2GreenEnergy.com Bringing Together Clean Energy Investors with the Strongest Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities2017-04-25T17:42:07Z http://www.2greenenergy.com/feed/atom/ http://www.2greenenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/favicon-1.png craigshields <![CDATA[Supporting Science Is Hardly Controversial]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65998 2017-04-25T17:42:07Z 2017-04-25T17:42:07Z ]]> Supporting Science Is Hardly ControversialA friend marvels at the enormous participation in the March for Science, wondering why this is so popular.  My belief:

Science is a pretty noncontroversial issue.  I know there are hard-line religious zealots who don’t like the contradiction to various tenets of their faith, but these people are way out on the fringe.  And I get that Fox News is trying to paint the pro-science people as socialists, but again, few people with any sense is going to buy that.

I love the sign I saw in the march the other day that read: “I can’t believe I have to march for facts.”  Nearly everyone can get behind this. It’s not like gay marriage, abortion, the death penalty, immigration reform, etc. where there is a vaguely understandable case to be made for both sides. People who never protested anything in their entire lives are pouring onto the streets.

Sure, Trump can take down the government website on climate change and forbid anyone working for the federal government from uttering the phrase, but that’s simply not going to wash among most people, regardless of how poorly educated they happen to be.  Most people really like modern healthcare, information and communications technology, auto safety, jobs in the (huge and ever-growing) tech sector and exploring the universe–and they really don’t like poisonous water and air.  And importantly, most people understand that science is the driver behind creating the things like like, and getting of those they don’t.

craigshields <![CDATA[How To Embarrass Yourself: Argue Science with Scientists]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65986 2017-04-25T16:01:30Z 2017-04-25T03:38:41Z ]]> Stephen HawkingHere’s a typical story, given the March for Science last weekend.  It’s an example of how our society has come to accept totally illogical garbage, as long as it fits in with what we’d like to believe.

It’s something I saw on Facebook, shared by an old friend from high school.  The claim: CO2 doesn’t cause global warming.  The (fallacious) reasoning:  The entire phenomenon of the warming of the atmosphere is the result of warming the oceans, miles deep, from the sun’s radiation. Again, this is total nonsense, but it’s a good example of how our society has replaced its understanding of and interest in science with grasping onto whatever supportive bullcrap we happen to run across.

I’m not outraged, though perhaps a tad disappointed, that my old friend apparently doesn’t understand the first thing about science.  What blows my mind, however, is that he uses that position of ignorance to promote an idea that flies in the teeth of the work of tens of thousands of top professionals who have made this subject their life’s work.  Did all of these people miss a basic point of physics that most of us learned before we got our driver’s license?  Ah….no.

I don’t have any theories on how to train for marathons, or what dark matter is composed of.  And if I did, I think I would keep them to myself.

craigshields <![CDATA[CleanTech Companies Face Tough Marketing Decisions: Here’s a Tip on How To Make Them Properly]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65908 2017-04-24T22:41:47Z 2017-04-24T17:46:26Z ]]> CleanTech Companies Face Tough Marketing Decisions: Here's a Tip on How To Make ThemDo you have a cleantech product or service that you’d like to promote vigorously?  If so, you could be in the process of making some tough and critically important marketing-related decisions:

The precise message, the value proposition, and positioning–that will resonate most with the target audience

 An exact statement as to who the optimum target market actually is

A profound understanding of the market’s current beliefs, fears, dreams, frustrations, and aspirations

The business model (sales channels, pricing, etc.) that will optimize revenue, market-share and profit

The most cost-effective methods of generating demand to drive the success of your sales force

An online market strategy that combines high-value content, video, social media and SEO

The strategy for maximizing free publicity by attaching your company’s mission statement to breaking news

If you’re looking for additional horsepower along any of these lines, we should talk.  Since the mid-1980s, the organization I own and manage has helped companies like H-P, IBM, FedEx, Sony, 3Com, Microsoft, GE, Oracle, and dozens of other large tech companies (not to mention hundreds of smaller high-growth enterprises) to tell their respective stories, and drive revenues through the roof.

A bit more about me can be found here and here.

Please don’t hesitate to write or call; I look forward to the conversation.

