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Green Innovation
Diving into the cutting edge of green innovation
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Romney to lay out 'comprehensive energy plan' - The Hill's E2-Wire

Romney to lay out 'comprehensive energy plan' - The Hill's E2-Wire | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Mitt Romney plans to roll out his policy blueprint on Thursday, according to published reports. The presumptive GOP White House nominee signaled his plans at a Houston, Texas fundraiser on Tuesday, The Washington Post reports.

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Three Sustainable Cities on the Rise

Three Sustainable Cities on the Rise | Green Innovation | Scoop.it
The green living lifestyle skyrocketed in the last decade and became a social injection of epic proportions. In no time shoes were being made from bamboo, college towns were turned into tiny Vespa cities, and the canvas bag market boomed like it was being shot from a cannon. Suddenly, shrinking America’s Shaq-sized carbon footprint seemed possible, and everything from water bottles to t-shirts changed their ingredients.

 

There are plenty of ways to go green and promote sustainable living in your home and community. Beyond simply rolling out the recycle bin to the curb and making eco-chic clutches out of Capri Sun pouches, you can get innovative with your recycling through local waste services like Republic Services in the US and other international equivalents who, by changing the way they take care of trash and recyclables, are making money from your waste. Earth consciousness is perpetually rising, and waste management is following suit. Here’s a quick trip around the globe, looking at three sustainable cities on the rise and what they’re doing to be friendly to the earth...


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The City As Engine: Energy, Entropy And The Triumph Of Disorder | NPR

The City As Engine: Energy, Entropy And The Triumph Of Disorder | NPR | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Instead of just basic machines, the city becomes a vast interconnected system designed for turning energy into work. Seen through that lens, cities are really giant heat engines, and that makes them creatures subject to one of the most profound principles in all of physics: the omnipresent Second Law of Thermodynamics....

 

The second law is something else entirely. It speaks to the consequences of those energy transformations mandated by the first law. There are rules for how energy is transformed — rules and limits. Most importantl the second law tells us that anytime energy is used to do useful work — like lift an I-beam to the top of a new building — then some of that energy must end up as waste, garbage, pollution or just plain crap.

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New fuel economy rules favor Detroit Three | Reuters

New fuel economy rules favor Detroit Three | Reuters | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

The Obama administration's proposed fuel economy standards for 2025 are unfairly tilted in favor of the three U.S. automakers and put their foreign-based rivals at a disadvantage, according to a House Republicans report released on Friday.

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Will Drought Cause the Next Blackout? | New York Times

Will Drought Cause the Next Blackout? | New York Times | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

We're now in the midst of the nation’s most widespread drought in 60 years, stretching across 29 states and threatening farmers, their crops and livestock. But there is another risk as water becomes more scarce. Power plants may be forced to shut down, and oil and gas production may be threatened.

 

Our energy system depends on water. About half of the nation’s water withdrawals every day are just for cooling power plants. In addition, the oil and gas industries use tens of millions of gallons a day, injecting water into aging oil fields to improve production, and to free natural gas in shale formations through hydraulic fracturing. Those numbers are not large from a national perspective, but they can be significant locally.

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San Francisco Approves Huge Eco-Makeover

San Francisco Approves Huge Eco-Makeover | Green Innovation | Scoop.it
San Francisco is clearly embracing the 21st century trend of new urbanism. An inspiring proposal was approved last week to turn the heart of San Fran’s downtown area into a mecca of urban living.

Along with the existing plans for a new transit hub, all together it will create a more walkable, sustainable, and dynamic center that promotes core environmental values to the area. The Planning Commission of S.F. approved the addition of six new 850-foot skyscrapers along with one that will be 1,070 feet, superseding the skyline summit of the Transamerica Pyramid building, making it the tallest building on the west coast. In addition, a comprehensive transit hub nicknamed the Grand Central Terminal of the West is already in the works...


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Prius Success Undermines Attacks On Electric Vehicles

Prius Success Undermines Attacks On Electric Vehicles | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

The Prius is now the world’s third best-selling car line, but before it became a clear success story, it was the target of attacks from conservative media similar to those now being leveled against electric vehicles.

 

In 2000, the year the Prius was released in the U.S., Diane Katz and Henry Payne wrote at the Wall Street Journal that hybrid cars are not “what the public wants.” The next year, the Cato Institute’s Patrick Michaels declared the Prius would “never” deliver a profit for Toyota and hyped how “demand has been weak” for hybrids. That these conservative pundits have clearly been proven wrong with time is a lesson for today’s pundits who suggest that current electric car sales mean that electric cars will never be successful. As Bloomberg reporter Jamie Butters noted in a video report, “a lot of people will criticize the sales of the Chevy Volt by GM or the Nissan Leaf, but when you really look back they’re selling at significantly higher opening volumes than the Prius when it came out 15 years ago.”

 

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Fla. PSC approves Tropicana renewable energy deal | BusinessWeek

State regulators have approved a deal for Tropicana Manufacturing Co. to generate renewable energy.

