windturbine01

Chinese Grid Connectivity Lets Wind Lag

China’s installed wind capacity is the second largest in the World, and their growth rates continue to dwarf those of developed nations. Yet wind energy still makes up a very small portion of Chinese energy production because 1/3 of it isn’t connected to the grid, and the other 2/3rds are heavily restricted. The problems hint … Continued

feat-sierra-koch

Sierra Club to Koch Brothers: How About a Debate?

Public debate is a privilege of democratic society and holds the potential for idea exchange and constructive dialogue. Done properly it can broaden minds, promote new perspectives and spark creative solutions. It can also be a heck of a lot of fun! I was therefore encouraged to see an open challenge on Facebook from Michael … Continued

wisconsin legislature suspends wind power siting rules

Wisconsin Legislature Closes the Door on Wind Power

In an epic case of bad timing, last week the Wisconsin legislature abruptly suspended the state’s new rules for siting wind farms. The rules were set to take effect on March 1 after having been worked out in a public process over two years, with hundreds of stakeholders involved. The move threatens to halt the … Continued

used under CC 3.0 license with permission of Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz

Momentum Dynamics: Passive Charging Could Be Key to EV Adoption

Most cities will be installing EV infrastructure in the next year. But according to Momentum Dynamics CEO Andrew Daga, that infrastructure might be lacking a key component needed for broad EV adoption by consumers: passive charging systems. President Obama plans to have 1 million EVs on the road by 2015 driven mostly by consumers.  Industry … Continued

transalta

TransAlta Coal Plant to Close, But Don’t Hold Your Breath

TransAlta, the last operating coal-fired plant in the Pacific Northwest, is shutting down, but not until 2025 under a deal brokered by Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire with TransAlta, state regulators and environmental groups. It’s a phased closure of the controversial 1,600-megawatt plant in Centralia, WA that accommodates corporate needs, a long environmental battle and economic … Continued

feat-hawaii

Hawaii as a Microcosm in the Study of Peak Oil

Hawaii became the last state to enter the union of the United States in 1959, but may become the proverbial canary in the coal mine for the U.S. in the transition to a clean economy. The state’s isolation presents both challenges and opportunities for its policy makers and business community on the energy front. On … Continued

Wall Street and Lower Manhattan, at night as seen from Brooklyn

Ceres: SEC Climate Change Disclosures Need More Work

Recently Ceres concluded that while large companies that register with the SEC have overall improved their climate change risk disclosures in recent years, more work needs to be done. Most public companies are still very vague about risks associate with climate change, despite the SEC’s directive issued last year.

ECO:Nomics - Creating Environmental Capital

A Risky Strategy: Government Clean Tech Venture Funding and Social Impact Bonds

The element of risk is part of every investment.  Some investments are more risky than others. There is no guarantee that any given investment will be successful.  Let’s take a look at two ways government intervention attempts to mitigate investment risk, Government Clean Tech Venture Funding and the proposed Social Impact Bonds. How do these … Continued

Title Page from The Story of Citizens United

The Story of Stuff Team Takes on Citizens United v. FEC , Corporate Citizenship

There is not a single U.S. Government policy issue that makes my blood boil more than “corporate citizenship.” In case you are not familiar with the concept, corporate citizenship is a legal doctrine, under which corporations are perceived to have many of the same Constitutional rights as flesh-and-blood American citizens. The somewhat obscure issue came … Continued

smart_growth

EPA: Smart Growth Developments Enjoy Stronger Resale Appreciation

By Tracy Taylor Not only are smart growth communities good for your quality of life, they are good for your pocketbook as well.  According to Market Acceptance of Smart Growth, a recent report by the EPA, smart growth communities not only see stable market prices over time, but they often see greater retail appreciation than … Continued

Lord Anthony Giddens

Lord Anthony Giddens: The Four Mistakes of Green Growth

The Economist wrote in March 2010 that climate change doubters are right when they state that uncertainties are rife in climate science, but they are wrong when they present this as a reason for inaction. Any uncertainty presents risk. In terms of climate change, those risks are well known, even if we cannot know for … Continued

AeroVironment Develops World's First Fully Operational Life-Size Hummingbird-Like Unmanned Aircraft for DARPA.

Using Biomimicry, DARPA Creates Hummingbird-Like Spy Drone

If I had to pick a favorite U.S. Government agency, TheDefense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), would be it. It has a cool-sounding name and has worked on fascinating projects such as the Internet, developed GPS, held the über-cool DARPA Grand Challenge, and is currently working on interesting tech, like the ominously-named DARPA Silent Talk … Continued

methane

Cleaning up the Coal Mine Industry: Coal Mine Methane

Boyd Cohen, CO2 IMPACT Last week in this column I wrote about a real “clean coal” solution, torrefied wood.  While I truly believe torrefied wood holds significant potential to assist in phasing out coal burning in power plants, coal is here to stay for a while, whether we like it or not. Surely there are … Continued

Visualizing Chinese Energy

Apropos of last week’s post on US Energy Research Dollars, we present another WellHome that gives us a look at China’s energy use. As the fastest growing segment of the developing world, China’s current and future energy usage and resulting environmental impact cannot be understated. The infographic below gives an outline of the current state … Continued

Energy Research Dollars Visualized

Something fun for your Friday, originally posted on WellHome: Government spending on alternative energy is quite small compared to the amount of money Americans spend on a variety of non-essential products and services. Consider this juxtaposition. What if even a small portion of our spending on the below were instead invested in our energy future? … Continued