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News & Views Curation

May 27, 2011

EU Tolerating Toxics

The EU gives solar panel makers a waiver from restrictions on the use of toxic substances. Learn more

May 26, 2011

There Might Be Progress

A look at US energy use since the 1970's show 31% gains in in building efficiency but soaring growth in electric appliances. A mixed bag

Banking On Energy Upgrades

The Bank of America puts $55 million into loans and grants to fund energy efficiency upgrades of existing buildings. Learn more

PV Learning Curve Up, Prices Down

Is the world on a path for solar power to become the new affordable power supply? Consider this

For Some, Small Isn't Beautiful

Euro power utilities see the rise of micro-generation as a long-term threat. Why is that?

NJ Abandons Carbon Pact

Governor Christie will pull New Jersey out of RGGI, the multi-state carbon cap and trade program. What a guy

The Race For The Wind

German and Danish technology giants battle it out for dominance in the booming wind power market. Swoosh!

O Scotland!

Scotland increases its renewable energy goal to 100% by 2020. Blown away?

Awaiting the Smart Grid

One day, when the nation has a fully-functional smart grid and shops are filled with smart appliances, we won't refer the 'smart grid' anymore. Another new normal

May 25, 2011

Metropolitan Preconditions

Can a city be green if it isn't dense? Find out

Another Nuclear No

Switzerland will phase out of nuclear power and find other electricity sources. Next?

Pittsburgh Banks On More Green

A Pittsburgh-based bank will add another high performance building to its portfolio. A financial LEEDer

UK: Green Investment Bank Progress

UK builders see the new Green Investment Bank as critical to providing funds to upgrade home energy efficiency. Count on it

Incubate And Accelerate

New York City offers a friendly climate for business incubators and accelerators, including those that house start-ups at the green end of the spectrum. New is news

Love Those Labels

Starting with 2012 models, cars and light trucks will have EPA energy rating and operating cost labels. How will consumers react? Oh yes, GHG information too.

Greenpeace Challenges Chicago Coal

Greenpeace activists stop a coal barge and scale the smokestack of a coal burning power plant in Chicago. Urban action

China Drought Threatens Hydropower

The worst drought in half a century could dry up the hydro-generated electricity that supplies 20% of China's power in the summer. More weather weirdness & drinking water supply imperiled.

May 24, 2011

Tea Party Down Under

A tea-party type furor erupts over the Australian Prime Minister's carbon emissions trading plan. Stay tuned

Are EVs Right For You?

EVs have undeniable limitations, but for some drivers they could be just the thing. Look into it

UK: Bank On Off-Shore Wind

Offshore wind is a leading investment candidate for the Green Bank when it opens its doors in 2012. Plug in

Climate Science? Fuggedaboudit

Congress' icy disinterest in climate science shows up in Republican efforts to zero out research funds. Duh

Durban Wrestles With Adaptation

Durban, South Africa works on integrating emergency planning with climate impact adaptation strategies suitable for this developing nation's coastal city. Here's how

Economic Models And Real People

Energy policy assumes we make rational energy consumption choices based on cost benefit analysis. Is that right?

May 23, 2011

Northern Climate Chaos

Scientists grapple with the climate implications of the impact of a massive Arctic storm in 1999. Dig in

The Energy IT All-Stars

Japan is #1 and India is #10 in a ranking of national governments deploying IT to cut carbon emissions. Who's 2-9?

The Green In Green Philanthropy

While sustainable causes rank in the single digits when it comes to charitable donations, size may not the be the crucial matter. Give some time

Australia: Act Now Or Else

Australian scientists warn that the nation will face devastating climate change impacts if it fails to decarbonize over the coming decade. Come down under

The Stockholm Memorandum

Nobel laureates are alarmed about the world's SOPs. "This situation concerns us deeply... we call upon all leaders of the 21st century to exercise a collective responsibility of planetary stewardship. This means laying the foundation for a sustainable and equitable global civilization in which the entire Earth community is secure and prosperous."

