Posted by & filed under Energy Systems.

by J. Matthew Roney

Wind energy developers installed a record 41,000 megawatts of electricity-generating capacity in 2011, bringing the world total to 238,000 megawatts. With more than 80 countries now harnessing the wind, there is enough installed wind power capacity worldwide to meet the residential electricity needs of 380 million people at the European level of consumption.

China led all countries in annual wind power gains for the third straight year, installing a jaw-dropping 18,000 megawatts for a total wind capacity of 63,000 megawatts. This country’s rise to the top of the world rankings has been swift: after doubling its wind capacity each year from 2005 to 2009, China surpassed the United States in 2010. (See Excel data.)

China’s ambitious Wind Base program will help ensure a widening lead for some years to come. Across the wind-rich northern provinces, wind mega-complexes of between 10,000 and 38,000 megawatts each are now under construction. By 2020, these "wind bases" will approach 140,000 megawatts of total installed capacity—more than the entire world had at the close of 2008.

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Posted by & filed under Energy Systems, Waste Systems & Recycling.

I’m far from being an engineer, but to my untrained eye this looks interesting. "In a matter of months" the invention featured in the video below, created by Bulgarian scientists, might be in production — a household-scaled incinerator that can turn most household waste into usable gas. I’d hate to see people turning their waste biomass into gas (as you see in the video), but it’d be interesting to watch progress on this development for taking care of other household waste. More info here.

Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Seeds, Social Gatherings.

If you’re in Europe this April, consider a trip to the Peliti Seedbank in Mesochori, Greece.

On April 21st – 23rd Peliti will be hosting the 12th Pan-Hellenic Festival for the Exchange of Local Seed Varieties.

This annual festival, organized by Peliti ( since 1999, includes farmers, activists, researchers, students and thousands of visitors from all over the world who will come to share knowledge and experience, and exchange seed. The Festival includes speeches, seminars, workshops, distribution of local seeds, eating, dancing, music, money-free barter of goods, etc. The activities take place from 11am to 5pm. Entrance to the festival is open to all visitors and it is free.

The event is made possible this year with the support of the Europe-wide Seed Campaign, as well as with the support of the Municipality of Paranesti and the Centre for Environmental Education of Paranesti.

Posted by & filed under Compost, Consumerism, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Nurseries & Propogation, Peak Oil, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Water Harvesting.

Richard Heinberg not only talks the talk, but also walks the walk, as we get to see in the video at bottom. Peak Moment host, Janaia Donaldson, visits Heinberg and his partner Janet Barocco in their own venture in sustainable living in suburban Santa Rosa, California.

When they bought the place in 2001 it was a complete disaster, Richard tells Janaia, but it had advantages that drew them to it, such as being within walking distance of where they worked and shopping areas, having a large ¼ acre block and the house itself being small enough that they felt capable of remodelling and caring for it.

The ‘before’ shot

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Posted by & filed under Aid Projects, Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Networking Sites, Urban Projects, Village Development.

Get yourself (and your project) onto the permaculture map!

I just wanted to share one of many expressions of gratitude we’ve received for our building and making the Worldwide Permaculture Network, launched a year ago, available to the world’s permaculturists.

Dear Geoff and team,

I am writing to advise you about an ambitious new permaculture project we are starting up in Bali this year. I have already posted a full Project Profile on, under the heading Bukit Peninsula Sustainability Project. We have already attracted quite a bit of interest directly from that site, and have volunteers from around the world making their way to Bali to assist us at the end of this month.

I’d like to thank you for making the above website available to projects like ours for free — it has proven an excellent way of publicizing it and attracting interest.

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Posted by & filed under Animal Housing, Bird Life, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Irrigation, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Soil Rehabilitation, Trees, Urban Projects, Waste Systems & Recycling, Water Harvesting.

by Dan Palmer, Very Edible Gardens

Two days ago Dan and Will returned to a large VEG permaculture design and implementation project that was completed about five months ago. Via the videos below, take a virtual walk about the front and back yards — warts, ducks, giant silver beet, gorgeous connected multidimensional abundance and all!

You can also check out the design and before, during and after photos of the project here and also in our downloadable portfolio (warning: 38mb PDF!).

Part I

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Posted by & filed under Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Education Centres, Presentations/Demonstrations, Society, Urban Projects.

Hi All. We’re heading to Washington, DC in less than 48 hours and just found out the following: The White House Campus Champions of Change event will be live streamed on Thursday, March 15 from 2:50pm — 4:20pm (EST)! This means anyone can watch permaculture being talked about at The White House by tuning in here during that time.

I just wanted to share the good news!

Posted by & filed under Energy Systems, Peak Oil.

When we think of wind power, we most likely think either of the huge wind farms now dotted across the globe, or the good ol’ country windmills that have been the backbone of our outback stations’ water supply.

But how often do we hear of windmills being built from scratch, let alone in a poor African nation, such as Malawi?

William Kamkwamba did just this, and we can share his story in his autobiography, his children’s edition of the book and also on various interviews and documentaries on him that have been produced, some of which I discuss in more depth below.

I read his book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind a few months back and found it quite moving. It brings home some harsh realities, which some people may wish to remain blind too… but these aren’t written in a sensational way, rather just an honest re-telling of daily life, by a young man. But it’s not all about hard times and despair. It’s about the way William was able to move beyond just accepting his lot in life, to create something remarkable to turn it around — a fully working windmill, cobbled together out of junk parts and what he had on hand.

And possibly the most remarkable thing of all? William was only 14 years old when he did this!

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Posted by & filed under Demonstration Sites, Food Forests, Food Plants - Annual, Food Plants - Perennial, Land, Medicinal Plants, Plant Systems, Trees.

If you are new to permaculture, these three videos provide a delightful living introduction to the topic. As Angie takes you through the different zones on her farm in Wales, UK, you can try to spot how many concepts are integrated into her enthusiastic, holistic descriptions of how permaculture works.

Permaculture is not Organic Farming

In this first video we meet Angie and her family and visit some areas of her farm as we hear explanations of the difference between permaculture and organic farming and why permaculture is important.

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Posted by & filed under Commercial Farm Projects, Community Projects, Demonstration Sites, Eco-Villages, Education Centres, People Systems, Village Development.

This micro-documentary about the Konohana Family Farm will take you to the heart of a successful intentional community flourishing about three hours from Tokyo. Their farm was established on the foothills of Mount Fuji, about 18 years ago, by a handful of people who sought an alternative lifestyle. They knew almost nothing about sustainable living practices, eco-villages or permaculture.

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Posted by & filed under Conferences, Courses/Workshops, Social Gatherings.

Permaculturists have created forests in the desert, provided free emergency water and hygiene facilities in international emergencies and are revolutionising farming in small pockets of land all over the world. Now a major international event aims to spread permaculture thinking and practise throughout New Zealand.

More than 500 permaculturists from New Zealand, Australia and beyond, together with green activists, organic gardeners, eco-architects, and self-sufficiency enthusiasts are invited to Turangi near Taupo from April 11-15 for the 11th Australasian Permaculture Convergence.

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