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Saturday, July 30, 2011

Driving America in the right direction ERIN CRAIG /Weekend Report

Excellent update on our efforts to reduce auto emissions, from a combination of more efficient cars to driving less miles, from Terra Pass.  Mostly good news in here:  http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/driving-america-in-the-right-direction?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Driving+America+in+the+right+direction&utm_content=peterarpin%40msn.com&utm_campaign=Newsletter+07%2F29%2F2011


ERIN CRAIG | JULY 28, 2011

Eco-driving index shows erratic progress, but progress nonetheless.

"I’ve commented before about a dilemma produced by fuel-efficient cars: they emit less per mile, but also make it less expensive to drive… creating a countervailing incentive to drive more than you might have in a gas guzzler.
Therefore I was happy to discover that the University of Michigan has been tracking and amalgamating the greenhouse gas emissions effects of both the emissions profile of new cars for sale, and the average number of miles driven on a monthly basis. They call the resulting trendline the “Eco-Driving Index.” They’ve been tracking it since 2007, when the EPA revamped its new-car fuel economy calculation methods.
Here’s what the trend looks like:Driving_stats_420.jpg
All the data is normalized to 2007, so if we were driving exactly the same distance, and new cars emitted exactly the same per mile today as in 2007, the index would be “1.00.”
As you can see, both “miles driven” and “fuel used per distance driven” have dropped, albeit not consistently. Still, drivers who bought a new car in May 2011 would, on average, emit 16% fewer greenhouse gases than drivers who bought new cars in October 2007.
My two conclusions: First, this is great. I’m glad to see that we haven’t gobbled up all our efficiencies by increasing our driving. Second, it’s clear that the bulk of the improvement comes from more efficient cars, not driving less. That’s the lever we have to continually adjust downward at a policy level."
Now, the next big gain will be the influence of hybrids and electrics.  And, of course, the average costs of fuel worldwide, and the stability in that pricing.  We'll also see, as we've reported this month, more miles on mass transit, bikes, scooters and alternative forms of transportation.  We hope, too, better routing systems on highways, efficiency of GPS technology and no-idling laws (and common sense) will positively influence this trend. 
Let us know if you have other data, studies to support or contradict this report. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Come to Cardis today for our first on-location shoot

We are doing four shows today at Cardis in Swansea.  Come be part of the live audience.  We will be there from 10a-2p.  Be part of our next series of shows:

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Two interesting stories from Environmental Leader

Have you wondered how Grids manage energy, particularly during hot spells?  Here's some great insight as to the tools they use to keep us up and running.  Link to the story:  http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/07/27/enernoc-dispatched-at-record-levels-as-us-sizzles/

And some of the story: 

EnerNOC Dispatched At Record Levels as US Sizzles

"EnerNOC said that its DemandSMART demand response network was dispatched at record levels last Friday, helping to mitigate blackout risks and reduce energy costs, as a severe heat wave swept North America.

EnerNOC’s network responded to a series of dispatches from grid operators including the mid-Atlantic’s PJM Interconnection, the New York Independent System Operator, the Ontario Power Authority, and ISO-New England. EnerNOC was also dispatched by utility partners from across the United States, ultimately providing approximately 1,230 megawatts (MW) of demand response resources, the company said.

As previously reported, PJM recorded its highest ever demand on July 22, at 158,450 MW of power. Midwestern energy supplier MISO surpassed its record on July 20, with demand peaking at 103,975 MW.
Independent System Operator New England also set a demand record last week, the Energy Information Administration reports. In ISO-New England, real-time pricing in some areas eclipsed $560 per megawatt-hour, approximately ten times the average 2011 hourly real-time price, EnerNOC said. (See EIA chart, above left.)

From the business side of green, what a boast to the economy when a grid can keep businesses up and running, despite the incredible demands on their capacity, and how exciting is it to move closer to a smart grid and the constant management of energy, and the use of the energy we will collectively produce with our solar and wind generating units.

On another note, we want to run Part 1 today of Environmental Leader's great article on "Investing in Nature".  We'll finish it tomorrow.

Here's the link: http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/07/26/investing-in-nature-for-economic-growth-part-i-of-ii/

Part of the article: 

Investing in Nature for Economic Growth (Part I of II)


For many of us, the term “ecosystems” conjures up thoughts of environmental protection and restoration. While that is one part of the picture, this view misses the critical role that ecosystems also play in underpinning economies and the business sector.

