Very often there are complaints that wind power negatively effects the health of those living around the wind power plants. According to EcoWatch, this viewpoint could be fabricated by opponents of wind power.
"With the costs of renewable energy coming down, and the technology improving, more and more research shows that switching from fossil fuels to clean energy is feasible.”
-David Suzuki of EcoWatch
In 2006, SmartPower and TRF Sustainable Development Fund offered 10 communities in southeast Pennsylvania a free 1kW solar energy system if they could meet specific, and ambitious, clean energy purchasing goals. As of today, 20 communities have met that challenge, and are purchasing at least 20 percent of their municipal energy from clean, renewable sources.
SmartPower helped these communities reach their goals by building a strong coalition of local stakeholders from municipal environmental advisory councils, schools, faith-based groups and the business community. Meanwhile, a partnership among several key clean energy stakeholders, including PECO Energy, Community Energy, the Clean Air Council, Solardelphia and Native Energy, lent valuable resources to this program and helped see it to fruition.
To learn more about the Pennsylvania Clean Energy Communities Campaign contact Jonathan Edwards.
SmartReads is a weekly summary of all the latest clean energy and energy efficiency news. Send us your tips on Twitter using the hashtag #SmartReads.
CLEAN & RENEWABLE ENERGY
Huffington Post: Top 10 Green Spring Cleaning Tips by SmartPower’s Brian F. Keane – Since we survived winter — if you can call it that — and have already begun the transition to spring, I wanted to share some of my favorite green, spring cleaning tips. And of course, with Saint Patrick’s Day just behind us… what better time to be green? [March 19, 2012]
AOL Energy: Wall Street Speaks On Renewable Energy: Focusing On Fundamentals – As some of the most tempting government financial incentives begin to fade from the renewable energy space ahead of deadlines at the end of 2012, bankers and project developers specializing in renewable energy projects are reworking their models. [March 20, 2012]
New York Times: Obama’s Energy Blitz – After taking heat over gasoline prices, President Obama visits a photovoltaic plant in Nevada and oil fields in New Mexico to underline his “all of the above” energy policy. [March 21, 2012]
Bloomberg: Solar 15% Returns Lure Investments From Google to Buffett – U.S. solar developers are luring cash at record rates from investors ranging from Warren Buffett to Google Inc. (GOOG) and KKR & Co. by offering returns on projects four times those available for Treasury securities. [March 19, 2012]
NPR: What’s Making Americans Less Hungry For Gasoline? - The price of gasoline keeps rising for Americans, but it’s not because of rising demand from consumers. [March 22, 2012]
Huffington Post: U.S. Oil Drilling May Not Improve Gas Prices, Study Says – It’s the political cure-all for high gas prices: Drill here, drill now. But more U.S. drilling has not changed how deeply the gas pump drills into your wallet, math and history show. [March 21, 2012]
Politico: 'Global Warming' Gets A Rebranding – Shhhh! Don’t talk about global warming! There’s been a change in climate for Washington’s greenhouse gang, and they’ve come to this conclusion: To win, they have to talk about other topics, like gas prices and kids choking on pollutants. [March 21, 2012]
MSNBC: Could This $30 Million Green Tower Be the Future of World Cities? – An office building that lasts 250 years with no monthly electricity or water bills? It may sound like an environmentalist’s pipe dream, but it will soon be a reality, say the builders of what they hope will be the biggest office tower in the nation that produces as much water and electricity as it consumes. [March 20, 2012]
SmartPower selected the top five nominees who are now awaiting the final results from the judging panel of energy experts, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy. The winner will be announced on Friday, March 16.
The remaining five competing for the title include (clockwise from the top left) Katie Romanov of Middlebury College, Chris Castro of the University of Central Florida, Brett Edwards, a student at the California Polytechnic State University known as the eco-conscious rapper “Mr. Eco,” Casey Fangmann of Iowa State University, and Elliott Beenk of the University of Iowa.
SmartPower would be proud to have any one of the five young energy leaders come to Washington, D.C., for a summer fellowship — just one of many awards America’s Next Eco-Star will receive. As a summer fellow at SmartPower, America’s Next Eco-Star will gain first-hand marketing experience and help SmartPower design and implement future youth energy efficiency campaigns.
