Archive for the ‘Green Gone Wrong’ Category

[REPOST] Green Gone Wrong | Quiet Revolution VAWT Total Flop, Says German Paper

This article from my colleague Paul Gipe deserves a repost.

Quiet Revolution VAWT Total Flop, Says German Paper

I too knew years ago this well-intended Quiet Revolution technology was a flop. As a matter of fact, I knew five years ago, January 2011 to be exact. This is when a colleague who used to work for this company reached out to me regarding performance benchmarks, and to enquire about a tool/method to provide customers better information on small wind generators installed atop rooftops. Analyzing rooftop wind data from the Warwick Wind Trials, the first field trial investigating small wind turbine performance in the built environment, was the crux of my post-graduate research. Interesting, he left the company in 2013.

Here’s the rub on siting, VAWTs, HAWTs…

ONE | SITING

  • Location/Siting is PARAMOUNT.
  • VAWTs perform better if they too are mounted higher in smoothest, strongest wind, not near to the ground or close to the tops of buildings or other structures, natural canopies.
  • VAWTs blades are prone to fatigue created by centrifugal forces as the blades spin around the central axis >> they are less reliable  than HAWTs.
  • VAWTs require large bearings at the tower top to permit the shaft to rotate and thick steel cable to supper them >> more costly, especially when repairs and maintenance are needed.
  • VAWTs are less reliable and less efficient that HAWTs, and made worse if they are mounted at ground level or on top of buildings.
  • Raising a wind turbine, be it HAWT or VAWT,  into the smoothest, strongest wind ensures greater electrical production and longer machine life.

TWO | VAWT [Vertical Axis Wind Turbine]

  • Powered by wind coming from 360 degrees; does not need to be pointed into the wind; advantage where wind is highly variable.
  • Lower TSP [Tip Speed Ratio].
    Lower operating RPM (rotational speed) >> higher torque, requires a bigger, more massive generator + gear box (drive train) >> lowering efficiency.
  • Inherently lower Cp [Coefficient of Performance].
  • 360 degree rotation on aerofoil w/in wind flow each cycle >> high dynamic blade loading, pulsating torque on drive train, difficult to model wind flow accurately.
  • Drive train more accessible, since it can be placed near ground.
  • Lower audible noise.
  • If mounted on a rooftop, building redirects wind higher over the roof, doubling wind speed at turbine if mounted on roof ~50% of building height (near optimum for max wind energy and minimum turbulence) >> noise could be an issue.
  • Requires a heavier, stronger rotor assembly due to increased torque, etc. + stronger, heavier tower due to increase in turbine mass >> accounting for 60%+ in total capital installation cost.

THREE | HAWT [Horizonal Axis Wind Turbine]

  • Larger swept area >> more energy produced.
  • Performance in turbulent wind not favorable.
  • Higher RPM >> more suitable for driving a generator.
  • Gearbox turns slow blade rotation into quicker rotation (steps up) for driving an electrical generator.
  • Rotor usually positioned upwind since turbulence (mast wake) produced behind tower.
  • Downwind rotors don’t require additional controls mechanisms for keeping in line with the wind.

Quiet Revolution VAWT

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GREEN GONE WRONG | AC Transit using Bloom Boxes to produce hydrogen

Ms. Standridge, legal council for AC Transit has been aware for almost a year now that the Bloom Boxes owned by AC Transit, used to generate electricity to produce hydrogen (a HIGHLY inefficient process) for their fleet of 12 hydrogen fuel cell buses generates hazardous, HIGHLY TOXIC solid waste with sulfur; hydrogen sulfide, H2S to be exact. These fuel cell buses cost $87.6 million of taxpayer and PG&E ratepayer money. Ms. Standridge chooses to let the poor who live nearby the AC Transit (on San Leandro Blvd and Seminary Ave) site be exposed to this waste stream.

