Solar Energy in the Midwest

Posts tagged ‘business’

Chinese Zombie Solar Companies Emerging After Years of Subsidies

Interesting read about the evolution of solar and the influence of China in the global picture. Puts new light on Solyndra. Read Here.

 

 

 

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Do you want to pay $1,000/month to have water shipped to your home? Only 2% of the earth has fresh water, if we pollute this where will we buy the water from?

THE WMEAC BLOG

Photo -   In this Nov. 26, 2012 photo, Steve Lipsky demonstrates how his well water ignites when he puts a flame to the flowing well spigot outside his family's home in rural Parker County near Weatherford, Texas. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency had evidence a gas company's drilling operation contaminated Lipsky's drinking water with explosive methane, and possibly cancer-causing chemicals, but withdrew its enforcement action, leaving the family with no useable water supply, according to a report obtained by The Associated Press. The EPA's decision to roll back its initial claim that hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking,” operations had contaminated the water is the latest case in which the federal agency initially linked drilling to water contamination and then softened its position, drawing criticism from Republicans and industry officials who insisted they proved the agency was inefficient and too quick to draw conclusions. (AP Photo/LM Otero)  In 2010 the Lipskys and one other family in an upscale neighborhood near Fort Worth, Tex., complained to officials when their water from the faucet started bubbling.  The family’s water contained so much methane in it that water from the garden hose outside could be lit on fire.

Concerned for methane and cancer-causing benzene contamination the EPA immediately cautioned the two households to stop using the water and ordered the nearby natural gas drilling company, Range Resources, to clean up the wells and provide clean water to the families.

Range Resources started drilling in the area only a mile away from the Lipskys home in 2009. The company then commissioned an independent scientist named Geoffrey Thyne to analyze the water and determine if the contamination could have been caused by the drilling for natural gas called hydraulic fracturing, or more commonly referred to as “fracking.”  Thyne analyzed water from…

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Nissan Leaf All-Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Coming To Virginia | Earthtechling

Nissan Leaf All-Electric Taxi Cab Fleet Coming To Virginia

EV Taxicabs

 

What’s being heralded as one of the nation’s first all-electric fleets of taxi cabs could soon be hitting the streets in Arlington, Virginia. The fleet would consist of  Nissan Leaf electric cars and would include a supporting infrastructure capable of keeping this fleet going around the clock.

EV Taxicabs, according to the Washington Examiner, needs to first gain approval of th

e Arlington county board of supervisors before it can begin operation. It looks likely it will happen, given that the county manager there has already recommended the company be granted approval for 40 cabs out of a total of 65 new vehicles being added to the county’s existing 765 cabs. Go here for full article.

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article

Putting the A123 Bankruptcy in Context | Renewable Energy News Article. By John Rogers, Senior Energy Analyst, Clean Energy
October 19, 2012

… To date, 30 battery and electric drive firms have received stimulus funding. A full list is here. Two of them, A123 Systems and EnerDel, have filed for bankruptcy so far. (They haven’t disappeared, however: EnerDel continues to operate and A123′s stimulus-funded facilities will remain open under the deal with Johnson Controls.)

Those two companies represent 18% of the vehicle battery grants, which means that 82% of that portfolio is still “performing”.

Plumer also offers as context another stimulus-funded program that’s gotten a lot of attention but has an even more impressive performance to date:

In a similar vein, of the 26 clean-energy projects that have received federal loan guarantees under a separate 1705 program, just three have filed for bankruptcy, including Solyndra, Abound, and Beacon Power. (Though Beacon is still operating and has largely paid back its federally backed loans.)

Even the full amount at risk from those three companies adds up to 6% of the portfolio, meaning that the performing piece of the investments is 94% of the whole… Read the full article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article

Green Growth Still Setting the Pace | Renewable Energy World Magazine Article.

By Janet L. Sawin, Contributor
October 18, 2012

REN21’s Renewables Global Status Report — an overview of renewable energy market, industry, investment and policy developments worldwide, relying on an international network of more than 400 contributors — reveals that the sector continued to expand across all its various segments.

Renewable sources supplied an estimated 16.7 percent of global final energy consumption in 2010. Of this total, modern renewable energy (as opposed to traditional biomass) accounted for an estimated 8.2 percent, a share that has increased in recent years, while the share from traditional biomass has declined slightly to an estimated 8.5 percent. During 2011, modern renewables continued to grow strongly in all end-use sectors.

In the power sector, renewables accounted for almost half of the estimated 208 GW of electric capacity added globally during 2011. Wind and solar photovoltaics (PV) accounted for almost 40 percent and 30 percent of new renewable capacity respectively, followed by hydropower (nearly 25 percent). By end 2011, total renewable power capacity worldwide exceeded 1360 GW, up 8 percent over 2010; renewables comprised more than 25 percent of total global power-generating capacity (estimated at 5360 GW in 2011) and supplied an estimated 20.3 per cent of global electricity. Non-hydropower renewables exceeded 390 GW, a 24 percent capacity increase over 2010. For full article

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit

Michigan Breweries Going Solar « CBS Detroit.

