San Diego EarthWorks Seeking “50 New Shades of Green” to Inspire Sustainable Living During April 27 Earth Day Celebration in Balboa Park
Exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers and Children’s Earth Parade participants invited to join the world’s largest free celebration of the green practices, products and services that honor Mother Earth and enable sustainable living
San Diego, CA (PRWEB) March 31, 2014
San Diego EarthWorks -- the producers of EarthFair in Balboa Park, the world’s largest annual environmental fair and Earth Day celebration – is seeking businesses, non-profits, government agencies and advocacy groups eager to be among 50 New Shades of Green that highlight products, services and initiatives creating a more sustainable quality of life during the free, April 27 EarthFair celebration.
Those representing the 50 New Shades of Green will augment hundreds of additional exhibitors introducing their sustainable, planet-friendly, money-saving solutions to Southern Californians – an Earth Day canvas featuring hundreds of shades of green to inspire San Diegans in a single day.
“EarthFair is the world’s largest free celebration of the practices, products and services that honor Mother Earth, enable sustainable living and improve the bottom line,” said EarthFair co-founder Carolyn Chase. “Our aim is to take this one day to introduce citizens to the products and lifestyle choices that can improve their quality of life each and every day – and for generations to follow,” Chase explained.
Now in its 25th year, EarthFair draws 50,000 to 60,000 individuals of all ages to historic Balboa Park to learn how they can go green – and save green -- by living more sustainably. EarthFair 2014 takes place Sunday, April 27, from 10 am to 5 pm.
***10 EXHIBIT AREAS AND 4 STAGES OFFER A DAY TEEMING WITH FUN, FOOD, EARTH-FRIENDLY ENTERTAINMENT & INSIGHTS***
The secret sauce to EarthFair’s perennial success is a heaping helping of family-oriented activities, folk and contemporary music, information on organizations that preserve precious natural resources, ecosystems and the wildlife they sustain and EarthFair’s hundreds of shades of green – a robust complement of eco-smart vendors offering healthy, environmentally-friendly products and services to protect the environment, create a cleaner, more sustainable community, and save money. An international array of tasty food, beverages and organic treats will be served throughout the day.
New at EarthFair this year is ecoATM, a vending machine that allows folks to get the maximum amount of money for properly recycling their used cell phones, MP3 players, tablet PCs and other devices while knowing they’re being recycled in the appropriate way.
Butterfly gardening for children is another anticipated draw, as will be exhibitors showcasing drought-tolerant and native plant species. Money-saving water conservation and renewable energy solutions will also have their proverbial day in the sun.
Accelerating in popularity among fairgoers is an innovative line-up of electric and hybrid vehicles, this year featured at the Cleaner Car Concourse and the Plaza de Panama, where the San Diego County Toyota Dealers will display the latest in high-mileage and plug-in vehicles.
Another perennial crowd-pleaser is the annual Children’s Earth Parade, featuring children (many dressed up as their favorite endangered species), animals, marching units and floats. All species welcome! The parade kicks off at 10:30 am with a total marching time of 20 minutes. The parade is free for all who want to participate, but registration is requested. Register online at http://www.earthparade.org.
An event of this undertaking could not happen without its underwriters – and hundreds of volunteers. Taking center stage to showcase their unique shades of green are EarthFair sponsors USAA, San Diego County Toyota Dealers, EcoATM, Car2Go, Walmart, San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E), the San Diego Metropolitan Credit Union (METRO), the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), Qualcomm, EDCO, Solar Turbines, Armstrong Garden Centers, Zero Waste San Diego, the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture, the Urban Corps of San Diego, SolarRain Watery and Big Mama Earth Learning Academy.
Media sponsors helping promote EarthFair and its many shades of green include 10News, Azteca America, San Diego 6 The CW, Energy 103.7, KyXy 96.5, Diego 99.3,The Walrus 105.7, San Diego's Finest Business Radio (with Radio Jack), WS Online Radio and The ECOReport.
Additional sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities abound.
