Below are some great articles and interesting news from around the interwebs, to complement CleanTechnica‘s obsessive coverage. Enjoy.
Almost everything you know about climate change solutions is outdated, for several reasons.
First, climate science and climate politics have been moving unexpectedly quickly toward a broad consensus that we need to keep total human-caused global warming as far as possible below 2°C (3.6°F) — and ideally to no more than 1.5°C. This has truly revolutionary implications for climate solutions policy.
Second, key climate solutions — renewables, efficiency, electric cars, and storage — have been advancing considerably faster than anyone expected, much faster than the academic literature anticipated. The synergistic effect of all these light-speed changes is only now beginning to become clear (see, for instance, my recent post, “Why The Renewables Revolution Is Now Unstoppable”.
Third, the media and commentariat have simply not kept up with all these changes and their utterly game-changing implications. As a result we end up with recent articles in such prestige publications as Foreign Affairs and the New York Times that are literally out-of-date the instant they are published, as I’ll discuss below.
Solar & Wind
Following the April and May announcements from Saudi Arabia concerning its ambitious 9.5 GW renewable energy target, Apricum, a cleantech advisory and strategy consulting firm, has published an initial response to this news.
Trade war between China and the European Union is set to continue with the Asian renewable energy giant set to extend anti-dumping duties on EU solar cell raw material imports.
Large amounts of wind and solar drive down market prices — a phenomenon known as the merit-order effect. And if wind and solar producers are dependent on those market prices for their income, they will also drive down their own revenues.
David Crane, former CEO of the competitive energy supplier NRG Energy, once owned a bar and pizza shop in Hong Kong. “That was fun,” he said, addressing a small group of law students at New York University earlier this month. “Terrible pizza, though.” Crane is far better known for his career in the energy sector than for his work as a restaurateur. After picking up a law degree at Harvard, he went on to be senior vice president of global power at Lehman Brothers and executive director of International Power PLC, before taking the helm at NRG in 2003.
Akamai’s purpose is to propel our customers faster forward by making the Internet business-ready: fast, reliable, and secure. And now, also green and clean. Today we are committing, by 2020, to reduce our absolute greenhouse gas emissions below 2015 levels by sourcing renewable energy for 50 percent of our network operations.
The Australian CleanTech Index rose from 46.53 to 50.03 over the month of April, recording a 7.5 per cent gain. This compared to the ASX200 gain of 3.5 per cent and the ASX Small Ordinaries Index gain of 3 per cent. The Australian CleanTech 20 rose 7.3 per cent for the month.
Gamesa India continues to be a leader in India’s wind energy market as it received yet another large order recently. The Indian subsidiary of Spanish wind energy company Gamesa announced, late last month, that it received multiple orders to supply a total of 198 MW wind energy turbines to project developers in India.
Last year, Masdar announced plans to set up renewable energy projects in Egypt as part of its plan to expand into the emerging markets of Middle East and North Africa. The special projects unit of Masdar has now announced that it commissioned a total capacity of 30 MW capacity various parts of Egypt. This includes utility-scale hybrid solar power projects as well as off-grid solar power systems with facility of storage.
With assistance from the government of Turkey, a new electric car has reached the prototype phase and has just completed a successful two week tour of the Balkans. “Our car will be better and safer than Tesla’s car,” said Science, Industry and Technology Minister Fikri Isik, as quoted by Hurriyet Daily News. The car is called Pehlivan Elektrak. Pehlivan means “wrestler” in Turkish, according to the Washington Post. Its design was the winning entry in a competition sponsored by the national government.
Geely Motors owns Volvo and the London Taxi Company. It also owns Emerald, which has developed the T-001, a plug-in hybrid delivery van with an electric range of 66 miles and a carrying capacity of 3,000 lbs.
Bloomberg has coined the phrase “The Musk Doctrine” to describe the way Elon Musk keeps setting his goals higher in order to keep everyone working at maximum intensity.
SunLine Transit Agency in California — a transit agency serving over 3.5 million people annually in the Coachella Valley — has added its first all-electric buses to its fleet. The new electric buses — which have been in use via a testing program by the transit agency since January — are 40-footers provided by the leading electric bus firm BYD. The buses have seating for up to 35 passengers, and can accommodate more than 60 standing passengers.
