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.

You could call it utility-scale renewables 3.0. 
The previous two phases focused on getting large solar arrays and wind farms up and running (1.0) and then boosting their output (2.0). Today, developers are looking beyond just adding more rows of panels or bigger turbines to their plans.

It’s no secret that the global economy, available energy supply and the balance-sheet status of the worldwide electrical supply-chain industry are never going to return to the levels they reached at the end of the 20th century. There is no optimistic rebound coming.


Electric vehicles (EVs) appear to be in a boom cycle in 2014. Year-to-date figures at the end of June were up 33 percent compared to 2013’s numbers, and May, June and July all posted sales in record or near-record territory, according to the EV-tracking website InsideEVs.com.

The modern movement toward more sustainable-energy practices has touched almost every aspect of our daily lives. From renewable power to electric vehicles (EVs), few of these changes have gone unnoticed, and the trend affects almost everyone in one way or another.


More on Green Building

 
Study Finds Solar a Bargain for New Jersey and Pennsylvania

A recent study by the consulting firm Clean Power Research showed that solar power in New Jersey and Pennsylvania delivers value to the electric grid that exceeds its cost by a large margin, making it a bargain for consumers.

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Global Renewable Demand, and Investment, on the Rise

Two studies released recently confirm commonly accepted solutions to climate change are swelling on a global scale.

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Renewables in Europe Could Soon Displace Fossil Fuels

There will always be a little bit of the outrageous in renewable power. Yet, every day, in the realm of energy, what once seemed like the exclusive domain of fantasy becomes an accepted part of our lives.

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Microsoft Test-Markets Sludge Power

It is hardly a coincidence that renewable power and digital technology have come of age at the same time. Both thrive on innovations that help feed the other’s success.

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Scientists Tackling Cost, Charge-Life of EVs

Just as every new technology thrives on its own promise, drawbacks and flaws in the initial design also hold back progress. For example, computers were once the size of a room. Calculators were initially too expensive for most people to own.

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Favorable Outlook

Energy management is emerging as a focal point in construction conversations. Electrical contractors (ECs) need to be aware of the latest trends and understand their role in promoting energy management. They also should know how to expand that role.


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Meet The Future

Many electrical contractors wonder if energy services will remain a viable market in 2013 and beyond. This concern is understandable, given the uncertainty in the domestic and global energy markets today.

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