Day: March 25, 2021

March Madness uses enough energy to power 2,000 homes for a month. But this year, it’s carbon neutral.

Read the full story in the Indianapolis Star.

In its three-week duration, March Madness is bringing in tens of thousands of visitors to downtown Indianapolis and drawing at least $100 million into the city’s economy. It’s also using significant amounts of energy — enough to power a neighborhood the size of Glendale for a month. 

Normally, an event this size would result in net emissions of more than 5,000 tons of greenhouse gases. But not this year. This year, March Madness is carbon neutral. 

The energy used at all seven of the basketball tournament’s venues will be tracked and then mitigated by renewable energy credits and carbon offsets. The effort, part of a partnership with the NCAA and the Indiana Sports Corp., will result in one of the largest sporting events in the country to make the commitment to carbon neutrality.

Blackfeet woman creates international travel website and app to share history, resources, information

Read the full story at KULR8.

A Blackfeet woman has started a non-profit organization to gather and share information, resources, and history of the tribe with travelers across Montana and Canada. The project promotes interaction and contribution from the public. Souta Calling Last collects centuries worth of information through storytelling, factual data, and social trends to help tribal members and tourists better understand the area where they live or explore.

Algorithmic approaches for assessing pollution reduction policies can reveal shifts in environmental protection of minority communities, according to Stanford researchers

Read the full story from Stanford University.

Applying machine learning to a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency initiative reveals how key design elements determine what communities bear the burden of pollution. The approach could help ensure fairness and accountability in machine learning used by government regulators.

How Paving with Plastic Could Make a Dent in the Global Waste Problem

Read the full story at e360.

Roads in which waste plastic is melted down and mixed with paving materials are becoming more common around the world. Although for now they remain a niche technology, experts say the roads could become one of a diverse array of uses for discarded plastic.

We Want Sun and We Want More: 75% Distributed Renewable Generation in 15 Years in Puerto Rico Is Achievable and Affordable

Download the document.

In 2018, Queremos Sol (“We Want Sun”), a multi-sectoral coalition of Puerto Rican community, environmental and labor organizations, put forward a policy proposal for the renewable energy transformation of Puerto Rico’s electrical system under a reformed public ownership model. The proposal emphasized efficiency and distributed renewable energy, particularly rooftop solar and behind-the-meter storage, as a strategy to provide resilience to households in future blackouts, to reduce the impact on agricultural and ecologically valuable lands from utility-scale renewable energy projects, and to reduce the island’s dependence on imported fossil fuels and extensive transmission systems. Queremos Sol proposes a transformation that is equitable, affordable and that ensures a transition to renewables that is fair to PREPA workers.

In this report, we summarize the result of in-depth grid modeling studies completed in early 2021 to investigate specific technical aspects of the Queremos Sol proposal. Specifically, Telos Energy and EE Plus performed modeling of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s generation, transmission and distribution infrastructure, using data obtained from PREPA, to analyze scenarios of increasing penetration of renewable energy, up to 75% (with over half of that from residential installations) of total electricity consumption by 2035. Energy Futures Group used these grid modeling results to estimate costs.

An Illicit Trade in Brazil Is Sending Tiny Songbirds to Their Deaths

Read the full story at e360.

Thousands of saffron finches are being snatched out of South American forests and sold in Brazil for use in brutal, illegal fighting rings. Lax wildlife laws have made it difficult for authorities to crack down on the lucrative trade, leaving traffickers and ring runners undeterred.

U.S. Department of Energy Awards $18 Million for Cutting-Edge Technologies to Optimize Vehicle Performance and Efficiency

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

The U.S. Department of Energy today announced $18 million in funding for four cutting-edge projects that will help passenger vehicles operate more efficiently, reduce energy consumption, and contribute to the Biden Administration’s goal of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. This funding is part of Phase II of the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy’s (ARPA-E) Next-Generation Energy Technologies for Connected and Automated On-Road Vehicles (NEXTCAR) program.

Tracking the future of US recycling policy in Congress

Read the full story in Waste Dive. This article is updated as new legislation is introduced.

Spurred by market challenges, the Hill has seen a historic influx of big bills. Keep up on all the latest developments with our legislative tracker.

Federal plastics proposal returns this week

Read the full story at Resource Recycling. See also the coverage in Waste Dive.

Two members of Congress will revive the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act, which includes a national container deposit system and other sweeping changes. Representatives from the plastics industry have countered the push.

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