2GreenEnergy.com Bringing Together Clean Energy Investors with the Strongest Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities2018-01-19T21:42:06Z http://www.2greenenergy.com/feed/atom/ http://www.2greenenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/favicon-1.png craigshields <![CDATA[Top Renewable Energy Author/ Consultant/Investor Evaluates Cleantech Business Concepts Free of Charge]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70396 2018-01-19T21:42:06Z 2018-01-19T18:33:13Z ]]> business-resumeAs the old saying goes, “Businesses are like babies: fun to conceive, but hell to deliver.” And in cleantech, there’s an excellent reason this is true, according to best-selling author, business consultant, and investment coordinator, Santa Barbara, CA-based Craig Shields.  “Almost all business concepts in this space are deeply flawed, and for a single reason: they seek to offer something that sounds good…until you realize that it couldn’t possibly be offered at a competitive price, given the trends, some obvious, others hidden, that exist in the market today.”

Technology is steadily making our lives healthier and more convenient, and it holds the promise to help us deal with existential threats like climate change, ocean acidification, loss of biodiversity, and shortages of food and water.  But technology that isn’t affordable is of no value at all.

“Take renewable energy. If you don’t care what you pay for it, I’ll find you all the clean energy you want,” quips Shields.  “The problem, of course, is that we care very deeply about what we pay for it. What this means is that technologies like run-of-river, tidal, wave, and ocean current hydrokinetics, biomass, and geothermal are now relegated to niche applications, where solar and wind are constantly expanding at utility-scale.”

When asked for a specific example of the so-called “cost-barrier,” Shields points to biofuels. “First of all, let’s throw out everything but algae, since even the best terrestrial plant carries 30 – 50 times less energy density than algae, and it can be grown in non-arable land with non-potable water.  But then look at the core challenges: moving water to the desert, the technical challenges of filtration, of contamination with other species, and the balancing of sunlight.  OK, so how serious are these issues? Well no one has gotten photosynthetic algae-oil for less than ~$5000/gallon.  Do you know anyone who gets excited about fuel at $5000/gallon?  Even if this changes, which I can’t really imagine, electric transportation will soon be extremely inexpensive and user-friendly. If there ever was a window for algal biofuels, it’s most certainly shut at this point.”

 

Cherry-Picking the Best Cleantech Business Plans, By Evaluating Them Free of Charge

It’s logic like this that makes Shields’ job relatively easy. “I’ve received over 2000 business plans since my website, 2GreenEnergy.com, opened in 2009, largely because I’ve offered to review them at no charge.  I make the offer as a way to stay connected to the widest possible range of thinking in clean energy, efficiency, storage, smart grid, electric transportation—and everything else that comes under the banner of cleantech: sustainable ag, and the water-energy nexus.  This enables me to cherry-pick the few really good ideas that come into my inbox as targets for investment.”

Shields continues, “If I had no understanding of the ever-changing market trends that affect the potential for success in each of the hundreds of sub-disciplines that comprise cleantech, I couldn’t possibly process this volume of information, or, even if I could push myself, I’d probably start making mistakes.  As it is, I have plenty of time left over for writing, helping my clients, and working to find investment capital from angels, VCs, private equity firms and family offices for the very best cleantech business plans.”

Craig is the editor of the popular blog-site 2GreenEnergy.com, and the author of four books on clean energy: Renewable Energy – Facts and Fantasies (2010), Is Renewable Really Doable? (2012), Renewable Energy – Following the Money(2013), and Bullish On Renewable Energy: Fourteen Reasons that Clean Energy Investors Can’t Lose (2015).

Shields majored in physics as an undergraduate, and, after graduate school, went on to a career that spanned 35 years in delivering marketing consulting services to a client base that included most of the Fortune 500 tech companies, including IBM, AT&T, H-P, Microsoft, FedEx, ABB, Sony, Panasonic, Mitsubishi, Magnavox, Penske Logistics, Deloitte Consulting, Unisys, Oracle, Philips Electronics, 3Com, CSC, National Semiconductor, and Fujitsu, as well as dozens of lesser known enterprises.

Now, he stands ready to help the cleantech business community save enormous amounts of time and money, avoiding fruitless investments and concentrating in areas that hold the most promise.

“The word ‘sustainable’ implies ‘profitable,” Shields reminds us. “There is no such thing as a good idea in sustainability if it doesn’t enable somebody somewhere to generate a profit. That’s the reality in which we live, and unraveling the implications of that reality is the precise value I bring to the table.”