Ecosystem services—- the benefits that businesses and people derive from nature such as food, freshwater, pollination, and climate regulation— are the link between nature and economic development. This viewpoint enables governments and corporate leaders to move beyond a narrow mindset of protecting nature from economic development to focus on how to invest in nature for development.

Ecosystem services: the backbone of business

Resources underpin much of business activity, from product development and capital projects to operational resource needs. Most business sectors, from consumer products to agriculture to extractive industries, such as mining and oil and gas, depend on ecosystem services at some point in their value chain. Agriculture, for example, relies heavily on ecosystem services from requiring an adequate water supply, fertile soil, and pollination for nearly 75% of the world’s crop species. This reliance is especially pronounced in developing countries where agriculture contributes a larger share of economic wealth and where there is less social and economic resilience when ecosystems degrade or even collapse.

In 2005, the UN-led Millennium Ecosystem Assessment provided the first global snapshot of conditions and trends in ecosystem services. Involving nearly 1,400 experts from the private and public sectors, the Assessment made the startling finding that globally two-thirds of ecosystem services are already degraded due to a variety of human activities.

Since resource costs and constraints will likely continue to escalate along with growing ecosystem degradation, the world faces a critical need to improve resource efficiency. Several factors are adding urgency to this quest: a rapidly changing climate, a booming population which is headed to over 9 billion by 2050, and the growth of the global middle class. Together, these factors will further exacerbate pressure on ecosystems.

Lots more tomorrow.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Thanks to Oyster Works and Charlestown Package Store

As the show featuring the construction of Charlestown 's Package Store amazing new facility, featuring geothermal heating and cooling, along with lots of other smart, efficient construction and technology, goes to on-demand on our site, we want to thank them for heavily promoting their appearance on Renewable Now.  Here's their latest marketing piece that we wanted to share with you.  Please make sure you watch the show, which you can do right now off this blog, too:


OWLogoCyan
Oyster Works' Sensibly Green Project Featured on Renewable Now WebCast

Oyster Works principal, Andrew Baer, and Charlestown Wine and Spirits' owner, Jon Maldon, were featured on a recent broadcast of Renewable Now.                                                                                                                                                        
Renewable Now is a production of Arpin Broadcast Network that looks at the business side of green. In this episode, Peter Arpin asks Jon and Andrew specific questions about the decision to go green and the design and construction of Charlestown Wine and Spirits.   

                                               Click the link to watch.                                                    





Oyster Works has been recently featured in the Providence Business News, the Providence Journal, the Westerly Sun and on NBC News Channel 10.

                    Click the links to read and watch the stories. 

                    Renewable Now -   CWS Using Renewable Energy
                    NBC News Channel 10 - Going Green: Package Store
                    Providence Business News - OW Hires Damara Sisti
                    Providence Business News - Moynihan to AIA Board
                    Providence Business News - Married Co-owners
                    Providence Journal -Geothermal in Charlestown
                    Westerly Sun - Destination Package Store

Monday, July 25, 2011

Mitsubishi Unveils Solar-Powered Vehicle Charging Station

Great, fantastic news from Mitsubishi:  Driving an electric vehicle (EV) can be a source of personal pride and a strong statement of how you see yourself in the world. Unfortunately, it can also be a little stressful if you have to worry about your car’s charge running out in the middle of nowhere


.Enter Mitsubishi, who has recently announced the debut of a solar-powered charging station at their headquarters in Cypress, California. Preceding the launch of the new Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in November, the opening of this charging station is designed to show the company’s commitment to improving the national infrastructure for EV drivers.  Eventually, certified Mitsubishi dealers across the US will also be EV-ready in preparation for the launch of the i.

 Each charging station supports CHAdeMO compatible electric vehicles, with the capacity to charge up to four at a time. According to Mitsubishi, “…the station features three types of chargers with different voltages: standard level 1 voltage (110v) will deliver a 100 percent charge in 22 hours on the new Mitsubishi i; level 2 (220v) which can charge the vehicle in six hours; and level 3 CHAdeMO Quick Charger, which can charge to 80 percent battery capacity in 25 minutes.”

Looking towards the future and increased electric vehicle popularity, Mitsubishi also foresees the installation of EV charging stations in locations where people spend their time working, shopping, and studying."

