Photo Credit: ©amazon pixels

News & Views Curation

July 31, 2012

British Columbia: Thumbs Up On Carbon Tax

Now starting its second year, there's evidence - with caveats - that the carbon tax in British Columbia is doing what it should

More Sad Solyrda News

Solyndra, the bankrupt PV maker that borrowed $527 million from US tax payers, will repay them just $24 million

VAWT's Ahead

Sandia National Labs advances on developing a new generation of vertical axis wing turbines, VAWT's

Solar Power Gap

While the pace of PV installations in the US is accelerating, a comparison with Germany reveals a solar power gap

Cheers (Mostly) For Philadelphia Transit

SEPTA, the Philaldephia-metro mass transit authority, receives an award from the American Public Transit Association, but also comes in for some criticism

US Solar Profits

What's the secret of a US PV maker that bucks a trend by making a profit?

China: Solar Funny Money

Storm clouds gather around the financial practices of major Chinese solar panel exporter. Chinese solar stocks pounded

Green Building Tax Break For NY

Starting in January, New Yorkers who build or renovate properties to LEED-type standards can get a tax break

July 30, 2012

Where We Live Now

Experts are debating whether more Americans are moving to cities or exurbs, so why does it matter?

An Energy Beauty Contest

Which energy source would you rather see?

Beijing: Went For Gold WIth Green

Beijing got cleaner air and cut GHG emissions during the 2008 Olympics

London: Going For Gold With Green

London sets the pace for green Olympics

San Antonio Won't Waste Waste

San Antonio finds valuable ways to reuse everything in its sewage

It's Showtime

Expect climate change denier Senator Inhofe to take center stage at this week's Environment & Public Works Committee hearings

GE Cools On Nuclear Power

General Electric says the cost of nuclear power is 'hard to justify' and favors natural gas and renewables instead

The Selling O' The Green

Economic ups and downs and now burnished corporate images are the big drivers in green-themed advertising

Climate Conversion

Thoughts from The Guardian on Richard Muller's story of personal climate conversion appearing in the New York Times

July 28, 2012

Smart Green Gadgets

Smart battery queries the grid — stores energy when it's cheap.

A Green Apple In Reno

Seeking to replicate its renewable power success at a North Carolina data center, Apple eyes a green facility for Reno

Import Substitution

If losing access to rubber trees was the mother of invention for synthetic rubber during WWII is now the ideal time to substitute renewable energy sources for imported fossil fuels?

July 27, 2012

What Every Smart City Needs

There seems to be a pattern shared by cities that are growing smarter

Urban Climate Beacons

Who are the 41 California cities & counties that got Beacon Climate Awards for Local Leadership Toward Solving Climate Change?

Japan: The Most Dangerous Myth

The Japan Times editorializes that believing the myth of safe nuclear power led government and industry into catastrophic errors

OECD: Expect Nuclear Expansion

The OECD sees global nuclear power growing 44 - 99% by 2035, concentrated in China, India, South Korea & Russia

Sunny Money

The latest California energy trend is third-party ESCO financing for home and commercial solar projects. But wait, there's more! solar installers are thriving

Brazil: Great Energy Efficiency Expectations

Hopes are high for a boom in Brazilian energy efficiency services

Power-Hungy Building

"Though New York City boasts of being a new tech hub, few buildings here are equipped to provide sufficient power. The New York Genome Center's new $47 million headquarters at 101 Sixth Ave. will be powered by 375 Pearl St. which has extraordinary access to electricity because it was built as a switching center for New York Telephone." [A subscription to Crain's Health Pulse is required to read the article in full]

MTA's Behavioral Economics

The MTA wants to tack $1 on the purchase of new Metrocards to encourage riders to refill their current cards

On The Climate Blog Beat

What's your take on the debate blaming politics, media OR our lizard brains for failure to take action on climate change?

