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News & Views Curation

October 31, 2014

Going But Not Gone Yet

Money Flows In Energy Politics

No? Really!

UN: Which Way To Zero

While a net zero carbon emissions goal by 2100 is the UN's policy recommendation, you're on you own about how to get there

E Pluribus Unum Grid

Prospects brighter for creating a unified national electric transmission grid

Power Africa: Maybe Not

President Obama's program to bring new, cleaner electricity to African nations faces domestic opposition & more

Sydney: Government Efficiency

Sydney's lighting its public spaces with 4,100 LEDs, saving taxpayer dollars with energy efficiency

Worth Quoting

"The most fateful time in a law’s life is not the fight to get it passed but the implementation afterward. I think activists and advocates sometimes forget this and tune out after the victory party" Dave Robers/Grist

Solar Worries

Are problems at the industrial-scale Ivanpah solar power plant start-up snafus or is low output a sign of something worse?

Storage Innovation For Renewables

Because wind & solar don't happen 24/7, innovations in energy storage technology are key to growing reliance on renewables

October 30, 2014

China: The Great Wind Power Rush

Will China's wind power boom, with up to 20 GW of new energy this year, outlast a government incentive program?

Sourcing Sea Level Rise

Scientists identify sources rising sea levels, 1/2 from melting ice, 1/2 from warming oceans

The Newest Generation Gap

Under 35's really favor renewable energy, over 65's big fossil fuel fans finds U. Texas poll

Fossil Fuel Not Throwing Shade

Even with low fossil fuel prices, the solar power market is rising

Denialst Tool: Fomenting Doubt

Borrowing from the tobacco wars, climate change deniers start by sowing doubts about the science, but it's anti-regulation politics that steer the enterprise

Meet Adam Bryant

What can New York Times readers expect from Adam Bryant, the new climate beat editor?

It's Always Something, So Be Prepared

How to protect NYC's people & infrastructures for surviving the next Big One, whatever it is

Robin Hood - Biggest Sandy Donor

The Robin Hood Foundation $1million donation to Sandy relief makes it the top corporate or foundation giver

October 29, 2014

Denver: Benchmarking For Tomorrow

The Denver City Energy Project can capture the opportunities in energy efficiency, starting with benchmarking

Canada: Missing Renewable Prospects

The rising demand for renewable energy in developing nations could leave Canada's fossil fuel market far behind

The Attitude-Action Gap

Millennials rank high on climate concerns but don't vote in large numbers

Wales: Tidal Lagoon Power

What is tidal lagoon power and will Wales want it?

Holland: Big Box Solar

Now, Dutch Ikea stores sell solar panels for home installation

Sandy 2 Years After: Storm Surge Science

Sandy's devastating storm surge sheds light on climate change impacts & how to build a safer future, especially in coastal areas

Sandy 2 Years After: Public Confidence

Survey of 70 New Yorkers finds 70% don't feel safe from the impact of future storms & floods

Sandy 2 Years After: Don't Rely On The Red Cross

The Red Cross response to Sandy was deeply flawed reports Pro Publica

NYC Subways Safest For Women

Of 16 global subway systems NYC's is the safest for women in terms of being groped, flashed or worse

October 25, 2014

And Then There Was One

NPR cuts its environmental reporting team to one

October 24, 2014

NOLA Benchmarks

New Orleans starts benchmarking energy use in 92 municipal buildings

80x50 In NYC

A bill to cut NYC GHG emissions 80% by 2050 gets its first public hearing

China: Carbon Trade Market Update

Stiff fines set for the Chinese carbon emissions trading scheme but carbon caps remain a work-in-progress

NY's New Microgridder

The NY Power Authority starts to reinvent itself for th 21 Century

EU: 40x30

Despite some member opposition the EU agrees to steeper GHG cuts, 40% by 2030 raise its renewable energy and efficiency targets

Clashing Solar Scenarios

Are utilities warming to PV power to grow it or to kill it off?

Portugal: Renewable Power Player

How did Portugal become a global renewable energy leader?

Grid Heads - Plug In Here

Standford University launches a journal dedicated to rethinking the power grid, lots to learn

October 23, 2014

China: Coal Use Dip

Could the 1-2% dip in Chinese coal consumption signal a new energy trend?

