Microgrids, They’re Kind of a Big Deal

Thursday, July 17, 2014 14:17
Posted in category Energy Auditor Articles

 

MicrogridFor locals participating in the Pecan Street Demonstration in Austin’s suburban town of Mueller, TX, residential carbon footprint data is about as available as square footage. Their home utility consumption is monitored by the Pecan Street Research Institute at The University of Texas-Austin as part of the institute’s efforts to understand how individuals can lower their collective carbon impact and use energy more efficiently. This new technology, known as a smart grid system, has proven to be much more efficient than the traditional electrical grid used throughout the US. However, smart grids and the smart meters used to track energy usage of individual homes have come under fire for their ‘invasiveness’ as people have vocalized concerns about the lack of privacy that could accompany this advanced monitoring system. Fortunately for the anti-smart meter crowd, there are other ways to make a community more energy efficient.


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The World Cup of Renewable Energy

Thursday, July 3, 2014 13:28
Posted in category Solar Installer Articles

 

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, or in a room without tv access (like me), you’ve probably seen one, or several world cup games in recent days. FIFA has been everywhere lately, and not just for soccer (..or football). One hot button topic surrounding the 2014 World Cup games are the measures that planners and developers have gone through to reduce the environmental impact of the games. Of the 12 stadiums being used for the games, 10 have applied for LEED certification, a recognition that indicates a high level of sustainable awareness. While the ultimate goal of the organizers is to have some sort of green energy integrated in all of the stadiums, as of now only four of the stadiums utilize solar energy in their design. To put numbers into perspective, the installation at Estadio Mineirão produces enough energy to power about 1,200 households, while the Solar PV system at Estádio Nacional Mané Garrincha will generate enough energy to supply almost 2,000 households per day which is a great step towards creating a more sustainable society.

Brazil has very obviously dedicated much thought and planning to their renewable energy projects, but what about some of the other countries participating in the World Cup?

Lets pretend for a moment that the World Cup is a competition over sustainability bragging rights and not soccer. Based on figures from Renewables 2014 Global Status Report and teams competing in this years World Cup, I made my bracket for the first ever (imaginary) Renewable Energy World Cup.

WORLDCUP

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Top 6 Hurdles Facing Microgrids

Wednesday, July 10, 2013 17:17
Posted in category Uncategorized

Are microgrids the key to climate resiliency? It’s a question being asked with a new sense of urgency since Hurricane Sandy.

I recently attended a forum on microgrids and storage held by NY-Best and the Pace Energy and Climate Center. The message was clear: we’re entering into a new paradigm of energy generation and distribution. Electric power will follow the path of high tech, becoming increasingly more decentralized and democratized.

Still, what’s technologically possible isn’t always legally allowed.

Before we get going, a quick definition: a microgrid is a shared network of distributed generation and storage that can operate in “island mode” during grid outages and remains connected to the local utility system. The most common and basic model is an energy independent college campus. Another example is in the Mid-Hudson Regional Sustainability Plan . The plan proposes to use microgrids as a key component of Community Energy Districts and is part of NYSERDA’s Cleaner Greener Communities Program.

The following covers 6 critical legal and policy issues facing microgrid development:

  1. Ownership: Deciding who owns the electricity generating equipment and wires for linking the loads can have a big impact on how a microgrid functions. It could be shared among one or more customers, as an electric cooperative, as a corporation, or as a non-profit association. How much input will the end-users have on the operation of their microgrid and what are the consequences if a customer wants to leave the microgrid entirely? Read the rest of this entry »

3 Million Jobs in the Green Economy by 2020

Wednesday, October 24, 2012 14:19
Posted in category Uncategorized

Where are the Green Jobs?

CleanEdison research indicates that nearly 3 million people will be employed in the green economy by the end of 2020.

When we look at job creation and industry growth in areas such as energy efficiency, solar energy, and smart grid technology, we see tremendous growth potential. We estimate that by the end of 2020, nearly 1 million people will be employed in these sectors and nearly 3 million people will be employed in the green economy as a whole.

As Seen in Bloomberg News

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CleanEdison’s First Annual Essay Contest!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012 13:31
Posted in category Uncategorized

2013 – Jobs and the Green Economy

Significant unemployment and underemployment in the United States has been the focus of the nation’s political discourse since 2009. Unfortunately, with traditional sectors struggling, both experienced workers and unemployed individuals are finding it difficult to find work. The truth is that traditional industries such as construction, electrical, HVAC, plumbing and engineering are in an extremely favorable position to be re-trained for green jobs. However, often times, those in the construction and trades sectors are completely unaware of the projected impacts of energy efficiency and renewable energy. More important still, they lack the knowledge that their current skills are particularly prime for filling the positions the green economy is creating. In addition, opportunities exist for the low-skilled workforce in areas such as building material reuse and deconstruction.

CleanEdison is looking for a bright, young scholar to write a 750 word essay on the growth of the clean energy and energy efficiency sectors, the effects this will have on job creation and the need for skills training to meet this demand. The essays will be evaluated on the quality of writing and depth of research on the topic. The winning essay will be show-cased on CleanEdison’s website for one year and the student will receive a $500 scholarship.

 

Essay Length – 750 words

Due Date – April 1st, 2013

Scholarship Amount – $500

Please submit entries to julia.zhou@cleanedison.com

Clean Energy Job Sector Growth

Monday, February 27, 2012 15:18
Posted in category Uncategorized

The clean energy sector can make the United States competitive in global markets. By advancing domestic production methods, the United States can reduce its dependence on foreign markets for clean technologies. Domestic products of the clean energy sector, such as environmentally benign information technology and renewable fuels, can make the United States a global leader in sustainable economic development. Demand for clean energy, such as hydroelectricity and solar power correlates with demand for a clean energy workforce trained in developing, producing, and advancing clean energy products and services.

When the United States workforce can innovate cost-competitive technologies that are cleaner, safer, healthier, and more durable, it can stir growth in the national job market. Sustainable buildings that use less energy can improve energy independence by reducing national energy consumption. Commercial and industrial facilities can implement solutions to their costly energy consumption problems with the help of sustainable building professionals. Government incentives for commercial facilities can generate demand for commercial energy auditors who are trained in sustainable building performance standards.

Institutions that confer national standards can set guidelines and goals for energy independence and energy efficiency. Take the American National Standards Institute, for example, which recently accredited the Building Performance Institute’s standardization methodologies for building energy efficiency. This accreditation lends BPI more authority and attests to the precision of BPI standards. BPI certification is now more costly to obtain and more strictly monitored with videotaped exams for aspiring building analysts. Together with ANSI, the BPI is raising the bar for members of the sustainable building industry.

Clean energy technologies, such as solar PV cells and wind turbines, pose excellent opportunities for the United States to assert its energy independence. When the national economy supports development in the clean energy field, demand for certified professionals increases along with the value of courses in LEED certification, BPI certification, and lead renovator certification.

The clean energy sector can help rebuild the American workforce. Over time, clean energy technologies can become less expensive and easier to make and export, creating new markets and providing energy solutions for emerging markets around the world.