solarray

From void into vision, from vision to mind, from mind into speech, from speech to the tribe, from the tribe into din.

Saturday, April 03, 2021

Geotherapy Not Geoengineering, Please

 Geotherapy not geoengineering, please.

“Geotherapy refers to the process of restoring the earth’s health by strengthening natural biogeochemical and physiological mechanisms that regulate the earth’s planetary life support systems and control global temperature, sea level, atmospheric composition, soil fertility, food, and fresh water supplies.”
Source: Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase
https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/geotherapy-thomas-goreau-ronal-larson-joanna-campe/e/10.1201/b13788

Geoengineering “is the deliberate large-scale intervention in the Earth’s climate system, in order to moderate global warming” and “the most prominent subcategories of climate engineering are solar radiation management and carbon dioxide removal.”
Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Climate_engineering

Geotherapy is based on working with existing natural systems and starts local, adapting to the different biomes in which a geotherapeutic technique works. Geoengineering tends to be global from the get go and the “engineering” is emphasized much more than the “geo,” at least so far. Geotherapy is systems solutions, working within ecological boundaries. Geoengineering is engineering, tools based, and usually mechanistic.

The resources I used to learn about geotherapy are
Geotherapy: Innovative Methods of Soil Fertility Restoration, Carbon Sequestration, and Reversing CO2 Increase
https://www.taylorfrancis.com/books/geotherapy-thomas-goreau-ronal-larson-joanna-campe/e/10.1201/b13788k

Proceedings of the recent conferences organized by Biodiversity for a Livable Climate on a wide variety of geotherapeutic solutions
https://bio4climate.org/conferences/

John Todd’s history of his lifetime building healthy and healing ecologies, Healing Earth: An Ecologist’s Journey of Innovation and Environmental Stewardship
https://www.northatlanticbooks.com/shop/healing-earth/

According to the Guardian (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2021/mar/20/our-biggest-challenge-lack-of-imagination-the-scientists-turning-the-desert-green), John Todd is working with a Dutch company, the Weathermakers (http://theweathermakers.nl), developing a plan to make the Sinai Desert green. They are using John’s “eco machines,” greenhouses with an extremely biodiverse environment reflecting “the aggregate experience of life on Earth over the last 3.5bn years.” They will distill salt water while growing plants, fish, and animals, all powered by the sun. “The idea is that you may have 100 of these structures,” says John Todd. “And they’re spending five years in one site and then they’re moved, so these little ecologies are left behind.”

One proof of such a regreening the desert concept is a permaculture experiment near the Dead Sea over a decade ago
http://solarray.blogspot.com/2007/06/you-can-fix-all-worlds-problems-in.html

Another is Wadi Attir (http://www.sustainabilitylabs.org/wadiattir/home/) in the Negev Desert, a Bedouin sustainable farm.

The Weathermakers are also following the successful methods Li Rui developed in regreening the loess plateau of northern China in the 1990s, collaboratoring with John D Liu who documented the process for TV and film and is now associated with the Ecosystem Restoration Camps (https://ecosystemrestorationcamps.org), part of a growing group of environmental restoration and regeneration projects now launched around the world.

Just as focusing on cities drove climate politics from Copenhagen to the Paris agreement, I believe ecovillage restoration will drive practical climate solutions using geotherapy, which works at every scale from a flower pot on a window sill to thousands of hectares of land, in the next few years. 

Here are some upcoming events which offer ways to participate in the action:
Smart Village Summit (https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUrduGgpz8pG9WyihU6tdCcuuq1F20NY6hn), powered by Future Thinkers and RegenVillages.
This monthly virtual summit is for people interested in the many aspects of Smart Villages and ProtoB communities. We’ll be joined by experienced guests to discuss earth regeneration, permaculture, community building, governance, education, social dynamics, funding, economics, organization and leadership, affordable housing, natural building, information sharing, innovation, technology and other important subjects.
March 31, 2021 04:00 PM GMT (Vancouver)
April 28, 2021 04:00 PM GMT (Vancouver)
May 26, 2021 04:00 PM GMT (Vancouver)

Global Just Recovery Gathering (https://justrecoverygathering.org), April 9 to 11, is a three-day online event featuring interactive workshops, cultural sessions, and hands-on trainings. The events will include appearances by Greta Thunberg, Malala Yousafzai, Naomi Klein, Brianna Fruean and others. Build your skills, strengthen relationships, and hear from a powerful line-up of climate leaders, artists, and musicians in every corner of the world.

