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Living Cities is working with five US municipalities to develop an ecosystem for solving urban problems. (Illustration by Angus Greig) I have spent much of my professional life looking for the lever that would transform the lives of low-income people.
This white paper from Microsoft, Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory looks at how conducting an IT retrofit of building management tools can have a quick return on investment. Microsoft, in partnership with Accenture and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, deployed smart building management systems on 2.6 million square feet of its corporate campus -- which totals 15 million square feet over 118 buildings. Through energy management, alarm management and fault detection and diagnosis, Microsoft expects to save more than $1 million per year in energy costs, with a payback time of less than 18 months. The findings of the project, which is intended in part to be a learning experience to understand the potential and limitations of current building management systems, can be put to work for almost any company. The white paper lays out some other success stories from similar projects, including:
Energy production and supply units may be fined up to VND100 million (US$4,800) for administrati ve violations l eading to the waste of energy under a n ew decree to become effective on October 15. The highest fine will be applied to units who purposefully do not reject obsolete technology and low-output electricity generators or those who build new generators with obsolete technology. Decree 73/2011/ND-CP regulates fines on administrative violations relating to economical and effective energy use.
Yesterday, Lighting Science Group and Dixon Technologies announced one of their first joint products: A high-performance, omnidirectional 60-watt equivalent A19 LED bulb that retails for under $15. According to the company, “The newly announced bulb fits perfectly into existing screw-in light sockets and creates a clean, bright light level equivalent to a conventional 60-watt incandescent bulb using 85% less electricity.” At a price point below $15, the payback period from electricity savings over a traditional incandescent bulb is only 8 months. Currently, the majority of 60W LEDs retail in the $40 range. At less than $15, this new LED bulb is priced closer to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) but uses 35% less electricity and contains no mercury. The companies confirm this new technology will go on to power a full line of products, including street lights, outdoor and industrial light fixtures and replacement bulbs.
On June 12, U.S. House Republicans failed to revoke the lighting efficiency restrictions mandated by the 2007 law, The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, or HR 6. This law would phase out incandescent bulbs, and is one that Republicans themselves sponsored. Republicans did, however, pass legislation that removes the funding needed to enforce the 2007 law. This backpedaling, now taking place in the 2012 Energy and Water Appropriations Act (which passed the House on July 15), underlines the fact that the Republican path to emasculation is through the pocket, and without benefit of anesthetic.
Solar collectors could be placed in empty spaces beside highways that are in disuse. (Photo Credit: Republic Solar Highways) One of the great things about photovoltaics is that all they need is an unobstructed piece of ground, and some basic maintenance, and they pump out electricity all day long. But finding a piece of ground that can be devoted solely to solar collectors can be a challenge, especially in the populated areas that need the power the most, so you will often find solar panels perched atop some structure, where they are exposed to higher winds, and are more difficult to maintain. But the solution to this problem might be on your way to work every day; in the unused spaces that surround our national grid of highways.
Sans surprise, la Commission de régulation de l'énergie a rendu un avis favorable à la généralisation du compteur Linky, après une analyse coûts/avantages. Pour la maîtrise de l'énergie, elle préconise une expérimentation supplémentaire. La Commission de régulation de l'énergie (CRE) a publié le 18 juillet un avis sur la généralisation du compteur Linky .
[Editor's Note: Updated to include Schneider Electric's release of an outdoor version of its EV charger.] Running out of power is one of the biggest fears for drivers of electric cars, and major industrial companies as well as startups have stepped forward with suites of charging solutions -- from units for commercial stations to devices that can be installed at homes. General Electric 's second entry in the race for EV charger marketshare -- a version of the GE WattStation designed for home use -- is scheduled to hit the shelves of five Lowe's stores in California next month, with a broader rollout to 60 of the chain's retail sites in September. The wall-mounted device, which will cost about $1,000 plus installation, will also be available for online sales at Lowes.com in September. GE and Lowe's detailed their plans Monday at the Plug-In 2011 Conference and Exposition in Raleigh, N.C.
• Students trained to help households conserve energy through PowerSeraya’s Responsible Energy Advocates Programme (REAP) • 3 households top 2010 pilot run to achieve energy savings of more than 10% 15 tertiary students from local polytechnics and universities, along with PowerSeraya, have helped raise awareness on responsible energy usage among households in Singapore.
[Editor's Note: Siemens' new Green City Index for North America has provoked the inevitable comments and questions about why some cities nailed top ratings, others tanked and still others weren't counted at all. NRDC's Kaid Benfield takes a deep dive into the scores. Here is the first installment of his two-part examination.] I may as well start with the caveat that any attempt to measure, score or rank places with respect to almost anything will be incomplete at best and can be wildly misleading at worst. First, rating systems tend to assign numerical grades to things that are partially or entirely subjective. Which city has the "best" transit service is not just a matter of coverage and service frequency, for example, but also of passenger comfort, convenience for riders' destinations (which vary from one to another), and whether the door-to-door experience feels safe, among other things.