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Monday, October 31, 2011

Terra Pass Program

IF you have never used an offset program, here is a chance to balance some of you environmental impact and celebrate Halloween.  

We like offset groups like Terra Pass.  By using their calculations and contributing to them based on your carbon emissions, combing your car travel, home and pleasure/business travel, you can easily do your part in pushing renewable energy projects, and can move us all to a more sustainable future.

So, we share the below announcement with you and encourage you to join in on the promotion...and, of course, enjoy your candy bar.



It's an email from TerraPass -- and you'll never see the pretty pictures if you don't click on "display images"!


HAPPY HALLOWEEN!
Today ONLY: Get a FREE chocolate bar when you offset your car for a year*



If you don't own a car, offset your mummy's
PLUS an even sweeter deal for our Prius drivers - email us atinfo@terrapass.com for details.
Spread the word! 2 3

Save our planet. It's the only one with chocolate on it...
*CO2 emissions and offset equivalent calculated based on average sized vehicle with 10,000 annual driving miles. Limited-time offer expires October 31, 2011 at midnight EST. Offer good while supplies last. Limited to one chocolate bar per custome

Saturday, October 29, 2011

RI renewable energy projects receive $2.7 million in stimulus funds/Weekend Edition

Thanks to the Providence Journal for providing an update on the most recent EDC, stimulus grants on renewable energy projects.

These projects have very quick completion dates--they must be finished by March of next year.  That, of course,  reduced the potential candidates for funding.

However, EDC made some good choices, including investing additional money in one of their company success stories, Newport Bio diesel (who, by the way, is a past guest on our show).  This allows Newport Bio Diesel to expand again and, of course, create more job.

Send us updates from your states on similar funding and projects.

Here's the link to the story:  http://news.providencejournal.com/business/2011/10/ri-renewable-energy-projects-receive-27-million-in-stimulus-funds.html#.TqxNDJuseI0

Part of the story:  "The state has awarded $2.7 million in grants from the federal stimulus program that will fund 16 renewable energy projects across Rhode Island.
The Economic Development Corporation and Governor Chafee announced the awards Thursday morning. The grants are being distributed through the state Renewable Energy Fund, which is managed by the EDC, but the money originally came from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The awards include $500,000 to the West Broadway Neighborhood Association for the installation of residential solar power systems in Providence; $365,775 to Newport Biodiesel for the expansion of their manufacturing and processing facility; and $339,870 to the Economic Development Foundation of Rhode Island for the installation of a 108-kilowatt solar system on an office building in Cumberland."
 We also did a news report on the West Broadway Neighborhood Association's collective investment in solar. Great story, great group.  Shows the range of projects backed by the State.
If you are on the upper East Coast this weekend, drive safely.  




Thursday, October 27, 2011

Pick Up America Takes Zero Waste Message Coast-To-Coast

How sweet when you get kids involved in a global effort to get to zero waste.  Zero waste brings financial gain on every level:  Local communities, states, regions and, equally important, individually as well.  We all pay a significant price for excess waste that we can not properly recycle back into the economy.

As we have been saying for months now, this is a key component of the business side of green.

So, to the story:

Here's the link:  http://greenopolis.com/goblog/litegreen/pick-america-takes-zero-waste-message-coast-coast


Part of the story:   "I don't think I've ever heard of anything like this...a group of young people who have banded together to go from Maryland to San Francisco, picking up trash and spreading the word about conservation and living a zero waste lifestyle. They call their group Pick up America, and so far they have collected about 132,035 lbs of roadside litter.


...The group travels in a re-purposed diesel bus dubbed Due West. The bus was converted to run partly on vegetable oil, and fitted with bunk beds and a small kitchen. The bus is both home and office as the group collects trash, works with schools and municipalities, and creates local reuse art projects across 13 states."


