2GreenEnergy.com Bringing Together Clean Energy Investors with the Strongest Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities2017-02-24T20:28:45Z http://www.2greenenergy.com/feed/atom/ http://www.2greenenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/favicon-1.png craigshields <![CDATA[“Deconstruction of the Administrative State” Means Destroying a Lot of Things People Need]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64881 2017-02-24T20:28:45Z 2017-02-24T19:51:36Z ]]> The good news: Things are becoming very clear in Washington.  This morning, Trump’s senior adviser Stephen K. Bannon explained the rationale behind the cabinet picks, i.e., to destroy those government departments and any regulations that emanate from them.  According to Bannon, one of the three most important goals the White House is working towards is the “deconstruction of the administrative state.”  (This, of course, confirmed what was obvious to anyone paying even the tiniest bit of attention long before the announcement.)   

The bad news: 320 million Americans depend on clean water, breathable air, toxic waste containment, public education, fair labor laws, health and safety regulations, protection from unjust and discriminatory practices, a stable currency, and dozens of other critical governmental functions.

Say goodbye to the country you loved.

 

 

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craigshields <![CDATA[How Well Has Government Investment in Clean Energy Worked?]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64869 2017-02-23T21:41:17Z 2017-02-23T21:41:17Z ]]> How Well Has Government Investment in Clean Energy Worked?A commenter notes: The U.S. Department of Energy and other government funding institutions have invested vast sums in failed projects.

This is true (depending on how one defines “vast”), but grossly misleading.  Overall, 80% of all businesses fail within the first 18 months.  Of DoE-funded projects, only 17% fail, and, as of three years ago, these projects had already attracted over $625 million in private funding.

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craigshields <![CDATA[What Does the Discovery of Seven Exoplanets Mean?]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64863 2017-02-24T02:42:42Z 2017-02-23T20:35:29Z ]]> Exoplanets Most of us here on the planet we call home are excited about NASA’s discovery of seven Earth-like planets, about 39 light-years from where you’re sitting right now.  That seems almost close enough to reach out and touch.  It appears quite possible that humankind, after gazing into the night sky and wondering about extraterrestrial life for the last 100,000 years or so, may find it fairly soon.  

Of course, it’s extremely improbable that we’ll discover life that happens to take the form of something roughly the same level of development and intelligence we have evolved here, which would be necessary to enable communication with these beings.  And that may be a good thing, for two reasons:

• Danger.  It’s not impossible that these folks could be malevolent, as depicted in so many of our science fiction tales written over the last 200 years.

• Embarrassment.  I, for one, don’t want to host a visitor from outer space, only to have him meet the leader of the free world, whom neuroscientist/philosopher Sam Harris has accurately described as a “child in a man’s body” and “a tyrant in the making.”, and Noam Chomsky, linguist/author/MIT professor emeritus calls “an ignorant meglamaniac who has energized neo-Nazis worldwide” and “a threat to the survival of the human species.”

I’ll be looking for a hole to crawl into if humankind has to admit that this person is the best we could find out of 7.4 billion. Fortunately, it will likely take at least a decade to sort all this out, by which time he’ll be a distant, albeit unpleasant, memory.

Seriously, there is a certain irony here: we’re in the process of finding life elsewhere at the precise same time that we’re destroying our environment–and ourselves–here at home.

 

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craigshields <![CDATA[“Pretended Patriotism” — Choice Words from George Washington]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64841 2017-02-24T02:47:57Z 2017-02-23T15:59:48Z ]]> "Pretended Patriotism" -- Choice Words from George WashingtonAccording to Writer’s Almanac, hosted and edited by Garrison Keillor, (February 22 was) the birthday of the first president of the United States, George Washington, born in the Colony of Virginia (1732)… Washington served as president for eight years. In his Farewell Address to the nation, he warned that his greatest fear for the new country was that forces would try to divide Americans and undermine the country’s principles. He argued that its citizens should come together to resist those people: “Guard against the impostures of pretended patriotism.”

It may be a coincidence that the editor chose this particular quote of the hundreds for which he’s known, but that seems unlikely, doesn’t it?

More Americans every day are starting to see that this is precisely what’s happening in our country today, and we’re just as unwilling to accept it as the Father of Our Country suggested we need to be.

