Push by Tech Industry to Invest in Renewable Energy in Coal Country

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享David Ferris for E&E:When the news hits that a company has bought into a monster renewable energy project, chances are that company is the likes of Facebook, Microsoft or Google. Now those tech darlings are using a new vehicle to encourage other companies to do the same — especially in places where coal power reigns supreme, like South Carolina or Kentucky.Representatives from these tech firms were headline speakers at a meeting late last week of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), a new but fast-growing group that intends to make direct purchase of clean power easier for humbler sorts of firms, like hoteliers, clothiers and aluminum manufacturers.The agenda of the meeting, held at Microsoft Corp.’s headquarters here, didn’t specifically encourage companies to locate their projects in utility service territories where the conversation about renewables is uncomfortable. Speakers said that costs matter, as does the public relations value of siting a project nearby.But another message was unmistakable: If companies want their clean-energy purchases to tip the scales against climate change, they ought to use their pocketbooks to sway utilities and states that aren’t much interested.“If you’re trying to change the market,” said Bill Weihl, the director of sustainability for Facebook Inc., to the 280 attendees, “it’s useful to think, ‘How do I change the market there?’” As it plans for a new data center, Microsoft is considering where the renewable energy will come from, said Janous, the company’s chief energy strategist, in an interview. That includes a strategy that speakers were encouraging REBA members to follow — to site renewable projects in regions where renewables aren’t part of the conversation.Janis said that strategy was a key factor in why Microsoft sited its latest renewable project, a 20 MW solar farm, in Virginia, where coal power is a mainstay of electricity generation and where the state’s renewable energy portfolio goal is a mere 7 percent by 2021.Microsoft, which claims it achieved carbon neutrality four years ago, has an obligation to pass its lessons on, Janous said.“If the industry hasn’t changed,” Janous said, “then we’ve failed.”Full article: Tech giants lead campaign to bring renewables to reluctant states Push by Tech Industry to Invest in Renewable Energy in Coal Countrylast_img read more

UW football attendance ranks 15th again

first_imgUniversity of Wisconsin?s football team ranked 15th in thenation for total fan home attendance, making them fourth in the Big Ten.According to Don Walker of The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel,attendance rose from 81,368 fans per game in 2006 to 81,747 fans in 2007.However, the rise in attendance was not enough to surpass any other schools onthe list, and UW remained in the 15th slot.In his Jsonline.com blog Walker reported the University ofMichigan again led the nation in attendance this year with an average of110,264 attendees per game. Penn State again came in second place with an averageattendance of 108,917 fans.Ohio State rounded out the top three, leapfroggingTennessee, with an average attendance of 105,110.UW athletics spokesperson Vince Sweeney said the reason theother Big Ten schools have larger attendance is because they have biggerstadiums. UW Athletic Director Barry Alvarez said he was not sure ifattendance would match the other schools if UW had a larger stadium. However,he said stadium size is a factor.???Well, we?re sold out every game,? Alvarez said. ?We don?thave the largest stadium.?Alvarez said the attendance rankings do not bother himbecause the current situation suits him well.?I like to keep it where tickets are hard to get,? Alvarezsaid.Alvarez also said he was proud of UW fan support on the roadthis season. According to Alvarez UW sold all of its 10,000 tickets to theOutback Bowl in Tampa, Fla. In addition, many fans also purchased tickets inTampa. Overall, Alvarez said UW fans constituted ?at least half? ofthe total crowd in Tampa.However, Sweeney said attendance rankings do not give anoverall picture of fan support.?It?s not just the numbers; it?s the passion and loyalty andsupport of our fans that counts,? Sweeney said.Sweeney added UW football games ?have been sold out forseasons.??I think our fans have shown for decades that football isimportant in Wisconsin,? Sweeney said. ?last_img read more