Category Archives: Energy Saving

GET LUCKY: a couple will win a Las Vegas wedding in a self-driving van

WHAT AN OCCASSION!!!  CSAAA “Triple A” is giving away a Wedding in Las Vegas and a tour in a self-driving car…. start making memories on Day 1 of your life with your spouse! Doesn’t this sound so good and geeky?

CONTEST: Win a LV WEDDNG AND autonomous car tour

AAA Nevya Las Vegas Shuttles

From this Venture Beat article: AAA will award a lucky couple a Las Vegas wedding in a self-driving van: Write a winning ESSAY: to tie the knot in one of its Navya cars, the self-driving shuttles that ferry folks between Las Vegas hotspots including the Fremont Street Experience and Donut Bar.

  • WHEN: submit an essay – Nevada residents 21 or older have until June 20
  • DETAILS: The lucky bride- and groom-to-be will get a 10 a.m. ceremony on June 30 in the Downtown Las Vegas Container Park. The wedding will be a stationary affair, but after the exchange of vows, the shuttles will carry the newlyweds through Vegas’ Fremont neighborhood.

Nvidia Discusses: More self-driving car investment, Using VR, Imaging

Nvidia CEO: Uber crash will spur more self-driving car investment

Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang said today that theUber crash in Tempe, Arizona last week would likely lead to more investment in self-driving cars, not less. “I believe as a result of what happened last week, the amount of investment into the seriousness of [autonomous vehicles] is going to go up,” he said during […]  Read the full story

Watch Nvidia drive a real car using Black Panther-style VR

One of the most exciting moments from the hit film Black Panther came to life today, as Nvidia’s Holodeck software enabled a driver using virtual reality to drive a car in the real world. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang offered the demonstration at the 2018 GPU Technology Conference (GTC) as an aside while discussing autonomous car […]    Read the full story

Nvidia’s deep learning enhanced imagery can show a baby in the womb or beating heart

Nvidia showed off deep learning visualization 3D imagery of a beating heart and a baby in the womb, based on enhanced inferences from crude black-and-white ultrasound scans. Nvidia showed a demo dubbed Clara, a medical imaging supercomputer. It showed a baby in the womb, an image extracted from artificial intelligence analysis of a black-and-white ultrasound […]    Read the full story

Great reading …. From VENTURE BEAT

The Global Gala: On the Green Carpet

Acknowledgement and awards, help great green ideas keep going!  The Global Green Award helps companies like Go Electric move forward.

IN2 is positioned to help companies think about their end customer, providing technical assistance that leverages the capabilities, facilities, equipment, and expertise that exist at National Renewable Energy Lab – NREL New ideas receive a helping hand from an Incubator: As one of 20 current IN2 portfolio companies, Go Electric received financial support and access to NREL’s facilities and staff.

“We wanted NREL to validate the capabilities of our energy resiliency system because it had a technology aspect we didn’t think anybody had demonstrated,” Laughner said. “They confirmed that we have unique microgrid technology. Working with the engineers at NREL was brilliant. That was great for us to better understand their world.”

Go Electric builds energy resiliency systems that keep a facility running if the electric grid goes out during an extreme weather event, for example, Laughner said. “We can link the energy assets at a facility — including renewables, like solar or wind — to keep it seamlessly operating in a microgrid. That in turn allows the facility to continue to support its local community during grid outages.”

Laughner and her two partners founded Go Electric in 2011. Today, the company has a staff of 27 and has expanded beyond its Anderson, Indiana, headquarters to open additional offices in Honolulu and Brooklyn, New York.

Go Electric has now entered the second phase of the IN2 program where it is planning to deploy one of its systems at a Wells Fargo branch. Making it “real” by getting out in the community is a big step. BEST WISHES to GO ELECTRIC!

The Future of Transportation: Cleaner, Quieter, Faster, Cheaper,

March 14, 2018

6:30 – 8:30 PM

BioMarin, Magnolia Conference Room 750 Lindaro Street, San Rafael

America’s “Car Culture” is pervasive, painfully inefficient, and terrible for the environment. Yet most people are unwilling to give up their cars because they provide relatively rapid, comfortable, and on-demand transportation. So how will we ever get to a clean transportation system?