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craigshields <![CDATA[E-bikes Are Happening]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64857 2017-02-23T00:18:10Z 2017-02-23T00:13:00Z ]]> Ebikes Are Happening

I’ve been asked to head-up the marketing role in an international group that will further popularize the role that electric bicycles play in our rapidly advancing world of low-carbon transportation.

Getting this done effectively will require some research, thought, and planning, but it will hardly be tantamount to pushing a rope.  The appeal of e-bikes, whether for urban commuting or for recreation, is obviously the first time one hits the accelerator and goes zooming up a hill. 

Having said that, the competition in this space is fierce; there are new product entrants every week or so from some part of the world (usually Europe) that set new standards for quality—and often for price.  Plenty of constant change to stay on top of.

I’ll be at the “E-bike Expo” in Long Beach, CA this weekend.  If you’re in town and want to come meet me, please let me know.

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craigshields <![CDATA[About the Renewable Energy “Boom”]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64852 2017-02-23T00:15:06Z 2017-02-22T23:26:02Z ]]> About the Renewable Energy "Boom"A commenter notes about the green energy “boom,” The kind of reckless, overly optimistic, excessive spending that typifies a “boom” has largely dissipated, as new (sic) technologies mature.

No one ever knowing participates in “reckless, overly optimistic, excessive spending.” That said, it’s not completely unavoidable at the onset of any disruptive movement in commerce. Things like renewable energy, EVs, energy storage, and smart-grid are not immune from the excitement (and profit motive) that naturally accompanies anything as large as a revolution (or even an evolution) in something like the entire energy and transportation industry.

Having said that, you’re largely correct in that technologies like solar PV, wind, and battery energy storage are maturing to the point that competitive modes of generating and storing energy are under an enormous amount of pressure if they are to survive as anything more than niche applications in parts of the world with very unusual conditions. As an example, I used to enjoy the Ocean Energy Expo every summer, held in some really cool part of the country (see pic above, where the last one was scheduled). Guess what? It no longer exists.

At the same time, Intersolar and Solar Power International now occupy a few million square feet apiece. When I first started in this industry; they could have been held in my living room.

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craigshields <![CDATA[Many Trump Supporters Standing Firm, Theories Abound]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64847 2017-02-22T23:26:09Z 2017-02-22T22:23:36Z ]]> Many Trump Supporters Standing Firm, Theories AboundHere’s a subject on which a great deal has been written over the last few months: how do we explain the fact that Trump’s actions that most U.S. voters deem as patently deceitful and un-American have caused such a relatively minor erosion in his support base? People have suggested that Trump supporters:

• tend to live on a diet of Fox News (that is almost never critical of the new president)

• are racists (not all his supporters are racists, but almost all American racists support him)

• have inadvertently joined what’s tantamount to a cult, the leader of which has clouded their vision

• voted for him, but don’t keep up on current events

• are embarrassed to admit they were bamboozled

This article in the current edition of The New Yorker seems to offer a different explanation, though it’s not at all aimed at a certain group; it applies to all of us, regardless of our political stripes.  The author takes us through some high-impact studies that have been conducted recently on human psychology, the summary of which is as follows: once we form a viewpoint on something, coming across new facts on the subject has little bearing on that initial viewpoint.

Great reading, and reminiscent of the cartoon above.

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Bobbi Peterson <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Bobbi Petersen: Water Pollution and Household Cleaners]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64830 2017-02-22T17:55:05Z 2017-02-22T17:55:05Z ]]> Water Pollution and Household CleanersThe thought of pollutants may create images in your mind of oil spilling in a body of water or black smoke pumped from a factory, but not all pollutants are as obvious or visible. Many of them turn up in common places. If you’re not aware of some hidden risks, you may increase your chances of exposure to pollutants.

Keeping your home clean is one of the most obvious signs that you care about your surroundings. But what do you do when the products designed to purify your environment are contaminating it?

Common household cleaning products may contain ingredients known to be carcinogens. The products may cause allergies, burns or poisoning. Look out for words on labels such as “danger,” “warning,” or “caution,” which indicate that the products have varying levels of toxicity. Many products don’t list all the ingredients used, so be mindful of the toxicity in your cleaning supplies.

 

In the Waterways

Once cleaning products make it down our drains, they become a part of the sewage and water waste that’s treated and routed into our rivers, lakes and other waterways. Most ingredients break down during or after treatment and are not a major concern, but that’s not true for all ingredients in commercial cleaning products.

