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January 27 Energy News

Headline News:

  • A new study has found that wave energy production, once the infrastructure is in place, would be a reliable, steady, and dependable source of electricity—even cheaper than wind power. Along the US coastline, it could make 1,170 TWh per year. That is enough to supply half the United States’ annual electricity demand. [TakePart]
  • Global warming may boost the frequency of extreme and devastating La Niña events, a study released suggests. It says that as the climate warms, extreme La Niña events will occur almost twice as often as they do now, causing heavy flooding in some places, droughts in others, and increasingly intense storms. []
  • The largest concentrated solar power project in the Middle East, Shams 1, has performed better than expected, the Shams Power Company has reported. The company had expected to generate about 193,000 MWh electricity in 2014 but managed to generate just under 215,000 MWh, 12% over expected generation.  [CleanTechnica]
  • The underlying theme of the agreements the US made with China and India, and the position taken by the leaders of the world’s three most influential national economies, is that coal no longer rules. The “all of the above” credo that once dominated their thinking on energy is morphing into “anything but coal.” [RenewEconomy]
  • The UK Government has been forced to perform a U-turn and concede to a number of Opposition amendments to squeeze through legislation that will allow shale gas development to go ahead. Ministers had to accept the 13 conditions laid out by Labour watering down fracking laws to pass them through Parliament. [Click Green]

For more news, please visit geoharvey - Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

NESEA Speakers at BuildingEnergy 15: Paul Francisco

Paul Francisco

Is it All Hot Air: Ventilating Homes, Why? How Much? and How?

Wednesday, March 04, 2015
2:00 pm to 3:30 pm
Single Family

Why do we need to ventilate homes? How much air do we need to do it? Once we’ve figured that out, what systems should we install? These are big questions, but this session will hopefully provide useful answers. We’ll begin with a discussion of health impacts of ventilation and different ventilation rates. The latter part will explore various ventilation systems: pros and cons, costs and benefits, and tips for installing the best systems for your project.

To learn more about NESEA’s BuildingEnergy 15 conference and see more speakers and programs, follow THIS LINK.

Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel Meeting

Montpelier, Vermont – The Public Service Department today announced that the next meeting of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel will be held on Wednesday January 28, 2015, from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM, in the Autumn Room at the Quality Inn and Conference Center, 1380 Putney Road, Brattleboro, Vermont.

The agenda for the January 28 meeting includes a presentation on the PSDAR process from Bruce Watson of the NRC, as well as an update on the current status of Vermont Yankee from Entergy.  The agenda can be viewed online at the following link:

All meetings of the Nuclear Decommissioning Citizens Advisory Panel are open to the public.

Special weather notice: In the event a decision is made to cancel the meeting due to inclement weather, the Department will post an announcement on its website:

NESEA Speakers at BuildingEnergy 15: Andy Shapiro

Making the Financial Case for Net Zero Buildings

Wednesday, March 04, 2015
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm

The presentation illustrates the financial prudence of net zero buildings today. From the outset of design through construction and operation, Maclay Architects and Energy Balance utilize comparative energy modeling and cost estimating to determine financial benefits of net zero buildings compared to code compliant or intermediate building solutions. This detailed analysis demonstrates how fossil fuel powered buildings no longer make economic sense. Case studies illustrate the detailed and interwoven financial/energy analysis process used to convince building owners to pursue aggressive energy conservation. These include a net zero feasibility study for a mixed use office/manufacturing/residential project at NRG, a 65,000 sf office renovation and a 15,000 sf new dining hall. This presentation provides a clear financial analysis process, metrics, and templates to guide net zero projects from initiation to completion/operation. Builders, developers, owners, investors and designers will gain the understanding necessary to successfully make the financial case for net zero buildings.

