How green are apartment owners and property managers?

Written by Brandon G. on December 21st, 2010

Please help our friends out at Property Management Software Guide with their research on the adoption of green practices by apartment owners and property managers. We would greatly appreciate you taking their short 7 question survey to analyze trends in green renovation among apartment owners and property managers. Thanks for your help!

 

Deep Green Tidal Kites: The Newest Underwater Green Energy Initiative

Written by Sarah on November 21st, 2010
This guest post is contributed by Kate Willson, who writes on the topics of top online colleges.  She welcomes your comments at her email Id: katewillson2@gmail.com.

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The latest in oceangoing green energy comes from Minesto, a spin-off of the Swedish-based Saab Group. The company has been developing technology that hopes to take advantage of the open ocean and its tidal movements in order to generate green and low-impact energy that could supplement and ease our reliance on more traditional, but less efficient energy sources, such as nuclear- or coal-powered plants. Its Deep Green initiative, which originally received a green light several years ago, hopes to use underwater kites to run turbines that will generate electricity.

Deep Green has resulted in several successful tests that Minesto say suggest that tidal kite technology could increase tidal power by eighty percent. In theory, these kites can operate in deep water where low tidal velocities make ineffective other, more traditional forms of tidal energy platforms.

Essentially, the Deep Green tidal kites will be tethered to the ocean floor and, using kinetic energy and automatic rudders, will fly in figure eights with the oceanic tides. Because water is eight hundred times as dense as air, these kites technically could produce eight hundred times the energy as wind turbines. Eventually, tidal kite farms could significantly increase green energy across the world if Minesto is successful.

Image courtesy of Minesto

So, what’s the next step? Well, the company plans to tether a prototype kite off the coast of Ireland in 2011, presuming all the tests run smoothly for the remainder of 2010 . This plan comes on the heels of the company’s having received funding from a Saab, Midroc New Technology, and BGA Invest, in addition to other private investors. Barring any problems, the company will then put a test farm off the coast of Ireland in 2012 and connect it to the Northern Ireland grid. Chief Executive of Minesto, Anders Jansson, hopes to eventually expand service to all of Ireland.

The example of Minesto and companies like it suggest that the oceans will certainly be the next frontier in green energy research and development. We have already seen other projects take shape, such as wave power generators and other tidal generators. All that remains for Minesto’s continued success is that the company must receive approval from the Department of the Environment in Northern Ireland, and it must also deal with the challenge of adapting the system into a commercially viable one.

But, if we know anything about Saab’s past success in aeronautics and automobile technology, we can expect to see this new venture swim, rather than sink.

For more information, watch Minesto’s video on the Deep Green system here.

 

Shout-out to our friend The Good Badger

Written by Brandon G. on June 2nd, 2010

Powered Green has been blessed to have some amazing help along the way. This entire blog was put together by our fantastic team of interns over the last year, and I can’t extend enough thanks to those who have helped us grow Powered Green.

A long overdue shout-out is to one of Powered Green’s finest contributors, Mr. Zach Davis. The Good Badger left us for sunny San Diego, but continues to produce great content with his extremely witty blog. Zach has gone on to do some wonderful work within the realm of this thing we call the world wide web, and his entertaining blog is no exception. If you’re in the mood for some humorous social commentary and tips to make your life less painful and more hilarious pay his blog a quick visit. Also, be sure to follow him at @zrdavis for all the updates and videos you can handle.

 

Google: Feeling Lucky with Investments in Alternative Energy

Written by Liz on May 20th, 2010

Since its founding in 1998, Google has become much more than a basic online search engine. It has become a worldwide brand, Google Inc. The company boasts a variety of products and services, dealing with and extending beyond the Internet. Examples of their products include Gmail, Google Earth, and the Android line of smartphones. Along with their impressive list of convenient web services and fun gadgets, Google has also recently invested in an experimental highspeed internet project, Google Fiber. According to Rick Needham, the Green Business Operations Manager of the company, Google Fiber will provide an internet connection to one lucky community in the U.S. (ranging from 50,000 to 500,000 individual homes and businesses) at an astounding speed of one gigabit per second, roughly 100 times faster than the average Internet connection most Americans have access to. Madison is one of the lucky cities being considered for the project.

As one of the most rapidly growing businesses in the world, Google needs a tremendous amount of energy to power their various enterprises. On April 30, Google Inc. purchased two wind farms in the plains of North Dakota. According to Google’s official blog, the company calls this significant investment their “first direct investment in a utility-scale renewable energy project.”

According to the website Alternative Energy News, Google’s $38.8 million dollar investment in these two windfarms will yield 169.5 megawatts of energy, which can power up to 55,000 homes (which is also the minimum target group for Google Fiber). Google claims that “the turbines can continuously adjust the individual blade pitch angles to achieve optimal efficiency and use larger blades with 15 percent more swept area than earlier generations, allowing capture of even more wind energy for each turbine.” In addition to the high caliber output of energy, the state of the art technology these turbines run on provides a record low-cost sources of renewable energy.

Through Google.org, the philanthropic branch of the company, the company has announced that they plan on pushing for further reliance on renewable energy for future large-scale projects. Alternative Energy News reports that Google Inc. has indicated to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or FERC, that it will help buy and sell electricity on the wholesale market. Needham confirms Google Inc.’s intentions to invest further in clean energy by stating: “Smart capital includes not only these early-stage company investments, but also dedicated funding for utility-scale projects. To tackle this need, we’ve been looking at investments in renewable energy projects, like the one we just signed, that can accelerate the deployment of the latest clean energy technology while providing attractive returns to Google and more capital for developers to build additional projects.” Google has already followed through on this promise by investing in companies, such as BrightSource Energy and eSource, that focus on developing clean energy technologies.

Google is not only a pioneer of Internet related technologies–the company acts as a strong example for other large companies to follow in the journey towards reliance on clean energy.

 

Madison’s NEW Roofline

Written by Sarah on May 11th, 2010

A few months ago, InkedGreen published Green Roofs to the People! The post discussed the underlying concept of green roofs and highlighted some phenomenal (local) efforts to grow green roofs in Madison.

Those efforts, driven by Danna Olsen, are still underway and will be culminating this THURSDAY at the Madison Public Library-Sequoya Branch at 6 PM (For directions to the event, click here). If green property management sparks your fancy, be sure to check out the invitation below. Hope to see you there!


Madison's NEW Roofline