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News & Views Curation

March 31, 2014

Indonesia: Geothermal Power

An Indonesian geothermal power project advances with a US investment of $254 million

Climate Change In Context

Consider the IPCC's climate impact projections in the context of global inequality, but don't entirely despair

Houston - We Have Problem

There is no Amazon, Apple, Facebook or Google in the US energy industry and here's why this is a problem

IPCC Report - The Wordcloud Version

Florida: The Power-Power Link

A close look at a Florida electric utility bill reveals a lot about politics in the state capital.

Two For The Road

Two electric-powered taxis are working NYC streets, out of a 50,000 for-hire vehicles

UK: Green Bank Wind Investment

£460 million in UK Green Bank funds go into two offshore wind projects still in development, rather than to in-use facilities

For Whom The Bridge Tolls, Not

Fare-beating soars on the Henry Hudson Bridge

March 30, 2014

Turning Over A New Leaf

The unfinished epic of bringing a new clean energy invention to market

March 29, 2014

Meet Michael Mann

Climate scientist Michael Mann is the man on the front lines of the carbon wars

On TV: Years Of Living Dangerously

Rave review for an 8-part TV series on climate change, starting April 18

March 28, 2014

UK: Medical Journal Calls For Climate Action

Calling climate change-linked global health risks an 'emergency', the British Medical Journal calls for taking responsibility & taking action

Crazy-Making Climate Calculations

What drives economists nuts when calculating the costs of climate change as part of global policy making?

Science At Work: Ocean Acidification

Here's a new website about the science of ocean acidification, because what happens in the water doesn't stay there

Solar Price Parity In Minnesota

Minnesota regulators order utility to be prepared to purchase power from new solar arrays if prices are competitive with natural gas-fueled plants

Facebook - The Next Generation

Solar-powered drones are Facebook's vision for delivering tomorrow's Internet

In Praise Of Glass Houses

A short picture history of glass houses and a reminder that we don't know how to occupy them eco-responsibly

Catch The Wind

Discover where America's wind farms have been built since 1975

Australia: Deep-Energy Upgrade Fund

Australia's 'green bank', the CEFC, creates a $100 million fund for deep energy retrofits of commercial buildings

More Power To Benchmarking

Urban energy benchmarking laws hold the promise of improving building energy code compliance, finds IMT report

March 27, 2014

Science At Work - Warming Noise v Signals

Michael Mann researches the differences between regular, long term temperature fluctuations in the northern hemisphere and climate change signals (Note: Abstract is free, but full paper is not)

Climate Deniers Run Their Mouths

The story of one target of a climate-deniers' hate mail campaign

Five Questions For Climate Science Educators

Five answers about why the new AAAS climate science public outreach campaign could succeed

Bullish On Microgrids

Investment analysts see bright prospects for global growth of microgrids

Save Electric Car Sales

It's a bad move for states to ban direct sales of Teslas to consumers, says the New York Times

Energy Efficiency: The Two-Penny Deal

Using data for 45 state energy efficiency programs utilities spend two cents per kilowatt-hour (kWh) of power saved & that translates into huge lifetime conservation gains

Poland: Polling Renewable Power

A switch to renewable power & energy independence from Russia is favored by 88% of Poles polled

Scotland: A Wee Dram

Now there's an alternative to single-malt scotch, locally-sourced Scottish wine

Portland: Take A Talking Bus

Portland, Oregon rolls out 'talking buses' to step up pedestrian safety

March 26, 2014


Hyperbolic Coral Reef

OK, this hand-crochet wonder has just about nothing to to with urban sustainable systems, but don't miss it

BC: The Carbon Tax That Works

British Columbia's carbon tax, pegged at $30/ton of emissions, is a success & here's why

A Guide For The Energy Perplexed

Here's a primer on renewable & fossil energy to help you navigate today's debates

Idea Ownership

Who are the five biggest holders of smart grid patents and what assets are involved?

