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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A look back and ahead from our partner/EcoRI News/Part 2

Before we get into part 2 of the look behind and ahead from EcoRINews, just a reminder to listen to us today live on the air on WARL 1320AM, 12-1p, EST, as we bring you the business side of green.

You can listen on line, of course, from anywhere in the world, at: And, feel free to call, email or tweet and Facebook in your comments and questions.

Now, Part 2 of a great summary and prediction of some future events:

"The Narragansett Bay Watershed. Despite the stress of tourist and lawn-watering season, it seems the health of Narragansett Bay is trending upward. Divers who recently worked to remove a sunken barge from under the Newport Bridge commented that the bay looked good, aside from the sunken barge. The Combined Sewer Overflow project can be credited with a lot of that positive impact. Without it, stormwater and raw sewage would be ejected untreated into the bay during heavy rain events. The adoption of the Low Impact Development Stormwater Manual will guarantee that future development in Rhode Island addresses the rates and volumes of stormwater runoff and groundwater infiltration.

The removal of the Pawtuxet Falls dam as a major victory that appeared in most of the responses that we received. Dam removal is an essential component to returning native species of fish to their natural spawning waters. Dolphins were also spotted in the upper bay in October.

Predictions: The bays’ health will continue to improve in 2012, but climate change could nullify those improvements. Thank the new low-impact design manual for decreasing non-point source pollution in our rivers and bay. The trend for dam removal will be met with some resistance 2012 from proponents of hydroelectric power and private owners of dams.

Renewable Energy and Efficiency. While Deepwater Wind plods along, land-based renewables got a shot in the arm last year due to a trio of laws designed to facilitate the quick implementation of small renewable energy projects in Rhode Island. A number of renewable projects were approved for state and federal funding in 2011. Fortunately, they haven’t all created the furor that wind turbine proposals in Charlestown and North Kingstown have.

Despite resistance to a commercial turbine in Charlestown, another renewable project in town is becoming a success story. The green design and geothermal heating and cooling at Charlestown Wine and Spirits are saving the store’s owners a ton of money in operating costs.

Rhode Island continued an upward trend in efficiency this year and is now rated as the fifth most efficient state in the nation despite a virtual monopoly on the business of efficiency upgrades in Rhode Island.

Predictions: Advances in solar technology will begin to lower costs dramatically while boosting efficiency. This will make solar power much more accessible and cost efficient to homeowners and businesses. More homeowner and business associations will pop up to facilitate larger renewable projects and Rhode Island cities and towns will begin to explore multi-municipality agreements for purchasing green power and funding projects..."

Our view: These are the essential building blocks, restoration of natural resources, in particular, that any town, city, state, province, country must make to preserve and grow their economy. These are the investments, we believe, that will have the highest ROI as we look back on these changes 10 and 20 years from now.

More on this on today's show and tomorrow's blog.

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