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Saturday, June 24, 2017

Protected areas in ocean are key tool against climate change

This is good insight and strategy for protecting our oceans.  The question is, do we have the will and benevolence to act or are we too selfish and simply will continue to strip our eco-capital to its last shred?

Protected areas in ocean are key tool against climate change

Miami (AFP) - Having more areas of the ocean that are protected from fishing, mining and tourism can be an important tool in the fight against climate change, international researchers said Monday.
Such areas can guard coastlines that are vulnerable to sea level rise and storms, and help restore marine species that are struggling due to warming and polluted waters, said a report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences based on peer-reviewed studies on the impact of marine reserves around the world.
The report was released on the opening day of the United Nations' first-ever global conference on protecting the oceans, taking place in New York.
"Many studies show that well-managed marine reserves can protect wildlife and support productive fisheries, but we wanted to explore this body of research through the lens of climate change to see whether these benefits could help ameliorate or slow its impacts," said lead author Callum Roberts, professor at the University of York.
"It was soon quite clear that they can offer the ocean ecosystem and people critical resilience benefits to rapid climate change."
Marine reserves can lessen the impact of ocean acidification -- which kills coral reefs -- and provide refuge for species that are in decline, it found.
They can also "promote uptake and long-term storage
e of carbon from greenhouse gas emissions, especially in coastal wetlands, which helps reduce the rate of climate change," the study said.
Just 3.5 percent of the world's oceans are set aside for protection, and only 1.6 percent are fully protected from fishing and other exploitation.
International efforts are underway to raise the total to 10 percent by 2020.
At a meeting of the International Union for Conservation of Nature last year, delegates agreed that at least 30 percent should be protected by 2030.
Studies show the most benefits come from large, well-managed reserves that are protected from fishing, oil and mineral extraction.
"We were keenly aware that marine reserves can increase species' abundance and help alleviate food scarcity," said Beth O'Leary, a co-author and research fellow at the University of York.
"But our evaluation showed reserves are a viable low-tech, cost-effective adaptation strategy that would yield multiple co-benefits from local to global scales, improving the outlook for the environment and people into the future."

Friday, June 23, 2017

Offshore Support Vessel Market worth 20.15 Billion USD by 2022

We bring you another booming market, this time from a Twitter feed.


Deepwater production and exploration activities and investments by emerging economies in offshore exploration will drive the offshore support vessel market.the global Offshore Support Vessel Market is estimated to be USD 15.85 Billion in 2017, and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.92%, from 2017 to 2021.

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Market Ecosystem:
The ecosystem of the offshore support vessel market consists of vessel builders, service providers (fleet providers), and oilfield operators. The figure below shows the market ecosystem along with the major companies.

To enable an in-depth understanding of the competitive landscape, the report includes the profiles of some of the top players in the offshore support vessel market. These players include Bourbon SA (France), Farstad Shipping ASA (Norway), Seacor Marine, LLC (U.S.), Swire Group (U.K.), Tidewater, Inc. (U.S.), Gulfmark Offshore, Inc. (U.S.), Havila Shipping ASA (Norway), Hornbeck Offshore (U.S.), The Maersk Group (Denmark), REM Maritime AS (Norway), Siem Offshore, Inc. (Norway), Solstad Offshore ASA (Norway), Vroon Group (The Netherlands), Edison Chouset Offshore (U.S.), Harvey Gulf International Marine, LLC (U.S.), and Island Offshore Management AS (Norway).

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The leading players are trying to make inroads into markets with tight cabotage rules, such as Brazil, while also taking advantage of the comparatively liberal policies in regions such as the Middle East and Asia-Pacific, to increase their market presence.

Anchor handling tug supply (AHTS) vessels: The largest segment of the offshore supply vessel market, by type
The offshore supply vessel market has been segmented into vessel type, depth, and region. The market has been further segmented, by vessel type, into anchor handling tug supply vessels, platform supply vessels (PSV), multipurpose support vessels (MPSV), standby and rescue vessels, crew vessels, chase vessels, seismic vessels, and others.

