Design global, manufacture local: a new industrial revolution?

P2P Foundation and The Conversation, October 18, 2017  By Vasilis Kostakis  Vasilis Kostakis and Jose Ramos: What if globally designed products could radically change how we work, produce and consume? Several examples across continents show the way we are producing and consuming goods could be improved by relying on globally shared digital resources, such as design, knowledge and software. Imagine a prosthetic hand designed …

After the Hurricanes, Rebuilding for Energy Efficiency and Storm Survival: Builders of prefabricated zero-energy homes equipped for solar power have seen a spike in calls

By Lyndsey Gilpin, Inside Climate News, 2 Oct 2017 A quarter of homes in the Florida Keys are estimated to have been destroyed by Hurricane Irma, including widespread damage in mobile home parks. Credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images The scope of the damage to mobile home parks and older neighborhoods along America’s hurricane-ravaged coasts is enormous. More than 15,500 homes were …

Avoided trips and energy efficiency with the internet

CS Monitor, 2008 and study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE)  All America’s servers – the computers that direct traffic on the Internet – and the systems that cool them use about 1.2 percent of the nation’s electricity, according to a study last year. That’s still a lot of power, comparable to the energy used by color TVs in …

Air pollution impairs solar energy production as well as health and lives

Global solar energy production is taking a major hit due to air pollution and dust. The first study of its kind shows airborne particles and their accumulation on solar cells is cutting energy output by more than 25 percent in certain parts of the world. The regions hardest hit are also those investing the most in solar energy installations — …

Utility reinforces its position through a new, cleaner business model

By Stanley Reed, New York Times, 18 Aug 2017 AMSTERDAM — When Eneco, a major Dutch utility, tested a promising energy monitor in several dozen homes, things could not have gone much worse. The company making the devices failed to deliver enough of them, and some of those provided did not work. But when Eneco sent workers to recover the monitors, …

Three Forces Fighting Local Renewable Energy and Three Ways to Fight Back

24 July 2017. By John Farrell The content that follows was originally published by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance  If you’re reading energy news of late, you might have come across three new ways that forces are aligning against local renewable energy. State governments are increasingly pre-empting local authority on a range of issues, including energy. Utility companies are undercutting state …

Community Ice Box Challenge pits Passive House against building code boxbeats building code box in Ice Box Challenge

By Lloyd Alter (@lloydalter) Design / Green Architecture August 16, 2017 © Rob Bernhardt at the Ice Box Challenge unveiling On July 27, members of Passivehouse Canada loaded a tonne (1000 kilograms, 1.1 American Tons) of ice into two boxes in Vancouver; one box was built to the Passive House standard of insulation, and one to the British Columbia building code standard for residential construction. This …

NREL building and electrical grid related modeling tools for residential, commercial, industrial energy use, geared for residential and commercial buildings, campuses, communities, and microgrids

Last week Chuck Kutscher, Director of the NREL for Buildings and Thermal Systems Center, presented in Jackson, WY at the Global Business Roundtable, sponsored by the Jackson Hole Center for Global Affairs.  Kutscher made a great presentation on energy use in building construction and use, how important it is, major fraction of U.S. and global energy use and GHG contribution, …

“Ice Battery” Technology Cuts Peak Power Consumption by up to 95%

By Sophie Vorrath, August 2017 Originally published on RenewEconomy. US-made thermal “ice battery” energy storage technology that could dramatically change the way people cool their homes in summer – potentially cutting household peak power consumption by up to 95% – is poised to take on the Australian market, through a distribution deal with local solar hot water company Apricus. California-based Ice …