U.S. Solar Industry Is Growing Again, Albeit More Slowly

Read the full story at e360 Digest.

After a year of uncertainty over federal tax reform, tariffs on imported technology, and state-level policy changes, the U.S. solar energy industry appears to be stabilizing, adding 2.5 gigawatts of capacity in the first quarter of 2018.

This represents an annual growth of 13 percent and accounts for 55 percent of all new U.S. electricity capacity during that period, according to a new report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Installation of new residential solar energy capacity remained flat in the first quarter of 2018 — a trend that experts said is actually good news following a 15 percent decline last year, Greentech Media reported.

OSHA Occupational Chemical Database

This chemical inventory is OSHA’s one-stop shop for occupational chemical information. It compiles information from several government agencies and organizations. Information available on the pages includes:

  • Chemical identification and physical properties
  • Exposure limits
  • Sampling information, and
  • Additional resources.

As North Sea Oil Wanes, Removing Abandoned Rigs Stirs Controversy

Read the full story at e360.

With thousands of North Sea oil wells soon to be shut down, ecologists are warning that removing the gargantuan platforms could be more environmentally harmful than leaving them in place. The rigs, it turns out, have nurtured cold-water corals and other marine life.


This new solar farm combines clean energy and beehives

Read the full story at Fast Company.

Using the space around the solar panels as sites for 48 hives, the Eagle Point solar farm is using its land to save pollinators and help local agriculture.

Tropical Forests Suffered Near-Record Tree Losses in 2017

Read the full story in the New York Times.

In all, the world’s tropical forests lost roughly 39 million acres of trees last year, an area roughly the size of Bangladesh, according to a report Wednesday by Global Forest Watch that used new satellite data from the University of Maryland. Global Forest Watch is part of the World Resources Institute, an environmental group.


Thailand temporarily stops plastic, e-scrap imports

Read the full story in WasteDive.

Thailand’s Department of Industrial Works (DIW) has temporarily halted imports of plastic and electronic scrap, according to ThaiVisa and others.

Although the ban is temporary, DIW is working toward a long-term measure to indefinitely ban plastic scrap and e-scrap.

Police have raided a number of facilities during the past month on suspicion that they illegally imported e-scrap, and DIW will work with local authorities to inspect all of the country’s more than 2,200 recycling facilities.

Every spring, students throw their lives away. Now, colleges are recycling that old stuff

Read the full story in the Boston Globe.

At the end of the academic year, colleges have a gigantic problem on their hands: What to do with all the waste students leave behind — not to mention all the clutter the institutions themselves accumulate. It was once commonplace for schools to just dump these leftover items. But these days, campus sustainability teams and student volunteers are working to reuse, sell, or donate all sorts of gently used stuff.

Target, Tesco, CVS to Require Environmental Impact Data from Suppliers through CDP

Read the full story in Environmental Leader.

Target, Tesco and CVS Health have joined Walmart in an agreement to collect data from suppliers, through non-profit CDP, regarding their overall environmental footprint. By asking suppliers to report on their environmental footprint, the retailers aim to reduce environmental risk and cut carbon emissions in their supply chains. The retailers are three of the new companies that have joined in the supply chain initiative through CDP: the total number of companies now reporting through CDP marks more than a 15% increase from last year, when 99 organizations were requesting data.

Other organizations which have begun requesting supplier data through CDP in 2018 include: AB InBev, Royal Bank of Canada, chemical companies Croda and Arkema, and the Los Angeles Department of W”after & Power.

Climate Change Adaptation at U.S. Military Bases around the World

Read the full post from the Government Accountability Office.

The vast global network of bases used by the U.S. military faces significant risks from the weather effects associated with climate change. DOD has made efforts to adapt its overseas bases to these effects, but does it have the information and plans it needs?

Today’s WatchBlog explores our report on DOD’s efforts to adapt its overseas bases to the weather effects associated with climate change.

From Breakfast to Biocrude: Study Identifies Production Potential across Nation

Read the full story from the U.S. Department of Energy.

Cattle waste and wastewater. Sludgy grease ensconced in restaurant and cafeteria grease traps.  Food waste—uneaten leftovers or culinary mistakes. Contrary to the lyrics in The Sound of Music, these aren’t a few of our favorite things.

But when paired with waste-to-energy (WtE) technology, these things can become downright energetic—in the form of biofuels. These organic wastes serve as potential biofuel feedstocks, and they are available just about anywhere across the nation. However, industry lacks information about the locations of greatest concentration so it can boost biofuel production while giving human health and the environment a helping hand.

To shed light on this uncertainty, a team of researchers from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory performed a detailed analysis of these wastes’ potential for biofuel production on a site-specific basis across the conterminous United States.

The results of the team’s analysis were published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews.