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News & Views Curation

May 31, 2012

Shorter Battery Life

The future dims for a Massachusetts electric vehicle battery maker

China: Regional Cap And Trade

China plans to create a two-region cap and trade system able to link with global carbon trading markets

Wind Power Facts v Fictions

Time to rescue wind power from its media foes

California Upping Efficiency Bar

California is about to raise its energy efficiency standards, 25% for homes and 30% for commercial buildings

We've Got A Winner

The Department of Energy announces the winner of its Apps for Energy contest

Germany: Grid The Wind

Germany plans to construct four electric autobahns to transmit wind turbine power

A New CO2 High

Arctic atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide hit their highest level in 800,000 years

Coming Clean On Fracking

The ability to purify polluted water coming from hydrofracking operations is one of the biggest challenges facing the industry and government regulators

What To Do When Banks Won't Do It?

Can capital markets step in where banks won't go to finance building energy efficiency upgrades?

May 30, 2012

King Coal

Extra! Extra! US reliance on coal drops sharply, read all about it

Measure It To Manage It

Corporations with green goals do best when they measure the resources they consume

Campaign 2012: He Said, He Said

The Obama campaign responds to Romney's attack on support for green energy firms

It's Culture Not Science

Climate deniers don't suffer from a deficit of scientific literacy, they operate in a different culture context

May 29, 2012

China: PV Tariff Tiff Heats Up

A view from China on the state of its solar panel industry, off-shoring to Taiwan and its fight with the US over tariffs

Canada: PV Panel Maker Woes

A publicly-traded Canadian solar panel maker in Canada, seeking debt relief, sells itself to private investors

Parsing Goldman's Green

What is the meaning of the Goldman-Sachs ten-year $40 billion green investment?

A Tale Of Two N-Plants

Consider the license renewal paths for a 1972 Massachusetts and a 1984 Washington nuclear power plant

Singapore: Sustainable Cities Summit

This summer Singapore will host the World Cities Summit with a holistic urban sustainability agenda

What The Frack

While some see the dawn of a golden era for fracking natural gas, you might see something quite different

Japan's Energy Future

In the wake of Fukushima, the choices Japan makes about its energy future could be instructive for other nations

$100 Million For Electric Karma

Fisker Motors, maker of luxury plug-in cars that received a DOE loan, reports $100 million in revenue this year for its Karma sedan

Energizer Bunnies

New battery technologies aren't just for start-up ventures

May 26, 2012

Net-Zero In Brooklyn

A solar exterior plus energy efficent construction adds up to a five story apartment building that can make as much power as it uses

May 25, 2012

We Like Ferries

East River ferries are so popular that bigger boats are needed to accommodate demand

Let The Sun Shine In

Near completion, the Oculus will allow sunlight deep into the Fulton Street transit terminal where 11 subway lines and the PATH train link up

California Boosts Solar Power

California regulators rule to net meter consumers who plug PV power into the electric grid

China: Spend Big For Less Carbon

China will spend $27 billion this year to advance energy efficiency and renewables as its energy intensity continues to fall

Senate Scores Two For Energy

The US Senate approved both the installation of EV recharging stations in the Capitol and the nomination of a new director of the Energy Information Administration

India: Could Close Airspace To EU

India contemplates closing its airspace to European airlines If the EU sanctions the nation's non-carbon complaint planes with a tax

Home Lighting In Dark Ages

Residential lighting remains stubbornly retro and energy-slurping

India: Himalayan High Heat

From 1982-2006 the Himalayas heated up by 1.5 degrees C, faster than anywhere else on Earth

Benchmarking Data Visualization

See what you can see with this map of San Francisco's energy-benchmarked commercial buildings!

You Can't Go Home Again

Reversing climate change impacts like sea level rise and drought won't be like hitting the rewind button

May 24, 2012

Beware Of Gap Growth

As nations miss their carbon cutting targets, the gap grows between reduction goals and actualities

Germany: Power Prices Plummet

Failure to deal with excess volumes of EU carbon emissions credits is linked to sharply falling prices for electricity in Germany

Rating That Train

Two New York City Councilmembers want the MTA to give letter grades to subway stations, just like the City rates restaurants

Good News About Natural Gas

Use of abundant natural gas has led US CO2 emissions to drop faster than all other nations in the IEA survey but total global carbon emissions are rising again

How To Save $1 Billion

Since 2008, Climate Corps fellows have identified $1 billion in potential energy savings at participating corporations

Next Generation Nuclear Power - Not

Super-low natural gas prices and no carbon tax might smother market chances for an emerging nuclear power technology

Peer At This

A SUNY Buffalo study described as "peer-reviewed", which found regulation has made hydrofracking safer, turns out not to be peer-reviewed

2011's Top Solar Utilities

Who are America's leading solar utilities and where are they located?

