Monthly Archives: January 2012
Article by Willy
Bill Clinton’s getting downright green.
And he’s not the only one. A whole slew of corporate magnates, political leaders and members of the establishment are buying into the economic benefits of energy savings and renewables.
In an interview in which Clinton discussed clean energy, jobs and how the two could resurrect the stagnant economy, he suggests increasing energy efficiency retrofits of government buildings and universities and decentralize energy generation by adding renewable sources.
“Big centralized power stations would be used for things like manufacturing,” he says.
Making it work
Clinton advises approaching clean energy from a capitalist perspective with the questions: “How can we make a dollar out of this?” and “How can we put people to work?” He spoke with Aaron Task on Yahoo’s Daily Ticker.
But the former president appears to be pointing out the obvious. The green clean energy movement looks as if it will rocket ahead without any assistance from the White House or Congress. Not that a nod from a jobs package would hurt.
In an interview with Smart Grid News that appeared on cleantechies.com, economists Ahmad Faruqui and Doug Mitarotonda of The Brattle Group predict U.S. electricity demand will decline between 5 percent and 15 percent over the next decade. This despite an increase in personal electronics use. The two economists cite a “new wave of energy efficiency” where building managers and electricity consumers monitor energy use and adjust accordingly via new technology.
Solar bounds past setbacks
And despite the setback of Solyndra’s bankruptcy and federal investigation, solar doesn’t look to be slowing down. According to GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s latest quarterly U.S. Solar Market Insight report, the domestic photovoltaics market grew 69 percent in second quarter 2011 from the same period a year earlier.
“The U.S. remains poised to install 1,750 megawatts of PV in 2011, double last year’s total and enough to power 350,000 homes,” writes greentechmedia.com.
In a followup story, Greentechmedia.com’s Eric Wesoff reports that the United States has surpassed the 1 gigawatt, or 1 billion watt, mark for installed solar and looks to pass the 2 gigawatt threshold next year.
Industry posts growth
Not too shabby. And prospects look good for that trend to continue. The Solar Foundation’s latest study finds 100,237 jobs in the industry as of August 2011 and growth of 6.8 percent in August 2011 from the same period a year earlier.
Brian Keane, president of nonprofit SmartPower, says policymakers would be wise to study those numbers carefully. He says Solyndra’s demise is outweighed by “countless industry success stories” and cites SolarCity’s contract with the U.S. Department of Defense to install 160,000 rooftop solar installations on military housing complexes at 124 military bases across 34 states.
“The company hopes to fill many of those jobs with veterans and military family members,” Keane says in a piece on Huffington Post.
The corporate end is also making renewable waves. Behemoth Walmart, the No. 1 U.S. employer, has announced a plan to install solar panels on about 60 more stores in California, which means more than three quarters of its outlets in the state will be so equipped.
Kim Saylors-Laster, Walmart vice president of energy, says in a statement: “California presents a great opportunity for Walmart to make significant progress toward our sustainability goals.”
Just can’t beat that.
The Environmental Defense Fund’s Climate Corps, a crew of 96 graduate students, worked this year with 78 companies, cities and universities to find energy efficiency measures. The corps found installed savings of 600 million kilowatt hours annually and total lifetime energy savings of $ 650 million.
Green crossing party lines
And on the political spectrum, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg is shooting to the head of the green column with his policies and practices as he works to make one of the nation’s most important cities relevant in an age of climate unrest. Shawn Lesser of the International Business Times says Bloomberg “has been instrumental in motivating a number of other large cities to make changes.”
The New York mayor’s top 10 list of clean energy initiatives has received a lot of press and likely will be scrutinized by other cities across the globe. Bloomberg severed his ties with the GOP in 2007 to become an independent.
And I’m not sure on this account, but I believe the wise investment in energy efficiency and energy management in buildings and manufacturing will attract other high-ranking members of the Republican Party into the ranks of green believers. And as solar and wind energy costs continue to fall, more likely will adopt a friendlier public posture to renewables.
Sean Patrick Hazlett of reflectionsofarationalrepublican.com says other clean energy friendly folks in the GOP include presidential candidates Jon Huntsman and Mitt Romney, Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and George Schultz at the Hoover Institution.
Lighting up the grid
Expect dramatic change in how electricity is produced, marketed and used in the next decade. a Boulder, Colo.-based research group says in a recent report that “the past decade has seen tremendous growth in competitive electricity procurement by commercial, industrial and institutional purchasers.” It also lists electricity as a $ 360 billion per year market in this country.
