Three Geothermal Bills Look to Speed Up US Development

On Tuesday, July 29, there were two hearings in U.S. Congress subcommittees that are significant to the geothermal industry. A House subcommittee discussed three bills, with two specifically relating to geothermal development, while a Senate subcommittee looked at permitting needs.

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Arizona Utility Opposing Rooftop Solar Seeking to Provide Panels

Arizona Public Service Co., the first U.S. utility to charge extra fees for customers with solar systems, is requesting permission to own its own residential systems and to pay rent for the rooftops.

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Arrest of forest rights activists symbolic of what’s wrong in India

Peaceful Forest Protest in India. 02/27/2014 © Udit kulshrestha / Greenpeace

It was just past midnight when Indian police hauled two Greenpeace India activists out of their sleep and arrested them this week as a crackdown on protests against a planned coal mine in the Mahan forest intensified.

The arrests are the latest example of intimidation tactics used in India to quell unrest over the plans by Indian conglomerate Essar to turn the Mahan forest into a climate-wrecking coal mine.

The timing of the arrests is far from coincidental. The local community was due to hold a Gram Sabha, or village council, sometime between 16-22 August to vote on the proposed coal mine development by partners Essar and Hindalco.

The police also seized a mobile signal booster and solar panels that Greenpeace India had set up in Amelia village to help spread the news from the community meeting to more than a million people who have signed a petition opposing the coal mine.

Under India’s Forest Rights Act, the authorities are required to obtain community consent from forest-dwellers for industrial developments in forests, such as Essar’s coal mine.

A village council was held last year that gave a go-ahead to the mine, but the majority of signatures on its resolution were forged. A new vote was scheduled following widespread pressure and a highly visible Greenpeace India campaign.

The vote seems to have Indian authorities worried.

Less than two months ago, four other forest rights activists were arrested at a Greenpeace India guesthouse for peacefully protesting against Essar and Hindalco’s proposed coal mine.

Local authorities are trying to intimidate people to cater to the interests of corporate giants, but it does not end there.

In June, two leaked reports from the state’s Intelligence Bureau accused Greenpeace India of “negatively impacting economic development”, claiming its campaigns against coal and nuclear energy or GE crops were anti-development.

It prompted the new Indian government, with its mantra of economic development at all costs, to tighten controls on foreign funding for Greenpeace India.

On the contrary, Greenpeace India is promoting renewable energy, and has just launched a solar-powered microgrid in Dharnai, a village in the state of Bihar that had been without electricity for 30 years.

Greenpeace India attracts global funding to tackle the global problem of climate change, but its opposition to coal mining and nuclear power projects has led to an attempt by Indian authorities to silence its voice.

Greenpeace India will continue to stand together with the people of Mahan forest, home to more than 50,000 forest dwellers who earn sustainable income by collecting and selling seasonal forest produce. These people are at risk of losing their livelihoods to Essar’s coal mine.

The villagers have organised themselves in MSS, Mahan Sangharsh Samiti (Mahan Struggle Organisation) to protest against the mine and Greenpeace India has been supporting them for three years.

Essar, clearly disgruntled, filed a Rs. 500 crore (about 60 million euros) lawsuit to gag both MSS and Greenpeace India, calling for a ban on criticisms of the mine project or the company.

Lawsuits in defence of coal mining will not halt climate change and this is why it is imperative that coal companies such as Essar be stopped in their tracks.

India and the international community have a short window of opportunity to keep global warming under the UN-agreed target of 2 degrees Celsius and Greenpeace India refuses to be silenced.

As the world’s third largest emitter of carbon dioxide after China and the US, India can still take the lead in a renewable energy revolution.

There is still time and Greenpeace India is calling on Prime Minister Narendra Modi to hear our voice and re-shape India into a 21st century climate leader. We hope he will listen.

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Tasty food has always been part of culture, leaping through time and civilizations

Aquiles ChávezIt is a historical fact that the type of diet defines cultural patterns of the different communities in every society. It is also a fact that changes in the human diet have led to biological changes in the human being as he adapted to his environment; thus building the basis of an ideal and practical everyday life depending on the availability of environmental resources.

