Thursday, November 29, 2012

From Eco Geek

When we talk about a new economy, changing jobs and technology, here's a very good example of what we are seeing and what we are getting very excited about.  Our thanks to Eco Geek for their continued excellent coverage:

Synthetic Fuel Made From Air and Water

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Today's radio show on WARL 1320 and Blog Talk Radio

My co-host today is Jim Murphy from RI College and we are joined by Dr. Suchandra Basu, Professor of Economics at RI College and we are talking about environmental economics today.  This is a fascinating subject, wide-ranging, touching on every aspect of sustainable economies and growing green jobs and commerce.

Please tune in.  Here's a link to last week's show on Blog Talk Radio, in case you missed it, and you'll be able to use this link for today's show which will broadcast live, 12-1p, EST:

For WARL 1320, a great radio station with a a very positive format, you can tune in at:

Of course, you can tune in 24/7 on Blog Talk Radio, the Renewable Now channel, and listen to any and all of our radio shows.

Take a look at the Arpin Broadcast out TV shows.

More on the blog later today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Part 2: Hawaii's future with solar

Continued from yesterday as we explore one state's struggles to move into renewable energy:

..."So rapid is the growth that Hawaiian Electric at one point proposed a moratorium on solar installations, a plan that met with immediate outrage and was quickly withdrawn. But utilities are requiring expensive "interconnection" studies, such as the one the Lees had to do, in solar-saturated areas to analyze what impact a new unit is going to have on the utility system before it can connect to the grid.
"The last three months are turning into a madhouse of solar here on Oahu," Hawaiian Electric spokesman Peter Rosegg said. "We're doing everything we can to get in as much solar as possible, but there's a strong sense that we're kind of at a crossroads here in trying to deal with these issues."
Hawaii has become a solar laboratory for the rest of the country. Many states are experiencing sun-power booms, but few have had their grids overwhelmed to the extent seen in Hawaii.
"No one knows exactly when this is going to take place, but we are approaching a red line…. We will reach a point where they will not accept any more generating capacity," said Marco Mangelsdorf, who runs a private solar company, ProVision Solar, and teaches energy politics at the University of Hawaii in Hilo.
Historically, power is supplied to homes and businesses from big central power plants, easily controlled by engineers who dial up the turbines when demand peaks, such as on hot afternoons when customers come home and turn on air conditioners. But the push for renewable energy has introduced into the equation "nonfirm" power — electricity generated by wind, which comes and goes, or sun, which can suddenly disappear behind a cloud.
As customers generate more than they need and feed the excess back into the grid for others to use, it makes managing the system much more complex. What happens when a cloud passes over and dozens of rooftop units suddenly grind to a halt? What's to be done on a sunny autumn day, when rooftop solar systems are producing way more power than the grid can use?
The problem is especially pronounced in Hawaii, where each island has its own isolated power grid and can't quickly compensate with power generated elsewhere. The result, if not carefully managed, can be computer-killing power surges (in cases of excess generation), flickering lights, isolated blackouts or worse.
"It can crash the entire system," said Robert Alm, executive vice president of Hawaiian Electric.
California, which has more than 120,000 solar energy systems online, doesn't have Hawaii's serious overload problems, but has recently faced its own debate over how much can be paid to solar-equipped homeowners for power they feed into the grid. The Sacramento Municipal Utility District is studying Hawaii's operations to learn what happens when solar power inundates a power system.
"As an engineer, you always want to look at the worst-case scenario. Well, they have it," project manager Elaine Sison-Lebrilla said.
Hawaii finds itself pushing the envelope not just because of its abundant sunshine. A bigger driver has been the state's reliance on oil to fuel its power plants. Oil is always more expensive than natural gas, but prices shot up even higher last year when Japan's nuclear disaster sent demand, and soon prices, skyrocketing on the Asian markets where Hawaii buys its supplies.
The state has set a goal of obtaining 40% of its power from locally generated renewable sources by 2030. Already, the Big Island has jumped ahead and is producing 44% of its power from renewable sources, and it could hit 100% by the end of the decade.
Kauai announced earlier this month that it would build its third large-scale solar plant and expected to generate half the island's power by the sun soon. "Our understanding is that would be the highest penetration of any utility, certainly in the United States," said Jim Kelly, spokesman for Kauai Island Utility Cooperative.
The state is studying a multibillion-dollar undersea cable that would connect outlying islands — the big generators of wind, geothermal and solar power — to Oahu, home to most of Hawaii's population. This would not only allow them to serve as energy farms for the state, but it would also allow the kind of interconnected grid that would alleviate wind and solar variability problems.
Over the last few months, new rules have liberalized the standards for allowing solar connections, and a week ago, the Lees completed their long journey through the energy bureaucracy: They had their rooftop unit installed. They're no longer worried about turning off the lights in empty rooms.
"I wish I hadn't had to go through all this," Lawrence Lee said. "But it was worth it."