“This event presents a tremendous opportunity to reach a community of citizens who not only subscribe to cleaner, healthier lifestyles, but who are eager to support businesses whose products, services and corporate philosophies align with theirs to live and work more sustainably,” said Chase.
***GETTING TO EARTHFAIR:
KIDS 12 & UNDER RIDE MTS BUSES AND TROLLEYS FOR FREE***
EarthFair organizers have identified a veritable busload of clean transportation alternatives to get folks safely and efficiently to EarthFair.
“Sixty-thousand people trying to maneuver their cars into Balboa Park during the course of a day can create real transportation problems and leave one huge carbon footprint,” said MTS spokesman Rob Schupp. To help, MTS is emphasizing its ‘Two Kids Ride Free on Weekends' policy. “With each paid adult fare on an MTS trolley or bus to EarthFair, two kids 12 and under ride free. It’s a great way to honor the intent of EarthFair, while introducing San Diegans to our family-friendly vehicles,” Schupp added.
Click here for bus and trolley schedules and other transportation alternatives, including off-site parking and free shuttle service. Consider bicycling and walking as a refreshing alternative. Free valet bike parking is provided at two locations, courtesy of the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition: the Museum of Man on the park's west side and Village Place on the east side of Balboa Park.
Another essential component to EarthFair is the more than 400 volunteers who help visitors find what they seek while making the event an enjoyable experience for all. EarthFair is accepting volunteers eager to assist with the hundreds of details that go into producing an event of this magnitude. All volunteers are given EarthFair t-shirts that make them easily identifiable. This year’s shirts carry the theme, “It’s a Small Earth After All,” while acknowledging the many sponsors who’ve come together to make EarthFair possible. To volunteer for EarthFair 2014, register online by clicking here.
***E.A.R.T.H. AWARDS NOMINATIONS NOW BEING ACCEPTED***
Corporations and the public-at-large have the opportunity to acknowledge the work of EarthFair volunteers at the June 11 V.I.P. (Very Important Planet) Reception and E.A.R.T.H. Awards, which recognize organizations and individuals for their actions to foster a cleaner, healthier environment. Nominations for E.A.R.T.H. Awards (including self nominations) will be accepted through April 27. They can be made online via this EarthFair Web link.
“This year’s theme reminds us that we’re all in this together,” noted EarthFair co-founder Chris Klein. “EarthFair provides not only the opportunity to celebrate the beauty of this planet, it inspires us with hundreds of shades of green we can employ to help protect the environment and make this world a better place.”
ABOUT SAN DIEGO EARTHWORKS: San Diego EarthWorks is a California 501(c)3 non-profit corporation committed to inspiring action toward a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future. San Diego EarthWorks produces EarthFair in Balboa Park, the world’s largest annual environmental fair and Earth Day celebration, now in its 25th year. In addition to facilitating business, volunteer and educational partnerships to create a better planet, EarthWorks presents San Diego’s Annual V.I.P. (Very Important Planet) Reception and E.A.R.T.H. Awards, which recognize organizations and individuals for their actions to foster a cleaner, healthier environment. Learn more at http://www.earthdayweb.org.
January 7, 2014
California’s Sizzling Solar Busts Through 3 GW
(GreenTechMedia) -- On Jan. 2, 2013, California hit a then-record 1,235 megawatts in solar power production. Exactly a year later, it reached 3,048 MW.
Read the full story here:
October 15, 2013
4 Major New Rulings That Will Boost Solar Power and Energy
Storage in California
By Eric Wesoff
(GreenTech Solar) -- It's often the hand of regulators and legislators that guides the direction of regulated utilities, rather than the hand of the free market. And when it comes to renewable-energy-friendly legislation, the summer and fall of 2013 were mostly unicorns and rainbows for the fate of solar power and energy storage in California. Here's the rundown.
AB 327: Net metering and rate reform. AB 327 is now California state law and it ensures that net metering (which pays solar-equipped customers retail prices for the solar power delivered to the grid) will stay in place until at least 2016. The law also gives the California Public Utilities Commission authority to completely remove caps on the program, rather than sticking to the 5 percent of nameplate generation capacity quota that was previously in place.