Best regards,


Craig Shields



craigshields <![CDATA[Earth Day and March for Science: Notes and Pics]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65933 2017-04-24T21:52:57Z 2017-04-23T20:37:04Z ]]> pic2GreenEnergy super-supporter Cameron Atwood sent me this a few days ago, in advance of Earth Day:

Cameron:  Craig, here’s a letter written to students by Senator Gaylord Nelson for the silver-anniversary Earth Day in 1995:

Forging and maintaining a sustainable society is The Challenge for this and all generations to come. At this point in history, no nation has managed to evolve into a sustainable society. We are all pursuing a self-destructive course of fueling our economies by drawing down our natural capital—that is to say by degrading and depleting our resources base—and counting it on the income side of the ledger. This, obviously, is not a sustainable situation over the long term.

I am optimistic that this generation will have the foresight and the will to begin the task of forging a sustainable society. I urge you to make Earth Day a lifelong pursuit so that future generations may enjoy and pass along the bounties of our land, air and water.

Craig (in a pessimistic mood):  Lots of interesting concepts here. Yes, we need a sustainable approach to resource consumption if our civilization is to survive. Yes, no one has ever gotten anywhere close to achieving that. But this guy’s take is that our young people are going to take us there.

I recall writing that I thought this was realistic.  But I don’t see it now–at least as far as young people in the U.S. are concerned.  Obviously, this is an over-generalization, and there are numerous incredible counter-examples, but they seem to be swallowed up by the exact opposite: mega-consumerism and self indulgence bought by get-rich-quick schemes.  And that’s the smart ones.  The majority just want the NBA playoffs on a big screen and a six-pack.


Cameron: I see the same trends, but I think it’s not a Catch-22 we choose between trying to change settled and staid older adults or somewhat more malleable young adults – those of use who get the urgency must be organized to facilitate the maximum shift in paradigm for all living generations. As I’ve long said, we talk of our parents’ children, we who sit here today.

To say that you’re doing your part toward that end would be an understatement, given your longstanding and excellent advocacy forum. That said, perhaps as a beginning there could be a statement of platform assembled somewhere, with contributions across a spectrum of individuals, behind which a sustainability movement – distributed and organized – could solidify.

Craig (in a better mood):  Thanks.  I’ve been coming to Earth Day forever, normally with my kids in tow, and I’ve never seen anything that remotely resembled yesterday in Santa Barbara (population 89K).  I’m guessing there were 15K people; it was amazing.

Now I fully get that Santa Barbara does not typify the U.S. as a whole, but it’s clear that these sentiments are spreading quickly and broadly.  Smart and decent Americans, of which there are a huge number, and getting far more politically active than they’ve ever been.  You should have seen all those school teachers, college professors, attorneys, and other professionals from every conceivable discipline marching the main drag yesterday.  The crowd was five lanes of traffic wide, and almost a mile long.  Again, for a little city, it was astounding.

People get it. Lots of them. What happens from here will be both dramatic and beautiful.

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lanajhawkins <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Lana Hawkins: Five Key Trends That Will Shape the Future of Water ]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65802 2017-04-23T17:32:56Z 2017-04-23T17:32:56Z ]]> Five Key Trends That Will Shape the Future of Water Water is the crucial component of our society’s, but also ecosystem’s survival. It is used in our homes and in sectors such as agriculture, energy production, and manufacturing. The pressures on water resources are raising and problems will become even more pronounced with the climate change. While supplies shrink, the demand shows no signs of slowing down. Hence, there is an overflowing plate of challenges and obstacles that we all face. It has never been more important to look to the future frontier and think in the long term.

UV treatment

There is a host of emerging technologies that promise to change the patterns of water consumption, treatment, and disposal. For instance, ultraviolet (UV) disinfection and desalination have entered the spotlight. UV wastewater treatment is already in place in some advanced facilities, while other treatment systems operators are discouraged by the upfront costs.

Namely, the capital and budgetary restrictions impede the wider application of solutions like Industrial UV water treatment systems. Likewise, many will struggle to take advantage of desalination tech, which could make a huge difference in drought-stricken regions.