This program will focus on three overlapping solutions for passenger vehicle transportation:

  • Electric Vehicles                               
  • Autonomous Vehicles
  • Shared Mobility/Ride Sharing

Come learn how rapid technological changes are impacting transportation efficiency, emissions, and modalities and how you can be part of the solution. Our expert and dynamic speakers will both educate and inspire you! This program is done in collaboration with DRAWDOWN: Marin.

Will you be attending?

Register Not attending

Eclipse and Planning

How did California Grid Operators Manage the Eclipse? This is the kind of thing our power companies plan for… While school kids were gathered to “see the sun go out” others were making plans to provide power from list solar generation.
Grid managers knew exactly when the moon would transit the sun’s path, blotting out gigawatts of solar power generation along its path. California was not in the path of totality, but it was projected that the eclipse would knock out about 5,600 megawatts of solar power supplied by utility-scale power plants and rooftop solar panels. Utilities, however, were prepped and ready to replace the shortfall. IEEE has meetings and a monthly magazine that explains and discusses engineering and more.

Five Inconvenient Truths -Global steel industry

Interesting article, it discusses trade, overcapacity, raw materials, growth/slow down in building, and re-purposing of existing mills.  Maybe that is true. Read more here.

I must admit I am most intrigued by the existence of this group:

John Lichtenstein is a managing director for Accenture Strategy and the global lead of Accenture’s metals group.
The article did not discuss:  
  1. Changes in Environmental regulation. What if the total cost of an item was part of the selection process for materials (Aluminum vs. Steel)? What if LEED building specified LOCAL MATERIAL use or adding the effects of long distance shipping into the environmental degradation? What if shipping companies were forced to contribute money to the clean-up of the plastic gyre in the Pacific Ocean when shipping across the Pacific Ocean?  Unlikely, but possible and more sensible than carbon credits.
  2. Quality of the steel produced in China (I’d really like to know why the Bay Bridge is rusting with its low quality steel imported from China), coupled with the environmental devastation caused by converting raw materials to finished goods in a country that does not have strict environmental regulations and technologies.
  3. The main premise that global demand is slowing and will remain so, flies in the face of the greatest population being urban, and the population continues to expand. Housing in urban areas is made with steel, when it is high-density.

There is always room to learn more. I’ll be interested in Accenture’s next set of statistics.

There are many other Accenture articles; here is another from the same author.

World Environment Day June 5

What can you do? TIPS and HINTS

Energy:

  • Make your computer more efficient. Remove screensavers and turn on your computer’s power management features to save energy and extend the life of your battery.
  • Unplug. Devices like phone chargers and power adapters continue to draw electricity even when not in active use. So unplug these items when they are not in use to save energy and the environment.
  • Opt for the revolving door. Energy is wasted when we enter and exit a warm or cool building. Help us conserve by using the revolving door.

Use Less Paper:

  • Make your meetings digital. In the meeting invitation, let your colleagues know that the meeting will be paperless. Use projectors and monitors to display slides rather than printing handouts and encourage attendees to use their laptops for slide viewing and note taking.
  • Print responsibly. Make double-sided printing your default, purchase 100% recycled paper and reuse sheets whenever possible.
  • Transition to online banking. Take advantage of  many paperless banking options, which offer convenient and secure access for account holders while conserving resources and money.
  • Use Microsoft OneNote.  This is so much easier and better than a paper notebook! Take your meeting notes online, file them online and easily share them. This works so well for me!