Urban Roofs - Green, White, Blue And PV

Look up options for raising the eco-performance of building roofs

May 23, 2012

Biophilia - Love It Or....

Despite the passion for biophiic building design, lack of performance data hampers its growth

All Oil Isn't Created Equal

What makes is Canadian tar sands oil so dirty and what could slow down sales?

NYC: Making Good On 30x30 Pledge

Catch up with what's happened since 2007 when NYC first pledged to cut its carbon footprint 30% by 2030

On The Bus In San Franscisco

Six years in the making, San Francisco's bus rapid transit plan comes into focus

Scotland: Smart Grid Blueprint

Scotland announces plans to develop technologies able to match electric power supply and demand for a smart grid

EU: Rising Energy Policy Discord

The UK's proposed energy policy stirs controversy in the EU power sector, anxiety over the carbon emissions trading scheme and is decidedly pro-nuclear

Congress Ignores Public

Although polls find strong public support for more renewable power and clean energy, Congress is unlikely to act

Natural Gas Pipeline OKed

By a 4-0 vote, federal regulators approve construction of a natural gas pipeline across the Hudson River from NJ to Greenwich Village.

Don't Even Think Of Driving

For Gridlock Sam, the solution to the looming traffic and parking problem at the new Brooklyn sports arena is simple, don't drive there

May 22, 2012

Let Us Not LEED

56 Congress members want the federal government to abandon LEED building ratings

UK: Out With The Old - Or Not

A decision is expected in 2013 about whether old French-owned British nuclear power plants will be mothballed

UK: Old Nukes, New Nukes And More

A British government bill would keep old nuclear plants open while encouraging new ones, and add more renewables into the energy mix

We Want What They Have

Cities with star-power high performance buildings make us green with envy

Germany: Utility Doubts Wind Future

A major German power utility is skeptical of the ability to meet the government's off-shore wind power target for 2020

Take The Money, Please

Lack of consumer demand rather than problems with financial markets might explain the low number of energy efficiency loans and the lack of underwriting standards for energy use doesn't help

Thank You For Asking

At last, peace of mind for everyone wondering what to do with old plastic CD cases

May 21, 2012

Boulder: When Good Is Not Enough

Boulder Colorado's carbon-reduction achievements are not enough to meet its own climate action plan goals and the city might impose mandatory energy efficiency rules

Concentrating Wind Power

A gust of mergers blows through the US wind power industry

ABC's Of Concentrating Solar Power

Introduce yourself to the basics of concentrating solar power

NYC Moves Itself

What should New York City do to improve mass transit, traffic congestion and the pedestrian experience?

Melbourne: 0x20

The Lord Mayor of Melbourne, Australia has no doubt about the impact of climate change and the city has a goal of zero net-carbon emissions by 2020

Shaghai Is Sinking

Global warming is one of the reasons that the mega-city of Shanghai is sinking

Unintended Consequences

The 1990s requirement that made utilities sell their nuclear power plants lead to increasing output and big cuts in energy-sector carbon emissions

China: Work Around US Solar Tariff

In response to the new tariff imposed by the US on solar panels made in China, companies will shift production to Taiwan

Hearland Institute Could Cease To Exist

Mass defections by funders and staff from the climate change-bashing Heartland Institute could signal its demise

May 19, 2012

Cash The Wind

15 wind turbines installed at an outdoor sculpture park in Goldendale, WA. generate electricity for Los Angeles, CA and $250,000 a year for the museum

France: Vive Le Tarif Carbone

The new French President likes at least one idea of his precedessor, the carbon tariff

May 18, 2012

From AC To DC

Why is China investing $3.7 billion in DC power transmission lines?

