Green bits and bytes for Feb 17th 2011

Green bits & bytes


Some of the Green announcements which passed by my desk this week:

  1. Greenstone Carbon Management, a UK based carbon solutions company, has announced that it will be exhibiting at the GreenPort Logistics and Energy for Green Ports conferences, held in Venice during the 23rd and 24th February 2011. Greenstone will be showcasing their Acco2unt carbon management software can help organisations in the marine sector.
  2. Martifer Solar has been chosen by The Hertz Corporation to install 2.48MW of solar PV at 14 locations across the US. The 2.48 MW system will supply enough energy to power approximately 300 homes per year and will offset the CO2 emissions of 271,009 gallons of consumed gasoline annually.
  3. The Global Biofuels Center recently ranked the top 25 countries in terms of capacity for both biodiesel and ethanol. The US and Brazil account for the majority of biofuels operating capacity in the world.
  4. In what must be ironic timing given Vodafone’s shutting down of the mobile phone network during the uprising in Egypt, the Vodafone Foundation has announced that it is deepening its partnership with disaster relief agency T?l?coms sans Fronti?res (TSF) to help bring emergency mobile communications to disaster zones.

    Under the three-year partnership, the Vodafone Foundation will give the agency financial support of ?1 million towards its core costs. Vodafone will also be on-hand to provide TSF with innovative mobile equipment for use in emergency situations alongside technical expertise from its employees.

    Vodafone has sealed the partnership by designing and trialling a portable mobile network that could help relief workers to reach victims more quickly.

  5. RSB Funds and Martifer Solar have come together to offer public entities such as municipalities and special districts in the US the opportunity to obtain solar through a third party ownership model. This has been made possible by the Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010 and in this case the benefits provided by the Act will be shared with the Host in the form of lower power costs.
  6. Social impact gaming indie developer Red Redemption announces that the global English language edition of their PC game Fate of the World is now scheduled for release on Monday February 28, 2011. Fate of the World is a global strategy game covering the next two centuries, from 2020 to 2200, in which the player must find a way to protect Earth’s ever-depleting resources and climate whilst reconciling the needs of a growing world population who demand more food, power, and living space.

    There will be a special US presentation with the NOAA in Ashville North Carolina, February 24 before a panel of distinguished Climate Change scientists including Dr. Otis Brown – Director of NOAA’s National Climatic Data Center who states “The use of real data and models provides an excellent introduction to the complexities of balancing global energy needs with available resources.”

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Photo credit Tom Raftery


June 29th GreenMonk Energy and Sustainability show

Here is the chatstream from yesterday’s Energy & Sustainability show (above) – there were a couple of technical hitches which I have now sorted out and which shouldn’t present problems next week:

03:31 Tom Raftery: Do we have audio & video
03:32 cgarvey: yup, both working
03:34 SukiFuller: I’m gonna be listening but not able to type
03:35 Tom Raftery:
03:37 Tom Raftery:
03:39 Tom Raftery:
03:40 Tom Raftery:
03:43 MikeTheBee: In more ways than one!
03:44 Tom Raftery:
03:45 Doc_Manhattan: Hello Tom great show so far
03:46 Tom Raftery:
03:47 Tom Raftery:
03:49 Doc_Manhattan: too cool on the algae
03:49 Tom Raftery:
03:49 cgarvey: More good news .. .. all the big mobile phone companies have signed up for a common charger standard to start to appear from 2010.
03:51 Tom Raftery:
03:52 Tom Raftery:
03:53 cgarvey: There is an issue with Firefox and comments (I’ll email you separately)
03:54 Tom Raftery:
03:54 MikeTheBee: Comments okay on Mac but not for me *again” on FF win
03:55 Tom Raftery:
03:56 Doc_Manhattan: our group works together as a worldwide team on using a VW to meet so we’re participating!
03:56 MikeTheBee: @cgarvey Me too pls, I thought I had it sussed with cookies previously
03:57 Tom Raftery:
03:58 MikeTheBee: Ah good, mini USB is at least a standard of sorts
03:58 Tom Raftery:
03:59 MikeTheBee: Scotland have no money of their own
04:01 cgarvey: mailing you now on both
04:01 MikeTheBee: @cgarvey Thx
04:01 SukiFuller: I have no technical issues. 🙂 Some great links today, awesome show Tom!
04:02 cgarvey: Thanks again Tom
04:02 MikeTheBee: Ell done again . cheers all.
04:02 Tom Raftery: Thanks everyone for a great show – apols for tech issues
04:14 cgarvey: Just a small correction: the new mobile charger standard is Micro USB, not Mini USB. Pic comparing them: .. WikiPedia article: Info


Microsoft expands its Connector bus service

Microsoft Connector

Photo Credit samk

Microsoft operate a private bus service called the Connector service for employees to get to work at its headquarters in Redmond. Microsoft has 39,000 employees working at its Redmond campus so providing this facility for them is not only Green, it also reduces on congestion and the requirement for parking spaces.

Microsoft announced the other day the expansion of this service to nine new neighbourhoods in the Puget Sound area. It now covers 19 neighbourhoods and to date:

the Connector has provided more than 380,000 rides to 8,650 employees, and has reduced carbon emissions by 5.5 million pounds. With this expansion, estimates suggest the Connector will eliminate annually 6,730,020 employee car miles and 6,387,550 pounds (or 3,194 tons) of carbon emissions.

That’s some impressive numbers!

As well as getting a free ride, the buses are Wi-Fi–enabled and equipped with AC power – now if only they were battery operated or ran on biofuels, then they’d be really Green!


The high price of oil is not the problem – it is the solution to the actual problem of anthropogenic climate change

Photo Credit Future-PhD

Chris Morrisson has a post on the VentureBeat blog extolling a heavily self-funded startup called Algenol Biofuels which is using algae to produce ethanol for use as a fuel.

The company is about to build a refinery in Mexico to produce:

a jaw-dropping billion gallons a year of ethanol by the end of 2012

In the article he mentions two other algal biofuel companies Sapphire Energy and Aquaflow Bionomic both of whom are working on fuels produced from algae.

All very well but these companies are solving the wrong problem. The problem these companies are trying to solve is the current high price of oil. The high price of oil is not the problem – it is the solution to the actual problem of anthropogenic climate change!

In fairness to Chris, he also mentions work on getting algae to produce hydrogen:

Separately, talk in some quarters is picking up about using algae to produce hydrogen, a process being perfected by, among others, the University of California at Berkeley in conjunction with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Now, if this came to fruition, Honda’s announcement today that they are going to start selling cars based on hydrogen fuel cells this coming July (2008) could be seen as very prescient.