Monday, November 26, 2012

Hawaii's solar power flare-up: Too much of a good thing?

This is a very interesting article from The LA Times and points to the complicated financial picture of moving energy into renewables.

What appears to be a very good model, Hawaii's aggressive renewable-energy program and the effective use of tax credits, has pushed maybe too hard in growing their solar industry.  Clearly the utility is wrestling with how to best integrate that power into their grid given its unpredictable nature.  And, the State is feeling the financial effects of loss revenue as people and companies take full advantage of the credits.

What we don't want to see is a success turn into a failure.  We do not want to see State's, and even the federal govt, shelve credits and incentives that are helping to move us away from fossil fuel.

There's been talk for years now about smart grids and their ability to manage energy.  Why are we not seeing this in Hawaii?  Clearly, taking advantage of the sun's energy, and reducing their dependence on expensive, centrally produce electricity is good for that State, and their citizens, in so many ways.  They need to be smart in adjusting the system to best capture the energy, so that it does not cause failures in the system, and finance in ways that makes economic sense for everyone.

Good story.  Our thanks to the LA Times:
Hawaii: To much solar power?

Part One:  By Kim Murphy, Los Angeles Times
WAILUKU, Hawaii — On an island whose stock in trade is sun, and lots of it, Lawrence and Cindy Lee figured they'd be foolish not to join their neighbors and put a few solar panels on the roof.
The Lees called one of the solar contractors racing around Hawaii these days, and put in their order. Eleven months later, in October — after endless consultations, emails and a $3,000 study required by Maui Electric Co. — they were still waiting for a permit.
"Instead of it being like they want to help you get your solar system in," Lawrence Lee said, "it's more like they don't want you to."
Solar power has grown increasingly popular across the U.S. Sun Belt, but hardly anywhere has it taken hold as it has in Hawaii. Friendly tax credits, the highest average electricity rates in the nation and the most aggressive renewable energy program adopted by any state have sent homeowners scrambling to install photovoltaic systems on their roofs.
The number of solar power systems across the island state has doubled every year since 2007, with nearly 20,000 units installed. But with homeowners and businesses now producing nearly 140 megawatts of their own power — the equivalent of a medium-size power plant — and solar tax credits biting seriously into the state budget, Hawaii legislators and electrical utilities are tapping the brakes.
Solar tax credits cost the state $173.8 million this year in foregone revenue, up from $34.7 million in 2010, prompting state tax authorities to announce this month that they will temporarily cut the tax credit in half, effective Jan. 1.
Hawaiian Electric Co. on Oahu, which oversees subsidiary utilities on Maui and the Big Island, has warned that the explosion of do-it-yourself solar could threaten parts of the power grid with the possibility of power fluctuations or sporadic blackouts as the power generated by homeowners —unpredictable and subject to sudden swings — exceeded output from power plants in some areas..."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This week's radio show

Is now available 24/7 on Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel.  Here's a description of the show:

Re awakening

by Renewable Now

This week on ReNewable Now, it was a great, informative show . Peter Arpin had chatted  with Maureen Cary from RI Natural Awakenings about various topics that the magazine covered regarding sustainable living and personal growth. Jack Gregg, president and founder of the Electric Vehicle Urban Infrastructure Study,  also stopped by to give us an update about what’s pertinent in the news this month. Don’t forget to tune in at 12 p.m. this Wednesday ReNewable Now, educating you on the business side of green!

