co-founder Rainer Boelzle. “Electric vehicles are the future but pose a number of challenges including the impact such vehicles may have on the electrical grid, charging, range, and stimulating consumer interest to drive widespread adoption.”

One of the issues with buying a solar power system for a house these days is that it is directly tuned to the current operations of the house. Handy, but definitely not forward looking. WattPeople is attempting to allow for the growth of a household’s electricity needs, especially if those needs are renewable-friendly.

Source: WattPeople

Stay Lit Up on Your Bike and Be the Envy of Everyone

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 09:32 AM PDT

Riding a bike at night can be a bit of a risky proposition if you don’t know what you’re doing, and not everyone has had as much training as Team BMC. Ensuring that drivers can see you is paramount to your own safety and the safety of others on the road.

So you may as well stay visible in style.

LED Bicycle Wheel Keeps you Visible at Night

Check out the new MonkeyFK from Monkeylectric. 

The Monkey Light is made up of 32 ultra-bright, full-colour LEDs, 16 on each side of the wheel, that combine to create up to 42 themes with hundreds of colour combinations.

Monkey Light Features:

  • Power: 3 x AA batteries (any type), NIMH rechargeable provide best performance
  • Battery life: up to 20 hours
  • Fit: bicycle wheels 20″ or larger.
  • Riding speed: up to 40 mph (65 km/h). Patterns visible above 8-10mph (12-15km/h).
  • Visibility: front and side visibility when mounted on front wheel. rear and side visibility when mounted on rear wheel.
  • Mounting: straps to spokes of wheel with vibration-proof 3-point mount (included).
  • Rugged IP67 fiber composite construction designed for daily use in all weather conditions
  • 32 ultra bright full color LEDs (16 on each side)

The MonkeyFK retails from the Monkeylectric site for $74.99, and a Mini version is available for $49.99.

Source: Monkeylectric

New Solar PV System Rebate Announced by AGT

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 09:28 AM PDT

Global solar PV product distributor Advanced Green Technologies announced on Wednesday an AGT Solar Rebate program that it plans to run from October 15 through December 15.

The rebate program will provide owners of solar PV systems a  $0.36/W cash rebate following their installation. Depending on existing federal and state incentives, this rebate is capable of improving a system owner’s return on investment by 15% to 30%.

"We wanted to develop a program that would positively impact the ROI for a system owner," said David Goodman, CEO of AGT. "Receiving cash aftera construction project is a pretty neat twist. And, in this case, the cash will allow the PV system owner to significantly improve his/her ROI and see positive returns much sooner.”

Those looking to take advantage of the rebate must confirm their orders with AGT between the rebate dates. These rebates can be combined with other federal, state, and utility renewable energy incentives.

For more information, AGT has set up a toll-free number to provide additional details for anyone interested: 888-735-2641.

Source: Advanced Green Technologies

Largest Self-Storage Company to Save $1.9 Million with LED Lighting

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 09:24 AM PDT

The world’s largest owner and operator of self-storage facilities, Public Storage, has begun swapping its existing T12HO fluorescent lamps with GE Lighting's LED sign lighting solutions at its more than 2,000 locations, and is expecting to save up to $1.9 million as a result.

"Each property is unique. We have multiple buildings at each location that can be single-story or multi-story buildings, which has made it difficult to standardize lighting and has led to varied repair and maintenance costs throughout our portfolio," said Robbie Williams, vice president of facilities for Public Storage. "A third party maintains our LED signage lighting, which costs up to $1,000 per year per location including energy and upkeep. We really needed to standardize lighting and maintain information in one database while reducing our costs."

With as many as eight signs at each storage location, the costs quickly added up for Public Storage. They initially looked at swapping to T8 fluorescent lamps but chose to swap to LED sign lighting as the technology became competitively priced and the light quality improved.

"We've had previous experience with other LED manufacturers, and a lot are now out of business. We wanted a stable company that would be here to be a partner for the longer term. GE Lighting is a pioneer in the industry and has an excellent reputation with quality, reliable LED systems," said Williams.

Approximately 150 locations have already been fitted with the new LED lighting systems, and the rest will be retrofitted over the next three to five years.

Each property is subsequently expecting to reduce sign lighting energy consumption by 73 percent, earning them $799 per property over five years (and those savings are tax free).