AC Transit Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

AC Transit Hydrogen Fuel Cell Bus

Because of our due diligence for the better part of these past 12 months, Lindsay Leveen and I now know by Bloom’s admission to the Board of Public Utilities in NJ, this waste ends up being hauled in sealed metal canister to an EPA licensed site for treatment in TX.  The waste is so dangerous that the sealed canister in never opened until it reached the EPA licensed hazmat site. Ms. Standridge is more than happy simply hide this like Bloom hides this.  She does not give a crap about people.  She does not want answers, or to fix this.  She draws her good paycheck and protects the Board of AC Transit not some poor folks living in East Oakland.

See my first offering to AC Transit’s Customer Feedback form back on 25 Sept 2014, below–which mind you took until 24 December 2014 to receive scathing information via the PRA process that indeed this technology is severely underperforming and emitting improperly manifested hazardous waste stream.

Customer Feedback

Thank You

Thank you for your valuable feedback.

Your comments and suggestions are important to us, as we use this as a tool for maintaining and improving service. Since you indicated that you would like a response, we will contact you after our research is complete.

Your reference number is 366499. Please hold onto this number so that when calling us, we may quickly look up the details or this incident.

Should you need to follow up with us on this matter, please call Customer Relations: Dial 511 and say “AC Transit,” then say “Customer Relations.”  Representatives are available Monday through Friday, 6 am to 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday 9 am to 5 pm.


Bus Shelters:

Note: Please report maintenance or safety issues at bus shelters by calling Clear Channel toll free 24/7:
1-888-ADSHEL1 (237-4351)

-=-=-=-=

Hello,

I think AC Transit needs help regarding your hydrogen fuel cell application.  http://www.actransit.org/environment/the-hyroad/energy-stations/

I think the help you need is in understanding thermodynamics and economics, not buying buses.  I understand you purchased 400 kW of Bloom Boxes to provide electricity to an electrolysis unit that makes hydrogen from water; where the hydrogen will be used in a fleet of fuel cell busses. I also understand you are making claims that you produce carbon free hydrogen as the gas feeding the Bloom Boxes is biogas.

Some facts:

  • The Bloom unit is at best 45% efficient based on the higher heating value (HHV) of natural gas (NG).
  • The electrolysis unit is at best 66% efficient at producing hydrogen from water and electricity.
  • The combined efficiency (45% times 66%) equals 29.7% (~30%) of overall efficiency.
  • One can produce hydrogen by steam methane (CH4) reforming (what the first part of the Bloom Box does) with at least 75% efficiency.
  • AC Transit’s actions reduce the efficiency of producing hydrogen from 75% to 30% ==> They need to use 2.5 times as much NG to yield the same quantity of hydrogen.
  • This system cost AC Transit over $6 million.
    • $4 million given to Bloom Energy.
    • $2 million to the vendor of the electrolysis unit.
    • For the production of the same quantity of hydrogen, a steam methane reformer (SMR) and pressure swing adsorption (PSA) unit for approximately $1 million in total could have been used.
    • This unit would only use 40% of the NG.

Question:  Why take the reformed gas containing hydrogen, run it through a fuel cell to generate electricity, and then take the generated electricity that came from hydrogen in the first place to again produce hydrogen in a electrolysis unit???!!!????

Wasting 2.5 times the precious biogas that was needed to simply make the hydrogen is BEYOND embarrassing. I would like to hear your justification for this complete waste of a vital resource.

I await your reply. Thank you in advance.

I also recently came across this affirmation from Mr. Telsa Motors, Elon Musk, which follows:

http://fortune.com/2015/10/21/japan-hydrogen-fuel/

[snip]

At this year’s Automotive News World Congress, Elon Musk (admittedly far from a neutral party) called hydrogen “extremely silly”—perhaps the most polite in a long and continuing string of dismissals from the Tesla head. It makes little sense, Musk pointed out, to go through the trouble of using even renewable electricity to generate hydrogen fuel, when you could just put that energy directly into a battery pack.