Here's the direct link to the show.  While there, listen to prior shows:

Enjoy the day/weekend and this video

We are very grateful to all of you for the support of the show and related sites.  We think it has been a good year on our path to a cleaner you?

Our thanks to Nature Conservancy for this timely video.  We enjoy supporting them and many other non-profits that bring value to our economy and environment.  We need to think long-term in our planning and investments, and they do.

You can copy and paste the below address into your browser.  Let us know what you think.

We encourage you to support their efforts as well.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Dunkin Donuts' 4-Step Solution to Brewing Energy Efficiency

Coffee lovers rejoice:  One of the big players, very popular in Eastern US, is taking a step towards a sustainable future by reducing its use of energy to brew its coffee.  Interesting, as you read their story, they became very motivated "After observing the success of EDF Climate Corps fellows at other companies, executives at Dunkin' Donuts believed energy efficiency could mean potential savings for their own company as well."

We love this statement as it is our goal to motivate you through sharing other success stories.  Whether you are an individual, non-profit or business, there is, in our view, plenty of room to make a good economic decision that will benefit the environment as well, and you can see and hear that through our many shows.

Here's part of the story: " Freshly brewed cups of coffee are sold to millions of faithful American guests that flock to Dunkin Donuts' doors daily. The company's culinary and operational recipes have proven to be quite successful: already a Northeast staple, Dunkin' Donuts is continuing to extend its presence across the rest of the United States. Excitement at the company runs particularly high nowadays, in response to its recent and successful IPO

...But it gets trickier when you consider that Dunkin' Donuts, as a franchisor, owns virtually none of the Dunkin' Donuts stores. The corporate parent owns only a handful of actual restaurants. Instead, individual franchisees own each of the nearly 6,700 Dunkin' Donuts stores in the U.S. So even if Dunkin' Donuts were to identify very financially attractive energy efficiency investments, these investments would not be undertaken unless franchisees (the actual store owners) became interested enough to implement and pay for the projects on their own.

How can a franchisor convince franchisees that an energy efficiency project is worth the investment? Below are some recommendations from my work to-date regarding franchisee engagement and benchmarking:"

Now, Dunkin Donuts needs to find a non-Styrofoam cup to serve.  They are killing our landfill.  If you can, please switch to a reusable cup so you, too, can stop the fl

The link to finish the story:   

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Good webinar to look at

Nature’s Returns: Investing in Ecosystem Services
A Special Edition Webinar Series
Center for Business and the Environment at Yale

The Yale Center for Business and the Environment (CBEY) is pleased to announce the second year of Nature’s Returns: Investing in Ecosystem Services, a webinar series that addresses the growing importance of ecosystem service valuation and investment. The benefits that human populations gain from healthy and functioning ecosystems are vast. Clean drinking water filtered by forests, carbon stored in plants or soil, crop pollination by wild insects, and pharmaceutical uses of plants are just a few examples of services humans usually receive for free. A recent wave of efforts to monetize the value of Ecosystem Services presents an opportunity to both protect these assets and bring their worth onto the market. Public and private mechanisms exist to use payments to encourage responsible land management in order to preserve public benefits. Currently, conservationists and investors alike are moving into this space in hopes of achieving a win-win for the economy and the environment.

So, what do Ecosystem Services projects look like? Who are the practitioners involved and what skills are most important in terms of getting into the profession? What obstacles and opportunities does this field face? These questions and more (including those from the audience) will be addressed throughout the four focal areas of the series.

This year we will build on the previous year’s webinar series by exploring current experimentation in conservation investments across the US in the following four focal areas: The Role of Private Landowners in Ecosystem Services Markets, Regulatory-Based Conservation Incentives/ Public Engagement, Corporate Strategy and Ecosystem Services, Ecosystem Services and Planning at the Institutional, Local, and Regional Scale. 

Three webinar presentations kick off the series. 

1. Investing in Conservation: Market-Based Approaches: Carrie Sanneman, Willamette Partnership; Todd Gartner, World Resources Institute. November 27th, 2012, 12pm EST
2. The Role of Forests and Forest Owners in National Ecosystem Services Markets: Laurie Wayburn, President, Pacific Forest Trust. December 4th, 2012, 12pm EST 
3. Engaging US Producers in Conservation and Ecosystem Management: Jimmy Daukas, Acting VP of Programs, American Farmland Trust, December 11th, 2012, 12pm EST 
Email invitations for the Nature's Returns webinars will be sent as the dates approach. Visit the 
website CBEY for up-to-date information regarding this and other events. 