Have you looked at the projected operating costs of an EV?  They are cheap, very attractive.

That is a nice looking charging station.  Let's hope we see lots more of them capturing the sun and powering our cars.

OTHER NEWS:   Please notice the changes we've made to our blog.  We made it easier to read on the side, with better color contrast in that area, and added a link to our current show.  Take a look and make sure you go back and watch our show with Al Dahlberg, Project Get Ready, as we talk about EV's (and Al Cerrone with the Volt).
According to Mitsubishi Motors North America President Yoichi Yokozawa, “We hope that our dealers, learning institutions, and municipalities will look to this technology with a keen eye towards the future, and bear in mind that the gradual acceptance of the pure-EV transportation will be aided by increasing the number of facilities like this one.”

Each charging station supports CHAdeMO compatible electric vehicles, with the capacity to charge up to four at a time. According to Mitsubishi, “…the station features three types of chargers with different voltages: standard level 1 voltage (110v) will deliver a 100 percent charge in 22 hours on the new Mitsubishi i; level 2 (220v) which can charge the vehicle in six hours; and level 3 CHAdeMO Quick Charger, which can charge to 80 percent battery capacity in 25 minutes.”






Each charging station supports CHAdeMO compatible electric vehicles, with the capacity to charge up to four at a time. According to Mitsubishi, “…the station features three types of chargers with different voltages: standard level 1 voltage (110v) will deliver a 100 percent charge in 22 hours on the new Mitsubishi i; level 2 (220v) which can charge the vehicle in six hours; and level 3 CHAdeMO Quick Charger, which can charge to 80 percent battery capacity in 25 minutes.”






Enter Mitsubishi, who has recently announced the debut of a solar-powered charging station at their headquarters in Cypress, California. Preceding the launch of the new Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in November, the opening of this charging station is designed to show the company’s commitment to improving the national infrastructure for EV drivers.  Eventually, certified Mitsubishi dealers across the US will also be EV-ready in preparation for the launch of the i.




Enter Mitsubishi, who has recently announced the debut of a solar-powered charging station at their headquarters in Cypress, California. Preceding the launch of the new Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in November, the opening of this charging station is designed to show the company’s commitment to improving the national infrastructure for EV drivers.  Eventually, certified Mitsubishi dealers across the US will also be EV-ready in preparation for the launch of the i.


Enter Mitsubishi, who has recently announced the debut of a solar-powered charging station at their headquarters in Cypress, California. Preceding the launch of the new Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in November, the opening of this charging station is designed to show the company’s commitment to improving the national infrastructure for EV drivers.  Eventually, certified Mitsubishi dealers across the US will also be EV-ready in preparation for the launch of the i.


Enter Mitsubishi, who has recently announced the debut of a solar-powered charging station at their headquarters in Cypress, California. Preceding the launch of the new Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in November, the opening of this charging station is designed to show the company’s commitment to improving the national infrastructure for EV drivers.  Eventually, certified Mitsubishi dealers across the US will also be EV-ready in preparation for the launch of the i.

Enter Mitsubishi, who has recently announced the debut of a solar-powered charging station at their headquarters in Cypress, California. Preceding the launch of the new Mitsubishi i electric vehicle in November, the opening of this charging station is designed to show the company’s commitment to improving the national infrastructure for EV drivers.  Eventually, certified Mitsubishi dealers across the US will also be EV-ready in preparation for the launch of the i.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Good news from USPS/Weekend Edition

I know it is easy to beat up on the US Postal Service,  but here is some good news for a change:


USPS Saves $400m on Energy Since FY2007

"The U.S. Postal Service has accumulated over $400 million in avoided energy costs since fiscal year 2007, the service has announced.
USPS made the announcement on the second anniversary of New York City’s largest green roof, atop the Morgan mail processing and distribution facility, which has saved more than $1 million in energy costs so far. The roof reduced energy use by 40 percent in the first year, the service reported.
USPS said it has created, and continues to develop, robust systems to audit and analyze facility energy data. It said…."

To finish the article, use this link:  
http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/07/22/usps-saves-400m-on-energy-since-fy2007/


What lessons can private transportation companies learn from their success?  Can the USPS follow this up with a dramatic change in their fueling of trucks and a radical change in their delivery system to further, substantially reduce costs while still providing a valuable service?


