As the need for gauging building energy efficiency increases across the nation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency launches a new and improved version of the Energy Star Portfolio Manager benchmarking tool. Demand is high:
“Originally released in 2000, Portfolio Manager now is used by more than 70,000 individual accounts to measure, track, assess and report on the energy and water performance of more than 300,000 U.S. commercial buildings, or nearly 40 percent of the nation’s 30 billion square feet commercial building space, according to the agency.”
Not only is data available for more types of buildings using Portfolio Manager in America, but now the system can compare our energy use to Canadian buildings. This tool will help associate our building utility data to our friends north of the border.
Within an interesting Scientific American article covering the ongoing issues associated with utilizing desert land for solar projects, some eye-popping numbers:
“…The world’s deserts receive more energy beamed down from the sun in six hours than humankind uses in a year. Or, try this one: Cover around 4 percent of all deserts with solar panels, and you generate enough electricity to power the world.”
Reno Contracting hosted the 15th Annual Golf Tournament benefitting The Warrior Foundation at the Rancho Bernardo Inn and Golf Course on Tuesday, June 18th. The event was a great success, raising more than $32,500 for the Foundation. The event is a collaborative effort of San Diego subcontractors and local businesses who generously came together for a wonderful day in support of these men and woman. The golf course was filled with excitement as each of the teams lined up ready for the course. The morning clouds parted and the sun filled the sky for an exceptional day of golf.
“It was a resounding success and outpouring of appreciation for our wounded warriors, coupled with a beautiful setting at Rancho Bernardo Inn,” said Greg Carnegie, Reno Contracting’s Energy Program Manager.
The Warrior Foundation aims to be the leading force in assisting, honoring and supporting the military men and women who have so bravely served and sacrificed for our country. The Foundation is committed to supporting our Warriors by providing quality of life items and support services designed to assist veterans and their families during recovery. Contributions raised from past golf tournaments have provided special amenities including a new lounge area at the Naval Medical Center San Diego Medical Hold Building and has also paid for plane tickets to send the Warriors home for the holidays. The Warrior Foundation also has a housing arm, Freedom Station, which provides a temporary residence and supportive recovery environment for injured Marines, and Army and Navy veterans as they make the transition from military service to civilian life. Freedom Station is a 12-unit housing facility where warriors reside while they continue to receive medical treatment and prepare for new challenges in the civilian world.
“We had a great day and so appreciated all that the Reno Family did for our warriors. “One of our attendees, an amputee, told me that he was beyond excited to participate. Their quality of life is so much better because of all you have done and given,” said Sandra Lehmkuhler, Board Member and President of the Warrior Foundation.
The world’s largest solar powered boat recently reached port in New York City. I wonder how the heat wave in the Northeast will effect the boat? Should help charge up the batteries for it’s next voyage!
Solar energy generation in California continues to increase…rapidly.
Work is underway on renovation of the executive and bank branch offices for Torrey Pines Bank in Carmel Valley, San Diego. Read more here.
Coal India, the world’s largest coal mining company is looking to reduce its own energy bills. Its solution: installing solar energy. The company, which accounts for more than 80% of coal production in India, is not only turning to solar as an efficient business practice, it understands that the country cannot power itself by coal. “India has an abundance of sunshine and the trend of depletion of fossil fuels is compelling energy planners to examine the feasibility of using renewable sources of energy like solar, wind, and so on,” Coal India’s bid document said.
Peter Bronski of the Rocky Mountain Institute takes a hard, realistic look at where the renewable energy and the electricity system stands, as of May 2013:
“…skeptics often point to a number of familiar criticisms: that high penetrations of renewables are not possible; that such a future requires major technological innovation; that it requires unreasonable amounts of energy storage to balance variable wind and solar; that it requires massive build-out of transmission infrastructure, biomass generation capacity, large-scale hydro, or all of the above; that it requires major investment that simply isn’t there; that it is uncompetitively costly (at least without large subsidies); that variable renewables will undermine the reliability of grid power.
Couple such skepticism with IEA’s recent report noting that renewables have yet to make a serious dent in the carbon intensity of the global energy system—on which fossil fuels seem to have a strangle hold—and it’d be easy to side with the skeptics, but they are wrong. Renewables’ track record shows that they continue to outpace skeptics’ expectations.
First there was Gilligan’s Island, then Fantasy Island. Now Oracle co-founder Larry Ellison is seeking to turn his $500 million real estate investment into a renewable island. A UC San Diego energy expert is going to help make it happen.
Using statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Solar Foundation has found that there are now more solar energy workers in Texas than ranchers, solar workers outnumber actors in California, and across the whole 50 states, there are more solar workers than coal miners.