The Ecosystem Services webinars are supported by the Yale Center for Business & the Environment. They will be free and open to the public through online webcasts. Each presentation will be recorded and made available to the global community through Yale University's iTunesU channel. More details about the speakers associated with each focal area will follow. If interested, pleasesubscribe to the Nature’s Returns newsletter for information about upcoming events.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanks to Terra Pass

A very good carbon-offset company for sending us this:

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Thanks to Mrs. Green's World

And specially to Mrs. Green for being on the radio with us this week.  If you don't know Mrs. Green or the green world she artfully cultivates, listen here to a great interview and then go to her web site for more information:

Also, we continue to garner a very large audience on the Arpin Broadcast Network as they watch our fascinating TV series with Betaspring and learn more about them and accelerators driving new business around the globe.  Here's the most recent episode we posted.  Come back next week for show 3:

Tell us what shows and topics you'd like to see next on Renewable Now, the show and tour that bring you the business side of green.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Renewable Energy To Rival Coal As World's Primary Energy Source By 2035

Here is some great news to share with you and pump you up for the weekend.  We know, based on this projection, the world will be a cleaner place by 2035.  Good work everyone.  Let's keep pushing.

Keep in mind this shift to locally produced energy brings amazing financial gains to our country, including returning the flow of dollars and jobs back into a domestic economy.

Our thanks to Seth, Handy, one of my co-host on radio and an excellent environmental attorney who works tirelessly to make this a better world, and Wind Power Magazine for their inspiring story.

Of course, some pretty complicated economics dictate our use of energy, and we need to keep pushing subsidies towards clean energy and away from fossil fuel. We hope, in the US, President Obama understands that and pushes this country to be a leader in financial shaping the energy markets.

Here's the story:

News Departments > New & Noteworthy
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Renewables - including wind energy and solar power - will become the world's second-largest source of power generation by 2015 and will close in on coal as the primary source by 2035, according to the recently released 2012 edition of the International Energy Agency's (IEA) World Energy Outlook (WEO).

However, this rapid increase hinges critically on continued subsidies, IEA stresses. In 2011, these subsidies (including for biofuels) amounted to $88 billion, but over the period to 2035 need to amount to $4.8 trillion. Over half of this has already been committed to existing projects or is needed to meet 2020 targets.

In its analysis, the IEA finds that the extraordinary growth in oil and natural-gas output in the U.S. will mean a sea change in global energy flows. In the “New Policies Scenario,” the WEO’s central scenario, the U.S. becomes a net exporter of natural gas by 2020 and is almost self-sufficient in energy, in net terms, by 2035.

In that scenario, North America emerges as a net oil exporter, accelerating the switch in direction of international oil trade, with almost 90% of Middle Eastern oil exports being drawn to Asia by 2035. Links between regional gas markets will strengthen as liquefied-natural-gas trade becomes more flexible and contract terms evolve, the IEA adds.

Fossil fuels will remain dominant in the global energy mix, supported by subsidies that, in 2011, jumped by almost 30% to $523 billion, due mainly to increases in the Middle East and North Africa. The IEA forecasts that global oil demand will grow by 7 mb/d to 2020 and will exceed 99 mb/d in 2035, by which time oil prices will reach $125/barrel in real terms (over $215/barrel in nominal terms).

The global outlook for natural gas over the coming decades predicts that demand will increase by 50% to 5 trillion cubic meters in 2035. Nearly half of the increase in production to 2035 will come from unconventional gas, with most of this coming from the U.S., Australia and China.

Whether demand for coal continues to rise will depend on the strength of policy decisions around lower-emissions energy sources and changes in the price of coal relative to natural gas, the report stresses. In the New Policies Scenario, global coal demand increases by 21% and is heavily focused in China and India.

Ambitions for nuclear power have been scaled back as countries have reviewed policies following the incident at Fukushima Daiichi, but capacity is still projected to rise, led by China, Korea, India and Russia.

