- “Changing Times For Electric Utilities” The Edison Electric Institute and the Natural Resources Defense Council gave a joint recommendation on changing utilities regulation, and Duke Energy is selling 13 merchant power plants. What’s up? [Forbes]
- “How To Cut Carbon Pollution By 80% In 4 Simple Steps” Moving to an energy system of tomorrow can be accomplished by leveraging clean, local resources; putting the consumer at the center; and maximizing efficiency. [CleanTechnica]
Science and Technology:
- Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Wood Research, Wilhelm-Klauditz-Institut, WKI in Braunschweig, Germany, are developing insulation foam made from wood that could re-place petrochemical plastics in the long term. [Product Design & Development]
- A relatively low-cost means of converting carbon dioxide into methanol has been developed by researchers from Stanford University, SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory, and the Technical University of Denmark. [CleanTechnica]
- The construction of the sub-sea cable project will support 450 jobs as part of a wider investment programme to create thousands of jobs on both sides of the Scottish border. The cable will run from Ayrshire to North Wales, carrying 2000 MW. [Glasgow Evening Times]
- Vestas has signed a framework agreement to supply up to 207 MW to a joint venture of German utility EnBW and Turkish company Borusan for five wind farms in Turkey. The deal starts with a firm order for nine V112 3.3 MW turbines. [reNews]
- More than 90 Illinois cities and towns provide all renewable energy to their utility customers. Five other states allow communities to buy power from sources they choose, but none has matched Illinois for the number buying renewable power. [Herald & Review]
- The American Chemistry Council created a new Biobased Chemistry Network to help educate policymakers on how to develop workable regulatory programs for the growing biobased chemistry industry. [Environmental Leader]
- Despite relatively widespread concerns about its potential effects on the environment, 65% of Americans polled said the government should approve construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, an increase from 59% in 2012. [Huffington Post]
- SunEdison, along with Nationwide Mutual Insurance Company, National Bank of Arizona, and Sol Systems have announced a $50 million fund to build a 13.4 MW solar power portfolio for the State of California prison and hospital systems. [PennEnergy]
- The City of Beaverton, Oregon, is now purchasing 100% of its electricity from wind power sources under utility Portland General Electric’s renewable energy program. As renewable energy became less expensive, the city is able to buy it for all demands. [North American Windpower]
Brattleboro, VT – Integrated Solar Application Corporation (“ISA”) has announced that Rescue, Inc. has been selected to receive a donation of a solar photovoltaic system. This 6 kilowatt system will be installed on the roof of the Rescue, Inc. building at 541 Canal Street in Brattleboro.
The system will produce approximately 7,500 kilowatts hours of energy per year representing 18% of Rescue, Inc.’s annual consumption. The system will be net metered thereby providing electricity directly when there is demand at the Rescue, Inc. building and providing credit for electricity sold back into the utility grid when production exceeds demand. The system will include 24 solar panels each with 245 watts of power, a Snap-N-Rack flush mounted roofing system and 24 Enphase Microinverters. The retail value of the installation is $24,000.
In December 2012 ISA became a Triple Bottom Line Company (“TBL”) through the creation of a Mission Statement and establishment of Business Principals. A TBL Company manages its business for profit, people and the planet (the “Three Ps”). ISA’s objective is to be financially, socially and environmentally responsible and sustainable. ISA’s Mission Statement includes the following:
We endeavor to show through our actions how a sustainable future can occur. Our offering of renewable energy products and services will contribute to the solutions toward solving climate change, environmental degradation and the many challenges associated therewith such as severe weather and emergency preparedness. Our commitment to a Triple Bottom Line will guide our decision making to focus on Economic, Social and Environmental objectives, not just maximizing shareholder value. Our local focus shall be consistent with the belief that a sustainable future requires thriving local economies that provide local products, services and jobs.
One of ISA’s Business Principals is to contribute 10% of its annual profits to a local community group or environmentally activist organization. At a meeting held on February 21st ISA employees followed through with that commitment and voted on the award of the 2013 annual donation. “By gifting a solar photovoltaic system ISA is recognizing the important contributions of Rescue, Inc. while at the same time encouraging the adoption of renewable energy technologies in our community” said Andrew Cay, President of ISA.
