Green Building

 

A blooming industry, green building is rising with greater public demand, legislative focus, and code and standard mandates. With programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) becoming more popular, contractors are finding new building processes and technologies to be more efficient and environmentally minded. The below articles dive into alternative energies, energy efficiency, the smart grid, and more and include editorial from our annual special issue on the subject.

A large offshore wind turbine being tested in Denmark set a record of 9 megawatts (MW) of power on Dec. 1, 2016. The V164 turbine produced almost 216,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 24 hours, enough to power approximately 7,200 homes in the United States for an entire day.

Though the fate of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is uncertain under the current administration, one of its most successful programs, Energy Star, is doing a lot of good for the economy and electrical industry.

Despite its growing popularity, solar power does have its detractors. Pushback from utilities and lawmakers have made headlines in Arizona and Oklahoma. Now, add Utah to the list.                        

As renewable energy becomes mainstream, more providers are taking steps to store that power. Regulators are requiring more capacity, and utilities are responding to that challenge.

More on Green Building

 
Boosting Data Center Efficiency

It is estimated that the nation’s servers and data centers consumed about 61 billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) in 2006, which was 1.5 percent of total U.S. electricity consumption.


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Direct to Connect

Buildings that can make their own energy have long been a goal for environmentally motivated architects and engineers, but the means for doing so have mostly been limited to bulky solar panels and wind turbines high enough to raise the ire of almost any community’s zoning board.


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Proposed Grid to Make Offshore Wind Power More Reliable

The energy needs of the world could potentially be met by converting wind energy to electricity by means of wind turbines. While offshore wind power resources are abundant, wind turbines are currently unable to provide steady power due to natural fluctuations in wind direction and strength.


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Report: Solar Could Meet 10 Percent of U.S. Energy Needs

Environment America, a citizen-based environmental advocacy organization, released a report, “Building a Solar Future: Repowering America’s Homes, Businesses and Industry with Solar Energy,” which outlines the road to meet 10 percent of the United States’ energy needs by 2030.


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Online Tool Tracks Solar Installations

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) launched a Web site, “The Open PV Project,” that will serve as an online tool for the photovoltaic (PV) market.


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Boost in Popularity

The North American market for ballasts is already recovering from the sluggish economic conditions of 2009, according to Randy Dollar, vice president, systems market development for Universal Lighting Technologies, Nashville, Tenn.


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Poll: 75 Percent of Americans Approve of Solar-Energy Development on Public Lands

The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) released new national polling data showing that 75 percent of those surveyed support the development of solar-energy plants on public lands not set aside for national parks or nature preserves. Gotham Research Group conducted the poll.


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