Energy

  1. Connected Infrastructure Promises Bright Future

    According to Wikipedia, “A smart city is an urban development vision to integrate multiple information and communication technology (ICT) and Internet of Things (IoT) solutions in a secure fashion to manage a city’s assets.”Now, if you could gather that information and use it to predict elements of the future that would save time and money, and increase the safety of residents, you would be well on your way to becoming an "intelligent city."
  2. SWEEP Advances Energy Efficiency in Six States

    Advocates have learned that energy efficiency programs are significantly more effective when they have the support of local utility companies.“We make the case that these polices are good for the utility company, the economy and the environment,” said Howard Geller, executive director of the Southwest Energy Efficiency Project (SWEEP). “We work with utilities in a collaborative way. We offer to help make energy efficiency programs financially attractive to both them and their customers.”
  3. Energy Reduction a 'Contact' Sport

    If you turn learning into a game, people are more interested in the lesson. That's especially true if you turn your game into a contest with prizes that will directly and immediately benefit them.That's what the city of Columbia, Mo. did when it introduced its Neighborhood Energy Challenge in 2013. This game set up a friendly competition between neighborhoods to see which one could reduce its energy consumption the most.
  4. El Paso Behind in Solar PV, but Picking Up the Pace

    If there’s one thing El Paso, Texas has plenty of, it’s sunshine. So, it would stand to reason that this west Texas border town known as the “Sun City” would possess a booming solar energy market. But, as research at the University of Texas has discovered, that has not been the case in El Paso.This article examines the evolution of solar photovoltaics (SPV) in the El Paso area. It highlights the milestone events associated with national and state policy decisions that affected the region’s adoption of solar power, and the role the El Paso Electric Company has played in the development of this technology.
  5. Upgrading Wastewater Biogas to Clean Energy

    Wastewater management has come a long way since the time untreated sewage was simply discharged into rivers and canals.Today, modern municipal wastewater treatment plants trend towards using anaerobic digesters to stabilize and break down biosolids and typically flare biogas created during the process.
  6. Success of Community Choice Aggregation Leads to Expansion

    In the last three years, successful implementation of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) in the San Francisco Bay Area has led to “tremendous growth and interest” throughout the state of California, an advocate of CCA told Sustainable City Network.“This is the progress we’ve been working on,” said Shawn Marshall, co-founder and executive director of LEAN (Local Energy Aggregation Network) Energy US.
  7. Renewable Energy Powers Community Resiliency

    Communities investing in renewable energy infrastructure and systems know that they’ll save money on energy costs, but in the event of a natural disaster or emergency, these systems can prove their value far beyond a reduced monthly utility bill.This was the focus of the Building Resilience through Local Renewable Energy session at the recent Growing Sustainable Communities Conference in Dubuque, Iowa.
  8. Universities Tout Benefits of Green Power Partnership

    In an effort to both save energy costs and address student concerns, many universities are exploring options to increase their campus’ energy efficiency and incorporate more renewable energy into the mix.But keeping track of these efforts and measuring progress can be difficult, which is why the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Green Power Partnership can be a great resource.
  9. NYC Prepares for the Next 'Sandy'

    In 1882, Thomas Edison launched the nation’s first public power grid, Pearl Street Station, in New York City. It centralized the capital intensive process of power generation so that it could be provided as an affordable service for as many people as possible.Remnants of Edison’s original grid remained active in New York City’s infrastructure until 2007.
  10. Portland's Bridge to the Future

    At first glance, the Tilikum Crossing, Bridge of the People spanning the Willamette River in Portland, Ore., looks like any other cable-stayed bridge in any other river city. But take a closer look and you might notice something different.Traversing this new bridge, which opened on Sept. 12, are light rail trains, streetcars, buses, people on bicycles and pedestrians. But, you won’t see a single private car or truck – because, on this bridge, they aren’t allowed.
  11. Solar Interest Remains High Despite Legislative Freeze

    Ohio farmers, businesses and others remain interested in solar energy, despite the impact of a legislative freeze in the state’s renewable portfolio standard.Ohio added 15 megawatts (MW) of solar energy capacity last year, according to a report released by Environment Ohio on Sept. 3. Ohio ranked 20th among all states and the District of Columbia for capacity installations in 2014.
  12. Green Dorm Rooms Get Students on the Right Path

    As universities and colleges work to become more sustainable, administrators are looking for ways to educate – and encourage – their students to adopt “greener” lifestyles.Consider the thousands (upon thousands) of students on each campus across North America, and the impact of students adopting a more sustainable lifestyle is quite significant.
  13. Power Up Anywhere with Solar Charging Stations