Water is essential to the production of energy, and the energy sector already accounts for 15% of the world’s total water use. Its needs are set to grow, making water an increasingly important criterion for assessing the viability of energy projects.

In some regions, water constraints are already affecting the reliability of existing operations, and they will introduce additional costs. Expanding power generation and biofuels output underpin an 85% increase in the amount consumed (the volume of water that is not returned to its source after use) through 2035.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Renewable Energy Was Critical In Swing-State Voters' Choice For President, Poll Finds

This is an interesting look at the recent election.  We had been encouraging everyone to consider each candidate's energy and environmental policies in evaluating a vote/no-vote.  We felt, and continue to feel, that these two issues are paramount and deserve much scrutiny in any election...local or national.

You will see in this article that there was, in fact, a direct correlation to states that invest and support renewables helping to push the national election Obama's way.  We think these issues will continue to carry great weight, and we think they should be an important part of any politician's platform.

New polls released by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and the Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute show that voters in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio and Virginia - all states that were critical in deciding the outcome of the presidential election - support renewable energy.

Notably, these states - especially Colorado and Iowa - are home to an established wind energy supply chain.

The poll was conducted the day after the election, following months of anti-renewables campaign rhetoric, ACORE notes. The polls confirm that energy was an important factor in many voters' decision for president - on par with foreign policy and more so than abortion. A majority of voters in these four swing states indicated that energy impacted their vote: 66% in Colorado, 60% in Virginia, 58% in Iowa and 57% in Ohio.

These same voters want to see cleaner energy encouraged in their state: They ranked solar, wind and natural gas higher than all other energy sources. And, going forward, these swing-state voters are significantly more supportive of candidates who advocate shifting to cleaner energy sources (Iowa: 80%, Colorado: 75%, Virginia: 72%, Ohio: 70%).

Majorities in all four states support continued government investment in clean energy (Iowa: 77%, Virginia: 76%, Ohio: 75%, Colorado: 72%) and requirements for utilities to increase the use of renewable energy (Iowa: 76%, Colorado: 70%, Virginia: 69%, Ohio: 67%).

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Live radio show today at 12p, EST

On WARL 1320 AM and Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel.

You can email questions during the show or reach us on Twitter/Facebook.

Here's some info on our guest:

Who is Mrs. Green?

Gina Murphy-Darling loves being Mrs. Green—a woman born to connect individuals and businesses with green-friendly solutions in a powerful movement toward global sustainability.
People consider Mrs. Green a messenger for Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. Everyone from retired chemical engineers to design-school millennials appreciates her authentic, powerfully positive way of advocating for our planet.
Mrs. Green’s interest in preserving our planet had a slow awakening. But after attending a conference for the Amazon Herb Company, her awareness turned into an unstoppable passion. That’s where she heard company founder John Easterling explain why preserving the rainforest should matter. Instantly she committed to educating mainstream people about dire and confusing “green issues” through her radio show “Mrs. Green Goes Mainstream.” Since 2008, this show has attracted dozens of experts and thousands of listeners with an ever-growing audience. Today, outreach for Mrs. Green’s World has expanded to include a website, blog, enewsletter, Facebook page, and links to green-hungry audiences through Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and YouTube.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Award-Winning Children’s Author Launches MONKEY SAYS, an Online Learning Platform About Earth

Tomorrow night we are filming give great shows on positive changes in education and our desire to get kids ready for our growing green economy.

In addition to looking at schools and national policies promoting environmental and economic studies, we have guests coming in from outside organizations who bring very creative tools to education.

One of those guests, Susan Ring, has built a great new series to help educate children on protecting the Earth.  We are happy to share her information with you and we encourage you to contact her:

Award-Winning Children’s Author Launches MONKEY SAYS, an Online Learning Platform About Animals & the Environment; Susan Ring, passionate about animals and the environment gives away free e-book to celebrate Earth Day

PROVIDENCE, RI--Award-winning children’s author, Susan Ring launched MONKEY SAYS, an online learning platform for children, just in time for Earth Day. To celebrate the launch, MONKEY SAYS is giving away, “Yipes! Stripes!,” a funny and informative e-book about zebras

I have always been passionate about animals and the environment. I created MONKEY SAYS to give children a way to learn about our earth in a fun way,” said Susan Ring, Founder and CEO of MONKEY SAYS.  

