Cleantech Breakfast Platter (Keystone XL = Solar Panels, Compliance Car Benefits…)

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Seems it was a slow weekend. Here’s a cleantech breakfast platter of some top cleantech stories published over the weekend, as well as a few not-so-cleantech stories. Enjoy! (Links to our own archives are on each of the subheadings):


Cleaning Solar Panels Often Not Worth the Cost


If you believe cleaning your solar panels makes a lot of sense economically, read this study from UC San Diego.

(Note: this is a good follow-up to Ronald’s awesome story, “How To Maintain And Clean Rooftop Solar? Don’t!“)

Las Vegas Thin Film Company Offered Brazilian Incentives

Las Vegas based PacWest Equities says it has been invited by the Brazilian government to bring its thin film CIGS production line to the country.

PacWest says it has been invited to market solar products for production and distribution in Brazil and neighbouring countries after its US$55 million acquisition of DayStar Technologies in March.

FIT Battle Puts PV At The Center Of Politics

Plans announced by the government of the state of Western Australia (WA) to cut the solar FIT rate for households that have already installed a photovoltaic array from AUD 0.40/kWh to AUD 0.20/kWh have been met with stiff opposition from voters and also from within the government’s own ranks. Only four days after announcing the decision the government has decided to backtrack and keep the FIT at its previous level.


The Busiest Bicycle Street In The World

In Episode 05 we highlight what really is the greatest project of the past decade in Copenhagen. The retrofitting of the street Nørrebrogade.

Clever Customizable Bike Basket Storage System Uses Elastics

Lugging various things around with the bike can be a headache, depending on the kind of basket carrier you choose to add on. Sometimes things fit, and sometimes they don’t. Working out of San Francisco, designer Areum Jeong collaborated with Yeongkeun Jeong to create a interesting, do-it-yourself system that uses bright-coloured elastics wrapped around the bike’s frame as the ‘basket’.

David Cameron’s ‘Cycling Revolution’ Is Barely Off The Starting Blocks

Britain would need ten times the £77m of investment promised to raise it from its near bottom place of bike usage in the EU.

Electric Cars

The Good Things About Compliance Cars

I recently called out Honda and Fiat for making their first electric cars — the Honda Fit EV and the Fiat 500e — compliance cars. Basically, I was critical of Honda and Fiat for taking that path. However, many people consider compliance cars to be the result of bad policy. I don’t subscribe to that view, and I present some of the reasons for that at the link above.


Wow, Keystone XL Is Solar Panels!

keystone-fbHoly cow, this has got to be one of the crazier stories of the year. It’s also a clear sign that solar power is extremely popular… and a tar sands oil pipeline is not.

If you follow green news at all, you’re surely familiar with the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Even if you simply follow general US political news, you should be familiar with it. Basically, if you aren’t familiar with it, it is a pipeline that would be built by TransCanada and would transport tar sands oil (extremely dirty and corrosive oil) from Canada down to oil refineries in the southern US, from where it would mostly be shipped to China. It has been heavily opposed by a variety of movements.

So, it’s a little surprising that a TransCanada website for the pipeline is being advertised on Facebook with a picture of solar panels! Yes, solar panels. That just about the opposite of what the Keystone XL represents.

The Koch Brothers’ Worst Nightmare: A Green-Tea Coalition

“The Tea Party has formed an unholy alliance with the left,” Debbie Dooley recalls a panicked member of Georgia’s big energy lobby lamenting.

Dooley, a co-founder of the Atlanta Tea Party Patriots, doesn’t deny the charges. In fact, she is set this Tuesday to celebrate the official launch of the Green Tea Coalition – the same “unholy alliance” of right and left grassroots that has big oil interests reeling.

Fukushima Water Leak Out of Control

Everything is going according to plan. All systems have functioned as designed. Every possibility has been considered. There are multiple safeguards. Our philosophy is “defense in depth”. Multiple redundancies will prevent highly unlikely events. These plants are really overbuilt  to consider every possibility.  Nothing can escape the containment vessels.

We’ve decided to build a 400 million dollar system to freeze the soil underneath the plant.

Nothing to see here. Move along.

Britain’s PM Backs Fracking For Shale Gas

Britain’s Prime Minister David Cameron has given his unequivocal backing to the divisive “fracking” process used to extract shale gas from rocks, risking angering his party’s supporters from more rural areas.

How To Fry A Planet – Spend Way More On Fossil Fuel Than Renewables

The good news – investment in renewable energy is up.

The bad news – we’re still spending WAY more money on old-fashioned, dirty, carbon-heavy, climate-killing fossil fuels.

How Sewage Is Powering Algae Production Of The Future

The quest to create sustainable and efficient biofuels has taken another step forward as new projects have emerged running algae production from sewage waste.

This new approach to algae production highlights some major advantages: supplying algae off sewage not only provides another a use to untreated sewage, it also delivers a cost-effective solution to growing algae – meeting efficiency targets on many levels.

In a world-first, a small Spanish resort town has begun a pilot program to convert sewage and wastewater into high yield algae production and biofuel.

Don’t For A Second Imagine We’re Heading For An Era Of Renewable Energy

When it comes to energy and economics in the climate-change era, nothing is what it seems. Most of us believe (or want to believe) that the second carbon era, the Age of Oil, will soon be superseded by the Age of Renewables, just as oil had long since superseded the Age of Coal. President Obama offered exactly this vision in a much-praised June address on climate change. True, fossil fuels will be needed a little bit longer, he indicated, but soon enough they will be overtaken by renewable forms of energy.

Many other experts share this view, assuring us that increased reliance on “clean” natural gas combined with expanded investments in wind and solar power will permit a smooth transition to a green energy future in which humanity will no longer be pouring carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. All this sounds promising indeed. There is only one fly in the ointment: It is not, in fact, the path we are presently headed down. The energy industry is not investing in any significant way in renewables. Instead, it is pouring its historic profits into new fossil-fuel projects, mainly involving the exploitation of what are called “unconventional” oil and gas reserves.

Texan Drought Sets Residents Against Fracking — Video

In Mertzon and Barnhart in western Texas, the worst drought in two generations is choking the water supply. Water shortages are raising tensions between locals and the fracking industry. Drilling for shale gas uses up to 8m gallons of water each time a well is fracked. Suzanne Goldenberg reports

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Zachary Shahan

Zach is tryin' to help society help itself one word at a time. He spends most of his time here on CleanTechnica as its director, chief editor, and CEO. Zach is recognized globally as an electric vehicle, solar energy, and energy storage expert. He has presented about cleantech at conferences in India, the UAE, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, the Netherlands, the USA, Canada, and Curaçao. Zach has long-term investments in Tesla [TSLA], NIO [NIO], Xpeng [XPEV], Ford [F], ChargePoint [CHPT], Amazon [AMZN], Piedmont Lithium [PLL], Lithium Americas [LAC], Albemarle Corporation [ALB], Nouveau Monde Graphite [NMGRF], Talon Metals [TLOFF], Arclight Clean Transition Corp [ACTC], and Starbucks [SBUX]. But he does not offer (explicitly or implicitly) investment advice of any sort.

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