- French Banking Major Societe Generale Overachieves On Carbon Emission Reduction Targets
- John Kerry To Be Secretary Of State, Leaked IPCC Draft Report, 2012 To Be Hottest US Year On Record… (Other Cleantech & Climate News Of The Week)
- Clean Water Project In Africa To Generate 500,000 Carbon Credits, Provide Clean Water To Several Thousand
- ABB To Set Up $130 Million HVDC Link In Finland To Facilitate Renewable Energy Transmission
- 1st Ever Floating Wind Turbine In USA Now Being Tested
- car2go Network Now In Seattle, Now Operating In 8 North American Cities
- Apps Galore: 1 To Encourage Donating, 1 To Rate Walkability Of A Street
- Rise Of Protective Bike Paths In US In 2012
- Covered Electric Motorcycle (Or Scooter) That Can’t Be Knocked Down — Lit Motors C-1
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 11:39 PM PST
The group offset 75% of 2011 carbon emissions and plans to offset 100% of the 2012 carbon emissions, thereby achieving carbon neutrality. The group collects environment data from 99% of the employees covered under the campaign. The group also implemented penalties for subsidiaries that failed to report environmental data. The subsidiaries offset their carbon emissions independently which gives them enough flexibility to achieve the emission reduction targets through appropriate measures.
Societe Generale had also implemented an internal carbon tax system which allowed carbon credits to be purchased and encouraged each entity within the Group to control its environmental impact. Societe Generale is building or renovating its branches and offices to either Low Energy Building (Seyssinet, France) or positive energy standards by installing solar panels on the roofs of branches (Polynesia and Burkina Faso). The Group is also transitioning towards a greener IT infrastructure, installing new lower-consumption datacenters and workstations and implementing automatic scheduled PC shut-downs (Romania, United Kingdom, and soon in France). Starting in 2012, Societe Generale chose to allocate revenues from this tax to financing internal environmental efficiency projects in order to further promote reducing the Group’s carbon footprint.
The group purchased its carbon offsets from renewable energy and gas recovery projects in Africa, Asia, and South America. These projects are registered under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and (Voluntary Emission Reduction) VER Gold Standard. In 2011, the group purchased about 208,300 tonnes of carbon offsets. These offsets were purchased from a wind farm in Morocco, a small hydropower plant in Guatemala, a bioenergy project in India, methane recovery from Argentinean landfills, and wind farms and the recovery of methane from landfills in Turkey. In 2012, the group plans to purchase about 265,600 tonnes of carbon offsets.
The group also has sound environmental policies in the transport and IT sector. The group has plans to improve the carbon efficiency of its transport fleet, encourage employees to adopt carpooling and possibly use electric vehicles. In the IT sector, the group was able to reduce 6,600 tonnes of carbon emissions and introduced the Team Anywhere project (instant messaging, multipoint video and web conferencing). The group plans to achieve a cumulative carbon emission reduction of 25,000 tonnes by 2012.
The views presented in the above article are the author's personal views only.
French Banking Major Societe Generale Overachieves On Carbon Emission Reduction Targets was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 05:58 PM PST
Climate & Such
Obama To Name Climate Hawk John Kerry Secretary Of State: “In the first serious indication Obama will focus on climate change in his second term, media outlets report the President will nominate Senator John Kerry (D-MA) to be Secretary of State.
“Kerry is one of the Senate's leading climate hawks who has said he believes that climate change is the ‘biggest long term threat‘ to national security.”
Leaked IPCC Draft Report: Recent Warming Is Manmade, Cloud Feedback Is Positive, Inaction Is Suicidal: “Ultra-conservative report still concludes sea level rise could reach 6 inches a decade by century's end! Deniers duped by leaker's blunder…. The draft 2013 Fifth Assessment report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change leaked this week makes clear inaction on climate change would be devastating to modern civilization. The report finds that the human fingerprint on climate has grown more obvious, concluding ‘it is virtually certain’ the energy imbalance that causes global warming ‘is caused by human activities, primarily by the increase in CO2 concentrations. There is very high confidence that natural forcing contributes only a small fraction to this imbalance.’”