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AmeliaAtkins <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Amelia Atkins: Easy and Efficient Ways to Cut Your Home’s Heating Bill]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70333 2018-01-17T21:23:48Z 2018-01-19T17:51:39Z ]]> daikin-gas-furnacesIn some parts of the world, winter is coming to an end, while in other parts it is yet to come and bring colder temperatures. However, no matter on which hemisphere you live, it’s always good to know some heating tricks that will warm up your home and save you some money in the process. So, here are the easiest and most efficient ways to cut your home’s heating bill.

Improve your insulation

This might not be the first advice you expected, but it really is the best one. Make sure your windows and doors are properly sealed so you don’t experience energy loss through little cracks and gaps. Even the smallest opening can cost you a lot of money in the long run. Also, pay extra attention to your basement and attic since these places leak out the most energy and bring your energy and gas consumption to the maximum.

Reset your thermostat

One of the easiest to fix and most overlooked problems with heating is the thermostat. If you use gas as your source of heat, you must learn how to properly program and operate your thermostat to ensure you’re using just the right amount of gas. If you realize you’ve been using your thermostat in the wrong way, try to change something and apply what you’ve learned. Once you properly set your thermostat, you’ll start noticing that you’re saving a lot of gas. Also, make sure to remember to lower the temperature when you aren’t home for a longer time.

Get a smart thermostat
No matter how well your old thermostat is set, it will never be as efficient as a new, smart one. These relatively cheap little gadgets are easily installed and are suitable for almost all homes. Thanks to their programming, smart thermostats learn your habits (when you’re out of the house, when you come back or when you sleep) and sets the temperature accordingly to reduce heating bills. You don’t even have to spend time on manual programming. These smart thermostats can cut your bills for anywhere between 10 and 12%.

Use the power of the sun
Even if it’s freezing cold outside, when it’s sunny, the sun’s rays will still manage to bring some extra heat into your space. So, make sure to open your shades and curtains during sunny days, especially on the south side of your home to maximize the direct sunlight. Also, take care of your overgrown greenery that might be blocking the sun from entering your home. On the other hand, make sure your curtains are closed during the night to minimize drafts. The best part? Sunlight is completely free and will certainly let you turn down your furnace temperature during beautiful winter days.

 

Check your furnace

 

If the reason behind your high heating bills isn’t insulation and leaks, you might want to check your furnace. It might not be functioning to its full capacity or it might be outdated. Inspect your furnace or gas water system every once in a while, and make your checkups more frequent if your system is older than 10 years. If you notice a problem, make sure not to touch it, and call a professional who will know what to do. However, sometimes getting brand new equipment is much more efficient and cheaper than having your old system fixed. If you opt for a modern gas hot water system as your new heating option, you’ll reduce your heating costs and always have hot water at hand when you need it (and that happens often during cold days).

Get help

If you really want to lower your gas consumption, you can buy a space heater and use it in rooms that you and your family spend the most time. This will allow you to lower the temperature on your furnace and you’ll save a lot of gas. However, this means spending money on electricity and the appliance itself (unless you have one lying around your home). But, since space heaters are very cheap (around $30 for a decent model) and electricity costs only a few cents per hour, your investment will definitely come out cheaper than setting your thermostat high.

These easy and handy tips will certainly help reduce your heating bills without having to sacrifice any comfort of your home. So, heat smart, not hard.

 

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craigshields <![CDATA[Environmentalism: Taking It Back To Basics]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70388 2018-01-18T19:53:07Z 2018-01-18T18:22:39Z ]]> download (2)There are about 8,000 blog posts here and about 19,000 comments on them, some of which get pretty far out into the weeds.  Accordingly, now and then it may be a good idea to discuss the simplest, most basic concepts that are affecting our society vis-a-vis environmental protection. 

The Trump administration is doing an excellent job at fulfilling its campaign promise to remove regulations in every industry that touches our lives, so as to boost the profits of the corporation that deliver these products and services.

While some of these regulations were unnecessary (or even abusive) in the first place, most play (or played) an active and important role in protecting our health and safety. This is true in the restrictions that have been developed over long periods of time on industrial pollutants, auto safety, healthcare, building codes, food contamination, and consumer protection in arenas from children toys to banking services and everything in between–literally anything that we and our families breathe, touch, consume, and use in our lives–at home, at work, and at play.

The absence of some of these health and safety issues will be affecting you and your children long after Trump leaves office (via whatever means).  Yet, even though you’ll be unlikely to attribute the lung disease you develop 10 years from now from the aromatics of coal plants to Trump and his team, it will shorten your life and diminish its quality just as much.

Again, each restriction that is removed makes corporations wealthier by lowering their costs, but here’s the basic concept I promised: this happens at the expense of your well-being.