Time To Retire

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission considers whether to permit continued operation of nuclear power plants more than 60 years old

The Downside Of Higher PV Tariffs

Not everyone in the US is happy with a government decision to raise tariffs 31-250% on solar panels made in China

Clean Energy Dollars And Sense

Despite a political black-eye, the economic value of clean energy investments still shines

New Jersey: The Wind-Friendly State

Development of off-shore wind power is getting friendly reception in New Jersey

Japan: Avoiding Summer Blackouts

Japan hopes that voluntary energy conservation measures will avoid a repeat of last summer's rolling blackouts

Germany: What Happens To Losers

After a major Conservative electoral defeat, Prime Minister Merkel fires her environmental minister

UK: Nuclear Delays

Long delays in site preparation for a new nuclear power plant in Somerset backed by the French utility EDF could be costly

Demystifying Energy Efficiency

In states with low electricity costs but without efficiency policies, consumers pay bigger bills than in high cost states with efficiency policies

May 17, 2012

Renewable Military Power

The Defense Department commits to installing 3 gigawatts of renewable power at its facilities by 2025

Tokyo: Penguin Haven

A penguin that escape from its aquarium is sighted swimming safely in Tokyo Bay

The PV Misperception

It can't be said too often, PV power is cheaper than you think

Wind Resource Map

Location, location and location of the nation's onshore and offshore wind resources

Data Envy

When the owner of building A sees performance data for building B, things happen!

Nuke Plant Tubes Tanking

The problem with abnormal wear of tubes carrying radioactive waste water and the question of who will pay for repairs plague the California San Onofro nuclear power plant

May 16, 2012

Plan B For EV Batteries

An electric vehicle battery maker explores 'strategic alternatives' for the company

Australia: Eucalyptus Experiment

Australian scientists will expose eucalyptus trees to future CO2 levels of to determine if they become more vulnerable to risks

Decision Near On PV Dumping

Stay tuned for a US decision this week about whether Chinese solar panel makers are violating international trade rules

Climate Science And The Media

The recent James Hanson climate tocsin op-ed is a magnet for pro, con and other reactions in the media

May 15, 2012

Dubai: Carbon Market Player

To encourage energy efficiency, Dubai will enter the carbon emissions market by selling Clean Development Mechanism permits

Hanging Out On YouTube

A Stanford University climate scientist invites climate skeptics to chat with him on YouTube

UK: Alarm In Renewable Power Sector

Government plans billed as supportive of renewable power development raise an outcry in the industry

Globe: No Cooling Trend

April was the 326th warmer than normal month in a row

A New Way To Walk

Starting this summer pedestrians can go through mid town on Sixth-and-a-Half Avenue

Fracking And The Unknowns

Doctors and patients confront what isn't known about the health implications of hydrofracking

LIPA Cleans Up

Under the CLEAN banner, the Long Island Power Authority pays 22 cents/kW for solar power fed into its system

Boston: Retrofit and Research

Not only is a century-old Boston tannery getting a deep-energy retrofit, but research will determine how well the building's new materials and systems perform

Google Wind Go Ahead

The Atlantic Wind Connection for transmitting offshore-generated electricity to coastal states, financially backed by Google, moves closer to approval

May 14, 2012

Yes, But

A close look at poll data on support for paying more for renewable power finds it's not evenly distributed, making Congressional action unlikely

Forward Thinking On Renewables

What will it take to create a robust future for therenewable power business in the US?

How Cities Can Accelerate EVs

If demand for electric vehicles is ever to reach a serious scale, here is how cities can lead the way

Mexico: Gusting Ahead

Wind holds the promise of surging development for Mexico, expecting 2 gigawatts of capacity this year and double that by 2015

The Urban GHG Inventory

With cities as hubs of population and innovation, the need is clear for a standardized global guide to inventory GHG emissions

Don't Believe Everything Your Read

Check out yet another way off-base energy-themed election year billboard

Australia: Double The Gas

Asian export-oriented Australia projects its shale deposits contain two times more natural gas than previously known

Tanks A Lot

US Army tanks are on the front lines for achieving the nation's goal of the 54.5 MPG fuel standard

Brazil And China Catch The Wind

As the biggest foreign investor in Brazil, China develops wind power projects that produce electricity more cheaply than natural gas

May 11, 2012

Asia: Another Way To Thrive

Facing a looming climate crisis, Asia can forge low-carbon paths to economic growth

1% Is No Solution

Under 1% of American households report having some kind of energy management devices

Spend It Or Lose It

The Obama Administration warns California to spend $3 billion in stimulus funds dedicated to high speed rail or risk having to return the money [Greenwire $ub]

Germany: Free No More

Germany will eliminate 56% of its free carbon emissions creditstraded on the EU-ETS

Navy Green

The US Navy plans to meet half its energy needs with non-fossil fuels by 2020

Picture This

Who's that guy taking photos of NYC farms?