If any of our readers/viewers work for the USPS,  we'd like to hear from you.


Friday, July 22, 2011

Game Changer‏/Sierra Club


We love sharing good news.  We recently promoted a national referendum calling for a large-scale change to electric vehicles, which was driven by this great group.  Now they have more good news and are doing more good work:

This from the Mayor of NY:  " Dear Friends,

As the Mayor of New York City, I know first-hand the effects of air pollution on a community. I have been working for years on initiatives to clean our air, prevent climate change, and create a clean energy future.

As a New Yorker, I'm pretty hard to surprise. But as I have been watching the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign do the unthinkable -- stop over 150 coal plants from being built over the past several years -- I have been truly impressed. The power of Sierra Club members and supporters from around the country to lead their communities beyond dirty coal is just astounding. And I want to join this growing movement.

As of today, Bloomberg Philanthropies is committing $50 million to the Beyond Coal Campaign. Together we can build an unprecedented level of support in local communities to get off of coal and usher in a new era of clean energy innovation and jobs. 

I'm doing my part to move our country Beyond Coal. Are you with me?


Join me by making your own pledge to do a specific activity in your community to move us to a clean energy future.


We're not waiting for Washington. Moving away from coal will save us money -- the costs of coal are going up while wind and solar are coming down. What's more, coal causes over $100 billion in health costs each year. Mining, burning, and disposing of coal are very costly to our health and our pocketbooks. Wind and sunshine are free.

I'm committed to this fight. I believe in the power of this grassroots movement to fight climate change and bring about our clean energy future. I know communities across America are ready to continue the work that will lift up the world we live in, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the families we raise.
Whether it's writing a letter to your newspaper, recruiting ten of your friends and family to get involved or volunteering a couple hours a week at your local campaign office, tell us what you will do to move the U.S. Beyond Coal.

Thank you for inspiring me.

Sincerely,"


Can we do this nationwide?  Can we replace coal with less expensive, more efficient renewables?  The Sierra Club is coming in next month to do a show with us (same filming in which we will be doing a show with the Governor from RI), and we will talk about this and their push on EV's.  Fantastic stuff.

We hope you help. 

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Hydrogen Fueling Stations Could Reach 5,200 by 2020

Have you thought about hydrogen as an alternative fuel for a future car?  You should.  Clean burning (water is the discharge), affordable, efficient.  Honda has been selling a hydrogen-powered Civic for years, with good results.

To make it successful, we need many distribution points.  Here's a good article that predicts 5200 hydrogen fueling stations within 9 years, a very promising future.  Here's the link:  http://www.environmentalleader.com/2011/07/20/hydrogen-fueling-stations-could-reach-5200-by-2020/.

Part of the article: 
"More than 5,200 hydrogen fueling stations for cars, buses and forklifts will be operational by 2020, up from just 200 stations in 2010, according to a report by Pike Research.

In the report, Hydrogen Infrastructure, the cleantech market intelligence firm projects that annual investment in hydrogen stations will reach $1.6 billion by 2010, with a cumulative 10-year investment of $8.4 billion. Demand for hydrogen as a fuel will rise from about  775,000 kg in 2010 to 418 million kg by 2020.
Pike says that key direct hydrogen fuel cell applications include light duty vehicles, forklifts, buses, stationary power, and scooters. Each of these markets presents its own challenges"

Take a look at Environmental Leader.  Wendy Lucht, from Ocean State Clean Cities, touched on hydrogen fuels during a show with us.  Go back and see it again on the Arpin Broadcast Network, under the Renewable Now channel.  We will follow up with a future show focused on hydrogen powered cars, trucks and scooters and track our way to 5200 fueling stations. 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Newest Show broadcasting live today at 10a and 4p

Great New Show

Which Is Better: Hybrid or Fuel-Efficient Conventional?

Our show has been reporting on the advent of the electric cars (EV's) and the potential impact on our world.  We believe a transformation to EV's is the solution to mitigating transportation's carbon impact on the air we breath. 

Now Mother Jones magazine does a great job of comparing hybrids (which partially uses electric) to fuel-efficient conventional cars as the reporter looks to buy a new car.  If EV's are not for you, which is disappointing but understandable, read this to determine the best clean alternatives to buying a new car.

