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January 31, 2013

Federal Fee Freezes Nuclear Power

The federal loan guarantee program designed to ease financing for new nuclear power projects may not deliver

NYC: Solar For All

NYC luxury high-rises don't have a monopoly on cost-saving solar power

Beijing: Smoke The Air

Levels of health-harming fine particles in Beijing air are higher than in airport smoking lounges

UK: Green Deal Details

Q&A on the new British energy efficiency fund (looks something like the US PACE program)

Scotland: Decarbonize The Power

Scotland sets ambitious goals to cut CO2 emissions from its electric sector 85% by 2030

Science At Work - Chlllin' With Lasers

Tomorrow's cooling systems could replace ozone layer-eating chemicals with lasers

I'll Have What She's Having

Failing to win support for its own federal tax breaks, the renewable energy industry looks for some of the same assistance the fossil fuel business has

Embrace The New

The bad boys of the environmental movement, Michael & Ted, blame energy 'tribalists" for occluding policy and practical progress

Lessons And Limits From Jamaica Bay

Soft natural and engineered features of Jamaica Bay helped protect it from Sandy's wrath, but can they be be used elsewhere on NYC's shoreline?

January 30, 2013

Top Sustainability Stories Of 2013

Dust off your crystal ball and gaze at this list of the year's big sustainability developments

UK: Dead End For Hedgehogs

Steep declines in urban hedgehog sightings could signal extinction for this charismatic UK critter

Building Blocks Of Retrofitting

Murray City, OH tackled energy efficiency make-overs block-by-block, using federal stimulus funds

2012 Solar Power Predictions In 2013

An industry observer reflects on the solar power predictions she made last year

Australia: Carbon Tax Politics

The governing Labor Party enacted a carbon tax, but if the opposition wins an election, they would abolish it

Carbon Tax Now - Or Not

A strong case for imposing a carbon tax on energy now might not persuade some who expect drought and disaster aid later

Denmark: Doubling Off-Shore Wind

To get an additional 1,500 MW of wind power, Denmark will open bids soon

Deep In The Heart Of Renewables

Prices and output for solar & wind power are competitive with natural gas in Texas

Google Friends Smart Grid

Google antes up for lobbying to shape smart grid regulations

January 29, 2013

Experts Mull Washington's Climate Mojo

Environmental, corporate & media pros weigh in on what Washington can do about climate change

Media Mulls Obama's Climate Mojo

MSNBC looks into the President's climate action powers and the environmental movement's role

Smart Grid, Grok That

By mimicking the human brain, a new device could make the electric grid smart

Beijing: Stay Home

Another day of dirty air leads officials to urge Beijing residents to stay indoors

Oak Park: Smart Grid Test Bed

Oak Park, IL wants to control its energy destiny and volunteers to be a test bed for a resilient smart grid

Energy Sector Shortchanges Innovation

Despite the challenges of climate chaos & decarbonization, the energy industry ranks low on R&D spending

China: Power From Heat

China taps process waste heat to create electricity as part of its overall lower-carbon energy strategy

January 28, 2013

LEED Loather

The LEED rating program for federal buildings is attacked by the Taxpayer Protection Alliance

Urban Heat Islands Blobs

The impact of city heat could be felt 1,000 miles away

Superfund's Silver Lining

Is a Superfund designation for the Gowanus Canal affecting the neighborhood's warp-speed transformation?

Update On Commercial PACE Loans

While banned in the housing sector, PACE loan programs for energy efficiency upgrades in commercial buildings are on the books in 28 states

UK: Cashback For Energy Effiiency

Cashback, a controversial UK program to upgrade home energy efficiency, is launched

Antarctica: Shackleton Returns

A descendant of explorer Ernest Shackleton goes with MBA students to Antarctica to study climate change and business opportunities

Europe Loves Offhshore Wind

2012 saw the installation of 1,166 MW of offshore wind in European countries

January 26, 2013

Brooklyn Builder Goes Passive

Get comfortable with the near-passive house plans for a Wisconsin cabin done by a Brooklyn designer

Power Water

What is the hydroelectric potential of New York City's drinking water supply?

Boulder Power: A New Era

What lies ahead for the Boulder Colorado go-it-alone electric power utility and its renewables goals?

January 25, 2013

Ferry Service Stays Afloat

NYC East River ferry routes will remain in service until at least 2019

The Metrics Of Power Forecasting

Every two years California regulators predict how much electricity the state will need and the role of energy efficiency, but are they using the right metrics?