The shallow water subsegment is estimated to have the highest growth rate in the offshore support vessel market, by depth.
On the basis of depth, the market has been segmented into shallow water and deepwater segments. The application of offshore support vessels in shallow water projects is estimated to lead the market, both in terms of market value and growth. The shallow water basins in the Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Europe, and North America will play a major role in driving the offshore support vessel market. Shallow water operations are typically less expensive compared to deepwater operations. Thus, recovering oil prices will lead to a faster increase in offshore activity in shallow water basins compared to deepwater ones.

R.I. has highest CO2 emission rate in New England/PBN

Well,I must say this surprised us.  RI has a good track record around emission reductions and improvements in general Eco protection.  Why, then, are they lagging on CO2 rates?

We can bring you part of the story, but the rest is on PBN.  Our speculation centers on a single, dominate utility/buyer of power and their quest to control market rates.

RHODE ISLAND RANKED worst in New England for CO2 emission rate in the 2017 Benchmarking Air Emissions report on 2015 emissions. /COURTESY M.J. BRADLEY & ASSOCIATES LLC 

RHODE ISLAND RANKED worst in New England for CO2 emission rate in the 2017 Benchmarking Air Emissions report on 2015 emissions. /COURTESY M.J. BRADLEY & ASSOCIATES LLC
PROVIDENCE - Rhode Island had the highest carbon dioxide emission relative to electricity generation in New England, according to a new report called "Benchmarking Air Emissions." The report, commissioned by a coalition of energy companies, banks and nonprofits, was released this month. It focused on carbon emissions of the nation’s 100 largest electricity generators during…

Thursday, June 22, 2017

5 things you can do about climate change

Before we bring you those five things, first we give you a recap of the big picture and some of the shifting environmental conditions that clearly threaten our quality of life--if not, existence.

Yesterday we asked you, our global audience, how you were going to celebrate Solar Day (beyond, of course, spending two hours with us)?  And how would you carry the lessons into your daily life.

Below are some good ideas on doing just that.  Being aware of the general conditions, and tempering your behavior to reduce your personal burden on the eco-system.   That is a great way to celebrate any day.

5 things you can do about climate change

A version of this article first published in 2014.
(CNN)There's been a lot of fallout over US President Donald Trump's decision to withdraw from the international Paris climate accord, which has been endorsed by nearly 200 countries.
It's not a huge surprise: the populist, anti-elite American leader promised he would do just that during his presidential campaign -- although foreign and business leaders had appealed to him to stay in the pact.
Climate change isn't something in the far-off future: It's a potentially disastrous reality that's already starting to have effects that are expected to worsen, experts say.
two degrees, card
2 degrees: key to climate change
So, while global leaders determine the fate of the Paris agreement, here are five things you can do right now to help stem the effects of climate change:

Make small changes at home

It might not seem like much, but there are a few things you can do around your home to limit your family's greenhouse gas emissions -- according to the US Environmental Protection Agency -- and it could save you money, too.
Take a look around your home: What are the five most common lights you use? If you change those bulbs to compact fluorescent light bulbs, they'll use less energy and help reduce your impact on the environment.
Can psychology influence the way we recycle?
Can psychology influence the way we recycle?
Heating and cooling your home also contributes to your carbon footprint. Replacing that old thermostat with a programmable thermostat allows you to turn off the heating or A/C when you're not home. Programmable thermostats cost as little as $20 -- but can shave hundreds off your energy bill.
Want to reduce your water waste? Start by replacing that old toilet with one that uses less water. The EPA says toilets account for nearly 30% of the average home's indoor water use.
And, of course, make sure you're involved in your local recycling program.

Be greener at the office

Don't abandon your earth-friendly habits once you get to the workplace. If you have a desk job, there are plenty of things you can do to reduce your emissions at the office. Start by powering down your computer and other office equipment when you're not using them.
Consider whether that upcoming business trip is really necessary. Can you accomplish what you need in a video conference? That's a more earth-friendly alternative.
And even the little things, like walking a little farther to toss that drink can in the recycling bin, can go a long way.

