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Individuals, companies and cities can take action on climate change and save money doing it.


Description

Summary

Capital flows out of the economy of a neighborhood, a city, a state, and a country via energy purchases.

Economists have been focused on consumption instead of infrastructure but you can look at energy infrastructure improvements implemented on a large scale as freeing up capital for more consumption including more infrastructure improvements. Everyone uses energy.

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-harney-20130331,0,1118447.story

Investors are starting to take more of an interest in infrastructure.

http://www.pionline.com/article/20130318/PRINTSUB/303189978/investors-build-on-infrastructure

The effects of the financial crisis have lasted for years. A short-term boost to consumption via tax cuts is not enough.

By building energy infrastructure on a large scale, more capital is available for other infrastructure improvements providing further savings.

http://www.eenews.net/public/climatewire/2013/03/28/2


For example, high-speed rail uses less fuel than air travel.

http://www.good.is/posts/why-a-high-speed-rail-network-would-supercharge-the-emerging-maker-economy


Expanding broadband access and speeds makes online education more widely available.

http://gigabitseattle.com/

https://fiber.google.com/about/


Upgrading the energy, transportation and communication infrastructure of the country results in lasting improvements to the economy.

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2013/03/15/new-journal-explores-efficiency-a-hidden-energy-resource/

http://www.rmi.org/reinventingfire

http://www2.lse.ac.uk/researchAndExpertise/units/growthCommission/documents/pdf/LSEGC-Report.pdf

http://www.nap.edu/catalog.php?record_id=18264

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/2013/03/22/what-the-president-can-and-should-do-about-climate-change/


For an individual, less money spent on energy means more money for other purchases such as a fuel efficient vehicle leading to more savings.


Key actor

Grassroots neighborhood organizations


What actions do you propose?

75% of the carbon usage in New York City comes from buildings:

http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/plugged-in/2012/11/05/video-what-does-nycs-carbon-footprint-look-like/

A plan for 100% renewable energy for New York state by Stanford University:

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-03/su-srm031113.php

http://www.stanford.edu/group/efmh/jacobson/Articles/I/NewYorkWWSEnPolicy.pdf


A plan stating that U.S. can be powered 90%–99.9% of hours entirely on renewable electricity:

http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0378775312014759

http://grist.org/news/how-to-power-america-with-renewables-on-the-cheap-build-a-shit-ton-of-wind-and-solar-capacity/

A low carbon energy inventory for Canada:

http://www.davidsuzuki.org/publications/downloads/An%20Inventory%20of%20Low-Carbon%20Energy%20for%20Canada.pdf


Geothermal retrofits of homes and commercial buildings, when paired with other technologies, can reduce monthly energy purchases by 70% or more.

A city like New York City could significantly reduce the amount of money leaving its local economy by using geothermal retrofits along with other technologies on a large scale.

A geothermal retrofit consists of heat pumps and horizontal or vertical ground loops to exchange heat with the ground.

http://geosmartenergy.com/geothermal-energy/how-it-works.html


Here is a hostel in Toronto reducing carbon usage by 75% by combining a geothermal retrofit with solar thermal, solar PV, LED lighting, and hot water heat recovery:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kL-ZKJbUh-s

http://www.bizenergy.ca/success-stories/planet-traveler-the-story-behind-torontos-greenest-hostel/

http://theplanettraveler.com/

A house using a geothermal retrofit:

http://mwt1974.tumblr.com/

A water treatment plant using a geothermal retrofit:

http://meline.com/sonoma.htm

Administrative Building of GlaxoSmithKline in Quebec uses solar and geothermal energy:

http://www.archdaily.com/244805/administrative-building-of-glaxo-smith-kline-co-architecture/


Solar thermal can also be converted into electricity.

http://coolenergyinc.com/solar.html


Hot water heat recovery:

http://www.renewability.com/power_pipe/index.html


A school using rooftop wind power:

http://www.suzukipublicschool.ca/building-features/renewable-energy/wind/vawt.html


Besides geothermal, some industries also have waste heat that can be recovered and converted to energy.

http://www.basinelectric.com/Electricity/Generation/Recovered_Energy_Generation/index.html

http://www.youtube.com/embed/2gHr_J7cuyw


Plasma gasification of municipal waste can produce energy. It can also destroy hazardous waste and, with additional processing, produce liquid fuels.

http://www.plascoenergygroup.com/

http://www.pyrogenesis.com/site-en.html

http://www.westinghouse-plasma.com/plasma_gasification/

http://coolenergyinc.com/wasteheat.html

http://gevo.com/our-markets/isobutanol/

http://www.coskata.com/


Carbon dioxide from a waste-to-energy plant using plasma gasification can be processed into bicarbonate:

http://skyonic.com/

http://www.smartplanet.com/blog/intelligent-energy/skyonics-twist-on-carbon-capture-turns-co2-into-baking-soda/17059

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-06-25/skyonic-gets-conocophillips-bp-backing-for-carbon-capture-plant.html

http://www.codexis.com/code_evolver_code_xporter

Carbon dioxide can also be processed into fuel:

http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/uga-discovery-may-allow-scientists-to-make-fuel-from-co2-in-the-atmosp/


Individuals and companies can save money on fuel by leasing vehicles like the Chevy Volt.