EU: Add Autos To Emissions Trading

A draft EU 2030 climate & energy policy says member states can choose to add road transport in the EU ETS

European Utility Woes

Europe's big utilities face unprecedented turbulence as the old profit paradigm shfits

A Sea Change in Florida

The City of South Miami, deploring state inaction on sea level rise, passes a resolution to become the 51st state

Climate Bonds For Risky Business

to to make climate polluters pay

Insuring For Climate Damage, Not

The insurance industry mostly ignores climate-change when calculating risk

More Heat Than Light

Claims that energy efficient lighting in the developing world will only lead to more energy use are misleading

EPA Carbon Rule And Renewable Energy

The EPA could be way underestimating growth projections for clean energy in its carbon emissions rule proposal

October 22, 2014

MA Leads On Energy Efficiency

Where does your state rank on the energy efficiency list? NY slips to #7

Food For Thought: Tomorrow's Infrastructure

75% of 2050's infrastructure has not been invented yet, think of the sustainable city opportunities!

Not A Walmart Ad

It's a fact, Walmart has more installed solar power than 35 states

NY Green Bank Up And Running

First deals for the New York Green Bank

EU/US: Urge Stronger Warming Warnings

The forthcoming UN IPCC climate report should contain stronger warnings about the consequences of uncontrolled climate change, say EU & US envoys

Beijing: Don't Inhale

Science At Work: Cheaper Solar Cells

By using less silicon or lower grade silicon the price of next generation solar cells could drop sharply

Like A Frog In Slowly Boiling Water

For 335 months straight the Earth's temperature has been above average

Eluding The Utility Death Spiral

What should utilities do to avoid the dreaded death spiral? Instead of viewing ratepayers as passive sources of cost recovery, utilities ought to view them as, y’know, customers writes Dave Roberts

October 21, 2014

Public Opinion, Persuasion And Policy

Does public opinion matter when making public policy on climate change?

2013 Carbon Emissions

Not hopeless, but far from what's needed and what drives global trends

India: Don't Blame Home Electricfication

Increased home electrification causes only a small fraction of India's rising carbon emissions

Build A Bigger BART

Here's how Bay Area Rapid Transit will expand around San Francisco Bay

Expect Solar Changes

Expiration of federal investment tax credits could lead to corporate consolidation in the solar industry

Geothermal Energy Prospects

Is it all over for geothermal power?

Milan: Breathtaking Green Design

Bonn: Carry-Through On UN Climate Talks

Upcoming UN climate talks in Bonn will be the first test of international momentum since NY Climate Week summit

World's Worst Climate Villains

What does it take to be such bad guys?

October 20, 2014

Mysterious Death Of An Urban Gardener

Inspiring urban greener, Morgan Powell, found dead, City medical examiner investigating

Where Science And Policy Don't Meet

Although rising ocean temperatures are a sign of global warming, setting lower temperature targets makes bad climate policy

October 17, 2014

Pathways To High Performance Housing

Today, UK builders can use BREEAM, Passive House or EnerPHit to make housing very energy efficient

New Delhi: Most Polluted City

Home to some of the dirtiest urban air on the planet, India launches an air quality index to inform the public when pollution spikes

Q/A With SolarCity CEO

What's the SolarCity business model for getting to 40% solar power market penetration by 2040?

Greenpoint Park To Do Double-Duty

Green, leafy open space and flood protection are co-benefits of an upcoming waterfront park, part of a Greenpoint development project

Climate Views In Florida Race

What distinguishes the climate views of the two campaigners in the Florida Governor's race?

EU: Climate 40x30 On-Tap

An EU agreement to cut GHGs 40% by 2030 could come next week, although national concerns remain

The Limits Of Climate Economics

Why economists can't predict the costs of cutting carbon & protecting our climate -- and why that must not delay taking action

More Than Zero

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge might get its first pedestrian/bike lane if advocates prevail

October 16, 2014

Don't Say CC In Florida

A climate hawk's big buck campaign fund attacks Florida's climate-denier Governor without using the words "climate change"

Cheap Solar Power Makes Greener Tea

Cheap, utility-scale solar power coming to Georgia as a result of an environmental-Tea Party meeting of the minds

Energy Efficient Manufacturing Winners

11 US manufacturing firms are recognized by the federal government for their energy efficiency achievements

Weather Forecast

Another winter with the polar vortex, but maybe less bad than last year

We Built New York All Wrong

Threatened by rising sea levels, New York City's low lying residential areas and infrastructure need new ways to be made survivable

Shedding Light On The NY REV

A crisp & clear summary of current thinking about the REV, New York's radical remaking of the rules governing utilities like Con Ed

UK: Order A Dozen Eggs Mini-Nuke Plants

To combat climate change, the UK should build dozens of mini-nuclear power plants, urges an ex-government minister

October 15, 2014

Tour de Bronx

Can't make it to the Tour de France? Cycle 40 miles in the Bronx on October 26

Johannesberg: Green City Innovator

For Johannesberg's green urban leadership, what's good for the city is good for South African growth

Rather Be In Philadelphia

Philadelphia Mayor Nutter announces a citywide competition to save energy in Philadelphia’s largest buildings, propelled by the momentum of its Energy Benchmarking Law

Homes Warm To Solar Power

US homeowners are getting almost one gigawatt of solar power via purchases, leases & more

All About Passive House

Got 90 seconds?