The GEN Ecovillage Summit – Living Solutions for a Regenerative World (https://summit2021.ecovillage.org) will take place from April 9-15, 2021 and will showcase how ecovillages contribute to the mitigation of climate crisis and function as resilient communities of practise bringing concrete solutions and actions for earth restoration, economic revival, social regeneration and cultural celebration.

Recently, L Hunter Lovins said that reputable scientists believe we could return to 280 ppm CO2, pre-industrial levels, in 30-60 years IF we used holistic grazing practices on the existing grasslands of the world (https://www.cambridgeforum.org/?p=7205). Now, think about how quickly we could draw down atmospheric carbon IF we added marine ecosystems, which can sequester much more carbon (15 -20 times) more rapidly than terrestrial ecosystems, to the mix all while rapidly reducing our emissions to zero.

We are surrounded by insurmountable opportunities, when we think in terms of geotherapy, not geoengineering, please.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Zero Net Energy - March 24, 2021

 Making a wooden solar insolation visualization

https://youtu.be/PvcvY4ToFaQ
https://www.makingdatatangible.com/solar/ - program to help you make your own
https://pysolar.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ - a collection of Python libraries for simulating the irradiation of any point on earth by the sun
Editorial Comment:  possibly a useful tool for those thinking about solar in relation to zero net energy

District heating in Sweden
https://www.ecowatch.com/sweden-renewable-energy-homes-2647776925.html

World’s largest PassivHaus-certified office building 
https://handelarchitects.com/project/winthrop-center
https://inhabitat.com/this-will-be-the-worlds-largest-passive-house-certified-office-building/

Saudi Arabia to build a zero emissions city
https://www.dw.com/en/saudi-arabia-to-build-a-zero-emissions-city/a-56189240

Sustainable Housing Ownership Project, Thunder Valley Community Development Corporation
https://thundervalley.org/program-guide/sustainble-home-owenership-project

Gothenburg, Sweden is developing the world’s first large-scale zero-emissions city zone
https://news.cision.com/business-region-goteborg/r/gothenburg-green-city-zone-leads-the-way-towards-zero-emissions-transportation-in-the-near-future,c3266333
https://inhabitat.com/gothenburg-sweden-develops-worlds-first-zero-emissions-zone/
https://cleantechnica.com/2021/01/19/gothenburg-partners-with-volvo-to-create-a-climate-neutral-city/
https://www.greengothenburg.se

Ohlone College - 185,000-square-foot net zero energy development
https://inhabitat.com/new-ohlone-college-buildings-target-net-zero-energy-consumption/
https://www.cannondesign.com/our-work/work/ohlone-community-college-district-academic-core-buildings/
http://aba-arch.com/Portfolio/education/Ohlone-CORE

UK prefab low energy homes coming to scale?  An estimated 30,000 in the pipeline
https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2021/mar/06/eco-homes-become-hot-property-in-uks-zero-carbon-paradigm-shift
Leeds Climate Innovation District
https://citu.co.uk

Deep Energy Retrofit for Triple Deckers
https://www.wbur.org/earthwhile/2021/03/12/triple-decker-deep-energy-retrofit

Oregon State University goes for net zero in new building
http://www.srgpartnership.com/work/edward-j-ray-hall
https://inhabitat.com/oregon-state-university-building-on-a-reclaimed-mine-targets-net-zero-energy/

ML King Open/Cambridge Street Upper School in Cambridge, MA achieves net zero emissions
https://www.arrowstreet.com/portfolio/king-open-cambridge-upper-street-schools-community-complex/
https://rawnarch.com/kingopen
https://inhabitat.com/award-winning-school-and-community-complex-achieves-net-zero-emissions/

Net zero home development with 3D printed components
https://www.treehugger.com/community-3d-printed-net-zero-homes-california-5116947

Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Solar Decathlon Webinars

"The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon is a collegiate competition, comprising 10 contests, that challenges student teams to design and build highly efficient and innovative buildings powered by renewable energy."

It’s been going on since 2002 and has produced hundreds of model houses built by student teams from all over the world.  This year they are doing a webinar series as well.  Should be lots and lots of good information here which will be especially useful now that Governor Baker has vetoed the Climate Roadmap bill.

Democracy is do it yourself and I guess so is energy and climate policy.