Rescue provides high quality, rapid response, emergency medical care and transportation services. Rescue serves as a vital part of our community and supports the health and safety of all our community members. Drew Hazelton, Rescue Chief of Operations said “We are very excited about this project and what it means to Rescue long term. This stop toward renewable energy and long term cost savings will help us provide critical services for decades.”
ISA, founded in Brattleboro in 1975, specializes in solar photovoltaics, solar thermal, geothermal and small wind technologies. For more information visit isasolar.com or call 802-257-7493.
- “Is BHP talking its book on coal? Or just ignorance.” Faced with the inevitable and irreversible slump in coal demand in western countries, particularly Germany and the US, Big Coal is turning its sights on the emerging world to secure its own future. [RenewEconomy]
- The latest Bloomberg prediction is that the solar market will grow +20% in 2014. Bloomberg suggests there will be around 44.5 GW installed. That is only a little less than the 46 GW suggested by the Deutsche Bank. [CleanTechnica]
- Green businesses will drive a third of UK economic growth this year, a UK diplomat has predicted. Bharat Joshi said climate-friendly growth “represents one of the biggest opportunities since the industrial revolution” at an industry conference in Chennai. [Business Green]
- The UK’s green economy is a “great long-term investment opportunity and it will get better”, Lord Smith of Kelvin, the chairman of the Green Investment Bank, told the National Association of Pension Funds investment conference in Edinburgh. [Herald Scotland]
- China’s Premier Li Keqiang has declared war on pollution, outlining significant steps the Chinese government will take to improve air quality. China has suffered from truly epic smog over the last two winters. [EconoMonitor]
- Connecticut Governor Malloy visited Wesleyan University to officially power up the natural gas combined heat and power system that can keep the university’s lights on when utility power goes out during severe weather and other emergencies. [Middletown Press]
- American wind power topped 4% of the U.S. power grid for the first time last year and has delivered 30% of all new generating capacity for the last five years. In nine states it provided more than 12% and in 17 states, more than 5%. [Windpower Engineering]
- For 2013, solar PV installations increased 41% from the previous year, reaching 4,751 MW installed, the Solar Energy Association and GTM Research found in a solar market report for 2013. [The9Billion]
- Hundreds of acres of Maryland farmland that are protected from development at taxpayer expense could be turned into commercial wind or solar energy farms under legislation before the General Assembly. [Baltimore Sun]
- Iowa, the top state for wind, is edging close to 30%. Last year it got 27% of electricity from wind, followed by South Dakota with 26%. With 5117 megawatts (MW) installed, 1.4 million Iowan homes are supplied by clean energy. [SustainableBusiness.com]
- A study by GE Energy Consulting says that with adequate transmission investment, in the PJM Interconnection, up to 30% of their electricity could come from renewable resources, primarily large-scale wind and solar, in 2026 without a detrimental effects. [Environment & Energy Publishing]
On March 29, Stone Valley is sponsoring a “kitchen table medicine chest” chat with herbalist Helena Wu, herbalist for The Good Medicine Tree. Come and sit with Helena, have some herbal tea and chat/ask the herbalist. At the coop from 2pm until 4 pm, Saturday March 29.
