If your a sustainable farmer it can be challenging to keep up with all the federal programs that U.S. Government comes out with. But there is help, the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition (NSAC) published a comprehensive digital guide to the key federal farm and food programs that support sustainable farm and food systems. The Grassroots Guide to Federal Farm and Food Programs will help farmers and non-profit organizations navigate the numerous farm bill and other U.S. Department of Agriculture programs that have been championed by NSAC.

“The Grassroots Guide will be a valuable resource for farmers as they look for opportunities and financing to grow their farms and help build a more sustainable farming system,” says Juli Obudzinski, Senior Policy Specialist with the National Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. “The Guide is specifically targeted to the farming community and distills very technical federal policies and programs in a way that is accessible to farmers and consumers alike.” MORE


Record Sunlight To Electricity Conversion in Australia

Researchers at the University of New South Wales have reported converting over 40% of the sunlight hitting a solar panel system into electricity, the highest efficiency ever recorded.

The result has been independently confirmed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) at their outdoor test facility in the United States.

“We used commercial solar cells, but in a new way, so these efficiency improvements are readily accessible to the solar industry,” said Dr Mark Keevers, manager of the project.

The breakthrough results from the use of a custom optical bandpass filter to capture sunlight normally wasted by commercial solar cells on towers and convert it to electricity at a higher efficiency than the solar cells themselves ever could. MORE


Rhode Island College's

2014 Sustainable School Summit

Keynote Speaker, Akiima Price takes a moment to speak with Peter Arpin

As sustainability becomes a growing part of the educational DNA of schools, colleges, and universities around the globe, the importance of community outreach and engagement becomes an integral part of the institution's mission. At Rhode Island College, they are always reaching out to the community as well as hosting events. This not only allows their students to participate, but also brings together the community, leaders, and innovators, resulting in positive growth and change.  And we saw a great example of that back in September, when Rhode Island College showcased their ribbon cutting ceremony that brought community together with the private sector in order to create a beautiful new art center named Alex and Ani Hall.

In November, Rhode Island College hosted a number of events, and ReNewable Now was very fortunate to be on location for their 2014 Sustainable School Summit that was organized in cooperation with the Aperion Institute. The day saw a number of workshops having to do with everything from Environmental Literacy/Sustainability Education to Green/Healthy Building. Also present were dignitaries and leaders who make it their mission to see sustainability on every level become more of the fabric of our daily lives. MORE

Japan's Sustainable Smart Town Opened

The grand opening of a “smart town” in Fujisawa City, Japan that will support 1,000 solar powered households occurred last week.

Covering 19 hectares and located on the outskirts of Tokyo, Fujisawa Sustainable Smart Town (Fujisawa SST)  is being built on the concept of a smart community lifestyle taking into account such aspects as energy, security, mobility, and healthcare.

Aiming for over 30% renewable energy usage, the town will also be water-friendly; with a 30% reduction in water usage compared with facilities and equipment used in small communities in 2006. The goal is to create a community with 70% less carbon impact compared to 1990. MORE

Vanadium Flow Battery Technology

being Tested by U.S. Navy

The U.S. Navy has announced it will deploy Imergy Power Systems’  vanadium-based flow battery technology for a new Smart Microgrid project designed to optimize the storage and consumption of solar energy at military bases, college campuses and other institutions. MORE



"Accelerating Clean Energy in Massachusetts"

It is amazing to us how quickly progress can come as we build a cleaner, brighter future.  In Massachusetts, as you hear on this show, legislation created a Clean Energy Center in 2008 and, in that short time, money has been invested in over 5000 companies, there's been double digit growth in green jobs in the state, emissions have been reduced and 643MEGS of solar have been installed.

Today, that agency invest 25-30 million per years, runs training programs throughout the State, manages intern and work force programs and helps 1300 start ups in the clean energy space get rolling.  What a great story as told to us by their Senior Director for Innovation, Jeremy McKiarmid, and their Senior Director of Renewable Energy, Catherine Finneran.

Along with co-host Jim Murphy, we spend an hour with MASSCEC and see how new economic development is born and bred in this great New England State. MORE