Biodigesters to Milk Power from Dairy Farms

Posted on December 10th, 2012 by

Biodigesters to Milk Power from Dairy Farms

The California Energy Commission wants to milk the manure from its 1,900 dairy farms and convert them into methane gas using biodigesters. According to a study from the California Biomass Collaborative, it is technically feasible to produce enough to power about 70,000 homes from manure. The California Air Resources Board further estimates that the potential for methane capture from dairies amounts to about 3.1 million metric tons of carbon. Researchers are looking at potential business structures, permitting issues, interconnection barriers, and financial factors. The ultimate goal is to develop a road map for expediting utility interconnection and managing shared responsibility, risk, liability and maintenance.

All Eyes on US after International Climate Change Talks End

Other countries are now watching to see if the Obama administration will back up post-election comments about climate change with renewed efforts to cut emissions and pave the way for more ambitious targets as work proceeds to adopt a new global climate pact in 2015. Both rich and poor countries have long accused the U.S. of hampering the global effort to fight climate change. Alone among industrialized nations, the U.S. rejected the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the only binding treaty to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.  The Bush administration said it would hurt the U.S. economy and that it was unfair because it didn’t include emerging economies including China and India. Hopes for stronger U.S. leadership in the U.N. talks under Obama were dashed when emissions-capping legislation stalled in Congress. But expectations rose anew this year after Hurricane Sandy pushed climate change back in the domestic political debate.

Gas Price Drops 10 Cents Over the Past 3 Weeks

According to the Lundberg Survey of fuel prices, the average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped ten cents over the past three weeks. The price of a gallon of regular is at $3.38, Midgrade is at an average of $3.55 a gallon, and premium is $3.69. Diesel also dipped two cents to $4.02 a gallon. Of the cities surveyed in the lower 48 states, Memphis, Tenn., has the lowest average price for gas at $3.04. Long Island, N.Y. has the highest at $3.85. The average statewide for a gallon of regular was $3.52, down a dime.

Looking for Solar Licensing Info? Go to IREC’s Solar Licensing Database

IREC now provides a valuable database of licensing information for those who wants to become a solar thermal or photovoltaic installer. The Solar Licensing Database is designed to help people understand state-by-state requirements, and who they can contact for. The database can also be a helpful tool for students being trained through the SITN to work in the solar industry. IREC uses the ISPQ international framework to assess content, quality, and resources across a range of renewable energy, energy efficiency and weatherization training programs. IREC regularly updates the database to keep pace with industry standards as they become available. For more information, visit the IREC Solar Licensing Database.

How to Stay Digitally Connected Amidst a Natural Disaster

In disasters, our mobile devices become a critical lifeline: for calling family members, following the news and getting critical information. After Sandy hit, many New Yorkers walked zombie-like in a desperate search for working electrical outlets.  The American Red Cross urges everyone to take the time to prepare personal data and devices. In a disaster, you may lose all hard copies of your critical personal documents. Upload password-protected copies of key documents to a cloud-based storage system. Another option is to email copies of the documents to yourself. Store extra batteries or chargers – ideally hand-cranked or solar- with your emergency kits or in an automobile so your devices can remain powered. The Red Cross also has a “Safe and Well” website designed to let family and friends know that you are OK after a disaster.

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