We'll profile them on a future show.  In the meantime if you are a teacher, school official or community leader, getting your city or town involved would be a wonderful boost to this group.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Your Actions Matter/The Nature Conservancy

While on the road we found this announcement that we wanted to share with our viewers.  As you've seen previously, we love to promote collective efforts to conserve resources, which is one of the keystones to any economy...anywhere in the world.  Just look at the lack of water's impact on farming worldwide.

The Nature Conservancy in uniting millions, hopefully, for a healthy planet through its new program, All Hands on Earth.  You will find lots more about the program at nature.org.

Here's some of what you will find:


You want to save the world but it seems like a lot of work. Now you don't have to do it all on your own; we're divvying the duties into bite-sized pieces.
One person taking a shorter shower could save 20 gallons of clean drinking water, but will that really have an Earth-shattering impact? Probably not. But if we get thousands of people to lather and rinse, but skip the repeat, suddenly those gallons start to really add up.
That’s the idea behind All Hands on Earth. We’re building a community to take action together.
We know the problems facing our planet seem daunting and discouraging, we feel overwhelmed ourselves. It’s hard to know where to start and often the right thing to do seems too difficult, or too confusing, or too small to truly have an impact.

All Hands on Earth will give you plenty of opportunities to make a difference.

Not every action will involve a lifestyle change like composting. Sometimes we’ll just ask you to go on an outdoor treasure hunt with the kids. Why? Because we think it’s just as important to fix our broken relationship with nature. When we appreciate nature we’re more likely to fight for it.
We’ll constantly be adding more ideas. Most will be simple things you can do in five minutes or less. We might ask you to share something with your friends, or take a cool picture, or watch a video. We won’t ask you to spend thousands of dollars to put solar panels on your roof (though it would be cool if you did).
And we want to hear from you. Follow us on Twitter@AllHandsonEarth, and Like our Facebook page. When you have an idea share it. Maybe you’ll inspire another member of the community. Or maybe we’ll steal it and promote it on our website, giving you full credit of course.
Thanks for helping us get All Hands on Earth. Now go have some fun saving the planet!
Reshaping our lifestyles into a sustainable future, which includes saving money as we do so, is a basic, simple, step-by-step process that we can easily pass on to future generations.  Living smart brings financial gains...personally and professionally.  How cool to so so under an umbrella program that collectively will significantly, positively impact the world?
We will do a future show on this effort.  We look forward to sharing some great, inspiring stories. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

Bloom Fuel Cells back in the News

One quick note:  We are on the road this week, and may have trouble keeping up with daily updates.  We'll try but by Thursday we'll be back in town and on schedule.  Thanks for your patience.  Please send us lots of comments and suggested stories while we are traveling.  That will help a lot.


Now, we catch with an interesting story from Greentechmedia on Bloom's fuel cell deal in Delaware.  As Greentechmedia points out, this is Bloom's biggest deal yet, but one that might get very expensive for Delaware residents.  The costs for the factory and, of course, the energy coming out of those fuel cells, will be born by the utility's customers.

However, there are new jobs and taxes flowing out of the deal as well, and Bloom has some pedigree investors and board members.  Certainly, the overall press on Bloom, and their boxes, have been positive, and Delaware enjoys a healthy reputation for being a good place to do business.

Are you from Delaware?  If so, we'd love to hear from you on this project.

The link:  http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/delaware-approves-bloom-energy-factory-30mw-project/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed:+greentechmedia-all-content+%28Greentech+Media:+All+Content%29

