Community Energy Systems

Community Energy Systems

Nothing Struck Me This Week – So I am taking this week off

It’s the holidays for goodness sakes. So I may take next week off too. I have never done that before. It has been a slow energy week. If it don’t interest me, I don’t print it.

Egypt Goes For Renewable Energy – Man have they got desert to do solar in and on

I was going to write about Germany making 85 percent of its power with renewables on a particular day. As fun as that is this is better. Egypt is going to invest billions of dollars in solar (and wind?). That is so exciting. I hope the rest of the countries of the Middle East follow suit.


Egypt looks to the future with renewable energy plan

By Ahmed Megahid, The Arab Weekly   |   May 15, 2017 at 10:33 AM

CAIRO, May 15 (UPI) — The vista in the central province of Minya is as empty as far as the eye can see except for rows and rows of solar panels and the blue sky above.

The panels are helping Amr al-Saad’s 8-month-old power sta­tion address the worsening issue of brownouts and blackouts in the area.

“A few years ago, power supply was intermittent, which made the life of the residents of the province very tough,” he said. “That is why I decided to establish my project where it is most needed.”

After generating electricity, Saad’s station feeds it into the na­tional grid where it is used to power houses, farms and workshops in Minya’s villages.

Saad’s project, which cost $100,000 and produces 650 kilo­watts of electricity each month, is part of a national drive to reduce Egypt’s dependence on fossil fuels by shifting to renewable energy. Egypt plans to produce 20 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and 37 percent by 2035. It is an ambitious plan given that just 3 percent of electricity produced annually in Egypt today is from renewable sources.


Go there and read. More next week.


Solar That Comes With Batteries – What a thought

Let me say, right off the bat, there are other better storage mechanisms then batteries. But if this becomes a market trend, well then whatever.

Installation of New England’s Largest Battery Energy Storage System is Underway

NEC Energy Solutions has begun the installation and commissioning of a 2 MW, 3.9MWh GSS® grid energy storage solution for the Sterling Municipal Light Department (SMLD) in Sterling, Massachusetts. Once complete in December 2016, it will be the largest system of its kind installed in New England and the first utility scale project in the State. In the event of an extended grid outage due to a natural disaster, this utility scale Battery Energy Storage System (BESS) can be used to power local emergency response facilities using power generated from two nearby solar plants. The system will also provide enhanced clean energy usage and cost savings to the town of Sterling.

Sandia provided SMLD with analysis to identify the optimal deployment site, amount, and installation type of energy storage within budgetary limits. Sandia also assisted with crafting a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the BESS system, vetting bids, and installing and dispatching the system. “Sandia was instrumental in helping us pull that together. We had developed a minor RFP and they brought in the technical support that we needed to get this done right. Working with Dan Borneo and Ray Byrne on this project has been very valuable to us,” said Sean Hamilton, General Manager of SMLD.

Going forward, Sandia will help SMLD oversee the operation of the BESS to optimally maximize economic returns while safeguarding SMLD’s ability to provide resilient power; monitor BESS operations; and collect operational data for one-year post-commissioning. The data will be used to further the U.S. Department of Energy’s/Sandia’s understanding of the benefits and applications of battery storage in the utility context and provide a number of important battery use cases in resiliency, cost savings, and revenues that can be adopted by numerous municipal utilities and vertically integrated utilities.


Go there and read. But there ain’t much more. More next week.


Why Can’t America Make This List – Maybe in my lifetime we will

China is such a huge country and yet they make this list. We don’t and I find this sad. Still the US has made progress and I am ever hopeful.

Infographic: World’s Most Energy Efficient Countries

here is a sense of excitement in the wake of a momentous Paris Climate Agreement and adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals last year. The “energy revolution” is already underway, the consequences of which are far-reaching, transforming the way we do business, build our homes and live our lives.

But there’s an even more immediate solution available to all of us, and it will not only reduce our carbon footprint, but save money as well. It’s the low-hanging fruit of energy efficiency. From the largest business to the smallest household, energy efficiency is the first step in building a sustainable future.

As individuals and businesses go, so goes an entire nation. Courtesy of the home improvement experts at, the infographic below illustrates the most energy efficient countries in the world, based on information from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE). As this infographic demonstrates, one important aspect of promoting energy efficiency is government policy and incentives:


Go there and read. More next week.


