Solar-powered Canals – Are They the Future in California?

India's first-canal-top solar power plant

A solar covered canal system – just not yet here in the United States

Governor Brown’s recently announced plan to have California derive 50 percent of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020 has opened the door for bold ideas to help achieve this.

Carl Weidert, a retired, self-employed biologist who lives in Shingletown, California, has spent years garnering interest in his idea of utilizing California’s canals as solar arrays to generate electricity. Of the five governors he’s proposed his innovative plan to, only Governor Schwarzenegger responding favorably.

Approximately 1,000 miles of canals – managed mainly by government agencies – exist throughout California, covering around 100,000 acres. Weidert wants to cover the canals with moveable covers covered with solar panels.

To learn more about this innovative idea and find out what country has already adopted this, click here.

2 California towns have recycled water filling stations for commercial use

Recycled water fill stations are popping up around northern California. Will other states follow their lead?

Recycled water fill stations are popping up around northern California. Will other states follow their lead?

California is still experiencing a severe drought, even with the large amounts of rainfall seen across the state over the past few weeks. Shortfalls of water will become more apparent as the weather heats up in the spring.

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Making Sense of California’s Water Restrictions

Water drop photoWith summer’s blistering ever-present heat, northstate residents are facing serious water issues.

Since the California State Water Resources Control Board implemented its new drought emergency water conservation measures on July 29th, many cities have implemented water use restrictions.

To learn more about California’s water restrictions and really understand what’s called for, click here.

Northern California Innovators Vie for Angel Investment

Sierra Innovation Challenge 2014

Companies are finding they need to expand their innovation efforts to meet consumer demand for greener products and services. And angel investors are eagerly seeking to invest in these kinds of companies.

These two forces collided on April 2nd at the 3rd annual Sierra Nevada Innovation Challenge.

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The top Green Cities in the U.S.

Green Cities 2014 logo

Just read the report listing the top Green Cities in the U.S. I was surprised at a few of the winners, and even more surprised that San Jose, California, with its steadily increasing plan to be more green, didn’t make the list.

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California cities could run out of water

Shasta Lake in drought

The clay sides of Shasta Lake loom tall and bare with the drought

Last week, the governor of California made it official. California is going through a serious drought. We residents have known this for some time. Nice to know he finally agrees with the obvious.

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Potential Plastic bag ban fails in California

photo by Sascha W., flickr

photo by Sascha W., flickr

The story just broke. The California Senate has rejected a ban on single use plastic bags.

The usual arguments were made, particularly that jobs would disappear if the bill passed. The one ray of light here is that The bill will be allowed to be reconsidered, meaning it could be back before a Senate committee or the Senate floor. But given that the Senate has been the stumbling block in the past (the Assembly passed a similar bill last year), one wonders if it will have any chance the next time around.

You can read the details of the story here.