The law carries with it a signing statement from Governor Jerry Brown. As reported by Jeff St. John, Brown noted, "As the CPUC considers rules regarding grandfathering of net metering customers, I expect the Commission to ensure that customers who took service under net metering prior to reaching the statutory net metering cap on or before July 1, 2017, are protected under those rules for the expected life of their systems."
The value of solar power and the threat that net energy metering poses to the utility business model will be demonstrated, one way or another, in the California laboratory in the coming years.
SB 43: Shared solar, community solar, solar gardens, and virtual net metering. This type of solar financing has name-recognition and brandings problem, but basically it allows renters or people with shaded roofs to go solar. Signed into law earlier this month, the law launches a new 600-megawatt program that lets customers of IOUs purchase up to 100% of their electrical power from a remote solar power plant. The maximum project size is 20 megawatts, and 100 megawatts are being set aside for "the most impacted and disadvantaged communities" and "[a]reas disproportionately affected by environmental pollution." (Here's the full text of the Green Tariff Shared Renewables Program.)
AB 217: Expansion and continuation of low-income solar program. Slated to end in 2016 but now extended to 2021 are the Single-Family Affordable Solar Homes and Multi-Family Affordable Solar Housing (SASH and MASH) programs, worth a combined $108 million. The programs offer rebates and provide training in solar installation. According to the text of the law, "It is the goal of the state to install solar energy systems that have a generating capacity equivalent to 50 megawatts for low-income residential housing."
Last month, the California PUC set terms of a mandate for an eye-popping 1.3 gigawatts of energy storage to support the state’s power grid by 2020. As reported by Jeff St. John, the decision "breaks new ground in seeking to establish a regulatory regime in which utilities, third-party storage providers, and even customer-owned storage assets can play an integrated role. Those include rules that would limit utilities from owning more than 50 percent of the total amount of energy storage to be procured across the three “grid domains” of transmission, distribution, and customer-located storage.
That decision comes in spite of requests from the state’s three investor-
owned utilities -- Southern California Edison, San Diego Gas & Electric and Pacific Gas & Electric -- that they be able to control a larger share of the storage they would be required to connect to their grids.
“This is pretty significant, because they’re saying that utilities can even own assets behind the meter,” Janice Lin, executive director of the California Energy Storage Alliance (CESA), an industry group representing energy storage companies, said in an interview.
As with NEM, the California renewable experiment with mandated energy storage is going to be watched very carefully by other states.
For the deepest industry dive into U.S. solar markets and policy, make sure to attend GTM's annual US Solar Market Insight conference in San Diego in December.
October 15, 2013
Solar Sidewalk Generates Power for LED Pathway Lights
by Linda Hardesty
(Energy Manager Today) -- George Washington University completed a small, 100-sq-foot sidewalk paved with solar panels at its Virginia Science and Technology Campus in Ashburn, Va.
The demonstration sidewalk is paved with 27 slip-resistant, semi-transparent panels as well as a solar-powered trellis. The walkable panels have a combined average of 400-watt peak capacity, the maximum amount of power that can be produced under perfect conditions. The panels provide enough energy to power 450 LED pathway lights below the panels, according to the university’s news site. In addition the solar-powered trellis was installed at the end of the sidewalk to create energy that feeds back to Innovation Hall.
The walkable panels come from Spain-based Onyx Solar, a company known for designing and manufacturing PV materials to generate solar energy while also providing thermal and acoustic insulation. The walkway panels are a newly patented product for Onyx.
Other colleges are doing interesting things with solar: Earlier this year, Occidental College in Los Angeles announced Martifer Solar USA had completed a 1.142 MW solar PV system – a combination of a parking
lot carport and a hillside ground-mount – on its campus and the installation
incorporates elements of art into the design.
August 12, 2013
LOS ANGELES TIMES: ELON MUSK UNVEILS HYPERLOOP DESIGN
By Catherine Green and
Los Angeles billionaire Elon Musk has already revolutionized spaceflight business for NASA. He has shaken up the automotive industry. Now he's turned his attention to public transportation.
