White House To Spend $68 Million To Advance Solar Deployment And Increase Energy Efficiency

SolarObama

In its newest effort to combat climate change, the Obama administration today announced that it would dedicate nearly $70 million in funding toward bringing more solar power to homes and businesses, improving energy efficiency in rural areas.

The $68 million in federal funds will go to 540 energy efficiency projects in rural areas across the country, 240 of which will be for solar power, the White House said in a press release. Along with the funding, the White House also announced a slew of executive actions, private and public sector commitments, and initiatives from different federal agencies, including one from the Department of Energy to train at least 50,000 veterans to become solar panel installers in the next six years.

Another newly announced program seeks to get more clean energy in low-income communities, by clarifying that Department of Housing and Urban Development’s funding programs for economic development can be used for renewable energy and energy efficiency projects. Cities in Oregon, Maryland, and Virginia have committed to installing more solar power by 2016, and one winery in California has promised to have 60 percent of its electricity usage come from renewable power by 2016, the White House said.

Taken together, the White House estimates that all of the new programs will cut carbon pollution by more than 60 million metric tons every year, the equivalent of taking about 12 million cars off the road annually. By 2030, the programs would result in carbon pollution cuts of approximately 300 million metric tons, the equivalent of 63 million cars, the White House said.

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UK Aquaponics Gets A Boost From Government Agri-Tech Funding

Aquaponicsfarm
The first portion of funding from the governments £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst, part of the UK Industrial Strategy for Agricultural Technologies, will support several projects likely to impact on the fresh produce sector. They (11 groups) will receive a total of £4m; £2.8m funding from government with £1.4m co-investment from industry. One of the 11 companies to recieve the funding one is an Aquaponics growing system.

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said: “This work is critical in supporting the UK’s Agri-tech Strategy and our commitment to establish the UK as a world leader in agriculture technology, innovation and sustainability.”

“GrowUp Urban Farms” will lead a consortium to build the “UK’s first (apparently) aquaponic urban farm”, to quantify the economic and environmental potential of the format. Others have done Aquaponics in the UK like Charlie Prices work back in 2008 with Aquaponics UK but it looks as though they are going to try and do it on a “farm” commercial space, I’ll keep an eye on this for the future.

That said its excellent news that fundings reaching aquaponics companies and it can be better evaluated. I feel the technology has got high potential here in the UK as arable land is very expensive here (£8,813 per acre, prices have trebled in last 10 years), being able to grow without soil is a major advantage their as it’s something you can use to literally grow anywhere from run down trading estates, old car parks and even on grounds that polluted.
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