Video: Temperature Leads CO2? The 800-Year Lag: “Potholer54 (a.k.a Peter Hadfield) tackles a common myth about climate change often called the ’800-year lag.’ Antarctic ice core data shows CO2 lagging temperature during periods of deglaciation; this has been well understood for decades. Despite this, many climate change ‘skeptics’ ignore the full picture of numerous studies over the years and assert these data of ancient deglaciation ‘proves’ that CO2 does not cause global warming.” Here’s the video:
“Small Is Beautiful” Best Outcome For UN Climate Change Talks? “Wednesday, December 12, 2012, has come and gone, and the world survived. However, climate change has blustered this year, causing record-setting harsh weather around the globe. Flooding in Australia, China, and monsoon-prone Bangladesh, and extreme drought in Brazil and the central United States, followed in the eastern half of that country by megastorm Sandy, occurred during the first eleven months of the year. Another tsunami belted Japan’s east coast near Fukushima and killer typhoon Bopha ravaged the Philippines even as delegates met in Doha, Qatar, for the UN’s international summit on climate change.”
Mother Nature Is Just Getting Warmed Up: Record-Smashing Early December Assures 2012 Will Be Hottest In U.S. History: “We've had spring weather in early December — and that guarantees 2012 will be the hottest year on record for the United States.”
Climate Change: It's Not Just An Environmental Issue; It's A Human Rights Issue, Too: “As an international community, our collective failures on climate change are having critical consequences. Today climate change has become one of the major challenges to the basic human rights to life, food, health, water, housing and self-determination.”
Over 10,000 Americans Tell Congress To Stop Pushing Us Over The Climate Cliff: “If our country goes over the fiscal cliff, we will be able to climb back up. But if our planet goes over the climate cliff, we will plunge into an abyss of impacts that we cannot reverse.”
Extreme Weather More Persuasive On Climate Change Than Scientists: “As one of the Marx brothers famously said: who do you believe, me or your own eyes?
“Climate sceptics, it turns out, are much more likely to believe direct evidence of a changing climate in the form of extreme weather events than they do scientists, when it comes to global warming.
“A poll released on Friday by the Associated Press-GfK found rising concern about climate change among Americans in general, with 80% citing it as a serious problem for the US, up from 73% in 2009. Belief and worry about climate change were rising faster still among people who do tend not to trust scientists on the environment.”
Senator Boxer Creates First U.S. Climate Change Caucus: “Senator Barbara Boxer (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Environment and Public Works Committee, announced [last] week that she would be taking the initiative to form the first Climate Change Caucus in the U.S. Senate. Boxer, long considered a champion of environmental causes, said that she decided to form the committee to address growing public concerns over the inaction of the federal government to address the threat of climate change.”
Area Burned By U.S. Wildfires Expected to Double by 2050: “Warmer and drier conditions in coming decades will likely cause the burned area from wildfires in the U.S. to double in size by 2050, according to new research based on satellite observations and computer modeling experiments. The research, which was first presented at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union in San Francisco on Dec. 4, provides insight into both recent wildfire trends and the sharp increase in dryness — and therefore wildfire susceptibility — in certain regions of the country.”
Engineers Develop New Energy-Efficient Computer Memory Using Magnetic Materials: “By using electric voltage instead of a flowing electric current, researchers from UCLA’s Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science have made major improvements to an ultra-fast, high-capacity class of computer memory known as magnetoresistive random access memory, or MRAM.”
Targeted Energy Efficiency Tax Incentives Have History of Cost Savings Success: “Well-targeted energy efficiency tax incentives will result in significant energy savings and will get more energy-efficient products into the market faster, according to Steven Nadel, executive director of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, who testified before the U.S. Senate Finance Committee [last week]. The Senate hearing focused on appropriate uses of the federal tax code for promoting investments in energy efficiency, particularly in the context of emerging discussions on tax reform.”
Launch Of Energy Efficiency Finance Company: “BluePath Finance LLC announced [last week] the launch of their platform to provide upfront funding for the installation of energy efficient technologies.”