Climate Inside The White House

Speculation about how the White House could coordinate its climate action effort

Japan: Go For Global Wind Market

Replacing mechanical with hydraulic systems, Mitsubishi aims for 10% of the world's offshore wind power business

Davos: Renewed Climate Focus

Climate action reappears on the agenda the this year's meeting of international elites in Davos

Emerald Green Exports

The UK tries to meet its renewable energy targets by importing wind power from Ireland

Sustainable Urban Systems

Get introduced to the latest research on sustainable urban systems that applies industrial ecology to the development of cities

The Climate Funnies

This is what humor is for

Better Batteries, Not Yet

If better batteries are the silver bullet for clean power, why haven't they been invented?

January 24, 2013

Japan: 25x20 Not

Japan walks away from its target to cut GHG emissions 25% by 2020

Be Prepared

A peek into how corporations and insurers are growing their climate resilience

Ukraine: Inks Big Shale Gas Deal

The Ukraine and Royal Dutch Shell agree to explore for shale gas in a deal that could be worth billions

Science At Work - Melting Glaciers

New work on ancient Greenland glaciers and current observations add to climate worries

Gov's Plea To Sandy Victims

Governor Cuomo urges homeowners swept away by Sandy to move to safer places

2012 - Who's Got The Green

The latest ranking of LEED certified buildings state by state

$9.5 Billion x 25

Tapping into on-bill financing, utility energy efficiency spending could soar to $9.5 billion a year by 2025

Trust But Verify

Environmentalists respond to the President's Inaugural climate remarks

Gowanus Superfund Update

State officials offer a plan to rid the Gowanus Canal of its legendary pollution load

January 23, 2013

Australia: State Carbon Tax

In keeping with federal climate policy, New South Wales will retain its carbon tax until 2020

Apply For The Gig

Announcing New York City's Request-For-Proposal to develop and operate the NYC Clean Technology Entrepreneur Center

UK: Mass Solar Legal Action

Solar power companies sue the UK Department of Energy for business losses resulting from retroactive subsidy cuts

Citizens' Climate Data Brigade

A shout out to the unsung citizen scientists and who gather much of the data official climate science needs

Federal Prospect For Energy Efficiency

Senator Boxer (D-CA) proposes legislation advancing building energy efficiency as a key climate action

New DOE Chief

Ashton Carter is a front runner to replace Stepen Chu at the Department of Energy

Andes: Massive Glacier Melt

Andean glaciers, the source of drinking water for millions in South American cities, have melted 30-50% since the 1970's

Decabonize The Cloud

Energy wonks -- weigh in on how to shrink the carbon footprint of building data centers

Sigma Six: Energy Efficiency Tool

How can Sigma Six, used to improve manufacturing businesses, help upgrade building energy efficiency?

January 22, 2013

The Ocean Is Not Like A Bathtub

While sea levels will rise due to global warming, some places will get more flooded than others

China: The Airpocalypse

Government inaction is being blamed for China's sickening air pollution

Nuclear Reactor Risks Languish

Evidence emerges that US authorities were warned on risks of common-cause nuclear reactor meltdowns years before Fukushima

Mainstreaming Microgrids

The lessons to be learned about building robust microgrids are a silver lining in Superstorm Sandy

Charletson W. VA: Ready, Set...

Charleston West Virginia neighborhoods gear to to compete for top dibs in saving energy

UK: New Way To Catch The Wind

A suction bucket could be the newest way to anchor off-shore wind turbines

Loving LEDs

Long-lasting, energy efficient, but pricey, LED light bulbs are starting to find their market and a gravity-powered generator

EU: Carbon Market Woes

Plunging price signals from the EU carbon trading scheme broadcast a market in crisis

Light And Shade

Here's why 114 million square feet of prime NYC office space should be retrofitted with daylight controls

January 21, 2013

Obama's Inauguration Vow

"We will respond to the threat of climate change...America cannot resist this transition; we must lead it"

Ride The California Rail Map

How can California cities & metro areas be linked by rail?