    Joe Kobus was on his way back from a Colorado whitewater rafting trip about a decade ago when he got the idea for his company, EnerFusion Inc. Flying standby, he ended up waiting in the Denver airport for the better part of a day and in search of a convenient, free way to charge his laptop.An engineer by trade, Kobus started thinking about solutions to his charging challenge.
  14. Get Low-Tech Efficiency with 'Passive House'

    Passive house is a construction concept that aims to create energy efficient, ecological, comfortable and affordable housing – basically a modern home using a minimal amount of energy.Rather than gaining energy efficiency through high-tech systems, passive houses rely on thicker insulation, high-performance windows and air-tight construction.
  15. Energy Audits Cut Costs and Reduce Emissions

    Tax season might not be the best time to talk about audits, but this kind of audit could save institutions a lot of money and help them reach their emission reduction goals, too.Experts say not enough building owners are taking advantage of energy audits.
  16. Solar Panels Keep Paying for Themselves

    Solar power’s fan base is growing.As the solar power industry continues to grow and develop, early adopters agree that installing the panels was a great decision, whether on top of a private home, university building or city aquarium.
  17. A Little Wastewater Change Produces a Lot of Savings

    Communities frequently begin energy efficiency projects with lighting or mechanical system upgrades in public buildings, or by looking at the fuel efficiency of their vehicles. However, one of the largest energy consuming operations in most cities is often a missed opportunity:Drinking water and wastewater treatment systems.
  18. Marin County App to Track Sustainability

    SAN RAFAEL, Calif. -- A partnership of 16 jurisdictions in Marin County has launched a new interactive sustainability tracker illustrating progress being made by local governing bodies, residents and businesses toward reducing emissions and increasing sustainable practices.The Marin Sustainability Tracker includes 12 metrics gauging a community’s level of consumption and implementation of sustainability measures related to energy, waste, transportation, water and greenhouse gas reductions.
  19. Biomass Project Provides Economic, Environmental Benefits

    Perseverance was the key for Sullivan County’s District Energy biomass project, but officials said it was more than worth the wait since the benefits have been immediate.Sullivan County, N.H. was interested in utilizing biomass for quite some time in order to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and carbon emissions.
  20. Denver Strives to Bring Sustainability to Scale

    While Colorado’s epic floods of September 2013 made national news, it has been a water disaster of another kind that worries Denver’s Chief Sustainability Officer Jerry Tinianow the most.“Really it’s the lack of precipitation,” he said. “Drought is a much bigger threat here.”
  21. Farm Bill Yields Crop of Sustainability Grants

    If you’re looking for federal grants or low-interest loans to kick-start sustainable agriculture, forestry, entrepreneurship, conservation, food systems or community development programs, a newly revised guide published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture might help.The guide, titled Building Sustainable Farms, Ranches and Communities, describes 63 programs intended to assist local governments, private businesses and individual producers in a wide range of sustainability, economic development and conservation efforts.
  22. Energy Retrofits: Small Changes Add Up

    Building energy efficiency into new construction is getting easier all the time, and sleek wind or solar installations are impressive demonstrations of technology. But the fact is that most buildings are legacies.The 100-year-old farmhouse that loses heat through the roof, the low-income housing development with the 1960s-vintage boiler – these are the realities that families and organizations deal with when trying to become more energy efficient.
  23. Incorporating Equity into Sustainability Initiatives

    Cities often struggle to be certain that the benefits they provide are evenly distributed.Leaders of two very different cities – Detroit, one of the nation’s largest cities, with a population of nearly 700,000, and Dubuque, Iowa, less than a tenth that size – both found that a key to achieving their goals was to involve more voices in planning, and not necessarily in the way you would expect.
  24. Unlocking Your Potential for Clean Energy

    Many communities want to use and provide renewable energy options. But moving from green energy ideas to a plan-of-action and an installed system can be an overwhelming process, stretching across years, changing budgets and the rapidly developing industry of renewable energy technology.Achieving the goal of increased renewable energy is possible and in a community's best interest, according to three presenters who discussed their initiatives at the Growing Sustainable Communities Conference, held recently in Dubuque, Iowa.
  25. Community Solar Shares the Sun with Everyone

    While the cost of rooftop solar photovoltaic systems has decreased, a recent U.S. government survey found that only about 25 percent of residential rooftops can support PV systems due to shading, building design and other issues.Community solar offers a way to share the benefits of solar, even if the panels won’t work on an individual building.
  26. Community Radio Gives Rise to Local Voices

    With an emphasis on local broadcasting produced by a team of dedicated volunteers, more than 800 community radio stations across the U.S. are serving listeners, thanks mostly to the support of small local businesses.Community radio is often confused with public radio, but they are not affiliated with National Public Radio and receive no public funds. Many use a "Low Power FM" license established by the FCC in 2000 as non-commercial or nonprofit radio stations with very weak signals – in some cases only broadcasting within a 10-mile radius.
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