What Business Wants Now

The 2011 MIT/Sloan innovation survey finds US corporate management is nearing a sustainability tipping point but is not yet a top priority

What We Are Thinking

Surveys find Americans' opinions on climate change and what should be done about it are more complicated than you might think

May 10, 2012

No Solution For This Water Problem

Handling the huge volumes of toxic waste water created by hydrofracking is geologically unavailable in the Marcellus Shale so underground injection is not an option

Ukraine: Shale Gas Deal

Chevron and Shell near an agreement with the Ukraine to drill for shale gas, despite the nation's drinking water shortages

Canada: Some Call It Streamlining

A federal government proposal to 'streamline' the environmental impact review of proposed development projects arouses concern

A Climate-Koch Connection

As James Hansen spells out a dooms-day scenario if tar sand drilling in Canada proceeds, some facts surface about Koch Industries involvement

UK: Fracking Will Return

After suspending work in the wake of earthquake activity, a major natural gas driller says UK fracking will resume this year

Support Local Farmers

When renovating the Hunts Point wholesale markets, the New York Times urges the Governor and the Mayor to make room for local farm produce

Build A Better Lightbulb

Will GE have a winner with its, dimmable, mercury-free LED bulb that can shine for 22.8 years?

A Not-So-Smart Grid

Facing customer resistance to smart meters, electric utilities delay new roll-outs and smart grid advances

May 09, 2012

Welocme GB EE

PlaNYC launches a web asset replete with useful information about green buildings and energy efficiency

China: Solar Opportunity In Japan

Chinese solar power companies see new opportunities in Japan's uncertain nuclear future

A Little Too Late, Lugar

Now that Senator Lugar has lost his re-election bid, he rips the Republican hard stance against climate action

Not Insuring The Planet

Underuse of a World Bank insurance fund for clean energy projects in developing countries could mean a lack of carbon-cutting progress

Germany: Solar Reprieve Possible

German parliamentary resistance may change Prime Minster Merkel's plan to cut solar feed-in tariffs

Get Smart

IBM sees major opportunities in retrofitting buildings to make them energy-efficient and healthy for occupants

Hope In A Bloom Box

Bloom Energy, California maker of giant fuel cells sold on the West Coast, to open a factory in Delaware with expectations of an East Coast market

Spinning Right

Right-wingers target a new enemy - wind power

Empire State Building Beats Projections

Energy performance at the remodeled Empire State Building beats its first year goal on its way to cutting 38% of its usage within three years

May 08, 2012

2 x 2052

Let us hope the Club of Rome prediction that Earth's temperature will rise 2 degrees Celsius by 2052 is wrong

A Romney EPA

In speculating about a President Romney's EPA, Politico notes, "In November, Romney proudly exclaimed that he exhales carbon dioxide, asking rhetorically at a New Hampshire rally if that makes him a polluter.
'I exhale carbon dioxide', he said. 'I don’t want those guys following me around with a meter to see if I’m breathing too hard.'"

Green Offices Shine In Houston

Houston, Texas announces the winners of the first Green Office Challenge, supported by the Clinton Climate Initiative and ICLEI

Green Energy Bonds Unloved and Unwanted

Despite low costs, a federal bond program that allows local governments to finance energy efficiency and renewables projects remains largely untapped

UK: Sets Energy Policy

The UK announces fracking for natural gas and new nuclear power plants are key to its energy policy

9.11 Whistleblower Re-Hired

An EPA scientist who lost her job for disclosing data on asbestos and caustic dust released into the air due to the destruction of the World Trade Center gets rehired

Microsoft Commits On Carbon

Starting in July, Microsoft promises to become carbon neutral on a global scale in just one year

Where The Green Jobs Are

The San Francisco Bay Area tops the list for green jobs and New York City is second

May 07, 2012

Green Her Not

A 20-something social activist explains why she doesn't want to be called an environmentalist

The Social Psychology of Climate Politics

Authors of The Republican Brain and The Righteous Mind probe the political polarization over climate change and science

Energy Star Dims

The EPA Energy Star program faces opposition by Congress members not known for supporting government energy efficiency programs

Hudson River Park In Peril

Faced with depletion of its reserve fund, the Hudson River Park Conservancy eyes Pier 40 for a hotel and apartments

Renewables On The Edge

Rock-bottom natural gas prices plus the lack of federal climate policy couldkill off the renewable energy industry