It makes even less sense when you have to build new, expensive hydrogen filling stations to do it—then spend years hoping that demand for them will materialize. 

OW!

PREPARE. RESPOND. ADAPT.

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MORE GREEN GONE WRONG – Wind Tree

Alas, not another one…

I would appreciate it if these green fashionista inventors would AT LEAST do their research and learn from the mistakes of others. Case in point –the Portland, OR, USA Trimet Light Rail Station pole mounted small, kinetic architecture’ installation, er AKA Oregon Wind Revolution small wind turbine generators.

…will include 22 wind turbines mounted on top of the light-rail catenary poles. The turbines will provide 275 watts of power.

===> 12.5 watts per turbine. Who signs off on this kind of nonsense?!

You can’t read the rest of the aforementioned article, because it no longer exists. I wonder why…

And I have so many questions about this design:

  • Output voltage (VDC)?
  • Maximum wind speed  a single unit and wind tree can withstand?
  • Ballasting? How is this addressed for a veritable plethora of mounting scenarios? Roof parapet? Roof top? Near building?
  • What is the material of the rotor and blades?
  • Optimal gap between the blades?
  • Cp,max? [For a Hybrid = 0.24, this is the theoretical max power (called  Cp,max–maximum coefficient of power) available in the free stream of wind converted to mechanical power at the rotor axis for this configuration.]

As wind sage Paul Gipe said about this wind tree, “Darrieus himself would be embarrassed. c’est la vie.

The Oregon Wind Revolution [in the image below] is known as a Savonius design. The highest Cp,max [maximum coefficient of performance] is found w/a 2-bladed design w/a gap between the turning bodies of 0.1-0.15. Savonius rotor gap is higher than a drag-driven rotor, and uses high material.

PREPARE. RESPOND. ADAPT.

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Crimey! MORE Green Going Wrong | Ford to install wind and solar energy at dealerships

[HUGE SIGH]

I just caught this today.

Ford to install wind and solar energy at dealerships


I couldn’t let this one go. Another installation of kinetic architecture. And so, blatted out the following on this post…

[POST #1]

I’m fairly certain the PV arrays will be the stars of producing the flow of electrons. And unless the wind turbines have been sited correctly, they will only be kinetic architecture ==> another green gone wrong installation by green fashionistas Wind Energy Corporation.

[POST #2]

As someone who performed post-graduate research of the performance of small wind turbines in the built environment, this installation is questionable at best. And just based on the photo, I’m pretty sure this installation was not sited well, which only gives small wind a bad name.

I also went to the vendor’s,  Wind Energy Corporation’s web site, and all I could locate was a single landing page. Red flag #1. I also searched for Jack Phillips on Linkedin and his background is only in accounting and int’l business, NOT computational fluid dynamics or mechanical engineering. Red flag #2.

Vertical Axis Wind Turbines (VAWTs) like the ones here, are NOT immune to turbulence. Rapid, turbulent low-level wind increases the fatigue on a VAWT just like an Horizontal Axis Wind Turbines (HAWTs). HAWTs are just as sensitive to changing wind direction and turbulence as VAWTs, especially if the turbine is installed on too short a tower.

Readers to this post should also know:

  • VAWTs perform better if they too are mounted higher in smoothest, strongest wind, not near to the ground or close to the tops of buildings or other structures, natural canopies.
  • VAWTs blades are prone to fatigue created by centrifugal forces as the blades spin around the central axis –> they are less reliable  than HAWTs.
  • VAWTs require large bearings at the tower top to permit the shaft to rotate and thick steel cable to supper them –> more costly, especially when repairs and maintenance are needed.
  • VAWTs are less reliable and less efficient that HAWTs, and made worse if they are mounted at ground level or on top of buildings. And the ones in this photo are clearly close to ground level.

Reference: Power from the Wind by Dan Chiras with contributions from Mick Sagrillo and Ian Woofenden.