 

The Public Service Commission gave its approval Tuesday for interconnecting a 1.6 megawatt generating facility at Tropicana's Fort Pierce plant with Florida Power & Light Co.

 

It will burn renewable landfill gas to power Tropicana's citrus processing plant...

 

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Maintaining a Stable Grid with mass EV adoption

It is a major concern that electric vehicles are going to put huge demand on the grid that will cause disruption to pre-existing energy requirements. This discussion will provide you with a cross-value chain insight on methods and systems to currently being implemented and researched to support the grid and ensure supply and demand of energy is balanced. 

EV Business Models and Planning USA 2012 will continue this debate and bring you data from current pilot schemes and research projects...

 

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Solar Power Prices More Competitive Than Thought: BNEF | Bloomberg

Power from solar panels is much closer to price competitiveness with fossil fuel-generated electricity than many policy-makers and investors realize, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

 

Many decision-makers have yet to catch up with the improvements in the economics of solar power from recent reductions in the cost of the technology, a working paper released by the London-based research firm said today...

 

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Energy Innovation Series Feature #3: Smart Grid Consortium From Pecan Street Inc.

Energy Innovation Series Feature #3: Smart Grid Consortium From Pecan Street Inc. | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

The last few years have been somewhat of a blur for most of the people involved in Austin-based Pecan Street Inc. (Pecan Street).

 

"In 2008, this was an idea on a napkin in a coffee shop," says Brewster McCracken, the holder of the napkin and now executive director of Pecan Street. "In 2010 we secured funding to launch a smart grid demonstration project. In 2011 we established the most robust collection of consumer energy use data on the planet. We want to see how people interact with new technology options. What works, what people like, what impact it has on their energy use and the grid itself."

 

The organization strives to ‘re-imagine’ how we make, move and use energy on our existing system rather than reinvent the system itself. It has been tagged by the smart grid industry press as one of the hottest efforts in the country.

 

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Willing to Pay (a Little) More for Clean Energy | New York Times Green

Willing to Pay (a Little) More for Clean Energy | New York Times Green | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

The perception that the American public is adamantly opposed to higher energy costs is at the root of most political opposition to policies favoring the adoption of renewable energy. But a new study of public opinion finds that people are in fact willing to pay to move to cleaner energy.

 

That willingness is fairly modest, to be sure. Analyzing a survey they conducted in 2011, researchers at Harvard and Yale found that the average United States citizen was willing to pay $162 a year more to support a national policy requiring 80 percent “clean” energy by 2035. Nationwide, that would represent a 13 percent increase in electric bills.

 

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A Valuable View of Trends in New U.S. Electric Power Sources

A Valuable View of Trends in New U.S. Electric Power Sources | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Almost all substantial new sources of electricity in the United States in recent years have been powered by natural gas or wind.

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Reports Analyze Electric Vehicle Charging in Los Angeles | ReWire

Reports Analyze Electric Vehicle Charging in Los Angeles | ReWire | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Do you have "range anxiety"? That's the worry that you'll get stranded in an electric car because charging stations are too few and far between, and it's a major obstacle to greater public acceptance of private electric vehicles. A pair of reports by UCLA's Luskin Center for Innovation look at ways to remake L.A.'s vehicle charging amenities so that range anxiety plays less of a role in shifting to cleaner cars.

 

A previous UCLA study estimated that there will be 80,000 plug-in cars in private use in Los Angeles by 2015, so it's clear that plenty of people don't find the relative rarity of charging stations as opposed to gas stations much of an inconvenience. Most drivers travel less than 35 miles a day in their cars, which is well within the range of many electric vehicles assuming a single overnight charge...

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ACEEE | The Economy-Wide Benefits of Residential Feedback Programs

Advanced utility meters (so-called “smart meters”), coupled with in-home displays or feedback devices, provide the means by which residential energy consumers can become more knowledgeable about their energy consumption practices. Such devices enable consumers to become active managers of their own energy use, or in this case, their home electricity usage patterns. Indeed, one extensive ACEEE meta-review of 57 different feedback programs indicates a 4 to 12 percent range of residential electricity savings on average across an international sample—depending on the technologies employed, the characteristics of the program, and other relevant factors. A more recent ACEEE study found an even wider range, from 0 to 19.5 percent.

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2013 Nissan Leaf will go 25% further, could cost a lot less | Autoblog Green

2013 Nissan Leaf will go 25% further, could cost a lot less | Autoblog Green | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Months ago, we heard that the U.S. version of the 2013 Nissan Leaf would go farther per charge in cold weather thanks to a better heater. This was about the Leaf that will be made in Smyrna, TN starting later this year. A new report on Inside EVs (based on the Japanese language Sankei Biz site) says that the new Leaf, at least the version destined for sale in Japan, will have its range extended to over 250 kilometers (155 miles) in any weather.

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Supply Side Efficiency - Energy at Our Fingertips

With the current European economic situation, making more efficient use of resources has become increasingly important in regions across the continent-perhaps more important than ever...

