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March 5 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • A recent, widely seen documentary on air pollution in China, “Under the Dome,” appears to have had a strangely pronounced effect on the Chinese government. Rather than stifle those involved, or brush the matter aside, some higher-ups have even praised the documentary. Does it indicate a sea change? [CleanTechnica]
  • The EU took a step to reduce its energy dependence, especially on Russia, by improving transmission connections between Spain and Portugal, and the rest of Europe. The leaders of Spain, Portugal and France pushed moving spare renewable energy produced south of the Pyrenees to the rest of Europe. [The]
  • The US Senate tried, but failed, to override President Barack Obama’s veto of legislation authorizing the Keystone XL pipeline on Wednesday. The measure drew 62 “yes” votes, with 9 Democrats joining Republicans in voting to override the veto. Separate consideration is ongoing, and the issue is not over. [Huffington Post]
  • To the dismay of many climate activists, a major natural-gas pipeline expansion project that will impact southern New England, New York and New Jersey has been approved. The proposal has drawn grassroots opposition along the pipeline’s 1,127-mile path between New Jersey and Beverly, Massachusetts. [ecoRI news]
  • A surprise reduction in the cost of the UK’s offshore wind energy is one of the dominant themes in a new report to be published later today by the Offshore Wind Programme Board, a joint government and industry-backed group tasked with identifying and addressing barriers to the sector’s development. [Business Green]

Thursday Events at BuildingEnergy 15

Photo by David Connelly Legg

You can still attend BuildingEnergy 15. Admissions can be paid at the door. The price for the full day is $349, and for a half day is $249. A Trade Show pass is $25.

Thursday events are in four sessions, 8:30-10:00, 10:30-12:00, 12:30-1:45, and 2:00 to 3:30, with a closing forum at 4:00.

Sessions beginning at 8:30 include the following:

The All Glass Building – Is Energy Efficiency Possible? While glass buildings continue to rise throughout our cities, the question of their sustainability remains.

Lies, Damned Lies and Green Building Standards Never get the R-15 wool insulation pulled over your eyes again! Separating green from greenwash is getting harder as standards proliferate.

Renewable Energy Powering Local Self-Reliance: Case Studies from Germany Over 150 villages in Germany produce all of the electricity and most of the heat they consume.  In these so-called “bioenergy villages,” renewable energy systems are driving economic growth.  … Full Description

Community Energy Footprints: Taking Residential Efficiency to Scale For all the Non Net Zero Homes out there, how can energy tracking at the community level help achieve 2030 goals? Four diverse building pros share lessons learned from their experience tracking… Full Description

H2-Uh-Oh: Moisture Risks and How to Manage Them Do you understand moisture dynamics? Do you have a comprehensive plan to control moisture in your buildings?

Dematerialization Applied As a follow-up to “Dematerializing Buildings” at BE14, this session will explore how the dematerialization and lightweighting of buildings is being put into practice.

Applying Passive House Principles to 160 Units of Affordable Housing – Lessons Learned Fairfax Gardens was a 150 unit dilapidated public housing development in Taunton, MA.

Efficient Cities: Are Ordinances, Competitions and Planning Efforts Helping? Cities across the country have enacted benchmarking laws, organized carbon challenges, and engaged in ambitions planning. We will discuss how these efforts are faring.

Events at 10:30 are the following:

Installing commercial windows and curtain walls without thermal bridges, air or water leaks
This session will look at the basic shapes of aluminum and fiberglass products used for frames, and identify the basic principles to be used to develop functional details for both new and retrofit… Full Description

Lessons from Scandinavia (Part 1)
Paul, Chris, Andy, Tom and Heather went to Scandinavia to learn about what the Swedes and Danes are doing about climate change.

LEDing the Lighting Revolution Part 1: How Many Light Bulbs Will it Take? If LEDs are the next best thing, why do so many building professionals still feel “in the dark” about the technology? Welcome to modern lighting where counter-intuitive chaotic tension is the… Full Description

Reinventing the Water Grid Part I: Science, Behavior & Dollars This session is in two parts.Water is scarcer. Systems for both fresh and waste water are vulnerable. Water standards are increasingly stringent to protect ecosystems and public health.

Responding to the Buckminster Fuller Challenge 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,… Full Description

Close the Windows! Changing Occupant behavior with Heat Pumps and Individual Metering Advances in building envelopes and HVAC equipment enable widespread use of air source heat pumps by many in the “Net Zero Energy” and “Passive House” movements.

Efficiency Financing: The Current Landscape and Future Possibilities Energy efficiency financing is a complex topic, with numerous options for borrowers, and challenges in risk assessment. We will unravel this topic and consider how data-driven tools might improve… Full Description

Sensible Solutions to Latent Problems: Managing Humidity in High Performance Homes Low-load homes struggle with summertime humidity more than conventional homes, and the Northeast isn’t getting any less tropical.  Let’s get ready.  We will consider how latent and sensible loads… Full Description

Tedd Benson will give a talk at 12:30:

The Future of Homebuilding Can’t Wait: Making Sustainable, Low Energy Dwellings the Norm It is said that homebuilding can look back at 300 years of history unimpeded by progress. It’s a bit of an exaggeration, but the energy-sucking, defect prone truth is unacceptable.