Reduce Waster & Recycle:

  • Dispose of Electronic Waste responsibly. Never recycle it or throw it in the regular trash. There are many local recyclers in your area, Goodwill and community groups have recycling days.
  • Trade before you buy. Before you purchase something new, see if your friends family have what you need, or upgrade to get just the thing you need. Look on Craigslist.org for swaps and trades. Renting equipment, or using a renting/sharing app  works well for equipment that you seldom use: trimmers/hedgers, kayaks, canoes, wheel-barrows, cement mixers, tile cutters, nailers, floor sanders…. you know! …the stuff that can fill up your garage!
  • Take advantage of the recycling and composting facilities available near you. Protect the environment and save valuable company resources by sorting your trash correctly.

Save Water:

  • Refill and reuse. Conserve water when using a reusable water bottle or hydration backpack by reducing water used in producing disposable bottles and shipping containers to new locations.
  • Conserve energy. Electricity uses water. In fact, the energy sector is the single largest consumer of water in the United States, using 201 billion gallons a day to generate electricity. WOW!!! So, save two resources at once by being energy efficient.
  • Turn faucets off all the way. A steady drip can waste 20 gallons of water per day. And report any leaks as soon as you notice them in bathrooms, kitchens, gyms or any other locations.
  • When working out, make sure your fitness center knows you are environmentally minded by asking your fitness center staff about low volume shower heads. Post-workout showers: turn off the water while shaving, shampooing or lathering up.

Green your Commute:

  • Route your commute. You can find the fastest way to work using public transit — and other useful information — by using helpful websites like publictransportation.org
  • Combine your commute with exercise. Check out bicycle safety tips  from the CDC and facts and stats  from Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to learn how you can commute by bike or walking and save yourself a trip to the gym.
  • Use more active transportation. Researchers looked at residents in Charlotte, North Carolina , before and after the city built a light-rail transit system (LRT). People who used the LRT reported they walked more when using the train than when they drove regularly. And they lost weight.

Get involved in your community and help with conservation, tree planting, beach clean-up and other eco-activities!

Earth Day with a Environmental View from the Pool

Across the globe, April 22 is celebrated as a day of support for environmental protection, but at Wells Fargo, every day is Earth Day. This commitment is illustrated through partnerships with businesses that are working to create a lower-carbon economy and reduce the impacts of climate change, like Alan Smith Pools in Orange Country, California believes in  water conservation and sustainability.
With almost 4 decades of experience, this company takes a long-term view toward the Earth Day mantra of reduce, reuse, recycle — using efficient and eco-friendly construction practices. With 29,000 projects completed, it is great environmental news that THIS  company has proven to be a pioneer in pools / spas.

  • innovative materials and repairs when possible
  • repairing pools with a view towards reuse, reduction of waste
  • saving millions of gallons of pool water
  • purifying water through osmosis
  • company-owned electric vehicles
  • implementing a waste management system for demolition debris
  • recycles 100% of demolition materials

“We know water is a precious commodity, especially in California, so we are continuously looking at ways to conserve the water that sustains our industry and manage our waste materials while constructing pools to be more sustainable. When the drought hit hard, we knew we had to help make our industry be more efficient and cut down on water waste to survive. This is why we began educating communities and regulators on the benefits of water recycling and purifying technology.”  — Alan Smith

Working with operators of large-scale pools such as YMCAs, & resorts, water waste is 3X – 4X  their annual water volume. Higher traffic means high levels of cleaning chemicals and the need to be completely drained and refilled with clean water every year. EACH 700,000 gallon pool that adds up to 2.8 million gallons of precious water drained into the sewers. The water purification technology that Alan proposed would recycle the existing water through reverse osmosis, removing impurities down to the level of drinking water–all within two to three days.

Smith recently acquired two water purification trailers to work with more customers; which makes $$ sense for CA homeowners as water districts move toward a tiered pricing system.

Kent Westfall
Commercial Division Manager
(760) 399-6428

Greenlining Institute Serves Non-Profits

At a time when nonprofits are being displaced due to high rents, the Greenlining Institute is providing a safe haven space to several nonprofits at affordable, below-market rents at its newly renovated energy-efficient building at 360 14th St. in the heart of downtown Oakland.