The link:  http://motherjones.com/blue-marble/2011/07/hybrid-prius-fuel-gas

Part of the story:  "After five car-free years, I am finally considering buying a vehicle. But which kind of car is best for the planet?

Yeah, yeah, I am well aware of the fact that the most environmentally sound decision would be to not buy any car at all. But there are some things that bikes just can't do. They can't haul big stuff (though I've schlepped some impressive-sized things on my bike). And the bike can't get me to North Carolina or New Jersey, the respective native lands of my partner and me, unless we plan a few extra days of travel. And while I like living in Washington, DC, I do occasionally want to get out and see a tree or two.

I've gotten conflicting reports about whether it's better to invest in a hybrid or opt for an extremely fuel-efficient conventional auto instead. It's not an easy question to answer, since much depends on your driving habits, where you live, and what kind of money you have. The sticker price of most hybrids is still a major barrier—I work at a nonprofit magazine and my partner is an academic, so a $10,000-plus difference is significant to us. And most of our car trips are longer ones, meaning we wouldn't see quite as much advantage from a hybrid as people who use it to commute daily in a relatively small area..."

Read the rest and let us know what you think.

Don't forget:  A new show will stream live this Weds on RenewableNow :http://www.arpinbroadcastnetwork.com/Arpin-RenewableNow.html

Also, take a look at the past shows and vote here on the best one.  It is pretty close right now the battle for the highest number of downloads for an individual show.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Ceridian Paycards Help Employers Pay Green

Great article on a new, more efficient, less wasteful way to pay employees.

Converting paychecks to employee paycards saves companies money, time and paper.

Jul. 18, 2011 (Business Wire) -- Ceridian Corporation, a leading provider of human capital management and payroll outsourcing solutions and a leader in payment innovation, announced today its Pay Green initiative. Through this initiative the company will be offering existing eligible customers the option to pay their employees using paycards, an environmentally friendly alternative to traditional printed pay checks. During this initial offering, Ceridian will waive the employer fees associated with providing a paycard option.

“Ceridian’s Pay Green initiative broadens the payment options employers provide to their employees while at the same time contributing to employers’ green initiatives,” said Bart Valdez, Ceridian executive vice president and chief commercial officer. The Pay Green initiative also supports Ceridian’s ongoing sustainability efforts, reflected by both its green solutions and company practices.
Paycard benefits
There are numerous benefits to paying employees using paycards. Some studies indicate a startling 12 percent of American households do not have a bank account. Paycards offer a simple, cost-effective solution for distributing funds to both banked and unbanked employees. Other key benefits include:
  • Companies can save significant time and money by reducing check printing, shipping and distribution costs (e.g., the American Payroll Association estimates the cost of producing a paper check is $4.40, five times the cost of a comparable paycard option).
  • Paycards are paperless and help organizations further their green initiatives.
  • Paycards are especially ideal for temporary employees, seasonal workers or a geographically dispersed workforce.
  • Paycards can be used like a debit card allowing employees access to their wages 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Paycards are accepted at ATM locations including MasterCard, Maestro, Cirrus and Allpoint.
  • Lost or stolen cards can be easily replaced.
Some of Ceridian’s more than 500 participating companies comment on the paycard solution
“Our transition to electronic payroll has resulted in annual savings of $125,000. … paycards are an industry-recognized best practice for organizations like ours, with high turnover, a seasonal workforce or a geographically dispersed team.”

Friday, July 15, 2011

Tomorrow's Bee-a-Thon

This is going to be an interesting broadcast tomorrow.  Here's description of what is going on:

"On July 16th, bee counters across the nation are hosting “backyard bee parties” and other garden events as they celebrate Bee-a-thon 2011, the first-ever online “town hall” event dedicated to our pollinators and broadcasting live to worldwide audiences from 9 am to 9 pm US-Pacific Time

I am writing today to ask you to help spread the word, through your network, friends and family, about this free online grassroots event to help raise awareness around the plight of our disappearing bees. Bee-a-thon 2011 is a fun, interactive event featuring top experts in science, horticulture, conservation and education, as well as other environmental players from the arts and sciences.  People can tune-in to Bee-a-thon anytime throughout the day from living rooms, gardens, mobile devices and “backyard bee parties” all over the world, to listen in and ask questions in real time.  Get inspired to take action - your voice would be a valuable addition to this important conversation! "  

This is very intereresting:   "Bee-a-thon 2011 is hosted and produced by YourGardenShow.com, the free social network for gardeners, in partnership with The Great Sunflower Project.  We are counting bees across North America to help shape bee conservation efforts as part of the larger global mission to support pollinator culture, biodiversity and food security.  And we are getting lots of support as Bee-a-thon 2011 is being promoted by fellow stewards of the planet such as Mother Earth News (1 million-plus online audience)."