It is a well-known fact that, by seasoned professional small wind turbine experts, VAWTs, like these are less efficient than HAWTs  and made worse by being mounted closer to ground level boundary level–the few advantages they offer cannot counter the many, fatal disadvantages sited so close to ground level.

Small wind turbine installations are not advised that do not meet the  best practices recommendation of at least 30 feet above the closest obstacle, er trees included, within 500 feet, and are well inside the turbulence bubble (vertically ~2xs the height of the obstruction/house(s) and downwind ~15x – 20x the height of the obstruction/house(s)). Raising a wind turbine, be it HAWT or VAWT,  into the smoothest, strongest wind ensures greater electrical production and longer machine life.

I would also encourage readers to focus more on the performance data vs power curve information. I realize that rated power of wind turbines/power curves was devised to provide customers a way to compare wind turbines. I think folks need to understand that its usefulness has been limited. After taking another look (since it was back in 2009 that I looked into performance data from the results of the Warwick Wind Trials), I see updated standards in the wind industry for determining rated power has been established for comparison across models i.e. 5 m/s [11 mph].

Perhaps the editor, James Murray will revisit this read and ensure the truth is told about this well-intended offering. Not holding my breath, especially because they keep deleting my posts. Yeah, well, you know…Fleh.

 

PREPARE. RESPOND. ADAPT.

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“Green Gone Wrong” :: Consumption == the bane of human existence? Pt. 2

I just don’t get it. I probably never will understand how our species chooses not to use our intelligence more mindfully and in a most timely manner with regards to addressing environmental issues surely to continuing compromising quality of life all over Earth. Sure, change is slow.

Ja, ja, quality takes time. I however, do not think time is on our side. It’s only a matter of time when we won’t be able to purchase anything from hair care products to a coat without knowing the amount of emissions that went into the entire manufacturing life cycle process. Right, chunk mall retailers like Walmart are touting they are green, sustainable and I now understand they have plans to deploy green labeling to thousands of product lines. I am not impressed, AT ALL. Saving the planet is not about buying more stuff, especially stuff that is designed for the dump.

If you have no idea what I mean by ‘designed for the dump’, Annie Leonard of the Story of Stuff Project nails it in her film, The Story of Electronics.

Woe is our space ship…

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MORE Green Gone Wrong :: Organic Labeling

Altho I am a proponent of locally grown and organic, not all consumables marked organics adhere to organic standards. These standards have been defined loosely enough to allow for wide differences in farming practices. Major corporate ownership has taken a stake in organic food production over the years. The USDA Certified Organic label these days does not ensure the same principles upon which organics some 15 or so years ago were first founded are adhered. Heather Roger’s book Green Gone Wrong addresses the USDA Certified Organic labeling scheme which has been watered down and “where produce is not necessarily ecologically responsibly and sustainably farmed i.e. enhanced soil fertility and crop growth without the use of fossil fuel-based chemical N:P:K fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides, natural weed and bug-fighting methods and crop rotation are utilized prevent the buildup of harmful plant pathogens and stripping of vital nutrients, so not to harm the ecosystem of the farm. Soil is a living thing with mycorrhizal fungi interacting with plant roots and bacteria, cycling “organic”,  life-produced nutrients through the soil into the plants and animals eating the plants. It’s now dubious that many organic brands on grocery store shelves still adhere to organic methods and animal husbandry since a number of these companies have been acquired by industrial food processors over the years.” In Heather Roger’s book, she writes that the USDA Organics seal is supposed to represent that a farm employs organic methods…

Organic methods are intended to counteract deleterious effects of conventional industrial cultivation, which destroys biodiversity, wipes out soil health, contributes to erosion and helps deplete groundwater due to increased runoff. The organic seal is meant to signal that a farm abides by nature-supporting practices…

Dr. Phil Howard, an Assistant Professor at Michigan State, created an organic food business chart (June 2009) showing which companies own which organic brands. The Cornucopia Institute also has some interesting information. I found the Whole Foods Market unique 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating leaflet to be a welcomed read to understanding how animals are raised and treated. Read the labels, do the research and continuously stay educated.