Stone Valley Community Market
Open Sunday through Friday, 10am to 6pm
Saturday 10 am-7pm
216 Main Street,
Poultney, VT 05764
- “5 Reasons Solar’s Win Over Gas In Minnesota Is Just The Beginning” If solar trumps gas for peaking power in Minnesota, there’s little reason to be building new natural gas peaking capacity anywhere in the country. Ever again. [CleanTechnica]
- Members of Parliament (MPs) have urged The Bank of England to investigate its exposure to a so-called “carbon bubble”, whereby billions of pounds of fossil fuel assets will become massively overvalued if the world is successful in tackling climate change. [Business Green]
- Swindon is set to become one of the leading towns in the UK for renewable energy as plans due to go before the planning committee next week could see a big increase in solar power and hydrogen power. [Swindon Advertiser]
- A report from by Dods Renewable Energy Dialogue says that 63% of surveyed MPs “agreed with the idea that renewable energy benefited the UK economy” while 69% “agreed that renewables would create significant employment opportunities”. [AltEnergyMag]
- According to the latest figures, wind energy met 11% of the UK’s total electricity demand in February, breaking the previous 10% record set in December. The new figures underline energy security, as Russia could restrict gas supplies to Europe. [Off-Grid]
- Canadians are more willing to pay a premium for the generation of renewable energy than Americans, with 63% willing to pay up to $250 more each year versus 46% in the US. The survey polled 1,500 Canadians and 1,000 Americans. [AltEnergyMag]
- German researchers are developing mass-charging station for electric vehicles fully powered by renewable resources. The station at the Fraunhofer Institute Centre in Stuttgart is on a micro smart grid managing the electricity demand and supply. [E&T magazine]
- Cape Cod is one step closer to getting its first offshore wind farm, a project that’s been trying to get off the ground for more than a decade. Now there are indications that it may be commissioned by 2016. [CleanTechnica]
- Chipotle Mexican Grill says guacamole and some salsas could become victims of global warming. The restaurant chain, in an annual report, listed drought and global weather change among a long list of business risks faced by the company. [CNN]
- Since a February spill of coal ash into the Dan River, five more Duke Energy power plants have received citations for lacking required storm water permits. The spill also spurred dialogue on the importance of renewable energy such as solar and wind power. [Duke Chronicle]
- News out that utility Austin Energy will meet its goal of 35% electricity coming from renewable energy four years ahead of schedule says something about solar and wind power. Austin’s newest commitments bring its wind portfolio to 1.3 GW. [The Equation: Blog of the Union of Concerned Scientists]
- Community Energy announced that its Comanche Solar project will supply 120 MW to Xcel Energy comprising the largest part of a 170 megawatt portfolio of solar generation approved by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission in December, 2013. [AZoCleantech]
- President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2015 budget proposal released March 4, calls for extending a tax credit for cellulosic biofuels and puts forward the idea of cutting billions in fossil fuel subsidies. [Biomass Magazine]
- “3 Models That Could Help Utilities Make Money From Solar Energy” Kristian Hanelt, senior vice president for renewable capital markets at Clean Power Finance, laid out three possible business models for utilities to profit from distributed solar. [Energy Collective]
- Despite some uncertainties last year over the status of large-scale PV in Kenya, the country’s director of renewable energy, Isaac Kiva, has revealed that 25 projects totalling 750MW are now being advanced. [PV-Tech]
- The Canadian Wind Energy Association is pleased that the Speech from the Throne delivered yesterday signals the Government of Alberta’s commitment to developing an Alternative and Renewable Energy Framework. [Your Industry News]
- China has become the world’s biggest investor in the global trillion-dollar renewable energy market. In doing so, it has helped pull down the capital cost of renewables to the point they are competitive with existing sources, says industry analyst Ethan Zindler. [Vancouver Sun]
- A report sponsored by the Government of Canada concludes that there will likely be a substantial shortage of qualified workers that threatens the high growth potential of the renewables industry, unless a national HR strategy is immediately implemented. [AltEnergyMag]
- Installed capacity of PVs in the Americas will climb from 13.1 GW in 2013 to 138.8 GW by 2030, says a new report from U.K.-based research and consulting firm GlobalData. The increase represents a compounded annual growth rate of 15%. [Solar Industry]
- In China, wind power is leaving nuclear behind. Electricity output from China’s wind farms exceeded that from its nuclear plants for the first time in 2012, by a narrow margin. Then in 2013, wind pulled away-outdoing nuclear by 22%. [InvestorIdeas.com]
- Citing the advantage of adding more solar energy at a lower customer cost, Xcel Energy submitted to state regulators a plan to add up to 150 MW of large-scale solar resources in its Upper Midwest service territory by the end of 2016. [PennEnergy]
- US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz says he expects wind, solar and other renewables to make up 30% to 40% of the country’s energy mix by 2030. He says of nuclear power in the US, “the long term trajectory remains quite uncertain.”[WBUR]
- NRG Solar and The Boeing Company started construction on Dandan, Guam’s first solar power plant. Dandan will generate 25 MW, enough clean energy to power 10,000 homes and offset consumption of almost 2 million barrels of fuel oil and diesel. [RenewablesBiz]
- A report by the World Business Academy that details negative health trends in the area surrounding the Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County was released Monday. It supports the idea that there is an increased risk of cancer. [Cal Coast News]
- Energy efficiency retrofits carried out in 16 cities across 8 Southeast US states from 2010-2013 created a 387% return on investment, according to a recent report from the Southeast Energy Efficiency Alliance. [CleanTechnica]
by Travis Niles
In this edition of Paths To Mastery Interviews, BE14 Track Co-Chairs Rachel White and Kate Goldstein share why sustainability work is critical, and what BE14 sessions and workshops are must-sees, and what they think 2014 will bring for this industry.