Mayors Rule

The world's mayors are a mixed bag but many public policies rest on their shoulders

We Can Capture Carbon

Pulling excess CO2 out of the atmosphere is in our reach

Wrong On Rebounding

More evidence that energy efficiency does not rebound toward higher consumption

January 19, 2013

Dear Mr. President: Climate Action Ideas

With four years to go, there is so much you can do to combat climate chaos

Microgrids For Lovers

Learn a lot by getting into the microgrid energy storage weeds

South Ferry: Still In Ruins

No telling when 30,000 straphangers a day will next use the devastated South Ferry subway station

Psst - Want To Buy LIPA

Burdened by billions in debt, Governor Cuomo's plan to sell Long Island's electric utility could be a heavy lift

High Performance Building Tips

Three energy efficient upgrades to put on home building or improvements to do lists

January 18, 2013

Putting Spine Into Wind Power

Prospects improve for 7,000 MW of Atlantic offshore wind to power the east coast

Learning From Cedar Rapids

A landscape architect reflects on what New York can learn from Cedar Rapids, Iowa about flood recovery

Rebuilding Hoboken

Just one-square mile big, Hoboken floats new flood-proofing ideas

Green Is Sexy

Environmentalists are hot over prospects of Ed Markey as the new Senator from Massachusetts

The Climate In Albany

What climate actions should top Albany's to-do list this year?

EU: Wasted Energy Efficiency Funds

A grim tale of how the EU wasted funds meant for upgrading energy efficiency in older buildings

Aberdeen: Saving By Distributing

Aberdeen residents save 50% on their energy bills with a distributed power system, will other UK cities follow?

Drama For Obama

Climate & energy action advice for the President

Japan: Wind Ahead

Japan plans to build the world's largest wind farm off the coast of Fukushima

January 17, 2013

Asia: Urban Air Pollution

Beijing has no monopoly on alarming air pollution in Asian cities

Germany: Offshore Wind Woes

New offshore wind power capacity, key to Germany's post-nuclear energy strategy, hits turbulence

Bullish On Renewables

Goldman Sachs, a leading investor in renewable energy, sees better times ahead

Beijing: Blame For Monster Smog

A Chinese scientist cites government inaction and state-owned utilities as blameworthy for the smog that smothered Beijing

The Shrinking Green Beat

With the end of the environmental desk at the New York Times, the nation's top 5 newspapers will have fewer than 10 reporters dedicated to covering the field

Make Something New: Electric From Water Vapor

Scientists invent a thin film, which curls up when absorbing water vapor and generates an electric current

Why, Oh Why

Dave Roberts blogs on what Theda Skocpol misses in her post-mortem of cap and trade legislation & looks ahead

Portland: Infrastructure At Your Feet

Portland, Oregon re-purposes underused street spaces for managing stormwater runoff

January 16, 2013

Why Cap And Trade Failed And Health Care Passed

A must read interview with Theda Skocpol on the broken politics of the US environmental movement (and a link to her study)

UK: Energy Policy Delays Cost Jobs

Government foot-dragging on energy efficiency hurts UK workers

Warming To Climate Action

A recent survey finds public support for climate action that crosses political lines

Beijing: Pollution Pix

NASA satellite photos reveal Beijing's sky high air pollution

Australia: 100x23

Here is how Australia could satisfy all its power needs with renewable energy in a decade

Political Scientists

Reviewing The Geek Manifesto, climatologist Roger Pielke, Jr. doubts that scientists are specially equipped to succeed in politics

Swept Away

Superstorm Sandy swept away many of the remaining natural barriers that protected northeast cities from wind and water

Science At Work -The Land/Sea Link

Australia's extreme heat wave is linked to a warming Indian Ocean

The Jersey Shore

The first leg of a multi-state Atlantic wind transmission project will start off the Jersey shore

January 15, 2013

Not Great Expectations

Climate change is taking a global economic toll, but don't expect global action anytime soon

UK: Home-Sweet-Amphibious-Home

Make a splash with this video about the design for floating, flood-proof homes

Amazonia: Smart Metering

3,400 smart meters help prevent theft of electricity in Brazil's Amazonian city of Parintins

January 14, 2013

A Lot Hotter

A map of coming summertime heat trends around the nation

Science At Work - Sea Level Rise

Spend some time working through this discussion and its implications

Hotter Is Happening

Watch the video & see what humans are doing to the planet

The Climate Blame Game

Are big environmental organizations' working assumptions to blame for failure to pass a federal climate law? To quote the President, "You can’t change Washington from the inside”

Executive Action Now

Getting Obama action on climate change is the focus of a Sierra Club campaign

Never Get Lost

Get ready for NYC way-finding maps that make it easier to get to your destination, on-foot

