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patrick jackson
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SAA, Mango take green flights to the skies with sustainable aviation biofuel

The SAA and Mango flights carried 300 passengers from Johannesburg to Cape Town on Boeing 737-800s using a blend of 30% aviation biofuel produced from Sunchem's nicotine-free tobacco plant Solaris, refined by AltAir Fuels and supplied by SkyNRG.

"SAA is committed to a sustainable future and this flight highlights the bold steps we are taking to protect and preserve our environment while creating opportunities for the economic development of our people," says Musa Zwane, acting CEO of SAA. "We are pleased to join the ranks of global airlines who have made a commitment to a better and cleaner way of flying."

Studies have shown that sustainably produced aviation biofuel emits 50% to 80% lower carbon emissions through its life cycle than fossil jet fuel. Airlines around the world have conducted more than 2 500 passenger flights using various forms of aviation biofuel since it was approved for commercial use in 2011.

See http://www.itweb.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=154422&A=GIT&S=Green%20IT&O=E&E=3-11329
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Spirit And Light -- Fort Collins, Colorado
"Light, that first phenomenon of the world, reveals to us the spirit and living soul of this world through color."
-- Johannes Itten

A leaf back-lit by the setting sun and framed between the boles of two close-set trees in my backyard...

There's a thick stand of trees along the western border of my yard, and when the sun is low in the evening they effectively block out much of its light, making things very dim in the backyard. However, a few rays invariably filter in and illuminate various patches of leaves with an incredible glow.

For #leavesonthursday +Leaves On Thursday curated by +Mehdia Ridder, and #close2home +Close2Home curated by +David Pond, +Pia Raben, +Shaun Stewart, +José Juan Escudero, +Howard Weitzel, and +Earth Pattern Saturday / #EarthPatternSaturday  curated by +Beat Gretler and +Annette Gretler...
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Would be amazing if you guys can help me get to my goal. I would appreciate it so much to have the opportunity with to travel the world to help people in need of new homes, schools, clean water and food. 
helping those in need is the most rewarding thing in the world.
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This Small Town in New Hampshire is the Perfect Fall Getaway http://ctrylv.co/cSZoNbA
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Solar energy has grown 100-fold in this country in the past decade. Globally, solar has doubled seven times since 2000, and Dubai received a bid recently for 800 megawatts of solar at a stunning US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour, unsubsidized! For context, the average residential price for electricity in the United States is 12 cents per kilowatt-hour.
Solar energy has been advancing considerably faster than anyone expected just a few years ago thanks to aggressive market-based deployment efforts around the globe. Since it’s hard to keep up with the speed-of-light changes, and this is the fuel that will power more and more of the global economy in the near future, here are all the latest charts and facts to understand it.
Thanks to sustained long-term deployment programs, Liebreich explained We’ve seen the costs come down by a factor of 150 since 1975. We’ve seen volume up by 115,000.
“How much more miracle-y do you need your miracles to be,” Liebreich added.
What that chart doesn’t reveal is that the price drop and the sales volume increase are directly linked. There is a learning curve: Over the past four decades, for every doubling in scale of the solar industry, the price of solar modules has dropped roughly 26 percent.
BNEF projects that by 2040, the world will invest an astonishing $3.4 trillion in solar. That’s more than the projected cumulative investment of $2.1 trillion for all fossil fuels — and $1.1 trillion in new nuclear, combined.
The result of these investments and the continued learning by solar (and wind) makes these two technologies the cheapest ways of producing electricity in many countries during the 2020s and in most of the world in the 2030s....

...This year we learned “City of Palo Alto considers solar power contract at under $37/MWh.” Bloomberg reported last week that Berkshire Hathaway Inc.’s NV Energy agreed to pay 3.87 cents a kilowatt-hour for power from a 100-megawatt project that First Solar Inc. is developing.
It is worth remembering that U.S. solar power bids include the 30 percent Investment Tax Credit. According to one analysis, NV Energy’s “$.0387/kWh would potentially turn into about $.07/kWh if we backed out the 30% Federal Tax Credit and 60% depreciation in Year One.”
The bids seen around the world this year without subsidies or incentives are even more stunning. Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA) received a bid this year for 800 megawatts at a jaw-dropping “US 2.99 cents per kilowatt hour.” Two other bids were below US 4 cents/kWh, and the last two bids were both below 4.5 cents/kWh, again all of these bids were without subsidies!
That 2.99 cents bid is way down from a 2015 deal Dubai signed for more than 1000 megawatts at 5.84 cents over 25 years. So Dubai has seen a 50 percent price drop in solar in just 18 months.
And these prices aren’t unique to the Middle East. As Bloomberg New Energy Finance reported in April, Enel Green power signed a contract for $.036/kWh in in Mexico — 3.6 cents.
With prices dropping so fast, sales of solar PV systems have been soaring, as you can imagine...

...From 2005 through 2015, annual PV sales in this country went up 100-fold! And projections suggest that solar sales may double this year, driven by Congress’s five-year renewal (with phase-out) of the solar Investment Tax Credit (ITC)....
The solar miracle has been driven by major state, national, and international policies. BNEF Chair Liebreich calls this “The March of the Price Signal”, the rapid expansion of global deployment programs, especially market-based mechanisms such as renewable portfolio standards and reverse auctions.
Unfortunately, other countries have had bigger and more reliable deployment programs whereas our erratic policies generally diminish or disappear whenever and wherever conservatives assume control. In the past decade in particular, massive government-led deployment policies in China and Germany have been a major driver of the world’s stunning price drop.
The result is that while the United States invented the modern solar photovoltaic cell over a half-century ago, as of 2015, we are fourth in installed capacity worldwide...
The good news is that solar power in this country has a very bright future, thanks to the renewal of the ITC. By one recent projection, the U.S. could hit 100 gigawatts total installed capacity by 2021. That said, India also plans to hit 100 gigawatts by 2022.
China, however, plans to triple solar PV capacity to 150 gigawatts installed by 2020! So the race is definitely on.
No wonder the International Energy Agency concluded last fall: Driven by continued policy support, renewables account for half of additional global generation, overtaking coal around 2030 to become the largest power source.
The ‘Other’ Form Of Solar Energy, Which Can Run At Night
Earlier this month, I wrote about the “other” form of solar, concentrating solar thermal power, which uses sunlight to heat water and uses the steam to drive a turbine and generator. That heat can be stored over 20 times more cheaply than electricity, and much more efficiently, so CSP can provide power long after the sun has gone down...

Now that China appears to be placing a large bet on solar thermal electric, it seems likely CSP will also start coming down the learning curve, which will help it increase sales, which in turn will keep it coming down the learning curve, a virtuous circle that PV is already benefiting from.
The 2014 STE Technology Roadmap from the International Energy Agency (IEA) projected that while PV could generate 16 percent of the world’s electricity by 2050, as much as 11 percent could be generated by STE at the same time.
Given how fast solar PV has been coming down in price, and given the world’s commitment in Paris last December to keep ratcheting down carbon pollution in the coming decades to keep total global warming “well below 2°C”, it seems entirely possible if not likely that solar power will outperform the IEA’s scenario.
Indeed, it’s precisely because clean energy has been moving at the speed of light that “almost everything you know about climate change solutions is probably outdated,” as I’ve been detailing for months.
If it surprises you that U.S. solar has jumped 100-fold in the last decade -- and prices are now under 4 cents per kilowatt-hour -- you should read this.
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