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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:

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:

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.

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