Resilience: A Rising Sense Of Urgency

Reactions to NY's proposed climate adaptation report trend toward the need to act

Less Seattle By 2050

A map projecting the impact of climate change on Seattle in 2050 shows areas and infrastructure lost to rising sea levels

We Need A Carbon Tax

The Washington Post editorializes in favor of a federal carbon tax as the tool to fight climate change, while solving budget woes and Joe Romm comments

China: Renewable Energy Leader

Investing $67.7 billion in renewable energy last year, put China on top in this financing sector

Spain: Oldest Nuke Plant RIP

Owners of a 1971 vintage Spanish nuclear power plant will shut it down in July

Beijing: Probing The Air Pollution Alert

Without fuel-switiching, Beijing's sky high air pollution levels could become the new normal

L.A. Pilots Congestion Pricing

With federal money rejected by NY, Los Angeles launches a congestion pricing program

The Law: Harmonize Green Patents

Why is harmonizing international patents for green tech inventions a good idea?

January 12, 2013

Relocate Out Of Harm's Way

New York developers locate critical building systems to help them survive the next Sandy

January 11, 2013

Smart Tech For Energy Efficiency

The technology is here now to make strides on everyday energy efficiency

Beijing: Don't Inhale

Beijing resdients are warned to stay indoors to avoid inhaling hazardous levels of polluted air outdoors

Have A Heart

The Times Square Valentine's Day installation will be made from Sandy salvage materials this year

Take Me To Your Energy Leader

A brief bio of New York's first-ever Energy Czar

Benchmarking: Just Do It

It can't be said too often, benchmarking residential building energy performance will be a game changer

Science At Work - Climate Sensitivity

Look into ongoing research about a key climate science prediction tool

New York Times Climate Desk

The New York Times pulls the plug on its 9 person climate reporting team

January 10, 2013

World Bank: New Climate Focus

The new president of the World Bank seeks a strategy driven by climate change concerns & risk experts see climate impacts as a major global economic threat [ClimateWire $ub]

Sustainability: Our Challenges

Jeffrey Sachs explores twelve none-too-easy challenges the world must tackle on its path to sustainability

A Little Less Hotter

Dig into reactions over the UK Met Office revision to projected global temperature increases through 2017

Where Carbon Storage Would Count

Does storing carbon emissions from natural gas-burning power plants promise real climate-saving potential?

Gov's Green A-List

Upping climate resilience & cutting greenhouse gas emissions caps are top Cuomo environmental priorities

Old Green, New Tenants

Two LEED-EB rated office towers score big new commercial leases

Think Differently

Apple seeks to patent a device that can tap into wind power stored as heat on demand

Cutting Edge Wind Power

A public private partnership advances state-of the art wind turbine technology

Raising The Bar On The Wedges

Does the seven wedge blueprint for stabilizing the global climate still stand up?

January 09, 2013

India: 22 x 22

What's the current status of India's goal to install 22 gigawatts of solar power by 2022?

EU-ETS: Rock Bottom Prices

The price of carbon emissions permits in the EU-ETS is on track to keep falling due to inaction on oversupply

Obama's Climate Summit

The rumor is the president plans to host a national climate summit

Crowd Sourcing Funds Solar

A California deal to crowd-source funding for a PV project is done in one day

A Climate Tax Convert

Tom Friedman's red alert as the US hurtles toward an avoidable climate and a financial precipice

Obama 2: Who's In The Wings

Get the buzz on environmental and energy leadership prospects for Obama's second term

China: Rising Solar Capacity

China plans to install 10 gigawatts of solar power this year as the industry upgrades by acquiring thin film PV technology

Science At Work - Sea Level Rise

New research clarifies some sea level rise controversies

New Sandy Aid Supporter

A Mississippi Congressman who opposed federal aid to NY metro areas for Sandy recovery visits Staten Island and changes his mind

January 08, 2013

France: Sun Salutation

France moves to save its solar power sector by upping targets and financial support

The Word Of The Year

Why "resilience" should be the environmental buzz word of 2013

Regional Climate Progress

There's good climate action news at the subnational and regional scale, but globally it's not enough to ward off climate chaos

Friendly Persuasion 101

Tips and insights about how to succeed in making people adopt climate-friendly behaviors

China: EV Stock Shines

With China's announcement in support of electric cars, stock prices for an EV auto-maker go up in Hong Kong