Phosphorus, nitrogen and ammonia are a few dangerous chemicals that — in large quantities — and can’t be removed by the sewage treatment process. They are used in common household cleaners and also as fertilizer on farms. The chemicals build up in fresh waterways and can affect the growth cycles of plants by introducing excessive nourishment and overgrowth of plants.

Too many plants deplete the oxygen supply in the water and eventually kill fish and other living things. Some marine life scientists believe the pollution to be a global epidemic that must be abated. Many states in the United States have banned phosphates, but some product brands still contain them.

A survey by the Environmental Protection Agency found that 40 percent of rivers and 45 percent of lakes in the United States are too polluted for fishing, swimming or aquatic life. One of the most commonly found contaminants is phosphate. Laundry detergent and other cleaning products contain it. The amount Americans use each year is astonishing — Americans use about 9.3 billion pounds of detergent each year.

 

Homemade Cleaners

 Although there is a potential hazard of common cleaners polluting our water supply, there is good news. You can keep your home clean and help safeguard the environment by making your own products. Simple ingredients will handle most of your typical, everyday cleaning needs. For example, many cleaning aids can be made with soap, water, baking soda, vinegar or lemon juice.

Sometimes a more intense cleaner is in order and an all-natural solution may still be an option. For example, if you need to kill and clean mold, try one of these natural recipes.

  • Spray vinegar on the area you want to treat, leave it for several hours and them scrub the mold away.
  • Mix a cup of water and a teaspoon on tea tree oil in a bottle. Spray the area, leave it for an hour and then wipe it away.
  • Mix 1 part hydrogen peroxide with 2 parts water. Spray the affected area, leave it for about 10 minutes and scrub it away.

 

Alternative Commercial Cleaners

Convenience is a major benefit to buying premade cleaners. Store-bought cleaners can be a good option as long as you pay attention the ingredients. Look for mentions of how long it takes a product to biodegrade. Also, look for products that are plant-based or don’t contain phosphates or solvents. “Eco-friendly” and “all-natural” are vague terms that don’t carry specific meaning.

Products that we don’t normally consider to be pollutants could be harming the environment. Cleaners and other chemicals we use to keep our homes safe and clean could be making the homes of wildlife unsafe. Common household products affect our water in various ways, some more obvious than others. A simple way everyone can help minimize water pollution is to not dispose of hazardous waste products through the septic system. Take them to a hazardous waste collection center in your local area.

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Diana Smith <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Diana Smith: Sustainable Living–Tips and Tricks for Saving Water in the Bathroom]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64826 2017-02-22T17:50:11Z 2017-02-22T17:49:17Z ]]> Sustainable LivingIf you want to save up some money on your water bill and also help your planet by not wasting more water than necessary, you have made a great decision. A bathroom is an ideal place for such money-saving projects and here are some tips on where to start.

Shower smart

There are several ways to save water while showering, and the first is to limit your shower time. Get a timer or a radio and limit yourself to 5 minutes or 2 songs. It can be hard at the beginning but you’ll get used to it. If you have a habit of shaving or brushing your teeth in the shower, turn off the water while you do so.

Another thing you can do is install a low-flow showerhead. Regular showerheads spend around 5 gallons per minute unlike low-flow ones that spend less than 2.5 gallons a minute. There are showerheads that have an option to reduce or turn off the flow while you shampoo or soap up. Getting a new showerhead may seem like a costly investment, but it will save you money in the long run.

Don’t waste water that flows out while you’re fixing the water temperature, but collect it into a bucket and later you can use it to water plants or flush the toilet.

Limit baths

Everyone likes to take a relaxing bath every once in a while, but they waste a lot of water. It takes a lot less water to take a shower than to fill a bathtub, actually about 4 to 7 times less. Better stick to showers if you want to save up some money on your water bill and treat yourself with a bath only occasionally. Plus, taking a shower saves time and makes you much cleaner.

Upgrade your sink

The first thing you can do is check your faucets for leaks. It doesn’t seem like much, but if your faucet drips at the rate of 1 drop per second during the entire day, it can waste as much as 2500 gallons a year.

Updating old fixtures in your bathrooms can save you a significant amount of money if you know what kind to choose. The flow rate of old faucets is usually 3 gallons a minute, but if you add aerators that regulate water pressure, you can cut it in half. Some aerators have multiple flow rate settings with which you can save up to 10,000 gallons a year. That is a significant amount of water that comes to total of about 150 bucks a year.