Enriching corporations is a piece of cake if you unburden them from the costs of doing business that previously existed. Just remember that these costs are disappearing; they’re just coming off a corporate P&L somewhere and being passed along to you and your children.

Some people think this is making America great again; they’re called heartless idiots.

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craigshields <![CDATA[Why Biofuels Are Failing]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70381 2018-01-18T17:37:24Z 2018-01-18T17:33:29Z ]]> MW 2.4C0

MW 2.4C0

2GreenEnergy super-supporter Cameron Atwood writes: “As a species, we do a fairly good job of cultivating and harvesting grain energy to distribute as food. In your estimation, what are the core technical factors are that currently prevent the scale up of algae fuel production?”  I respond:

As I understand it, the problem is largely pollution with “weeds,” i.e., unwanted plant species getting in the pool; this results in the dichotomy of the success in the lab and the failure in the real world.

If anybody can do this right, it’s brewing companies like Miller and Coors, but I simply don’t see it happening, especially now that electric transportation is becoming more cost-effective and user-friendly.  Like so many things, it had its window of opportunity, but it’s rapidly closing.

Btw, I’m not at all convinced that we’re going to avoid a global food crisis; check out this Ted Talk.  I caught it the other day on the “Ted Radio Hour” on NPR, and its program on the five biggest challenges facing humankind.  Fantastic.

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Ryan <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Ryan: FloWater–Fighting Plastic One Bottle at a Time]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70281 2018-01-16T17:06:20Z 2018-01-18T17:02:51Z ]]> 8485083292e1965b103d701ebe0202a9Plastic waste is killing our environment one day at a time. Right now in the U.S. alone, we have over 2,000 active landfills, and the average American throws out about four and a half pounds of garbage each day. Did I mention most of the garbage thrown out is plastic waste? However, this isn’t just a national problem, it is an international problem.

Plastic Waste and Its Effect on Wildlife

Our excessive consumption of plastic waste is not only killing our own environment, but it is also killing our wildlife too. A study done by Dr. Mercola suggests that over 300 million tons of plastic are produced each year, and about 8 million tons end up in our oceans. Much of this ‘garbage’ also ends up being digested as micro particles by fish, because plastic isn’t biodegradable, and many of those fish end up on our dinner table. Plastic doesn’t only end up in the bellies of ocean dwelling creatures, but another study shows that seagulls are strongly attracted to micro plastics because of its unique smell. Many of these animals who end up digesting plastic, end up dying due to asphyxiation.

Water Bottles and Their Impact

Did you know out of the 300 million tons of plastic created each year, most of that is because of brands like Aquafina, Dasani, and Nestle? The factories that produce single use, disposable water bottles are very much to blame for this problem. As more and more landfills are created each year, and more and more wildlife dies tragic deaths due to our excessive plastic use, FloWater is trying to make a difference.

How FloWater is Making a Difference

As of today, January 13th, 2018, FloWater has saved the planet from over 16,000,000 disposable plastic water bottles. FloWater has also helped the St. Michaels only private non profit school in Arizona by donating water refill stations. St. Michael’s was facing the problem of not having access to clean water, so FloWater partnered with Dig Deep stepped up the challenge to bring clean water to them. If you would like to learn more about FloWater, feel free to check out our website.

 

 

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Diana Smith <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Diana Smith: Green Tips For Lowering Your Electric Bill]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70054 2018-01-18T17:44:39Z 2018-01-18T01:41:27Z ]]> Energy-Efficient-WindowsWe all know that one of the major sources of expenditure for every homeowner out there is electricity bill. Still, many people believe that lowering their electricity bill takes a lot of money and effort. They couldn’t be more wrong since there are plenty of simple ways to do this. We’ve come up with 5 of these that have proven to do the trick for many Australians and might be exactly what your household budget needs.

Perform a nightly energy sweep

A lot of Australian homeowners tend to leave lights, fans or TV on all night while they’re asleep. If this is the case with you, you might want to think about ditching this habit in order to reduce your electric bill. We recommend doing a nightly energy sweep through the entire house and turning off any appliances you or another household member left on. Having your PC turned on for the entire night really is convenient since it gives it enough time to do an update or perform an anti-virus scan, but bear in mind that it will increase your electricity bill quite a lot.

Measure your laundry loads

Ideally, you’ll want every load of laundry to have as many articles of clothing as your washer can fit. That way, you’ll be using less time and energy on washing your clothes. Still, you need to bear in mind that all the clothes you put into your washer need to fit into your dried as well. It’s very important that you leave about 25% of the dried unfilled so that the hot air can do its job. Fail to do this, and you might have to run your dryer twice which is really inefficient. This may not seem like a lot but if you tend to overstuff your washer every time you wash your clothes, you’re wasting a lot of energy.