Load Up the Laundry, Cut Down the Work with New GE High-Efficiency Topload Washer: “Consumers can now tackle more dirty laundry in fewer loads thanks to GE's newest washer. The new, GE high-efficiency (HE) topload washer features the industry's largest capacity (five cubic feet) for toploading models while using less energy and water than a traditional washer.”
City of Naperville and Verde Energy USA Launch Innovative Energy Storage Solutions Partnership: “Verde Energy USA, a leading retailer of electricity, and the City of Naperville, Illinois, jointly announced [last week] the launch of a clean energy efficiency demonstration project. This project, which involves the installation of a proven, clean energy storage system at Naperville's Water Service Center, 1200 W. Ogden Ave., will achieve energy efficiencies and reduce costs to the City of Naperville. The project will begin this month and continue throughout 2013, during which time Verde and the City of Naperville will collect data and share results.”
How Energy Gets Used – and Wasted – in Your Home [Infographic]: “Now that the cold season is here, you're probably dreading the arrival of upcoming utility bills. Heating and cooling do represent the biggest chunk of our home energy use, but, of course, there are lots of other ways that we use energy in our homes… and not all of them are particularly efficient. Our friends at Green Home Gnome put together this fairly simple infographic that shows how we use energy at home… and helps us identify those points at which we can create some savings by using electricity and other utilities more efficiently.” Here’s the infographic (news roundup continues after it):
Cleantech Is No More Dead Than The Internet Was In 2000: “‘Clean tech is dead. The same way that the Internet was dead in 2000.’
“To me, in assessing the state of the clean-tech industry in my final Clean Edge Views column of 2012, that may well be the quote of the year. Its source was Mitch Lowe, founder and managing partner of Greenstart, an incubator for software-based clean tech startups. Lowe's sarcastic and insightful quip deftly describes the industry's current condition: it's transitional, challenging – and not going away anytime soon. Or ever.”
German Economists Review Effectiveness Of RPS Policies: “In a 40-page paper released this month, a group of researchers at DIW take a look at how well Renewable Portfolio Standards have worked in the US. The authors say that previous studies have come to contradictory results.”
Next Stop for Kansas City Streetcar: Construction: “Funding for a $100 million two-mile downtown streetcar system has been approved by voters in Kansas City, according to results announced this week.”
Bright New Hope For Geothermal Drilling: “Foro Energy, Inc. is working with the U.S. Department of Energy's ARPA-E and the Colorado School of Mines plus the Big Oil leader Chevron that has geothermal activities underway, and investors ConocoPhillips and General Electric to develop a unique capability and hardware system to transmit high power lasers over long distances via fiber optic cables to the bottom of well bores.”
Hepburn Wind Wins Global Industry Gong: “Australia's first community-owned wind farm – the two-turbine, 4.1MW Hepburn Wind project at Leonards Hill, 10km south of Daylesford in Victoria – was [last week] recognised for excellence and awarded the World Wind Energy Award in Canberra.”
Another Reason To Support Cleantech: Leaking Barge Spilling Fuel Oil Into New York Waters: “A barge with a leaking cargo tank spilled fuel oil into a New York City waterway on Saturday, officials said.”
CleanWorld Opens Nation's Largest Commercial High Solid Waste-to-Energy Digester: “CleanWorld [last week] officially opened the nation's largest commercial-scale, high solid anaerobic digestion (AD) system at the South Area Transfer Station property in South Sacramento.”
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 04:33 PM PST
These projects generate carbon offsets by reducing the amount of wood used by the locals to boil water. In order to make the water suitable for drinking, the locals have to use wood, many times sourced unsustainably. Viability Africa, the project implementing agency, has distributed Hydraid® BioSand water filters to the locals. The filter uses the slow sand filtration principle to filter-out the impurities in water.
Several companies have implemented similar projects across Africa, as availability of potable water is a crucial issue in several poor and developing countries across the continent. Such projects are highly beneficial, as they have multiple advantages. The water filters reduce dependence on wood, thereby checking the unsustainable use of wood; they provide potable water to the communities where waterborne diseases have been prevalent; they generate carbon credits which can be used by large emission producers in developed countries to offset their greenhouse gas emissions. Since this particular set of projects planned by Native Energy is certified under Gold Standard, they also provide an assurance that the projects are satisfying some of the highest standards of sustainability.
