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News & Views Curation

August 29, 2014

Solar Panel Hit Record

Global sales of solar panels up sharply from last year with installations expected to reach a record 52 gigawatts in 2014

Energy Behavior Change 101

Start with attention-grabbing media messages

NY Energy Innovators

Missed the 4th Annual On Energy Forum? Here's the video

Lifetime Carbon Emissions

Since power plants operate for decades, measuring their carbon footprint should be in decades

August 28, 2014

Fossil Fuel Disinvestment - Yes/No

What should investors do about this $5 trillion challenge asks a Bloomberg New Energy Finance White Paper

China: Bike Share Is Big

Of the world's 30 biggest city bike share programs, 24 are in China

Solar For All

Consider these state programs for putting solar power in everyone's reach

Australia: Renewables U-Turn

A political battle is brewing over whether to pull the plug on Australian renewable power policies & goals

Benchmarking Data Mining

What could utilities & energy efficiency program staff learn from building energy benchmarking data?

28-Page US Climate Action Plan

Federal legislation that puts a price on carbon gets star treatment from the Washington Post

White House Pushes Back

The White House counters critics of its non-treaty strategy for the upcoming international climate talks, but some Dems are not happy

Wouldn't It Be Nice...

... if global power plant construction & CO2 emissions were declining? They're not

The Premise Behind A Carbon Tax

For Harvard economist Dale Jorgenson a carbon tax is the most efficient way to cut carbon emissions. Why is that?

August 27, 2014

Climate Week: Day One

September 28, be there or be square

UBS: Fossil Fuel Power Going Extinct

Banking giant UBS says the end is near for the era of centralized fossil-fueled power plants

Sydney: Uni Halves Coal Investment

The University of Sydney, Australia joins the coal disinvestment movement

Neutral News From Palo Alto

What The World Needs Now

Shut down all coal-burning power plants ASAP

Follow The Smart Money

$11.2 billion of utility sector investment in smart grid services could be in play by 2023

Japan : US Firm Does Solar

Aiming to install 250 MW of new solar power in Japan, US solar panel maker starts with a $100 million investment

Paris Climate Talks: What To Expect

While the upcoming Paris climate treaty meeting might be a triumph of hope over experience, despair is premature

Hot Off The REV Press

No time to read hundreds of pages of NY's Reforming the Energy Vision staff reports?" Read this and see what's to gain with a shift to distributed energy resources

August 26, 2014

We're ****ed

Runaway global greenhouse gas emissions risk “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” says UN

Superfund Status Is No Problem

Proximity to Superfund cleanup sites is no deterrent to gentrification for these 3 NYC neighborhoods

3 Million Places To Waste Energy

The bulk of today's 3 million data centers, are energy guzzlers but they can do better

NY-Sun Rises

The NY-Sun Initiative will assemble $1 billion of incentives to add 3GW of solar generation capacity by 2023

New Hampshire Voter Alert

If elected, Scott Brown, Senate candidate in New Hampshire, won't act to fight climate change

China: Billions For Plugging In

China contemplates a $16 billion fund for a network of electric vehicle recharging stations

Demand Destruction

Defining demand destruction, how it differs from energy efficiency & why that's important

Lead With The Facts

A call for ramping up media attention on climate change facts & the dangers we already are facing

August 25, 2014

Sidewalks Hot Enough To Fry Eggs

Urban heat islands are no joke

WaPo: Ciimate Action Now

The Washington Post launches a series of editorials calling for serious federal climate action because the need is urgent

Big As The Path To Extinction

Will traditional utility companies go extinct in the face of distributed power creation & storage assets?

Help Wanted

How you can use satellite photos to fight urban air pollution

World Wind Power Portrait

While European wind power leadership is no surprise the numbers on China's installed capacity is

August 23, 2014

Triple-Glazed Windows

Are they right for U?

