The world's largest solar bridge project gets underway in London.  Originally posted on CNN, October 5, 2011 by Matthew Knight



NRG Energy CEO David Crane turns from nuclear aspirations to solar

Please contact your representative in Congress to support extending the 1603 grant that expired at the end of 2011.  These grants are essential for renewable energy projects to continue to grow in the U.S.   They are a viable answer to more drilling and pipelines.

More than 5,000 Green Jobs and Solar Energy on New York City Schools' Rooftops could save millions

"City 'Slow' on Solar"

WSJ January 26, 2012 Michael Howard Saul

  A widespread effort to install solar panels on city schools' rooftops could save taxpayers millions of dollars in energy costs and create more than 5,000 green jobs, according to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer and a report to be released by his office Thursday.

  Mr. Stringer, who wants his office to be viewed as an incubator for creative policy proposals as he contemplates a mayoral bid in 2013, accused Mayor Michael Bloomberg and his administration of adopting a sluggish and narrow approach to solar power in the five boroughs.  New York should be a trendsetter, he said, but other locales are far outpacing the city and state.

  "They are just moving slowly probably because they're at the end of their administration," said Mr. Stringer, referring to the Mayor and his team.  "The administration has been slow to realize that we are competing with New Jersey and other places in terms of solar energy, and the fact that we lag behind is, as I pointed out, a real issue for the city."

  According to Mr. Stringer's report, installing solar panels on the rooftops of 1,094 public school buildings could generate 169.46 megawatts of clean, renewable electricity and eliminate 76,696 tons of carbon from the air each year.  That's equivalent to planting more than 400,000 trees.

  Doing so would increase solar capacity in New York City by 2,500% and could create an estimated 5,423 jobs, the report said.

  New Jersey and California have 500 and 1,000 megawatts of solar energy capacity respectively, while New York City has a "paltry" 6.5 megawatts of publicly and privately owned solar capacity, the report said.

  Lauren Passalacqua, a spokeswoman for the mayor, declined to respond to Mr. Stringer's criticism of the administration.  Mr. Bloomberg, who is chairman of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group, a network of cities around the world dedicated to climate-related initiatives, in 2007 released PlanNYC, which was aimed, in part, at reducing energy consumption and investing in cleaner, more reliable sources.

  The city has installed solar panels at four schools and is in the process of doing the same in another four.  In total, 11 city buildings have installed solar systems, and another 21 are getting them.

  One of the key obstacles to expanding solar power in New York City is the cost.  Mr. Stringer is urging the state to pass the so-called Solar Jobs Act, which backers say would provide economic incentives and targets for creating a market for solar energy and ultimately create tens of thousands of jobs.  Neither Gov. Andrew Cuomo nor Mr. Bloomberg have taken positions on the bill, aides said.

  Assemblyman Steve Englebright, a Long Island Democrat and sponsor of the bill, lauded Mr. Stringer's report.

  "Not just for city schools, but for the rooftops of all the school districts and all the school facilities around the state, there is a tremendous potential for generating clean energy from the sun," Mr. Englebright said.  "It will be a big help for our school budgets, both urban and suburban, and our rural areas as well."

   Kevin Lanahan, director of government relations for Consolidated Edison Co. of New York, which opposes the bill, said the legislation could increase costs to ratepayers around the state by billions of dollars.  Mr. Lanahan urged the state to move forward with its current efforts to create renewable energy.

   The state bill, he said, "turns on a dime and says we're going to compete with New Jersey for the sake of it and we're going to start throwing money at this one resource before we have a chance to see whether the investments we've made are really working."

  Mr. Stringer said he hopes his report focuses attention on the issue.  "We have come up with  a bold plan that says to [City Hall]:  'Get out in front," he said.


Thirteen year old solar panel developer wins Young Naturalist award from the American Museum of Natural History in New York


From a Los Angeles Times article reprinted in The Week November 25, 2011:

Oklahoma had an average of about six small earthquakes a year, until 2009, when there were 50. Last year, there were 1,047, and on Nov. 5, the state was rocked by a magnitude 5.6 quake. Residents are now asking whether Oklahoma's 185,000 drilling wells-particularly those used in fracking-are contributing to the burst of seismic activity.