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MORE “Green Gone Wrong” :: Nissan LEAF EV

NB: This is a partial cross post to comments I made under my ‘Green Gone Wrong’ :: Consumption == the bane of human existence? by bla bla blat a few days ago. Since I started this thread, I’ve had not only the opportunity to engage colleagues in the LinkedIn matrix on the GReEN Group, but Nissan motors, as well. Here’s more…

On the comment section to my post above, I go on to say…

An ancillary note: It appears as if the US EPA isn’t completely being taken-in by auto manufacturers zero emissions claims. I just hope they don’t lose their ability to regulate carbon/GHG emissions in the USA.

Electric Vehicles Losing Their ‘Zero Emissions’ Claim in U.S.

[snip]
EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson explained:

“Electric vehicles are frequently advertised as zero emissions, but we all know that that’s not entirely true, because when you plug in, there’s some emissions from the source.” Currently in the U.S., that source is often burning coal, and that means greenhouse gas emissions.”

Yet, there are troubling concessions being made that are utterly misleading…


“Each manufacturer can count its first 200,000 EVs, fuel cell vehicles and the electric portion of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles produced in model years 2012-2016 as “zero emissions.”

“Several of the major automakers had urged the EPA to keep the “zero-emissions” label permanent, in part to raise consumer confidence in a relatively new type of vehicle.”


This, on the part of auto manufacturers, is disturbing, disingenuous, dishonest and frankly, I repeat, UTTERLY MISLEADING.

And to one of my new colleagues, Arno Evers, Mr. Hydrogen of Munich, Germany, who is well-versed with the California Fuel Cell Partnership, CAFCP.org, and in complete agreement with my assertions, I went on to say…

I took a recent look at the California Fuel Cell Partnership web site, to find out if they have been successful at moving away from the reforming of hydrocarbon fuel as the input, and closer to electrolyzing water for hydrogen production in an effort to move toward closing the zero emissions loop. I located this: http://www.cafcp.org/hydrogen-station-configuration

[snip]
Other stations use electrolyzers and solar panels to make hydrogen from water and electricity. Electrolyzers look like commercial refrigerators and are attached to the water line. The equipment to produce, compress and store the hydrogen can be on the forecourt or on the canopy. Solar panels are connected to the grid, producing electricity for the utility during daylight hours, then the electrolyzer “buys back” the electricity to make hydrogen at night, when the demand”and rates are lower. Currently available electrolyzers can make enough fuel for up to 50 vehicles a day.

And this is promising, but I can’t help but think the efficiency is still low and not financially feasible. We have to start somewhere, yes? http://cafcp.org/site-electrolysis

[snip]
Several stations in California produce fuel on site through electrolysis, using solar or wind energy. It’s one way to meet California’s regulation SB1505 that requires 33% of hydrogen for transportation be produced from renewable sources.

The station pictured is a Shell station in West Los Angeles. The electrolyzer, compressor and storage tank are on the roof of the canopy, maximizing space at the station.

Also, the CAFCP trial with buses has been successful, such that second phase deploying more transit buses in the SF Bay Area (Alameda County Transit, Santa Clara VTA) and SunLine Transit Agency in SoCal was invoked in 2008.

http://cafcp.org/transit-buses
[snip]
The third phase of the program, which starts in 2010, will put 16 fuel cell buses in operation under the aforementioned transit routine and will include four additional transit agencies; Golden Gate Transit, San Francisco Municipal Transit Agency (SF MTA), San Mateo County Transit (SamTrans), and the City of Burbank.

And so it goes. I sent a letter to Nissan, raising my concern about how they are not being completely up-front about the Zero Emissions moniker they aspire to attach to the LEAF. Well, I’ll give Nissan credit. My inquiry did not fall into a ‘black hole.’ Here’s a response, that I already thoroughly challenged. You can see integrity is undeniably not one of their stronger suits. If they are going to tout this as Zero Emissions, they should offer crystal clear clarity, it is a “Zero Emissions vehicle from the tailpipe on”, in their copy on their web site and in all their marketing prose–there IS a difference.