The Pope Makes It Official – Global warming is here and it has to be dealt with

But how is the Catholic Church going to pitch in? His statement was aimed at policy makers, so politicians everywhere scrambled to comment. But what measures are the church(es) going to take. Solar panels on catholic churches? What?®ion=top-news&WT.nav=top-news&_r=0

Pope Francis, in Sweeping Encyclical, Calls for Swift Action on Climate Change

VATICAN CITY — Pope Francis on Thursday called for a radical transformation of politics, economics and individual lifestyles to confront environmental degradation and climate change, as his much-awaited papal encyclical blended a biting critique of consumerism and irresponsible development with a plea for swift and unified global action.

The vision that Francis outlined in the 184-page encyclical is sweeping in ambition and scope: He described a relentless exploitation and destruction of the environment, for which he blamed apathy, the reckless pursuit of profits, excessive faith in technology and political shortsightedness. The most vulnerable victims are the world’s poorest people, he declared, who are being dislocated and disregarded.

The first pope from the developing world, Francis, an Argentine, used the encyclical — titled “Laudato Si’,” or “Praise Be to You” — to highlight the crisis posed by climate change. He placed most of the blame on fossil fuels and human activity while warning of an “unprecedented destruction of ecosystems, with serious consequence for all of us” if swift action is not taken. Developed, industrialized countries were mostly responsible, he said, and were obligated to help poorer nations confront the crisis.


Go there and pray. More next week.


The Elections Were Exciting – But Big Coal lost

So after the Election we took three days off and went to Giant City State Park and drove over to see the Garden of the Gods. Giant City was disappointing:

With its breathtaking natural beauty and unlimited opportunities for outdoor recreation, a trip to Giant City State Park near Carbondale is sure to delight visitors of all ages. From camping and horseback riding to fishing and rappelling, it’s an outdoor lover’s paradise. Visitors will marvel at the many wilderness trails. Especially popular is a hike on Giant City Nature Trail, home of the “Giant City Streets” huge bluffs of sandstone formed 12,000 years ago .

Nestled in the Shawnee National Forest, just minutes south of Carbondale, the Union / Jackson county park was named for the unique impressions made by its massive sandstone structures. Eons of geological faulting and folding have molded a landscape like none other, which is now clothed in lush garments of fern, moss, large flowering mints, hundreds of species of wild flowers and 75-plus varieties of towering trees. The natural splendor of Giant City has made it a renowned retreat that attracts more than 1.2 million visitors annually.


But Garden of the Gods was amazing:

More than 320 million years ago, the wind and rain patiently started to chisel away at large deposits of sedimentary rock located in what is now, Shawnee National Forest . Over the years, the elements have sculpted some of the most stunning and extraordinary rock formations known to man. This garden of sandstone sculptures and vast untouched wilderness was fittingly named Garden of the Gods.

The park contains a variety of plant and animal life, adding to the scenic beauty of the Shawnee Forest. Garden of the Gods covers more than 3,300 acres of forest throughout the Southeastern Illinois counties of Saline, Pope and Hardin. There are also plenty of trails for backpacking and horseback riding, allowing nature lovers a welcome tour of what the lively environment has to offer.


Go there and be envious. More on Tuesday.


Response To The Gulf Gusher – Change your mind and change your life

Ere many generations pass, our machinery will
be driven by power obtainable at any point in the
universe. It is a mere question of time when men
will succeed in attaching their machinery to the
very wheelwork of nature.

—Nikola Tesla
The World We Envision
Clean, safe, abundant, inexpensive energy for all… stabilized climate… clean and healthy water, food, and air for all… beautiful blue skies over our cities… low-impact, sustainable forestry and agriculture… beautiful landscapes unspoiled by wires and smokestacks… recycling of virtually all wastes… rivers running
free and natural… thriving sustainable local economies… living standards and education rates increasing… birth rates declining…
a global culture of sharing… unleashed human creativity…
a new and lasting era of world peace…

With a revolution in energy as the foundation of renewed and loving stewardship of our planet, we can transform our world into a beautiful and healthy home full of promise, opportunity, abundance, and peace for all of humanity.

