Happy Wednesday, dear friends! Ah, how Wednesday whispers to us, assuring that ‘we are half way to the weekend’! It is a time for quiet reflection, gauging how the week is going, and starting to plan for some fun times, only two work days away!
Let’s get down to business with the news, so we can get on with our beautiful day!
Today we focus on some renewable energy news from around the world, including big business investments in green energy, but first, we cover breaking news in space.
Breaking News: NASA cargo rocket explodes on launch pad.
The Orbital Sciences Corp, in conjunction with NASA, had planned to launch an unmanned Antares rocket yesterday from Wallops Island, Virginia, but the launch was aborted, after a sailboat entered the protection area. The launch was rescheduled for October 28, 2014 in the early evening. All conditions for the launch were perfect, but 6 seconds into the launch, the rocket exploded. There are no reports of casualties or loss of life, but the launch pad area sustained extensive damage.
The rocket was part of a re-supply mission for the International Space Station, supported by $1.6 Billion in private funding. The payload contained over 5,000 pounds of supplies, scientific experiments, what has been termed as classified crypto technology, and a new satellite prototype that was to be deployed upon delivery to the space station. The Russian Space Agency is planning it’s own supply delivery to the station in the next week, so the astronauts will not be left in the lurch.
The mission represents the 5th launch for Antares rockets in the last 18 months, but the payload was increased by 15% over previous missions. When the space shuttle program ended at NASA, they enlisted two private companies to supply the space station, the Virginia based Orbital Sciences, and SpaceX located in California. Orbital Sciences personnel immediately instituted it’s contingency plan to secure the site, collect crash site data and telemetry from the rocket, to be used in an investigation of the crash. It is not yet known whether the NTSB will be involved in any investigation of the failed mission.
Moving on to green power…
Solar energy is shining in Bangladesh.
There is a green energy revolution in Bangladesh that started with the founding of Grameen Bank way back in 1983, as a micro-finance institution. The work expanded exponentially when nonprofit Grameen Shakti came on line in 1996, and started focusing on biofuels, solar and sustainable living. Grameen now provides small scale solar units in the country that supply power to over 10 Million people, which is more than the US solar systems provide. Sustainable energy initiatives supported by Grameen have influenced the lives of over 15 Million people, mostly under the international green energy radar. This solar energy decentralization continues to grow, and Grameen also supports programs for young people in rural areas to teach them the benefits of using solar power. Grameen Bank earned the Nobel Peace Prize for fighting poverty in the area in 2006, and it seems as if they are creating a wonderful green future for those in Bangladesh. Let’s hope many use their platform to expand green energy in other developing nations.
An off-grid village in Germany is putting their pigs to work, creating clean energy.
Germany as a whole has been pioneering sustainable green energy world wide, but a tiny off-grid village called Feldheim is leading the way. The village has a population of 150 individuals, and produces enough energy via solar and wind farms to sell about 99% of it back to the utilities company. The village also produces biogas from pig and cow manure to heat all it’s homes, and a wood pellet plant burns local lumber waste as back up. While the nation’s Energiewende program, set to provide 80 percent of the country’s power from renewable energy by the middle of the century, has encountered some snags due to the collapse of the carbon credit market in the EU, this tiny town is showing that local efforts can create great change in a relatively short amount of time.
Polish town bucks the coal trend, and goes green with power.
Poland currently produces 90% of its power from coal, but this isn’t to say that every town must use coal. The village of Kisielice has just won the European Commission’s ManagEnergy Award 2014, because it chose to stop using coal, and invest in sustainable energy instead. The town supports it’s energy needs through 50 wind turbines on local farmland. It also has a localized biomass boiler, to convert farm waste into energy. Within the next year, they will be installing the area’s first photovoltaic solar plant as well. The benefits of energy self sufficiency, cleaner air and a sustainable future will shine forth and be a model for other towns, as large grid energy is decentralized and local communities look to steward their own energy futures.
Some big businesses are investing in sustainable energy, so it must be a good bet!
Atlantis Resources has raised over 5 Million pounds to support construction of the largest tidal stream turbine energy plant ever created. The plant will be based in Scotland, and construction is supported by a consortium of companies, as well as the UK Department of Energy and Climate Change. The plant will be built in phases, with power being delivered to customers as early as 2016. Tidal turbines will be buried in the sea bed, and energy will be created based on the flow of the tides. When completed, it will generate enough energy to power 200,000 local homes, entirely through sustainable, passively collected tidal energy.
Dragon Capital, a Vietnam-based financial firm, has invested in Emerging Power, Inc to help build a 40-megawatt geothermal energy plant in the Philippines. Geothermal converts heat from the deeper layers of the earth into useable energy.
If you are not familiar with geothermal energy, and how it creates a sustainable energy opportunity to move the world away from fossil fuels, please check out this great article from the Union of Concerned Scientists, who are dedicated to science for a healthy planet and a safer world.
The solar boom in the US has boosted European companies that make solar panel modules. While the solar installations in European nations have been shrinking due to subsidy cuts to allay run away energy costs, the US solar market is booming. Costs involved in converting to solar energy have come down, and many firms create long term financing plans that are enticing to homeowners in the US. European companies like Solarworld and REC Solar plan to expand in the US in the near future.
That’s the news for today! Have an energy-filled day, and I hope to see you back here tomorrow for more news!
Be Well. Be Joy. Be Love!