Dear Kimberly King,

Thank you for taking the time to personally contact us about your interest in the Nissan Electric Vehicle.

How can this the LEAF be tagged a Zero Emissions vehicle if the batteries are not charged from a station that only delivers electrons strictly from renewable energy generation? Isn’t this an untruth and just more greenwashing?

We apologize for any confusion. The Nissan LEAF is a zero emission vehicle because it does not emit any pollution to move the vehicle forward. Yes, the electricity used to charge the Nissan LEAF’s battery pack could create emissions depending on its source. Refining oil to create gasoline also creates emissions, and then once in an internal combustion engine vehicle gasoline creates emissions in order to propel the vehicle forward.

Please note that the “grid” is 60 percent cleaner than gasoline, even when it’s energy source is “dirty.” And unlike gasoline, which will retain the same properties over time, the electrical grid, like the auto industry – is working to become cleaner, tapping into alternative forms of power such as wind, or solar. Besides the efficiency of an electric engine is much higher than an internal combustion engine (an electric car can drive around 60km with the energy equivalent to 1 liter of gasoline) having a huge impact on the energy consumption.

Rest assured that we are not greenwashing. The Nissan LEAF is a 100% electric, zero emissions vehicle. Please contact us if you require further assistance in this matter.

We appreciate your time, and encourage you to share our contact details with friends and family. For your convenience, we can be reached:

By return email.
Through our website at www.nissanusa.com
By phone at 877-664-2738.
We’re here to serve you from 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. (CST) Monday through Friday and 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CST) on Saturday

Sincerely,
________________
Meg
Nissan EV Customer Support
www.nissanusa.com/leaf
1-877 NO GAS EV (664-2738)

Bottom line: I cannot and will not capitulate to Nissan’s zero emissions reasoning put forth. Arno and I strongly believe, we can only proceed in telling the truth. And acting with high ethics…

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MORE ‘Green Gone Wrong’ (??) :: Greenway Self-Park WTG installation, Chicago, IL, USA

Based on what I have been able to locate, I think this structure is another example of ‘Green Gone Wrong.’ I reiterate, I think we need to be mindful about NOT over-hyping some green(er) technologies. I also understand we can model a technology to death, but until this machine/device is actually installed in the environment it is expected to perform, we will not know the true performance outcome–and this, naturally, will only come with time.

To the best of what I have been able to garner so far, I also understand this VAWT (vertical axis wind turbine) installation has been under-performing. I, however, aim to find out more, before I issue my final ruling. I located this article:

Greenway’s turbines were made by Helix Wind, though the initial plan was to use Aerotecture, a Chicago-based solar and wind energy company. But after studying the wind patterns near the garage, the company decided the site was “too low power” says Bil Becker, Aerotecture CEO. To avoid making himself–and the burgeoning wind-power industry–look bad, they withdrew from the project. They’ll try to [force] you into building a sculpture, he says, but, we don’t make sculptures.â

I have made contact with the vendor, Helix Wind, to see if I could garner more enlightenment on how this installation is actually performing and what the history of this installation truly encompassed. Mind you, my goal is to cheer lead, and ensure that greener deployments are viewed favorably and not undermined due to short-sightedness or misinformation.

I understand that this parking structure was originally to be commissioned back in September 2009. But due to there being a change in wind turbine manufacturers, this building was commissioned and the wind turbines became operational approximately Feb 2010. I placed a call into the Helix Wind technical support desk, and asked the engineer the following:

  • Which model of your VAWT is installed on the Greenway Parking Self-Park in Chicago, IL?
  • And how long has this installation been commissioned/deployed?
  • How long have you been collecting wind data?
  • How is it performing? Capacity factor?
  • What is Cp (coefficient of power) of your designs? I understand for a Hybrid/Savonius WTG, the theoretical max is ~= 0.24.
  • What is the gap between the turning bodies? I understand the optimal range for this parameter is 0.1-0.15m.