On Monday, Musk wrote a blog post revealing the design of his much-anticipated Hyperloop, the proposed high-speed transit solution that’s supposed to take passengers from Los Angeles to San Francisco in
The line would travel along the I-5 and I-580 at speeds of up to 760 mph and would have the feel of an airline, Musk told reporters. Capsules would carry 28 people who would be allowed to take a couple of bags each, and the price per ticket could be about $20 for a one-way trip.
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/business/money/la-fi-mo-musk-hyperloop-design-20130809,0,3958745.story
CLIMATE CHANGE NEWS
August 10, 2013
LOS ANGELES TIMES: Effects of Climate Change in California Are Significant and Growing
by Tony Barboza
Photo Credit: Brian van der Brug, Los Angeles Times
California is feeling the effects of climate change far and wide, as heat-trapping greenhouse gases reduce spring runoff from the Sierra Nevada, make the waters of Monterey Bay more acidic and shorten winter chill periods required to grow fruit and nuts in the Central Valley, a new report says.
Though past studies have offered grim projections of a warming planet, the report released Thursday by the California Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment took an inventory of three dozen shifts that are already happening.
Read more: http://www.latimes.com/news/local/la-me-0811-calif-climate-20130811,0,4664481.story
August 9, 2013
SAN DIEGO LOVES GREEN: San Diego County Approves FIGTREE Commercial PACE Program
The San Diego County Board of Supervisors has voted to bring the job-creating benefits of California’s most active commercial PACE provider – San Diego-based FIGTREE – to the region to help property owners finance money-saving energy efficiency, solar and water conservation improvements.
(Full story): http://www.sandiegolovesgreen.com/san-diego-county-approves-figtree-pace/
August 8, 2013
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD: Solar Energy Battery Backup Under Attack In California?
Story by Lauren Poole
CHICAGO -- California is no stranger to rolling blackouts. When Charles and Elke Hewitt installed a solar electric system with batteries for emergency backup power on their home this April, they were shocked when Southern California Edison rejected their application for grid connection under their net metering program. And the Hewitt family was not alone. Soon all homeowners with solar electric systems with battery backup in California could be affected by Edison’s stance on backup power.
Read more: http://www.renewableenergyworld.com/rea/news/article/2013/08/solar-battery-backup-under-attack-in-california?cmpid=SolarNL-2013-08-08
NEW YORK TIMES: Tax Programs to Finance Clean Energy Catch On
(Photo: Jenn Ackerman)
Then a developer, Blue Horizon Energy, made a proposal: Grandview Tire and Auto, using a new loan program, could borrow the $34,000 to install the system and pay it back over 10 years, but instead of making traditional loan payments, they would be made through his property taxes.
Now, with 117 panels on one of his five stores, he is saving $3,600 a year and bringing in new customers attracted to the company’s green image.
The program, he said, “made the concept of adding solar to our business reality.”
Read more: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/22/business/energy-environment/tax-programs-to-finance-clean-energy-catch-on.html?hp
June 12, 2013
GREENTECH MEDIA: The Coming US Distributed Solar Boom - Opportunities and risks in a cost-competitive market
Story by Shayle Kann
In the first quarter of this year there were 71.3 megawatts of residential
solar installed in California’s three investor-owned utility territories,
according to our just-released U.S. Solar Market Insight report. Of
that total, 13.2 megawatts (18.5 percent) were installed without the support of rebates from the California Solar Initiative (CSI) or any other state-level program.
It would be hard to overstate the significance of this, so I’ll reiterate. In the first three months of this year, around 3,000 residential solar installations were completed in California with no state incentives. These installations did benefit from a number of things: full retail net metering (we’ll come back to this), the federal Investment Tax Credit and accelerated depreciation, and California’s relatively solar-friendly rate structures. But even so, this is emblematic of a sea change in the solar industry and, even more importantly, the energy industry.
