Has the MUSH market gone cold? This post examines the current and potential market for providing energy management services and building retrofits to municipal (state/local government) facilities, universities, K-12 schools and hospitals. It also looks at some of the ongoing barriers into the MUSH market while highlighting a handful of success stories by sector.
The Solar Decathlon is a competition in which teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar powered house. The winners of the 2009 competition – the fourth to be held – were announced on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. by U.S. Department of Energy Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman. The contest is organized by DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory and supported by event and team sponsors from the private sector.
The AlwaysOn Network recently announced their Third Annual List of the GoingGreen 100 Top Private Companies of 2009. The award recognizes the top private greentech companies that are creating new business opportunities and transforming the world’s largest industries to improve sustainability.Among the hundreds of companies evaluated, They selected the Oakland California-based, Brightsource Energy, a provider of solar energy to utility companies, as the overall winner.
On August 11, the Financial Times reported on the promise of “synthetic biology,” including the development of algae that generates biofuels. In July, ExxonMobil entered into a $600 million venture with Synthetic Genomics, a firm founded by biotech pioneer Dr. Craig Venter. “Synthetic Genomics has already engineered strains of algae that secrete oil from their cells,” writes the FT’s Clive Cookson. Will oil companies transform themselves into algae companies? Or, a few years from now, could the makers of “Who Killed the Electric Car?” film a sequel about algae?
The Coastal Wind Initiative at the North Carolina Solar Center provides education and outreach on wind energy technology to communities in coastal North Carolina. The Wind Energy Intern will help with the development and delivery of the program’s outreach campaign, including assisting with public workshops, updating factsheets, and managing website content.
US Department of Energy Secretary Chu announced plans to provide nearly $800 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act targeted towards advancing biofuels research and development and for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. The $786.5 million in Recovery Act funding a mix of new funding opportunities and additional funding for existing projects, will be allocated over four main areas. Integrated pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries projects are to receive the bulk of the funding with the remainder going to commercial-scale biorefinery projects, fundamental research in key areas to advance cutting-edge conversion technologies, including generating more desirable catalysts, fuel-producing microbes, and feedstocks and to ethanol research.
SOLAR ENERGY UPDATE: Concerns Raised About Impact of Solar Projects in The Mohave Desert, New 10MW PV Solar Energy Plant Planned for Chicago, Wal-Mart Expanding Its Use of Solar Power, India SEMI Has Plans to Get on The Global Dolar Map, First Solar to Build 53 MW Solar Facility in Germany
This update highlights several current issues and developments in the solar energy space. Concerns have been raised about the potential deleterious impact of utility scale solar energy projects in the fragile water poor desert environments of the Mohave Desert. Large scale solar collection farms use water to wash the mirrors and for concentrating solar thermal often use water for cooling.
There may never be a better time to begin new building retrofits and investments in energy efficiency than the climate that prevails today. Commercial and residential buildings accounted for 39 percent of the total US energy consumption. Lowering these on-going expenditures can have such an impact on the bottom line for building operators and owners that this may represent one of the safest and most lucrative places to invest in. The green building sector offers many opportunities for retrofitting existing buildings to increase their energy efficiency lower their water usage or storm water runoff and so forth that present a whole slew of skilled labor and small business ideas for enterprising individuals and contractors willing to make the leap as well as largely untapped growth opportunities for larger corporations.