Empire State Building Gets a Green Overall

The Empire State Building in New York has received a green overall that has cut 20% of the building’s energy consumption and will save the owners a ton of cash.

The renovations are part of a $500 million rehab plan for the building. The building’s owners, Malkin Holdings LLC, filed for an initial public offering back in February which valued the building at $2.5 billion.

The changes to the Empire State include:

–Filling the existing windows with an energy saving gas and adding an additional plastic pane.

–Upgrading the building’s cooling system.

–Using computerized “smart” energy management technology that can adjust temperatures floor by floor.

–Provide tenants with detailed energy use in their space.

–Automatically shut off lights in unused areas.

Read more at CNN.

Denmark Increases Green Energy Transition

Denmark is getting looking to have 50% of it’s energy come from wind power and are looking to further their need to import any energy at all. Not only is Denmark looking to lower the need for foreign energy they are trying to decrease the amount of energy that the country uses.

“Denmark will once again be the global leader in the transition to green energy,” said Lidegaard. “This will prepare us for a future with increasing prices for oil and coal. Moreover, it will create some of the jobs that we need so desperately, now and in the coming years.”

The agreement will help Denmark achieve its goal of supplying 100% of its energy from renewables by 2050, including electricity, heating, industry and transport.

Read more here.

Stoves and the Majority World

We looked at the Paradigm Project and Stove Man before in June. They have been busy making more videos about what they are up to in the world of helping people (and the planet) by providing them with efficient stoves.

It’s amazing what a stove can do.

Episode 3: Meet the Makers from The Paradigm Project on Vimeo.

Brazil: Wind Power Now Cheaper Than Natural Gas

In Brazil a recent energy auction has shown that wind power is cheaper than natural gas in the country, and also a better investment opportunity. The competitiveness of sustainable energy sources continues to impress everyone (even with the subsidized resource-extraction industries), it’s only a matter of time until other sustainable energy options get this cheap.

They even expect the cost of wind power to decrease in the coming years!

EPE president and chief executive Mauricio Tolmasquim said the auctions show that wind and natural gas are competitive, predicting wind prices will continue to fall in Brazil.

“That wind power plants have been contracted at two digit prices, below 100 reals per MWh, showcases the energy market competition through auctions,” he said. “That wind power could reach these lows versus natural gas was unimaginable until recently.”

The energy auctions for a total of 92 projects were the first in Brazil for 2011, and also featured biomass, hydro-electric and natural gas projects.

Investments amounted to 11.2bn reals in total, for 3,962MW of energy that is slated to start generating in 2014.

Read more at Business Green.

Going Green to Bring in the Green.

A Cambridge, Ontario metal fabrication company, VeriForm, has become an ecological leader in a field notorious for neglecting the effects of their business and product on the environment. A capital investment of $78000 has allowed VeriForm to implement many small changes (i.e. a centralized programmable thermostat, high-efficiency lighting systems, etc.) which saves the company $120000 annually!

The eco-changes shrank VeriForm’s greenhouse gas emissions to 126 tonnes in 2009, down from 234 tonnes in 2006. That figure is even more impressive given that in 2009 the company’s sales were 28 per cent higher and the plant’s physical size was 145 per cent larger than in 2006.

The inspiration for going green was altruistic. “We were just trying to reduce our carbon footprint,” Mr. Rak says. But the financial rewards quickly became evident “once we started doing spreadsheets and payback analysis,” the 46-year-old says.

This is great proof that, contrary to popular belief, going green doesn’t mean losing money – VeriForm has shown that making smart upgrades that benefit the planet can also benefit profits.

Read the rest of the article at The Globe and Mail.

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