A very interesting part of the story:  "...But can Bloom’s fuel cells compete with the natural gas-fired power plants that now serve the grid? That’s a complicated question, involving differences in cost per watt (gas turbines are still cheaper), the cleanliness of emissions (Bloom’s fuel cells are much cleaner, though they still emit CO2), the potential to capture waste heat for extra benefit (Bloom’s fuel cells don’t, while other gas-fired systems do), and the extra-complicated question of whether or not Bloom’s fuel cells are a “green” energy source. Bloom will have to address all these questions if it wants to crack open the long-awaited, still-nascent fuel cell market.
The Tuesday decision by the Delaware Public Service Commission opens the door for Bloom Energy to start raising funds to finance the project. The 30-megawatt project, which could grow to as much as 50 megawatts, is an order of magnitude larger than Bloom’s biggest projects so far, with California customers such as Google, eBay, Adobe and AT&T, as well as Bloom’s pilot projects with California utilities Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison andTennessee’s EPB.
Bloom hasn’t put a price tag on the project yet, but it has touted the potential economic benefits for Delaware -- up to 900 jobs at its factory and an estimated $300 million in annual economic activity. That’s boosted project backers against critics who worry that Bloom’s projects won’t come off in time or on budget. One conservative critic has testified that the cost to Delmarva ratepayers could reach as high as $3 to $4 a month if Bloom and the utility can’t maximize the value of their “Bloom Electrons” in markets for renewable power. For its part, Bloom has agreed to pay Delaware a fine as high as $41 million if it fails to build the factory -- a move one commissioner said was critical to Tuesday’s approval."...
Note the potential fine to Bloom for failing to follow through and build the factory.  They certainly put some skin in the game.
We think Bloom and the State struck a good balance of risk with possible rewards--economic and ecological rewards.  A good expansion for the company to the East, and a good new employer in town, with up to 900 factory jobs alone, for Delaware.  We wish them both lots of luck in making this deal work for the citizens and electric consumers in  Delaware.  


Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vermont Plans to Get 90% of Energy from Renewable Sources by 2050

This promising headline from EcoGeek this week.  Obviously, a lot of things could go wrong, and they may, ultimately, not get to 90%  If you see the comments below the article--http://www.ecogeek.org/wind-power/3615--there's many that doubt VT's ability to reach this goal.  But, even getting close would be a huge success and improvement from where the State is right now.

Here it is.  We'll let you decide the merits and how viable this goal may be.  In the meantime we applaud their ambition and vision:

Written by Megan Treacy on 10/10/11


"Vermont's Department of Public Service has released a new Comprehensive Energy Plan that raises its renewable energy target to 90% by 2050, a huge leap from the 25% by 2050 target set in 2008.  
The plan calls for a mix of new renewable energy projects, energy conservation, gains in residential and commercial energy efficiency, and developing plug-in vehicle infrastructure.
Vermont has a bit of an advantage going into this goal since it has the lowest energy demand in New England and also has no coal-fired power plants.  The Vermont Yankee nuclear plant that supplies one-third of its electricity is closing next year, so the state is aggressively pursuing renewable energy, mainly solar and wind power, to replace it."

Friday, October 21, 2011

Update and thanks to Susan Korte

We normally update the blog daily, but wanted to run the announcements on the Sierra Club show and our move to TV for a couple of days as they are both important milestones.  Our thanks to the guests from the Sierra Club who helped us garner a huge, global audience for this week's premier of their show.


We thank all of you, too, for tuning in.


A few updates now.  We are fortunate to be working with lots of great groups and people.  We are happy to promote them and their events as they do for our shows.  This is not restricted to any region.  We are happy to take content from anywhere in the world.


Our thanks to Susan Korte for her efforts in promoting lots of important material.  We'd like to share her sites and listings so you can find them as well:


Susan Korté
The Providential Gardener
PO Box 2556
Providence, RI 02906

Free Listings!
ADD YOUR ENVIRONMENT-RELATED EVENTS TO THE CALENDAR: http://www.whatgrowsonri.com/add_event.html

skorte@providentialgardener.com
401.273.6678

What Grows On in Rhode Island Calendar 
http://www.WhatGrowsOnRI.com

Providential Gardener http://www.ProvidentialGardener.com

Also, from Terra Pass this week, read about using social media to reduce home energy costs.  Here's the link: 
http://www.terrapass.com/blog/posts/social-media-to-the-home-energy-rescue?utm_source=bronto&utm_medium=email&utm_term=Read%C2%A0more&utm_content=peterarpin%40msn.com&utm_campaign=Newsletter+10%2F19%2F2011


Headline:

Social media to the home energy rescue

JULIA WANG | OCTOBER 18, 2011

New Facebook app will let users monitor their energy use and compete to reduce electricity bills.


