2015 EPA Greater Research Opportunities (GRO) Fellowships for Undergraduate Environmental Study

The U.S. EPA, as part of its GRO Fellowships program, is offering undergraduate fellowships for bachelor level students in environmental fields of study. Subject to availability of funding and other applicable considerations, the Agency plans to award approximately 34 new fellowships. Eligible students will receive support for their junior and senior years of undergraduate study and for an internship at an EPA facility during the summer of their junior year. The fellowship provides up to $20,700 per academic year of support and $8,600 of support for a three-month summer internship. The deadline for receipt of applications is May 19, 2015. For more information, see http://epa.gov/ncer/rfa/2015/2015_gro_undergrad.html

This zoo is crowdfunding tech that turns animal poop into energy

Read the full story at VentureBeat.

The Detroit Zoo is launching a crowdfunding campaign today to “harness the power of poo,” as its promo video says.

The goal is to build a biodigester that will take the more than 400 tons of manure produced at the Detroit facility annually and turn it into methane gas to power an 18,000-square-foot veterinary hospital on premises. The process is known as anaerobic digestion technology.

The zoo hopes to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from electricity and natural gas and become entirely waste-neutral by 2020.

Captain Planet Foundation Offers Grants for Hands-On Environmental Education Activities

The mission of the Captain Planet Foundation is to promote and support high-quality educational programs that help children and youth understand and appreciate our world through hands-on learning experiences aimed at improving the environment in their schools and communities.

Grants are intended to serve as a means of bringing environment-based education to schools and inspiring youth and communities to participate in community service through environmental stewardship activities. The foundation will fund unique and innovative projects that do not precisely match the grant guidelines but otherwise promote the foundation’s mission to advance hands-on environmental activities.

The foundation makes grants to schools and nonprofit environmental and educational organizations in the United States with annual operating budgets of less than $3 million.

Preferential consideration is given to requests seeking seed funding of $500 or less and to applicants who have secured at least 50 percent matching or in-kind funding for their projects. (Projects with matching funds or in-kind support are given priority because external funding is a good indicator of the potential for long-term sustainability of the activities.) The foundation will on occasion consider grants of up to $2,500.

Apply here.

2015 EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study

Open date:  April 8, 2015  –  Close Date: May 26, 2015

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announces the posting of the Request for Applications, 2015 EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR) Fellowships for Graduate Environmental Study with the goal of offering Graduate Fellowships for master’s and doctoral level students in environmental fields of study. Subject to availability of funding and other applicable considerations, the Agency plans to award approximately 55 new fellowships in the Fall of 2015. Master’s level students may receive a maximum of two years of support ($88,000). Doctoral students may be supported for a maximum of three years ($132,000), usable over a period of five years.

Supporting these fellowship grants 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.

“Honey on Tap” Beehive Smashes Indiegogo Fundraising Record

Read the full story at Shareable.

Stuart and Cedar Anderson have set the internet abuzz with their record-breaking Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. The father-and-son team’s Flow hive, a no-muss, no-fuss beehive designed to deliver honey on tap, smashed the crowdfunding site’s previous record of just over $5 million. As of March 17—the campaign runs through April 5—the Andersons have raised more than $6.3 million.

Webinar: REAP Funding Opportunities for E3 Communities

Via the USDA:

As partners of the E3 framework, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) wants make sure you’re aware of possible funding opportunities to support your E3 activities as they pertain to rural small businesses and agricultural producers. These funding opportunities are contained in the recent modifications made to the USDA Rural Energy for America Program or REAP. The final rule that captures these modifications was published on December 29, 2014. The final rule became effective February 12, 2015.

The Energy Efficiency Improvement/Renewable Energy Systems (RES/EEI) component of the REAP program is the perfect complement to E3 Energy Audits because it provides grant and guaranteed loan funding for the integration of renewable energy systems and energy efficiency improvements into a rural small business or agricultural producer’s operations. REAP can provide grant funding of up to $150,000 for EEI and $250,000 for RES. REAP Guaranteed loans can be up to $25 million and are eligible to be combined with a REAP grant.

We encourage you to take advantage of this exciting funding opportunity if you have recently received an E3 Energy Audit and want to take the next step toward energy efficiency or a renewable energy system that will save your business money on energy bills and reduce your carbon footprint.

To provide additional background on the program and to learn how agricultural producers and rural businesses can easily take advantage of REAP’s benefits, our REAP Outreach Team will host an interactive webinar, titled REAP Funding Opportunities for E3 Communities, specifically for E3 partners on Monday, March 30 from 1:00-2:30pm Eastern (12:00-1:30 Central; 11:00-12:30 Mountain; 10:00-11:30 Pacific). Please click on the following link to register for the free webinar: https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/399561791213939458.

Additional information on the REAP program can be found at: rd.usda.gov/reap. For further information and questions, please contact your State Energy Coordinator. A list of State Energy Coordinators can be found here: http://www.rd.usda.gov/files/RBS_StateEnergyCoordinators.pdf.

Find Energy Incentives Faster and More Easily with DSIRE Open Data and Website

Via the EERE Blog.

All across the United States, homeowners and businesses are saving money by installing technologies that conserve energy and cut carbon pollution. Upgrades such as new, energy-saving appliances and rooftop photovoltaic systems also help lower the nation’s overall energy usage and reduce environmental impacts like harmful greenhouse gas emissions.

To empower more Americans to realize the benefits of clean energy technologies and solutions, government agencies offer several financial incentive programs that can reduce or defray installation or purchase costs.  In an effort to help citizens quickly find these opportunities the Energy Department established the Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) 20 years ago.  The database is operated by the N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center at North Carolina State University.

DSIRE — the nation’s most comprehensive information sources for renewable and efficiency incentives — enables users to pinpoint opportunities in a variety of formats including dynamic maps, charts, and tables.  The database also includes a search tool that filters incentives and policies by type, state, technology, implementing sector, and eligible sector.

Today, the Energy Department and N.C. Clean Energy Technology Center launched a new version of DSIRE that makes it even easier for citizens to find information. These improvements include:

  • expanded data accessibility with information on over 2,800 active policies and incentives for all renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies;
  • an Application Program Interface (API) freely available for download that contains all of the data on DSIRE in an easy-to-read format;
  • interactive maps so that users can customize policy maps in real-time based on their preferences and needs; and
  • enhanced search that allows users to find incentives by zip code.

In addition to these exciting features, the new site includes a more streamlined, user-friendly design that highlights DSIRE’s tools and services.

These DSIRE upgrades contribute to the White House Open Data Initiative, which is designed to fuel entrepreneurship, innovation, scientific discovery, and economic growth. The new DSIRE API and open data will enable private-sector entrepreneurs, technologists, and innovators to build new tools, services, and infrastructure that advance a clean energy economy.

Go to DSIREUSA.org to explore the improved features and follow DSIRE on Twitter and Facebook. Also, search our Rebates & Incentives tool to find even more tax-saving opportunities. For questions or comments about the new DSIRE, please contact Steve Capanna at Steve.Capanna@EE.Doe.Gov.