Resources & Information related to Clean Technology, Recycling, Renewable Energy, Green Buildings and more.

GM Brazil plant photo

GM Opens LEED Gold Plant in Brazil

GM announced the opening last week, of its latest LEED Gold engine factory in Joinville, Brazil — the first LEED Gold automotive plant in South America. The plant features a 350 kW solar CHP array that provides enough electricity to handle all the lighting for both the factory floor and the offices. That’s equivalent to powering 220 homes. At the same time, it heats 15,000 liters (3,962 gallons) of hot water per day.

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Costa Rica May Keep Carbon Neutrality Goal

“Costa Rica opposition group says to scrap 2021 carbon neutrality target,” reads the headline of a recent Reuters news article. Standing on its own, the headline is accurate. However, lacking context, it could be misleading, causing readers who don’t venture beyond the headline to conclude Costa Rica will be dropping its goal of achieving carbon neutrality completely. That isn’t the case.

Method Chicago manufacturing plant

Method Breaks Ground on Its First U.S. Factory in Chicago

Eco-friendly cleaning supply company Method is known for pushing the envelope even in the sustainable business community: encouraging a work culture of “weirdness” to keep employees happy and recycling plastic litter from the Great Pacific garbage patch into product packaging. Now the San Francisco-headquartered company is working on another cutting-edge initiative, unveiling design plans for its first U.S. manufacturing plant that it hopes will be the first LEED Platinum certified factory in the consumer packaged goods industry.

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Ridesharing Firms Struggle to Meet Needs of Americans with Disabilities

Like many living in San Francisco and other major cities across the United States, I have come to rely on transportation network companies (TNCs) such as Lyft, Uber, and Sidecar to get me around town. TNCs have revolutionized the way many of us get from Point A to Point B, but not for all of us — not yet, anyway. There is a small but significant group that has long been let down by public transportation — the disabled community — and TNCs are struggling to break this trend.

electric vehicle

Toyota i-Road Electric Vehicle Expands to France

The ingenious Toyota i-Road electric vehicle car-share program is ideal for urban commuters and is now under testing in Aichi, Japan in self-service vehicle-sharing stations. Now, there are plans to deploy nearly 70 vehicles in the town of Grenoble in the French Alps, for a three-year test, starting at the end of 2014.

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Wind Energy Protects Water Security, Says Report

How do we measure water usage? Well, one way, says wind energy experts, is in our power. The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) and its counterpart in Europe, EWEA, share stats on where that precious water is really going — just in time for U.N. World Water Day.

enerco

Investment Fund Launches Model For Energy Efficiency Financing

“What is missing in the energy efficiency industry is akin to what is allowing solar to take off now,” says Mike Gordon, CEO of Joule Assets, “There has been no ability to create investments, which can be re-bundled and sold to investors down the line.”

UK carbon reduction goal

Big Ben May Get a Solar Face Lift

In an effort to reduce carbon emissions by 34 percent by 2020, the U.K. Parliament may add solar panels to Big Ben in an iconic solar installation.

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Cut the Cord On Your Utility? It Could Be Possible Sooner Than You Think

With performance improving, production volumes rising and costs on the decline, the combination of solar PV and intelligent battery storage systems — dubbed “utility in a box” — will enable more and more electric utility customers throughout the U.S. to cut the cord linking them to utility grids and usher in the end of the centralized electric utility business model, according to a new study.

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Smarter Energy: Zero-Down Financing For Intelligent Power Storage

Developments are coming hard and fast and events unfolding quickly in the U.S. energy storage and power markets. Evidence that intelligent energy storage-demand management systems are primed for commercial use, TIP Capital and Green Charge Networks announced zero-dollars-down financing for new commercial, industrial and municipal customers to deploy GCN’s GreenStation platform.

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ConEd’s Energy Storage Program Will Allow Renewables to Offset Nuclear

A lot of attention has been focused on the Indian Point nuclear plant, in Buchanan N.Y., just 38 miles from New York City. The license for Unit 2 actually expired last September, and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo would like the plant closed.

In the meantime, ConEd and the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA), have developed a program to reduce energy demand, reducing the need for generating capacity and making the prospect of eliminating the plant more feasible.