Nano filtration

There are many cheap water filtration systems, but the technology does not rest for a moment. Nanotech may change the face of our world, and water realm is no exception. Researchers have developed a nanoparticle system capable of removing chemical components like arsenic and lead from the water.

The incredible filter is composed of iron and arsenic-trapping ions that are released by nanoparticles. The purifier contains several different layers of membranes that are unparalleled in terms of blocking contaminants. This technology is still light years away from market-readiness, but in shows us the glimpse of the amazing future around the corner.

Recycled water

It is estimated that recycled water can satisfy most water demands of today and be adequately treated to ensure its impeccable quality. For now, recycled water is utilized mostly for non-potable purposes, such as landscape, irrigation, cooling of power plants, public park irrigation, etc.

Also, industrial process water is present in facilities like paper mills, toilet flushing, artificial lakes, and concrete mixing. Still, it is clear that this technology will have to be also employed to filter disease-causing organisms and other contaminants in cases where the human exposure is involved.

Green buildings

Water conservation is paramount, one of the mainstays of the global environmentalist movement. Thus, we have made strides in the area of defining water-saving and efficiency requirements for green buildings. One thing that must not be sacrificed for the sake of savings, however, is performance.

Third-party certification systems will have to acknowledge this fact, while the investments need to be made in high-efficiency plumbing fixtures, energy-efficient appliances, fixture fittings, cutting-edge HVAC, cooling towers and evaporative coolers, as well as alternate water sources such as gray water, rainwater, and the aforementioned recycled water.

Big data

Big data makes big splashes in the market. It is being implemented in a wide array of businesses with people constantly seek information about water quality, safety, scarcity, etc. As a result, data and analytics companies like WatrHub have offered up-to-date information on water and wastewater treatment, catering to a multitude of players across industry sectors.

A lot of fragmented data is already available to us, but the trick is to make sense of it all, and acquire actionable information, reports, and market intelligence. It is clear that in order to move full steam ahead, we must harness the full power of knowledge and data.

Come hell or high water

Our society depends on the reliable and constant supply of clean drinking water. Yet, one in nine people in the world live without access to it and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Water scarcity, poor sanitation, polluting wastewater, and other problems will only get bigger unless we make an effort to reconfigure the framework of the industry and residential landscape. There is no other way to preserve the future than to promote sound water practices and products and shift the prevailing way of thinking about water like an inexhaustible blessing of nature.a

Emie-Claude Lamoureux <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Emie-Claude Lamoureux: First Self-Consumption Solar Energy Project in Girona Province, Spain]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65902 2017-04-23T17:27:13Z 2017-04-23T17:25:54Z Read more ›]]> ViladamatThe municipality of Viladamat (pictured) – a quaint village with a population of 440 – launched an innovative crowdlending project. Located in the province of Girona, in the north-east of Catalonia, Viladamat is the first municipality in the country to ever use crowdlending to finance a self-consumption solar installation.

It is the first time in the history of Spain that a town council sought crowdlending services to upgrade their community hall. If you think of the wealth of cultural landmarks that surround Viladamat, it seems only fitting that they embrace a new historical milestone.

Self-Consumption Solar Installation

When it comes to upgrading a building, few things are essential than implementing a self-consumption solar installation. A self-consumption solar installation holds all the key ingredients to improve energy efficiency and reduce electricity bills.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at the upcoming self-consumption solar installation in Viladamat, Girona.

What is self-consumption?

Self-consumption uses on-site solar energy production to provide for its own electricity needs. When electricity is consumed at the same location where it is generated, it no longer has to be transported over the grid.

To clarify, the electricity that is typically needed for consumption no longer has to be purchased via the public power grid. For residents who grow weary of the volatile electricity costs, self-consumption solar installations prove to have a significant return on investment.

Viladamat Community Hall

On March 6, 2017, ECrowd! launched the first crowdlending phase to finance the self-consumption project in Viladamat. It involves the installation of 12 solar photovoltaic  (PV) modules on the roof of the community hall. The campaign was more than successful – it is already fully financed!

Self-consumption solar installations are gaining ground throughout Europe.

For this reason, the town council suggested using ECrowd! as a means to finance the investment. ECrowd!’s crowdlending platform prizes investing in local self-consumption projects as they ensure future energy savings and show concise economic gains for the community.