MONKEY SAYS’ tagline sums up the platform’s mission and quirkiness, “I care about the earth, what planet are you on?”®

You can read the book at

MONKEY SAYS encourages and nurtures children's curiosity and passion for animals and nature. Through games, books, videos, and other resources, MONKEY SAYS inspires kids to develop an understanding and appreciation of the natural world. Visit

When Monkey, Juliet, Boo and Otis visit Africa to see zebras, Boo, as usual, finds himself in trouble. A baby zebra won’t leave him alone! Monkey figures out why the young zebra keeps following Boo and comes up with a plan. But will Monkey and his friends be able to  help the baby zebra get back to its mom? Find out in “Yipes! Stripes!,” the first book in the MONKEY SAYS series of funny and informative stories.

Susan Ring has been writing stories and songs for over 25 years. She specializes in writing for children, and has written for a wide variety of media. Susan has a proven track record in creating award-winning television programs, children’s literature, educational programs, zoo and museum exhibits and music.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Growth in sustainable degrees

We first saw this article a couple of years ago in USA Today, and the trend continues to grow and grow rapidly.  A positive for the college students is that jobs in the green economy are expanding and keeping up with their influx to the work force.

This Wed's night we are filming five shows on sustainable changes in education:  From facilities (schools) to curriculums to staffing to amazing innovations taking place in our school systems.  We will premier those shows in Dec.

College students are flocking to sustainability degrees, careers

"Students interested in pursuing a job in sustainability now can choose from a variety of "green" degree programs.
With an increased interest in the environment and growth in the "green collar" job sector, colleges and universities are beginning to incorporate sustainability into their programs. From MBAs in sustainable-business practices to programs that give students the technical training necessary to operate wind turbines, students have an increasing array of options to choose from.

"Clearly, demand is there for these types of workers," says Marisa Michaud of Eduventures, a higher-education research and consulting firm. "Colleges are seeing that, and they want to provide appropriate educational programs to meet that demand."
Concern for the environment is the motivation, says Julian Dautremont-Smith of the Association for Sustainability in Higher Education.
"The past few years, society as a whole has become increasingly interested in sustainability," he says. "Higher education has been swept up as well."
David Soto of The Princeton Review says student interest is driving colleges to create programs that offer training in sustainability. Two-thirds of students surveyed for the company's recent "College Hopes and Worries" survey said a college's "environmental commitment" would be a factor in where they applied.
"Students are really savvy shoppers these days, so they're realizing, with a changing economy and green jobs looking to take a leap within the next couple of years, that they want to be armed with those types of skills," Soto says.
Green — not greed — is good

One popular program is an MBA that teaches skills for operating sustainable businesses.
University of Pennsylvania program that started this year lets students earn an MBA and a master's in environmental studies at the same time.

"There's an increasing interest among businesses to take the environment seriously," says Eric Orts, director of the Wharton School's Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership at Penn.

"Our take is you really need to have the science background and some other approaches that are not normally taught in the business school context," he says..."

Saturday, November 10, 2012

A quick look back

As we retrace prior steps, look at legislation and investments that have cleared the way for restoration of great natural resources, like Narraganset Bay, and hope that this administration, and Congress, take similar steps to preserve and enhance key resources that carry our environmental and economic futures.

Send us what you consider key steps, and investments, made by past leaders.

"In the 1980s, Congress determined that key estuaries across the United States were threatened and so drafted legislation that was included in the 1987 amendments to the federal Clean Water Act. This legislation created the National Estuary Program, and Narragansett Bay was one of the first four estuaries to be included in the program."

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thank you

To those of you in the MA/RI area who brought supplies to Cardi's Furniture for us to bring down to the NY/NJ area, THANK YOU.  You have filled our trucks and hearts.

We salute the Cardi's, media who covered the event, the wonderful, hard working staff of both companies, the volunteers who tirelessly helped and to every single person who donated, food, water and clothes.

We had one older woman bring a single blanket as that was "all she had"...yet she gave it to others.

We are inspired by our citizens, community and nation.  

