ClimateAtBay now lives on www.baclimate.org as part of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative!
We still have some work to do to migrate all the content. You may see some anomalies in the history here over the next few weeks and the RSS tool for the new site is work in progress but everything will be up and running soon.
Find us there for the latest and greatest news on energy and climate in the Bay Area.
Updated: RSS to the new blog is now working and available on the existing RSS feed: http://feeds.feedburner.com/ClimateAtBay
Monday, March 29, 2010
ClimateAtBay now lives on www.baclimate.org as part of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative!
Friday, March 19, 2010
It's being debated as something sooner or later, but the number of voices saying it will be sooner are becoming increasingly mainstream. When Kuwait Oil Company says so we should take notice.
The scientists from Kuwait University and the Kuwait Oil Company adopted a newer approach by including many Hubbert production cycles, or bell-shaped curves showing the rise and fall of a non-recyclable resource. Earlier models typically assumed just one production cycle, despite the fact that most oil-producing nations have historically experienced more of a roller coaster ride in production.In 2008, UAE Energy Minister Mohamed Bin Dhaen Al Hamli stated, "It is common knowledge that the age of easy oil is gone forever."
Such production cycles reflect the influence of new technological innovations in the oil industry, government regulations, economic conditions and political events. The factors include the discovery of new oil deposits, the recent economic recession and the rise of renewable energy.
Take Mexico as just one example. The nation that has long represented a top oil exporter has experienced plummeting oil production and might even begin importing oil within the decade...
Some oil companies and consultancy firms such as Cambridge Energy Research Associates have speculated that oil will peak sometime after 2020, but a number of oil geologists and executives predict it will happen much sooner.
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
Green building standard are moving forward with a new multi-family housing development in the City of San Mateo. A 52 unit apartment complex known as Magnolia Terrace will include solar panels, rain water collectors for irrigation also recycled and sustainably harvested materials used to construct the two building complex. The irrigation system is a first for the city and exceeds the new green building standards recently adopted by San Mateo, including interesting new features such as use of rain water for the non potable used in the house such as for flushing toilets.
San Mateo’s associate planner, Julia Yeh said "The solar panels and green buildings meet the green checklist the city recently adopted, requiring all new construction meet green standards. But she said the water harvesting system is something new."
Secure bike racks will be available for resident to easily bike commute and take public transit also underground parking will be available. In the fashion for decreased garbage production a duel chute system for waste and recycling will be installed for the both levels of the complex, making recycling accessible and simple.
This is the type of development that will set the bar for future green development in the area, building sustainable living environments and increasing housing density is the way of the future. Positioned next to downtown San Mateo will bring more foot traffic to those business and decrease the need for resident to drive to entertainment.
Read more at the San Francisco Examiner
Friday, March 12, 2010
It's been an over 3 year run here at ClimateAtBay where I have sought to bring together some of the most interesting news on the topic of clean energy and climate change affecting the San Francisco Bay Area. Thank you all for reading, participating and running with this information as you advance the clean energy economy wherever you are.
This blog will soon have a new home at www.baclimate.org!
In my new capacity as Director of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative I'll be providing even better news and commentary on the blog on the Collaborative's soon-to-be launched website. And the great store of information here will move with me. The URL will also be redirected to www.baclimate.org.
Look for a forthcoming announcement on the new website and blog later this month. I hope all of you will continue to join me there as we make the local clean energy economy real.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Google’s decision to release its PowerMeter API is representative of a small number of companies that have moved into the home energy management space from the web and are looking to tap into the innovation of the Internet and the ecosystem of third party developers for energy. Microsoft released its software development kit for its energy tool Hohm to developers recently and is expecting to have the first Hohm-integrated devices this summer.This software is in the nascent stages but the fact that players like Google and Microsoft are involved shows what they anticipate for the future of the space - namely that it's going to be big.
The interesting point on the API is probably not what is going to happen in the first round of use. The first round will probably be things like phone applets allowing you to monitor your home energy use. The market for people interested in doing that is likely to be modest. However, it may lead into intelligent "bots" assigned to monitor usage and save you money by automatically adjusting utility usage and perhaps offer projections based on prospective scenarios such as buying that model flat-panel TV or weather conditions. This would insulate users from the tedious details but delivering savings that can be quantified.
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Possibly one of the most important talks of the year. Bill Gates' talk on energy and climate at TED:
The most important aspect of this talk is that the wealthiest man in the world and likely the most important philanthropist recognizes and asserts unambiguously the urgent need to address the climate crisis.
Monday, February 15, 2010
The San Francisco building code will soon be revised to require that new structures be wired for car chargers. Across the street from City Hall, some drivers are already plugging converted hybrids into a row of charging stations.This is a major focus of the Bay Area Climate Collaborative.
In nearby Silicon Valley, companies are ordering workplace charging stations in the belief that their employees will be first in line when electric cars begin arriving in showrooms. And at the headquarters of Pacific Gas and Electric, utility executives are preparing “heat maps” of neighborhoods that they fear may overload the power grid in their exuberance for electric cars.
“There is a huge momentum here,” said Andrew Tang, an executive at P.G.& E.
As automakers prepare to introduce the first mass-market electric cars late this year, it is increasingly evident that the cars will get their most serious tryout in just a handful of places. In cities like San Francisco, Portland, Ore., and San Diego, a combination of green consciousness and enthusiasm for new technology seems to be stirring public interest in the cars.
The first wave of electric car buying is expected to begin around December, when Nissan introduces the Leaf, a five-passenger electric car that will have a range of 100 miles on a fully charged battery and be priced for middle-class families.
The Bay Area will be getting new residential energy programs this spring and summer. The Association of Bay Area Governments was just awarded 10.75 million dollars to manage a Bay Area Retrofit program - and each of the counties will get part of that to expand or create their energy efficiency programs.
In addition to San Francisco launching its green financing program, the Counties of Alameda, Solano, San Mateo and Santa Clara and several other non-Bay Area Counties are participating in the CaliforniaFIRST statewide pilot program that will allow residents to finance their energy efficiency and renewable energy projects with their property taxes. The California Energy Commission also funded a grant to launch this CaliforniaFIRST pilot.
There will be both regional and local approaches to energy efficiency and should result in significant reductions of energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions AND help the construction industry create new jobs or work.
Moving on what is going to be a wave of innovative financing in California and likely nationally to enable solar power, energy efficiency and other green steps for property owners, San Francisco implements a major financing program similar to Berkeley's BerkeleyFIRST.
Mayor Gavin Newsom signed legislation Monday that creates a citywide special tax district to finance energy efficiency, renewable energy and water conservation improvements. The loans, which will be attached to the property -- not the owner, will be paid back through property taxes.Soon many property owners throughout the state will have access to similar financing as the CaliforniaFIRST program facilitated by Renewable Funding ramps up and launches its pilot program in the Summer. Numerous counties have already signed on to this pilot including Alameda, San Mateo, Santa Clara and Monterey.
"This green financing program is going to create green jobs and fuel the next wave of energy and water efficiency and renewable energy development in San Francisco," Newsom said in a statement. "It helps home and property owners overcome the large up-front costs of major environmental improvements."
Beginning in March, San Franciscans will be able to seek financing from the Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which will make $150 million in bonds available, according to Renewable Funding, a private group that will put up the capital and administer the program at no cost to the city.