NESEA: Who are you?
White: I work for Byggmeister. I’m their performance manager, so I wear a lot of hats, but generally I develop and track performance goals for homes in Byggmeister’s portfolio. This includes water, indoor air quality, energy usage. My path here was…idiosyncratic. I trained in religious studies, and left teaching after a belated quarter-life crisis. Around this time, I hired Byggmeister to renovate my house, and I ended up working for them in the end. I learned mostly on the job. Paul Eldrenkamp has been a fantastic mentor and guide, and I’m most grateful for his trust and the responsibility he’s given me.
Goldstein: I’m a bit of an oddball too. I come from an academic background, and I’m still in academia. I did my undergraduate work at Brown, did some work for what is now Real Goods Solar, and consulted with Ev Barber. I did my Masters at the University of Texas Austin, and then came to MIT for a PhD in building technology with a focus on heat transfer in buildings. My thesis is now centered around predicting residential energy efficiency potential. One of my current projects is collaborating with Rachel on the Byggmeister building portfolio. I’ve also been involved with NESEA for roughly 7 years, as a member, serving on the BuildingEnergy planning committee and the NESEA Board of Directors.
NESEA: Why sustainability?
White: When my children were little, I was thinking about the world they would inherit (cliched, I know, but there it is) and the environmental impacts of our daily choices. The issue became intensely personal. When we embarked on our renovation, it was like a lightbulb went off: this is one of the few big chances we’ll have to reduce our resource consumption. It felt really important to me to get it right. I’ve been lucky to be able to build a career on that experience.
Kate Goldstein, NESEA Board
Goldstein: I guess I didn’t even really think about it. I started off studying physics, and was passionate about that. I thought I was going to do astrophysics, and then discovered that I was pretty unhappy doing it full time. I sat in on about 17 different classes during Brown’s “shopping” period, and the environmental courses called to me, made me re-examine what I really care about. It was this, combined with my time out in nature (I’m a long distance runner) that convinced me to focus on sustainability and protecting the things I love.
NESEA: What brought you to NESEA?
White: I got involved with NESEA and this amazing community through the conference, and perhaps more accurately, through Paul Eldrenkamp. Paul’s been involved for decades, and sends his team to the conference every year he can. I got to go along after coming on board with Byggmeister, and everything I’ve learned has been invaluable. Every year I find myself getting sucked in a little further – kind of like quicksand!
Goldstein: Kurt Teichert (NESEA Member & Brown University Lecturer) made me go.
White: And she never looked back.
NESEA: Why did you choose to get involved with BuildingEnergy? Why did you bring this track together
White: Mostly because Paul asked us to.
Goldstein: I actually volunteered myself. I asked Paul if there was a way I could get involved. Many speakers are great friends of mine, so this is a great excuse to interact with them.
White: It really is such a gift. Organizing this is work, but Kate and I both really like to figure things out, and we really want to make a difference. It is a gift to be able ask myself and others, “What do people need to learn, and who should we hear from?” and then to act on that. Though our backgrounds are quite different, the work we do satisfies our need for rigor and our passions.
Goldstein: I’d also say that we’re lucky enough to be able to work on this track and other projects together.
White: Yes! Kate is helping to build our energy portfolio so we can quantify the work we do. Kate’s helped develop the method and the logic.
Goldstein: Rachel does all the heavy lifting – I just say “do this, I think that’s right”.
NESEA: Why should someone from your profession come to BuildingEnergy?
White: There are so many amazing things about BE. Byggmeister does residential remodeling, and there’s so much to learn if you come from that side. There are plenty of the nitty gritty details on everything from ductless minisplits to marketing home performance The sessions on ventilation are also critical. We all think we need to provide ventilation, but how much? At BuildingEnergy, you’ll get a lot of cutting edge stuff like this – stuff you can’t get anywhere else.