July 26, 2012

Conservatives Shatter Climate Consensus

Energy policy decisions by England's ruling Conservative Party are creating an uproar. Stay tuned

Singapore: Green Garden

A 100-hectare botanic garden in Singapore is designed to save 30% on its electric use

Urban Salvation

Can cities save the world? It's possible

Pomona: On The Electric Bus

Pomona, California goes mass transit with a three fast-charging electric buses

Natural Gas Alchemy

Consider the potential for using natural gas instead of oil as a product feedstock

London: The Perfect Smog Storm

Current London weather conditions could blanket the opening of the Olympics with smog

EU: Salvage Cabon Trading Scheme

The EU takes small steps to revive swooning carbon emissions permit prices

Dig It

Tunneling work is now complete for all of New York City's new subway and rail routes

July 25, 2012

Picture That

Will urban residents want to upgrade energy efficiency after seeing 'photos" of their homes leaking energy?

NYC: Sunny Side Up

What are the prospects for more PV installations in the Big Apple?

Exceeding Energy Expectations

The growth of renewable energy since 2000 way outstrips expert predictions. Why?

Preserving Stability

if political conservatives want to conserve things, what would make a compelling climate action argument?

NY Solar Porgam Maxes Out

The New York Central Hudson power utility reaches its limit for solar powered, net-metering customers and will not accept more applicants

London: Taxi Olympics

Five hydrogen-powered cabs get a trial run during the London Olympics

UK: Later For Decarbonization

A deal is struck on UK energy and climate policy

Fom Sci-Fi To Sci-Fact

Researchers invent a thin film for windows and hand-held electronics that makes electricity

Korea v Australia: Carbon Offsets

The Korean ban on domestic use of international carbon offsets isolates Australia's program

Stars In Their Eyes

Who will win the EPA competition for the best-performing Energy Star buildings in the nation?

Mexico: Climate Law At Risk

Mexico's new President may not carry out the terms of the climate protection law passed by his predecessor

July 24, 2012

All Aboard For High Speed Rail

Making the case for a Boston-New York-Washington, DC high speed rail system

Urban Earth

What's up with urban farming in NYC?

Wind Generates Money

A study of Illinois wind power finds it makes money & jobs as well as electricity

Turkey: 30x23

With a new 10 MW wind power installation, Turkey advances toward its goal of getting 30% of its power from renewables by 2023

UK: Nuclear Sticker Shock

Sticker shock over the cost of new nuclear power plants could mean doubling utility rates

Japan: Post-Nuclear Carbon Soars

CO2 emissions of a major Japanese electric utility spiral up 40% after the closure of its nuclear power plants

Chicago Tree Huggers

10,000 hot and thirsty urban trees seek people to water them

New Front In Climate Politics

The League of Conservation Voters targets five climate-deniers seeking re-election this year

Why Save A Watt

What message motivates people to become more energy efficient?

July 20, 2012

Get Over It

Enough already, it's climate change and 3,715 business are done debating

Partner Benefits

Capturing the benefits of smart grid, energy efficient building opportunities, means property owners and utilities must find common ground

Store It In The Cave, Man

Caves filled with compressed air can become an effective way to store renewable energy for when it's needed

July 19, 2012

Israeli-Chinese Wave Power Deal

A deal shapes up for an Israeli firm to sell its wave power technology to a Chinese car maker

France: 6,000 x 20 Not

France will miss its target of 6,000 MW of offshore wind power by 2020, but subsidy costs for output could be lower than predicted

Scientists Want To Know

Scientists and engineers have a list of 14 questions they want the Presidential contenders to answer

Solar Soft Costs

Why the soft costs of PV installation in the US are 60% higher than in Germany (and cheers to NYC red-tape cutting)

EU: Carbon Market Woes

With sagging emissions permits prices, it's cheaper to be a carbon slurper than a carbon sipper in the EU

Friend Of Bill Is Friend Of Green

A former Bill Clinton political guru opens an electric car factory in Mississippi

US Energy Use Shfiting For Good

Add a recession with a turn away from coal-burning - replaced by fracked natural gas - plus new emissions regulations and growth in renewable power and it could total up to a permanent lower-carbon US energy economy, but it's complicated

Sea Beds For Power Grids

Deep-sea oil and gas companies explore how to create a deep water electric grid to power more drilling


A Sallan Snapshot writer launches a blog that looks for opportunities amidst the pervasive eco-gloom

