Clean Energy in California

A green roof, butterflies, and high-tech solar cells
by -- March 7th, 2010

The clean energy field trip’s first stop – the California Academy of Sciences

It is good to be in California! The group, or at least most of the group, met at the San Francisco airport at 1:30 this afternoon. Many of us were on flights at 6am this morning… Eastern time. Suffice to say, we were a little bleary eyed as we stepped out into the sun.

Andrew Deitrich presenting on the bus

However, that euphoric feeling that corresponds with the end of a long week of midterms and deadlines has been enough to carry us through so far. That, and a cool museum. Our first stop after the airport was the California Academy of Sciences. Armed with new-found knowledge of the Academy and green-building from presentations by Andrew Dietrich and Jackson Naftel, we set out to explore one of the most interesting museums in the country.

Green Sustainable Roof comprised of local vegetation

The California Academy of Sciences is the largest public building in the world to have achieved Leed Platinum certification. The roof, shown above is covered with 2.5 acres of vegetation. This living roof not only cools and insulates the building, but also soaks up 98% of rain water.

Beautiful Orange Fish swimming in water pumped sustainably from the Pacific

Inside of the museum are numerous entertaining and educational exhibits. We saw tropical fish, a mischievous octopus that climbs into the neighboring tank at night and eats crabs, an albino crocodile, and an enclosed rainforest to name a few.

Thoughts from people of all ages on how to combat climate change

There was also a cool interactive exhibit containing information on the effects of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions on the climate system. Our favorite suggestion for curbing climate change was beer powered bicycles!

After just enough time to drop our bags in the room, we reconvened for a tasty Mexican dinner. The enchiladas and margaritas were a perfect end to a great first day of the trip. The plan is to catch up on sleep, and hit the road again tomorrow to visit NextEra Energy Resources, a wholesale power generation corporation, and a Geothermal site visit.


  1. Dan James
    Oct 12, 2010

    Renewable projects can be anywhere.
    Governments at all levels, and even universities should promote renewable energy projects and start moving this world away from oil. No matter what someone believes about climate change, energy from renewable sources is just a better direction for us to go.

  2. HT
    Nov 30, 2010

    Right track
    I think America is finally on the right track, when it comes to RE

  3. David
    Jan 4, 2011

    Pretty Rare

    Pretty rare orange fish!


  4. solar power
    Jan 4, 2011

    Residential solar power plan is a very good idea. Imagine having your own solar power generator and all, and not to worry about the electricity bill.

  5. solar power
    Jan 14, 2011

    solar power

    solar power home kits are becoming more popular as energy concerns are on the forefront of people’s minds. Many people realize that our fossil fuels are limited, so they are searching for energy alternatives to help save the environment and also to help save money.

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