Our Mission
The New Energy Movement acts to promote the rapid widespread deployment of advanced, clean, and sustainable energy sources across our imperiled planet. This transformation in the way our civilization generates and uses energy provides the best physical means to protect the biosphere, remediate ecological damage, and enhance the health and well-being of the global human family.

The New Energy Movement’s major priority is to educate the public, policymakers, and investors about the need to support research, development, and use of zero-point energy, magnetic generators, advanced hydrogen processes, and other little-known powerful energy technologies now emerging from inventors and scientists all over the world…

The Challenges

Critical and unprecedented challenges now face our civilization, inflicting a terrible toll on our people, our companion species, and the planet itself. If not reversed soon, they threaten to end human life on Earth.

Without a revolution in energy, we will not be able to act with the speed and scope demanded by the climate change emergency we face. With this revolution we will be able to create sustainable and just economic development required for world peace.


Our survival will require
a vast and dramatic shift
in how human civilization
generates and uses energy.


Read complete Mission Statement


More tomorrow


Cash For Caulkers Bill – Houston Neal explains it all

OK I am burned out on the Gulf Oil Spill. Houston Neal offered to let me post his piece on the Cash For Caulkers Bill. Normally such offers are from scammer links and such. Houston is involved with a software company so it is clear that he has advertising intents BUT it is such a damn fine article that I will post part of it so you can see for yourself and then you can go there and read it for yourself.

Houston Neal close Houston info gravatar Houston Neal

Director of Marketing at Software Advice
(512) 364-0117 LinkedIn v-card

See Authors Posts

Cash for Caulkers – The Definitive Guide To The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010

Posted on June 11, 2010 at 11:41 am

“Cash for Caulkers” is nearly here. Last month the House of Representatives passed H.R. 5019 – also known as the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010 or “Cash for Caulkers” – to kick-start construction, create jobs and cut back carbon emissions. While the bill still needs to clear the Senate, supporters predict it will pass this summer.

This is great news for homeowners and contractors alike. The bill provisions $6 billion for energy-efficient or “green” retrofits. It is expected to fund renovations for 3 million families, create 168,000 new jobs and save consumers $9.2 billion on energy bills over the next 10 years.

But in order to cash in on upcoming rebates, homeowners and contractors will need to do their homework. There are 13 types of retrofits eligible for funding. Each retrofit has unique eligibility requirements and set rebate amounts. You can read the full text here.

We made it really easy to wade through the legalese. Below is a table that breaks down the 13 retrofits of the bill, along with the requirements and rebate amount for each. In addition to the requirements we listed, each retrofit must comply with Building Performance Institute (BPI) standards or other procedures to be approved by the Secretary of Energy.