All the cultures of the world have based their development as societies upon the management and control of a specific resource, generally linked to the diet: on the coasts of Peru or the Baja California peninsula, for example, there are mounds known as “concheros” (midden), great piles of different kinds of mollusc shells accumulated over centuries of human exploitation; on the tropical floodplains in many parts of the world there are great extensions of fields that were built mainly (though not exclusively) for agricultural use, thus achieving a livelihood for thousands of people. Perhaps the best example of the mutual relationship between a crop and a society is the domestication and sowing of corn.  While in symbiosis with humans, we have made our survival and the survival of this sacred Mesoamerican crop exclusively dependent upon cultivation; if nobody sows, harvest, cleans and threshes the corn, both entire communities and the corn itself would be doomed to disappear.

That’s right. Few people understand the long path that the food culture has travelled through the history of humankind, from its creation to its consolidation. Let’s take for example the Mesoamerican societies: it was not by chance that we discovered, domesticated and cultivated the amaranth, chia, spirulina, nopal cactus, tunas (prickly pears), corn, beans, squash, ants, maguey worm, maguey, native greens, mushrooms, and many other crops since there have always existed and still exists mutual benefit between crop and grower. That is how the Spanish Crown knew the potential of the newly discovered ecological resources, once the conquest of Mexico was consolidated. Proof of that were the literary efforts of the first monks, botanists, and European physicians who in turn, guided by masters and apprentices of the old Aztec physicians, sought to preserve the botanical, medical and even culinary wisdom of the recently conquered towns, through description and explanation of the different ecological resources found in the American continent and their uses, resources that had economical potential for the Spanish Crown.

To cite a couple of examples out of history, is the one of Francisco de Mendoza, son of then Viceroy of the New Spain Don Antonio de Mendoza, who in the mid XVI century ordered Aztec physicians and botanists to elaborate a botanical document as a present for Charles V in which the uses, both alone and combined, of about 227 medicinal plants (in combination with animals and minerals) were described, illustrated and explained. Many of these plants were later sent to Europe and were cultivated, for the benefit of the Spanish empire.

Back to the present, these and other codices and historical documents inspired my brother to build a project of ecological and community intervention, to recover useful Mesoamerican plants spread over the Iberian peninsula, so they can be included in the traditional economies of some regions and inhabitants of Andalusia.

You see, my brother knows that this diversity of texts with ecological information, were made ​​to account for, understand and describe various native American plants that were taken and later domesticated in the old continent … Many of them are still used, and many others, that now dominate the Andalusian landscape, never were and perhaps never have been, but they could be, thus impacting positively on the formal and informal economies of various vulnerable groups of the Spain in crisis. It is a simple fact. This initiative still has community character, without any public or private help, but the existence of new gastronomic potentials represents a unique economic opportunity in that it allows empowerment of the diet of those involved, by adding new foods into their diet and their gastronomic culture.

I believe that we spend little time pondering the importance of the environment as it determines the kind of diet and, by this, the cultural identity of every society. It shouldn’t be just the job of the anthropologist or the sociologist, or the ethnologist or the ethnohistorian…The gastronomist, for example, also has equal responsibility to preserve all cultural identity since he works with the materials that were historically established in a Culture. If you want to destroy a Culture, begin by destroying its most fundamental habits…its eating habits. Exchange them with a junk diet that fattens the body and weakens the will of those who suffer it and robs them of their traditional ways of eating and once again, fool them with mirrors for gold*. 20 years ago, and with the implementation of the FTA between Mexico, the U.S. and Canada began a frontal war against the free use of native ancestral knowledge and the ecological resources arising from this knowledge. With the dismantling of Article 27 of the Mexican Constitution began a private control of what was public before, the control over land. These unfortunate capitalist visions of an economy project led the recent media generations to believe that traditional is not only exotic, but alien; they couldn’t be more mistaken since, properly considered, the many Mesoamerican products belong to all the descendants of the native towns that discovered them and found a use for them.

The true heirs and transmitters of the so acclaimed Pre Hispanic gastronomy in Mexico (since in this world of conformity one finds tamales* in Amsterdam, green tomatoes and epazote* in Jaen, tlayudas* in Guatemala) are precisely the ones who have been excluded of every “Nation” project of this western Mexico. They are the humble men and women that transit every day of the week between flea markets and mercados* selling their homemade products, cruising in front of a National economic project that excludes and discriminates them. Why not make intercultural the relationship between classes through cultural culinary practices?? We would be preserving not only the production of native crops, but also the culture that develops around them…. pillars of Mexican identity.

Translation by Martha Leon de Schneider

Translation notes:

* It is commonly believed that the Spaniards “stole” Mexican gold by exchanging it for small pieces of mirror (org. espejitos), since in the Mesoamerican culture a mirror was a sacred object. When referring to somebody being fooled, exchanging a valuable thing for a lesser object (as in Aladdin “new laps for old”) many Mexicans say “le cambiaron espejitos por oro”.

