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12 Jun 12. U.S. Army researchers have begun field-testing a new generation of a renewable power source that could ease the pressure on soldiers who depend on conventional fuel to power their radios, laptops and GPS units. Driven by sun and wind, these “microgrids” could ease the logistical burden of transporting fossil fuels to remote areas. The systems are relatively portable compared to traditional generators: A microgrid weighs about 100 pounds packed into two hardened transit cases weighing 70 pounds each. The kit includes compact batteries, foldable sheets of solar panels and a collapsible wind turbine. Researchers have begun sending units for operational assessments at the National Training Center in Fort Irwin, Calif., and in U.S. Africa Command, said Marnie de Jong, an electrical engineer with the communications electronics center at the U.S. Army Research, Development and Engineering Command. Work began in 2009 on the project, known as Reusing Existing Natural Energy from Wind and Solar (RENEWS). (Source: Defense News)

05 Jun 12. Since establishing aggressive environmental goals for internal operations four years ago, The Boeing Company has steadily reduced its environmental footprint while rapidly expanding its business and significantly increasing monthly airplane production rates, the company reported in its fifth annual Environment Report. In 2007, Boeing established aggressive internal five-year environmental goals to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, energy use, hazardous-waste generation and water intake by 1 percent on an absolute basis. On an absolute basis, Boeing has reduced CO2 emissions by 3 percent, energy use by 1 percent, hazardous waste by 17 percent and water intake by 9 percent since 2007. In addition to providing a detailed accounting of emissions, the report focuses on actions Boeing is taking to improve the environmental performance of its products, reduce the environmental footprint of its global operations and clean up locations affected by past business practices.

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