July 18, 2012

White House - Green Sports

The greening of professional sports has a fan in the White House

India: Where Wind Is Cheaper Than Coal

For the first time, some wind-generated electricity in India costs less than power from coal-burning plants

Israel: Go With The Hydro-Flow

An Israeli technology firm generates electric from the flow of water through underground pipes in the Negev Desert

Bill Rates Hill

Bill McKibben doesn't blame Hillary Clinton for the failed Copenhagen climate meeting, but does take the Secretary of State to task for how she negotiated the Canadian XL Keystone pipeline

Australia: LNG To Asia, GHGs to Planet

Proposed LNG export equipment and terminals in Australlia for shipment to Asians market would send GHG emissions spiraling

US Energy: Subsidy v Policy

Consider the current realities of US energy programs and why energy politics look the way they do

Save J-Bay

New York City joins forces with the federal government to revive and protect 10,000 acres of Jamaica Bay

Improbable Is Not Impossible

An industry expert explains why nuclear power plants designs, because they use 'unforgiving' technology, must rest on planning for the improbable

July 17, 2012

The Mental Climate Of Gen X

A National Science Foundation-funded study finds Gen X'ers are not climate change deniers, but they aren't much worried about a hotting-up planet

Finland: Nuclear Delays

Building a next-generation nuclear power plant in Finland by French utility Areva is three years behind schedule

Domestic Stimulus Stays Home

What's wrong with the claim that stimulus dollars for clean renewable energy projects are a domestic job killer?

Classic Joy, Urban-Style

Stop, look, and listen

Apple Regrets

Apple does a u-turn on its decision to leave EPEAT, a green product certification program

City As Adjective

What comes to mind when you think of Berlin, L.A., Brussels or Amsterdam?

It's Hot Out There

June 2012 , global temperatures, rainfall and historic comparisons

July 16, 2012

Pulse Detected For Carbon Tax

Guess what - the idea of a federal carbon tax shows signs of life

Australia: Wave Hello

Prospects improve for a 19 MW offshore wind power project in Victoria, Australia

EV: Re-Target Low Interest Loans

Bloomberg News urges the feds to shift low interest loans for electric vehicles to buyers, arguing car-makers now have ample access to capital while EU targets toughest emissions standards

Ehtiopia: Wind From The East

Ethiopian imports of Chinese wind turbines illustrate the growing export market for China's renewable power products

What Happens In Kansas Won't Stay There

The severe drought affecting crops and livestock in Kansas and through the mid-west will raise food prices around the nation

Keys To Sustainable Cities

If sustainability needs cities and cities need sustainability, what are the critical forward paths?

Just The Facts Ma'am

Peruse this fact sheet about what it will take to decarbonzie global electric power systems

Germany: Meet Merkel's Green Guy

A profile of the new German Environmental Minister, Peter Altmaier, operating in an era of challenging transitions

G Whizz

The MTA will restore mass transit services cut in 2010 and make expanded G train service permanent

July 13, 2012

The Agile City Survey

What is your city doing to advance 21 century urban innovation?

Disclosure Is Needed

A study of the environmental risks of hydrofracking highlight the knowns and the unknowns of its water resource impacts

NYC: Friday The 13th

An air quality alert is in effect for NYC's 'sensitive groups' on July 13

UK: Steel v Carbon

A government report echos UK steelmakers' fear of lost market share due to domestic environmental levies

China: Real Time Air Quality

A new website gives current air quality information for Shanghai, Beijing and other Chinese cities

Quebec: Climb The Garden Walls

An invitation to climb the geo-textile, moss-covered walls of Sainte Flavie, Quebec

Incorruptible Carbon

Q: Carbon tax or cap & trade? A: Opt for the least corruptible option

Be Kind Or Behind

The NY League of Conservation Voters gives the State legislature a B, noting little has been done on clean energy and climate protection

July 12, 2012

Global Cities In Harm's Way

Thumb-nail sketches of 20 global cities at risk for major climate-change damage

Greening Apple

Greenpeace no longer gives Apple failing grades on corporate energy and climate performance

Beyond The Nader

Jill Stein is the new Green Party standard bearer for the 2012 Presidential election

Conservation Nation, Sort Of

March 2012 research reveals that while more than half of the Americans surveyed said they had tried to cut family energy use, only a small fraction said they had engaged in any climate support actions

Where The Oil Goes

By 2013, developing nations will become the major market destination for oil, with big energy policy implications

London: Navigating Google Bike Maps

How does Google Maps rate as a tool for pedaling around London?

