Posted: 21 Oct 2012 07:00 AM PDT
A measure on the November ballot, Proposition 39, will provide funding for clean energy, sustainability and energy efficiency projects across California.
By closing a corporate tax loophole that was quietly slipped into the state budget in 2009, Prop 39 will generate $1 billion per year in badly-needed revenue for California. That’s why the state’s two largest newspapers, the Los Angeles Times and San Jose Mercury News, as well as the Sacramento Bee, have all come out strongly in favor of Proposition 39, urging voters to keep businesses in California and correct this “absurd” loophole.
In addition, a broad host of environmental, health and clean energy groups support the measure — including the California Environmental Justice Alliance, the American Lung Association in California, Natural Resources Defense Council & Clean Tech Los Angeles. (Full list of environmental organizations supporting Prop 39 below.)
For the first five years, Proposition 39 specifically puts half of every new dollar brought in from closing this loophole right into energy efficiency projects. Schools and public buildings will be retrofitted, existing energy efficiency projects will get financial and technical support, and programs to train Californians for jobs in the energy sector will get a boost. To learn more about specific projects this measure will help fund, visit the Get the Facts section of the campaign’s site, www.YesonProp39.com.
Environmental organizations endorsing Prop 39 include:
· California League of Conservation Voters
· Natural Resources Defense Council
· Sierra Club California
· Planning & Conservation League
· Environmental Defense Action Fund
· California Association of Local Conservation Corps
· Climate Protection Campaign
· Energy Independence Now
· Global Green USA
· Global Legacy Foundation
· Stewards of the Earth
· Environmental Health Coalition
Posted: 21 Oct 2012 04:30 AM PDT
A new report has come out on Egypt’s energy future. According to the report, 750 MW of wind projects are on the to-do list. Plus, a nice 100-MW solar plant is be built by 2017. The report covers everything from the country’s market organization to the energy policy of the country.
They analysed energy companies on the market are examined based on domestic production to energy price levels and taxes. Looking at the highlights of this report, it looks like Egypt is taking an aggressive approach toward renewable energy.
Heres some of the highlights posted on Businesswire:
Several gas-fired power plants are scheduled for completion in 2012 and 2013, totalling almost 5 500 MW.
By 2014, 750 MW of wind projects are expected to be commissioned (250 MW in the Gulf of Zayat and 2 * 250 MW in the Gulf of Suez).
A 100 MW solar power plant should be achieved in Kom Omna by 2017.
Oil and gas-producing countries in the Middle East posted a 10% increase in production in 2011 (+165 Mtoe) and consolidated their position as the world’s largest exporters of energy with a 12% increase in trade surplus.
The production of refined oil products rose slightly; by +0.6% overall but in Saudi Arabia by +4.7% as oil product exports fell by 2.4% while imports soared by 22% to satisfy the rising energy needs.
You can find the full report here, but it has to be purchased and is rather costly.
Image Credit: wind turbines via Shutterstock
Posted: 21 Oct 2012 04:00 AM PDT
In a unique initiative, the government of the Punjab province in Pakistan has decided to reward students with solar panels for their academic performance in school. An estimated 300,000 students will be given solar panels, with each having the capacity to power one fan and one light. The cost of the Chief Minister’s Ujaala (Light) Programme (CMUP) is estimated at around $46 million.
The Punjab government will provide these solar panels to all students who scored 50 percent or more in their class 9 academic exams. While this initiative is an excellent one and may be matched by very few across the world, sadly these panels would have a warranty of just one year. Usually, solar panels used in power projects have a warranty of around 20-25 years.
In addition to distributing these solar panels, the government could add on to this excellent initiative by organising brief workshops for the students explaining to them the basics of power production from solar panels. Professionals must also help the students understand the importance of maintenance of the panels to make sure they remain operational for a long time.
Even though I am a renewable energy engineer, I was taught the essential information about the operation of a solar panel in my undergraduate education. The scientific principles of power generation in the solar panels is important, but now that these students will have a panel of their own they would need to understand some operational basics as well.
With this knowledge, the students would also have a good foundation for developing skills in the renewable energy sector as engineers and technicians. Pakistan faces a massive shortage of electricity. There is no better option than renewable energy to ensure adequate electricity and energy security.
Image Credit: Solar panels via Waynenf (some rights reserved)
The views presented in the above article are the author’s personal views only.