Sparring Over Oil Sands

Environmentalists and the oil industry will square off at Congressional hearings about bringing a pipeline to Texas refineries that carries oil sands from Alberta, Canada. Oil sands?

Rating Metro Mass Transit

Rating systems depend on the questions posed and the Brookings Institute doesn't ask the right ones in its urban transit study. The choice context

The EPA Code

Here's a conspiracy theory key to the EPA's climate policies. Feeling paranoid?

Coal Is The Worst. Period

A recent study claiming that the life cycle of natural gas drilling and use is worse for the climate than coal burning is torched. Drill down

Deliver A Carbon Tax

UPS, the giant parcel delivery company, supports a carbon tax, if it is tied to infrastructure improvements. Drive in

May 21, 2011

Court Blocks CA Cap and Trade

A California court blocks the state from putting its carbon cap and trade program into effect until it takes a hard look at alternative means like a carbon tax or outright regulation of emissons.

May 20, 2011

The Winding Road To Offshore Wind

One company with plans to construct the offshore wind 'backbone' passes a crucial marker but FERC rules every application will be separately reviewed. Enter the maze

The Power Of ROW

Is there a link between the growth of renewable power and land use rules? Consider how a new rule makes it easier to transmit electricity across federal lands with a new Right-of-Way (ROW) rule. Fine print

Dear Mr. Biden

Ever hear of the federal energy research lab NREL and wonder if it's worth taxpayer support? Decide for yourself

UK: Is Carbon Cost Killing Jobs?

A UK steel manufacturer lays off 1,500 workers citing a bad economy and the threat of the EU imposing a price on carbon. Stay tuned

Japan: Billions Lost

Tepco, owner of the ruined Fukushima nuclear power plants, reports a $15.28 billion loss. That's real money

Utility Profit Up, Workforce Down

Profits climb for utility giant National Grid while its workforce is cut seven percent. Plug in

Root For The Home Team

METS is a City initiative to test innovative green products made by local start-up companies through a pilot program in municipal buildings. Better than crackerjacks!

May 19, 2011

Green Building Faces BOA Foreclosure

Being green did not save a green mixed use project in Chapel Hill, North Carolina from hitting the financial skids. What went wrong?

Spain: Clamp Down On Solar Scams

Spanish authorities suspend subsidies to 143 solar installations that were not operating by the program deadline date. Come clean

Modern Alchemy

Scientists research how to turn carbon dioxide into fuel, but it's not ready for prime time. Work on it

Middle East: Liquidity Crisis

Running out of water could be the greatest crisis facing mid-east nations. Learn more

Will Batteries Save The Day?

Needing more electric power for hot summer days, Long Island considers a proposal to build 400 MW of battery storage. Plug in

Pickens Picks Natural Gas

Joining the natural gas stampede, T. Boone Pickens abandons his Texas wind power plan. Drill down

Sweeeter Green

The right incentives make sustainable development more appetizing. What's on the menu?

Gowanus Houseboat: Beyond Category

What would LEED, Energy Star or Passive House make of an off-the-grid houseboat afloat in Brooklyn's Gowanus Canal? Ahoy!

The New Normal Is Weird

Extreme weather conditions are resetting expectations of what passes for normal and NOAA reports on unprecedented changes in the oceans

May 18, 2011

Roberts v Socolow

Grist regular Dave Roberts is nearly speechless over Princeton prof's lament that changing climate change is a tougher fight than he expected. What the...

Get Less Intense

Aldy's climate action discussion paper proposes cuts to the energy intensity of electric utilities, uniform national standards, technical neutrality and tradable incentives. Something new here?

$900K Fracking Fine

Pennsylvania imposes a $900,000 on a company for contaminating drinking water as a result of using hydrofracking for its natural gas extraction. Drill down

Milan: Male Fashion Accessory

The bicycle makes a fashion statement in Milan, the capital of design. Pedal in

Who's Who In Green Construction

Michael Deane, a leader in the high performance building revolution, explains it all for you

GOP's Message Gap

Politico reports "More Americans actually believe in UFOs and ghosts than blame President Barack Obama for causing their pain at the [gas] pump." Holy ghostbusters!