Again, the convergent of  technology and environmental management creating economic gain (for those who use the device, of course).  We'd love to hear from you if you jump in and use the app to save money at home.

Lots more going on this week, and we will report on that this weekend.   

Thank you, too, to the sponsors of the Waste for Warmth e-waste fundraiser that Arpin Group will co-host tomorrow.  See you there with a live broadcast on WARL 1320AM  

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

New Show on Weds

Couple of big announcements on the show today:    First, we welcome the premier of a great show we shot last month with the Sierra Club.  You can see our promo below.

Also, on November 6 we expand the show to local TV by joining the lineup at RI News Channel 5:


We also expand our show on WARL 1320 AM with a one-hour, live call-in show, Weds from 12-1p, EST.  The show will be co-hosted by the talented team at EcoNewsRI.  Please listen and call in.


Enjoy the show:



Monday, October 17, 2011

Thanks to Sipa in Washington DC

For a report, not a good one, from The Financial Express:



EU emissions rise sharply

THE FINANCIAL TIMES
By Pilita Clark, Environment Correspondent
"The European Union, home to some of the world’s greenest governments, is about to record the biggest yearly jump in carbon emissions in 20 years, figures show.


Economic recovery and an unusually cold winter that saw consumers use their heating for longer and at higher levels helped push 2010 emissions in the bloc up by 2.4 per cent from the previous year, according to preliminary estimates by the European Environment Agency.


That is the biggest year-on-year jump since 1990, agency officials said. The previous biggest increase was in 1996, when the 27-member bloc’s emissions rose 2 per cent compared with 1995.


The 2010 increase comes after annual emissions plunged 7 per cent in 2009 as factories in the grip of economic recession slashed their production, leading to a fall in pollution levels. But a growth in electricity generation from renewable sources such as solar and wind also played a..."

Here's the link for more information:http://www.financialexpress.com/news/eu-emissions-rise-sharply/857914/1

We'll take another look when the 2011 numbers are in.  Are you surprised at this report?  We are.  We expected to see a decline, a consistent decline, in annual emissions in light of an economic recession, better fuel mileage on cars, investments in renewable energy and other positive factors.  Clearly, we have a lot of work to do to reduce our air pollution levels as we see some future economic improvement.

EV's need to be a big part of the worldwide solution.



Posted: Monday, Oct 10, 2011 at 0302 hrs IST

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Green Chambers/Weekend Edition

This came to us from the San Francisco Green Chamber:


Last Friday was a monumental day for shark conservation advocates along the West Coast and around the world including the SF Bay Area Green Chamber of Commerce! Governor of California Jerry Brown signed into law AB 376, The California Shark Protection Act, which from this day forward bans the sale, trade, or distribution of shark fins off the California coast. 

California has now joined the ranks of other states taking action to protect sharks in coastal waters such as Washington (2011) and Hawaii (2010) and Oregon will hopefully be next!

Benefit Corporation Legislation Passes in CA

This week we had another big win in California! 

Governor Jerry Brown signed AB 361 into law.

According to B Corp organization, the California Benefit Corp. legislation is unique, providing the strongest consumer and investor protection through the most rigorous transparency provisions among the states that have so far enacted benefit corporation legislation. 

AB 361 goes into effect Jan. 1. Similar Benefit Corporation laws exist in Hawaii, Maryland, New Jersey, Vermont and Virginia. Benefit Corporation legislation is awaiting approval in New York and is moving forward in North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Michigan.

East Bay Mixer Oct 18

Join the Green Chamber for our Fall Mixer in Oakland, CA!
Date: Tuesday, October 18th 
Time: 6 – 8 p.m

Location:
Red Oak Realty
2099 Pleasant Valley Avenue @ 51 St.
Oakland, CA 94611
 We are looking into bringing a Green Chamber to RI/MA/CT.  We love the events, legislative initiatives and umbrella for growing sustainable companies and their products and services.  Please let us know if you would like to help, and we hope you consider getting behind a Green Chamber in your city and town as well.
Enjoy the weekend.  Our best wishes to the SF Green Chamber.  Keep up the good work.