But there is more to it than alternative financing. The town council wanted to engage the residents of Viladamat to take part in this energy transition. Accordingly, ECrowd! only accepted loans from Viladamat to fun this self-consumption solar installation. 

Local Contributors

SUNO – a Girona-based firm that specializes in energy engineering services – was in charge of putting together a study and proposal for the self-consumption solar installation. In total, 8800 euros were required to finance it. 

For Viladamat, ECrowd!’s crowdlending campaign was strictly local, also known as a Km Cero campaign. The town council of Viladamat wanted to instill a democratic approach. This meant that the smallest contribution a moneylender could offer was 50 euros and at most 500 euros. Setting limits on the contributions ensured that the maximum amount of Viladamat residents could participate in this exciting innovative project. Residents can expect their loans to be reimbursed over a period of 3 years with a yearly interest rate of 3.5%.

It’s pretty amazing that the town council chose to invest in a self-consumption solar installation financed by its own local residents! Overall, 12 solar PV modules with a peak power of 270 W will be set up on the same sloping roof of the community hall. This will be enough electricity to fully power the community hall.

Energy Savings

Solar PV panel installations are quite popular as they bring an efficient and consistent source of electricity. For once the costs of solar PV panels is equal to or less than the cost of conventional energy from a wall outlet. It makes sense for municipalities like Viladamat to take the lead on this transition!

Putting in place the solar PV panels enables the community hall to decrease its yearly consumption by 20%. This implies that each year, the town council will save up to 1000 euros. Furthermore, the community hall will decrease its CO2 emissions by 2.5 Tons per year.

How do solar photovoltaic (PV) panels work?

Solar PV panels convert solar energy into electricity by the use of photovoltaic cells that collect the energy. Today, these cells are generally made up of silicon. When the sun strikes the molecules in the photovoltaic cells, it knocks electrons loose. As they circulate through the panel they produce electricity.

Once electricity is produced, it creates a direct current (DC) that is carried on through a power cable. This direct current (DC) is thus converted into an alternating current through an inverter. An inverter is an electronic device that converts direct current (DC) to alternating current (AC).

The alternating current (AC) is then used to power the community hall electric appliances. These include the heat pump, air conditioning, lighting, elevator, computers and other small appliances.

Installation Details

SUNO will place the inverter in the community hall garage, which will link the underground cable to the meter cabinet. This self-consumption project is composed of a three-phase solar inverter.

In other words, the installation includes solar PV panels, an inverter, and a monitoring system. A three phase solar inverter ensures solar energy harvesting and greater electricity production. It is important to mention that the community hall will not release or sell any excess electricity production back to the local electrical grid.

Self-Consumption in Viladamat

In the end, everyone gains. Local residents invested in a self-consumption project that offers a higher interest rate as opposed to a bank’s saving account. Correspondingly, the town hall engaged Viladamat residents in participating in this exciting clean energy transition. And SUNO – a local Catalonian company – acquired a new contract without the financial burden of deferred revenue. In whole, the members of an entire community are now active players in the self-consumption transition.

For more information on Viladamat’s self-consumption project, including its investment details, go to the project page.


craigshields <![CDATA[Happy Earth Day]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65906 2017-04-24T21:56:54Z 2017-04-22T17:38:50Z ]]> Happy Earth DayI can’t make it to Washington D.C. for Earth Day this year, but I’m looking forward to participating in one of the hundreds of satellite marches…this one in my home town of Santa Barbara.

This is a good opportunity for me to thank everyone reading this for your concern in doing the right thing for our planet, its 7.4 billion citizens, and the many billions to come in future generations.

craigshields <![CDATA[The Challenge Trump Presents to Environmentalists, and, by Extension, To All Humankind]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65900 2017-04-25T02:05:28Z 2017-04-22T02:05:25Z ]]> screwed up the climateSome people comment, “Why so vitriolic about Trump?  If you don’t like him, fire him in 2020.”

I understand that.  It’s true that most of the horrific positions that the federal government will have taken by the time we get through these next four years can quickly and easily be undone under the incoming administration. But this isn’t universally true.

