No matter how much we increase our content, I can’t avoid ending up with a ton of stories I wish we had had more time to cover. However, I guess it has been taking longer for the stories to build up (so that’s good).
Anyway, I’m about to post a series wrap-up posts on interesting, inspiring, or potentially useful cleantech stories for your reading pleasure. The topics are, a bit predictably: Solar, Wind, Transport, Energy Efficiency, and “Other”.
Of course, it may take you awhile to get through all the articles that look interesting to you (if you want to read about them in depth), so bookmark the ones you want to come back to if that’s the case! 😀
OK, enough chatter—enjoy the posts! (Starting with the “Other” category in this post.)
“Other” or Multiple Clean Energy Categories
1. The Clean Energy Trust has announced its “Clean Energy Challenge” Finalists. $250,000, in total, will be awarded on March 1.
2. German energy giant RWE to invest ~$7.8 billion in renewable energy in the next four years. It is looking to double its installed renewable energy capacity, focusing on wind and biomass.
3. Germans willing to dish out a little more for clean energy. Realizing the important social and environmental benefits of clean energy, over 60% of Germans are willing to pay higher electricity prices for greener energy, a recent survey by the German Association of Municipal Utilities found. (Actually, surveys in regions across the U.S. have found this to be the case a well.)
4. Jerome Bettis speaks out for air toxics reduction rules. Following up on my Jerome Bettis post from about a month ago, the EPA has now released a video of Bettis (“The Bus”) speaking out in support of the EPA’s work on this front:
5. Leading medical professionals say hydrofracking needs to be put on pause. The rapid expansion of fracking for natural gas needs to be halted “so that necessary research can be done into the potential harmful effects on human health.”
6. $45-million renewable energy project completed at pulp and paper mill in Quinnesec, Michigan. Technology: biomass. Creating eneough electricity for up to 18,000 homes (if it were used to power homes). Used for over 95% of on-site electricity.
7. £10.5-million renewable energy competition to be launched in March by Technology Strategy Board, Scottish Enterprise and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). The funding is for “collaborative research and development to support successful deployment and operation of the first series of wave and tidal energy arrays.”
8. UN: bring energy to women to improve impoverished communities. “Women should be the focus of efforts to bring access to modern energy to those who lack it, a new United Nations report has found, as bringing energy to women and girls helps lift communities out of poverty and improves health,” the Guardian reports.
9. “The Chinese government has ordered five cities and two provinces to set caps on greenhouse gas emissions in preparation for a series of regional carbon markets,” Yale Environment 360 reports. “Last week, China’s National Development and Reform Commission urged Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Chongqing and Shenzhen, as well as the provinces of Hubei and Guangdong, to set “overall emissions control targets” and submit strategy proposals on how to achieve them.”
10. Gamesa, a large wind turbine company from Spain, has taken a stake in N2S, an electric vehicle and energy efficiency start-up. “Via its tech investment fund, Gamesa Venture Capital, Gamesa takes a 20% stake in the Spanish start-up, which specialises in intelligent energy services management.”
11. Dr Joe Romm takes down Newt Gingrich for his extreme anti-clean-energy policies and efforts. “No single politician since Ronald Reagan has done more to set back America’s leadership in clean technology than Newt Gingrich,” as the subheading of the post summarizes.
12. Fossil fuel subsidies around the world add billions of tons of additional CO2 emissions. As Duncan Clark of the Guardian writes:
One of the most surprising and alarming issues in the climate and energy arena is the fact that the fossil fuels causing global warming continue to receive substantial government support, making them artificially cheap and encouraging more of them to be consumed. It’s a form of madness that my colleague Damian Carrington put his finger on recently when he wrote that “the house is ablaze and we are throwing bucket after bucket at it – buckets of petrol.”
What’s particularly baffling is that while government support given to environmentally beneficial renewable power sources is subject to seemingly endless media and political scrutiny, the 500% larger subsidies given to oil, gas and (to a much lesser extent) coal rarely get much attention.
Adding on to this in another piece the next day, Clark notes, “Eliminating subsidies for coal, gas and oil could save as much as Germany’s annual greenhouse gas emissions each year by 2015, according to one of the world’s leading energy experts.”
13. A stronger target of cutting greenhouse gas emissions 30% by 2020 (rather than the current 20% target) could actually save Europe money in the long run, a recent European commission analysis concludes.
14. US Department of Agriculture launches new energy efficiency and renewable energy website. “USDA Energy Web includes interactive map, graphing analysis tools, and the USDA Energy Matrix,” the website states. “These instruments allow you to view past USDA investments, navigate in a friendly environment USDA energy programs and compare and analyze biofuels and bioenergy data from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). To learn more about USDA’s position on energy watch a video with USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack on Renewable Energy.”
15. Geothermal power is projected to grow at a CAGR rate of 12.7% to 2020, a new report by GlobalData finds.
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