Please Participate in an IBI Public Survey to Collect Information on Global Biochar Projects

As part of our ongoing efforts to identify trends and other critical information on worldwide biochar deployment, IBI is launching a public survey to gather data on biochar project activity. We are asking for your participation in this survey to make the data and information gathered as complete as possible. We are conducting this survey to collect data on biochar projects being carried out by universities, non-profits, commercial enterprises, community-based organizations, and other entities. This survey is a follow-up to the 2010 survey on developing country biochar projects that IBI and Cornell University led on behalf of The World Bank.

We will use the data collected in this survey to highlight the worldwide breadth of biochar projects—to look at trends in geography, feedstocks, technology, financing, project stages, and utilization. The data will be shared with the global biochar community in aggregated form that will allow us all to continue to share the benefits of and need for sustainable biochar deployment at all scales in order to enhance the world’s critical soil resource and to mitigate climate change.  We will not release any personal or confidential information or identify specific individuals or organizations in the survey results (other than project website, location, etc.) nor will we share the specifics of financial or economic data connected to any project.

The survey is divided into three (3) short sections of roughly 10 questions each. Section 1 collects contact and basic project information, section 2 collects biochar production and application information, and section 3 collects economic data. This survey should take about 15 – 20 minutes to complete.

Please help us increase information on worldwide biochar activity by participating in this survey by June 3, 2013.

‘Biochar’ company may bring plant to Kane Co.

Read the full story in the Daily Herald.

The burgeoning biochar industry may soon find footing in Kane County as a Michigan-based energy company made an early pitch Thursday to build a local production plant.

Fred Jones of Cogen Designs introduced members of the county board’s energy and environmental committee to the workings of the technology. The idea involves turning municipal waste into biochar, an alternative to coal for fuel purposes. The would-be plant would route municipal waste in trucks to the facility. The plant would charge a tipping fee to receive the waste, just like local landfills.

Lighting Research Center at Rensselaer Launches First Interactive, Online Lighting Design Resource for Homes

Read the full story from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI).

The Lighting Research Center (LRC) at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has launched the first interactive website to help homeowners, contractors and builders choose the right light bulbs, fixtures and controls to maximize energy savings, calculate lighting costs and achieve lighting effects to meet a wide range of needs in their homes. It also shows how to design safe, healthy lighting for aging adults.

The site, Lighting Patterns for Homes, helps homeowners and others navigate the increasing number of lighting options in today’s marketplace and allows them to see how various options will actually look by viewing photo-realistic illustrations created by 3-D modeling software.

Conn. Passes First-in-Nation Mattress Recycling Law

Read the full story at Environmental Leader.

Connecticut has passed the nation’s first-ever extended producer responsibility (EPR) bill for mattresses that supporters say will save local governments about $1.3 million and increase recycling opportunities for businesses. The law will require mattress manufacturers to finance and manage a mattress collection and recycling program.

The bill will now go to Gov. Dannel Malloy to sign into law.

New Tool: Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH)

The Metadata Access Tool for Climate and Health (MATCH) is a publicly accessible, online tool for researchers that offers centralized access to metadata ‐ standardized contextual information ‐ about thousands of government-held datasets related to health, the environment, and climate-science. MATCH is one of a growing number of tools, driven by open data, that are being made available by the Obama Administration as fuel for innovation, ideas, and insights ‐ in this case, at the important intersection of climate and human health.

Facing Climate Change: Stories from the Pacific Northwest

Facing Climate Change is a documentary project that tells the story of global change through local people. This new video series is from the Pacific Northwest, and features stories about oyster farmers confronting ocean acidification, coastal Tribes planning for sea level rise, potato farmers adjusting to reduced snowpack, and plateau Tribes concerned about habitat loss.

New Data Tool Illustrates Global- to Community-Scale Energy Trends

As part of the Energy Data Initiative, the Energy Department, its Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, and the Planetary Skin Institute released a new open tool to better visualize energy data and make this information more available and useful for state and local governments, private industry, and other energy researchers. The Free Energy Data platform (FRED) builds on the broader Energy Data Initiative—making energy usage and generation data more transparent, while accelerating the transition to a clean energy future. Open energy data and analytics can play a pivotal role in developing cost-effective, long-term energy solutions that save money and help protect the environment. Based on data from the Energy Information Administration, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and the Solar Energy Industries Association, FRED offers a common format for diverse inputs and allows users to adjust their focus from global to city-level scales.
FRED also allows users to enter their own data and compare their performance with other jurisdictions and institutions, or track performance over time. Data can also be viewed in graphical formats showing present and past energy demand by fuel and sector; this data can be compared across jurisdictions as well as through flow diagrams that visualize how multiple sectors use different energy sources.