Durban: Mind The Gap

Delays hamper commitments made by the EU at the Durban, South Africa climate talks to provide $30 billion annually for assisting developing nations

A Recycling Revival

While the high performance Bank Of America building highlights tenant recycling, the City still struggles to meet its own mandates

May 05, 2012

Reclaiming Urban History

Recycle New York City's history in wood so it won't go to waste

Don't Drown In Data

With the ability to amass building performance data comes the opportunity to find its value

Where The Birds Are

If you're like me, you like wind turbines and birds too, so you'll want both in your future

May 04, 2012

Paris: Building Materials And Climate

An installation at the Centre Pompidou in Paris demonstrates how wood forms respond to moisture-laden air

Getting Warmer

What's up with that story about global warming ending in 1998?

Feeling The Heat

Why is making predictions about climate changes as as much about politics as about physics?

Greenland: Glacial News

New measures suggest Greenland's glaciers may be melting slower than previously predicted, but they are melting and sea level will rise

May 5: Connect The Dots

Preview the day of global climate action

Parting The Clouds

Now that the issue of clouds and climate change has made it to the front page of the NYT, get deeper into the current state of the science

A New Life For PACE Loans

Federal home-mortgage regulators take a second look at the feasibility of the PACE energy upgrade loan program and observers expect an announcement soon

NY: No Renewables Bragging Rights

As in 2001, New York gets just 1-4% of its electricity from renewables, if hydro-power is taken out of the calculation

May 03, 2012

An Opening On Solar Windows

Will the technology for converting window glass to solar panels catch on?

Japan: Nuclear Powerless

With the temporary shutdown of its last operating nuclear power plants, Japan will keep its lights on with oil

Clean Energy Investing Now

Global clean energy investments sag 28% from late 2011, but low equipment costs mean market demand will rise over time

38 And Counting

Retrofits at a 1958 office building makes the 38th LEED for Existing Buildings award in Gotham

China: Shrink Solar Subsidies

With on-going low solar power component costs, China cuts subsidies on certain demonstration projects

Brodsky v NRC

What's the Indian Point matter at issue in Brodsky v NRC at a US 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals hearing on May 3?

Move Those Toll Booths

"Gridlock Sam" Schwartz says New York tolls the wrong bridges and offers a fix

G20: Clean Energy Confab

Launched by US DOE, the latest international meeting on clean energy policies forges partnerships to tackle the hard stuff

May 02, 2012

The PV Champ

Scientists develop the most efficient solar photovoltaic cell yet

The New American Dream Home

The fastest growing segment of the US housing market offers denser development & easy access to mass transit

Doing Right By Solar PV

From the need for predicable government support to getting grid integration right, an analysis of what it will take for solar PV to thrive

A Corporate Climate Risk Management Primer

To face the risks of climate change, what should forward-thinking corporations be doing now?

South Korea: OK's Carbon Market

With bi-partisan support, the South Korean legislature approves a carbon emissions permit trading system to tackle its fast-growing carbon footprint

South Africa: Current From Current

A 1 MW experimental ocean current power project is under consideration in Durban, South Africa

Too Much Coal

While Asian demand for coal holds steady, the supply of imports soars and prices drop to $100 a ton

What Do EV Drivers Do?

One way to resolve debates over the future of electric vehicles is to study what people do when they drive them

May 01, 2012

Rethinking Energy Analysis

The Rand Corporation recommends analyzing all the energy that goes into making and using different products to arrive at climate-smart choices

UK: Oil And Wind Might Mix

Oil services firms work with wind power developers on North Sea wind power

UK: Oil And Wind Don't Mix

With the UK government retreat on climate action, Shell Oil now finds it cannot 'make the numbers work' for wind power investing

NY Counts On Jobs - Or Doesn't

A fight erupts over just how many jobs will be created for New Yorkers if Marcellus Shale hydrofracking is approved

The Fate of PACE In California

A scholarly analysis of the PACE residential energy efficiency loan program in several California communities fills a knowledge gap

Saline Secrets Revealed

Data from floating ocean robots measuring saltiness predicts disturbing changes likely to intensify rain and drought patterns on land

Idle No Longer

The EPA launches a decision-making tool to figure out the best unoccupied places or brownfields to site renewable energy facilities

Apple: Start To Think Different

Apple is installing 4.8 MW of fuel cells and 20 MW in wind turbines to power its North Carolina data center

Science At Work

Settle down here for the latest thinking on what ended the last Ice Age