India Signed Onto Paris Climate Deal.  It is Now - Almost - a Legally Binding Document

Posted by Amy Guinan

Oct 5, 2016 1:36:30 PM

Getting to 55%

Two days ago, on Oct 2nd, India ratified the Paris Climate deal.  By signing on, India has brought  the agreement close to being truly legally binding.

In order to put the Paris Climate Deal into legal effect, 55 nations - covering at least 55 percent of global emissions - need to formally ratify the treaty. 

India represents the 62nd nation to sign on and all signers collectively represent 51.89 percent of global emissions, according to the United Nations’ Framework Convention on Climate Change.

The ratification came on the birthday of Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi, the Indian independence leader better known as Mahatma Gandhi.

The Paris deal aims to limit average temperature rises to 2 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels. The agreement also calls for countries to do their best to try to limit that rise to 1.5 degrees.  Major emitters such as the United States, China and Brazil have led the way in joining the agreement, as have dozens of smaller countries. 

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Tesla Model 3: An Electric Vehicle for the Mass Market

Posted by Amy Guinan

Apr 19, 2016 11:19:41 AM

Tesla Model 3

The Tesla Model 3 won’t be available until the end of 2017.  And, to date, only the first phase of the car has been unveiled (which focused mostly on its exterior design as well as some technical details).   But neither of these factors are keeping customers from embracing Tesla’s first true mass-market electric car.

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New Free Ebook on Residential Solar Power

Posted by Douglas Arrison

Apr 17, 2016 9:03:31 PM

Residential solar power is growing very quickly in the US. A new 30 percent federal tax credit has created a dramatic boost to the home solar power market. Falling solar panel prices have also added to the financial incentives. In some locations, with combined federal, state, and local incentives, the payback on the initial investment can be as short as six years. Since the beginning of 2009, residential solar energy installations have grown by 200 percent.

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Why is Anyone Still Denying Climate Change? The Economic Case for Action

Posted by Amy Guinan

Apr 12, 2016 1:51:36 PM

Climate Change

It's hard to understand why some people (including current presidential candidates) continue to deny climate change. 

From ensuring a livable future for future generations to the major economic impacts presented by a new energy economy, tacking climate change should be a no-brainer.

Below are some of the major economic reasons for getting serious about climate change.

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Climate Clowns v. Realists - The Candidates Ranked

Posted by Amy Guinan

Mar 23, 2016 10:56:22 AM

2016 Campaign

During this campaign season, the presidential candidates have done and said things that are downright laughable.  From hand size comparisons to steak sales,  it's been a very strange ride.  Many issues - such as climate change - are of critical importance to our communities, country, and planet, and we believe should be treated seriously.  Check out the presidential climate clowns and realists, in their own words, where they stand on climate change and the environment.  

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Act to Save the Arctic:  2041

Posted by Amy Guinan

Nov 12, 2015 4:28:24 PM

Arctic Warnings

Due to its extreme sensitivity to heat and cold, the Arctic could be called the "canary in the coal mine" when it comes to global climate change:  Scientists say the Arctic is now experiencing some of the most rapid and severe climate change on Earth - and serves as a warning for other areas of the globe.  

A Unique Environment

Most of the Arctic is covered in snow and ice, which are much more reflective than soil or ocean. When that snow melts, the exposure of dark earth (which absorbs heat) acts as a feedback loop that accelerates warming. A second factor that makes the poles special is that the atmosphere is thinner there than at the equator, and so less energy is required to warm it up. A third factor is that less solar energy is lost in evaporation at the frigid poles than in the steamy tropics. 

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Community Solar A Winner

Posted by Amy Guinan

Oct 13, 2015 10:27:53 PM

Solar for All

As installation prices drop and technologies improve, Americans are embracing solar.  But there are still factors that limit the access to solarfor some people:  tree cover, roofs that face the wrong direction, lack of upfront capital, or not owning the home.  

Community-Shared Solar

Community-shared solar is a solar installation that is shared in a common space. Through a system called virtual net metering, homes and businesses, even if shaded by trees or with roofs facing the wrong diretion, collectively receive a bill credit as if the panels were on their own roof.  

Community-shared solar has a number of benefits:

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Lessons Learned Racing a Solar Car

Posted by Amy Guinan

Oct 6, 2015 3:06:17 PM

A Solar Race and Beyond

What does a team of college students racing solar cars in the Australian desert have to do with expanded solar power to the US electrical grid?  Quite a bit it turns out.

As students from around the world prepare to race solar cars across the Australian Outback in the 1800 mile, 7-day World Solar Challenge that starts on Oct 18, a partnership between the  University of Michigan team and IBM might well lead to more than just a place on the podium. IBM will be providing real time data predictions – drawn from over 10 years of cumulated weather data for actual temperature, cloud, and sun cover for specific locations  - that will let the Michigan team make calculated decisions on how best to race their car, the Aurum.  

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Solar on Schools: A Smart Strategy

Posted by Amy Guinan

Sep 25, 2015 2:56:58 PM

 

Solar a Win-Win for Public Schools

Amid increaasing budget cuts for public schools, solar installations at schools are reducing electricity bills, improving education, and making the retention of  staff and resources an increasing possibility.

With large, flat roof tops and unused lots of vacant land, school properties are an ideal location for solar installations. School parking lots can also be put to productive use with solar PV canopies, which provide the added benefit of shading parked vehicles on sunny days.

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Energy Efficiency Making Gains in NY

Posted by Amy Guinan

Sep 17, 2015 2:35:16 PM

 

Geothermal Heat Pump Systems

Geothermal heat pump (GHP) installations, a renewable energy technology where water is circulated through underground pipes to provide buildings with heating and cooling, are often confused with geothermal electricity generation or overlooked for wind or solar.  

In early July, two bills passed the New York State legislature to provide tax incentives to GHP installations -- which will help to put this technology on equal tax footing with other renewable resources.

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