Solar Power Lights Up Amazon Communities Fighting Dirty Energy

September 19, 2017 — Three indigenous communities on the front lines of the Amazon rainforest’s most emblematic rights and resources struggles now have solar energy generation capacity and internet hubs thanks to a partnership between Amazon Watch and Empowered By Light.

While Trump administration denies the impacts of climate change on the disastrous weather events in recent weeks, indigenous communities in the Amazon are leading us toward a brighter future as they embrace clean energy while defending the living forest, as demonstrated in the new video released today by Amazon Watch and Credo Mobile.

“These communities are true climate leaders,” said Leila Salazar-López, Executive Director at Amazon Watch. “Lighting the way for our climate and our forests, these indigenous earth defenders know that the solution to climate change must include stopping the destruction of the Amazon rainforest.”

Solar micro-systems and radio communications infrastructure now power five Sápara communities in the Ecuadorian Amazon as they resist oil drilling on their lands; two Munduruku communities in the Brazilian Amazon as they demand legal recognition and protection for their territory; and four U’wa communities in the Colombian cloud forests as they defend their sacred sites. More installations are planned for late 2017 and 2018.

The astoundingly biodiversity of the Amazon is home to hundreds of distinct indigenous peoples whose futures are threatened by this resurgent wave of resource exploitation, often living in remote areas where they are vulnerable to violent repression. The solar power and communications systems being installed are critical for these communities to assure their safety and communicate their stories as they defend their traditional practices and territories. In the past, protecting themselves and their territories has meant using polluting and unreliable diesel and kerosene generators, with fuel being brought in from the outside at significant expense.

Photo credit: Amazon Watch

The solar and communications equipment allow these remote communities to communicate internally to improve their safety and engage in cross-community dialogue; tell their own story to the broader world directly through new communications technology and training, subsequently further increasing their visibility and safety; and have access to reliable, clean energy for other community needs without relying on dirty energy sources like kerosene or diesel.

“We hope the introduction of clean, renewable solar power will not only help these communities protect the Amazon rainforest, which is critical for climate stability, but that it will demonstrate to their governments that similar remote or off-grid communities can leapfrog fossil fuels,” said Moira Hanes, co-founder of Empowered by Light.

Collaborative project planning, along with maintenance and communications trainings, are integral parts of all of these projects in order to maximize both system longevity and impact. These projects, all of which were specifically requested by the communities, provide critical external and internal communications capacity, thereby allowing communities to increase both their personal safety and visibility for their emblematic campaigns.

For more information:

Amazon Watch: www.amazonwatch.org/solar
Empowered By Light: www.empoweredbylight.org

4 Tips to Reduce Energy Usage at Home

For a homeowner, reducing energy usage at home not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it also greatly reduces your energy bill. If you’re looking for ways you can start living a more “green” lifestyle or you just want to save more money, here are four tips to help you get started.

Opt for Energy-Efficient Appliances

When you think energy-efficient appliances, ENERGY STAR is the trusted label that comes to mind. Widely recognized, ENERGY STAR appliances meet the strict energy-efficient requirements set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). When you choose ENERGY STAR appliances, you’re saving money and saving energy, all without sacrificing quality. For example, choosing an ENERGY STAR certified dishwasher is 10 percent more energy efficient, 20 percent more water efficient and will cost you $35 less annually compared to a standard dishwasher. It doesn’t stop at dishwashers, ENERGY STAR offers over 65 different products for your home ranging from lighting and appliances to consumer electronics.

Choose the Right Lights

There are a few choice when it comes to energy-efficient lighting, but light-emitting diodes (LEDs) are the way to go! Although these bulbs cost you more upfront than traditional incandcscent bulbs, they save you money in the long run, and most importantly, use less energy. Most people are aware of LED light bulbs, however, there are several other appliances and electronics that use light, like your refrigerator, microwave, security camera and television, to name a few. By choosing energy-efficient options, specifically LED, you will reduce your energy usage. For example, Lorex Technology offers several security cameras with LED lights and LED screens that are energy efficient and high quality. In addition, previously discussed ENERGY STAR appliances also utilize LED lights that are more efficient than their counterparts.

4 Tips to Reduce Energy Usage at Home

Unplug Idle Electronics

Even after shutting down the computers for the night, turning off the TV and switching off all of the lights, your electricity meter is still working hard. Nearly one-quarter of home energy use is consumed by vampires, not blood-sucking vampires, but rather devices and appliances that are still plugged in, wasting electricity even after they are switched off. The Natural Resources Defense Council and affiliates partnered to asses the impact of these vampire electronics and found that inactive devices waste about $165 per U.S. household on average, translating to approximately 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants’ worth of electricity nationwide. Unplugging these vampire electronics, or at least reducing their affects, starts with purchasing power strips that are easily flipped on and off, timers that shut down electronics when they’re not in use and turning off “quick start” options on your TV or gaming consoles so the energy grid isn’t being utilized on stand-by.

Be Smart When Heating and Cooling

Properly and efficiently insulating your home, including windows and the ceiling, cannot be emphasized enough. This will keep your home cool in the summer when you have the air conditioner on and warm in the winter with the heater running. Although you should leave insulation to professionals, the U.S. Department of Energy has great resources for where you should start if you’d like to make your home more energy efficient, while reducing energy bills. First, you need to find out how much insulation you’ll need and where it will go. This includes hiring a qualified home energy auditor to conduct an insulation check which identifies areas of your home that need to be sealed before you begin insulating.

Also, consider geothermal energy too from people like my buddies at Dandelion Energy!

2017 HUDSON VALLEY DRIVE ELECTRIC WEEK POUGHKEEPSIE 

Now is a great time to buy an electric vehicle (EV)! There are incentives and support available to both you and your local government which make it attainable and affordable for consumers to purchase EVs, and make more public charging available.  
 