Friday, October 14, 2011

Nissan Unveils 10 Minute Electric Vehicle Charger

One quick change to today's post:  Thank you to Articles4Wrting4WebHosting  for their kind comments.  We appreciate all feedback.  Please get in touch with your ideas for blogs, shows and other content, and let us know how we are doing, good or bad.


If we use your ideas, we will fully acknowledge your contribution.

This is fantastic news...exactly what we need to make EV's practical.  We applaud Nissan and their partners for this amazing jump in technology, and we plan on profiling their new unit on a future show.  For now we hope this is incentive enough for you to consider a future change to an electric vehicle:


"Nissan just announced that, in conjunction with Japan’s Kansai University, it has built an electric vehicle charger that is capable of fully recharging a car in just 10 minutes. One of the biggest downsides of current electric vehicles and their accompanying charging stations is that it usually takes about 8 hours to fully recharge a battery. This new charging station, when commercialized, could open up the door to a whole new demographic of people who aren’t willing to wait — the only problem is they’ll have to wait about a decade for Nissan to get this thing into dealerships.

Nissan and Kansai University created the new charger by altering the components of the electrodes inside the battery. Current chargers use carbon electrodes, while the new 10 minute charger switches those out for tungsten oxide and vanadium oxide electrodes, which are much more efficient. If chargers like this were to sweep across the market, the charging components in electric vehicles would have to be altered as well to be compatible with the technology.


According to many recent surveys of consumers, one of the largest complaints about electric cars is the charging time and that charging infrastructure is not sufficient. Though Nissan’s new technology is a long way off from hitting the streets it could really revolutionize the industry. A charger like this would make electricity stations — modeled after gas stations — totally viable. Pull in, plug in, grab a smoothie and be off an running in no time. It is nice to know that solutions to current EV problems are in the works, and though we’d sure like them to come to commercialization a tad bit faster, we’re willing to wait."


Via NY Daily News

Thursday, October 13, 2011

From Sierra Club: Join us for National Plug In Day this Sunday‏

As you know, we are very big proponents of moving to electric vehicles.  We believe it restores a great deal of health back to our ecological and global economic health.  A huge win-win.

Towards that end, we are jumping in and helping promote the upcoming Plug in Day.  Please join us at one of the selected cities and sights.  Our thanks to Sierra Club, whose show with us premiers next week, for including us in the event.

" I'm very excited to share that this Sunday, October 16, National Plug In Day events will roll through more than 20 cities nationwide.  Check to see if you live near one of the cities, and if so, I hope you'll join us for one of them and invite your friends and colleagues!
 
Sierra Club has been very pleased to team up with Plug In America, Electric Auto Association, and local partner groups to organize this national effort to promote the many benefits of plug-in electric vehicles. Plug In Day events will feature test-drives, product demos, speakers, plug-in parades, electric tailgate parties, and more. Check out www.pluginamerica.org/pluginday orwww.sierraclub.org/ev for more information.
 
If you'd like more information about a particular event, I encourage you to contact the "city captain" for that event listed on that event's web page (see www.pluginamerica.org/pluginday). [Note that the Washington, DC event location may change by a few blocks, so check back to this web page at the end of the week if you'd like to attend.]
 
If you want to hear more about what's behind and in store for National Plug In Day, Plug In America's Kate Baker interviewed me for a recent podcast, and you're welcome to listen at: http://www.pluginamerica.org/podcasts/sierra-club-plugs
 
Looking forward to this weekend!"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Renewable Now News Report

Go to Arpin Broadcast Network or EcoNewsRI to watch.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

RSF Social Finance

Before we get on to today's blog, we want to thank Samual James for his kind comments on our blog.  We really appreciate all feedback, suggestions and ideas for new blogs and shows.


