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Richard Branson just launched a $3 million prize for a better air conditioner
14 November 2018 - When people move out of poverty, one of the first things they buy is an air conditioner -- and the world can't handle the emissions that are going to come from an air conditioning boom. 'The increase in energy consumption for cooling represents a massive risk to meeting our climate goals,' says Richard Branson, who today helped launch both the report and the Global Cooling Prize, a $3 million competition to spur new technology. ... It's supported in part by the Indian government, as that country alone will add around 1 billion room air conditioners by the middle of the century. (more)

India: Union minister inaugurates the Global Cooling Prize Innovation summit
14 November 2018 - Union Environment Minister Harsh Vardhan inaugurated 'The Global Cooling Innovation Summit' on November 12, 2018, in New Delhi. The Global Cooling Prize is an international competition to encourage the development of a residential cooling technology which impacts the environment five times lesser than the standard Room Air Conditioning (RAC). (more)

Branson backs $3 million cooling challenge
14 November 2018 - British entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson is backing a new $3 million initiative to find a more efficient residential cooling technology. 'Air conditioning needs to become acceptable to all. It should not be a luxury as it is today,' Sir Richard Branson said at the competition's launch. 'If we carry on using the same outdated air conditioning technology the temperature of the planet will rise by 0.5 degrees by air conditioning use alone.' (more)

Kenya airport turns to solar power as it aims to cut emissions
13 November 2018 - An airport in Kenya is set to have a ground-mounted, 500-kilowatt solar system installed. The photovoltaic system would offset 1,300 tons of carbon dioxide annually. Solarcentury added that the installation would make Moi International Airport the first in East Africa to have a solar photovoltaic system installed. Photovoltaic cells directly convert the light of the sun into electricity. (more)

France: Greater Paris to ban old diesel cars from summer 2019
13 November 2018 - The Greater Paris region will become a low-emission zone from next summer, which will limit the circulation of old diesel cars, the regional authority decided on Monday (12 November). The council plans to gradually tighten regulations in order to allow only electric or hydrogen-fueled cars on Greater Paris roads by 2030. In central Paris, pre-2000 diesels have been banned since July 2017. (more)

Germany: Stuttgart to ban older diesel engined cars after court ruling
13 November 2018 - Stuttgart will enforce a ban on older diesel vehicles by 2019 following a local German court ruling on Monday (12 November), the latest German city to fall into line with moves to cut pollution. Diesel bans have now been allowed in Hamburg, Frankfurt, and Berlin. (more)

Solar to account for 9 percent of new energy capacity in Africa in next 2 years
13 November 2018 - An Africa power sector scorecard shows that solar will make inroads into the African energy sector over the next two years, accounting for 9 percent of new capacity additions, as renewables uptake across the continent continues to grow. (more)

Organic products still on growth track worldwide
12 November 2018 - There's a good outlook for the international organic food industry -- both in Europe and worldwide. European and international markets remain on a growth track. Experts currently put global revenues above USD 95 billion; Europe accounts for more than EUR 33 billion. The market is now growing very vigorously in many European countries. 'We're seeing lively growth in North America and Europe, but the Asian market is also catching up fast,' notes Amarjit Sahota of the London market research and consulting firm Ecovia (formerly Organic Monitor). (more)

Pennsylvania ranks 2nd in US in organic production
12 November 2018 - 'Pennsylvania has grown phenomenally in organic sales, doubling from 2015 to 2016 alone, and we are now second in the nation in organic production,' Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding said. 'We are not a leader by accident, but because of public and private investment in taking a strategic approach to industry growth. These funds support that forward-thinking innovation by those seeking to grow and sustain their businesses, respond to consumer trends, and diversify their operations.' (more)

Ideas on organic agriculture from around the globe sought, shared at UW-Madison Harvest of Ideas forum
12 November 2018 - For Kate VandenBosch, dean of UW-Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, holding an event like the Harvest of Ideas comes back to the Wisconsin Idea, which signifies a general principle that education should extend beyond the classroom. The October 31 event, a forum that brought together people from around the globe to explore organic agriculture and how the University of Wisconsin can best contribute to the advancement of organic agriculture, also served as a venue to share ideas and create more cooperative solutions world-wide. (more)

Switzerland: Sales of organic products are growing strongly
12 November 2018 - Sales of organic vegetables and organic fruits in the retail sector are growing strongly [in Switzerland]. From September 2017 to August 2018, sales of organic vegetables in the retail trade increased by 7 percent, as reported by the Federal Office for Agriculture (FOAG). In the same period, however, sales of conventional vegetables decreased by 3 percent. The share of organic retail sales amounts to 15 percent for vegetables. (more)

Electric bus orders more than doubled last year in Europe
10 November 2018 - According to Transport and Environment, the number of orders for electric buses in Europe more than doubled from roughly 400 in 2016 to 1,031 in 2017. The market is expected to double in 2018 as the number of buses ordered during the first half of this year (including trolleybuses with batteries) almost exceed the number for all of 2017. (more)

