Current News on Sustainability

Getting U.S. Offshore Wind Farms Built: Integrating Knowledge from the European Market

North American Clean Energy

At the end of 2012, the estimated installed capacity of offshore wind exceeded five gigawatt (GW). The majority of this energy lies in European waters with some in China and Japan.  In the U.S., a number of offshore projects are in advanced stages of development but installation has yet to occur. Some common challenges include: high development and construction costs, obtaining accurate predictions, grid capability, and constrained supply chains. It remains possible to complete projects with minimal delays and within the overall budget allowance. The success of a project depends on the willingness to seek independent advice, use of proven technologies and supplies, and realistic provisions for construction costs and timelines. Although offshore wind power in North America Is still in the planning stages, several committed companies are pushing for this to become a reality.

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A Floating Wind Tower in Launched in Maine

New York Times: 31 May 2013

Offshore wind had not yet caught on in the United States due to the steep cost of erecting a tower in the water, but at the University of Maine, researchers have tried another cheaper approach by launching a floating wind tower which is the first wind installation in the United States. Its 20 Kilowatts has enough capacity to fuel only a handful of large homes during a summer day but this is only the beginning. Two advantages distinguish the new project from onshore ones: it can catch the strong breezes on a sunny summer afternoon and it can produce more electricity than onshore towers. The floating wind tower sits on three concrete tubes.  It is one of seven projects under a $ 168 million government aided program.

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Energy-smart, ‘green’ practices the new must-haves in commercial buildings

The Advocate: 30 May 2013

When companies look for a building location, one of their first priorities usually is location. However, factors like reduced energy bills and having equipment that make a smaller impact on the environment are rising on companies’ priority list. Stamford, Connecticut is joining the Commercial & Industrial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) program, which will give building owners in the state’s third-largest city an ally in their efforts to be “green.”

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Japan’s Big Jump Forward

Solar Today: April 2013

Growth in renewable energy, especially solar, has been proceeding at a frenetic pace since Japan initiated its generous feed-in tariff on July 1, 2012. This incentive enticed everyone, including oil companies, to participate. Japan is expected to be the world’s third biggest solar market this year, right behind China and the United States/Italy. The goal is for renewables to provide 40 percent of Japan’s electricity by 2030.

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