Change how you get around

If you live in a city, check out your public transportation options -- even if it's just one day a week. And if you live close to your job, why not bike or walk to work? It could even save you money on a costly gym membership.
This talking, self-driving bus is coming
This talking, self-driving bus is coming 
No matter where you live, there may be carpooling options. Get on your neighborhood social feed and see if you live near someone who works in the same part of town. That could also save a lot of money in gas.
When you do drive, make sure you're not spending more than 30 seconds idling and go easy on the gas pedal and brakes. Also, check your tire pressure on a regular basis. That can really improve your gas consumption rate.

Get informed

The most powerful way the average person can combat climate change is to become informed about it, says J. Marshall Shepherd, former president of the American Meteorological Society and professor at the University of Georgia.
"Obviously, it makes sense for people to be as efficient and green as possible in their thinking on a day-to-day basis," he said. "But where I think the biggest impact that individuals can have is: Becoming climate literate."

The reality of climate change 03:52
If you educate yourself about what's going on with climate change and what can be done about it, you can make more informed choices when it comes time to vote for the people with the power to make big decisions.
"Where the biggest impacts on our planet will be, will come from large-scale policy changes and solutions that are influenced by who's in office," he said.
Only read trusted and verified sources of information about climate change, Shepherd said. He recommends the websites and Climate Central (of which he is a board member) for essential facts and resources.
Beyond reading up on the issues, you can still do a small part to influence the big environmental picture.

Get involved and educate others about the big picture

Your green strategies in your daily life can have a small impact, but the whole planet has to be on board for dealing with climate change in order to instigate global effects. Even if everyone in the United States reduced their emissions, other countries that continue to dump carbon dioxide into the air would still contribute to warming temperatures and rising sea levels.
Spread the word about climate change and educating people. The EPA recommends that students give presentations on climate change and encourage their institutions to increase energy efficiency.

Find out if your community has a climate action plan. There may be ways you can contribute to local efforts to be greener and adapt to potential changes that a warming world would bring.
Bottom line: if you arm yourself with correct information, you can make informed choices that could affect your community and the planet at large.

Why don't we use more geothermal energy?

What a great question as we come off our two-live broadcast from Belcourt of Newport and get caught up.  Did you watch?  If not you will soon be able to view the segments on our main site.

But, back to geothermal.   Big topic of conversation yesterday.  Used beautifully in the remodeling of this historic and stately home we visited for Solstice Day, 2017.  Not an easy install, either.  Shocking how they crammed so many pipes and equipment into what looked to us like a tiny crawl space.  Incredible work.

But, the budget on this renovation project is unlike most others.  Massive amounts of money are being poured into breathing new life into this wonderful mansion.  Geothermal needs a shot in the arm.  It must become more competitively priced.  Most of us can't wait the many years for a return.  As much as we love the technology, geothermal energy has a limited space in the market.

Why don't we use more geothermal energy?

 by Ned Hluzan

Geothermal energy is renewable energy source that is practically inexhaustible source of energy. We are talking here about the thermal energy of our planet that is being constantly replenished by the radioactive decay of the minerals and as such it cannot be exhausted.

So what we have here is an environmentally friendly energy source with enormous potential and yet only a tiny fraction of it is being used. Worldwide, 12,635 megawatts (MW) of geothermal power is online in 2015, with current estimates predicting around 21,500 MW in 2020. Given total geothermal potential these are really small numbers, and not something global geothermal industry can be proud of. For example, U.S. geothermal power plants currently provide only around 0.4% of total U.S. electricity generation.

The Earth's geothermal resources are more than enough to supply entire humanity's energy needs but sadly not today, and definitely not with today's technologies.

What is the main problem with currently available geothermal technologies? The first thing is the reach of these technologies which is very limited as only areas near the tectonic boundaries offer economic viability of new geothermal projects.