Image Credit: Hydraid
The views presented in the above article are the author's personal views only.
Clean Water Project In Africa To Generate 500,000 Carbon Credits, Provide Clean Water To Several Thousand was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 04:10 PM PST
Åland, an autonomous province of Finland, currently draws electricity through an AC transmission line from Sweden. In addition to electricity from Sweden, the province also uses some renewable electricity and has a fossil fuel–based backup.
With the new HVDC (High Voltage Direct Current) link, the province is expected to become free of dependence on Sweden as well as the fossil fuel–based power backup. Additionally, the use of electricity from renewable energy sources is expected to go up.
"The link will enable the integration of more renewable energy, provide security of power supply and grid reliability to Åland," said Brice Koch, head of ABB’s Power Systems division. "Our in-house manufacturing capability for converters, cables and semiconductors – the key components for HVDC – combined with our global track record will help us to deliver a best-in-class solution."
ABB recently completed a large-scale linkage using its HVDC Light technology. It commissioned the East-West Interconnector, which is an HVDC submarine and subsoil power link between Britain and Ireland. The link has a capacity to transmit 500 MW.
Photo credit: james_jhs (some rights reserved)
The views presented in the above article are the author's personal views only.
ABB To Set Up $130 Million HVDC Link In Finland To Facilitate Renewable Energy Transmission was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 03:27 PM PST
The director of UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center Habib Dagher said, “We have the equivalent of 150 nuclear power plants worth of wind blowing off the coast of Maine. It only takes two nuclear power plants to power the whole state, that’s how big that resource is.”
“We’re making history here and it’s all been started out by a few of us here and it’s grown to include over 50 students and numerous faculty,” said Anthony Viselli, a UMaine engineer working on the turbine system.
The first turbine will be released during this coming summer, but is mostly going to serve as a further test. The turbines which will end up being used commercially will be around eight times larger than the test turbine. The blades will be about as tall as the Washington Monument. Their massive size is integral to their planned use installed over 20 miles off shore, which is beyond the ground level horizon line.
The current goal is for a commercial-scale wind power park of more than 80 turbines to be installed by 2030.
Graduate student Racheal Joyce said, “There’s a lot of work that’s ahead, but it’s exciting work and I think the progress that we’ve seen so far is really what’s keeping us going and excited for the next step and the next step.”
1st Ever Floating Wind Turbine In USA Now Being Tested was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 03:13 PM PST
You can register for Seattle carsharing here. If you do, make sure to use the promotional code ‘SOUND’ for 30 minutes of free driving time. And, for the time being, car2go is waiving the $35 membership fee, offering free lifetime membership.
“Car2go, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Daimler, bases its carsharing concept on technologies that allow an entire community to use and share cars collaboratively,” Autoblog Green writes. “Members can just swipe a card on any available vehicle – even without having previously made a reservation – then drive the car as long as they choose to, and drop it off somewhere in the local ‘Home Area,’ making it instantly ready for the next member to use. Seattle will make the 18th global city to see introduction of Car2go’s services. The cost? 38 cents a minute.”
Source: Autoblog Green
car2go Network Now In Seattle, Now Operating In 8 North American Cities was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 02:55 PM PST
According to the iTunes app store, instead “encourages people to live within or below their means in order to give to the charity of their choice.”
So during this holiday season, think about what your gift recipients would prefer: something overpriced or something simple, with the difference donated to charity.
Each donation comes with a 5 percent fee that instead spells out exactly how it’s spent.
Instead is available on both Android devices and iPhones.
Another cool app is Walkonomics, which lets users know just how safe, beautiful, and hilly a walk is before you embark.
Walkonomics rates the walkability of streets in New York, San Francisco, and the whole of England based on the eight categories below, as outlined on the app’s about page:
The ratings, which are based on data reports of traffic history, street width, crime stats, and pedestrian accidents, are supplemented with user-submitted reviews and pics.
Walkonomics could prove useful in the US as Americans are getting out of their cars and into public transport more, which means walking to bus stops and train stations. And, as we well know, walkable neighborhoods mean fitter residents.