 

Supply side energy efficiency simply means using less energy input to produce the same amount of electricity, so that a higher percentage of the energy consumed to produce electricity is actually converted to electricity or usable heat. There is potential for substantial improvement on the supply side, and the good news is that many of the options currently available to increase supply side energy efficiency are proven, cost-effective, and reliable technologies that are already commercially deployed.

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China Targets 5 Million Electric Vehicle's by 2020

China’s State Council has released plans to introduce subsidies to customers and manufacturers of electric vehicles (EV’s) in an attempt to encourage the numbers produced and sold. Even though only 8,159 EV’s have been sold in China, the government is adamant that it will encourage production and sales to increase, in order to achieve its massive target of 5 million EV’s by 2020. The aim is to reduce the country’s dependence on oil imports, and reduce its carbon emissions.

 

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Smart Grid Survey: A 'structural evolution' is under way right now in the electric utility industry

Smart Grid Survey: A 'structural evolution' is under way right now in the electric utility industry | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

“Utilities are evolving in a manner that will redefine core functions such as power production, distribution and customer service,” said John Chevrette, President of Black & Veatch’s management consulting division. “Driven by new technology and regulatory shifts, we are seeing the impact across all aspects of the electric industry.”

 

Chevrette is commenting on his company's sixth installment of Strategic Directions in the U.S. Electric Utility Industry Report. Based on an industry survey of electric utility participants earlier this year, B&V says key findings from this year's report indicate...

 

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Layoffs at Tendril, as Home Energy Management Faces a Tough Climb | Greentech Media

Layoffs at Tendril, as Home Energy Management Faces a Tough Climb | Greentech Media | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Home energy management, the hot new trend for startups and IT giants alike only a few short years ago, is proving to be an increasingly difficult business to be in.

 

The latest evidence comes from Tendril, the Boulder, Colo.-based startup, which has quietly laid off staff and lost two key executives in the past month, even as it raises money to push some of its long-running utility pilot programs into full-scale deployments.

 

CEO Adrian Tuck mentioned the workforce reduction in the last paragraph of a May 4 blog post focused on the challenges facing green technology startups. Tuck’s post didn’t say how many employees were let go, and company representatives contacted last week declined to provide figures.

 

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Charge your Business Strategy with Corporate Energy Management Insights through the Deloitte reSources 2012 Study

 

The energy marketplace is dynamic, being continuously influenced by economic conditions, technological developments, regulatory requirements and, of great importance, customer expectations and behaviors. What are businesses thinking and doing about energy consumption as the U.S. economy shows signs of stabilizing? Is corporate progress on energy management likely to continue as the easier tactics are implemented and greater investment is required? To what degree are consumers actually interested in purchasing energy-related products and services, including emerging technologies?

 

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Smart Grid: Nearly a third of U.S. households have smart meters already, new study reveals

Smart Grid: Nearly a third of U.S. households have smart meters already, new study reveals | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

The Institute for Electric Efficiency (IEE) has updated its smart meter research, revealing that nearly one in three U.S. households have a smart meter already. That's up from one in four households in September of 2011.

 

IEE projects one half of all U.S. households will be equipped with smart meters by 2015. But what is still unknown - and the subject of much worry by smart meter vendors - is how quickly the other half of the country will get upgraded.

 

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Clean Tech Headed for Stagnation | The Energy Collective

Clean Tech Headed for Stagnation | The Energy Collective | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

To be sure, the U.S. clean energy industry has been in a period of rapid growth, largely due to historic federal investments in the research, development, deployment, and manufacture of clean technologies. From 2009 through 2014, the federal government will invest a total of $150 billion, or the equivalent in magnitude to government support for past national challenges like putting a human on the moon (~$170 billion in 2005 dollars over 10 years, pg. 25).

 

Yet clean energy continues to face a fundamental problem: it’s not cost and performance competitive with fossil fuels without government support outside of niche markets. In the short-term clean tech projects are propped up by government support (or regulatory requirements) and in the mid-term the industry requires significant innovations to become subsidy independent and competitive. As such two distinct policy issues are set to thwart industry growth: the looming decline in overall federal support for clean tech after 2014 and the continuing deficit in government support for clean energy R&D and innovation. Letting both policy issues linger unresolved could very well be the death knell for clean energy...

 

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U.S. Coal Generation Drops 19 Percent In One Year, Leaving Coal With 36 Percent Share Of Electricity

U.S. Coal Generation Drops 19 Percent In One Year, Leaving Coal With 36 Percent Share Of Electricity | Green Innovation | Scoop.it

Power generation from coal is falling quickly. According to new figures from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, coal made up 36 percent of U.S. electricity in the first quarter of 2012 — down from 44.6 percent in the first quarter of 2011.

 

That stunning drop, which represented almost a 20 percent decline in coal generation over the last year, was primarily due to low natural gas prices. As EIA explains, natural gas generation will climb steadily this year, while coal will see a double-digit drop by the end of 2012...

 

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