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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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.
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.
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.
“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.”
The sold-out March 5 auction reestablished a higher CO2 allowance price and yielded nearly $94 million for reinvestment across the nine Northeastern and Mid-Atlantic states that make up the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).
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.
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.
Last Friday, a group called the Environmental Policy Alliance (EPA, what else?) released a bombshell report claiming that LEED-certified buildings “actually use more energy than uncertified buildings.”
A new report on Illinois clean energy shows the power of community choice aggregation: 91 communities now have 100 percent renewable electricity, and Chicago and others are beginning to use more renewables, too.
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.
The clean tech market exploded in 2013, and experts expect this year to be even bigger. To make sure you don’t miss a thing, this week we rounded up 8 clean tech trends to watch in 2014.
Carbon capture and storage technologies, designed to reduce emissions, are getting a better reception in the U.S. than in Europe, according to Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM), a Norwegian firm that tests the technology. A CNBC report based on interviews with TCM executives says the U.S. is a “more welcoming place” for CCS technology, at least at the moment, because Europe is recovering from a debt crisis and recession.
Last week, Tesla announced that it would build a new “Gigafactory” to produce lithium-ion batteries at a rate able to support the manufacture of 500,000 electric cars per year. Additionally, documents filed with the SEC indicted that some of the batteries will be used for “stationary storage applications,” or storing energy for use in homes, commercial sites and utilities.