Each of the five has shown an extraordinary commitment to sustainability, exemplary in their campaigning efforts for America’s Next Eco-Star. Elliot Beenk and Casey Fangmann, both from Iowa, led an aggressive media approach, resulting in their featured article in The Gazette. Eco-rapper Brett Edwards was featured on a local TV news station for his environmental music videos that parody popular rap songs.
Public voting has closed for America’s Next Eco-Star, a countrywide search for the standout among our nation’s next generation of energy leaders.
Brett Edwards, also known as the eco-conscious rapper “Mr. Eco,” topped the list with 1,371 unique votes. The California Polytechnic State University student is a project intern for the Alliance to Save Energy’s Green Campus Program, where he created Mr. Eco as an outreach tool. Mr. Eco’s raps include “The Prince of Fresh Air” and “You Can’t Find Me In The Tub.”
The cross-section of music and sustainability has proven to be an effective campaigning tool, as musician Elliott Beenk from the University of Iowa finished second after the public voting period closed, with 1,022 votes.
Also among the top 10 were Casey Fangman of Iowa State University, Chris Castro of the University of Central Florida, Lewis Segl of the University of St. Thomas, Mary Nell Johnson of the University of North Carolina, Katie Romanov of Middlebury College, Ian Champ of Purdue University, Zohra Roy of the George Washington University, and Megan Nicholas-Harper of Mills College.
"It is an honor to be the top vote recipient after the first round of the competition among a group of individuals who are all truly Eco-Stars,” said Edwards. “To reverse climate change, we all need to be on the same team and it is great to see individuals across the nation with the same passion I have fighting for sustainability.”
The top 10 Eco-Stars will move to the next phase of the competition where SmartPower’s staff of energy experts will determine the top five. Finally, a guest panel of judges, including representatives from the U.S. Department of Energy, will determine the winner, who will be crowned America’s Next Eco-Star.
The winner will receive:
The winning contestant’s college or university will receive:
The top 5 will be announced on Friday, March 2, and the winner will be announced on Friday, March 16. For more information, visit www.americasnextecostar.com.
Community Energy Waste Reduction Effort Touches 300 Homes in 14 Communities, Creating Dramatic Home Energy Cost Savings for Connecticut Homeowners
The Connecticut Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge, a community energy savings campaign that is helping Connecticut residents save money, reduce energy use and create vital green jobs in their communities, announced that its Clean Energy Corps has reached an important energy savings milestone, completing more than 300 free home lighting installations across the state.
Since launching in December 2010, Neighbor to Neighbor completed 313 lighting visits, replacing almost 5,000 incandescent light bulbs with efficient compact fluorescent bulbs and avoiding 181,382 pounds of CO2 emissions. The lifetime impact of these efforts is more than $39,000 in energy cost savings, thanks to over 600 megawatt hours of saved electricity. That’s enough electricity to power more than 50 homes!
“Hats off to our committed partners in the communities where Neighbor to Neighbor’s outreach team does its work,” said Kerry O’Neill, Program Manager of the Neighbor to Neighbor Energy Challenge. “These reductions are a testament to what the state of Connecticut can accomplish when communities work together. But more importantly, these energy costs savings mean Connecticut homeowners have more money in their pockets, and to put back into the local economy.”
The Neighbor to Neighbor lighting program is a free and simple first step for homeowners who want to reduce their energy consumption and start saving money on their monthly electricity bills. Lighting accounts for 10 to 15 percent of electricity consumption in an average home. So far, switching to energy efficient bulbs saves families an average of $125 per year, and some residents have seen savings more than $300 per year. This greatly reduces the amount of energy wasted through the use of outdated incandescent light bulbs.
The Neighbor to Neighbor Clean Energy Corps, a team of eight recent college graduates, execute the program, visiting homes to perform assessments and installations of free compact fluorescent light bulbs and educate homeowners on efficient lighting technology. Corps members received residential lighting certificates after completing a course from the Lighting Research Center at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
New federal lighting standards taking effect soon will limit the types of incandescent light bulbs available on the market. The Neighbor to Neighbor lighting program gives residents a head start finding the right modern, efficient light bulbs that will work best for their homes.
Funding for the Neighbor to Neighbor lighting program will end in summer 2012, and limited slots remain. To take advantage of this great program, residents should sign up quickly for their free in-home lighting visit at www.ctenergychallenge.com/lighting.