Battery costs are plummeting to levels that make electric vehicles (EVs) a truly disruptive technology. Equally disruptive, those batteries can be used for low-cost electricity storage for many years AFTER they can’t power an EV.
The electric vehicle charging station company ChargePoint has secured $50 million in new funding — in a fundraising round led by Linse Capital, along with Braemar Energy Ventures and Constellation Energy.
Jürgen Stackmann, head of sales and marketing for Volkswagen, says his company it prepared to lead the way forward for electric cars and autonomous cars. He make it clear that VW is not in awe of such high tech challengers as Apple or Google. (Notice he left Tesla Motors out of the discussion.) “Newcomers will see opportunities in the current climate, and we are not afraid to face the challenge from them,” he said.
The electric + hybrid drivetrain solutions firm Efficient Drivetrains has begun offering an electrification kit and developer support program to help manufacturers develop plug-in hybrid offerings.
A team of scientists from the US Department of Energy’s (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory, the University of Pennsylvania, and the University of Maryland, College Park, has developed an electron microscopy technique to visualize—in real time and at high resolution—lithiation pathways in electrode materials.
Nikola Motors is working on a hybrid electric tractor that will use a turbine powered by compressed natural gas to extend range to as much as 1,200 miles.
The German electronics giant Bosch has opened a new “innovation” center — focused on hardware and software for vehicle connectivity, automotive security systems, and motorized two-wheelers — in Lund, Sweden.
Elon Musk is the most influential person in the car business according to the editors of The Drive. The head of Tesla is recognized as the one person driving industry change more than any other.
The 2017 Buick Lacrosse Hybrid was recently unveiled at the 2016 Beijing Auto Show. As one would expect considering the venue, the new model is slated to be released in the Chinese market sometime in the relatively near future.
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Other Cleantech & Green Goodies
How does RMI’s 15,610 square foot innovative new office building and convening center in Basalt, Colorado, have no traditional central heating and cooling system, in spite of being located in the coldest climate zone in the continental U.S.? The answer is passive, integrative design.
The climate change activist group “Reclaim the Power” will be looking to shut down a dozen “major” fossil fuel sites around the world in May, as part of its “Break Free 2016” campaign.
Geothermal energy’s main advantages are that it is generated cleanly and renewably. That is, electricity produced by geothermal plants produces no carbon emissions or air pollution like burning coal, gas, and oil do.
Thanks to human ingenuity and persistence, hydropower energy represents one of the oldest power sources on this planet. Best, its is clean, renewable, and sustainable as long as there is available water. That may be a larger challenge, according to some viewpoints.
The winners of the Chicago AIA’s tiny house design competition were announced recently. Launched in November 2015, the competition solicited entries to address young adult homelessness in Chicago as part of the Tiny Homes Summit.
An update to our popular 2015 list, this expanded and revised list includes the best apps for carpool, carsharing, and ridesharing, including a very important new one to bring safety and security for ladies.
Sustainable development is economic growth which meets the needs of the present without damaging the lives of future generations. In other words, it doesn’t cause so much damage that people in the future might not be able to live healthy lives. It also means that we don’t destroy so much of the natural world that other species will also not be able to live healthy lives.
Triple bottom line is a term which describes a business that focuses on three main things: people, profits, and the planet. The first use of it was credited to John Elkington, who founded a consulting firm called SustainAbility. Before the term became known, the bottom line in a business was focused mostly on the financial side – profit and loss.
You might find some variance in the definition of CSR, but typically corporate social responsibility is about the accountability a company has for its impact on society (people) and the environment. It is necessary because unfortunately, there have historically been some bad actors in the business world. They exploited workers by underpaying them, not providing any benefits, such as health insurance, and firing them if they tried to organize in order to get their needs met.
f you imagine a green city, you might not first think of Houston, Texas, but according to a green building index, over half of the commercial square footage there has an EPA Energy Star or LEED rating. In fact, Houston has ranked as high as number 3 in the US for LEED-certified commercial space.
Urban living offers a number of advantages, but you may not be aware of what they are and how to enjoy them. Not owning and operating a car can save you thousands per year. Of course, the amount you save will vary depending on your living situation and lifestyle choices. If you are considering going carless, you may not be extremely wealthy, so the annual savings could be exactly what you want.