High capital costs are usually main stumbling block for new geothermal power projects. According to 2010 data the estimated costs of geothermal power plant construction and well drilling are at €2-5 million per generated MW of electricity.

Geothermal drilling is also one of the main reasons why world doesn't use more geothermal energy. Geothermal drilling is significantly more complicated than oil drilling because geothermal drilling has to go through igneous and metamorphic rocks, which are harder and lot more fractured compared to sedimentary rocks through which most oil wells are drilled. Also, lot higher temperatures are involved compared to those associated with oil wells.

What global geothermal energy industry needs is a major technological development. This, however, will be difficult to achieve given the fact that geothermal drillers create only a small number of new geothermal wells each year so there's not a lot to build and learn from.

Some technologies, like for instance Enhanced Geothermal System (EGS) technology offer hope that harnessing geothermal energy could spread to much wider area in years to come. The working principle of this technology is to create a subsurface fracture system in which water is added through injection wells and then is heated by contact with the rock and returns to the surface through production wells, as in naturally occurring hydrothermal systems.

To conclude, the technologies to harness geothermal energy will have to significantly improve in order for geothermal energy to become more used on global scale. Less expensive drilling, wider area to harness the resource from and reduced capital costs – these are all the solutions on which global geothermal energy industry should build its future progress.

As already stated above geothermal energy has practically unlimited potential, and could theoretically power our entire planet. Finding the adequate technology to exploit this potential is essential for geothermal energy to become one of the most important energy sources in years to come.

Wednesday, June 21, 2017


Be with us live today from 1-3p (ET)  and be thinking about this:   How are you, today, celebrating solar, solstice and summer in a transforming, meaningful way?  We'll help you answer that later today.

Providence & Newport, Rhode Island – Renewable Now Network (RNN), a leading sustainability media and business platform, salutes the summer solstice on June 21 from 1:00-3:00 PM EST with RNN Solar Day, a “gilded-to-green” celebration of solar energy, and sustainability through a global broadcast event, live from Belcourt of Newport, an iconic Gilded Age mansion in Newport, Rhode Island recently restored to its original splendor with one gilded-to-green difference: a commitment to sustainable design and the implementation of solar and geothermal energy without compromise to its original design.

 Hosted by RNN Founder and President, Peter Arpin and l Rhode Island Green Building Counci President and Architect,  Ken Filarski, the two-hour broadcast will be streamed live from RNN and Facebook Live AND presented to a live audience, featuring the Belcourt of Newport project, interviews with sustainability leaders, and the inaugural RNN Innovation in Green Awards to the Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of global lifestyle brand ALEX AND ANI, and design visionary Carolyn Rafaelian as RNN Arts & Culture Humanitarian of the Year for her commitment to historic preservation and sustainability everywhere, but specifically at Belcourt of Newport, and to world-renowned architect Shahin Barzin as the RNN Green Architect of the Year for the gilded-to-green design masterpiece that is Belcourt. Owned by Rafaelian, Belcourt of Newport is an architectural marvel on the National Register of Historic Places in Rhode Island, now restored to its old-world grandeur, while also using the most cutting-edge design and technology for clean energy, bringing a modern sustainable touch to a timeless classic. 

As a steward of sustainable design, Rafaelian has worked tirelessly with Barzin and his team on the preservation and innovation of this historic mansion on Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue. “I am honored to host RNN Solar Day and to accept the RNN Innovation in Green Award for my sustainable restoration of Belcourt of Newport,” said Carolyn Rafaelian, Founder, CEO, and Chief Creative Officer of ALEX AND ANI. 

Guests on the live broadcast will consist of local sustainability public and private sector advocates, and business leaders including the Mayor Harry Winthrop of Newport, Commissioner Carol Grant of the Rhode Island Department of Energy Resources, among other local sustainability proponents. Streamed directly from RNN’s newly launched website and webTV platform, the broadcast will reach RNN’s global audience and will also be on-demand – with Belcourt as the backdrop.