US: New York eyes plan to be first state to ban flavored e-cigarettes
9 November 2018 - New York state is taking steps to ban the sale of flavored electronic cigarettes in the hopes of curbing a sharp rise in the use of vaping products by young people, the Cuomo administration said Friday (9 November). New York state health officials began tracking e-cigarette use in New York in 2014. Since then, use by high school youths increased from 10.5 percent to 27.4 percent in 2018, the health department said. (more)

US: This Houston urban organic farm honors veterans with jobs
9 November 2018 - When Gracie and Bob Cavnar launched the Recipe for Success Foundation in 2005, their main goals were to battle childhood obesity by changing the way children understand, appreciate, and eat their food, and to provide the community with healthier diets. But rather than sitting on their laurels, the couple became inspired to do even more. ...To further their important mission, Hope Farms instated a grant-supported program to train U.S. military veterans to become new urban farmers. Hope Farms integrates farming, education, and community engagement on seven beautiful acres where they use organic methods to grow a wide variety of crops. (more)

Construction starts on 220-megawatt solar park in Mexico
8 November 2018 - The Enel Group has commenced construction of a 220 megawatt solar photovoltaic park in Mexico via its subsidiary, Enel Green Power Mexico. The Magdalena II facility is located in the state of Tlaxcala and is slated to commence operations in the second half of 2019. The solar power facility will produce around 600 gigawatt hours of energy per year. (more)

Cooled by the Sun: Spokane engineers produce solar-powered refrigeration system
8 November 2018 - A Moses Lake, Washington-based applied solar company with a team of engineers based here has invented a mobile refrigeration system that runs entirely on solar power. The system has a variety of potential applications, Johnston says [Andy Johnston, president and principal at Johnston Engineering PLLC], such as transportation or storage of perishable goods . . . in mobile pop-up hospitals, and in cooling shelters for agricultural workers. (more)

France: Paris region to launch world's biggest fleet of electric bicycles
8 November 2018 - The Paris region plans to launch a large fleet of electric bicycles in a state-funded scheme aimed at getting commuters to cycle to work and reducing congestion and pollution. From September 2019, regional transport agency Ile-de-France Mobilites (IDFM) will provide up to 10,000 e-bikes for long-term rental, with a view to expanding the scheme to 20,000, which would make it the world's largest e-bike rental program. (more)

South Africa successfully delivers electricity with the solar microgrid project
8 November 2018 - South Africa's power state-owned utility, Eskom has announced to have successfully delivered electricity from a solar microgrid demonstration project that was developed and tested over a period of 16 months. Eskom, launched its ground-breaking pilot solar-powered microgrid at Wilhelmina Farm, Ficksburg in the Free State. The plant harnesses solar energy and converts it to a peak of 32 kilowatt electrical energy via solar photovoltaic panels and power inverters. (more)

UPROSE, partners contracted for New York's first cooperatively-owned community solar array
8 November 2018 - New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) announced the selection of UPROSE, Solar One, and Co-op Power to develop and operate a community solar garden at the Brooklyn Army Terminal (BAT). The rooftop solar array will be the first cooperatively-owned project if its kind in New York State, and will connect hundreds of New Yorkers and industrial businesses to sustainable energy through a subscription-based service. (more)

US cigarette smoking rate reaches new low
8 November 2018 - Cigarette use among American adults is at the lowest it's been since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention started collecting data on the issue in 1965, according to a report released Thursday (8 November). (more)

US: Milwaukee County ups number of future electric bus fleet to 15
8 November 2018 - Milwaukee County [in the state of Wisconsin] increased the amount of battery electric buses to be purchased to 15, part of an initiative to modernize the county's bus fleet and move away from fossil fuels. (more)

Germany 2030: 3,000 electric buses in 5 biggest cities
6 November 2018 - Five German cities, 3,000 electric buses on the road. It's the 2030 outlook published by Wirtschaftswoche following a survey. Berlin, Hamburg, and Cologne have been the first to commit to the electrification of the bus fleet. Frankfurt and Munich are following. (more)

3rd Ayurveda Day observed across India
5 November 2018 - The 3rd Ayurveda Day was observed across India on 5 November 2018 on the occasion of the Dhanawantari Jayanti or Dhanteras with an aim to further promote Ayurveda as the mainstream system of medicine. (more)

US: Facebook, TVA solar projects to nearly double Tennessee and Alabama solar
5 November 2018 - Tennessee and Alabama aren't exactly known for being national solar powerhouses; actually far from it. Which is why last week's announcement by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) of two solar projects totaling 377 MW to support Facebook's data center in Huntsville, Alabama was so groundbreaking.' We applaud Facebook for having the vision and the leadership to push for a clean energy future and TVA for responding to this large customer's demand,' said Dr. Stephen A. Smith, executive director of the Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. (more)

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