New Zealand: Controversial Carbon Market

Will New Zealand stay the course in its commitment to a carbon emissions market scheme?

Grand Central Rezoning

The Bloomberg administration wants to allow bigger skyscrapers to go up near Grand Central Station, but will green zoning rules have an impact?

Mitigate, Adapt Or Suffer

When it comes to a climate-changed world, we've got three options and we may not get to choose just one

July 11, 2012

Australia: Solar Boom and Bust

A cautionary tale about solar power caught in shape-shifting energy policy currents

Nuke Building-Costs Boom

A study by the AP discloses billions in rising costs at nuclear power plants now under construction

Actions On Clean Energy Loans

Two solar power firms advance toward obtaining DOE clean energy loan guarantees

Sweden: Spray-On Light

Swedish researchers are working on a spray-on LED paint that could be applied to wallpaper and fabrics

UK: Call for Flood-Resilience

Government climate advisors urge planning now for a 400% increase in home and business flood risks

Just The Facts Isn't Enough

Utilities are not doing much with the flood of data pouring in from the smart meters they install

Ice Is Nice

A summer treat -- iceberg portraits

Solar Power And Solar Panels

Germany has proved that political will can create solar power consumers but can automation revive its solar manufacturing?

July 10, 2012

UK: Less For The Wind

The UK government is set to announce a 10% cut to subsidies for on-shore wind power, with cuts for offshore wind also slated

Randomly Hot - Not

The odds that this year's record-busting heat is just a random weather event are 1 in 1.6 million. But wait, there's more

EU: Too Much Of A Good Thing

A glut of EU carbon emissions permits weighs on the market

Getting Past Climate Denial

What does a former Republican Congressman call for instead of climate change denial?

King Coal Dethroned

Today, the US gets more electric power from natural gas than coal

Beijing-Copenhagen: Sustainable Sharers

C40 produces a new urban sustainability sharing agreement -- Beijing and Copenhagen, Europe's greenest capital city

Don't Drive

Last year extended the national drop in driving that started in 2007 as the population becomes more urban

Eco-Voting Made Easier

New York eases procedures for the Green Party to get on the primary ballot this September

NY To Philly: 37x40

By 2040 and assuming access to funds, Amtrak will get you from New York City to Philadelphia in 37 minutes

July 09, 2012

Oceanic Osteoporosis

Ocean acidification caused by rising CO2 levels in the air threaten global food security and livelihoods

Bonding Sunlight

Bank underwriters expect a boom in bonds to finance new solar projects

Forget About Climate Change

Factoring out the impact of fossil fuels on climate change, calculate the world's new power equation (or the persistence of fossil thought)

Wonderful Wonderful Copenhagen

Copenhagen wins the European Green Capital award

Brownfields And Sustainability

Experts and innovators see redevelopment and community revitalization at the core of today's brownfields clean ups

Harvard Museum Wins Green Light Award

Construction-phase LED lighting at Harvard's Fogg Museum wins a US Green Building Council innovative design award

UK; New Nuclear Partners

After losing German backing for developing new UK nuclear power plants, French and Chinese firms express interest

EU: Diluted Energy Directive

Will the watered-down provisions of the EU energy efficiency directive be able to make a difference?

July 08, 2012

$14 Million For Energy Efficiency

The Department of Energy awards states $14 million for improving their buildings' energy efficiency performance

July 06, 2012

Hot Enough For You

Steamy Washington weather sets a 141 year record

Redirecting Federal Clean Energy Flows

A call to redirect federal energy policy toward broad technology developments, but the fragmented clean tech industry lacks clout compared to fossil fuel heavy-weights

Federal Fracking Framework

Would a federal regulatory framework for natural gas fracking be any better than state-by-state rules?

