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Friday 3rd April 2020

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Smart Energy Summit Begins Monday the 17th

Next Monday marks the start of the Smart Energy Summit in Austin, Texas, running through Wednesday of that week. The event will be hosted by Parks Associates, a market research and consulting company, at the Omni Hotel in Austin. The [...]

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  Renewable Energy News

Scotland is on Track to Reach 100% Renewable Energy Target by the End of 2020

Scotland is on track to reach 100% renewable energy target by the end of 2020. In 2016, the country closed down its last coal fired power plant. The plant once powered 25% of homes in the country and was once the largest coal plant in all of Europe. The majority of renewable energy is now produced by onshore wind energy. The country also creates heat with waste to energy technology. The United Nations international climate talks will take place in Scotland in November. For the most part, most countries aren’t even close to reaching the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement. The United States, the 2nd largest emitter, withdrew from the accords. Russia, the 5th largest emitter, didn’t make a pledge at all. It is clear that the world isn’t even close to where it should be to combat climate change. Scotland is a light and is now clearly one of the leaders and countries others should aspire to and learn from. Written by Justin Stanphill

By |January 30th, 2020|

Perovskite May be an Important Aspect of Future Solar Panels

Photo: Wikipedia A new mineral is being used for solar panels that could greatly improve the efficiency of solar panels. Perovskite is a calcium titanium oxide mineral found in the Ural Mountains of Russia in the 1800’s. Excitement about this mineral has grown due to its efficiency, unusual properties, and its low cost. Perovskite reacts to a wider range of visible light frequencies, ultimately meaning it can convert more sunlight to energy than a typical silicon-based Photovoltaic (PV) cell. PV panels are currently seeing efficiency rates of around 19%-21% with the possible limit of around 29%. Perovskite panels could see efficiency rates as high as 35% or more. The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) announced funding to support Research and Development for PV energy applications, including perovskite. It is currently cheaper to produce Perovskite but it is less durable than traditional silicon-based photovoltaics. Hybrid panels could allow for greater panel efficiency while still delivering a long life. Written by Justin Stanphill

By |January 21st, 2020|

60-Second Science is a Great Way to Consume Science Information on the Go

Scientific American 60-Second Science podcast is a great resource for obtaining a conversational knowledge of various scientific studies and happenings. A recent episode highlights science and technology news from around the globe from Spain’s uncovered Dolmen of Guadalperal due to the summers powerful drought to the discovery of a new species of electric eel in Brazil. Scientific American is the longest continuously published magazine in the United States having been around for 170 years. 60-Second Science is a great way for people on the move to learn about important scientific news occurring around the world, in a way that is easy and palatable to the average non-scientist and professional researcher alike. Add this podcast to your repertoire of science information.   Written by Justin Stanphill

By |January 15th, 2020|

RENEW Wisconsin’s Ninth Annual Renewable Energy Summit Jan. 16 in Wisconsin

Non-profit RENEW Wisconsin hosts their ninth Annual Renewable Energy Summit January 16 in Madison, Wisconsin (WI), where more than 400 renewable energy sector experts and attendees will address this year’s theme for the state, “2020 Vision: The Path to 100% Clean Energy,” at the Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center. Held from 7:30 A.M. to 3:30 P.M. on Thursday, the summit will focus on the state’s future in renewable energy, and the steps required to make that vision a reality. Attendees—a mix of industry experts, government officials, utility professionals, advocates, and students—can participate in workshops, panels, and networking opportunities. This year’s presenting sponsors are Arch Electric, Invenergy LLC, and Zerology. The eco-friendly Monona Terrace venue is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certified structure first designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright. This year’s keynote speaker is Katherine Hamilton, Chair of 38 North Solutions, a consulting firm specializing in business development and policy services for companies and organizations in the renewable energy industry. Hamilton’s speech will focus on the global renewable energy industry, before explaining how Wisconsin can accelerate its progression in clean energy. The summit will commence with brief “101” courses on renewable energy technologies and the electrical grid, before moving on to policy initiatives and explanations of successful renewable energy initiatives in Wisconsin. These will include presentations from Antonio Butts, Executive Director of the community development-focused Walnut Way Conservation Corp., and Scott Anderson, an engineer-turned-elementary-school-teacher who engages his students in real-life green energy projects to encourage stewardship. Other summit panels will focus on alternatives to the current petroleum-focused energy industry, such as biogas, wind, and solar energy, as well as the changes in education, energy storage, and energy distribution systems that Wisconsin will need in order to make 100% renewable energy a reality. Some of the summit’s many enlightening speakers include WI state senator Robert L. Cowles, Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources, and Lincoln Lande, the Senior Director of Business Development at EDF Renewables. A variety of forward-thinking businesses and organizations will attend the summit, including such entities as Sunrun, ENGIE North America, and SC Johnson. The full, detailed schedule can be seen here. A full list of speakers can be found here. A list of organization attendees can be found here. Registration can be found here. Written by Dilawar Naqvi

By |January 14th, 2020|

BEST PRACTICES: Spain’s Repsol is First Fossil Fuel Energy Giant to Pledge Net-Zero Emissions by 2050