Handicapping The 2012 Races

Will Senator Brown's anti-EPA track record have an impact on his re-election in Massachusetts & how about potential GOP presidential candidate Jon Huntsman's heretical views on climate change?

China: Power Rationing

Soaring coal prices outstrip utility rates and lead to earlier-than-usual electricity rationing in China, impacting the cities of Shanghai and Chongqing. Expect diesel power to make up the difference. Gasp

May 17, 2011

Euro Carbon: Cheap At 3x The Price

The German company Puma finds the real cost of CO2 is three times higher than the price of an emissions trading permit in the EU-ETS. Go figure and then calculate the price of US CO2

Mind The Gap

How will Germany fill the energy gap created by accelerated shut-downs of its nuclear power plants? Join the debate

Telecom Giant Values Climate

Franco-American telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent finds a commitment to cutting carbon is a winning business strategy. Here's why

PV Without NIMBY

San Francisco installs five MW of solar power on the lid of its Sunset Reservoir. Plug in

Greener Governors

The honor-roll of current and recent governors who support clean technologies and cuts to carbon emissions. 1 to 10

Low-Carbon Pols

Although it's North American-centric, here's an international list of elected officials with carbon cred. Who and why

EU: Banking On Carbon

The European Investment Bank will market 300 million carbon permits and apply the proceeds to new low-carbon projects. Here's the deal

NJ: Wind Biz and ORECS

New Jersey considers applications for off-shore wind projects and offers renewable energy credits (ORECS). Take a spin

UK: Conservatives Warm To Climate Action

Unlike US conservatives, the UK government adopts a climate action agenda but Energy Secretary's future is uncertain

Think Outside The Energy Envelope

Spend some time with a multi-media exploration of seven edgy energy solutions. Enter here

Yo! I'm A Climate Scientist

Who said climate scientists can't make a cool music video. R-rated [naughty words]

May 16, 2011

This Isn't Working

David Victor's book Global Warming Gridlock diagnoses the failure of climate policy's SOP and redirects expectations toward adaptation. Not light reading

Smart Enough Meters

Smart electric meters still face a learning curve, but they are already doing their job. Plug in

Rahm's Coal Challenge

Chicago clean-energy campaigners want Mayor Emanuel to clean up the city's two coal-burning power plants. Stay tuned

China: Not Leading By Example

China's public buildings, especially new ones, set a bad example for energy efficiency. Learn more

Red Faces Over Bad Climate Publication

Based on evidence of plagiarism, a scholarly journal retracts an attack on climate science it published in 2008 that purported to find collusion among climate change professionals. So sorry

Wind Project Gets NIMBYed

Plans for a 3.2 MW wind farm in Connecticut are stopped by nearby residents. What's the problem?

Nothing New - That's The Point!

The Washington Post editorializes on the National Research Council report on climate science and policy and calls on politicians to face the facts. Lissen up!

UK: Fossil-Fuel Hogs To Go Extinct

In 2018, the worst energy performing buildings in the UK will be banned from renting out space. Evolve that!

Dam Decisions

With renewed interest in hydropower, dislocation of upstream populations and concerns about climate-induced changes in rainfall patterns make damming decisions difficult. Dip in

Indonesia: Weighing Energy Options

Why is nuclear power not the right first energy choice for Indonesia? Look into it

May 15, 2011

Cape Wind Bites The Dust

Putting its DOE loan guarentee application on indefinite hold signals that developer of the Cape Wind project has moved on to other things. RIP

Wal-mart: Force Of Nature

The controversial retail giant, Wal-Mart, walks the walk when it comes to going green. Read the book review

May 13, 2011

Celebrate Wildflower Week

It's NYC Wildflower Week. Start with crimson clover on a Brooklyn factory's green roof. Aah!

Is This The End Of Evergreen?