PACE Lives

PACE, the loan program for home energy performance upgrades, returns in California with a state mortgage loan loss reserve fund

Israel: The Secret To Dust-Free Solar Panels

Robots armed with microfiber mops keep solar panels dust-free & high-performing in the Israeli desert

Frankfurt: Bank Tower Is A High Performer

By cutting energy & water use and shrinking its carbon footprint a renovated Deutsche Bank building re-opened in Frankfurt, lives up to expectations

Sandy Response Gear MIA

The whereabouts of $1.2 million in Sandy recovery equipment is unknown, according to a New York Comptroller's audit

March 25, 2014

IPCC Report: Raising Resilience

The latest IPCC report is expected to focus more on workable resilience measures and less on prediction-making

The Global Carbon Budget

The global carbon budget in graphic form and ways not to bust it

Another Reason To Get An EV

If car ownership & home ownership are part of your life, here's a reason to get an electric vehicle

Germany: Renewable Energy And The Economy

If German renewable energy policy makes power so costly, why is German heavy industry doing better than its neighbors and staying at home?

The Valley of Death Problem

The cautionary tale of one bio-fuel energy start up

Smog Kills

Worldwide, air pollution kills more people than AIDS or diabetes, with China at greatest risk

EU: More Air Polllutors

Air pollution in 11 EU nations exceeded EU standards in 2012, up from 10 the year before

MA Dems Talk Gas Tax, Carbon Tax And More

Five Democratic candidates running for Governor of Massachusetts speak about energy, climate & transportation

Look Who's Buying Green Bonds

The growth spurt in green bonds attracts new classes of investors

March 24, 2014

Feds OK Nat Gas Export Terminal

The Department of Energy gives a conditional OK to construction of a liquid natural gas export terminal on the Oregon coast

Mega-Cities Mega-Trend

Today there are some three dozen mega-cities, so what to expect by 2040?

Share A Cab, Cut Traffic And Emissions

Here's how to reduce the number of a NYC taxi rides by 40% and shrink carbon emissions too

Full Cost Solar Accounting

In Italy & Germany full-cost accounting finds a grid parity for solar and fossil-fuel power

The Bad Astronomy Blogger Says

Weighing the utility of debating climate deniers, 'once you step off the narrow path of reality, all unreality is equally plausible'

Copenhagen: Super-Sustainable Harbor Neighborhood

Nordhavn is becoming the greenest part of Europe's most sustainable capital city

Manhatta 1921

Watch this silent film gem! and look at all that smoke & haze

Feds Fund Housing Heat

Feeling the political heat FEMA agrees to pay for boiler replacements at NYCHA housing flooded out by Sandy

March 22, 2014

Rx For Utility Death Spiral

Utilities can avoid the peril of losing customers & revenue by getting into the rooftop solar business says former DOE chief David Chu

The Latest Thing In Wind Power

Airborne wind power turbines could create electricity price competitive with conventional power

Science At Work: Follow The Heat

Why ocean temperatures are the best available way to track the world as it heats up

March 21, 2014

Call for EU-Wide Grid

To realize the full potential of renewable energy Greenpeace calls for a 'supergrid' to link EU nations

EU: Getting By Without Russian Gas

Coming soon, an EU energy diversification road map to cut its need for Russian natural gas

Australia: Carbon Tax Endures

The Australian Senate defeats the Prime Minister's plan to kill off the carbon tax, for now

Don't Be A Drip

Water is the word's greatest liquid asset and these 10 wasteful ways have got to go

It's A Bird, It's A Plane, It's A....

Traffic congestion pricing plan that might have political momentum in Albany

Citi Bike SOS

Suffering from significant revenue shortfalls Citi Bike fans hope the Mayor will come to the rescue

What the World Needs Now

$1 trillion in clean energy investments to prevent catastrophic climate change is within our reach

Smarter Cities

Today's trendy talk about urban teched-up smart cities can forget to figure out what people really need

March 20, 2014

China: The Thorium Option

China gears up to be the first nation to build a thorium-fueled nuclear power plant

White House Not Green House

Tension rises between the White House green guru John Podesta & environmental groups over climate and energy policy, but White House ready to plug methane leaks

Holland: How Bikes Won The Day

A brief history of why biking is the thing to do in Dutch cities

States' Rights Wrongs

Find out which states ban or restrict the ability to have GHG emissions rules stricter than federal limits

Resolved: US Universities Should Disinvest From Fossi Fuels

YEA, Bob Massie and NAY, Robert Stavins

Designing Urban Resilience

Architects, developers & the USEPA explore practical visions for 21 century coastal cities like NY

The Breezy Point of Tomorow

Will Breezy Point be rebuild with storm-safe home designs like these?