Tuesday Workshop – Pushing the Envelope and Air Barrier for Commercial and Institutional Cold Climate Buildings and Lessons Learned

Tuesday, March 03, 2015
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
BuildingEnergy 15 Workshops

This workshop will investigate the design process for analyzing and constructing a building envelope to meet aggressive air-sealing goals for new and renovated commercial and institutional projects in cold climates. Example details from four case study buildings will be shared with a central focus on decisions, changes, best practice guidelines, thermal analysis, lessons learned and specific challenges encountered during the construction process. The final details that evolved from focused scrutiny and close collaboration between the design and construction team will be presented for two new construction projects, the Middlebury South Village Professional Office building and The Putney School Field House (net zero), as well as two renovation projects, the George D. Aiken Center at UVM and the Bennington Superior Courthouse and State Office Building (net zero ready). All of these Vermont buildings achieved exemplary levels of low air-infiltration, with one achieving a rate of 0.06 CFM50/sq. ft of exterior surface area.

To learn more about NESEA’s BuildingEnergy 15 conference and see more speakers and programs, follow THIS LINK.

January 26 Green Energy News

Weather Warning:

Northeast residents are girding for a “crippling and potentially historic” storm that could bury communities from northern New Jersey to southern Maine in up to 2 feet of snow or more. A blizzard warning was issued for a 250-mile stretch of the Northeast, including New York and Boston, for Monday and Tuesday. [WXXI News]

Headline News:

  • The Indian government is looking to set a target of 100 GW under its national wind energy mission. While the mission is being mulled for almost a year it could be launched within months, if not weeks. The plan is to add 10 GW per year of windpower for seven years, adding to the country’s current capacity of 22.5 GW. [CleanTechnica]
  • The Bangladeshi government aims to provide electricity to all of the country’s households by 2021. It plans to generate 220 megawatts of electricity for around 6 million households by 2017 through the solar home system programme. Each solar home system will have a solar panel on the roof. []
  • The world’s largest oil exporter has chosen not to cut production, counting instead on lower prices to stimulate consumption, because consumption is declining, according to a former adviser to Saudi Arabia’s petroleum minister. The Saudis are watching investments in fuel efficiency and renewable energy. [Malay Mail Online]
  • North Carolina is forging ahead with plans to hop on the East Coast offshore wind energy bandwagon. It is not that the state’s lawmakers have any choice in the matter. The Interior Department is leasing large swaths of federal waters for offshore wind development, and North Carolina just happens to be included. [CleanTechnica]
  • Gas and electricity prices spiked last winter in New England. So far, this winter is different. In December, wholesale electricity and natural gas prices were down 55% and 64% from last year, respectively. January saw some price increases on cold days, but much less than last year. [Foster’s Daily Democrat]

For more news, please visit geoharvey - Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

Seed Celebration and Sustainable Community Fair, Feb 7th

seed celebration

Schedule of Events

Event Opens
Welcome – Kevin Irby
Getting Started with Seed Saving – Carl Majewski
Tree Pruning Workshop – Johnny Bolster & Jenny Wright
Promoting Native Bee Habitat – Lionell Chute
The New “Green” Focus on Stormwater – Jan Lambert & Karl Thidemann
Mindful Eating and Meal Blessing – Michael Ciborski
The Solar Sisters
Designing the Self: Social Permaculture – Valerie Piedmont
Winter Tree ID – Lionelle Chute
Compassionate Conversations: A Different Way to Dialogue – Barbara Woods
NED Pipeline – Cheap, Clean Energy or Pipe Dream? – Pat Martin, Jim Rodger & Jeannie Sable
Getting Grounded with Dave – Dave Wichland
Last Call for Raffle, Closing – Andy Pennoni
Raffle Drawing
Clean-up Begins!
All Day
~ Exhibits & Displays, Seed Sales, Raffle, and Children’s Activities
Lunch Time Café
~ This year our cafe will be featuring soups, stews and baked goods from local restaurants and kitchens, as well as Orchard Hill Breads. Baked goods and beverages will be available all day. Soups and breads will be served 11-3.
The Sustainability Project, a 501(c)3 nonprofit educational organization, promotes a love of nature, environmental stewardship, caring communities and ways of living that deepen our understanding of the interconnected web of life.  Our guiding principle is that diversity, inclusion and compassion are fundamental to the long term well-being of our planet and its inhabitants.
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Six Cent Solar! Cheapest Solar in the World Sets the Stage

NESEA Speakers at BuildingEnergy 15: John Todd, Ryan Chin, Greg Watson

John Todd

Responding to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge

Thursday, March 05, 2015
10:30 am to 12:00 pm

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge invites today’s practitioners to answer his call “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” What would Bucky do? Buckminster Fuller’s legacy is alive. His teachings restore our optimism and encourage us to strive for progress.