Poor sales may doom Evergreen, the maker of thin PV wafers that already closed its Massachusetts plant. Invest some time

Induction Cooking

A new generation energy induction stoves are small enough for apartment kitchens and unlike gas stoves can run on renewable energy. That's magnetic


New Jersey is solar power star but will it last? Stay tuned

Another Fukushima Surprise

Probable water leaks left fuel rods in one of the damaged Japanese nuclear reactors more exposed than previously believed. Learn more

May 12, 2011

Defeated By The Facts

Here's the story of how one climate change denier switched sides

Cleaner Rain

Jamaica Bay will be cleaner with the launch of 50 million gallon holding tanks that prevent rain water from flooding out the local sewage treatment plant. Learn more

Music For Your Mind

Watch the fracking music video!

PlaNYC: Beyond The Glossy Cover

While release of the updated PlaNYC 2030 was ignored by the media, it's got important things to say and raises some big questions. Stay alert

Oil And Taxes

Exxon dismisses proposals to end tax breaks for the oil industry. Call that news?

Is 'Green Jobs' Working?

While some say federal funds have failed to create real green industry jobs, others tell a success story. Look further

May 11, 2011

Frack In France? Non!

The French government is on a path to ban hydrofracking used for extracting natural gas. Stay tuned

Urban Systems Symposium

You are watching streaming video from urbansystemssymposium at

Mapping The Innvoation Environment

Understanding the market dynamics of technical innovation requires a look at the institutional infrastructure and the choices made by public authorities. Fine print

May 10, 2011

Home Buying Hints

How one home buyer learned that he could have learned more. Look into it

PV Gold Rush

A German maker of PV equipment sees profits soar as China builds new factories. Be there or be square

Sun Rising

The National Renewable Energy Lab tallies growth in PV projects at some stage of development. Plug in

Some Like It Nuclear

Nordhaus & Shellenberger make the climate case for nuclear power. No worries!

UK: A Climate Believer

After the stir made by climate change deniers over researchers' leaked e-mails, the UK government reaffirms the soundness of climate science, but what will it do? and stay tuned for the outcome of funding the Green Deal.

A Modest Energy Subsidy Proposal

Consider the case for ending permanent government subsidies to all types of energy. But what about supporting technical research?

See You In Court

Climate scientist James Hansen sues the US government, claiming violation of the public trust doctrine for its failure to cut GHG emissions. The complaint

Methane Discovery

Duke University researchers detect high concentrations of methane in well water near natural gas drilling sites. Learn more

May 09, 2011

Smart Grid Resources

Check out DOE's resource-rich smart grid portal. Keep on clicking

GPS Gains

A next-generation GPS calculates both the shortest and the most fuel-efficient route to your destination. Get positioned

Japan: One Less N-Generator

The owner of Hamaoka, a nuclear power plant in an earthquake region of Japan, heeds government shut-down pleas for now. Learn more

WiFi's Climate Worries

Chaotic weather events associated with global warming will put internet wi-fi systems at risk. The political gets personal

NYC Census: What's Up?

The rationale for PlaNYC 2030 is its projection of a city of 9 million by 2030, but the 2010 census, which has its critics, suggests that figure is too high. Stay tuned. On Tuesday, the regional director the Census Bureau testified about a fixable 'processing error'.

Angela Merkel: Earth Angel

How did German Prime Minister Angela Merkel become Europe's greenest political leader? Look into it

Multitasking On The Grid

What challenges face European utilities and grids as they gear up for renewable energy sources while accommodating a growing fleet of EVs? Plug in

Harlem Gets A 'C'

Rating everything from air quality to rats, Harlem earns a C on a federally-funded Environmental Report Card. Watch the news

May 06, 2011

Define Clean

The public responds vigorously to a Senate white paper that tries to define clean energy. Plug in

Moving Into The Future

Consider ten urban mass transit proposals in the running for federal funds. Got legs?