It is also smart to turn off water while you brush your teeth or shave, and you can reduce the water waste about 3 or 4 times. The same goes for your hands. Turn off the water when you soap your hands and rinse them quickly.

Toilets that save water

If you still have an old model of the toilet, it’s time to give it an upgrade. New models with a low-flow system spend less than 2 gallons per flush compared to as much as 5 or 7 gallons in conventional toilets. There are also so called “dual-flush” models with a light flush that uses only 0.9 gallons and a stronger one that uses 1.6 gallons. Let’s say that an average person uses the toilet 5 times a day, so you do the math and see how much money you can save. A lot of water also gets wasted if you have a leaky toilet, and you might not even see it. There is a neat trick to check for leaks. Put dye in the water tank and if you see color in the bowl before flushing, it’s time to call the plumber. Also, avoid flushing trash down the toilet. It wastes water and you can even clog the toilet and cause further damage.

When you calculate that an average person uses almost 100 gallons of water per day, you realize why it’s important to start saving it. By making only a few modifications in your bathroom and by changing your daily habits just a bit, you will not only help save the planet, but you will save some serious money along the way.

 

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Emily Jones <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Emily Jones: Investing in Home Electricals – Save Money on your Energy Bills, and Make your Home Greener]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=64800 2017-02-22T01:47:59Z 2017-02-22T01:41:08Z ]]> Investing in Home Electricals - Save Money on your Energy Bills, and Make your Home GreenerEnergy use in your home is the first port of call for you to reap the benefits of energy efficiency. As the demand rises for consumers to live green and save money at the same time, energy efficient product manufacturers continue to offer quality products which are both reliable and help you save energy, thus a must for a modern green home. Since there are many options for electrical installations and devices to choose from, investing in ‘green’ home energy is realistic and attainable. The top benefits of going green include: saving money, investing in products that are good for the environment, and improving the economy. 

Through choosing the right electronics, now produced to a very high quality as manufacturers become increasingly interested in energy efficiency, you can make great savings as well as creating a more eco-friendly home. Available products to help reduce your home energy waste include: low voltage electrical switches, smart thermostats, LED lighting, energy management systems, smart power strips, and energy star appliances. Of course you could also consider installing solar panels, which can lead to huge long-term savings on your energy bills.

With a mix of energy-efficient appliances and of course, being mindful of habits at home, saving money can be easier than one may think. Although electrical installations can be a daunting upfront investment, the long-term payoff makes the investment worth it. On average, your typical U.S. household spends $5,550/year on energy, and as much as 40 percent of your home’s overall energy bill stems from heating and cooling. An example of where you can make savings with green electrical installations is related common problem of phantom power. Phantom power results from electronics, such as a lamp or a charger, which is plugged in but not turned on. As much as 8% of a home’s power can be wasted due to phantom power, and with a simple adjustment, this habit and waste can be eliminated immediately.

In daily life, forgetting to turn off lights in the house at night and accidentally leaving a window open while the heat is on can be too easy to do. In addition to monetary savings, a major benefit of investing in electrical installations for your home is that they are good for the environment. Electrical installations help consumers cut back on energy waste, lessen their demand for energy and therefore natural resources, and cut back on their pollution contributions. Each amount of energy saved counts!

A couple energy-saving options for your home include home automation and LED lighting. Home automation is an efficient and helpful way to reduce your energy waste. Also known as domotics, it allows you to set up a dedicated system in your home using Wi-Fi for remote monitoring. Sensors can tell you if you over-reach the power tension in your house, smart thermostats can systematize your heating, and you can automate your lighting. LED lighting is a safe and cost-effective green alternative for homes because less material is needed to create the LED bulbs and they reach full-brightness without any warm up time. As of 2016, LEDs use only about 10% of the energy an incandescent lamp requires.

As consumers save money and go green, the economy also gets a boost. Money is saved for businesses and the government through avoided energy costs and jobs are created through the growing sector and energy efficiency projects.

Overall, investing in electrical installations for your home directly impacts in your energy efficiency. Energy efficiency benefits you, your community, your government, your country, and the world. Whether through saving money, improving the economy, or supporting the environment, energy efficiency improves the quality of life for everyone.

If any or all of the above benefits seem appealing to you, you can experiment with and improve your energy waste within your own home. Many products are available for you; you just need to choose what works best with your daily habits!

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