EU: Too Cheap To Matter

The price of EU carbon emissions permits, due to oversupply & a weak economy, may stay too low to change anything

The Next International Climate Treaty

The US POV on what kind of climate deal should emerge from the 2015 Paris meetings

Climate-Friendly, Not Utopian

Evidence is mounting for how to grow the US economy in a climate-friendly fashion

The High Performance Bullitt

October 14, 2014

Hot And Hotter

Scientists report April-September 2014 was the hottest April-September on record

Julia Roberts Is Mother Nature

Watch this

Desert Solar Project Dessicates

A project to create solar power in African & mideast deserts & transmit it to Europe fails to deliver for shareholders

India: The 16 Cent Solution

India's electric utilities will offer households LED bulbs for 16 cents a pop

The Giant Battery Test

A $54 million energy storage pilot program in California could prove the value of battery technology to making renewable power the new normal

EU: Healthy Energy Choices

Factoring in health & climate costs, on-shore wind power is the EU's cheapest power source

The Pentagon's Climate Roadmap

The Pentagon reports that the chaos of climate change poses threats to US national security and now it has a response plan

Nobel Prize Winner On Climate Negotiations

Jean Tirole, the 2014 Nobel Prize winner in Economics, analyzes how to strategically advance international climate agreements by confronting the free-rider problem

Summer In The City - A Preview

It's not a minute too soon to start planning for summers in a hotter, more grid-stressed NYC

October 11, 2014

Tomorrow's Fuel Sippers

Today's EPA research should translate into tomorrow's more fuel efficient vehicles

October 10, 2014

Parks Should Be For People

The NYC City Council has a chance to make most of Central & Prospect Parks car-free zones

Domesticate Your House

Five home energy hogs you can tame

Global Climate Talks Clue

Could this Peruvian Minister's comment be a clue about where the US is headed?

Antarctica: Icing Up (Part 2)

Here's more, it's complicated & not the last word

Canada: Keystone Pipeline Looks East

Think the Keystone XL pipeline plan is toast? it's not

Lego To Stop Playing With Shell

Responding to a Greenpeace campaign the toymaker Lego will not renew a promotional with Shell, but when?

The Red Hot 2 Degree Debate

If over-shoooting the 2 degree C global temperature rise as the point-of-no-return is inevitable, what should climate policy makers do?

Lincoln Center Goes Renewable

As part of its greening plan the Juilliard School at Lincoln Center installs rooftop solar panels after signing a wind power purchase deal for other buildings in the arts complex

South Africa Inks Nuke Power Deals

After signing a deal with Russia, South Africa signs another deal with France for a total goal of 9,600 MW of nuclear power capacity

October 09, 2014

Green From 9-5

Nine high performance office buildings that make working better

Blame Your Cat

Cats kill more birds every year than wind turbines

Antarctica: Icing Up

Climate scientists offer an explanation for why Antarctic sea ice is at record highs, despite a warming planet. Here's more

Red Hook: After The Flood

Take a virtual tour of a Red Hook home renovated to meet post-Sandy building codes

Japan: Solar Slump

The recent slump in Japan's appetite for installing new solar power capacity could become permanent with utility push back on grid access

Cogen - Believers And Others

Despite the many advantages of cogenerating heat & power, not all doubters have been won over

The Daily Flood

Live in an East Coast city? Expect floods to become a regular thing

October 08, 2014

Glasgow: 1st Carbon Disinvestor

The University of Glasgow is the first European school to dump its fossil fuel investments

US Influence Abroad

Voters divided over US influence on climate action by other nations

Banking On Energy Storage

Why are Citigroup, HSBC & UBS so bullish on energy storage technologies?

$310 Billion Of Good News

The global market for energy saving devices is valued at $310 billion & is making a measurable impact on energy use

Climate Change In 2014 Elections

Yes, climate change appears on the 2014 Congressional campaign trail

Calling All Microgrids

What can solar microgrid advocates learn from the cell phone revolution?

Stomping On FERC

Want to do something evil (cripple energy demand reduction programs)? Wrap it inside something boring (a federal appellate decision striking down FERC Order 745). This is important, just click on the link and read patiently

Times Restores Its Climate Beat

The New York Times reverses itself, resuscitating its multi-reporter climate team

October 07, 2014

US: Not In Top 10

Could Be The Next Cable Network

Is an aerial tramway to connect Manhattan and hip parts of Brooklyn & Queens more than pie in the sky?