Cost Of Regulation - Routinely Overestimated

US utilities have a long history of overestimating the costs of environmental regulation

UK: Carbon Tax Cut And Freeze

Citing a concern for utility customers, the UK cuts its carbon tax rate 40% & freezes it in place

March 19, 2014

Japan: Rising Cheap Coal Imports

Japan's carbon emissions rise as it imports more low-cost coal instead of pricier LNG, in this post-nuclear power era

How To Fund Energy Upgrades

PACE financing for commercial buildings, the 90 second summary

UK: A Green And Pleasant Land, Not

What's happened to England's green energy aspirations?

A New Kind Of Battery Recycling

When an electric vehicle dies there could be a new life for its battery

Raiding The MTA Piggy Bank

Don't add dollars to the state budget at the expense of straphangers chides a New York Times editorial

Take The Train To the Plane, Someday

Designs for a La Guardia Airport makeover carve out space for a direct subway link

Mario Molina: A Man With A Messsage

Meet the man behind scientists' clarion call to climate action

March 18, 2014

UK: Uni Building So Green It's Passive

A new building at Bradford University will be the first UK educational facility to meet PassivHaus standards


LEED Labels As Market Movers

Analysis of project-specific LEED points suggests developers see market value in earning a higher rating

Update On Solar Panel Industry

How big is today's solar panel-making industry and what are its cost trends?

Crossing The Carbon Threshold Sooner

Coming two months earlier than in 2013 atmospheric CO2 levels breached 400 per million in March

Shifting Solar Markets

Markets for utility-scale solar power plants could be so over

Tokyo: Meets CO2 Targets For Now

Tokyo offices & factories meet or beat Round 1 cuts in carbon emissions, but there are signs that Round 2 could be different

Con Ed Pays More For Energy Efficiency

Property owners who want to get energy efficient can get the biggest incentives ever from Con Ed

New London: The Geothermal Option

Is geothermal power ready for prime time in New London CT municipal buildings?

March 17, 2014

US Battery-Powered Gear Pollutes China

Batteries for eco-friendly US products use graphite mined in China that degrades local water & air

Honoring The Dead

Joseph Sax & David Sive, founding legal eagles of US environmentalism, have died

Wanted: More Lithium

What are lithium producers doing to meet rising demand from battery makers like Tesla?

A New Kind Of Green Bond

Toyota to issue a $1.75 billion green bond backed by electric and hybrid car loans, not assets

Grid Operator - Bring It On

PJM, the nation's largest power grid operator, is confident of its ability to transmit renewable energy

City Sharing Boosts Climate Actions

C40 is a global climate action urban network whose members have nearly doubled the number of GHG reduction and resilience programs

Freeing Trade From Climate Change

The US opposes provisions in the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership trade & investment pact, which acknowledge climate change exists & recognizes the need for cooperative action

March 15, 2014

Lots Of Gas Leaks

if you look for natural gas leaks, they are hiding in plain sight

White Goods Makers Sue City

Refrigerator & air conditioner makers got to court over a NYC law making them responsible for their appliances' ozone hole-causing coolants

Rnewables Need A Geo-Strategy

With the issue of US natural gas exports in the headlines, the Energy Gang asks why there's no geo-strategic talk about renewable power

Ask Better Questions

Did the way the Gallup Poll asked questions about what's worrying Americans undercut detecting their climate concerns?

How To Find Money

Now, owners of small to mid-sized commercial buildings can access funds for energy performance upgrades

March 14, 2014

LED Math

How much money could you save every month by switching your home lighting to LED bulbs?

Costs Of Climate Change - Kid Stuff

Only 36% of Gallup Poll respondents think climate change will have serious impacts during their lifetimes

Stop Tesla

Auto dealers in NY seek to ban direct in-state sales of Tesla electric cars

San Diego's Super Microgrid

Right on the leading edge of microgrid tech right in UC, San Diego

The Future Is Here

The Urban Future Lab, a tech incubator dedicated to sustainable infrastructure, energy efficiency & climate adaption innovation opens in Brooklyn

March 13, 2014

Tokyo: Carbon Cap and Trade

Success in the Tokyo buildings cap & trade program to cut carbon emissions is nearly all cap so far

Iceland And Ethiopia: Renewable Energy Link

Iceland, home of abundant geothermal energy, launches a project at an Ethiopian volcano to tap into its geothermal power

Climate-Proofing The Grid

What will be involved in complying with the PSC order to climate-proof NY's electric power grid?