Gorsuch, of course, is likely to remain on the Supreme Court long after Trump is gone; regardless of what happens to Trump, there is nothing that can be done about his presence on the bench.  Fortunately, even he has a limited shelf-life.

So what’s the big deal?  The environment.  Once we’ve screwed up the climate, the oceans, and the planet’s biodiversity beyond a certain point, it won’t be coming back; it will be completely outside the grasp of humankind to halt the catastrophe.  Physics has no pity; we won’t get a second chance.

We have one opportunity to make this come out right, and this raw, immutable fact is what creates the level of urgency found in the actions of millions of people around the globe.

craigshields <![CDATA[Wind Power: No Hoopla, Just Jobs, and an Approach to Energy that Isn’t Ruining the Planet]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65881 2017-04-21T21:29:00Z 2017-04-21T18:03:55Z ]]> Wind PowerWith all the banter about arctic drilling, tar sands, shale oil, the construction of the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines, returning jobs in coal, and Exxon’s (coincidental?) request of the lifting of sanctions on Russia, it’s good to keep a few things stably in mind.  There are now over 100K jobs in the U.S. wind industry, and this number is growing nine times faster than the economy as a whole.

Clean energy is offsetting fossil fuels at a remarkable rate, and the U.S. economy is gaining strength as a direct result.

Diana Smith <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Diane Smith: How to Remove Rust with Sustainable Processes]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=65871 2017-04-20T17:02:25Z 2017-04-21T16:58:42Z ]]> Rust is an iron-oxide which means that it’s created when iron (or a compound containing it) is exposed to oxygen. This process is accelerated by the presence of water or moisture in general. Rust patches on your pans, bikes, garden furniture or cars are more than unpleasant to look at. They also damage the metal and the longer you leave it untended, the less you will be able to salvage.

In most cases there’s no need to use any high-end rust removal products; a few simple items found in every home should do the trick just fine.


Cut a potato in half and cover the cut surface with salt. Scrub the rusty part firmly and add salt to the surface until it’s completely cleared. If this isn’t fast enough, you can substitute the salt with baking soda. Once you’re done, rinse everything thoroughly and wipe it dry. Oxalic acid will dissolve rust pretty easily and it’s found in potatoes and other plants (grapes for instance). Oxalic acid is perfectly harmless at low concentrations so this may be the best solution for rusted pans and dishes.


Vinegar is a great solution for items with easily accessible rusted areas. It requires you to soak the rusted metal in it, so it’s basically perfect for nails, screws and other small mechanical parts that corrode and take too much work to get cleaned. Place the screws in a bowl filled with white vinegar (apple cider vinegar is also an option) and after a day or so (the time varies depending on the amount of rust you want to remove),  they should be nice and shiny due to the acetic acid found in vinegar.

Baking soda

Acid isn’t the only substance that can remove rust. An alkaline substance like baking soda can have the same effect. Mix the baking soda with water until you’ve made a nice thick paste. Apply the paste to the rusted metal and leave it like that for a few hours. Afterward, use the brush to remove the paste and rust beneath it and rinse the whole surface with water. For larger surfaces, especially those left outside and susceptible to the elements, preventing rust is even more important than removing it. This can be accomplished by using a rust converter, which also hides dents and scratches.

Lemon and salt

Rub the salt on the rusted area and don’t be afraid to use a lot of it. Then squeeze the lemon juice over it. Leave it for a couple of hours and scrub with a firm brush. If you’re worried about damaging the metal use the rind of the lemon instead. There really aren’t any rules because it all depends on the size of the surface and how much rust there is, but after a few hours, there should be a nice coat of paste on the areas you want to clean.


If none of the above works, this method should be your last resort. Find a basin large enough for the items you want to clean. Add water and washing soda. Place a piece of metal you don’t need into the water. Connect the plus terminal of your car battery to the metal part you don’t need and the minus one to the rusted item you want to clean. Make sure the positive terminal is above the water. Plug the car battery in and leave it on for about an hour. That should do the trick.

Rust can be removed pretty easily with a just a couple of household items and appliances. However, making sure you protect the vulnerable items from getting rusty in the first place is always a preferable option.