Category Archives: ARTICLES

Offshore Wind Project

Green Light Given to Nation’s First Offshore Wind Project

PennEnvironment Urges PA to Follow Massachusetts’ Lead By Exploring Lake Erie’s Wind Potential

Boston, MA – Today Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick announced the Department of the Interior’s final approval of the Cape Wind offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts.  The announcement means that by 2012, Massachusetts residents could be the first in the nation to receive energy from offshore wind power.

Cape Wind, originally proposed in 2001, is a 130-turbine offshore wind power project planned for the Nantucket Sound off the coast of Cape Cod.  The project will provide Massachusetts residents with enough clean, renewable energy to power 75 percent of the homes on Cape Cod, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket.  PennEnvironment applauded the project, and called for the country to prioritize the development of more offshore wind in coming years.

“Granting the green light for Cape Wind marks a historic first step toward realizing the promise of clean, renewable offshore wind energy—not only off the coast of Massachusetts, but off coasts throughout the country,” said Nathan Willcox, Energy & Clean Air Advocate with PennEnvironment.  “The oil spill threatening the Gulf Coast is a sad reminder that wind energy—not more oil drilling—is the way to use our coasts to power our future.”

While applauding today’s announcement, PennEnvironment also called on state and federal officials to learn from and improve upon the lengthy review process that the Cape Wind project underwent.  Review of the project has taken nearly a decade as local, state and national officials have worked to ensure that the project is sited with strict adherence to environmental and safety guidelines—guidelines that Cape Wind has fulfilled at every step.

“The thorough review conducted on the Cape Wind project makes it abundantly clear that it passes environmental muster,” said Willcox.  “We hope that state and federal officials can take what they have learned from this project and then expedite the deployment of offshore wind while continuing to protect the environment.  Our environment and the emerging clean energy economy cannot wait this long for future wind projects to come online.”

When originally proposed, Cape Wind was the largest offshore wind proposal in the country, but after years of delay, many other more ambitious projects along the Atlantic coast began to seem more feasible.  In Pennsylvania, legislation (House Bill 2342, Rep. Hornaman) was introduced this spring which would begin the land leasing process for exploring the potential of offshore wind development in Lake Erie.

“While Massachusetts residents could be the first in the nation to receive energy from offshore wind, hopefully Pennsylvania will soon follow by utilizing the wind that blows across Lake Erie,” said Willcox.  “The Cape Wind approval process took nearly a decade, but hopefully the lessons learned from that process will allow Pennsylvania and other states with offshore wind potential to move ahead with projects much more quickly.”

At the federal level, PennEnvironment called for improving and streamlining current siting regulations for offshore wind projects in federal waters, to ensure that future projects can come online as quickly as possible to help break America’s dependence on oil and grow the nation’s clean energy economy.

Benifits of glass recycling

Glass Recycling is Efficient and Sustainable; Saves Energy and Natural Resources

By Larry West, Guide

Glass recycling is both simple and beneficial. Let’s start with the benefits of glass recycling: Glass recycling is good for the environment.. A glass bottle that is sent to a landfill can take up to a million years to break down. By contrast, it takes as little as 30 days for a recycled glass bottle to leave your kitchen recycling bin and appear on a store shelf as a new glass container.

Glass recycling is sustainable. Glass containers are 100-percent recyclable, which means they can be recycled repeatedly, again and again, with no loss of purity or quality in the glass.

Glass recycling is efficient. Recovered glass from glass recycling is the primary ingredient in all new glass containers. A typical glass container is made of as much as 70 percent recycled glass. According to industry estimates, 80 percent of all recycled glass eventually ends up as new glass containers.

Glass recycling conserves natural resources. Every ton of glass that is recycled saves more than a ton of the raw materials needed to create new glass, including: 1,300 pounds of sand; 410 pounds of soda ash; and 380 pounds of limestone.

Glass recycling saves energy. Making new glass means heating sand and other substances to a temperature of 2,600 degrees Fahrenheit, which requires a lot of energy and creates a lot of industrial pollution. One of the first steps in glass recycling is to crush the glass and create a product called “cullet.” Making recycled glass products from cullet consumes 40 percent less energy than making new glass from raw materials, because cullet melts at a much lower temperature.

Recycled glass is useful. Because glass is made from natural materials such as sand and limestone, it glass containers have a low rate of chemical interaction with their contents. As a result, glass can be safely reused. Besides serving as the primary ingredient in new glass containers, recycled glass also has many other commercial uses—from creating decorative tiles and landscaping material to rebuilding eroded beaches.

Glass recycling is also simple, as I pointed out at the beginning of this article. It’s simple because glass is one of the easiest materials to recycle. For one thing, glass is accepted by almost all curbside recycling programs and municipal recycling centers. About all most people have to do to recycle glass bottles and jars is to carry their recycling bin to the curb, or maybe drop off their empty glass containers at a nearby collection point.

If you need an extra incentive to recycle glass, how about this: Several U.S. states offer cash refunds for most glass bottles, so in some areas glass recycling can actually put a little extra money in your pocket.