China: Industrial-Strength Solar

Work begins on 1.1 gigawatt solar power project in northwest China

Big Data For Taxis

How can mapping a year's worth of NYC taxi trips help make industry practices more efficient?

Become A Tenant Star

Prospects are bright for federal legislation creating a Tenant Star Program to help commercial leaseholders improve their energy efficiency & their bottom line

Build It Back Didn't

The federal government blames the Bloomberg Administration for failing to distribute relief funds to rebuild Sandy-harmed homes

Albany: Crude Oil Freeze

Albany, NY's Executive slaps a moratorium on expanding capacity to process crude oil arriving by rail

Green Exits

New options for eco-friendly funerals

March 12, 2014

What Makes Us Worry

'Climate change' scores just above 'race relations' at the bottom of a Gallup Poll 15-item list of what worries Americans

Italy: Court Closes Killer Coal Plants

Two coal-fired power plants with emissions blamed for hundreds of deaths are ordered closed by an Italian court

Green Tech 101: Heat Pumps

What's the difference between air-source and ground-source heat pumps?

Don't Go Down NY's Track

New York's State-run MTA is not a good model for Chicago's mass transit overhaul

Swimming Poses Global Flooding Risk

Read The Onion all-purpose panacea

Talking Climate Persuasion

Never use the words "Earth" or "planet" to get across an effective climate-action message

Cost Of Carbon Emissions Hits High

The cost to power plants for their carbon emissions hit a high with the recent RGGI permit auction, $4/ton

Energy Politics

Russian moves on the Ukraine create a rift between pro-renewable power Germany & coal-producing, pro-fracking Poland in the name of energy security

March 11, 2014

Canberra: Capital Wind Power

Enough wind power for 80,000 homes is on tap for Australia's capital, Canberra

Climate Change - Enemy Of Energy Systems

The US GAO counts the ways climate change puts the US energy infrastructure system at risk

Worldwide: Nuclear Construction

Global Carbon Cutting Tool - Meh

Markets are losing interest in UN Certified Emissions Reductions credits as a vehicle for combating climate change

Pay Now Or Pay Later

Deferring investments in upgrading NYC's aged infrastructure will mean big, expensive headaches later on, according to the Center for an Urban Future

Securitizing PACE Home Loans

Securitization of home loans for energy efficiency upgrades, known as the PACE program, begins

Bio-Fuel From Brooklyn

With billions of bacteria working 24/7 a Brooklyn sewage treatment plant starts makinging bio-fuel by adding food scraps to it sludge

What If...

If master science-explainer Carl Sagan were alive today, could he put an end to climate-change denialism?

You Can't Win It If You're Not In It

Join the MIT CoLab contest for empowering ideas for the public & communities to build awareness and demand for green buildings

March 10, 2014

I'm Melting, I'm Melting

The Arctic Sea ice death spiral

UN: Carbon Market Efficiency

Nations must standardize carbon-cutting benchmarks to ensure carbon emissions market success

All Aboard

US mass transit ridership is at its highest level since 1956

NY-NJ Disaster Planning

Thinking about future climate change-related risks must become part of federally-funded post-Sandy rebuilding in NY & NJ

Upgrading Multi-Family Building Energy Efficiency Loans

The feds announce a program to make it easier & cheaper to get loans for energy efficiency upgrades in multi-family residential buildings

Google Goes For Clean Energy

With tax-equity financing incentives Google's invests $1.4 billion in clean energy projects & expects robust returns on its investments

UK: Natural Gas 101

Will knowing the national origin and prices of natural gas used in the UK encourage more energy efficiency?