We appreciate it, Samual, and please keep reading and sharing our blog with others.


Found this non-profit with a very interesting focus on "transforming the way the world works with money".  One of the strategies they use, we find intriguing, is their investment in fixing our "broken" food chain, an issue we've covered many times.



RSF Social Finance
RSF Social Finance (RSF) is a pioneering non-profit financial services organization dedicated to transforming the way the world works with money. In partnership with a community of investors and donors, RSF provides capital to non-profit and for-profit social enterprises addressing key issues in the areas of Food & Agriculture, Education & the Arts, and Ecological Stewardship.
RSF Social Finance
Jillian McCoy
888.RSF.3737

Here is there most recent newsletter.  Please make sure you click on the complete report as it  is well worth reading, and positive news on their worthy investments:

RSF Fall Newlsetter: Food & Agriculture
In this issue of the RSF Quarterly, we examine ways in which people are actively working to change how our food system operates. Check out the Clients in Conversation piece to learn about the work of RSF investor-borrowers, Jessica Rolph (HAPPYFAMILY) and John Roulac (Nutiva), in the superfoods industry. In other stories, hear from guest essayist Naomi Starkman on the burgeoning food hub movement and learn how members of the RSF community are educating the next generation to build a revitalized food system. Also, hear RSF's Entrepreneur-in-Residence Joel Solomon share his journey from biodynamic farming to finance. To download an electronic copy of the quarterly, click here. To receive hard copies of future issues free of charge, click here.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Greenopolis.com

Very nice site with great daily green tips.

Here's an article on e-waste collections, but keep in mind that Arpin and a host of other sponsors are having an e-waste event on Sat, Oct 22, at the West Warwick Industrial Park.  The event includes collection of e-waste (almost any kind of electronics), batteries, shredding of your sensitive docs and blood drive, flu shots and lots more.  All to benefit the fuel assistance program of the Artic Mission (thearticmission.com) to keep people warm this winter.  Contact us or go to their site for more information.

Here's the story from Greenopolis:  

Best Buy, Energy Star and DoSomething.org Team up for Teen E-Waste Drive

Every year U.S. residents throw away between 300 and 400 million electronic items. Most of these items are not recycled, so they end up in our local landfills, contaminating the earth with toxic lead waste. Who are the owners of these electronics? Many are young students who are upgrading their computers, game consoles and smartphones for the latest high tech gadget.
We look forward to seeing you on Sat, Oct 22.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

GE to bring solar-powered carports to a parking lot near you/Weekend Edition

GE is aggressively moving into green technology and sustainable products.  We've talked about their investment in electric recharging facilities, and now they are introducing solar carports for commercial and corporate carports.

We've believed that companies are going to be a huge influence, good or bad, on EV's taking hold.  These carports will be one piece of the infrastructure needed to make charging convenient.  This is really good news on our way to electric vehicles and away from imported oil.

The link:  http://www.businessgreen.com/bg/news/2115427/ge-bring-solar-powered-carports-parking-lot-near.

Part of the story:  

GE teams up with Inovateus Solar to bolster presence in fast-expanding electric vehicle market

07 Oct 2011



"GE) and Inovateus Solar are working together to offer solar-powered carports equipped with charging stations for electric cars - a concept that enables large-scale EV charging in commercial and corporate parking lots without a huge draw on the grid.
GE makes EV chargers and combiner boxes for solar power systems, and Inovateus makes solar-powered carports.
Tthis week at the Greenbuild conference, dovetails GE's expanded R&D relationship with Nissan to develop technology that will link electric cars, homes and ideally residential renewable power sources with a smarter grid.
EV charging stations are beginning to sprout up in the United States as the push for electric cars accelerates. With that effort, however, comes a growing concern that a surge in EV adoption will overload the existing power grid unless something is done to manage when charging occurs - or to offset or entirely avoid such a drain.
By integrating EVs into home energy systems, an electric car could serve as potential power source to "give back" to the grid when necessary. With solar power also in a home, the energy system could supplement the grid rather than draw from it. A solar-powered carport charging system could do the same..."


