Friday, December 4th, 2009
I recently attended the West Coast Green conference in San Francisco and came out enthused and confused.
I was enthused about the progress the green building industry is making. That over 14,000 people from all over the country came to learn about the new innovations in green building is huge for an industry, which in many ways, is in its infancy.
I listened to speakers from all sides of the business, real estate experts, government officials, green building consultants, and contractors to list only a few. They all provided interesting insights on where the industry was and should be going and a bit about it how it was going to get there.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
According to a new report [Fr] from ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency), 90,000 jobs have been created in green sectors in France between 2006 and 2008.
These jobs have been created mostly in the fields of energy conservation and the development of renewable energy.
Overall, the French green sectors now employ over 294,000 jobs (up from 204,000 jobs in 2006). The ADEME is optimistic that this trend will continue and believes an additional 200,000 jobs could be created by 2012.
The energy conservation and renewable energy sectors grew by 28 percent and represent a market worth €50 billion ($75 billion). They could grow to up to €90 billion ($135 billion) by 2012. (more…)
Tuesday, December 1st, 2009
Sunday, November 29th, 2009
With the United States of America’s ever-mounting trade and budget deficits, unemployment above 10 percent (and, dependent on counting, un- and under-employment above 20 percent), looming peak oil and other resource (water, for example) limitations, environmental challenges, and ever-mounting climate chaos , America faces a very serious situation.
In fact, to one degree or another, these same intertwined challenges (with the exception of trade/budget deficits for some countries) are those face by societies and nations throughout the globe in our networked, systems-of-systems global community.
These serious challenges are a networked system-of-systems that interact and reinforce each other. As we strive to stop digging the holes deeper and climb our way out, we can seek to deal with these challenges in a stove-piped manner or address them with W6 solutions that have wins across multiple arenas:
Monday, November 23rd, 2009
It all sounds very grandiose and really too good to be true, but a number of Persian Gulf states, including Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Bahrain and Qatar are hoping to be able to satisfy a good portion of their massive energy needs through alternative and renewable energy sources, instead of relying mostly on oil.
In a part of the world that experiences some of the hottest summer temperatures, averaging above 44 degrees Celsius during at least 4 months of the year; and whose energy growth use is growing by more than 10% per annum, these countries have their work cut out for them to be able to realize 70% of their total energy needs from alternative and renewable energy by the year 2030.
Friday, November 13th, 2009
As debate heats up around the proposals for clean energy legislation in Congress, one of the main points of contention is the amount of money it will cost. More specifically, everyone wants to know how the average American household will be impacted by the respective energy bills in the House (Waxman-Markey’s American Clean Energy and Security Act) and the Senate (Kerry-Boxer’s Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act). This article will investigate the change in energy prices one can expect from legislation that could be passed within the coming months, and try to sift through the wide discrepancy in figures that are being tossed around. Then some recommendations will be presented as to how energy usage can be reduced, to preempt any anticipated rises in cost.
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
I recently finished reading a book I strongly recommend to anyone interested in sustainable development and energy. It is packed with figures and findings that I believe will easily start discussions among CleanTechies.
The author, David JC MacKay, is Professor in the Department of Physics at Cambridge University and was recently appointed Chief Scientific Advisor to the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change responsible for the Low Carbon Transition Plan.
One of the main findings of this book is that electrifying our cars and installing heat pumps in our buildings would enable us to cut significantly both our greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel consumption. Both solutions are much more efficient than the current traditional ones and could benefit from massive electrification to answer all our energy needs.
Monday, November 2nd, 2009
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia may still be considered as one of the most conservative from a religious standpoint. But with the opening of the new King Abdullah University of Science and Technology, otherwise known as KAUST, a new era in academic learning, combined with new innovations in ecological architecture and design, has begun in which both men and women students will benefit jointly.
The new campus opened its doors in September, in the Red Sea city of Thuwal, 80 km north of Jeddah. It is considered to be the most environmentally innovative campus of its kind in the Kingdom. Constructed in a manner to utilize the maximum benefit of sea breezes for cooling, the buildings themselves have been constructed in order to screen out a good deal of the heat that is generated by the hot Arabian sun; making the internal environment more sustainable for the students.
Monday, October 26th, 2009
It sits in the middle of a harsh, barren desert, sweltering in searing heat. It has no clean water, its sea is polluted and there is no topsoil, just a covering of sand. It is also the biggest per capita consumer of fuel, massively reliant on cars, power-hungry desalination and air-conditioning. And with all this, can the United Arab Emirate state of Abu Dhabi really succeed in building a new “green city” in the Middle East?
If you can believe visionary people like architect Gerard Evenden (his words above), from the British architectural firm Foster & Partners, yes it can. Billions of dollars are riding on the assumption
Wednesday, October 21st, 2009
“Ah-ha moments”, those times when something is triggered in one’s mind that opens up a new understanding or way of seeing things. Day three of West Coast Green 2009 brought together some of the brightest minds in the “green building” movement and provided the platform for the cross-pollination of innovation and ingenuity that led many to “ah-ha moments”.
One attendee, Jason Lear of Batt + Lear Designers and Builders who traveled from Seattle, Washington to attend the show shared some of the information that led to a complete rethinking for the way he conducts projects at his family-run business. During a previous show, Mr. Lear sat through a presentation given by Rick Chitwood, President of Chitwood Energy Management. The presentation by Mr. Chitwood was so simple yet so powerful, it changed Mr. Lear’s business overnight. The subject of the inspiration; properly sealed attics.