Microsoft Goes For The Gold

Microsoft leases 220.00 square feet of space in a LEED Gold office tower

Canada: Carcinogenic Oil Drilling

Chemical testing of lakes near Canadian oil sands fields finds rising levels of cancer-causing pollutants

First EPA, Next DOE

Following Lisa Jackson's departure from the EPA, Secretary Steven Chu is expected to leave the Department of Energy

Cuomo v Utilities v PSC

Slamming power companies & his own oversight agency for post-Sandy performance failures, Governor Cuomo will be proposing new legislation

January 07, 2013

2012 Highs

In 2012, 362 US hot weather records were broken but not one cold weather record & ditto for cities

Germany: Storing The Wind

A German electric utility pilots electrolysis to store wind power for peak use periods

Finland: Stay Warm Via Computer

Waste heat from a data center is used in a district system to keep Finnish homes warm

Sandy's Lessons For B Schools

The Financial Times writes that MBA programs must update curricula cover climate risks and business continuity

Doc Diagnoses Climate Health Threats

There's more than one way that the chaotic impacts of climate change put people at risk

Pigou And The Carbon Tax

Who is Pigou and what's he got to do with Grover Norquist?

Australia: PM On Summer Scorcher

Australian Prime Minister Gillard links the searing summer and bush fires to global warming

The Cuomo Climate Menu

New York State has a menu of hard and soft suggestions to enhance resilience in the face of climate change, but no price list

January 04, 2013

Fact Checking: Birds, Bats And Wind Farms

Wind turbines are engaged in mass slaughter of the world's birds and bats, not!

Sandy Trumps Trump

A Donald Trump beachfront development proposal is history due to Sandy

Green Energy Tax Breaks

There is something for everyone for green energy & efficiency programs in the federal budget deal

Global Trend: Urban, Dense And...

A the world gets more urban and more crowded what are the prospects for sustainability?

Wind Power - Politically Intermittent

While greens cheer the one-year extension of tax breaks for wind power, it's no model for a long-term policy

Renewable Power Doesn't Hurt Consumers

Research finds no correlation between consumers' electric costs and whether a state has mandatory renewable energy requirements

Global Carbon Markets Tank

The value of world carbon emissions permit trades and offset credits plunged 36% last year

Energy Data Sprouts

An industry emerges to analyze building energy performance data and improve their efficiency

January 03, 2013

Poland: 6,000x20

Opening its first wind farm, Poland starts on a path to get 6,000 MW of wind power by 2020

Fossil Fuels Far From Cliff

Oil and gas industry subsidies remain untouched in the fiscal cliff deal

Barcelona: Building With Algorithms

Math tools maximize the sunlight in this Barcelona pavillion

Delay Will Be Dear

The longer the world delays in taking effective climate action, the more it will cost later

The Media Climate

Trends are mixed in media coverage of climate & weird weather

Grease Caper In L.A.

Were thieves who stole cooking grease from a Los Angeles MacDonald's planning to sell it to biodiesel refiners?

Beware The Fossil Curse

The shale gas boom and its payoffs are real & they could create all kinds of problems

Dear Mr. President

The MIT Tech Review implores Obama to tackle climate change as a top priority

Cities By Starlight

Picture a Gotham that's eliminated light pollution

January 02, 2013

Germany: Solar Soars

German installation of solar panels far outstrips government goals

Smart Tech For Smart Cities

From wi-fi in subways, to energy efficient building to real-time displays for traffic and weather data, 25 ideas for smarter cities

UK: Wettest Year Ever

Rainfall in Britain in 2012 set a record and flooding was commonplace. Seal seen 50 miles inland

Bi-Polar Power Prices

As the cost of making electric power drops, the price of transmitting it soars and this has system-wide implications

EU: Carbon Permits Pay Off

$1.6 billion in revenue from the EU carbon trading scheme will fund 23 renewable energy projects

Diversity Amps Up The Power

Growing racial and ethnic diversity in the US environmental movement means political and policy wins

Global Cities Get Together

C40, a climate-committed coalition of global cities, gets new members including Singapore, Oslo, Vancouver, Venice & Washington

Not Blown Over The Cliff

The wind power production tax credit got a one year extension in the fiscal cliff deal

Green Biz Trend-Spotting

Seven predictions for the 2013 urban green energy tech trends to watch

NY's New Solar Tax Exemption

Now, New York businesses are exempt from taxes for buying & installing solar energy systems