Source: GE Appliances and Lighting

Electric Scooters in Asia Pacific Will Increase Nearly Tenfold from 2012 to 2018

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 07:59 AM PDT

According to a Pike Research study, the number of electric scooters in use is to increase from 12 million to 103 million by 2018.

Most of these vehicles will be used in China (approximately 91 million).

Reportedly, in the Asia Pacific region, electric motorcycles are considered more of a luxury than an essential mode of transportation, and people are more inclined to purchase electric scooters instead. (Notably, that’s one big reason for the new Scoot program in San Francisco, and perhaps also for the new electric scooter taxi program, Hopper, in the Netherlands.)

Night Time in Saigon Streets.

India also has potential for a strong electric scooter market. Scooters are basically a lower-end alternative to motorcycles. Electric scooters have a speed range of 20 to 50 km/h, and electric motorcycles have a much higher speed range exceeding 50 km/h.

“Electric scooters meet the mobility requirements of a growing number of urban, middle class consumers in Asia Pacific," says senior research analyst Andy Bae. "Increasing population density, rising urbanization, increases in income levels, and government policies are all fueling the demand for lightweight, highly mobile electric two-wheel vehicles."

Overall, sales of two-wheeled electric vehicles will exceed 65 million annually across the Asia Pacific region in 2018. Cumulatively, sales in China will reach more than 355 million units by 2018, which would be 93% of the total in the Asia Pacific region.

According to the same Pike Research study, sales of ICE (internal combustion engine powered) vehicles in India, China, and most ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) nations is already strong. One quality of popular Asian culture is that they don’t spend much on transportation. This is why foot transit and bicycles are so popular in China. But there’s a big vehicle buying trend going on there at the moment.

Sources: Business Wire and Pike Research

Hopper Electric Scooters — Amsterdam’s Electric Two-Wheeled Taxi Fleet

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 07:45 AM PDT

Amsterdam is a beautiful city. It’s also a traffic nightmare and therefore full of particulate emissions, and not happy about any of that. Part of the plan to reduce its emissions is the introduction of Hopper electric scooters.

Hopper Electric Scooter

Electric Taxis on Two Wheels

The Hopper program is meant to be very flexible public transportation. In practice, it’s a network of electric taxis, except that the taxis are all scooters instead of cars (this is actually a good call for Amsterdam’s narrow, twisty roads).

According to Hopper’s website, you can catch a ride on one of the zero-emission, super-cute scooters by flagging one down on the street, by calling for a ride, by booking a ride on the website, or by using their mobile app (this last option is not actually available yet, but it should work something like San Francisco’s Scoot Networks). Each ride is a flat rate — € 2.50 — regardless of where you go or how long it takes.


But Why?

Electric vehicles having zero emissions is a no-brainer. Of course it’s better for the environment, of course it’s more sustainable, of course there’s the potential for totally clean power all the way up the chain. Electric vehicles also have fewer moving parts than ICE scooters, and therefore require maintenance less often — if it’s not there, it can’t break.

Scooters, specifically, also make a lot of sense for Amsterdam for two reasons.

The first goes back to emissions — European emissions standards are much laxer for mopeds than cars, which leads to greater pollution potential. Having electric scooters on the street instead of gas-powered mopeds reduces particulate emissions considerably.

The second is the actual streets themselves — have you seen them? They’re gorgeous, but also narrow and twisty and full of lots of moving things, and the one and only time I drove through Amsterdam in a 4-wheeled vehicle, I was sure someone was going to die (probably not me, because I was in the giant metal cage, but still). Scooters and other small vehicles? Way better choice; it’s a matter of tailoring the fleet to the location.

And The Rest Will Follow

Hopper hopes to launch fleets in Rotterdam, The Hague, and Utrecht within six months, and I wish it well with it. Even though inclement weather will sometimes make them a less than comfortable choice, I love the idea of a fleet of electric scooter taxis.

If you’re in Amsterdam, hop on one and let us know how it goes — they’ll be on the streets from 8am to 8pm, and it sounds super fun. Or just let us know what you think of the whole project!

Source: Hopper
Image Credit: Hopper

World’s 1st Intelligent Energy-Storage-Powered High Rise Unveiled at Barclay Tower

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 04:10 AM PDT

Manhattan’s first battery-based, intelligent energy storage system was unveiled by Glenwood Management in New York City recently.