(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

mattroushReporting Matt Roush

YPSILANTI — Barley, hops and yeast are powered by the sun.

Increasingly, so are the breweries that turn those ingredients into beer.

Southeast Michigan brewery owners Matt and Rene Greff are breaking new ground for Michigan breweries as solar installations at their two breweries come on line this summer.

Arbor Brewing Co. became Michigan’s first solar brewery when it flipped the switch on a new system comprised of a 2.4-kilowatt solar photovoltaic array, 300 solar thermal collector tubes and a high-efficiency tankless water heater system to supplement the heat from the collector tubes when necessary.

These big ticket investments were combined with smaller improvements like switching to CFL and LED lighting and installing low-flow sprayers and occupancy sensors.

The project grew out of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority’s Energy Conservation Grant Program, which provided free energy audits and 50 percent project rebates up to $20,000 to downtown businesses that implemented audit recommendations to become more energy efficient.

ABC owner Matt Greff worked with Ann Arbor DDA Energy Programs Director David Konkle as well as a consulting team from the University of Michigan’s School of Natural Resources and the Environment, led by Jarett Diamond.

Together they were able to identify a number of financial resources and incentives to help offset the installation cost of the system including the $20,000 grant from the DDA, a $10,000 interest-free loan from the city, a 30 percent tax credit from the federal government, and various incentives from DTE Energy.

The couple’s Corner Brewery in Ypsilanti is also nearing completion on its own $250,000 Green Brewery Project which includes solar-thermal, photovoltaic, and geo-thermal technologies along with other improvements like new windows and awnings and energy-efficient chiller equipment.

Can Solar Panels and Historic Preservation Get Along?

Can Solar Panels and Historic Preservation Get Along?.

Kaid Benfield   Jun 25, 2012

I believe that historic preservation in the right context – a healthy neighborhood – can be intrinsically green. Most historic buildings, at least the ones constructed before the days of freeways and urban flight, are on walkable streets in relatively central locations. They represent embodied energy and materials that would be consumed if the same amount of space and the same function had to be constructed anew. Also, being built before “the thermostat age,” as my friend Steve Mouzon calls it, many of them were built with attention to climate and with locally sourced materials, giving them environmentally beneficial characteristics as a matter of design.

But, by definition, historic buildings do not have the latest technology unless it is added many years later. I agree with Steve that technology can be overrated as an environmental cure-all, but there are clearly some forms of green technology that can strengthen the environmental profile of older buildings. This raises the delicate issue of how much updating can and should occur without compromising the building’s historic character.

Full Story

Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Save Taxpayers Billions Every Year : TreeHugger

Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies Will Save Taxpayers Billions Every Year : TreeHugger.

The only people in the world who actually benefit from the government subsidies doled out to fossil fuel companies—to the tune of over $775 billion annually, in total around the world—are the fossil fuel companies themselves.

It should be obvious, and not need repeating, or be a controversial statement, but it is and is why NRDC has just released a report detailing the myriad benefits of shutting off the corporate welfare tap flowing to oil, coal, and natural gas companies.

Beyond that financial savings to taxpayers around the world, each year, NRDC outlines the following benefits of ending fossil fuel subsidies:

  • Cut carbon dioxide emissions 6% by 2020.
  • Reduce overall energy demand 5% by 2020.
  • Importantly, they won’t hurt the poor, as the vast majority of fossil fuel subsidies are not at the consumer level, and instead benefit wealthy corporations directly and solely.

More from the NRDC on fossil fuel subsidies: NRDC Fossil Fuel Factsheet

Join us this weekend at Mission Zero Fest, Ann Arbor

http://www.missionzerofest.org/

Join us for: 

 Daren Griffith, Senior Project Manager for Mechanical Energy Systems, will be speaking in the Educational tent 4-5pm Saturday with Wayne Appleyard and John Wakeman about “Harnessing the free energy“.  Join him and bring your questions with you.

Mechanical Energy Systems designed and installed the solar systems on the home tours of Matt Grocoff’s home 217 S Seventh  St. and Scott Philips home at 723 Spring St.

For more information call us @ (734) 453-6746 or email info@mes1.com

 

A Solar Powered Dairy Farm in Michigan

Energy Videos from Around the Web – Moo…A Solar Powered Dairy Farm | The Michigan Energy Efficiency Network: Saving Money, Saving Time, Saving Energy.

In 2010, Jim Reid of Reid Dairy Farm in Jeddo, Michigan, installed 96 solar panels to help power the farm. The solar panels will supply approximately 30% of the farm’s electricity needs per year for the next 25 years.

Watch the video to hear his story and see the panels installed on the farm.

Go to link for full article and video.

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