Bottom line:  "...to help shape bee conservation efforts as part of the larger global mission to support pollinator culture, biodiversity and food security.".  What does this mean?  It means exactly what Greg Garritt told us on a recent show:  We cannot secure our economic future without preserving and properly managing our natural resources.  Our food chain, and the food industry it feeds, cannot be broken.  Our investment in sustaining strong ecological assets is paramount.

Our show is happy to promote this event and to partner with Your Garden Show Network.  Please promote the broadcast (and rebroadcast) when you can.

Enjoy.  We will leave this up tomorrow and post a new blog later on Sat or early Sunday.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

From Mark Learn one of our guest bloggers

Military budgets here and world wide are making a serious commitment  to renewable energy:

How is this for a headline:  Worldwide military spending on solar to be 15 times higher by 2030.  Clearly, the military sees renewable energy, in particular, solar, as the right alternative to power their troops and equipment going forward.  Such a commitment and investment will help spur many improvements and innovations in the use of renewable energy for mobile batteries, transportation, temporary shelters and mobile communication systems.  The possibilities are phenomenal.



Here's the link and part of the story:  http://gm-volt.com/2011/06/17/worldwide-military-spending-for-renewable-energy-to-increase-by-15-times-by-2030/.

"One of the siren songs for environmentalists is reducing the need for oil so governments don’t feel it necessary to fight wars for it – but ironically, one of the largest drivers in the global push for renewable energy development could well become the military.

According to a study issued this week by Pike Research, the U.S. Department of Defense as well as combined military agencies in all developed and developing countries are projected to increase annual spending of today’s $1.8 billion to $26.8 billion by 2030.

U.S. DOD renewable energy spending for land, air, and sea mobility alone is estimated to jump 5.6 times in the next four years from $400 million annually to $2.25 billion in 2015. By 2030, it is projected to be spending $7.5 billion annually just on renewable energy for mobility needs."

There is always controversy on military spending, but clearly the DOD"s investment in renewables will foster growth on the green economy side and will, long term, substantially reduce their dependence and costs on fossil fuel, 70% of which we currently import.  This is a game changer and another positive step towards a cleaner use of energy.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Feature Article: Streamlining Solar Technology

Nice article on Sustainable Business.com on the solar's industry's ability, even prediction, that they can get their install costs down to $1kw, which is way below (we were just quoted $3,15 on a big project, but install costs can be as high at $5kw.

Think how affordable solar power would become, and how quickly an investor would get their money back on the capitol used to install a system--small or large.  The economics would totally change, and the industry would not longer be dependant on federal and state tax credits.  This would be an incredible milestone for the industry and for the world switching to renewable energy.  We'd see an avalanche of new systems come on line.

Here's the link:  http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.feature/id/1894.

Take a look at some of the article: 

"This article first appeared in Solar Today

by Mike Koshmrl  
With 1000 "little cuts", SunShot aims to drop solar costs 75% in less than 10 years.

It's easy to be skeptical about the Dept of Energy's (DOE) SunShot Initiative.  The goal, installing utility-scale solar at $1 per watt by 2020, would bring solar costs down to 6 cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh), roughly the cost of coal-fired electricity.

The name, SunShot, is a play on President Kennedy's 1961 pledge to land a man on the moon by the end of the decade. DOE Secretary Chu announced the $27 million program in February, the funds for which will be spread among nine companies. How can $27 million make such a big impact?
To achieve $1 per watt, the solar industry needs to streamline in a big way. It will need considerable module efficiency gains and slashed costs for installation, operations and maintenance and all other system components. Photovoltaic (PV) modules will need to come down 70%, inverters 55% and construction-related costs nearly 75%. "

 

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Siemens/Green City Index

Great job by Siemens on tracking cities' environmental sustainability in different parts of the world.  I thought there were some surprises in these ratings.  Here is the link:http://www.siemens.com/entry/cc/en/greencityindex.htm.  You can view the cities in different parts of the world.