http://money.cnn.com/2012/10/02/autos/chevy-volt-lease/index.html

http://www.nbcnews.com/id/42460541/ns/technology_and_science-innovation/t/new-engine-sends-shock-waves-through-auto-industry/

Similar technology for commercial trucks:

http://www.environmentalleader.com/2012/06/15/wrightspeed-saves-commercial-trucks-more-than-20-times-the-fuel-of-a-100-mpg-car/



LED lighting can reduce the cost of industrial lighting up to 90%:

http://www.digitallumens.com/

It can also save cities money.

http://www.sustainablebusiness.com/index.cfm/go/news.display/id/24511


There are several ways to provide incentives and financing for energy infrastructure.

http://nextcity.org/daily/entry/report-green-the-city-deal-with-the-stormwater

http://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/moving-the-financing-of-solar-and-wind-from-wall-street-to-main-street


A small change to the Federal Reserve Act would allow it to invest in infrastructure bonds.

http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/12/28/why-the-federal-reserve-should-buy-national-infrastructure-bonds/

http://blogs.reuters.com/muniland/2012/10/31/can-the-port-authority-and-mta-afford-repairs-after-sandy/


Other barriers to financing renewable energy infrastructure need to be addressed:

http://about.bnef.com/white-papers/financial-regulation-biased-against-clean-energy-and-green-infrastructure/


Hans-Josef Fell wrote Germany's feed-in tariff law to encourage investment in solar energy:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiB_F8-XXCk

http://wwwp.dailyclimate.org/tdc-newsroom/2013/04/steady-renewable-energy-234


Los Angeles Utility Goes for Local Solar with 100 MW Feed-In Tariff:

http://www.ilsr.org/los-angeles-utility-local-solar-feed-in-tariff/


Moving deposits to credit unions and community banks redirects capital to local investment such as energy infrastructure.

http://locavesting.com/


For individuals, energy efficiency improvements can be financed with repayment attached to the property tax of the building and not the current owner:

http://www.ase.org/resources/property-assessed-clean-energy-financing-pace

http://pacenow.org/

http://www.governing.com/blogs/view/gov-new-clean-energy-program-doesnt-cost-cities.html

http://www.cleanenergyauthority.com/solar-energy-news/hybrid-financing-tool-to-go-solar-102612


Minibonds would allow the country's population to invest in infrastructure. 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-09-07/brown-signs-bill-authorizing-25-california-minibonds-to-lure-investors.html

Bonds are usually sold in blocks to lower overhead. An electronic trading  platform allowing direct sales of minibonds such as the software used in crowdfunding platforms would lower overhead.


First Solar Bonds Financing $4.6 Billion U.S. Panel Boom:

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2012-07-08/first-solar-bonds-financing-4-6-billion-u-s-panel-boom.html


Crowdfunding provides a way for the population to fund infrastructure when the financial industry is focused on investing offshore or investing in derivatives.

No one is more motivated to improve infrastructure in a country than the people who live there.

https://joinmosaic.com/

http://www.mtpleasantsolarcoop.org/

http://www.crowdcube.com/pg/how-it-works-4

http://spacehive.com/

http://www.kiva.org/


Denmark has enough wind power generation capacity to generate 100% of its energy from wind when it is available.

If that was combined with geothermal retrofits and rooftop solar (as in Germany), the country would require less wind to meet 100% of its power generation needs more often.

http://energinet.dk/Flash/Forside/UK/index.html

http://www.dongenergy.com/anholt/EN/News/anholt_nyheder/News/Pages/AnholtOffshoreWindFarm-Newsletter-March2013.aspx

The state of Maryland has roughly the same size population and land area as Denmark.

Spain can generate 40% of its power from wind.

https://demanda.ree.es/demandaGeneracionAreasEng.html


A system to store renewable energy as a temperature difference:

http://www.isentropic.co.uk/our-phes-technology

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_S8GM9Z1Fc


A system to store solar and wind energy as hydrogen:

http://www.fwfuel.com/opportunity.html

http://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/story/2013/03/29/technology-water-electrolysis-calalyst-calgary.html


Wind power battery facility opens:

http://www.oaoa.com/news/business/article_e13f71a8-97f3-11e2-b3d8-0019bb30f31a.html

http://www.xtremepower.com/about-energy-storage/why-storage.php


High capacity battery storage:

http://www.kolibri-ag.com/en/kolibribrick1.html

http://www.marketplace.org/topics/tech/would-you-some-salt-your-batteries


We have sufficient technology to solve the problem. With new technology coming online in the next few years, further improvements are possible.

What is needed is improving the awareness of what is currently possible, how it can save industry, cities and individuals money, providing financing and following through by building energy infrastructure on a large scale.


Who will take these actions?

Individuals, companies and city governments will take action to save money via energy infrastructure.


Where will these actions be taken?

United States


How much will emissions be reduced or sequestered vs. business as usual levels?

Using New York City as an example, emissions will be reduced by about 56% (75% x 0.75).


What are other key benefits?

Investing in energy infrastructure also provides jobs and efficiency gains for the economy.


What are the proposal’s costs?

Some legislative changes are required. If those are made, the Federal Reserve and individuals can invest in infrastructure.


Time line

This proposal may require new political candidates running for public office at the city, state and federal levels to implement it at its largest scale.


Related proposals


References

See links in proposal for references of the tecnnology involved.