In this segment NYSERDA’s Clean Energy Communities Program will be outlined, including a case study of how the town of Red Hook was able to receive state rebates for their charging station installations, as well as a discussion about how to capture funding specifically for your municipality. There will also be a Q&A session at the end with time to mingle and get all of your questions answered.

Where:​ Marist College, in front of McCann Recreation Center

​(South entrance, closest to the Mid-Hudson Bridge and bear left)

Date:​Sunday, September 17th

Time:​ 1pm – 2pm 

There will be an electric car show running concurrently from 12pm-3pm where officials and the public can chat with local electric car owners to get their perspective on driving the cleanest and quickest cars out there. 

 All programs are free and open to the public. 

Search ‘Drive Electric Poughkeepsie’ to find the official event site, 

Or send email to hudsonvalleyev@gmail.com for more details or for any questions.

USA Fully Electric Car Sales Up 47% In 2017 says CleanTechnica

Sept 9 by Zachary Shahan

The US electric car market has continued to grow at a rapid pace in the past year — led by California’s particularly strong electric car market, of course. From January through August, sales of 8 fully electric cars* grew 47% in the country. Sales of 6 plug-in hybrid cars were up 30%. Overall, that meant sales of these 14 plug-in car were up 40%.

August 2017 vs August 2016 was less dramatic but still a period of strong growth. Fully electric car sales were up 19%. Plug-in hybrid sales were up 4%. Overall, that meant a 13% increase in plug-in car sales.If the Tesla estimates** are to be believed, the Tesla Model S was far ahead in the #1 spot, the Chevy Bolt held tight at #2, the Toyota Prius Prime rose to #3, the Tesla Model X dropped to #4, and the Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF retained their places at #5 and #6, respectively. Ah, gone are the days of the neverending LEAF vs Volt battle at the top of the charts (which was a super tight competition for years).


If you look at the January through August stats (which are educated estimates** but certainly not exact), the Model S is crushing it (despite its high price tag). That hints at how extremely competitive the car is in its niche segment. The Volt has a slight lead over the Model X, which has an even slighter lead over the Toyota Prius Prime. The Chevy Bolt has a gap to cover to catch up with any of those models, but now that sales are picking up and availability is nationwide, it has potential to climb up the ranking and perhaps even land on the podium by the end of the year.

Bmw i3
BMW i3
Chevy Bolt
Chevy Bolt
Prius Prime and Nissan Leaf
185th Tesla Model S ever sold
185th Tesla Model S ever sold
Tesla Model X
Tesla Model X
We can surely expect electric car sales to keep increasing as Tesla Model 3 production ramps up, the next-generation Nissan LEAF arrives on dealer lots, and overall EV awareness rises. I would be surprised if our report one year from now doesn’t show a more dramatic electric car sales increase of 82% at this point in time.

AUDI Partners with ALTA DEVICES to use Leading Solar Technology on New Cars

Audi and Alta Devices have signed an MOU to develop automobiles with integrated high-efficiency solar cells with first joint prototype to be completed by the end of 2017.

As the first step, Audi and Alta Devices will integrate solar cells into a panoramic glass roof. In the future, because Alta’s technology is uniquely flexible, thin, and efficient, almost the entire roof surface is to be covered with solar cells. The electricity generated from the cells will flow into the car’s electric system and can supply, for example, the air-conditioning system and seat heaters – a gain in efficiency that has a direct positive impact on the range of an Audi electric vehicle.

Audi and Alta Devices have signed an MOU to develop automobiles with integrated high-efficiency solar cells with first joint prototype to be completed by the end of 2017.
Alta Devices delivers the world’s most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. By converting light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices AnyLight™ power technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in unmanned systems, satellites, consumer electronics, sensors, automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility matter. 

Alta Devices delivers the world’s most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. By converting light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices AnyLight™ power technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in unmanned systems, satellites, consumer electronics, sensors, automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility matter.
The Audi Group, with its brands Audi, Ducati and Lamborghini, is one of the most successful manufacturers of automobiles and motorcycles in the premium segment. It is present in more than 100 markets worldwide and produces at 16 locations in twelve countries. 100 percent subsidiaries of AUDI AG include Audi Sport GmbH (Neckarsulm), Automobili Lamborghini S.p.A. (Sant’Agata Bolognese, Italy) and Ducati Motor Holding S.p.A. (Bologna, Italy).

In 2016, the Audi Group delivered to customers about 1.868 million automobiles of the Audi brand, 3,457 sports cars of the Lamborghini brand and 55,451 motorcycles of the Ducati brand. In the 2016 fiscal year, AUDI AG achieved total revenue of €59.3 billion and an operating profit of €3.1 billion. At present, approximately 88,000 people work for the company all over the world, more than 60,000 of them in Germany. Audi focuses on sustainable products and technologies for the future of mobility.

Alta Devices delivers the world’s most efficient, thin and flexible mobile power technology. By converting light of any kind into electricity, Alta Devices AnyLight™ power technology extends the energy source of a system, and in many cases, completely cuts the traditional power cord. The solution can be completely integrated into the final system, and is ideal for use in unmanned systems, satellites, consumer electronics, sensors, automotive, remote exploration, or anywhere size, weight, and mobility matter.
This announcement, which follows recent disclosures about Alta’s adoption for various space and satellite applications, shows the company’s momentum which has implications on broad markets and manufacturing. 

Source:Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion efficiency and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit http://www.altadevices.com. Alta Devices is a Hanergy company., www.altadevices.com/press

Source:Alta Devices holds world records for energy conversion efficiency and is headquartered in Sunnyvale, CA. For more information, visit http://www.altadevices.com. Alta Devices is a Hanergy company., www.altadevices.com/press