* I have left the original words: “tamales” and “tlayudas”, since these are native dishes that have no translation or would need a long description. “Epazote” is also known as “pigweed” in English, but I believe the author wanted to use the ethnic essence of this herb. “Mercados” has a meaning of its own in Mexico and it would lose in meaning by translating it to “market”.

Aquiles Chávez, is considered one of the best Mexican chefs. He currently runs a restaurtant specialized in Mexican cuisine, in Houston Texas. Aquiles also conducts two popular TV programmes, “The Touch of Achilles” and “Aquilisimo” which are broadcasted across Latin America.  He is a proud Mexican and father of three children whom he considers his greatest achievement.

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LEGO, Dump Shell to stop the #TweetSpill

LEGO is helping Shell clean up its image, bringing the threat of an oil spill in the Arctic closer to reality. So we’re creating a virtual oil spill on Twitter to ask LEGO to end its dirty deal deal with Shell — before it’s too late.

Watch the #TweetSpill happen live, and click the button below to join in with your own Twitter account!

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Trillia Fidei is an International Online Campaigns Coordinator at Greenpeace Argentina.

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Beating the Heat: Hotel Reduces Cooling Costs by 44 Percent with New Solar Carport

  It’s hot in Bakersfield, California, especially during the summer months when temperatures regularly hit 110 degrees. But as The Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport is discovering, the sun also has its advantages for reducing utility costs and increasing customer acquisition and satisfaction when the hotel goes solar. The attractively

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Grid Battery Storage: Four Reasons to Invest

Think of a product — chances are that Hawaii has to import it. From food and cars to electronics and building materials, there are few areas where the U.S. state is self-sufficient — and energy is no different.

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Case Study: Using OPC Software To Operate Wind Farms in Spain

Wind power is increasingly becoming an established source of energy. High oil prices, global warming concerns and the nuclear disaster in Fukushima have all contributed to more people looking at renewable energy sources such as wind power. Germany, for example, has decided to gradually phase-out nuclear power by 2022. Wind power will be the backbone of this energy transition — by the year 2050 it should cover about half of German electricity.

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cintelliq Finds that OLED Lighting Continues to Gather Momentum

The potential of the OLED market in the short-term may be debated but what our analysis shows is that during the 2020 – 2023 period OLED lighting is set to become a major alternative to LED lighting in terms of performance, price and lifetimes.

The recent 66% price drop by LG Chem and brighter panels offered by Philips are clear signs that OLED lighting is here for the long-term as the two leading manufacturers seek to secure key market share in this rapidly growing market. Konica Minolta will launch the world’s first roll-to-roll OLED panel manufacturing line in the latter part of 2014, and this will see increases in capacity and increases in choice for luminaire manufacturers and end-users. Increased competition among OLED panel manufacturers will see greater product innovation and further price falls.

By 2020 OLED panels will be priced at €200 per m2 and operate at a brightness of 5,000cd per m2 and we could see OLED panels priced at less than €14/klm. By 2023 worldwide OLED panel production may exceed 500 million 100mm x 100mm panel equivalents.

“Now in its 3rd year this report provides a consistent review and analysis of how the market is changing annually, how big the market will grow, how many panels will be produced, how many machines will be required to meet the forecast revenues”, said Craig Cruickshank, lead analyst with cintelliq limited, “this report is becoming an essential reference for those wishing to understand the current and future evolution of the OLED lighting industry”

“OLED Lighting: Products, prices, capacity costs and forecasts  2014 – 2023” This 149 page report analyses the OLED lighting industry to understand how current products, pricing, capacity, and costs will evolve in the future and how this will impact market forecasts.

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About cintelliq ltd:
Founded in 2002, cintelliq focuses exclusively on providing information services and strategic consulting based on independent and objective analysis of the development of the emerging organic semiconductor industry.
Its services address the needs of both individuals and organisations with an interest in the development of technologies and applications across the whole of the organic semiconductor industry.
cintelliq invests its resources in: monitoring and tracking commercial and technology developments; attending exhibitions and conferences; conducting independent research; and codifying its analysis.
As well as publishing the industry’s leading weekly newsletter ‘OSA Direct’, cintelliq publishes a range of reports on the industry, conducts workshops, and carries out consultancy. For more information see: www.cintelliq.com.

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