Community Air Moniitors

Community groups in Brooklyn and Queens are among the 23 funded in New York State to conduct air screening projects

Weird Weather Alters Views

A senior Obama administration scientist sees US views climate change shift due to severe weather events

What The FERC

How does FERC, the little known federal electricity transmission regulator, make progress on the renewable energy front?

UK: Much More Offshore Wind

Two of three offshore wind projects, with a total of 1.1 gigawatt capacity, get UK government approval

Argentina-China: Wind Nexus

China will provide $3 billion to buy turbine equipment for a 1,350 MW wind power project in Argentina, Latin America's largest

Summer In The City

Summer 2012 sets records but don't forget that 1966 record by The Lovin' Spoonful

Australia: Cheaper Carbon

Prices in Australia's new carbon market are up to 45% lower than predicted

July 05, 2012

Not Alll GHG's Are Created Equal

Some research suggests that natural gas obtained from fracking has a smaller greenhouse impact than other natural gas

In Praise Of Sunshine

Sunshine laws, requiring public disclosure of environmental data like carbon emissions, can do a lot

Scrape The Sky With Platinum

NYC's One Bryant Park is the nation's first LEED-Platinum office tower

Hong Kong: Shop, Not Shiver

Hong Kong shopping malls, famous for frigid summer AC, pledge to warm things up

Everybody Talks About The Weather

If this summer sets records for storms that knock out electric power supplies, it could also be time to start investing in better system reliability, distributed power and smart grids to keep the lights on


The IEA predicts global growth of renewable power, with a a 40% increase by 2017

Japan: Nuke Acccident Not Natural

Government and industry, not nature, is responsible for the Fukushima nuclear power plant disaster, according to a parliament inquest

Smells And Sounds Of The City

Take a sensory tour of the Big Apple this summer

Builiding Stars

The winners of the EBie awards for greenest, highest performing existing buildings in the US are...

July 03, 2012

Follow That Coal

European coal burning skyrockets with low-cost US imports, while natural gas sales fell last year

UK: High-Priced Home Insulation Loans

British homeowners can borrow from a new government program to insulate their dwelllngs, but the 7.5% interest rate is controversial

China: 21x15

China plans to install 21 gigawatts of solar power by 2015 to absorb more domestic PV panel production

British Columbia: Carbon Tax Update

Now four years old, the British Columbia carbon tax is unique in North America and controversial

NY: $$$ For Energy Efficiency

The New York Power Authority okays a $30 million/five year commitment to boost market development of energy efficiency technology firms

Building Owners Seek Federal Energy Action

A nationwide real estate association gives its six-point plan for advancing energy efficiency to a Senate committee

Feds Query JPMorgan Over Electric Markets

Federal regulators subpoena JPMorgan about possible electricity market manipulations in California and the midwest

For A Greener Gotham Use Your Thumbs

And the six winners of the NYC eco-apps contest are...

Another way To Waste Water

Burning Our Rivers looks at the toll taken by power plants on US water resources

From Noten Island To Urban Emerald

The Dutch called it Noten Island, but soon the 172 acres of Governors Island will be called a gem

July 02, 2012

Franco-Australian Solar Project At Risk

Plans by a French electric utility for a solar thermal project in Queensland, Australia are stymied by a loss of government funds

MIA: Campaigning On Climate

Climate change is MIA from the Obama re-election campaign, even though signs of a changing climate are all too clear

Australia: Carbon Price Pinched By Politics

With the Labor PM trailing in polls, prospects for Australia's' carbon futures market dim even as the carbon law goes goes into effect

Controversial Campus Goes Platinum

The hotly-debated plan for Columbia University's new west Harlem campus wins a LEED Neighborhood Development Platinum rating

Meet The Flywheel

Get introduced to an old technology repurposed as a renewable energy storage technology - the flywheel

Adding Fuel To The Wildfire

Making the connection between Colorado's raging wildfires and climate change that have charred the city of Colorado Springs.

New Exxon Or Not

While Exxon's current CEO is no climate denier, what to make of his approach to solving the problems of a hotter globe? asks the FT. Al Gore is not impressed

LEDs Are Street Smart

A twelve city test of LED street lighting find they can be up to 85% more energy efficient than conventional bulbs

Urban Snapping Turtles

Who knew!