Iceland may have the most publicized program for geothermal hydrogren potential, but it turns out, a lot more places have it too. Reno, NV, nestled against the hot-spring filled Sierra, is laying out plans for hydrogen production to power the city’s busses. Excess H2 could be sold on the open market, making the operation a potential tax saver for area businesses.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair has listened to angry parents and is calling for better school meals for their children by announcing a series of plans to swap junk food for ‘organic and local’ fresh meals. Blair acknowledges for the first time the strength of parental anger about the fatty, sugary processed diet on offer in many schools, saying that school kitchens will be rebuilt and equipped so dishes can be cooked from scratch. Read story.
Puget Sound Energy (PSE) is donating one million kilowatt hours of power to “help needy households pay their energy bills.” The donation comes in the form of renewables, by purchasing green tags from the Bonneville Environmental Foundation to subsidize the non-renewable energy they are giving away. The free power comes in honor of their one-millionth customer. Serving half of all Washington households, PSE has found a way to celebrate this significant milestone in a manner most companies find quite elusive: By combining corporate social responsibility with green business.
There are so many state and federal incentives to encourge renewable energy, it’s hard to keep track of them all. Fortunately, DSIRE has come along with a comprehensive website listing and categorizing incentives by state. There is also a library of additional information to help guide you and your company. (via Curt Rosengren)
In a country where the demand for oil is outpacing rises in its price, China may become the next hub of the hybrid. With 200,000 alternative fuel vehicles currently in service, China is already among the world’s leaders in non-petrloeum powered vehicles. Combine a 76% rise in the Chinese auto market with an economy that may one day allocate as much as 15% of its total GDP to pollution-based illness, and one must wonder how China can afford NOT to go hybrid.
Pax World Funds dumped its 5th largest holding, Starbucks, after the latter refused to reconsider a venture with Jim Beam Whiskey. Holding onto their principals, Pax said Starbucks “forced their hand”. It will be interesting to see what, if any, effect the sale causes in Starbucks’ policy and share price. (Pax)
South Africa has launched its first ever sustainable solar community. The development was one of fifteen projects chosen for the Global Warming Conference in Kyoto, Japan to exemplify how nations can grow and prosper while minimizing emissions of greenhouse gases at no additional cost. With the Kyoto Protocol placing increased global attention on sustainability, sun rich areas such as Africa and the Middle East may see a proliferation of such projects. Clean Edge dot com (sited in the previous posting) projects a nearly six fold increase in the solar industry over the next ten years.
Clean Edge dot com, a company that helps investors, industry, and society understand and profit from clean technology, has just released their 2005 report on clean energy trends. Download the report here.
Albeit with a twist of irony, Canada has succesfully struck a voluntary agreement with the “Big Three” U.S. auto manufacturers to reduce emissions by 25% from 1995 levels by the year 2010. The irony: This is essentially a carbon copy of the California emissions reduction law passed last year, which is now so mired by industry lawsuits it may never see the light of day. On Canada:
No other government in North America has ever gotten the car industry to come forward with a voluntary agreement that forces them to do technical changes they weren’t already planning to do.
said John Bennett of the Sierra Club. What enables Canadians to succesfully negotiate what Californians can’t?
According to a report released by Clean Edge, Inc., an energy research and publishing firm, the growth for solar power, wind power, and fuel cell markets combined will be from $16 billion in 2004 to over $100 billion by 2014. If this isn’t a HUGE business opportunity, I don’t know what is! Read about it.
“Big Box” retailers, (like Wal-Mart) come with all sorts of positive conveniences and negative externalities. But when one closes down, leaving a vacant suburban hulk in its wake, it’s hard to see the benefits. Nonetheless, enterprising businesses & groups have been successfully re-using abandoned big box stores to the benefit of their local economy and at a substantial cost savings. Julia Christensen’s website has more.
We mentioned the coming of hybrid railways a few days ago. But now, this venture has a name, and a lot more coverage. RailPower Technologies’ Green Goat is a hybrid locomotive designed for switching yards. The Green Goat reduces emissions considerably, and actually costs less than a standard diesel switcher – Canadian Pacific expects to save $4Million annually by acquiring 35. Wired Magazine has more.
Valencia, Spain recently launched an entire fleet of busses which are running on a type of bio-diesel derived from oil collected at the city’s restaurants. The result – a waste product gets reused at no cost to businesses & the city saves money while improving self-sufficiency. (gracias Pablito)
Sustainability Zone has an interesting idea: What if auto-makers were required to install a visible mileage tracker on the dashboard of every car sold? Chances are, people would generally get more consious about their driving habits. It’s a potential example of a light-handed approach to encouraging change. (via Worldchanging)
Water may become the new oil, as scarcity and pollution make a guaranteed clean supply harder to come by. In case you didn’t use Google this week, Tuesday was World Water Day, a UN sponsored event to recognize the challenges we’re facing to ensure ready access to clean water. Some excellent articles to broaden your perspective are here on The Future is Green.