In late February 2017, the Greenlining Institute hosted a grand opening event to showcase the space with elected officials, activists, nonprofits and the community. During the event, Greenlining Institute President Orson Aguilar thanked all the  sponsors for their support. He wished the Center had enough space to house other nonprofits currently being displaced.

With a long relationship of more than 2 decades, along with other sponsors, a grant of $500,000 from Wells Fargo helps makes 360 Center possible. This is an especially important time, because many non-profits are leaving Oakland.  — the editor

Gas Taxes & Gas Prices in CA

California Legislature passed a bill (Thursday April 6, 2017) —  a  $52 billion transportation package- passed with a two-thirds vote. This is a 12 cents a gallon increase in gasoline prices and more. 

We often pass bills, and learn about the consequences later. More than that, I believe what DOES NOT WORK is continuing to raise taxes without showing progress.

Let’s face it. We have a lousy track record on roads.

It seems everything is getting squeezed in California.  Will small businesses simply leave CA?

  • How will CA really fix our roads? (Roads are still unrepaired in cities and highways, and we keep paying.)
  • How can we ENSURE quality infrastructure updates? (Remember, corroding Chinese STEEL in the Bay Bridge?) (Road extensions that cost triple the estimate?)
  • How can we get fair, competitive bids? How can we stop year over year cost over-runs?
  • Will we address FLOODING on our highways? and Road Safety?  It has been a mess this year!

Senate Bill 1, which would fix California’s pothole-ridden roads and unstable bridges by hiking gas taxes and vehicle license fees.

  •  It squeaked by in the Senate 27-11
  • In the Assembly – It passed narrowly, 54-26.
  • After passing, the Legislature’s Democratic leaders began lining up for FUNDING  transportation projects for their districts. (Pork Barrel politics)
  • We really need oversight here, let’s prioritize, road repair, safety and removing hazards RATHER than “let’s build a new ITEM in my district”.

More details:

The deal will hike gas taxes +12 cents per gallon and diesel taxes +20 cents per gallon, starting Nov. 1, 2017.  It will create a new vehicle license fees starting Jan. 1.

  • nearly half of California drivers whose cars are worth under $5,000 would pay a $25 fee each year (50% of the cars in CA are worth less than 5K – WHO made this estimate?)
  • vehicles valued between $5,000 and $25,000 — about 40 percent of drivers in the state +pay $50.
  • Drivers of luxury cars would pay as much as+$175 more.
  • +$100 per year, starting in 2020, for electric vehicles

The bulk of the money would  go to road repairs, though it also includes more funding for public transit.

WHO will this affect? Many small businesses and consumers because cost increases would be passed on to consumers.  Construction workers, Landscapers, Mail-order, Internet Businesses (Amazon!), Tesla, Toyota, Diesel car owners, even the Clunker cars would take on a $25 registration fee.

We already have gas taxes, but judging by the pot holes that can pop tires and break axles, there has not been much investment in ROAD SAFETY OR MAINTENANCE. I wonder where the last 5 years of gas taxes went? Seriously, have you seen improvements in our roads? At least, Bike riders were not considered or included in this bill to provide road repairs.

It is often said that Democrats main concern is for Climate Change. Does this reduce driving from the average 40 miles /day? Does a gasoline tax reduce the numbers of cars on the road or lessen pollution? Does it even create local jobs? As a state, we need to take a look at our lack of strategic planning, cost to workers, state budget. As a Sanctuary City, SF & LA might be doubly concerned over Federal Funding cuts due to non-compliance.

Governor Brown, heard angry protests on:

  • environmental justice for low-income /working-class communities
  • regarding the Late-night concession to the trucking industry (politics in action!)
  • communities impacted most by dirty air

I imagine that CA tax-payers are wondering where this huge PILE of money will go. Where is the oversight? We keep paying and paying and still and still hear the standard line: We Don’t Have Enough $$.  We haven’t added roads to CA recently, we can’t maintain what we have, and our mass transit is a MESS. Go ahead, ride BART after 8pm, you’ll see that BART doubles as our “Bay Area homeless shelter”.

Another Viewpoint:  More pain at the pump? a video by PragerU