“Free Energy Life” Offered in Sustainable, Luxury Tower

by Mary-Catherine Riley

Would you like to live in the lap of luxury in a flat northwest of London that provides excellent amenities and still feel like you are living sustainably? Excellent, so would I! For a starting price of £200,000, you too can live in the Beacon, “the world’s most sustainable luxury tower.”

The vision of the Beacon is to reinvent the modern lifestyle while incorporating the most technologically advanced sustainability practices. The Beacon integrates a multitude of renewable energy sources to offer a “free energy life” (http://www.edie.net/news/6/Hemel-Hempstead-set-to-welcome–world-s-most-sustainable-residential-tower-/). The Beacon incorporates underfloor heating, heat recovery ventilation and geothermal heating to regulate the temperature of the building as well as smart thermostats to use that energy efficiently. The windows are three glazed and provide the best noise and heat insulation. The Beacon lowers the energy bill by using the power created by their 0.8 MW solar array. Furthermore, they have adapted motion sensitive LED light to provide the most efficient lighting. Continue reading

Energy Monitoring Revamped

by Sagarika Gami

Mark Chung, an electrical engineer trained by Stanford University, began his venture butting heads with climate change seven years ago. It is widely thought that in order to combat the worst impacts of climate change, global carbon emissions must be cut by 40 to 70% by mid-century. Chung’s company, Verdigris, seeks to aid the process by providing a solution to inefficient energy monitoring and usage. Verdigris came about as a response to “smart meters,” which track where energy is being used in houses, buildings, hospitals, etc. The “smart meters,” unlike Verdigris’ software, are unable to create electrical maps on a large scale to monitor appliances, machinery, lights, and more, and are thus unable to pinpoint the exact sources of energy usage. Continue reading

America’s “Roadmap” for 100% Renewable Energy by 2050

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by Jesse Crabtree

In his new study posted in the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Energy & Environmental Science, Stanford professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Mark Jacobson, presents a plan for a 100% renewable energy-powered America by 2050. And what’s more, Jacobson believes this course of action to be not only economically feasible, but economically beneficial. Jacobson’s paper, which lays out specific roadmaps for how each state can work to achieve this goal, can be boiled down to three main ideas: exclusively build wind, solar, and hydro power plants after 2020; implement modest energy efficiency increases; and electrify everything. Although these three points are all required under Jacobson’s plan, this article discusses its most critical and ambitious goal; a complete shift to electric power. Continue reading

The role of the Indian Government in increasing the country’s energy efficiency

by Tashi Mitra

India is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and its cities are extremely polluted. While the energy consumption is lower than the global per capita norms, it is increasing rapidly. The Indian Government has a complex problem to solve – how does it fuel economic growth, which will consume much more energy whilst driving energy efficiency and sustainability. This post primarily focuses on the Indian Government’s approach towards increasing energy efficiency and its initiatives addressing climate change. The Indian Government has put together various nodal agencies: National Mission for Enhancing Energy Efficiency. Continue reading

Masdar City: Combining Ancient Building Techniques With New Technologies to Create a City of the Future

by Jesse Crabtree

The United Arab Emirates may elicit images of old oil for many, but now Abu Dhabi’s Masdar City seeks to change this by becoming the “world’s most sustainable eco-city.” This city of 40,000 permanent residents and 50,000 daily commuters plans to run entirely off of renewable energy. The city will house its own 10-megawatt solar field, from which it hopes to fill 20% of its energy needs. The other 80% will come from renewable sources outside the city. However, the true genius behind Masdar lies less in the renewable energy that it does use, and more in the energy that it doesn’t. With summer temperatures of 130° F, Abu Dhabi regularly spends 70% of its energy on air conditioning. So instead of hiding all of its residents indoors in air-conditioned buildings—as is the norm in Abu Dhabi—Masdar seeks to draw its residents outside, where passive building techniques will provide cool spaces. Continue reading

New Aircraft Emissions Standards Decided at 10th ICAO Meeting

by Deedee Chao

The United Nations’ International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) Committee on Aviation Environmental Protection (CAEP) wrapped up its landmark 10th meeting on February 12th, 2016, and reported progress in different environmental and sustainable areas for aviation, including commitment towards sustainable alternative fuels and the creation of an international aviation market-based measure for emissions. Most notably, the CAEP/10 created a new ICAO aircraft CO2 emissions standard, the first of its kind for any aviation sector. Continue reading

Moving Towards Consumable Energy: From Power Plants to Solar Panels

by Sharon Ha

In a Greentech Media article, Bennett Cohen predicts a revolutionary shift towards the consumerization of energy, in which the customer will purchase a variety of energy options as opposed to buying from a centralized power plant. Cohen, the chair and co-founder of clean energy financing organization Empower Generation, has also worked for Royal Dutch Shell, Rocky Mountain Institute, and CPower. He states four trends that support his claim: 1. the popularization of distributed energy, 2. the push from government and corporations for lower-carbon energy, 3. the internet of things, and 4. the leap-frogging of developing countries. Continue reading

New Indiana Energy Bill Aims to Audit State Property

by Kevin Tidmarsh

A new bill in the Indiana legislature could walk back some of the state’s recent cutbacks on energy efficiency programs. House Resolution 1107, which was introduced in this session of the Indiana legislature, aims to remedy some of the cutbacks on the defunct state initiative called Energizing Indiana by allowing for the Indiana Department of Administration to conduct energy efficiency audits on the state properties deemed to be the “least efficient.” Continue reading

MIT Energy Initiative

by Dylan Goodman

The MIT Energy Initiative (MITEI) has recently announced it will be giving away over $1.65 million in grants under its annual seed fund program. The money will go to support early-stage energy related projects on campus. Over the past 8 years MITEI Seed Funding has provided over $17 million dollars to 140 different energy related research projects spanning across MIT’s five schools. For 2015, there will be 11 companies each receiving $150,000 in seed funding. (Abraham) There are more applicants than can receive funding, so projects are chosen by their potential to contribute to increased energy research. Projects can vary across a wide array of fields ranging from hydraulic fracturing to new battery technologies. Continue reading

Citi Deploys $100 Billion on Clean Energy

by Nour Bundogji

Citi, the leading global bank, announces a sustainability strategy that should last for over ten years— $100 billion for lending, investing, and facilitating sustainability solutions. This eye-popping financial commitment is part of Citi’s five-year plan that was launched by CEO Michael Corbat in New York last week. “It includes three strategic priorities that align the company’s corporate and sustainability strategies: combating climate change, championing sustainable cities, and promoting social progress, including universal human rights” reports Joel Makower from Greenbiz.com who sat down with ­­­ Val Smith, Citi’s director of corporate sustainability. Furthermore, Corbrat informed Mary Lubber at Forbes.com that this strategy will include “financing for large renewable-energy projects such as municipal infrastructure to reduce water waste; assistance for clients to address environmental risks; and an 80 percent absolute greenhouse gas reduction target.” Continue reading