Retrofit Requirements Rebate Amount
Air sealing Rebate covers both interior and exterior sealing and includes use of the following products: sealants, caulks, insulating foams, gaskets, weather-stripping, mastics, and other building materials. $1,500
Attic insulation Must meet the attic portions of the Department of Energy (DOE) or Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) thermal bypass checklist. You must add at least R–19 insulation to existing insulation, and it must result in at least R–38 insulation in DOE climate zones 1 through 4 and at least R–49 insulation in DOE climate zones 5 through 8. Finally, it must cover at least 100 percent of an accessible attic or 75 percent of the total conditioned footprint of the house. $1,000
Duct replacement and sealing Sealing must be installed in accordance with BPI standards or other procedures approved by the Secretary of Energy. For duct replacement, you must replace and seal at least 50 percent of a distribution system of the home. $1,000
Wall insulation Insulation must be installed to full-stud thickness or add at least R–10 of continuous insulation. It must covers at least 75 percent of the total external wall area of the home. $1,500
Crawl space or basement insulation Insulation must cover at least 500 square feet of crawl space or basement wall and add at least R–19 of cavity insulation or R–15 of continuous insulation to existing crawl space insulation; or R–13 of cavity insulation or R–10 of continuous insulation to basement walls. For rim joist insulation, you must fully cover the rim joist with at least R–10 of new continuous or R–13 of cavity insulation. $250 for rim joist insulation
Window replacement Must replace at least 8 exterior windows, or 75 percent of the exterior windows in a home, whichever is less, with windows that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Must comply with criteria applicable to windows under section 25(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or, in areas above 5,000 feet elevation, have a U-factor of at least 0.35 when replacing windows that are single-glazed or double-glazed with an internal air space of 1/4 inch or less. $1,000
Door or skylight replacement Must replace at least 1 exterior door or skylight with doors or skylights that comply with the 2010 Energy Star specification for doors or skylights. $125 per door or skylight with a limit of 2 doors and 2 skylights
Heating system replacement See second table below $1,000
Air-source air conditioner or heat pump installation Must be installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI–2007. The air-source air conditioner must meet or exceed SEER 16 and EER 13; or SEER 18 and EER 15. The air-source heat pump must meet or exceed SEER 15, EER 12.5, and HSPF 8.5. $1,500
Geothermal heat pump installation Must be an Energy Star qualified geothermal heat pump that meets Tier 2 efficiency requirements and that is installed in accordance with ANSI/ACCA Standard 5 QI–2007. $1,000
Water heater replacement See third table below $1,000
Storm windows or doors installation Must be installed on at least 5 existing doors or existing single-glazed windows. Must comply with any procedures that the Secretary of Energy may set for storm windows or doors and their installation. $50 for each window or door with a minimum of 5 windows or doors and a maximum of 12
Window film installation Window film that is installed on at least 8 exterior windows, doors, or skylights, or 75 percent of the total exterior square footage of glass in a home, whichever is more, with window films that are certified by the National Fenestration Rating Council. Must have a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 for installations in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 1–3; or a solar heat gain coefficient of 0.43 or less with a visible light light-to-solar heat gain coefficient of at least 1.1 and a U-factor of 0.40 or less as installed in 2009 International Energy Conservation Code climate zones 4–8. $500

We also decided to combine these retrofits into three packages that will help homeowners get the best bang for their buck. But first, let’s review the program details.

Who is Eligible and How to Qualify?
The Home Star bill offers two rebate programs, the “Silver Star” program and “Gold Star” program. Here are details for each:

  • Silver Star – Unless another amount is specified in the “Rebate Amount” column above, homeowners will receive a $1,000 rebate for each retrofit listed in our table. The maximum amount of rebates paid out will be $3,000 or 50% of the total cost, whichever is lower. For example, if a homeowner spends a total of $4,000 on eligible retrofits, they will get $2,000 or 50% back as a rebate. If they spend $8,000 on eligible retrofits, they would only receive $3,000 in rebates instead of $4,000 (which would be 50% of the cost).
  • Gold Star – To qualify for the Gold Star program, homeowners must reduce their total home energy consumption by 20%. A $3,000 rebate will be rewarded for this reduction. Homeowners can receive an additional $1,000 for each additional 5% reduction, up to a total rebate of $8,000 or 50% of the total retrofit cost. Rebates may be provided for any of the retrofits listed under the Silver Star program, or for any other energy-saving measure, including: home energy management systems, high-efficiency appliances, highly reflective roofing, awnings, canopies, and similar external fenestration (window) attachments, automatic boiler water temperature controllers, energy-efficient wood products, insulated vinyl siding, and mechanical air circulation and heat exchangers in a passiv


Please go to this article and read the rest of it….Conservation is in the air.

More tomorrow.


Oil Wash, Green Wash and Night Wash – I know I promised a meditation on Green Wash

OIL Wash

BP Tells Fishermen Working On The Oil Spill That They Will Be Fired For Wearing A Respirator

We have had numerous fisherman, that have been hired through BP’s Master Vessel Charter Agreement to work on the oil spill response, tell us that their BP “bosses” have told them that if they use a respirator or any safety equipment not provided by BP that they would be fired.

Efforts to End Oil Flow From BP Well Over Until Relief Wells Are Finished

By Jim Polson – Jun 1, 2010

BP Plc has decided not to attach a second blowout preventer on its leaking well in the Gulf of Mexico and efforts to end the flow are over until the relief wells are finished, according to the U.S. Coast Guard’s Thad Allen, who spoke at a press conference today.