When I know more, you’ll know more…

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‘Green Gone Wrong’ :: Consumption == the bane of human existence?

Preface: Before I launch into another bla bla, let me preface by saying, as a renewable energy ‘evangelist’,  I do my best to practice what I preach to minimize my carbon footprint. Because I aspire to be a project engineer, taking work where ever it may present, I have downsized my belongings to ~35 cubic feet, bicycle, walk, or take mass transpo just about everywhere (and when I cannot do this, I use a car sharing service), go out of my way to purchase local produce, eat very little meat, compost, recycle and thrift for clothes (when needed). Essentially, when I consume, I do my best to try to relegate it to just foodstuffs, and purchasing local foodstuffs at that.

For many years now, I have wondered if all this comodification of the environmental revolution was indeed as mindful about preserving our living space as intended. It was about five years ago, while in The Netherlands, when I was sitting in an environmental science class that focused on energy and resources, that this notion piqued my interest. I wondered, if my toxic emissions from, say flying, were singularly mine. What I came to learn in this class, is my emissions are linked to a larger socioeconomic reliant on polluting to maintain it’s status–mopping up our ‘mess’ cost more than dumping, poking holes in our space ship and extracting its rich resources. I was/am troubled.

I was duly troubled in this class when I came to better understand more about the Kyoto Protocol Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), after only months prior to, performing quantitative carbon sink calculations in a Quantitative Aspects of Global Environmental Problems course at UCBerkeley. For those of you that don’t know what the CDM represents, it is a mechanism that…

…allows a country with an emission-reduction or emission-limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to implement an emission-reduction project in developing countries. Such projects can earn saleable certified emission reduction (CER) credits, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting Kyoto targets.

I have often wondered if ‘green’ is truly as green as intended. So, I instead,  go out of my way to use the operative ‘greener.‘ I often cogitate on whether the well-intended purchasing of organic foodstuffs (Certified Organic, Fair Trade, etc.), energy efficient homes/appliances, biofuels, green cars, CO2-offsets really all that ecologically green.

I have been reading Green Gone Wrong – How Our Economy is Undermining the Environmental Revolution. I have found a like-minded, empathetic soul in Heather Rogers and her sobering read. As she closes in her Introduction:

…we have the capacity to find solutions that are not simply products to buy, but ways of engaging with how we live and what we want our world to be.

Ja, buying/consuming to me equates to certain death of our ecosystem–that is, if we persist in conducting our lifestyles the current manner–and if this climatology positive feedback loop I am certain we are immersed doesn’t end up sanitizing all life/current lifestyles as we know it.

I am looking forward to reading the chapter on one of the greenest cities in the world, Vauban neighborhood of Frieburg, Germany which has been practicing sustainable development for years. I was fortunate enough to engage some of these visionaries this past summer at the InterSolar 2010 Convention in San Francisco. I had some nice chats on how this city rose from the ashes of WWII dealt with a finite amount of electricity to service a growing population, scale and passive, more sustainable living spaces where green living is compulsory–but, they have had their own growing pains, too.

And so, to ask the question, since it’s highly unlikely humans will cease consuming, will Earth-friendly products save our space ship? Dubious…

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What is a Hybrid RE Engineer?

An engineering generalist with an understanding of sustainable development whose skills set are typically comprised of an amalgam of mechanical and electrical engineering. One who is able to design and assemble systems and components that are comprised of more than one renewable energy (RE) technology i.e. solar, wind, hydro-kinetic (ocean/wave/micro-hydro), biomass, hydrogen fuel cell, geothermal and storage (battery, fly wheel, pumped-hydro). The RE technologies selected depend on one's geographical predisposition, resource availability, the end-use need, practicing conservation (behavioral change) to name a few considerations...

Content © 2009-2017 by Kimberly King