Published on September 25th, 2013 | by Zachary Shahan0
Cleantech Buffet (Commercial Solar In China, Greenbuild 2013…)
A handful of US utilities have discovered they can save money by encouraging small rooftop solar projects—the same projects utility industry leaders have insisted were too expensive and unreliable to be practical.
The Chinese Energy Ministry has approved the first round of large-scale projects for on-site generation. The goal is to step up distributed solar and the roof sector, as opposed to ground-mounted systems.
Transit & Cities
Innovative and sustainable urban mobility is in the spotlight this week in São Paulo, Brazil, after the Virada Da Mobilidade (Turn of Mobility) alternative transport festival concluded yesterday. The good news from São Paulo, the largest city in Brazil, is that bicycles and public bus transport systems are emerging as top players on city streets – including bike sharing systems and dedicated bus lanes. However, locals have plenty of suggestions for how the city can still improve its transport infrastructure to make it easier for residents to incorporate sustainable mobility options into their daily lives.
Are you sure that rail “stimulates development” and that buses don’t? In a major report released today, the Institution for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) attacks this assumption head-on.
This summer, Oregon’s legislature passed a bill creating a vehicle-miles-traveled fee. For those who recognize the shortcomings of the gas tax for charging for road use, it was a big victory. But the program authorized by the state is a modest one, creating a voluntary program for just 5,000 drivers of high-efficiency vehicles.
In 1999, officials in Vienna, Austria, asked residents of the city’s ninth district how often and why they used public transportation. “Most of the men filled out the questionnaire in less than five minutes,” says Ursula Bauer, one of the city administrators tasked with carrying out the survey. “But the women couldn’t stop writing.”
Electric Vehicles & Bikes
New Energy Savings Trust study finds £200m of savings if 10 per cent of London vans switched to electric.
In the “why didn’t we think of this” files, dating site How About We suggests you use Spinlister, a bike-swap site, to also swap bodily fluids. (Safely, of course.)
For a more authentic Interbike experience, I walked the floor with electric bicycle retailer Harlan Flagg. Harlan has been selling electric bicycles, scooters and motorcycles at his shop Hollywood Electrics since 2009. Because I was with him, and promised not to breathe a word about it, I was allowed to enter Stromer’s private viewing of their upcoming ST2. All I can say is this- if you’re in the market for the ultimate electric bicycle, you might want to wait until March. The press release will be launched shortly before the bike hits showroom floors.
As you read here, there were over 50 different vendors of electric bicycles at Interbike this year. Here are some interviews I conducted with a few of the leaders in the electric bicycle industry. We hear from Polaris, Haibike (Currie), and Pedego…
When thinking of commuter bicycling in America, the innovation adoption curve comes to mind. With any new product (or lifestyle choice) there are leaders and followers. In Los Angeles, 1% of the population commutes on pedal power. In America’s leading cycling city, Portland, OR, it’s around 6%. How did a city with 39” of rain per year become a better cycling city than one with only 14” of rain per year (and usually all at once!)?
If the EPA’s latest move to cut coal emissions is successful, it will become nearly impossible for companies to build the kind of coal-fired electric plants that have been the country’s biggest source of electricity for decades. Under the EPA’s proposal, which the agency released last Friday, any new coal plants would be limited to just half the harmful coal emissions as the average coal-fired power plants emit today.
Labour leader also outlines plans to freeze electricity bills to 2017 if the party wins the next election, drawing ire from energy companies.
For every virtual tree planted as part of a new online social network game called The Hive, a real tree will be planted in Haiti by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA).
World Energy Council finds UK has one of the fairest and most secure systems for supplying energy.
Recently, the UK’s Sam Friggens spoke of community ownership in Germany as crowdfunding. Craig Morris wondered why he had never heard the Germans call it that, and he could think of two reasons – one small, the other big.
In the sprawling metropolis of São Paulo, Brazil, home to 20 million people and a lackluster public transportation system, fighting through road traffic is a part of everyday life for commuters. With some 7 million vehicles already clogging city streets, and about a thousand more being added daily, it’s not surprising that São Paulo offers a troubling example of how deadly car culture can be.
But while annual deaths from traffic accidents is quite high, it actually pales in comparison to another way cars are killing people — from pollution.
The green building movement is a global movement. The good we are working for is universal; our actions are local and regional; our impact is worldwide. Today we unite behind a shared sense of what truly matters and a common hope for the future because we believe in better buildings — places that give people better, brighter, healthier spaces to live, work and play.
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