Di Caprio Calls For Pricing Carbon

On the remote chance you missed Leonardo di Caprio's ardent call for pricing carbon video, watch it now

August 22, 2014

Impact Of Urban Heat Islands

Why the urban heat island effect does not skew global climate change measurements

Germany: Energiewend's Next Steps

German transition to renewable energy sees both opportunities & challenges

Riding The Green Line

The back story on the new Minneapolis-St Paul intercity light rail line

NYC Ephemera

A postcard celebrating the NYC subway system circa 1904

Fight The Oil Train

Albany County hires environmental law firm to defend its moratorium on expanding crude-oil handling facilities at the local port

Scotland: Steaming Ahead

A tide-powered steam generation proposal raises millions to install 1.5 MW project in the Pentland Firth

Commuting Doesn't Have To Suck

Make your day better, walk, bike or use mass transit to get to work

Grim GHG Outlook

Upcoming UN talks have low prospects for cutting enough GHG emissions by 2100 to alter bad climate outcomes

Where The Heat Is

August 21, 2014

$100 Million For Climate Resilience

USAID & the Rockefeller Foundation establish a $100 million fund to develop resiliency-enhancing programs in Asia & Africa

Charting Solar Progress

NY Green Bank Czar Profile

Across the US the New York Green Bank CEO is getting noticed

Tower Of Deep Retrofits

Cutting energy use by 38% with an ROI of 3 years the Empire State Building deep energy retrofit offers can-do ideas for other projects

Phnom Penh: Smart Traffic Lights

Can the wild traffic of Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh be tamed by linking its traffic lights together with a computerized central control station.?

Public Spaces On Resilient Waterfronts

Urban watefront access does not have to be lost to storm and flood risks

Uncle Sam Wants You

Will the US military campaign for energy efficiency impact on civilian climate attitudes & national security?

Brazil: Eco-Activist Runs For President

Marina Silva, a former Green Party member, is in the running to become Brazil's next President


See how NYC recycles its waste paper into new products in just under 4 minutes

August 20, 2014

Storyboarding The Climate Tax

Follow the discussion

Natural Gas - Just Another Fossil Fuel

True or false? natural gas is a bridge to a low-carbon fuel future

L.A. Anti-Leak Law Leaks

Laws requiring water conservation in drought-stricken Los Angeles go unenforced

China: The Car Cult

With auto sales leaping 20% annually China's starting to pay the price for it

Chinese Who Don't Learn From US Urban Land Use Errors...

...Are doomed to repeat them

Coal: Down And Declining

Reduced Chinese coal demand brings global prices down to 2009 levels & may be facing a structural decline

Global Cities: The Climate Penalty

How climate change will make urban smog smoggier

Microgrids For NY

Rather than threatening NY's power utilities, customers' microgrid subscriptions can rejuvenate them

Rise:NYC - The Short List

See who's made the final cut in the Rise:NYC Competition to identify/deploy new technologies and solutions that drive business recovery and resilience by better protecting us from the impacts of future storms, sea level rise and other effects of climate change.

August 19, 2014

Demand Response - Just Do It

Chicago's energy savings could be powered by office building protocols for demand response

South Asia: Climate Change Will Shrivel GDP

The Asian Development Bank predicts an 8.8% decline for the economies of 6 south Asian nations by 2100 under a business-as-usual climate scenario

Malaysia: Time Is Now For Low-Carbon Future

Making the case for Malaysia to go low-carbon & climate-friendly

PVs: The Glut Is Over

First global solar panel shortage in years

The Campaign Season

While running for re-election, Florida Governor Rick Scott, a climate skeptic, meets with climate scientists

Something New Under The Sun

Innovations in solar project finance are warming up big-ticket investors

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

It's an e-bike and Europeans are flocking to get one

Getting REV'ed Up

Don't miss this new blog about New York's Reforming the Energy Vision, because it's no longer grandma's energy system

August 18, 2014

Passive House Not Loved By All

What's not to love about a Passive House-level rehab of an old Queens row house?

Solar Installer IPO

Who is Vivant Solar and what's its model for going public?

Science At Work: Warmer Water To Shift Rainfall

A poleward shift of heavy rainfall is projected to result from hotter oceans

Gas Pipeline Wins In Court

A federal court upholds a regulatory OK for a siting gas pipeline compressor in Minisink, NY

How About That July Heat

Passive House - The Slide Show

A house that's 90% more efficient than yours looks like this

Methane Update

Six times more climate-changing than carbon dioxide, methane emissions are getting more attention now

Bringing It All Back Home

Could investing in domestic infrastructure upgrades be the key to bringing corporate tax revenues home?

August 15, 2014

The Talk-To-Action Gap

Why everyone talks about climate action but so little gets done

August 14, 2014

Australia: Be Prepared

An advisor to Australia's Prime Minister worries about a lack of preparedness for global cooling and guess who's to blame?