Currently, Walkonomics is only available on Android.
Apps Galore: 1 To Encourage Donating, 1 To Rate Walkability Of A Street was originally published on: CleanTechnica
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 05:28 AM PST
American bicyclists are prevailing, willing their way into a landscape that has resisted including them, but finally is doing so in some places. We have an overwhelming need for safer bike lanes, bike paths, and bike roads. We are finally starting to show progress with protected bike lanes. In 2012, protected bike paths have doubled in the US. It is not nearly enough; however, progress is progress.
The Green Lane Project blog reports that the number of "green lanes" in American cities has almost doubled over the last year: such on-street, colored bikeways that give cyclists some measure of physical protection from traffic had been more or less unheard of in American cities — until recently.
Several Northern and Western European cities enjoy a seamless exchange between bikes and cars, with the humans behind each considering each other on the road and providing room to share. Until very recently, American roads have been a bit blind and resistant to the ecological, healthy biker (well, many still are today). Our country’s norm has not been an easy, healthful balance, with many afraid to bike and choosing isolation in cars instead. This is changing and we believe that it can continue to change, and hope it will more rapidly.
Streetsblog tells us: after New York City implemented a protected bike lane on Ninth Avenue in 2007, the treatment began to spread. Now, through their Green Lane Project, Bikes Belong is on a mission to make this type of bike lane an unremarkable sight in the United States. And cities are making real progress on that front. This bike-meets-car culture is changing the form of our transport systems and we believe that it can continue to change, perhaps more rapidly rolling forward from the latest successes in 2012. Between 1874 and 2011, only 62 protected bike lanes were built nationwide. These new numbers shows that this key infrastructure will nearly double to 102, with protected colored bike lanes on the ground in 32 U.S. cities by the end of 2012. Furthermore, building on this momentum, the U.S. is projected to add another 100 green lanes in 2013.
Hold Fast; Don't Give Up; Keep Rolling & Looking To Europe For Commonsense Transportation
Europeans made direct choices to incorporate bike seamlessly into their transport systems well over 50 years ago. We have lagged too long behind. These protected on-street bike facilities have long been a staple in Europe. Understanding that there is a lack of safety is what holds many of us back, and yes, 60% of Americans say they would bike more often if they had a safe place, like a green lane, to ride. Furthermore, this point was validated by a recent study in Washington D.C. that revealed bicycling increased 200% on Pennsylvania Avenue after green lanes were installed.
Image Credits: Bike Lane by nicomachu (some rights reserved); colored bike lane & bike boxes in Groningen, Netherlands by Zachary Shahan (all rights reserved); Rotterdam bike lane by Kaizer Rangwala (some rights reserved)
Posted: 16 Dec 2012 04:33 AM PST
Is It A Motorcycle Or A Car?
The C-1 is self-balancing, using the same technology as used in the International Space Station and the Hubble Space Telescope – gyroscopes. This electric motorcycle of sorts stands up by itself and the claim is that it would take “a baby elephant to push or knock it over.” In tests, even a SUV cannot push it over.
A Mature Design
In a BBC interview, Brian Cooley points out, if you begin to doubt it, you cannot put your foot on the ground, so Lit Motors is asking the customer for a lot of faith to participate in the ride. No problem, due to Kim and the whole Lit Motors crew, this design can be trusted, and faith and desire is what many customers do have.
There is a waiting list for the C-1 and folks have already paid deposits on the vehicle. They fall in love with the glowing, ecologically friendly, streamlined sci-fi-styled body of the vehicle. Customers identify with the "gleaming in all of its white glory" mature design and economical ideology of the machine.
Considered a mature design, the C-1 (which we actually wrote about almost a year ago — see that link) is a realized equation to meet the needs of a class of people in their 20s and 30s who are thinking differently about transit. For that matter this vehicle is designed to meet the needs of most of us.
Cut Your Car In Half
It is certain that if one is not using mass transit or a bike, one is most often alone in a car. This machine gives the driver an option of cutting their car in half.
Covered Electric Motorcycle (Or Scooter) That Can’t Be Knocked Down — Lit Motors C-1 was originally published on: CleanTechnica
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