The system will “provide 225 kilowatts (kW) of power with 2 megawatt hours (MWh) of stored energy capacity to a New York City high rise. The Joule.System designed by Demand Energy Networks, Inc. is located at Glenwood’s flagship property, Barclay Tower, a 58-story luxury residential high rise located at 10 Barclay Street near the new World Trade Center, New York.”

The installation of this new system is relevant because it could greatly alter the way electricity is delivered, potentially bringing “a new design architecture for city electrical grids, allowing them to become smarter, more adaptable, and operate more efficiently.”

‘Intelligent energy storage’ is a newly emerging technology that allows electricity end-users to coordinate with the grid, allowing increased energy reliability and “managing cost volatility in New York’s incentive electricity rate structures (the day ahead market),” a news release on the innovation notes.

“The system stores energy during off-peak periods when rates are low, and then releases the energy during peak periods when prices can be very high. It works as a physical hedge against volatility risk during periods of high demand, effectively capping costs by using energy from storage at times when rates have the potential to skyrocket.”

Source: PRNewswire
Image Credit: Barclay Tower by 
Mark Frank and Chloe Carli (Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license)

EU Launches Sustainable Energy Project in Uganda

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 04:07 AM PDT

The European Union has launched the Sustainable Energy Markets Acceleration (SEMA) project to promote the use of renewable energy in Uganda. The project aims to educate the public about the importance of renewable energy and increase the share of renewable energy in the total energy mix in Uganda.

"This project is intended to stimulate private sector investment and popularise the use of such energies [renewable] among Ugandans for a green economy," said Dr Roberto Ridolfi, the EU delegation to Uganda. "Our motive is to make these energies cheaper and accessible."

"The project works in tripartite arrangements with renewable energy entrepreneurs and financial institutions with a shared objective of increasing access to affordable and sustainable renewable energy in rural areas," reads the EU press statement issued earlier this week.

The EU has signed the Memorandum of Understanding with five renewable energy companies, namely Kirchner Solar Uganda Limited, Incafex Solar Systems Ltd, Moset Investments Ltd, Solar Energy Distributors, and NACO Solar Ltd., to work on this project.
The project spans four years and is already being implemented in Kenya with plans to extend in Tanzania as well. With the total project cost of about €850,000, the project is jointly funded by the European Union and Hivos People Unlimited, a humanist development agency.

This project is expected to create the interest of local credit markets and rural financial institutions in financing of renewable energy projects.

"Each company will partner with a financial institution of her choice to facilitate the project; they have selected parts of the country they will operate in. The programme targets 9,000 households and 1,100 businesses if successful," said Stam Nienke, a project director.

Image Credit: Uganda map & flag colors by TShilo12 (in public domain)

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

Chanel Fashion Show Sports Wind Turbines, Solar Panels

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 04:01 AM PDT

More and more fashion designers are serious about showcasing renewable technologies and sustainable practices, but it’s especially nice to see fashion powerhouses, like Chanel, embrace green concepts.

The 2013 Chanel runway show in Paris Fashion Week included a catwalk that looked like it was made from solar panels and and 13 huge wind turbines (see pictures above). The clothes even had elements of renewable energy, with a turbine graphic on a sweater and a dress that looked to have tiny solar panels on it, according to Greenster.

Chanel Creative Director Karl Lagerfeld may be controversial in his use of furs, but we’re happy to see he’s got his head in the game on renewables.

Photo Credits: Stephan Moskovic (many more photos via that link)

19 Smartphone Apps for an Eco-Friendly Home & Lifestyle

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 04:00 AM PDT

The Sierra Club recently had a post on 10 great smartphone apps for an eco-friendly home and lifestyle. We also had a similar article on top smartphone apps posted over on Planetsave. I’m reposting both of those for you smartphone lovers (there is a tiny bit of overlap) — check them out:

GoodGuide application screenshot, by Neila Columbo.