Geneva: Electric Cars Are In

New car models at the Gevena auto expo signal that all-electric cars are mainstreaming

Solar Time Is Now

Plunging solar costs & rising solar employment, raise the rationale for this renewable power source

March 08, 2014

Solar Shines

March 07, 2014

China: Shifting The Pollution Load

New power plant plans means more air pollution for ethnic minorities in western China

Build A Better Fridge

New commercial refrigerators in supermarkets & food storage facilities will have to be 30% more energy efficient than current models

Climate Change: Argue Less Act More

Now is the time to take boost the adoption of low carbon technologies by tapping new funding sources

Natural Gas As Diplomacy Asset

The New York Times editorializes on a topic that's heating up beyond environmental circles

Warming Pause - Don't Count On It

Abundant science research accounting for an apparent pause in global warming all adds up to climate change is happening

The Daylight Savings Debate

Does daylight savings time waste energy, increase public safety or just make people cranky?

UK: 55 Million Smart Meters On Tap

What to expect for the roll-out of a 55 million smart electric, gas & water meter program in the UK

The Future Is Coming

Audrey Zibelman, Director of NY's electric utility regulating and rate setting agency, articulated the need to identify critical factors for driving change in energy development and transmission at an NYU Law School conference. She also spotlighted how clean energy will force the industry to develop in ways not currently anticipated.

Rate Hike For Citi Bikes

New York City mulls over raising fees on Citi Bikes, while dimming hopes for expansion to more neighborhoods

March 06, 2014

Climate Shills, Skeptics and Hobbyists

Words matter and it's time to retire the phrase 'climate denialist'

Energy Storage - The Fine Print

Requests for Proposals to acquire energy storage equipment are a way to discover its current value to utilities & regulators

March 05, 2014

L.A.: No Fracking

By a 10-0 vote the Los Angeles City Council approves a ban on hydrfracking until it's proven safe for the environment and human health

Utilities: Deflecting The Grim Reaper

What can a power utility do when facing a 'death spiral' brought on by the trend toward decentralization?

What Could Be Lost

Sea level rise will inundate more UNESCO world heritage sites than just the State of Liberty & the Sydney Opera House

UK: Home Energy Efficiency Participation - Meh

While participation in a UK green home loan program has been disappointing, a home insulation program has done better

Australia: What A Forecast

Australians should brace themselves for more heat, higher fire risks and worse droughts

Oakland: Crowdsourcing On The Roof

Oakland CA residents who want to install rooftop solar panels now can finance it through crowdsourcing

China: Solar Cell Maker Defaults

The first company to default on a corporate bond in China is a photovoltatic panel maker

The Open Source Grid

Working with smart grid gurus, Duke Energy wants to create an internet of power system components with open source adapters to make instantaneous grid balancing decisions

Climate Power In The White House

John Podesta is a forceful climate action advocate in the White House, with evidence in the President's new budget proposal

March 04, 2014

China: Peak Coal Coming

China's coal consumption is predicted to peak in 2020 and then drop .43% annually

Scaling Up Renwable Power

Achieving 30% integration of renewable into a nation's power grid will require a 3-part transformation of the current system

Ukraine: The Commodity Behind The Headlines

Predictions about US natural gas exports arising from the Ukraine's turmoil

City Offers $6 Million In Green Grants

Got a great greening NYC idea? Apply for a 2014 funding grant from the Department of Environmental Protection

EU: Strong Support For Climate Action

A poll in EU member countries finds 4 out-of 5 people support climate-friendly energy efficiency policies, with no country's support under 65%

Corporations Declare For The Climate

Apple, e-Bay & the Gap are just a few of the 140 California-based corporations signing on for policies to cut emissions and drive clean tech investment

Results-Based Utility Regulation

Making the case for forward-looking utility regulations based on achieving policy goals, investor security & consumer value

Greenpoint's Environmental Benefit $$$

As part of the settlement to clean up Exxon's decades-old oil spill in Greenpoint, a $19.5 million state-run fund to announce its first grants for community environmental benefits projects

Envisioning A 21 Century Power Supply

Explore America's Power Plan, a resource rich site with a wide-angle vision for developing a sustainable power supply system

March 02, 2014

Winter For The One Percent

Heated sidewalks melt snow in front of some select NYC residential buildings

March 01, 2014

The Economics Of Grid Defection

The end of the century-old electric power utility model may be closer than you think

Energy Efficiency: Grow Asset Value

Real estate industry leaders devise a 7-step process for increasing asset value through energy efficiency retrofits