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Solar Energy : New York City’s Future as a Sustainable City

While our country confronts the enviromental disaster in the Gulf Coast, we’re reminded yet again of the need totransition to clean energy sources. New York City and State is taking the lead by constructing the ‘Solar Pipeline’, which includes a Solar Map and Solar Empowerment Zones that will integrate solar energy into our nation’s largest city and most complex grid.

New York City and Sustainable CUNY have created three Solar Empowerment Zones, strategically selected areas where solar power systems are most beneficial and technically viable, and where development of solar power will be encouraged. Solar power is a reliable, renewable source of electricity for New York City that reduces demand on the City’s electrical grid.

New York City has over 1.6 billion square feet of rooftops.

The three Solar Empowerment Zones – on the East Shore of Staten Island, in Downtown Brooklyn, and in Brooklyn’s Greenpoint-Gateway section-were designed to reduce peak electricity demand and the associated pollution from dirty plants that operate when demand is at its highest, while also potentially deferring or eliminating the need for costly upgrades to the electrical system.

Solar Panel Tax Abatements & Installations

Record Number of New Yorkers Have Applied for Solar Panel Abatements in 2010. To encourage the use of sustainable technology, the City offers property tax abatements to property owners that install solar panels on their building’s rooftops.

This year, property owners will receive a property tax abatement of 35% of the eligible expenditures over four years with a maximum abatement of $62,500 per year for four years or the building’s annual tax liability, whichever is less.

Under the solar panel tax abatement program, solar panels have been installed at 25 buildings across the City, five times the number of systems approved and installed last year. Savings from these installations vary on the size and type of the building.  A single-family house can save approximately $2,600 a year on energy costs.  Property owners can also receive rebates from their utility company.

Interested in buying a new green (LEED) certified condo recently built or under construction in Manhattan?  Go to nycnewdevelopments fill out the buyer form and write green in the comment section. I will send you email listings of green condos that match your buying criteria.

Source : ActiveRain


The Carbon Footprint of The 2010 World Cup

If you thought that those pesky vuvuzela were the worst thing about the 2010 World Cup, wait until you hear about the carbon emissions estimated to be released during the planet’s biggest sporting event. According to a study conducted by the Norwegian embassy and South African government on the eve of the games, this year’s World Cup will emit 2,753,251 tons of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is roughly equivalent to the amount released by one million cars over the course of a year–and six times worse than those emitted during the last World Cup.

Several factors surrounding the 2010 World Cup in South Africa have led to a higher carbon footprint than in years past. For one, far more people arrived to the games on international flights as opposed to by rail or car, which was the case for the 2006 World Cup in Berlin. The Norwegian report estimates that the total emissions from transportation will reach 1,856,589 tons.

According to the study, another 15,390 tons of CO2 went into building infrastructure to support the games. A shortage of soccer stadiums in South Africa meant that new ones needed to be built, meaning cement needed to be produced, and at a high cost to the environment. In manufacturing one ton of cement, a ton of CO2 is emitted, reports SuperMundo.

South Africa’s reliance on “coal burning plants for power means the energy usage of the influx of tourists will result in the release of 340,128 tons of carbon dioxide.

To better paint a picture of just how much CO2 will be released during this World Cup, The Guardian makes some eye-opening comparisons. Apparently, the games will emit as much CO2 as 6,000 space shuttle fights or a whopping one billion cheeseburgers.

That is not to say, however, that South Africa didn’t take measures to reduce the carbon footprint of the World Cup. A rail network was built to more efficiently move visitors to and from the games, easing the emissions from traffic. The government also plans to offset at least a portion of the emitted carbon by planting hundreds of thousands of trees in urban areas throughout the country.

Source : TreeHugger