Not All LEDs Are Created Equal

How to choose the right LED lights

Stockpickers For The Apocalypse

There's a method to the madness of picking stocks that bet against seven climate & resource apocalypses

A Carbon Price Thought Experiment

Stop US corporate inversions by cutting corporate taxes & raising carbon levies. Hmmm?

More Fuel From Food Scraps

A pilot program that turns food waste into natural gas fuel is set to expand in NYC this fall

A New Kind Of Moving Violation

NYC police to start ticketing cyclists for breaking rules of the road

Antarctica: Threat To Megacities

Melting Antarctic glaciers could quickly translate into New York and Shanghai flooding, while uncertainty over how much sea levels will rise only increases the risk

August 13, 2014

Beijing: Cooling On Coal

So far this year Beijing has burned 7% less coal & China will ban the sale and import of high-ash/high-sulfur coal starting September 1

CO2 Satellite Up and Running

First findings from NASA's brand new carbon dioxide monitoring satellite

A Question Worth Asking

Will de Blasio and Cuomo make sustainability a higher priority?

NYC Recycling At 25

Part 2 and Part 3 of the Natural Resources Defense Council history & look-ahead for NYC's venerable recycling law

PACE Lives In California

CaliforniaFirst allows for home energy efficiency & solar power loans up to $75,000, backed by a state insurance fund covering losses to lenders due to PACE property liens

Getting Active On Passive Housing

Whether for affordable or market-rate buildings, New York is getting serious about leading with Passive House design

Energy Efficiency - Looking Up

Four factors driving an energy efficiency renaissance

Micro Nano Grids

How to make buildings the masters & power grids the servants

August 12, 2014

Copenhagen: Smart Lights Do More

Copenhagen's smart lights field lab finds there's more than just slashing carbon emissions

Consumers Report On Teslas

The highly-rated Tesla EV shows some flaws after 10,000 miles of driving

Probably Not Photoshopped

NYCHA's Structural Crisis

With pressing demands for affordable housing and plunging public dollars NYCHA's annual $577 million utility bill and projected structural, heating & plumbing repair costs of nearly $3 billion stand in stark relief

Science At Work: Not Your Grandma's Arctic

A rapidly warming Arctic is filled with surprises for scientists

Pipelining The Truth

The Keystone XL pipeline project will worsen climate change, really

This Can't Be Good

Rising mercury levels in the ocean linked with the burning of fossil fuels

August 11, 2014

Less Solar States

Why some sunny states like Florida aren't solar power stars

In Defense Of High-Speed Rail

How the depressing New York Times high speed rail story got it all wrong

Top Ten Solar States

With California as the #1 solar state, find out who the other top nine are

Fossil Fuel Sell Off

What explains why oil and gas companies are selling assets & borrowing so much money?

Wind Power: Mainstream Finance

$621 million in Japanese finance for UK offshore wind power shows the mainstreaming pf renewable power projects

The Short History of Pay To Sit

When private seating in NYC parks didn't have legs!

East New York: Urban Farming Takes Root

How urban farming eases the food desert crisis in communities like East New York

New Tack For Eco-Progress

The Nature Conservancy tries out a high-tech persuasion to get China to share its environmental data

UK: Nuke Plant Old Age Not Golden

Plant shutdowns due to mechanical problems is a sign of what's ahead for the UK's fleet of aging nuclear power plants

August 08, 2014

Fracking For Something Else

Tapping geothermal energy could be a climate-friendly hydrofracking application

Your Local Dead-Zone

PACE For Pasadena Hotel

A $6.9 million county-backed PACE bond will help finance an energy efficient hotel in Pasadena, CA

Brazil and China: Climate Pals

Under the banner of developing nations Brazil and China seek to reframe the international climate agenda

In Praise Of Cheap Subway Fares

3 reasons why NYC should continue to subsidize the price of subway & bus rides

A Reset For Climate Normal

For people born since 1985, an altered climate is experienced as normal

Macon It Green

Which tree-lined & flower-filled block in Brooklyn wins this year's prize?