Events at 2:00 include the following:

Inside and Out: Integrated Building Facade and HVAC Design This session provides an overview of the interactions between the building façade and HVAC systems. By distilling this subject into macro and micro level themes, we hope to broaden the… Full Description

Inspiring Change: Campus Mission and the Living Building Challenge The RW Kern Center is designed to embody Hampshire College’s mission of fostering positive change in the world—and to meet the Living Building Challenge.

Tiny Bubbles: The Deal With Spray Foam “Is Foam Evil?”—that’s how this session was originally titled. Saner heads prevailed: foam is so highly insulating, so airtight, so slick on the jobsite, how could we ask such a question? Wait—it’… Full Description

Lessons from Scandinavia (Part 2) Paul, Chris, Andy, Tom and Heather went to Scandinavia to learn about what the Swedes and Danes are doing about climate change.

LEDing the Lighting Revolution Part 2: Advanced Strategies both Efficient and Smart What is the ultimate in LED lighting today? Our speakers are now combining the best fixtures with the smartest controls to drive total energy savings to 80-90% or more, indoors and outdoors… Full Description

Reinventing the Water Grid Part II: Nutrient Recycling and Other Opportunities for Fun & Profit Session two will dig deeper into two solutions – both fresher paths forward than the expensive model of centralized-systems solutions.

Multifamily Ventilation 302 Central ventilation systems in multifamily buildings are a vital building system that often compromises overall building performance (ie they don’t perform to code almost 100% of the time).

Minisplit Heat Pumps: Lessons from the Field Minisplit heat pumps are now used in most high performance homes in New England. Kohta monitored eight homes built by Transformations and Marc has over sixty homes and non-residential buildings… Full Description

And wrapping up the day:

Closing Forum: 100 Years of Experience The closing forum will feature 6 Pecha Kucha 20×20 presentations (20 slides, each for 20 seconds) followed by a discussion moderated by Matt Root.



March 4 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • US-based SunEdison, now the largest renewable energy company in the world, says it sees a $4 trillion value opportunity in the global wind and solar markets by 2020. The company argues that the combined capacity for wind and solar will be more than 1,450 GW by 2020, about 2½ times larger than the end of 2014. [RenewEconomy]
  • Given the extreme hype over shale oil and fracking, one would expect the enthusiasm to translate into above average share performance for shale operators. This has not been the case. Share performance has actually been at best quite mediocre and in most cases just downright poor. [Energy Collective]
  • The town of Scituate, Massachusetts, has made more than a half-million dollars in less than three years through its agreement with Scituate Wind LLC, owner of a local wind turbine. The town has collected more than $500,000 since the 390-foot-tall wind turbine went online in April of 2012. [The Patriot Ledger]
  • What is likely to become the nation’s first offshore wind farm has closed on more than $290 million in financing, which will allow a five-turbine demo of the renewable energy system to be completed. The Block Island Wind Farm will be a 30-MW offshore facility located in waters about 15 miles off Rhode Island. [Computerworld]
  • New York regulators published a major order effectively telling traditional utilities that they will not be permitted to own renewable generation sources except in rare cases. This is to enhance competition and create markets that will allow on-site wind and rooftop solar to flourish. [Environment & Energy Publishing]

BuildingEnergy 15 is Happening – Still time to go!

BuildingEnergy 15 is happening right now, but there are still plenty of things to do there.

You can still buy a ticket at the event.

Here is a link to what is happening on Wednesday afternoon at 5:45:

Tour of Passive House Place

Katrin Klingenberg

Wednesday, March 4, 2015 - 5:45pm to 6:15pm

Katrin Klingenberg of Passive House Institute, U.S., leads a tour on the trade show floor highlighting the most popular products used by designers and builders of Passive Houses throughout the U.S.

Meet at the NESEA booth, #507, at 5:40pm.

BuildingEnergy 15 is Happening – Still time to go!

NESEA’s BuildingEnergy15 is underway, but there is still time to go!

Tickets may still be purchased at the event, for those who have not got them yet.

The associated Trade Show has a $25 admission.

We have this welcome to all at BuildingEnergy 15 from the Energy Federation (EFI):


We hope you are enjoying your time at the BE15 conference. Please swing by to say hello! We’d love to show you our latest products in Ventilation, Air Sealing, and Lighting.
EFI is your Trusted Advisor on Energy Savings


