Why Don't Green Buildings Live Up to Hype on Energy Efficiency?

Not long ago in the southwest of England, a local community set out to replace a 1960s-vintage school with a new building using triple-pane windows and super-insulated walls to achieve the highest possible energy efficiency. The new school proudly opened on the same site as the old one, with the same number of students, and the same head person—and was soon burning more energy in a month than the old building had in a year.

ENN: Top Stories

Not All Cool Pavements Are Created Equal

Cool pavements can help keep cities cool, right? Yes, but according to new research from the Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab), many reflective pavements have some unexpected drawbacks relative to conventional pavements when considering the entire life cycle of the materials.

Scientists in Berkeley Lab’s Heat Island Group, in collaboration with the UC Pavement Research Center (UCPRC), the University of Southern California (USC), and thinkstep Inc., conducted life cycle assessments of conventional and cool pavements. Looking at the technologies over a span of 50 years, including manufacture, installation, use, and disposal/recycling, they found that the extra energy and emissions embodied in cool pavement materials usually exceed the expected energy and emissions savings from reduced space conditioning (cooling and heating) in buildings.

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Leaked: UK £7 billion export credit for fossil fuel industry violates ‘clean energy’ pledge

Between 2011 and 2016 the UK’s export finance agency UKEF provided £109m to underwrite exports of equipment to coal mines in Russia, writes Lawrence Carter – despite the agency’s commitment not to support ‘investment in dirty fossil-fuel energy production’. And that’s just a fraction of the £6.9 billion UKEF has lavished on the corrupt, polluting sector since 2000, while it was meant to be backing the clean energy technologies of the future.
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The Ecologist

New, stronger regulator for Canada energy projects: panel advice

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) – Canada should reverse the approval process for major energy projects, putting them through federal review before a final decision by new regulatory bodies, an official panel recommended on Monday.

Reuters: Environment

NCAR to develop advanced wind and solar energy forecasting system for Kuwait

Expanding its work in renewable energy, the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) is launching a three-year project to develop specialized forecasts for a major wind and solar energy facility in Kuwait.

“We're putting our expertise and technology to work around the world,” said NCAR Senior Scientist Sue Ellen Haupt, the principal investigator on the project. “This landmark project meets our mission of science in service to society.”

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Public Meeting: BOEM’s Rhode Island and Massachusetts Joint Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force (May 16)

Ocean Leadership ~

BOEM would like to invite you to attend BOEM’s Rhode Island and Massachusetts Joint Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force meeting on May 16, 2017 at the following location:  

Holiday Inn Cape Cod
291 Jones Road
Falmouth, MA 02540
8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. (Eastern)

The purpose of this meeting is to exchange information regarding BOEM’s renewable energy leasing efforts on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Agenda topics will likely include:

  • Updates on the existing commercial wind energy leases offshore Rhode Island and Massachusetts from BOEM and the respective leaseholders.
  • Discussion of BOEM initiatives relating to the future of offshore renewable energy leasing in the Atlantic.
  • Updates on existing state activities related to offshore wind.

Registration will begin at 8:30 a.m., with the meeting starting at 9:00 a.m. and ending around 4:30 p.m. Auxiliary aids and services will be provided upon request. To obtain such services, please email me by close of business May 5, 2017. 

As a reminder, the BOEM Joint Rhode Island and Massachusetts Renewable Energy Task Force is an intergovernmental group. Task force members include Federal officials and elected state, local, and tribal officials, or designated member representatives. 

Additional details, including BOEM’s history of coordination with the Rhode Island and Massachusetts Task Forces, are available on BOEM’s website at:  https://www.boem.gov/Rhode-Island/ and https://www.boem.gov/Massachusetts/.


The post Public Meeting: BOEM’s Rhode Island and Massachusetts Joint Intergovernmental Renewable Energy Task Force (May 16) appeared on Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

Consortium for Ocean Leadership

Thin Layers of Water Hold Promise for the Energy Storage of the Future

Researchers at North Carolina State University have found that a material which incorporates atomically thin layers of water is able to store and deliver energy much more quickly than the same material that doesn’t include the water layers. The finding raises some interesting questions about the behavior of liquids when confined at this scale and holds promise for shaping future energy-storage technologies.

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UCF Professor Invents Way to Trigger Artificial Photosynthesis to Clean Air, Produce Energy

A chemistry professor has just found a way to trigger the process of photosynthesis in a synthetic material, turning greenhouse gases into clean air and producing energy all at the same time.

The process has great potential for creating a technology that could significantly reduce greenhouse gases linked to climate change, while also creating a clean way to produce energy.

“This work is a breakthrough,” said UCF Assistant Professor Fernando Uribe-Romo. “Tailoring materials that will absorb a specific color of light is very difficult from the scientific point of view, but from the societal point of view we are contributing to the development of a technology that can help reduce greenhouse gases.”

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Global energy budget: Elusive origin of warming slowdown

Global surface warming was slower than expected in the first decade of the twenty-first century. Research attributes similar events to ocean or atmosphere fluctuations, but the subtle origins of these events may elude observational detection.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3282

Nature Climate Change – AOP – nature.com science feeds

Energy budget constraints on climate sensitivity in light of inconstant climate feedbacks

Estimates of equilibrium climate sensitivity differ depending on the method of calculation. This study shows estimates based on the historical energy budget are low as climate feedbacks vary with time and the bias depends on the sensitivity of the system.

Nature Climate Change doi: 10.1038/nclimate3278

Nature Climate Change – AOP – nature.com science feeds