August 07, 2014

Plugging Into The 100-Year Flood Plain

Deny The Deniers

Edelman is the first US public relations firm to refuse new climate denial business

Offshore Wind Update

Momentum builds for US off-shore wind power projects

Frankfurt: Passive House Hospital

Hospitals are especially energy intensive, and a passive house architect takes on the first design challenge of its kind in Frankfurt

Take a 4 Minute Vacation

Stunning time lapse video of Sequoia/Kings Canyon National Park

China: 13 in 14

13 gigawatts of installed solar power is China's 2014 goal

May The Best Idea Win

8 semi-finalists announced in the MIT CoLab challenge for proposals for creating public demand for green buildings

Brooklyn Navy Yard Goes Green

How Superstorm Sandy pivoted the Brooklyn Navy Yard and its business tenants toward sustainability

August 06, 2014

When Money's Not The Metric

Why declining global investment in renewable energy might be good news

Higher Ed: Grow Endowments, Go Green

Invest in campus energy efficiency, conserve the endowment fund

Don't Say We Can't

Glacial Pace For High-Speed Rail

$11 billion hasn't bought much high speed rail in the US

An Inconvenient Marriage

Can cities get rail project funding without supporting highway funding?

Out Of Sight, Out Of Mind

New York sewer projects set to lose funds because rebuilding the Tappan Zee bridge for $4 billion is more glamorous

Beijing: Short-Game And Long

Beijing cuts vehicle traffic to clean its air ahead of November's Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit but also vows to be coal-free by 2020

An Icon For Our Times

Do something now!

August 05, 2014

IMF: Price Carbon

The IMF makes it clear, 'we must make sure that energy tax systems around the world properly reflect environmental side effects'

China: New Solar Policy

Looks like China is looking into increasing domestic PV installations

Coal Industry's Biggest Headache

Hint: it's not the EPA

3-Prong Renewable Project

Hot rocks + solar panels + mirrors = ~100% renewable power for Fallon, Nevada

India: Smart Grid At Home

A smart grid in Indiranagar, India will be able to shut off home electric appliances & figure out who's using too much ppower

GOP Climate Policy Blows Smoke

In Memoriam Via Street Stencils

Bike riders & pedestrians killed on NYC streets are mourned with spray-painted stencils

Reopen Rockaway Rail Line

Restoring rail service to the Rockaways, shut since 1962, is advisable & feasible according to the NYS Comptroller

August 04, 2014

Japan: Shift To Enery Storage

Sharp Corp. exits the PV business and pivots to energy storage products to cap US peak demand

Assesing Corporate Sustainability

While McKinsey finds executives buy into sustainability, programmatic reputation, execution, and accountability remain underdeveloped

From Dallas To Houston Much Faster

If a private developer succeeds, a Japanese bullet train will speed riders from Dallas to Houston by 2021

Courting A Grid Edge Decision

Ohio's Supreme Court will decide whether to uphold a state rule entitling net-metering customers to the full value of the electricity they feed back into the grid from distributed generation technologies

Germany: Renewable Energy Highs

With 28.5% of its energy produced by renewables at last count, Germany sets a new record in 2014

Taking Out The Trash

New York still lacks an acceptable waste management strategy & why that matters

Geoengineering: Gee Whiz Or OMG

What is geoengineering and why should climate & energy policy makers want to know?

PR Shuns Climate Deniers

Prominent public relations firms to refuse work from climate deniers

August 03, 2014

Climate Sloth

There is just no excuse for making excuses

August 02, 2014

UK: Opening Carbon Loopholes

The UK wants to cut costs for heavy industry's clean energy responsibilities

August 01, 2014

Utility Ranking On Efficiency & Renwables

Russia: Energy Efficiency, Not

Amended 19 times since 2009, key problems still plague Russia's energy efficiency law

White House Blog: Climate Insurance

When it comes to climate change act now, each decade of delay will add 40% to the mitigation price tag, depress economic output every year and could create irreversible tipping points

IMF: Tax Carbon Now

The head of the International Monetary Fund urges nations to tax fossil fuels now, calling climate change the greatest crisis of our era


The 100% renewable energy scenario for California by 2050 that relies on off-the-shelf technology

Japan: Energy Data Partners

Opower teams up with Japan's giant utility to mine customers' energy data & cut consumption

Australia: Wave Power Sinks

Called commercially non-viable, a proposed 19 MW Australian wave power project is doomed

Denmark: Cheap Wind

By 2016, Denmark predicts onshore wind power will be the nation's cheapest energy source