              Spanish oil and gas company Repsol S.A. recently announced plans to be the industry’s first net-zero greenhouse gas emitter by 2050, as well as the first such company to include their customers’ emissions in their measurements. Accounting for clients’ emissions produced by power plants and transportation vehicles that use their products, Madrid-based Repsol is poised to be the first company in its field to meet all three scopes of greenhouse gas emissions as defined by the global Greenhouse Gas Protocol (GHG Protocol). Repsol, one of the smaller global oil and gas giants, operates in 37 countries, including the United States, with a world-wide product sales reach of 90 countries. The GHG Protocol is the world’s most utilized greenhouse gas accounting and reporting standard for companies and organizations. The Protocol entails different greenhouse gas emissions reporting scopes: • Scope One comprises a reporting entity’s direct greenhouse gas emissions; • Scope Two comprises the entity’s indirect emissions resulting from consumption of purchased electricity, steam, or heat; • Scope Three comprises the indirect emissions that do not fall under Scope Two, such as the reporting entity’s clients’ emissions from use of the entity’s products, or the emissions created during production of materials that the reporting entity has purchased. To meet the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 2015 Paris Agreement goals and to help accelerate the decarbonization of the changing gas and oil economy, Repsol confirmed their new multi-energy business strategy by marking down their gas and oil reserves by $5.3 billion and pivoting towards clean energy investments that so far have increased Repsol’s renewable energy portfolio by 40%. They will continue to search for natural gas and oil, but plan to focus on value over volume, according to a recent Repsol press release. With a focus on the circular economy ideal, the company will double production of vegetable oil-derived, high-quality biofuels by 2030. They are committed to exploring clean energy and have already begun development of wind power and photovoltaic solar power projects. Written by Nicole Foulke

By |January 13th, 2020|
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  Climate Change News

Restaurant Technology News Announced Their List For 2019 Environmental Good

Restaurant Technology News compiled a list of 8 companies that are working in the greening of restaurant industry from waste reduction to energy usage. Nearly all of the winners aim to reduce food waste, with some being energy focused as well. Companies include ComplianceMate, CrunchTime, GND Solutions, Power Knot, Riegel Linen, Tenzo, Winnow, and Zume. Restaurants have become notorious for wasting an incredible amount of food each year. Nearly 40% of food generated in the United States is never eaten. Consumer markets, which includes restaurants, represents 31% of the food loss in America, according to the USDA. Solution providers in food waste are a growing industry and a welcomed one.   Read the full list here     Written by Justin Stanphill

By |March 4th, 2020|

BEST PRACTICES: Nike’s New Efforts Against Global Warming Include ‘Green’ 2020 Olympics Uniforms and Circular Economy-Inspired “Space Hippie” Sneakers Made of Scraps

                  Climate change now affects the athletics industry, say sports giant Nike, Inc., and since pledging their ‘Move to Zero’ 2025 100% renewable energy use goal and an eventual net-zero carbon emissions goal last September, Nike has featured projects like their 2020 Summer Olympics uniforms manufactured from recycled polyester and ground shoes as well as their new ‘Space Hippie’ sneakers, their lowest carbon footprint line ever. The Oregon-based company has cited the effects of warming temperatures on the athletes who they sponsor, and the Nike products the athletes use, noting that sports technology must adapt to the changing climate. They also plan to release a capsule eco-friendly ‘Move to Zero’ clothing line for their large consumer base. “‘At Nike, we believe that climate change is the defining environmental issue of our generation because the reality is if there's no plan, there's no sport,’” said Nike chief sustainability officer Noel Kinder according to Business Insider. Added Kinder: “‘And as you might imagine sports are fairly important to us.’” Nike is inspired by circular economy design principles, with the goal to design more sustainably-produced products that have a longer lifespan and a clear pathway for recycling, upcycling, or downcycling after disassembly. In addition to their eco-friendly and performance-focused 2020 Summer Olympics uniforms, Nike will soon release their limited edition ‘Space Hippie’ sneaker line made of factory floor scraps and their ‘Move to Zero’ clothing collection. Inspired by NASA’s practice of using ‘found objects’ from space during their missions to replace materials they had brought from Earth, Nike created ‘Space Hippie’ sneakers to be products of their new circular design process, rethinking sustainable design principles and the entirely of a product’s usefulness. This summer Nike also plans to launch their ‘Move to Zero’ sustainable consumer apparel line, applying circular design principles to make more eco-friendly apparel inspired by some of their classic pieces. Written by Nicole Foulke

By |March 4th, 2020|

Carbon Capture is Benefitting Breweries and Marijuana Companies With New Pilot Program

The Denver Beer Company in Colorado is working with the marijuana industry to launch a program to sell excess carbon dioxide to the cannabis company The Clinic in order to fertilize their marijuana crops. The exchange is part of the Carbon Dioxide Reuse Pilot Project announced by the governor of Colorado and the Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE). The program fixes a closed loop economic model where CO2 is normally purchased through outside sources and recovery does not normally factor into the equation. The Marijuana industry uses CO2 to stimulate plant growth and achieve higher yields. The Denver beer Co. can capture 100,000 lbs. per year by implementing the innovation while saving money on purchasing CO2 and avoiding the emissions resulted from shipping in CO2 from outside sources altogether. If implemented throughout the alcohol and cannabis industries, massive amounts of Carbon would be saved from entering the atmosphere. The company Earthly Labs, based in Austin, TX, developed the turn-key system to capture CO2 emitted from the brewing process. The captured gas can then be used in a variety of ways including pouring beverages on site or sold to others who use CO2 for their business but focusing on the marijuana industry and other breweries. The new program aims to reduce the impact that the two large industries have in the state of Colorado but could be used in other states where legal marijuana exists like California, Oregon, and Washington.     Written by Justin Stanphill

By |March 3rd, 2020|
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