Enjoy the show and tour 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Listen to the radio show from yesterday

As we talked with The Solar Living Institute in CA and found out how they are training people, there and on-line, in techniques of installing renewables, and got a glimpse inside a major Institute pushing all of us into a cleaner future.

Here's the link.   There's a slight buzz on his audio (he came in on a phone line), but we are trying to edit that out.

Good post-election thoughts from Grow Smart

All states are a microcosm of investments and choices we make on a national level as well.  RI, as you'll see from the below statement from Grow Smart, voted to put new money into some critical areas:  clean water, preserving open space, maintaining or growing farming and affordable housing (they could also have added investments in education as they approved 50m into one of their oldest and most important colleges).

We agree with Grow Smart that these represent good, targeted investments in key State assets, and enhance quality-of-life in RI that is critical to their economic success.  

Did your state make similar investments?  If so, we'd love to hear from you.

Grow Smart applauds voters for approving investments to strengthen Rhode Island 

Last night, Rhode Island voters made a resounding choice to support three (3) key investments in our state's economic future.

By approving investments in Clean Water Infrastructure (Question 5 - 73% approved), Open Space and Farmland Protection (Question 6 - 69% approved) and Affordable Housing (Question 7 - 61% approved), voters sent a clear message to elected officials that they support targeted investments in our infrastructure and quality-of-place as being vital to building a robust 21st century economy.

"Maintaining this focus on targeted investments in our key assets can accelerate our economic progress dramatically," said Scott Wolf, Grow Smart Rhode Island Executive Director, emphasizing that "a strong quality-of-place is becoming an increasingly competitive advantage for the very mobile, high-wage, knowledge-based workers and jobs that Rhode Island seeks to attract."

The Clean Water Infrastructure and Open Space/Farmland Protection bonds passed in every community, while the Affordable Housing bond passed in 34 of the state's 39 cities and towns, representing more than 95% of the state's population. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Good radio show today on WARL 1320 and Blog Talk Radio

As we talk with Ross Beck from the Solar Living Institute in CA.

The Institute provides a very wide range of educational programs--many on line--internships (I wonder if they'd let me in???  I'll ask Ross later today), advise and help on solar living buildings that feature organic gardens, sustainability workshops on everything from beekeeping to bio diesel and grey water get the idea, lots of great things to talk about.

We will be on at 12-1 today, EST, on Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel... WARL 1320 AM...

Feel free to contact us during the show.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Great report for today

As you cast a vote, here in the US, for different candidates and help guide our future.  This report looks at the tremendous progress in wind energy in Europe, and outlines similar opportunities here along the Atlantic coastline.

Let's hope we are electing people who see promise in growing an economy, and jobs, around clean tech.

Take the time to read the report; it is very well done:

NWF Wind Energy Report Released

A Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy

The Environment Council of RI recently endorsed the new September 2012 Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy report from National Wildlife Federation, which is described on the NWF website. An excerpt from NWF's website:
America can create hundreds of thousands of jobs while powering our homes and businesses with local, clean energy, but only if our elected officials and regulators take the right steps now, according to a new report released today by the National Wildlife Federation, Environment America, and 45 partner organizations along the Atlantic Coast. The Turning Point for Atlantic Offshore Wind Energy: Time for Action to Create Jobs, Reduce Pollution, Protect Wildlife & Secure America’s Energy Future details the economic and environmental benefits of offshore wind energy, the progress made to-date, potential obstacles to that progress, and a prosperous path forward. READ MORE...

Radio documentary on elections and America's energy future: The Power of One, with Alex Chadwick

This is really interesting to us, and something we've been talking about on the show as we lead up to the national election here in the US.

Candidates for office get evaluated on many fronts, but two of the key issues we should focus on as we make our political choices, are their energy and environment policies.  The choices we make know in these areas will impact us for hundreds of years.

So, we are happy to bring you this story and the chance to listen to this radio documentary.  We'd love to hear your comments when you are done:

BURN: An Energy Journal, the radio documentary series hosted by former NPR journalist Alex Chadwick, has a 2-hour election special out. It's the most powerful piece of radio journalism I've listened to since—well, since the last episode they put out. You really must do yourself a favor and set aside some time this weekend to listen to “The Power of One.”

