Green Goodness

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New Zealand to build geothermal plant

State-owned electricity generator Mighty River Power said on Thursday it planned to build a 132 Megawatt geothermal power station to meet growing demand.

A final decision on building the plant, to be located at Rotokawa near Taupo in the North Island, would depend on completing procurement contracts, said Mighty River chairman Carole Durbin.

“In providing 132 Megawatts of generation capacity, it will be the second-largest geothermal station in New Zealand,” Durbin said in a statement.

Well at least Chile’s Congress is useful from time to time

While’s Congress voted on Wednesday to require electric utilities to invest in and supply nonconventional energy sources (NCES) as part of the government’s drive to diversify current tight energy supplies.

The vote in favor of the project, which mandates that NCES account for at least 10 percent of the energy supplied by Chile’s electric utilities by 2024, was unanimous.

Sweden aiming for 50% renewable energy

Sweden will aim to get nearly half its energy from renewable sources by 2020 as part of an EU-wide plan, Energy and Enterprise Minister Maud Olofsson said on Wednesday.

Olofsson said in Washington that Sweden had been tasked with increasing its share of renewable energy to 49 percent from a current 40 percent as part of binding targets set by the European Union.

Japan focusing on new technologies

Japan plans to focus on its efforts to improve 21 technologies to help the world halve greenhouse gases by 2050, a trade ministry official said on Wednesday.

The technologies that need to be improved to combat global warming include coal-fired power generation, power generation using natural gas, solar power, vehicles powered by fuel cells or biofuels, and hydrogen-based steelmaking, the official said.

Without the envisaged innovative technologies, global greenhouse gas emissions could rise to up to 60 billion tonnes in 2050 from about 27 billion tonnes in 2005, he said.

Yaay for cow poop and farts

Imagine a vat of liquid cow manure covering the area of five football fields and 33 feet deep. Meet California’s most alternative new energy.

On a dairy farm in the Golden State’s agricultural heartland, utility PG&E Corp began on Tuesday producing natural gas derived from manure, in what it hopes will be a new way to power homes with renewable, if not entirely clean, energy.

The Vintage Dairy Biogas Project, the brainchild of life- long dairyman David Albers, aims to provide the natural gas needed to power 1,200 homes a day, Albers said at the facility’s inauguration ceremony.

Not that we need another internet social connecting group but at least this one is environmental

Forget Facebook, MySpace or You Tube: here comes connect2earth, a new online community where young people can upload videos, pictures and comments about the environment.

On, users and visitors will be able to write, speak, illustrate and video present their concerns on subjects important to them, and share environmental ideas and solutions.

Each month, users will vote for a winner who will receive a Nokia mobile phone.

A windmill that removes salt from seawater…

A traditional windmill which drives a pump: that is the simple concept behind the combination of windmill/reverse osmosis developed by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in The Netherlands. In this case, it involves a high-pressure pump which pushes water through a membrane using approximately 60 bar. This reverse osmosis membrane produces fresh water from seawater directly.

Solar roofing tiles that look like traditional ones

It has the size and shape similar to regular asphalt roofing tiles, but they generate solar power. For many looking to install solar panels on their roof, it would mean repairs or a complete refurbishment by the likes of a buffalo county roof repairs specialist… before the panels could be fitted by another company. This can turn some people away from getting solar panels. Now with the solar roof tile it’s possible for the two to be combined. The product comes in a pallet-like typical roofing material. It can be installed without expensive equipment by firms like CB Chandler Roofing, and the result resembles what the neighbors have had for 25 years, you can be sure that the mainstreaming of residential solar photo-voltaic systems is right around the corner. So really, it is just a question of which roofing materials best suit these panels and how would it enhance or hinder them from working properly. Whether you might want slate, tiles or Owens Corning shingles on your roof, it is better to consult with a roofer first before replacing/renovating your roof.

New plan in New York to clean up stormwater runoff

On January 30, Intro 630-A, a bill drafted and supported by the SWIM Coalition and city council member James Gennaro, was approved unanimously by the New York City Council. On February 19, Mayor Bloomberg signed the bill into law. The legislation aims, by creating sustainable stormwater management, to drastically reduce the toxic soup of stormwater and sewage that flows into New York City’s waterways, and requires that a final sustainable stormwater management plan be adopted by December 2008. The law also requires the city to alert the public when overflows do occur, so recreational boaters, kayakers, and swimmers can take appropriate precautions. By managing stormwater, and alerting New Yorkers when water has become toxic, the legislation should make sure that New York’s waterways will finally be truly open for safe and healthy recreational use.

EU designing cleaner Inland and Waterways ship

“The project is based on four principle technologies: urea-based selective catalytic reduction; diesel particulate filters; ultra low sulfur fuel equal to road standard diesel fuel (EN 590); and the Advising Tempomaat (ATM), [a computer program advising the skipper on the most economical combination of route and speed].”


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  1. last night, she has been working against incinerators and pesticide use in our County.  Her home is great, R-38 double walled frame, one wood stove and some solar panels powers her entire nut.  She spent 18 dollars on electricity last month, that’s to power her freezer which she chose to leave on the grid as it would have drained her batteries too much to leave it off the grid.

    Turns out she knows some green minded builders in the area that should be able to help with the bigger projects I have lined up.

    We had black beans and rice with coconut milk and squash and carrots from her garden.  It was great, and then there was the nice walk home.


  2. not surprised that they are opening a new geothermal power plant.  They’ve little fossil fuel resources, hydro and geo have been their big providers. New Zealand is in a tectonically and volcanically active zone, so geothermal makes sense for them, just as it does for Iceland sitting on the Mid-Atlantic Rift; if you live on a volcano you might as well plug your toaster into it.

    But some of the geothermal sources have been declining as they get “mined out”  The Ohaaki-Broadlands started up around 1190 with a rating of 114 MW, but has dropped to 40 MW. The Rotorua fields were dropping in the 1970s, the heat flow at Whakarewarewa dropped 30% between the late `60s and late `80s. The Kawerau field system has high upkeep due to mineral deposit formation.  The older parts of the Wairakei-Tauhara system are also running down, now being at around half their original capacity.

    They’re going to have to increasingly move to the more expensive and disruptive deep wells as the older systems shut down, so expect to see more new geothermal plants starting up there in the future.

  3. I am reaching out to the intarweb…

    I want to become some sort of renewable energy consultant or help builders track all the different certs and points that LEED and various state green programs have.

    I have found one program that has a good set of classes teaching you how to do feasibility studies for all the major renewable energy systems.

    Any ideas on how to pursue either of these goals?  

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