By Neila Columbo
September 18, 2012

Boston, Massachusetts – With an abundance of 'green' articles at our fingertips on how to make sustainable choices in the daily features of our lives and at home, SCGH is here to help parse through the vast web of information. Alas, these top ten smartphone apps below help us navigate through our day to manage our household and personal life, reduce our environmental footprint and learn some very interesting facts along the way that will impress even the most environmental savant.



iViro help users create more sustainable homes and living spaces.  Perform a customized energy analysis to receive a detailed overview of your home's heat, cooling, electricity, water and appliance energy consumption patterns with annual cost and CO2 emission estimates. Additional features provide ideas on energy-saving alternatives and strategies to ensure your home is energy-efficient and cost-efficient while reducing its environmental impact.
Download Here (Free)


A simple yet powerful concept, the EcoCharge app will ring an alarm when electronic devices are fully charged to increase battery life and prevent unnecessary energy use. In place of leaving a cellular phone or laptop continuously charging at home or work when the battery is fully charged, it helps users become more aware of energy use while providing great eco-friendly tips on how to stay connected and energy efficient with our favorite tech gadgets and devices.
Download Here ($0.99)


GoodGuide provides ratings for products and companies to help consumers assess their environmental, health and social performance. Its iPhone app allows users to browse its database, which includes 170,000 products ranging from food, personal care and household items, to find the most eco-friendly in each category, as well as a barcode scanning feature that provides details such as nutritional value, energy efficiency and ingredients.
Download here  (Free)


Recyclebank rewards its members for making eco-friendly choices, providing points for daily activities such as recycling, water usage, energy efficiency, and purchasing green products.  Members can view their points balance, report recycling activity to earn points and order rewards with its app.
Download here (Free)

iRecycle's iRecycle connects users to its comprehensive database of 100,000 recycling centers in the U.S.,including information on what can be recycled and what local recycling options are available. As well, the new version has a social sharing feature that allows you to share recycling searches via Facebook and Twitter.
Download here (Free)



Seafood Watch

Designed by the Monterey Bay Aquarium, the Seafood Watch interactive app helps users choose sustainable seafood and sushi options at restaurants and markets. It provides the most current recommendations for seafood and sushi as well as information about how each item should be fished or farmed. Its new Project FishMap feature lets you contribute to the app by sharing the names of restaurants and shops in the U.S. you have found sustainable seafood as well as how to locate spots other users have found.                                                                                                                             Download Here (Free)
Farmers Market Finder

Allows users to locate over 2,700 farmers markets across the U.S. Each farmers market has been verified from market organizers, and the app provides details on how to find CSAs, the types of farm produce and meat/poultry for sale, hours of operation, contact information, and real time data such as weather cancelations. The app is currently available to residents of California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and Washington DC.
Download here (Prices range from $0.99 to $4.99)


Carbon Footprint

Users can track fuel usage and find a number of interesting statistics that relate to driving habits and fuel efficiency of one's vehicle. By entering information when fueling your gas tank, Carbon Footprint can calculate your miles per gallon, dollars per gallon, dollars per mile, and dollars per day. It also provides your projected carbon dioxide emissions in a year as well as your total carbon emissions to date.
Download Here ($0.99)


Created by Water Efficiency magazine to provide an accessible way for individuals to interactively learn about their 'water footprint' and how to reduce water consumption, this app calculates how much water you use across four categories: food, beverages, products, and household items.  Users can search through items by category or alphabetically, and its "total" function calculator compares the water footprint of various items.
Download Here (Free)


Calculate your personal ecological footprint with statistics from the World Wildlife Fund with this multi-functional app, including your daily energy consumption, the food you eat (and how far it has to travel) to your carbon emissions from commuting activity and travel. The section "Ways to Improve Your Result" educates and shares ideas on ways to reduce your footprint.
Download Here (Free)

iPhone Apps Promoting Green Living (via Planetsave)

  In today's world it isn't easy to balance our love of technology with the protection of our planet. So many companies that create these conveniences are contributing to environmental issues, whether it is through their use of resources, factory conditions, conflict in other countries where materials…

36 MW of Vestas Turbines Headed to France

Posted: 05 Oct 2012 03:54 AM PDT


Vestas has its game face on these days, with a powerful 8MW turbine in the works and 68 MW of new turbines set for a wind farm in the UK. The latest news is that twelve 3MW wind turbines have been ordered for three wind farms in northeastern France.

The turbines will be constructed later this year and are expected to be fully functional by mid to late 2013.

Ostwind International ordered the turbines, which come with a 10-year service and maintenance agreement.

Source: Vestas
Image: Jabba Photo via Shutterstock 

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