Resilient Home 411: Strategies to Weather and Recover from Natural Disasters
Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1–2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1486122315339351051

Zero Energy Ready Homes: New and Growing Fast
Wednesday, February 17, 2021, 1–2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2818488515646035216

The Future of Solar: A Tour of Cutting-Edge Solar Research with the U.S. Department of Energy
Wednesday, March 17, 2021, 1–2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/1202756178629245968

Solar Decathlon Build Challenge Team House Tour
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 1–2 p.m. E.T.
RSVP at https://register.gotowebinar.com/register/2467358377853890320

More at https://cleantechnica.com/2021/01/11/register-today-for-resilient-home-411-next-solar-decathlon-virtual-session/

Friday, December 25, 2020

Zero Net Energy - December 25, 2020

 "Second + Delaware is the largest Passive House building in the world, which means that it uses 80-90% less energy than conventional buildings”

Opening in October in Kansas City, Missouri
https://www.secondanddelaware.com
https://inhabitat.com/worlds-largest-passive-house-building-to-open-in-kansas-city/

A blog about living in a self-designed shipping container tiny house which is completely self-sufficient in Australia
https://tinyhousesustainablelivingaustralia.com

40 hectare “regenerative city” plan for Bergen, Norway
https://www.tredjenatur.dk/en/portfolio/regenerative-city/
https://inhabitat.com/third-nature-imagines-a-zero-emission-regenerative-city-district-in-bergen/

How Oslo plans to become a zero emissions city by 2030
https://www.fastcompany.com/90552168/this-is-what-a-zero-emissions-city-looks-like

Net Zero energy McDonald's
http://www.r-barc.com/fast-company-new-mcdonalds-solar-powered/
https://inhabitat.com/disney-world-mcdonalds-to-be-first-net-zero-fast-food-restaurant/

Snøhetta’s Powerhouse Telemark will use 70% less energy than a conventional building of similar size and will produce more energy than it will require over its entire lifespan, including the energy used in construction and even during its eventual demolition in decades to come
https://snohetta.com/projects/523-powerhouse-telemark-a-sustainable-model-for-the-future-of-workspaces
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/03/powerhouse-telemark-by-snohetta-produces-more-energy-than-it-consumes/
https://inhabitat.com/snohetta-completes-breeam-excellent-net-positive-energy-office/

In January, 2019 this list included
Trondheim, Norway’s net energy positive building, Powerhouse Brattørkaia, "will generate more energy in its operational phase than it consumes through the production of buiding materials, construction, operation, and disposal of the building” or Snøhetta strikes again
https://www.powerhouse.no/en/prosjekter/powerhouse-brattorkaia/
https://www.citylab.com/environment/2018/12/norway-energy-positive-building-powerhouse-snohetta/577918/

Editorial Comment:  Snøhetta is the standard for zero net energy, net zero energy design and construction, at least in my opinion.

Plan for UK’s first carbon neutral “urban quarter” 
https://inhabitat.com/sunderlands-riverfront-to-house-uks-first-carbon-neutral-community/

The Green Gateway, a zero-emission, highly sustainable multimodal hub, is the winner for the 2020 Fentress Global Challenge (FGC), an annual global student design competition
https://fentressglobalchallenge.com/news/2020/airport-of-the-future-global-student-design-competition-2020-winners-announced
https://inhabitat.com/zero-emission-airport-concept-wins-2020-fentress-global-challenge/

Westwood Hills Nature Center in St. Louis Park, Minnesota with net-zero energy design
https://hga.com/projects/westwood-hills-nature-center/
https://inhabitat.com/this-nature-center-proves-zero-energy-is-possible-even-in-wintry-minnesota/

Net energy positive hotel for Bornholm Island, Denmark
https://inhabitat.com/3xn-unveils-denmarks-first-climate-positive-hotel-for-bornholm-island/
https://www.greensolutionhouse.dk/en/
Editorial Comment:  Bornholm Island was the test-bed for the EU’s Grid 2.0 project to determine how to mesh renewables with the existing grid and speed the renewable transition:  http://www.eu-ecogrid.net
More on Bornholm and other near net zero island projects at http://solarray.blogspot.com/2017/09/crowd-funding-emergency-solar-electric.html

Redesigning Bellinzona, Switzerland through an “'eMergetic evaluation' concept that considers the entire building lifecycle to minimize the city’s carbon footprint. The proposal also includes planned energy policy objectives with zero-emission targets, renewable energy systems and environmental monitoring."
https://www.tamassociati.org/2020/10/22/tamassociati-takes-part-in-redesigning-the-future-of-bellinzona-switzerland/
https://inhabitat.com/tamassociati-envisions-a-zero-emissions-future-proof-urban-development/

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Planning the Energy Transition

 Over the past couple of weeks I’ve run across what might be a few really useful reports on the energy transition.