Good economics when you are giving back power to the Grid.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Why We Need a National Ocean Policy

This is a great article on Think Progress.  You will want to read the entire article, and there is the link: http://thinkprogress.org/romm/2011/10/05/336251/why-we-need-a-national-ocean-policy/--but we will share some of it here.

Interesting, that some states--including Mass RI, have taken the lead in "ocean zoning" which, as you will read, structures the best possible use of our oceans--throughout the world--as economic anchors.  And, as we've been talking about regularly, our natural resources are the foundations of our financial infrastructure.

Take a look at some of this story: "Contrary to the GOP efforts to portray the National Ocean Policy as a hyper-regulatory economic anchor, the principles contained in the policy actually pave the way for a more efficient, forward-thinking approach that will benefit both new and existing uses of ocean space. SOURCE: 
by Michael Conathan and Kiley Kroh
Last year, President Barack Obama announced the first National Ocean Policy and the creation of a National Ocean Council tasked with its implementation. Contrary to attempts by House Republicans to color the policy as restrictive “ocean zoning,” a comprehensive, collaborative approach to managing our ocean resources will help prevent multi-use conflicts, increase efficiency, and ensure ocean economies continue to support American jobs and a high quality of life. The National Ocean Council should be given the necessary support to implement the National Ocean Policy for the benefit of American jobs, economic growth, and security.
A keystone recommendation of the National Ocean Policy, or NOP, is support for implementing a process known as coastal and marine spatial planning, or CMSP. The concept behind CMSP recognizes that as new potential uses of ocean space become increasingly viable, our exclusive economic zone—the area of ocean space extending out to 200 miles from our shores—will grow more crowded. Thus, in order to ensure efficient prioritization of these uses and to reduce conflicts, it makes sense to solicit input from stakeholders upfront rather than allowing a first-come, first-served land grab mentality to dictate how our invaluable ocean resources will be managed."
And this  

Marine spatial planning is already working

  • Several states, including MassachusettsRhode Island, and Oregon, have already implemented CMSP at the state level. They have taken proactive steps to identify areas most suitable for various commercial and recreational uses of ocean space, including fishing, energy development, sand and gravel mining, shipping traffic, and other activities. These efforts ensure the relative benefits of each action are considered and prioritized to meet economic, environmental, security, and social goals.
  • In addition to their in-state work, Rhode Island and Massachusetts cooperated on alandmark agreement for the development of offshore wind energy. Then Rhode Island governor, Republican Don Carcieri, said, “The shared waters between Rhode Island and Massachusetts hold the key to the future of offshore wind developments along the East Coast and the country. It is in the best interest for both states to work together to expedite the federal permitting process through this collaborative effort. We share mutual interests in developing offshore wind projects, bringing greater economic development activity and economic security to the region.”     

We'd love to hear your comments, and will follow up with a show on this.
Enjoy the weekend, and look back for our weekend blog on Saturday or Sunday.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Cleantech Investments Grow 12% in Q3, US Leads the World

This is a really interesting report, with lots of insightful data, from Sustainable Business.com.  Not only does it give a very good overview of cleantech investments but, at same time, digs down into the individual sectors that make up cleantech investments.

It fits with our believe, articulated here and on the show, that there is a very strong green economy growing across the globe.  Despite our worldwide turndown, money is flowing into building a clean infrastructure of future sustainability.  Look at this quote taken from the article which bodes well for our eventual transformation to EV's:  " While financing remains constrained, it's still growing," says Sheeraz Haji, CEO of Cleantech Group. "Energy Storage emerged as our top sector, indicating continued strong interest in advanced technologies for grid-storage as well as for electric vehicles."
 
Here's an overview of the various sectors and the Q3 investments:


Energy Storage Leads
For the first time, energy storage was the leading sector by amount invested ($514 million), followed by solar ($350 million) and energy efficiency ($223 million).