At BuildingEnergy, you’ll get a lot of cutting edge stuff like this – stuff you can’t get anywhere else.
Goldstein: The capacity to network with practitioners. I can’t stress this enough.If you come from academia, but want to do practical projects, or want research help, or want to find a job, it’s a phenomenal networking opportunity. I’m lucky to have an advisor like Michael Blasnik who makes himself available to answer questions for me more often than I ever could have hoped. This great connection simply would not have happened without a NESEA introduction.
NESEA: What role can people from your profession play in the larger cause of advancing sustainability in the built environment?
Goldstein: For me it is the capacity to ask questions of things that actually need solving, and then to do the research and work toward a solution.
White: It’s important to always be advancing your learning, to get the latest thinking, and learn from those who have done the on-the-ground work. As tempting as it may be, we can’t just keep doing things the way they were done 30, 20 10, or even 5 years ago. We all need to come in from the field and head into the classroom. I really feel that BE is one of the few places where we can learn how to build for the future..
We all need to come in from the field and head into the classroom. I really feel that BE is one of the few places where we can learn how to build for the future.
NESEA: Now let’s lay out the “Path to Mastery” for someone who is new to your profession. What specific workshops and sessions should a “newbie” absolutely attend to really succeed in the year ahead? Any demo stage presentations?
White: A new person couldn’t go wrong with the Fundamentals for Advanced Construction track. It is geared towards people who are newer, or who want to brush up on the basics.
Goldstein: Just hearing someone who is really compelling can get you really fired up. The stuff in our track might seem above a new person’s proficiency level, but the speakers are phenomenal, smart and accessible. I’m thinking specifically of people like Terry Brennan and Sukanya Pacoriek. Ed Connelly’ssession in the Multifamily track is going to be really, really good as well.
NESEA: What specific workshops and sessions should a seasoned professional attend to stay competitive? Any demo stage presentations?
White:I’m excited for Kate and Michael’s session. This is a must attend if you want to know what data can do for you. At Byggmeister, we’ve been working on quantifying our impact and it’s really exciting. I’m also really excited about the ventilation sessions – Terry and Ellen [Tohn]will cut through the misinformation on the matter and let people know what the best practices are.
I’m also really stoked for the Materials track – it’s a great new addition to the conference. Every session in that track looks interesting to me. As I said, we at Byggmeister are working on quantifying the impact of our work, but the embodied energy isn’t in there yet, so I’m excited to learn about life cycle analysis and accounting for that energy. Also, the LED session – LED tech is evolving so rapidly, I think it’s going to be important too.
NESEA: Any thoughts or predictions on how 2014 will shape up for this industry? Anything you’re excited for?
White: The move towards “big data” if you will, to help builders start to quantify the full impact of their work. It’s challenging – we’re still learning how to do it well – but it’s urgently needed.
Read the more of the Path to Mastery Series and join us for BuildingEnergy 14!
- “Waltzing in the dark. Will Russia shut off gas supplies to Europe?” With the successful Ukrainian uprising underway, Europe must start thinking about coping strategies if the conflict were to escalate. [Resilience]
Science and Technology:
- Group reports by leading climate scientists are notoriously hard to read, but The US National Academy of Sciences and the U.K. Royal Society have released a very readable new report, “Climate Change: Evidence & Causes.” [Energy Collective]
- Physicists at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences(SEAS) envision a device that would harvest energy from Earth’s infrared emissions into outer space. Recent technological advances can transform the heat imbalance into DC power. [Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences]
- A US-based renewable energy company has successfully completed field trials that used data from a nacelle-mounted Lidar wind sensor to correct a yaw error and increase total energy production from an errant wind turbine by up to 1.8%. [Windpower Engineering]
- Senior officials from the Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir yesterday signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with India’s MNRE for the implementation of 7.5 GW worth of solar power projects. [pv magazine]
- Poultry manure is the latest biomass fuel to be certified in Europe. The decision means poultry muck as an animal-by-product can be combusted on farms to create renewable energy. Biomass firm BHSL said the decision was good news for UK farmers. [Farmers Guardian]