Australia: Pension Fund Dumps Coal

LGS, a top Australian public pension fund, to sell off its coal assets, citing climate change as a big investment risk

Carbon Pricing: Pitfalls And Promises

Experience with pricing carbon suggests cutting costs of renewable energy is also needed for climate action

Germany: Energiewende's Win-Win

Despite significant upfront costs, the German transition to clean energy will be a big win for the economy & the climate

...All Around The Town

Mayor de Blasio directs $130 million in public funds for the repair & upkeep of 35 overlooked parks and playgrounds

Alternate Energy Prize Winners

The inventor of a solar panel that doesn't need sunshine & another inventor who applies artificial photosynthesis to make hydrogen share a million dollar prize

Will Work For Carbon Tax

Putting a number on the job-creation potential of a federal carbon tax

Saved From The Death Spiral

How electric cars could reboot the utility sector

October 06, 2014

NYCHA Residents Cool To Mayor's Energy Efficiency Ideas

Some NYCHA residents don't put improved building energy performance at the top of their to-do list, taking issue with the Mayor's climate action agenda

Assessing EPA's Carbon Plan

The proposed EPA Clean Power Plan is a step in the right direction, but that's all

In Hot Water

Evidence points to faster heating of Southern Hemisphere oceans since 1970 than previously thought

Japan: Anti-Solar Utilities

How Japanese power utilities seek to limit solar power gains

Japan: Anti-Solar Utilities

How Japanese power utilities seek to limit solar power gains

Contending For Climate Dominance

Compare contrast the Klein & McKibben climate narrative that of Gore & Stern

See Solar Power 24/7

Artist John Gerrard installs a 28' x 24' LED computer simulation of a solar thermal power plant at Lincoln Center's plaza

Science At Work: Climate Sensitivity

How much warming is produced by a given amount of GHG added to the atmosphere?

Imagine - From Spofford To Sustainable Housing

Majora Cater imagines transforming a now-shuttered Bronx youth detention center into sustainable, affordable housing

October 03, 2014

Climate Week Must-Reads

Check out these five business-themed reports issued during Climate Week 2014

Plug-Load Energy Slurpers

As building systems like HVAC & lights get more energy efficient, the amount of energy used by gear plugged into outlets becomes clear

Cheaper Off The Grid

HSBC predicts German homes with solar panels and battery storage could get their electricity cheaper than from the grid by the end of the decade

Australia: Investors Flee Renewables

A government review of its renewable energy policy is blamed for a 70% investment plunge in one year

Caveat Emptor

Not all green bonds are created equally green

Subway Stations - Not So Good

An audit by the state Comptroller finds only 51 of NYC's 468 subway stations are in good shape

Enough With The Messaging

Forget finding the right message for conservative climate-deniers, they won't be converted

London: ET Phone Home Via Solar Box

Old-fashioned phone London booths are repurposed as free public charging stations for cell phones & other digital devices

The Solar Condo Concept

Some day residents & businesses might buy individual solar panels that are part of a big array, rather than putting PV on their own rooftops

October 02, 2014

Boston: Microgrids And The Law

Legal eagles see a way forward for microgrid projects in Boston

Koch Brothers Buy Kansas

The Governor of Kansas supported wind power until the Koch Brothers changed his mind

Post-Sandy Neighborhood Survey

Two years after Sandy it's time to find out if NY'ers feel safer now

Clean Energy Investment Up

After 2 years of decline global clean energy investment rises 16%, lead by China & Japan, but weighed down by by European numbers

Science At Work: The Hot Cold Nexus

Are cold winters linked to global warming? is a hot research topic

Climate Refugees

It's time for international law experts to devise a legal status for climate-induced displaced persons

We Have Met The Enemy...

October 01, 2014

Morocco: Big Solar Investment

The World Bank approves $500 million for two utility scale Moroccan solar power installations

Counting Climate Marchers

Is there a reliable way to count the number of people on NYC's People's Climate March?

That's Chill

Despite industry objections the Department of Energy stands by its new energy efficiency standards for commercial coolers & freezers

Something About Republican Candidates

Bob Beauprez, Republican candidate for Colorado Governor, stands his climate-denialist ground

Net Zero The Next Building Frontier

Will net-zero carbon emissions become the new standard in the commercial building market?

Poland v EU On Carbon Targets

The EU carbon cutting target of 40% by 2030 is deemed too high & costly by coal-reliant Poland

Science At Work: Urban Heat's A Killer

Research details the distribution of risk factors for heat-linked urban mortality

What The Data Says

Key findings of the 3rd annual NYC Benchmarking Report on building energy use

Where Manhattan Floods