Start using LED lights

A lot of Australian homeowners enjoy using LED lights for various reasons. Not only that these last longer than standard incandescent bulbs but they also use less energy than these. They also produce little to no heat, which can be pretty helpful during summer. So, if you want to reduce your energy bill, switching to LED bulbs makes a lot of sense. Due to the popularity of LED bulbs, you can now find these in almost every shape and color, which means that there’s no reason to stick with incandescent bulbs.

Review your appliances

It may seem like replacing your old appliances is expensive but the truth is, sometimes you’ll be saving a lot of money if you decide to replace them. Broken appliances tend to use much more energy than they’re supposed to and this will reflect on your energy bill. Moreover, some new appliances have been specifically made to use less energy and switching to them can help you save a lot of money. We also recommend having your electrical system inspected before it’s time to call a local emergency services. If your home is based in NSW, having a number of a good 24 hour electrician from Sydney just in case is always a good idea.

Use your surroundings

Strategically placing trees around your home can also do wonders for your electricity bill. During the summer, large trees around the house are going to provide shade and you’ll have to use less energy in order to keep your home cool. During the winter, trees can also serve as windbreakers and reduce your heating costs quite a lot. What’s so great about this is that planting trees around your home is pretty cheap and something you can do yourself. To maximize the impact, you’ll want to plant the trees on the south and west sides of your house.

These 5 simple things are guaranteed to help you reduce your electricity bill. Not only this, but they’ll lower your impact on the environment which is something we all have to start thinking about.

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craigshields <![CDATA[Conference on Algal Biofuels Sounds Interesting, But….]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70360 2018-01-17T17:42:44Z 2018-01-17T17:40:41Z ]]> 26734367_332141343934827_1446443381618080946_nIf I weren’t so frugal with both my money and my time, I’d probably go to this conference on biofuels.  I’m curious to know how far this subject has come.

It’s good that the focus is still on algae; if there is a path towards full-scale commercialization of biofuels, which I doubt, algae is the only conceivable way to make this happen, given that it has 30 – 50 time more gravimetric energy density than any terrestrial plant, and that it can grown on non-arable plant with fresh or salt water.

The entire discipline of biofuels has bedeviled bio-energetic scientists since the subject started to intensify a couple of decades ago.  The successes they’ve celebrated in laboratory settings have consistently led to disappointment in the field.  My theory is that the subject is doomed to failure because the whole enterprise is an attempt to defy nature and the theory of evolution.  Life forms evolved to store precisely the energy they need to survive, grow, and reproduce; they did not evolve to store energy they don’t need, just so human beings could come along, harvest it, and put in in our gas tanks.

If this conference were local, I’d be there, for sure.  But Ottawa?  Sorry.

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Lauren Williamson <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Laura Williamson: Seven Eco-Friendly Tips For Making Your Home More Sustainable]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70307 2018-01-16T17:02:14Z 2018-01-17T16:58:16Z ]]> home-renovationsLiving in a sustainable house is the goal of any modern homeowner, as sustainability reduces utility bills and is good for the overall health of the planet. It’s not always easy to find sustainable solutions to common problems within a household, but with modern technology helping to advance the slow march of innovation, there’s nothing that is safe from sustainable alternatives. To help with your quest to make your home more environmentally friendly and sustainable, we have put together a list of 7 eco-friendly tips for making your home more sustainable.

Solar Panels

The most obvious solution to sustainability issues is the long-standing energy source that has kept life on this planet thriving for millions of years – the sun. Solar panels generate energy from direct sunlight alone, which makes them less reliable than coal-fired energy but much, much better for the environment. Installing these on your roof will not only reduce your energy bills and help to put some green energy back into the grid but will also help to show others that clean, green energy should be embraced and used openly.

Green Energy

Many energy companies have “green energy” plans available for those that want their power coming from solar power energy suppliers. These plans source their power from wind turbines and solar energy setups owned by the energy company, and they tend to cost a little more per bill, but you know that you’re doing your part to encourage the energy industry to change its ways.

Grey Water

Greywater usage is a bit of a complex system to set up, but in no time you’ll find yourself not only using less water but also using more products that have no long-lasting negative effects on the environment. Grey water refers to laundry water or dishwater that has had chemicals put through it, and usually, this water gets thrown down the drain and sent to water treatment plants before being washed out to sea. This is obviously a pretty poor way to treat otherwise usable water, so picking up green alternatives to your laundry and dishwashing detergents can allow you to use this water to water your garden and lawns instead. This saves water and reduces chemical output into oceans, which is a double win for the environment.