Energy policy, defining how we use energy to power our economy and our lives, is among the most pressing issues for the next four years. In this special two-hour edition of BURN, stories about the power of one: how, in this election season, a single person, place, policy or idea can — with a boost from science — affect the nation’s search for greater energy independence.
The documentary examines how "individuals, new scientific ideas, grassroots initiatives and potentially game-changing inventions are informing the energy debate in this Presidential Election year, and redefining America’s quest for greater energy independence." It was completed and hit the air before Hurricane Sandy, but the energy issues illuminated by that disaster (blackouts, gas shortage, grid failure, backup power failure at hospitals) further underscore the urgency.
Chadwick and a team of reporters do this through a series of "intimate, human-scale stories," traveling to the energy frontier of the Arctic Ocean, to Pennsylvania’s natural gas-rich “Marcellus Shale” region where the national “fracking” controversy runs deep, and a university lab in Colorado where a female scientist is building a battery that aspires to be the “Holy Grail of green technology.”
“Energy and climate are such big stories – there is a reason that both campaigns often talk about the economy, jobs and energy all tied together,” says Alex. “It’s easy to get overwhelmed by how big these topics are. What BURN tries to do is tell smaller stories that provide insight into how people’s lives are changed by the energy choices they and others around them make. ‘The Power of One’ is about how individuals can make a difference, even in something so globally immense as energy..."
Here's the link to the full page as well.  Enjoy:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Thanks to our radio partner, Seth Handy

For sending this good news from IKEA:

IKEA To Invest 1.5 Billion Euros In Wind And Solar Projects 

News Departments > FYI
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Home furnishings retailer IKEA has announced that as a part of its sustainability initiative and its goal to become energy and resource independent, it will invest 1.5 billion euros ($1.8 billion) in wind and solar projects through 2020.

The company also plans to improve the energy efficiency of its operations by at least 20% and encourage its suppliers to do the same. In addition, IKEA says all of its main home furnishing materials - including packaging - are renewable, recyclable or recycled.

IKEA has already completed solar installations on 34 of its stores and distribution centers, with five more projects under way. It has also installed 33 electric-vehicle charging stations at nine of its stores in the western U.S.

Friday, November 2, 2012

We will be filming here today

Sustainable Schools Summit ~
Friday, November 2nd, 2012 ~ 8:00 am to 1:00 pm

at Rhode Island College

school summit

Calling all Educators, Students, Principals, Superintendents, Facilities Managers, Parents, Green Teams, and Community Members:

This is a GREEN event! The electricity used during this event is matched with clean, local wind power thanks toPeople's Power and Light.
  • Green Ribbon Schools
  • Teaching about climate change
  • School as a Tool
  • Energy efficiency and conservation
  • Renewable energy systems
  • Low/No cost steps
  • Funding and programmatic resources
  • Maximum recycling
  • Non-toxic cleaning products
  • Healthy, local food systems
  • School gardens
  • Curricula and activities
  • Environmental education and environmental literacy
  • Enhancing indoor air quality for better learning
  • Sustainable transportation
  • School green teams and action plans
GETTING THERE: Parking is available in Parking Lot J or take RIPTA bus line #55
Interested in EXHIBITING at the Sustainable Schools Summit?
Also, check out TechniArt, Inc.’s Energy Saving Lighting Fair sponsored by National Grid where you can purchase a variety of high quality energy-efficient lighting products at deep discounts from ENERGY STAR® certified vendors. Don’t miss the great “Combo Special” that includes 12 CFLs, 1 floor lamp (bulb included) and 2 LED sensor night lights, all for $10! The regular retail price is $120!
Workshops providing hands-on resources and sharing best practices include:
    • Shannon Donovan, former RI Teacher of the Year
    • Green Ribbon Schools program information and resources
    • Susan Ring, noted children’s author
    • MET School Green Team
    • OSEEC environmental literacy initiative in Central Falls
Scheduled speakers include:
  • The Honorable Sheldon Whitehouse
  • Marion Gold, Administrator, Office of Energy Resources
  • Curt Spalding, EPA Region 1 Administrator
  • David Abbott, Acting Commissioner, RI Dept. of Education
  • Welcoming Remarks by Nancy Carriuolo, President, RI College
Check out the Agenda HERE!