The Lancet is doing an annual climate countdown report to monitor our progress.  Here is this year’s edition: https://www.lancetcountdown.org/2020-report/


That should give us some idea of where we are and this particular finding jumped out

"Indicator 4.2.5: net value of fossil fuel subsidies and carbon prices—headline finding: 58 of the 75 countries reviewed were operating with a net negative carbon price in 2017.  The resulting net loss of revenue was, in many cases, equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget...


"This indicator calculates net, economy- wide average carbon prices and associated net carbon revenue to government. The calculations are based on the value of overall fossil fuel subsidies, the revenue from carbon pricing mechanisms, and the total CO2 emissions of the economy. Data on fossil fuel subsidies are calculated on the basis of analysis from the IEA and OECD.  Together, these sources cover 75 countries and account for around 92% of global CO2 emissions. Carbon prices and revenues are derived from data in the World Bank Carbon Pricing Dashboard (https://carbonpricingdashboard.worldbank.org/) [Corporate Carbon Accounting Market https://cleantechnica.com/2020/11/30/the-corporate-carbon-accounting-market/ may also be useful here]


"Of the 75 countries, 61 (81%) countries in 2016 and 58 (77%) countries in 2017 had net negative carbon prices, and only 14 (19%) countries in 2016 and 17 (23%) countries in 2017 had a price higher than zero, a result of substantial subsidies for fossil fuel production and consumption (figure 25). The median net carbon revenue was negative, a pay-out of $0·66 billion (IQR –0·04 to –3·48), with some countries providing net fossil fuel subsidies in the tens of billions of dollars each year. In many cases, these subsidies were equivalent to substantial proportions of the national health budget—more than 100% in eight of the 75 countries in 2017.  Of the 38 countries that had formal carbon pricing mechanisms in place in 2017, 21 still had net negative carbon prices.”


An historical perspective is available with an interactive diagram of the Energy Transitions in U.S. History, 1800–2019 (https://us-sankey.rcc.uchicago.edu), extremely fine work which maps the transitions from biomass to coal to oil to gas to nuclear to renewables.  The supporting paper is at https://static1.squarespace.com/static/54dcfad0e4b0eaff5e0068bf/t/5fbeba6ffa04221c71019ccc/1606335091993/Suits_Matteson_Moyer_2020_Energy_Transitions.pdf


McKinsey has just released a report on How the EU Could Achieve Zero Emissions at Net Zero Cost (https://www.mckinsey.com/business-functions/sustainability/our-insights/how-the-european-union-could-achieve-net-zero-emissions-at-net-zero-cost#) and there are two new studies for the USA:


Net-Zero America:  Potential Pathways, Infrastructure, and Impacts

https://environmenthalfcentury.princeton.edu/sites/g/files/toruqf331/files/2020-12/Princeton_NZA_Interim_Report_15_Dec_2020_FINAL.pdf

https://environmenthalfcentury.princeton.edu/research/2020/big-affordable-effort-needed-america-reach-net-zero-emissions-2050-princeton-study


and two US renewable energy policy scenaria, administrative action alone doubling renewables by 2030 and 50% renewables by 2030, from Wood Mackenzie (https://www.woodmac.com/our-expertise/focus/Power--Renewables/us-renewable-energy-policy-scenario-analysis/).


The Sierra Club also has a paper on how they are approaching "Climate Resilience, Carbon Dioxide Removal, and Geoengineering Policy”

https://www.sierraclub.org/sites/www.sierraclub.org/files/2020-Sierra-Club-Climate-Resilience-Policy.pdf

Thursday, August 27, 2020

Toward Net Zero Energy: Tiny Houses on Up

The Laney College Carpentry Department in Oakland, California built a net zero tiny house, the Wedge, in 2016 for the SMUD Net Zero Tiny House Competition

https:/youtu.be/PyxJQynaC_c


That tiny house is for sale for
$55,000
https:
tinyhouselistings.com/listings/oakland-ca-12-matthew-wolpe