Read more: http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/the-coming-u.s.-distributed-solar-boom?utm_source=Daily&utm_medium=Headline&utm_campaign=GTMDaily
SOLAR VIEWS: HOAs
June 12, 2013
GREENTECH MEDIA SOLAR: Homeowner Associations, The Right to Solar, and Solar Soft Costs
BY Herman K. Trabish
Homeowners’ right to solar and the solar industry’s fight to cut rooftop
solar soft costs could both get a boost from a new effort to educate
“This makes the case for solar directly to homeowner association (HOA)
members and their review committees,” explained author Philip Haddix of The Solar Foundation’s report, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood:
Encouraging Solar Development through Community Association Policies and
“It tells them how they can allow more solar while fulfilling their responsibility to protect community interests and without ceding their authority.”
May 24, 2013
PR WEB: Empower America Enlists FIGTREE PACE to Help Service Veterans Transition from Combat Boots to Boots on the Roof -- with Solar
Campaign Reminds Americans They Can Make EVERY Day Memorial Day by Hiring Solar-Trained Service Veterans Ready to Help Property Owners Slash Energy Costs and Drive American Energy Independence
Commercial PACE provider FIGTREE Energy Financing is teaming up with Empower America – a national non-profit that hires U.S. service veterans to construct domestic solar energy projects -- to shed light on Empower America’s work providing hands-on, boots-on-the-roof training and job placement for service veterans looking to re-enter the American civilian workforce.
“Our focus is creating American jobs for American veterans using American-made products to drive American energy independence,” said Empower America President and CEO Mario Pabon. “FIGTREE’s role in providing PACE financing to help contractors and property-owners jump-start commercial solar and energy efficiency projects falls right in line with our objectives.”
SUSTAINABLE POLICY INITIATIVES
May 10, 2013
CLEAN ENERGY AUTHORITY.COM:
Scientists Support Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS).
A new white paper from the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) looks at the
success and opportunity that renewable electricity standards (RESs) or renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) are creating for the 29 states (and Washington, D.C.) that have them. The white paper from the advocacy organization supports the development of more RESs across the U.S.
SUSTAINABLE POLICY INITIATIVES
April 12, 2013
County of San Diego Inspires Sustainable Communities. County Supervisor Dave Roberts presented San Diego Renewable Energy Society Board Chair Steve Johnston with a $15,000 check this month to help fund and promote the non-profit San Diego Renewable Energy Society’s presentation of the 13th Annual San Diego Solar Tour, a series of free, self-guided tours designed to educate citizens young and old about the economic and environmental benefits of today's energy efficiency and solar energy solutions.
Inspired by immediate-past County Supervisor Pam Slater-Price via the County of San Diego’s Neighborhood Reinvestment Program, this year’s tour will showcase a “Sweet Solar 16” of unique solar applications in the residential, educational multi-family and commercial space.
Slated for September 20-21 (the eve of the Autumnal Equinox)...
Read the full story by clicking here.
April 11, 2013
RENEWABLE ENERGY WORLD: What Does Warren Buffett See In Solar?
What's the best way to gain insight into Buffett's thinking? Probably by
watching his companies. And now, among his big insurance, chemical and utility holdings is a renewable energy company that is making some eye-catching moves. In its first 12 months in business, MidAmerican Renewables has acquired some of the largest solar projects in the world.
April 03, 2013
NPR's PLANET MONEY: How We Use Energy, Then and Now -- Manufacturing in the U.S. still uses the most energy. But its share has been decreasing. That's partly because we've moved from energy-intensive manufacturing to a more service-based economy. And also partly because of a slowing population growth and improving energy efficiency.
March 30, 2013
U-T SAN DIEGO: New Apartments Offer Free Solar Power -- Fenton's Latest Project Powere By Plenty of Photovoltaics
March 28, 2013
PR WEB: San Diego-based FIGTREE Stands Tall In Wake of FHFA Ruling on Residential PACE; Continues Focus On Commercial PACE Adoption Across California http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/3/prweb10578359.htm
GREEN BUILDING NEWS
March 16, 2013
WorldGBC NEWS: World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) Releases Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors and Occupants