 “We are extremely grateful to Carolyn, Shahin, and the teams at ALEX AND ANI and Belcourt of Newport for hosting RNN Solar Day,” said RNN Founder & President, Peter Arpin. “Belcourt of Newport exemplifies how sustainability is possible anywhere on any scale, not to mention serves as the most ideal showcase for our mission and Solar Day celebration.

 Carolyn and Shahin are two extraordinary individuals who lead by example through their commitment to sustainability at Belcourt, and in everything that they do and touch. We are so proud to present them as our “Green Innovators” for 2017.” The broadcast will also be accessible on-demand on RNN’s brand new website – a highly engaging, interactive, and cutting-edge multimedia platform to educate the public on how to leverage sustainability for the environment, society, and the economic prosperity.

 The live event will be followed by a reception hosted by RNN and Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, a sustainable vineyard in Little Compton, Rhode Island. ALEX AND ANI has also very generously donated their eco-friendly gift bags to include gifts from RNN, sustainable frozen food brand Crispy Green, Carolyn’s Sakonnet Vineyard, and notable American Impressionist artist, Rhode Island native and Rhode Island School of Design alum, Lisa Palombo – whose work is on display at Sheldon Fine Art on America’s Cup Way in Newport. ABOUT CAROLYN RAFAELIAN & BELCOURT OF NEWPORT: Born in Rhode Island, 

Carolyn Rafaelian transformed a family tradition of jewelry-making into the global lifestyle brand ALEX AND ANI, where she is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer. Through her commitment to historic preservation, the arts and culture, and sustainability, Rafaelian has not only restored her home Belcourt of Newport, an iconic Gilded Age mansion on Newport’s famed Bellevue Avenue, she has also incorporated the use of sustainable design, solar and geothermal energy throughout the process.  

An iconic Gilded Age mansion built in the early 1890s and designed by Richard Morris Hunt, Belcourt of Newport is a living pastiche of history, resonant with the decorative and architectural arts from the Palace of Versailles in France to the Freemasons of America. Rafaelian has worked tirelessly with world-renowned architect Shahin Barzin on the restoration of this magnificent mansion, which has not only been preserved to its former splendor, but also now comingles with cutting-edge innovation through thoughtful, precise restorations enabled by modern technology. Now open for tours three days a week,

 Belcourt of Newport showcases the vast potential of sustainability, marrying the past with the future. -

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Tuesday, June 20, 2017

California’s First All-Electric Garbage Truck Headed to Sacramento -/RNN

This is the tip of the iceberg.  Many of the transportation experts who have recently been on the show state unequivocally that cars, buses and trucks will move by electricity...whether fully or partially.  Manufacturing is quickly moving in that direction.  Charging methods are expanding.  And the costs of electricity is getting more competitive each day.

A Motiv-Powered all-electric refuse vehicle replaces 2.8 mpg diesel version, eliminating emissions and noise for downtown Sacramento residents. Leading the way for cleaner fleets in California, the City of Sacramento will soon be home to the State’s first all-electric automated left-side loader garbage truck. 

The fundamental technology powering the Electric Refuse Vehicle (ERV) is Motiv Power Systems‘ scalable and modular All-Electric Powertrain. The Class-8 vehicle will be built on a Crane Carrier chassis, and the body will be built by Loadmaster. The City of Sacramento aims to run the ERV on residential and recycling routes and expects to save as much as 6,000 gallons of fuel per year. The Sacramento ERV will be one of only two all-electric refuse trucks in operation within North America, both powered by Motiv.

 “The City of Sacramento has a very pro-active sustainability policy, showcased by being voted the #1 Government Green Fleet in North America in 2013. Reducing harmful vehicle emissions in the Sacramento region is a primary focus of our Sustainability Policy, and the most effective way to achieve that goal is to implement electric vehicles into our fleet,” said Mark Stevens, Fleet Manager for the City of Sacramento. “We are excited to partner with Motiv Power Systems to design and build the first all-electric left hand automated refuse truck in North America. The City of Sacramento intends to prove that all-electric refuse trucks are the future of the industry, and we anticipate igniting that trend.” 

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