How does this impact the business side of green?  As we've seen in a number of the shows we have televised, the use, preservation and recapturing of a city's natural resources is one of the cornerstones, perhaps the most fundamental, in sustaining a that city's economy.  In essence, how do you sustain commerce without natural resources?

How does your city stack up?

Friday, July 8, 2011

Very Important Annoucement

 We are so proud to be part of this amazing effort to support and promote the world's transformation to electric vehicles.  This from:  The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and BlueGreen Alliance

Release of EV Sign-on Statement Showing Broad Nationwide Support‏


It's with great pleasure that I share this EV sign-on statement.  Today more than 180 local and national companies and organizations joined together to show their support for plug-in electric vehicle (EV) policies and infrastructure –demonstrating the groundswell of support in all regions of the country for EV innovation and the types of policies needed to make it successful.  We're calling for strong programs on the national, state, and local levels to put more plug-in electric vehicles on the road and create more American jobs, less pollution, and greater energy security -all on the road to freedom from oil.
 
The Sierra Club, National Wildlife Federation, and BlueGreen Alliance are releasing the statement today (as will many of the other signers as an opportunity to taut their own EV efforts) to the media, policymakers, and allied groups.  See news release below or here.   We're grateful to the many companies and groups that have signed it (and to above named groups as well as Pew Environment Group for reaching out to potential signers), and we know that many will use it as a tool to demonstrate that there is widespread support for what's needed to advance EVs.

Also, you can see my blog article about this statement, "freedom from oil," (and a bit on my recent trip to Yellowstone) here:  

This is an important moment, an important, wonderful milestone.  We will follow up with a show on this.  Are you part of the EV movement?  We'd love to have you.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Google's 70 charging stations for employees

Some companies are born to lead.  Google seems to be one such company.

Being in CA helps, of course, as EV's are sold there as one of the early states to get electric cars.  However, Google has made it very easy for their employee's 100 EV's to plug in and charge at work.

We have always felt that a big part of the success of the transformation to EV's will depend on buy in from companies. Not only would they make charging stations viisble, readily available and extremely useable, but they would make consumers very comfortable, very quickly with charging their cars.

Here's the link to the story:  http://www.cleantechblog.com/2011/07/googles-70-charging-stations-for-employees-100-evs.html.

Here's part of the story: 

"Google, Inc. has deployed more than 70 Coulomb Technologies charging stations at its worldwide headquarters in Mountain View, CA. Over 100 employees who own electric cars use the charging stations. The stations (EVSE) are also used by the company’s growing car sharing program for Googlers (GFleet), which includes Chevrolet Volts, Nissan LEAFs and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrids.

Many employees bought their own electric cars after using LEAFs and Volts in the GFleet. Employees who use transit get GFleet priority.

With plans for 250 more charging stations on its campus, and a goal to make 5 percent of its campus parking EV-ready, Google’s installation is the largest workplace charging installation for electric vehicles in the country. Much of the charging is done with renewable energy, including Google’s solar covered parking. No coal power is used in charging vehicles. Google has invested over one billion dollars in renewable energy, accelerating development of 1.7 GW of RE."

Electric cars will soon be shipped and sold to many states.  Now is the time for companies to evaluate switching their fleets to EV's (reduced energy costs, carbon credits, statement to employees and customers), and installing charging facilities.  Arpin Renewable Energy company can help with this.  Contact us.

Keep in mind as the grids get smarter, we will be selling back excess KW's from those cars to the grid at a profit.  How sweet would it be to look out and see a parking lot full of EV's plugged in making your company money while helping reduce our use of fossil fuel, 70% imported, and provide clean energy back to our community.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Cape Air premiereing on ReNewable Now, July 6, 10:00 AM Est.

Good news from Johnson Industries

SC Johnson Introduces Windex(R) Mini, Hopes to Revolutionize Use of Cleaning Concentrates:
Some of the article:  "
Company Invites Consumers to Make Greener Choices, Help Lead the Change

(3BL Media / theCSRfeed) RACINE, WI - July 1, 2011 –With today’s launch of Windex® Mini, a concentrated refill pouch that uses 90 percent less plastic packaging than a traditional 26 fluid ounce trigger bottle, global environmental leader SC Johnson is taking another bold step to help consumers make greener choices.

