DC Water develops $470m waste-to-energy project in US

Read the full story in Energy Business Review.

DC Water has opened a $470m waste-to-energy project, designed to generate clean, renewable energy from the sewage solids generated after wastewater treatment process, at the Blue Plains Wastewater Treatment Plant, Washington, D.C.

NREL cutting four percent of workforce, lays off solar researchers

Read the full story in the Denver Post.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden this week laid off 15 solar energy researchers and notified its workforce of plans to reduce its staff by another 50 to 60 people via buyouts, officials confirmed Wednesday.

The cuts — which would amount to less than 5 percent of NREL’s 1,600 person Colorado workforce — were triggered by the U.S. Department of Energy reducing funding and shifting the priorities of its solar research program, NREL spokesman George Douglas said.

The employees laid off Monday were engaged in long-term fundamental research.


13th Annual P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet

Solicitation Opening Date: October 06, 2015
Solicitation Closing Date: December 08, 2015, 11:59:59 pm Eastern Time

Read the full RFA at http://www2.epa.gov/research-grants/13th-annual-p3-awards-national-student-design-competition-sustainability-focusing

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the posting of the Request for Applications, P3-People, Prosperity and the Planet Award Program, with the goal to research, develop and design solutions to real world challenges involving the overall sustainability of human society. This college student design competition highlights the use of scientific principles in creating innovative projects focused on sustainability. The P3 Award program was developed to foster progress toward the three pillars of sustainability by achieving the mutual goals of improved quality of life, economic prosperity and protection of the planet – people, prosperity, and the planet. The EPA offers the P3 competition in order to respond to the technical needs of the world while moving towards the goal of sustainability.

This year’s P3 RFA includes the following research topics:

  • Energy;
  • Water;
  • Built Environment; and
  • Materials and Chemicals.

Supporting the development of sustainable methods is in line with the Sustainable and Healthy Communities (SHC) Research Program. EPA’s SHC Research Program provides useful science and tools for decision makers at all levels to help communities advance sustainability as well as achieve regulatory compliance. SHC is collaborating with partners to conduct research that will result in science-based knowledge to guide decisions that will better sustain a healthy society and environment in America’s communities. The research is intended for decision-makers at the federal, regional, state and community levels.

ORNL researchers find ‘greener’ way to assemble materials for solar applications

Read the full story from Oak Ridge National Laboratory.

The efficiency of solar cells depends on precise engineering of polymers that assemble into films 1,000 times thinner than a human hair.

Today, formation of that polymer assembly requires solvents that can harm the environment, but scientists at the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory have found a “greener” way to control the assembly of photovoltaic polymers in water using a surfactant— a detergent-like molecule—as a template. Their findings are reported in Nanoscale, a journal of the Royal Society of Chemistry.

California Leads a Quiet Revolution

Read the full story in the New York Times.

California is cruising toward its 2020 goal for increasing renewable energy and is setting far more ambitious targets for the future. Its large-scale solar arrays produced more energy in 2014 than those in all other states combined. Half the nation’s solar home rooftops are in the state, and thousands more are added each week.

With its progressive politics, high-tech bent and abundant sunshine, California is fast ramping up its production of clean electricity, setting an example its leaders hope the rest of the country, and other nations, will follow as they seek to cut emissions of climate-warming carbon dioxide.

The Food-Energy-Water Nexus Conference: 16th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy, and the Environment

January 19-12, 2016
Hyatt Regency Crystal City, Washington DC National AirportFor more information: http://foodenergywaternexus.org/

Addressing the interconnected systems involving food, water and energy is critical to achieving solutions to one of the most pressing issues facing our planet. The conference will address how to provide food, energy and water for a population of 9 billion by mid-century without overwhelming our environment. Join over 1,000 leaders in science, technology, government, business, civil society, and education to create strategies and initiatives that move policy into practice and transform ideas into action.

EDF’s Kate Zerrenner on the Energy-Water Nexus

The Illinois Sustainable Technology Center has an interview with the EDF’s Kate Zerrenner about the relationship between energy, water, and climate change. Zerrenner will be a speaker at the upcoming Illinois Governor’s Sustainability Awards Ceremony in Chicago.