Clean Power Blog

This Earth Week, the “Angry Birds” of the popular gaming app are finally putting their anger to good use in an effort to spread awareness of global climate change.

Recently, Rovio Entertainment announced a strategy to get their Angry Birds users thinking about climate change in a fun way — and  what could be more fun than hurling grumbling birds from the comfort of your own phone? For the first installment of Rovio’s two-part awareness campaign, game developers created a special 2015 Earth Day level for the established app which features the well-known characters in a natural setting, defeating a group of machine-wielding pigs engaging in deforestation. The goal of the level is to destroy the pigs’ machinery and save the forest.  

In addition, Rovio announced the creation of a separate app that will offer an in-game experience demonstrating the effects of climate change. The release of this new app will coincide with the worldwide discussions surrounding sustainability goals at the 70th Session of the U.N. General Assembly this September. This timed release will hopefully get the app users more interested in following the Assembly discussions after virtually experiencing a world in the throes of climate change.

As we've entered into the prime time for spring skiing, Killington Resort in Vermont, home to the longest ski season in the east from October to May, relies even more heavily on snowmaking to provide a dependable snow surface throughout the season, in addition to the annual natural snowfall of 250 inches.

Last August, Killington announced its investment in 396 new low-energy snow guns as part of Efficiency Vermont’s Great Snow Gun Roundup, which offers rebates of up to $4,000. The proceeds benefit the Vermont Ski Areas Association’s Learn to Ski and Ride programs. For every five low-energy guns, four older guns can be scrapped.

“Modern, energy-efficient snow guns require up to 85 percent less energy to operate than older snow gun models," said Dave Lacombe, snow surfaces manager at Killington Resort. 

The investment totals roughly $2 million, with an additional $91,000 in installation costs. Last summer, Killington invested $250,000 in their snowmaking system.

Killington’s projected savings for this season are approximately 1.4 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, 84,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 3.4 million pounds of carbon emissions and $470,000. The resort should see a complete return on this investment in about a year and a half.

Ranked number one in the nation for energy efficiency, Massachusetts would be the perfect host for a similar project. 

It was a frenzied weekend of brainstorming, networking, programming and idea-pitching at the 2015 Boston Cleanweb Hackathon, where over 70 innovators from the energy, technology and business sectors joined forces to create 16 new digital solutions for some of our greatest energy challenges.

Held at WeWork South Station in partnership with Greentown Labs, the event, now in its fourth year, drew the best and the brightest Bay State thinkers, who participated as contestants, judges and organizers. Thousands of dollars in cash prizes were awarded to four teams tasked with making a mark on the clean energy landscape -- and doing it in just 30 hours.

MySunBuddy, which snagged the $5,000 first place prize, developed a new online marketplace aimed at simplifying the sale of solar energy through net metering credits.

When the trio behind the idea -- Andrew Belden, Kathryn Wright and Brandon Bass -- looked at the solar trading market, what they saw was a lot of red tape. A web of regulations and tariffs meant that buying and selling solar was so complex, many people were discouraged from taking part.

The service they created works to untangle that web. Rather than asking buyers and sellers to navigate a confusing process themselves, MySunBuddy connects them with one another, allows them to agree on a price, and streamlines the complex paperwork and verification steps for them.