From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Jump to:navigation, search

Greenwashing (green whitewash) is the practice of companies disingenuously spinning their products and policies as environmentally friendly, such as by presenting cost cuts as reductions in use of resources.[1] It is a deceptive use of green PR or green marketing. The term green sheen has similarly been used to describe organizations that attempt to show that they are adopting practices beneficial to the environment.[2]



[edit] Usage

Greenwashing was coined by New York environmentalist Jay Westerveld[3][4][5] in a 1986 essay regarding the hotel industry’s practice of placing green placards in each room, promoting reuse of guest-towels, ostensibly to “save the environment”. Westerveld noted that, in most cases, little or no effort toward waste recycling was being implemented by these institutions, due in part to the lack of cost-cutting affected by such practice. Westerveld opined that the actual objective of this “green campaign” on the part of many hoteliers was, in fact, increased profit. Westerveld hence monitored this and other outwardly environmentally conscientious acts with a greater, underlying purpose of profit increase as greenwashing.


NIGHT Wash – This is just too cool not to post it and ask people to pass it around…A new and improved Night View of planet Earth.


The night view of the earth has become a very popular depiction of this planet. Although the NASA itself says that “The brightest areas of the Earth are the most urbanized, but not necessarily the most populated” many people mistake this view as a representation of the inhabited places on the globe. Our gridded population cartogram can help to get a better understanding of the relation of people and light. The following map is a reprojection of the earth at night that shows the nightview in relation to the population distribution. The gridlines are kept in a light colour and thus allow to identify those areas where the lines converge (representing the unpopulated regions). In contrast, the populated areas are given the most space, so that one can easily see which populated areas are literally illuminated at night – and where there are people living in darkness. The resulting map is an impressive picture of an unequal world, with large parts of Africa living in darkness, and the affluent countries in Europe and North America glowing in the dark:The Earth at Night projected on a gridded population cartogram

(click for large image)

This map has recently been used by Danny Dorling in the Monday night lecture at the Royal Geographical Society. The following link leads to an online version of the lecture which allowes you to watch and listen to this lecture about inequality and the environment.


Healthcare Bill PASSES – But does it save energy

Yes I know I am a google whore. It’s been said before. Here is the deal however. If the Healthcare Industry…and that is what it is, an Industry, cut their energy cost tomorrow, they could pass that savings on to you and “bend the healthcare curve down”.


How do they use energy and how much does it cost?

Total Energy Use by Fuel Type

Reference 1:  What is a Btu?

Health care buildings account for 11 percent of all commercial energy consumption, using a total of 561 trillion Btu of combined site electricity, natural gas, fuel oil, and district steam or hot water.  They are the fourth highest consumer of total energy of all the building types (see total energy figure on home page).

Natural gas and electricity are the predominant fuels used in health care buildings, with natural gas used a bit more than electricity.  Health care buildings are more likely to use district heat than most building types.

Site electricity is the amount of electricity consumed within the building; electricity use can also be expressed as primary electricity, which includes the energy consumed in generating and transmitting electricity.  Health care buildings used 637 trillion Btu of primary electricity, which brings the total energy consumption for health care buildings up to 987 trillion Btu, or 9 percent of total primary consumption for all commercial buildings.


Some estimates put it as low as 9%, but that would be real savings.

Employees and executives are being called upon to assist as organizations implement “green” systems within healthcare facilities. The term “green building” or “sustainability” can mean a variety of things. Commonly, however, “green” design and construction includes:

  • promoting a healthier, more productive build environment;
  • increasing energy efficiency;
  • increasing efficiency in the use of water and other scarce resources;
  • reducing the project’s impact on the surrounding environment; and
  • decreasing liquid and solid wastes, building emissions, and other adverse impacts of the building’s operation on the broader environment.

Sustainability has particular resonance for healthcare facilities because improved indoor environmental quality demonstrably improves the health of patients, professionals, staff and visitors. Further, healthcare facilities are major generators of waste and are substantial consumers of increasingly energy and water.

Healthcare facilities generate more than 2 million tons of solid waste annually, which accounts for the majority of hospital waste disposal cost. Given a likely increase in waste disposal costs, designing or renovating a facility to more efficiently handle waste is an economic necessity.

Additionally, equipment-intensive facilities use several times more energy than office buildings, while hospitals typically use 90 to150 gallons of water per bed per day. In fact, healthcare facilities account for 9% of all commercial energy consumption in America, according to the Department of Energy’s Energy Information Administration.


Physician heal thyself