- Ghana is on course to develop the largest single utility-scale solar PV park in Africa after finalizing plans for a 155 MW PV plant at Asiamah in the Western Region of the country. [pv magazine]
- German utility RWE posted its first net loss in 60 years, down €2.8 billion for 2013 following €4.8 billion of impairments to its conventional power plant fleet. The operating result for renewables division RWE Innogy was up 7% to €196 million. [reNews]
- PA Consulting Group’s Energy Investment Map 2014 identifies the potential of 31 different countries in energy sectors. They rank Denmark top for renewable energy investors. Denmark expects to get 50% of its electricity from offshore wind by 2020. [Copenhagen Capacity]
- In what could be a potential game changer for wider adoption of renewable energy as a bigger component of utility grids, a large, 5 MW modular battery storage system is planned for construction later this year in Aachen, Germany. [Green Building Elements]
- Ministers from the 13 EU ‘Green Growth Group’ countries have released a joint statement, urging the European Council to adopt a climate and energy framework going forward to 2030. [PV-Tech]
- The DOE is targeting from $1.5 billion to $4 billion for a new renewable energy project loan guarantee program that could open the door to solicitations for a range of smaller-scale, distributed and grid-integrated projects by the end of this year. [Energy Collective]
- Apple investors can expect to have a stake in the future of the planet. That’s the message Apple CEO Tim Cook sent on Friday at Apple’s annual shareholders’ meeting, after a conservative think tank derided the company for its sustainability efforts. [CleanTechnica]
- In the face of record high prices for propane, homeowners who use it to heat their homes are beginning to consider more reliable, less costly alternatives. Increasingly, many are turning to geothermal heat pumps. [Your Renewable News]
- US developer Infinity Wind Power’s 110MW Sunflower project has received approval from Stark County, North Dakota. The proponent proposes to build up to 55 turbines on 11,000 acres of leased land in Stark and Morton counties. [reNews]
To help celebrate this awesome line up of big thinkers, NESEA is offering 50% off of BE 14 trade show passes with this promo code: BIGTHINKERS14
(a trade show pass offers access to the keynote.)
- “The European Union Already Benefits From Renewables” Considering that the European Union is already saving money and creating jobs from renewables, why is it so unambitious on climate and energy goals? [CleanTechies]
- “Vt. loves renewable energy, except when it arrives” But strong opposition from citizens’ groups to a variety of renewable proposals have some questioning the state’s willingness to turn talk into action. [Rutland Herald]
- “The cost of coal puts renewable myths in perspective” No one has ever been diagnosed by a professional MD with wind turbine syndrome, but the town of Morwell is suffering from the effects of burning coal. [RenewEconomy]
- There is growing interest in alternative energy investing, the search for high-quality dividend yield among green investments. So the Roen Financial Report has created a Green Dividend Yield Portfolio, a select group of high-yield alternative energy stocks. [Alt Energy Stocks]
- James Hansen has pointed out that what is needed is to make the fossil fuels pay their cost to society. Right now they are able to use the atmosphere as a dumping ground free of charge. So what we need to do is add a fee to fossil fuels. [EarthFix]
- The Renewable Energy Association has called on the UK government to back binding national renewables targets for 2030 at EU meetings. The first discussions on the energy framework will take place at today’s Environment Council session. [reNews]
- A centerpiece of Germany’s new energy agenda is a “relaunch” of the Energiewende, an ambitious project launched in 2003 to produce investments in renewable energy. In the new plan, renewable energy targets remain ambitious. [European Public Affairs]
- As the prices of solar PVs decline, other things increasingly dominate the costs of solar PV systems. Those tied to such things as customer acquisition and permitting are called “soft costs.” New financing structures can reduce them. [CleanTechnica]
- An issue brief published by NRDC, “Tar Sands Crude Oil: Health Effects of a Dirty and Destructive Fuel”, profiles evidence that tar sands activity is causing increasing levels of air and water pollution that are then linked to health problems, including cancer. [Energy Collective]
- A bill recently introduced by the governor of Maine would do away with renewable energy targets and replace them with goals ostensibly intended to expand economic opportunities and lower electricity prices. [Lewiston Sun Journal]
- As part of the economic stimulus package five years ago, Congress allotted $2.7 billion for Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants for local governments. Over 200 mayors filled out questionnaires explaining how that money was spent in their cities. [CleanTechnica]