March 3 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “Renewable energy is conquering quirky nature of Britain’s climate” – Clever engineering is smoothing out the peaks and troughs of renewable power in Britain and having a positive effect on the power supply. It looks like this is making the nuclear industry redundant before a new station can be built. [The Guardian]
  • Conversion of biogas into compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied natural gas (LNG) is now frequently considered when penciling out project financials. The US EPA expanded cellulosic fuel pathways to include CNG and LNG from biogas created in landfills and a variety of kinds of bio-digesting systems. [Biomass Magazine]
  • A documentary examining the deadly effects of smog on China’s population gripped the country after its release online this weekend. The 104-minute film, Under the Dome, explores how China’s noxious smog problem is harming urban residents. It has already been viewed tens of millions of times online. [Mashable]
  • Good news! Not only did China’s coal consumption fall by 2.9% in 2014, Glen Peters of the Global Carbon Project calculates that China’s CO2 emissions have also fallen, by 0.7%. So it’s clear that China’s efforts to cut its coal consumption and carbon emissions are not only real, but are already producing results. [Energy Collective]
  • Economist Jeremy Rifkin says a Digital Europe transition will revolutionize every commercial sector, disrupt workings of virtually every industry, bring unprecedented new economic opportunities, put millions back to work, and create a more sustainable post-carbon society, mitigating climate change. [Materials Handling World Magazine]


Green Mountain Power has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to solicit least cost proposals from solar energy developers for the purpose of entering into long-term contracts for up to 15 MW of distributed solar generation in our service territory. The RFP is open to new solar photovoltaic projects between 1 to 5 MW ac in size using a standard PPA with up to a 25-year term. See the full RFP here.

March 2 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Spain’s renewable energy plants produced 48% of the country’s power in February. Wind power generation produced 27.6% of the total Spanish electricity production for the month. Hydroelectric produced 15.7%. Solar PV and concentrated solar power accounted for 2.2% and 0.9%, respectively. [SeeNews Renewables]
  • National Bank of Abu Dhabi, one of the biggest banks in the oil-rich Gulf countries, says fossil fuels can no longer compete with solar technologies on price. The NBAD report says the most recent solar tender showed even at $10/barrel for oil, and $5/mmbtu for gas, solar is still a cheaper option. [RenewEconomy]
  • According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, new funds invested into clean energy gained 16% in 2014 to reach $310 billion. The record is still $318 billion, set in 2011, but there was a significant upward trend last year. Overall, the world added about 100 gigawatts of solar- and wind-power capacity in 2014. []
  • Plans for a vast tidal lagoon power plant which could power every home in Wales have been launched. The lagoon, between Cardiff and Newport, would include 90 turbines set in a 14-mile breakwater and could provide enough electricity for 1.5 million homes, 8% of the UK’s electricity, for 120 years. [Sky News]
  • In Michigan, the Holland Board of Public Works, is replacing a coal-fired plant with a new fuel-efficient modern power plant. The CO2 emissions at the site will be reduced by approximately 50%. The plant’s surplus heat from in the circulating water system will go to expanding a downtown snowmelt system. [Renewable Energy Focus]

March 1 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • Water is eating away at the Antarctic ice, melting it where it hits the oceans. As the ice sheets slowly thaw, water pours into the sea — 130 billion tons of ice (118 billion metric tons) per year for the past decade, according to NASA satellite calculations. That’s the weight of more than 356,000 Empire State Buildings. [Huffington Post]
  • Algeria is the leading natural gas producer in Africa and is the second-largest supplier of gas to Europe, but that is not slowing down the North African country’s plan to ramp up solar power generation. The country’s energy minister has announced a plan to install 13.5 GW of solar PV capacity by 2030. [CleanTechnica]
  • Although the Eureka, California, City Council voted to participate in the clean-energy financing program known as Property Assessed Clean Energy, or PACE, in January, the council may take a second look after learning that the Federal Housing Financing Agency is actively opposing the measure. [Eureka Times Standard]
  • A series of bills that would repeal New Hampshire’s Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative and Renewable Portfolio Standard are going before the New Hampshire House and Senate. The Governor Hassan indicated she will likely veto the RGGI bill but has not indicated any executive action on the RPS bills. []
  • The UK’s Liberal Democrats set out plans to double the UK’s production of renewable electricity by the end of the next parliament and make Britain zero carbon by 2050. They say they have already created a low-carbon, pro-renewable, and more energy secure nation less reliant on unstable regimes for energy. [Liberal Democrats]

February 28 Green Energy News

Headline News:

  • “We Could Be Turning the Corner on Climate Change” – Efforts to reduce carbon emissions appear to be starting to work, and the link between economic growth and energy consumption is breaking. For example, last year, coal consumption fell for the first time in China, by 2.9% from 2013. []
  • A redox flow battery designed at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory more than doubles the amount of energy this type of cell can pack in a given volume, allowing it to rival lithium-ion batteries. If the device reaches mass production, it could find use in fast-charging transportation and grid storage. [Gizmag]
  • A report from the International Renewable Energy Agency published in January confirms that onshore wind-generation costs are competitive with those of the fossil-fuel sources. The latter are in the $45-140/MWh range, wind comes in at an average $55/MWh. Irena also confirms that costs are falling. [Windpower Monthly]
  • The Vermont House has advanced a wide-ranging bill on a Renewable Energy Standard and Energy Transformation program, or RESET. The requirement would be that utilities get 55% of their power from renewable sources by 2017, ramping up to 75% by 2032. Some have met or exceeded those goals already. [Valley News]
  • Massachusetts utility companies are preparing to buy enough renewable energy to power 136,000 homes under the major initiative announced for Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island on Tuesday. The companies may buy up to 817 GWh of electricity per year under a request for proposals. [Boston Globe]