Renew, Reinvent, Reimaginine

Enter a contest for eco and open space projects to make NYC just the place you want to be. Don't delay

May 05, 2011

What's The Opposite Of All Aboard?

Map the shrinking US rail system. End of the line?

Walk On In

Eleven US cities are cited for their walking and biking innovations. Are you listed?

Gas Prices - Go Figure

What explains the gas price roller coaster? Look into it

Renewables Giant Does Well By Doing Good

The profits of Iberdrola, the world's biggest renewable power company, exceed projections. Learn more

UK: Solar Support Shrinks

A mix of high demand and higher-than-expected rates of return for PV cast shadows on UK subsidies. Man bites dog tale

EU: Carbon Market Security Patch

The EU seeks to upgrade its carbon trading security after theft of 3 million emissions credits. Secure it

There's A Great Future In Plastics

The famous line from The Graduate needs updating to Oil-based, unrecyclable plastics, some future!

May 04, 2011

Uprating Nuclear Output

The NRC allows an existing Wisconsin nuclear power plant to produce 17% more electric than its current permit limit. Learn more


If Orwell's 1984 was the dystopian vision of the 20th Century, Powell's 2084: An Oral History of The Great Warming shows what could lie ahead in the 21st. Catch this feisty review of Climate Change Denial and the power of ROT. Don't overlook what economists could be saying now.

Nuclear Plans On Schedule

Plans to build nuclear reactors in Georgia and South Carolina are on-track and on-time. Get current

Out With The Old Finance

Governments across the country have sliced deep into infrastructure capital investments. Panelists at the RPA Assembly probe for innovative ways to invest in our future through private investment, public-private partnerships, public investment and inter-governmental finance. Listen to the Audio »

Green Bait

What are those environmental signals coming from President Obama for his 2012 re-election campaign? Look into it

Intercontinental Footprints

A major importer buys an Australian terminal to ship coal to India, a country with ample coal of its own. Why?

Germany: Non-Nuke's Not Easy

Germany considers a range of infrastructure and siting challenges related to closing its nuclear power plants. Plug in

May 03, 2011

Stick Around

Peer ahead to the 2050's and see how intelligent home interiors could be. Think modular & smart controls

Rising Marine Power

Offshore wind and tide power are poised to be major sources of revenue and electricity in the UK. Take a dip

Military Platinum

A Marine rehabilitation center at Camp Pendelton earns a LEED Platinum rating. Learn more

Dubrovnik: Adaptive Reuse

While some historic preservationists might disapprove, Dubrovnik puts new basketball courts in the its medieval city walls. Picture that

Bright Ideas For The Big Apple

Check this list of fifty ideas for making New York - and big cities everywhere - better places . Sallan's smitten with #35. Add your own

US: Oil Exporter

For the first time in twenty years, the US is a net exporter of petroleum products with Latin America as the major market. Get pumped

May 02, 2011

Who's The Greenest Of Them All?

245 buildings are in it to win it at the annual EPA Energy Star contest. Meet the contestants

Don't Ask, Don't Know

In an era of energy turmoil and soaring gas prices, slashing the budget of of the numbers-crunching Energy Information Agency looks shortsighted. Don't you think?

Certificates Grow Good Green Jobs

Getting a building analyst certificate pays off in getting government contracted work for energy auditing and weatherization. Climate Wire {Subscribers only}

Germany: From Offshore To Home

A Baltic Sea wind farm starts to generate power for German homes. Turn in

Halliburton's Fracking Clean

Halliburton deploys a new secret product it claims will make hydrofracking fluids and waste water treatment eco-friendly. Drill down

Solar Power Goes Viral

New research uses a virus to helps PV nanotubes grow. Weird but true

The End Of Volatility

The classic cycle of rising and plunging prices for global commodities, including fossil fuels, could be history. Going, going...

An Equitable Gas Tax

In poor countries, gas taxes have a progressive impact. Can the US raise gas taxes equitably? A thought experiment

CT: Put It In Writing

Connecticut considers a bill to create uniform rules for energy efficiency performance contracts. Know the routine