Yard Crops

Yard crops are a bit more of a modern idea, but since the “perfect lawn” has been the goal of many suburban homemakers for a while now, we have gotten used to a trimmed, short lawn as a normal thing. This space would house enough crops to regularly and reliably feed your family on organic fruit and veg, so getting into the idea of growing crops on your own soil at home should be encouraged and embraced to help to reduce the amount of fresh produce wastage generated by major supermarkets.

Compost

Compost is the best possible destination for your food leftovers, and your fruit and veg are the perfect candidates for worm food in your compost bin. Setting up a compost bin is easy, and the result of said bin is hugely beneficial super soil for your garden. Plants thrive in this compost, and it’s all produced with the waste you already generate by eating fruits and vegetables, so you lose nothing by starting a compost bin.

Thermal Mass

This is more of a “planning-stage of a home” kind of consideration point, but adding a naturally occurring thermal mass to your home to keep the temperature stable is a great way to stay cool in summer and warm in winter without using too much power. An old-fashioned example of this is to use dense stones to build a chimney in the middle of your home and keep a small fire running all winter. The stones heat up and maintain their heat with little-to-no energy from the fireplace, and that heat keeps your home warm until you extinguish the fire.

Energy Saving Bulbs

                                          

Finally, we have the suggestion that is the easiest to do on this list: power saving bulbs. Power saving bulbs are available from pretty much every place that sells bulbs and will last longer in your home. The only downside to these otherwise ideal light sources is that they cost slightly more than your average bulbs, but their use of LEDs makes them last longer, give off fewer emissions, and enable them to be effectively recycled.

With these tips, you’re well on your way to a better, more sustainable home.

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craigshields <![CDATA[Take a Cool Guess—The Fun Quiz on Renewable Energy and Environmental Sustainability. Today’s Topic: Carmakers’ Investment in Electric Transportation]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70349 2018-01-16T22:51:52Z 2018-01-16T22:51:52Z ]]> hqdefaultQuestion: How much money in US dollars have the world’s auto OEMs invested in EVs?  What percentage of that comes from Germany alone?

Answer: Can be found at Clean Energy Answers.

Relevance:  GreenAutoDigest reports: Ford Motor Co. on Sunday said it’s more than doubling its investment in vehicle electrification to $11 billion. It will be part of total (see answers) that global automakers have committed to spending on electric vehicles, and that total is still growing. That will include at least $19 billion by automakers in the U.S., $21 billion in China, and $52 billion in Germany, according to a Reuters analysis. U.S. and German automakers said in interviews at the Detroit auto show that most of the investments are earmarked for China, where escalating EV quotes will be staring in 2019. Ford executives just announced that 40 electrified vehicles will be launched by the company by 2022 – 16 battery electric and 24 will be hybrid or plug-in hybrid.

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craigshields <![CDATA[All Americans Really Want Is the Next Shiny Object, and There Is No Rule Saying that It Has To Be Ignorance and Hate]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=70340 2018-01-16T22:19:23Z 2018-01-16T20:31:32Z ]]> 6e5096008e86cb009cc2e53ad329f174--sortMaybe it’s a good time for us Americans to ask ourselves: What are we good at?

As suggested by the pic here, basic competence doesn’t seem to be a defensible response to that question.

One answer that pops immediately to mind, of course, is blowing stuff up.  A recent survey of people from nations around the world included the question: “What would you say is the greatest threat to world peace?”  The number one answer–and it dwarfed all the others–was “The United States.” Yet that’s hardly a surprise, given that we’re talking about a nation with the planet’s largest military budget–that’s larger that then next 14 countries combined–and is currently deploying that terrifying might in wars in 134 countries globally.

But let’s look past that.  Here’s another key feature of life here in the U.S.: impermanence/transience.  Ferrets have longer attention spans than Americans.

That’s going to come in handy here, where the Trump phenomenon has swept in and come to dominate our lives with all its unlovely peripheral attachments: bigotry, sexism, environmental destruction, the constant alienation of our allies, the pathological level of lying, the trashing of the free press, wanton cruelty to the poor, the undermining of rule of law, etc.

All this can be swept out as quickly and easily as it slithered in, since there’s nothing anvhoring all this ignorance and hatred to the ground.  Not a single piece of all this garbage is an intrinsic part of what it means to be an American; every bit of it can blow out to sea with the next stiff breeze.

So let’s keep this in mind as we move into the new year.  We create our own future.  Something new and different will be dominating the news a week from now, and it’s up to you and me to determine what it will be.

Let’s think good thoughts, do good work, and make it happen.

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