Ryan Chin

The Buckminster Fuller Challenge invites today’s practitioners to answer his call “to make the world work for 100% of humanity, in the shortest possible time, through spontaneous cooperation, without ecological offense or the disadvantage of anyone.” Past challenge winners John Todd, Ocean Arks International (2008) and Ryan Chin, MIT City Science Initiative (2009) join MA Commissioner of Agricultural Resources Greg Watson (Former E.D. New Alchemy Institute) to draw the through line from Fuller’s comprehensive anticipatory design science (CADS) to the transformative projects they lead today and the inspiring careers that work has sustained.

Greg Watson

This session is developed in collaborations with the Buckminster Fuller Institute to explore Fuller’s unique perspective on energy and resources as practiced by these and other Challenge winners. It is a companion session to “Dematerialization Applied.”

Learn more at:

To learn more about NESEA’s BuildingEnergy 15 conference and see more speakers and programs, follow THIS LINK.

January 25 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • More than 800 MW of small-scale solar energy capacity was installed in Australia in 2014, according to recent figures released by Green Energy Markets. This 800 MW of new small-scale capacity was split amongst 185,950 different systems, with the average size of these systems being about 4.4 kW. [CleanTechnica]
  • Dairy farming requires cropland not only to produce feed for the herd, but also as a way to get rid of manure. Manure management is a hot-button issue in Metro Vancouver, where air quality and odour problems are significant issues. A biodigester can supply natural gas customers and eliminate problems. [The Province]
  • Havana Energy signed a £500 million deal to build five renewable power plants with more than 300 MW capacity. During harvest time for sugar cane the plants will run on bagasse, the waste pulp from sugar cane production. The rest of the year they will be fuelled by marabu, a problematical invasive weed. [Scotsman]
  • President Obama and the new GOP-controlled Congress face showdowns over climate change, health, and environmental safeguards. But new public opinion research shows a strong majority of Americans, including Republicans, in five key states support existing protections and tougher environmental enforcement. [Investor Ideas]
  • The SunZia project, a proposed $2 billion transmission line that would carry renewable electrical energy generated by solar and wind resources in New Mexico and Arizona to markets across the West, is a single step closer to being in service following final federal approval. The line is to be 515 miles long. [National Review]

For more news, please visit geoharvey - Daily News about Energy and Climate Change.

NESEA Speakers at BuildingEnergy 15: Peter Yost

Peter Yost

Tuesday Workshop – Managing Moisture to Achieve Long-Life and Low-Maintenance

Tuesday, March 03, 2015
10:00 am to 1:00 pm
BuildingEnergy 15 Workshops

Designing for durability is essential for green buildings, because if you double the life of a building, regardless of construction type, you halve the environmental impact of its construction. In the design of buildings and building components to achieve long-life, moisture must be managed and understood, including the ability to have effective and efficient maintenance and repair. Drawing upon decades of hands on experience, two building scientists will present the nitty-gritty of good design that embraces and understands moisture. From the tried and true water shedding techniques of century old buildings to the shocking truth about pressure-sensitive tapes and liquid sealants, participants will learn how to handle moisture with low-tech physics and high-tech materials and tools.

Building Science Puzzles

Wednesday, March 04, 2015
4:00 pm to 5:30 pm
Single Family

At BuildingGreen, I spend about one-fifth of my time doing building investigations, mostly residential. In this session, I will present the building assessment information for a series of investigations (one or two commercial/institutional buildings), we will work to identify the problem(s) and possible solution(s), and then I will present the actual solution (right, wrong, in between…). Come ready to quip, throw jabs and darts, but, please, no suits (law or three-piece…although there is overlap, of course).

To learn more about NESEA’s BuildingEnergy 15 conference and see more speakers and programs, follow THIS LINK.