A list of the top renewable energy lobbyists in 2010, airborne wind turbines, the military adopts green building standards and LVX to use visible light to communicate.
Top Renewable Energy Lobbyists in 2010
Lobbying has been an integral part of the lawmaking process for decades. Lobbyists are the voice of special interest groups as they advocate legislation that will benefit their industry. Since 2000, energy companies have dished out more than $2.5 billion in efforts to lobby members of Congress, according to the Center for Responsive Politics. Though up till recently the efforts have been made largely by oil, gas and utility companies, renewable energy lobbyists are picking up the pace. In 2010, the American Wind Energy Association spent almost $2 million on lobbying. They were the number one contributors from the renewable field. A total of almost $40 million was spent on 740 lobbyists in the past year from misc. (mainly renewable) energy companies. The full contributions made by various companies can be seen here.
LVX to use Visible Light to Communicate,
LVX System, a Minnesota company, is installing LED fixtures that will serve as communication devices. Workers will be connected to the internet through the flashing lights on the overhead LEDs. The fixtures work by switching on and off at rapid intervals. The flashes release binary code data that powers modems. The lights on the modems transmit data back to the fixtures, allowing workers to connect to the internet. The visible light communication even saves the company money on their electricity bills.
Airborne Wind Turbines
NASA researchers are experimenting with the idea of free-floating wind farms. The airborne wind turbines spin at greater speeds and can send generated power back to Earth through nanotube tether cables. The turbines can stay suspended for up to a year. Mark Moore, a NASA aerospace engineer, says wind speeds are more consistent at higher altitudes. At 2,000 feet, turbines can harvest up to 27 times the power production.
Military Adopts Green Building Standards
The navy tested algae-based fuels for their ships and other branches of the military also adopted greener practices in an effort to be more energy sustainable. The army has now incorporated green building standards as a part of its initiatives. The ASHRAE 189.1 standards are written as a building code a bit different from the LEED rating system. The standards were developed by ASHRAE (an organization of mechanical engineers), the US Green Building Council, the International Code Council, and IESNA (an organization of lighting engineers). Buildings have to save 27 percent energy compared to the 2007 code to meet the standard.
Trina Solar, a PV manufacturer, has completed a 5-MW solar power plant with Lanco Infratech Limited in India. The project is the largest single-location solar plant in India and in the state of Gujarat. The state’s government supports the investment in solar energy and Gujarat is an emerging area for solar power. Trina Solar produces wafers and cells for the assembly of PV modules.
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