Laney College carpenters are currently building two other prototypes tiny houses, the Pocket House, for the unhoused and homeless in Oakland
https:
laney.edu/carpentry/tiny-houses/pocket-house


The Northern Nomad is another net zero tiny home designed and built by a group of students from Carleton University in Canada as this video from 2019 shows:
Northern Nomad Tiny House 
https:/youtu.be/gbz35FLg9L4
http://www.thenorthernnomad.ca/


Reading Design Guidelines for a Net Zero Tiny House (https:tinyhousedesign.com/design-guidelines-for-a-net-zero-tiny-house) and Guide to Off-Grid Tiny Houses (https://gosun.co/blogs/news/guide-to-an-off-grid-tiny-house), the core idea seems to be energy efficiency first, last, and always:  the less energy you use the easier it becomes to supply it with renewables onsite.


That core idea of energy efficiency applies to all houses, not just tiny houses.



Sunday, August 09, 2020

Zero Net Energy - August 9, 2020

 Santa Monica civic building will produce net positive energy and going for full Living Building challenge certification

https://fisherpartners.net/projects/city-of-santa-monica-city-services-building/
https://inhabitat.com/new-santa-monica-city-services-building-will-produce-more-energy-than-it-uses/

An affordable Passive House development that’s “aggressively green"
https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/04/15/999376/the-passive-house-thats-aggressively-green/

A ski chalet in Utah which will be a net-positive energy building, generating 364% more power than it needs
https://tomwiscombe.com/THE-DARK-CHALET
https://archpaper.com/2020/04/tom-wiscombe-architecture-dark-chalet-utah/#gallery-0-slide-0
https://inhabitat.com/dark-chalet-in-utah-will-generate-over-350-more-energy-than-it-needs/

Link City - proposed self-sustainable city-forest, using an urban operating system with an AI (Artificial Intelligence)
https://www.lucacurci.com/portfolio/the-link-city.html
https://inhabitat.com/luca-curci-architects-designs-a-zero-energy-smart-city-of-the-future/

Park Avenue Green - affordable passive house apartment building in the South Bronx, the largest passive house development in North America
http://www.cplusga.com/works/park-avenue-green-2/
https://inhabitat.com/passive-house-certified-development-offers-affordable-housing-in-south-bronx/

Wellesley College Global Flora greenhouse "exceeds the Net Zero Water & Energy requirements of the Living Building Challenge, the world’s most rigorous certification of sustainable construction."
http://www.kvarch.net/projects/133
https://inhabitat.com/wellesleys-global-flora-greenhouse-can-generate-all-of-its-own-energy/

Energy neutral school in Utrecht
https://inhabitat.com/energy-neutral-school-in-utrecht-enhances-biodiversity/
http://e-v-a.net/?fluxus_portfolio=so-fier

AI to identify energy wasting homes
https://venturebeat.com/2020/07/07/wattscale-is-an-open-source-ai-tool-that-identifies-energy-wasting-homes/
WattScale https://arxiv.org/pdf/2007.01382.pdf
Watthome, an earlier version:  http://www.ecs.umass.edu/~irwin/watthome.pdf 

Arctic Nordic Alpine  - Exhibation on Snøhetta’s work including Hotel Svart in Svartisen, the Arctic World Archive Visitor Center in Svalbard Island, and the Museum Quarter in Bolzano
https://www.aedes-arc.de/cms/aedes/de/programm?id=19520291
https://www.fastcompany.com/90524716/how-the-worlds-most-remote-buildings-can-help-us-adapt-to-climate-change
hat tip to Heath Row’s Media Diet: http://tinyurl.com/joinmediadiet

Orford Mews - energy-positive, carbon positive, zero construction waste nine-unit development planned for London
https://studioanyo.com/work/orford-mews/
https://inhabitat.com/zero-waste-orford-mews-to-bring-energy-positive-homes-to-east-london/

Moonstone House - test bed for energy efficiency started in 2002 is still evolving
https://themoonstoneproject.co.uk
https://cleantechnica.com/2020/07/30/fully-charged-tours-the-net-zero-energy-moonstone-house/

Self-sufficient skyscraper proposed for NYC
https://www.lissoniandpartners.com/en/architecture/competitions/americas/completed/skylines-new-york/1289
https://inhabitat.com/self-sufficient-garden-city-skyscraper-proposed-for-nyc/

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