Energy efficiency had the most deals, however, with 34 funding rounds, ahead of solar (33 deals) and energy storage (19 deals).

Here are the largest transactions in each of the top sectors:
Energy Storage: $514 million in 19 deals
  • Bloom Energy (California): $150 million for solid-oxide fuel cell technology;
  • Boston-Power (Massachusetts): $125 million for lithium-ion battery production;
  • ClearEdge Power (Oregon): $73.5 million for silicon-based stationary fuel cells.
Solar: $350 million in 33 deals
  • HelioVolt (Texas): $85 million for CIGS thin-film solar cells;
  • OneRoof Solar (California): $50 million for residential solar/roofing systems; 
  • CaliSolar (California): $26 million for solar cells that can use non-pure silicon.
Energy Efficiency: $223 million in 34 deals
  • Fusion-io (Utah): $61.5 million for efficient servers and workstations; 
  • SynapSense (California): $16 million for data center efficiency solutions; 
  • Elstat (UK): $15 million for energy management devices for commercial beverage coolers.
Transportation: $177 million in 15 deals
  • Coda Automotive (California): $66 million for electric vehicles manufacture; 
  • INRIX (Washington): $37 million for predictive traffic services and solutions; 
  • SmartDrive Systems (California): $10 million for fleet management solutions.  
The link to more reading:  http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/22992.

All good news, we think, and the question comes back to how well you, and your company, are positioned to benefit, from the sustainable and financial sides, from a new, growing green economy?  I know my company, Arpin Group, is right in the middle of the fray, and already seeing a very good ROI on our investments in green.  

Clearly, reading this article, we are not alone.  Jump in with us--the water is fine.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Update to our story on The Charlestown Package Store

A couple of months ago, we profiled the construction of a new facility for this store, and talked with the owner and builder about their use of renewable energy and innovative construction techniques projected to substantially reduce operating costs.

Projections are OK--real data is much better.  They recently emailed us an update, and the numbers are great, and should be a model for any small business looking to retro a facility or, as here, build new.


OYSTER WORKS LOGO
Geothermal Energy Use Analysis
4 Month Analysis - Projected 60% Energy Savings

Last May Charlestown Wine and Spirits opened as a Sensibly Green liquor store.  Designed and built byOyster Works, CWS is designed to save energy, reduce our impact on the environment, and lower operating costs.      (We also wanted it to be beautiful and functional!)
Charlestown Wine
Charlestown Wine & Spirits
Whitehouse Tours Geothermal
Sen. Whitehouse Tours Project














Are we achieving our goals?   After the first four months of operation we analyzed the store's energy use and compared it to a U. S. Government Energy Star benchmark.  Take a look at the numbers.
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U. S. Government Energy Star estimates that the average annual electrical usage for a Grocery and Convenience Store is 52.5 kilowatt hours per square foot.  Based on National Grid Bills for the past four months, CWS electrical usage is 19.9 kilowatt hours of electricity per square foot per year.  We use no oil, propane, or natural gas.  52.5 kilowatt hours versus 19.9 kilowatt hours.
 
CWS uses 62% less energy than the US Energy Star benchmark for comparable stores.

Energy savings are the result of detailed analysis, sensibly green design, energy efficient building systems, and critical attention to detail:  
  • Reduce the demand for energy.  Let's face it, lowering demand is the least expensive way to save.   We lowered demand by building with high R-value EPS wall and roof panels designed to eliminate thermal-bridging.
  • Pay close attention to the heating and cooling distribution systems.   CWS has four micro-climates within the store:  the retail area; the beer cooler; the wine storage room; and the mezzanine.  We looked at what delivery system would be most efficient for each micro-climate. 
  • Size the geothermal closed-loop wells to capture the specific amount of BTUs needed to heat and cool the store.  
  • Use computer controlled high-efficiency lighting to increase efficiency.
Sensibly Green design saves energy, creates jobs and produces a measurable return on investment.    Good for the Environment. Good for Business. Good for Rhode Island.