Concentrates use less packaging, decrease shipping impacts and reduce waste that ends up in our nation’s landfills. Yet sales data shows U.S. consumers prefer not to refill their household cleaning bottles. This means stores won't stock concentrates and companies hesitate to create them. With this test, SC Johnson wants to understand how to motivate consumers and retailers to consider trading up from traditional cleaning methods to a greener choice. 

“By conservative estimates, a flexible pouch saves six times as much plastic waste that goes into a landfill compared to a traditional bottle,” said Fisk Johnson, Chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Refilling with a concentrate is an example of a very small behavior change that could make a real difference in minimizing waste. But many people don't want the inconvenience. We want to crack the code and figure out what it would take to make concentrated refills an accepted – even demanded – choice.”

 
Take a look when you can.  Also, please try buying Windex and Mini and see what you think.  Report back to us when you can.  Let us know if you are motivated to buy this product on a consistent basis.

Sometimes we don't realize how much waste we create with packaging of everything we buy.  Kudos to Johnson who, most likely, is reducing costs with this change, for repackaging a popular product for better distribution and use.

PS:  (Since we posted this earlier today) Thank you to Orlando at International Travel for the kind words on our blog, and note of international travel's influence on our environment.  We'd be interested in more comments and a possible show looking at planned improvements for reducing travel's footprint, including less use of energy and resources.

Take a look at their comment on this weekend's show blog.  We appreciate everyone who helps us with this effort.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Voice of America/Going Green/Happy 4th

On Friday I was lucky enough to do an interview with Jose Espinosa of Green Stories, who produces video segments for Voice of America.  He was in RI finding the best green stories in the State, and Arpin was lucky to be included for installing the first auto recharging unit in State, and our many other green initiatives.

It gave me reason to look again at the VOA site and, specifically, their Going Green channel.  It is excellent, very worthy of a daily link.  Here's the address: http://www.voanews.com/english/news/going-green/ .

Some of their stories:: 


"Lake Chad was once one of the largest bodies of fresh water in the world. Now it's only a fraction of what it used to be. The lake is an important resource for several countries in Africa and now the communiti...


U.S. lawmakers recently voted to end subsidies on ethanol. Though the legislation is still pending, it has re-started the conversation on whether or not ethanol is effective as a way to curb greenhouse gases...


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service lists more 1100 mammals, birds, fish, reptiles and other living creatures as endangered. Some of those are on the brink of extinction. That's why the work of organizations like t...


In 1992, more than 100 heads of state met for what was then an unprecedented global event on the environment. The international earth summit was the start of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Chang...


Enjoy the channel.  They have some great programming beaming around the world.  Some really interesting content.  We'll let you know when we'll be profiled on there.

Also, on this weekend, regardless of where you live in the world, celebrating or not, it is a good time to think about how you can reduce your impact on our one-world environment:  turn off a light, drive less, think efficient, less energy used, less waste and how, long-term, you can reshape your world to help create a cleaner Mother Earth.

All makes good personal and business sense.  Less energy used, less waste, means you save money and have more to invest in those assets that bring success and happiness.

We are proud of our network, show, guests, employees, readers, viewers and you are part of a new, cleaner, smarter world.



Friday, July 1, 2011

Green wash

The flip side to the positive energy that comes out of investing time and money into greening a company is the possibility, and the reality of some companies that talk more than act, of being accused of green washing.  Here is an interesting piece from Treehugger: 


On Friday we reported that 98% of Green Labeled Products are Actually Greenwashed, Accused Dell of Green Bait and Switch, and wondered if the word "sustainable" was over. Really, can we trust business when it comes to their statements about sustainability and green?


Do You Trust Corporations When They Talk Green and Sustainable?

Here's the link if you want to go vote and see some results:  ttp://www.treehugger.com/files/2009/04/survey-trust-corporations.php.

We'd like your comments.  We'd also like to do a show exploring the issue.  Contact us if you are an expert, have strong opinions or can suggest the best way to cover this interesting subject.

From a business side of green, it is easy to imagine all the good will, and possible new business, draining away if you lose credibility on your claims of sustainability and eco improvements.  A positive can turn negative very quickly, more quickly than ever with consumer skepticism growing.  All of a sudden, an asset erodes into a liability.  Dicey business.

Let us know what you think.