Everybody’s looking for the best deal. Combine that with mandates like California’s Global Warming Solutions Act, which calls for a third of energy generation to come renewable sources by 2020, and opportunities for purveyors of green energy will benefit. Investments made now could pay off in spades down the road.
They could tank too. Everything depends on the art of the deal, and that’s why the entry of shrewd business people is a good thing for clean energy.
Clean energy worth billions
The evidence, however, mounts that this clean energy stuff may be worthwhile. Justin Gillis of the New York Times reports that a business consortium that includes Lockheed Martin and Barclays bank plans to invest about $ 650 million to install energy efficiency retrofits to buildings in Sacramento and Miami.
Gillis writes that many people believe the program could be worth billions. He says the consortium was formed by the Carbon War Room, a nonprofit environmental group set up by British corporate heavyweight Richard Branson of The Virgin Group “to tackle the world’s climate and energy problems in cost-saving ways.”
I plan to bus monitor this industry closely and collect additional anecdotes that illustrate trends. I hope to see continued expansion, especially in employment. I tell colleagues to think positive thoughts.
John zhanghaiping, project manager of the San Joaquin Valley Clean Energy Organization, spent 24 years working as a newspaperman editing and reporting from Alaska to California. The bus monitor is a nonprofit dedicated to improving quality of life through increased use of clean and alternative energy. The SJVCEO is based in Fresno, Calif. and works with cities and counties and public and private organizations to demonstrate the benefits of energy efficiency and renewable energy throughout the eight-county region of the San Joaquin Valley. For more information, go to http://www.shiningltd.com.
Related Why Clean Energy Articles
There are so many reasons to choose safe and clean energy today. I can’t name them all here, but I can mention a few of the most popular reasons for choosing alternative energy sources. We are at a crucial time in history when the future of how we meet our energy needs will be determined by the source that is most popular now.
Off the Grid -
Alternative energy sources allow the average person to go as far as to live off the grid. This means that they no longer use public energy sources, and in effect are free to do with their power what they choose, without paying high electricity costs.
Tax Incentives -
Recently the government has placed several tax incentives into place for those willing to make changes towards environmentally friendly homes and using renewable energy sources. Don’t forget about these tax breaks when figuring in the cost of setting up an alternative energy system.
DIY Energy -
The thought of saving money on the electric bill sounds good to anyone, but thousands of DIYers across the world are learning firsthand that it can become reality.
In fact, many of them are breaking free from the electric companies.
Getting Paid -
It may sound too good to be true, but it’s very possible to make enough that your energy company is paying you. It’s just fair energy trade. If you are making enough energy that you spin your meter backwards, they owe you. You could actually be supplying your local electric company with electricity.
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Related Clean Energy Articles
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Our animated correspondent, ‘Little Lee Patrick Sullivan,’ continues our “Energy 101″ series with an inside look at solar-power technology. He breaks down the different types of solar devices and how they work, detailing the pros and cons of this renewable energy source.
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Speaking from a hybrid vehicle transmission company in Indiana, the President explains how investments in a clean energy economy are the only solution to high gas prices in the long term.
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WINDENERGY.com – - Wind Power – Alternative Energy, If you are looking for an Alternative Energy system we have Wind Power Kits and Hybrid Wind Kits for your alternative energy home system. WINDENERGY7.COM Wind power is the conversion of wind energy into a useful form of energy, such as using wind turbines to make electricity, windmills for mechanical power. Wind power in the United States is ver fast growing as the leading alternative energy. American Wind Energy Association is A lobbying force for wind development and voice for wind manufacturers in the United States. Wind power can be an excellent complement to a solar power system. Here in Colorado, when the sun isn’t shining, the wind is usually blowing on the RoofMill Wind Turbines. Horizontal Wind Turbines are very weak and not as robust a design as the old standard HAWT. Southwest Windpower is very prevalent. Renewable energy where you need it. WindEnergy7 is the leading supplier of small wind turbines & wind-solar hybrid systems for homes, businesses, and industry. http twitter.com Alternative energy is an umbrella term that refers to any source of usable energy intended to replace fuel sources without the undesired consequences of the pollution. Common types of alternative energy are Wind, Solar, Hydro and other alternative energy sources. WindEnergy7 is helping public awareness of the coming energy crunch while working on creative solutions to ease the inevitable transition. New energy like Solar Energy …
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