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Archive for the ‘cleantech’ Category

WSU researchers sticking it to lithium batteries

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Battery+ZhongHere’s a new twist on “gumming up the works:” regarding the safety issues confronting lithium ion batteries, maybe some gum them will help.

Washington State University researchers have developed a chewing gum-like battery material that could dramatically improve the safety of lithium ion batteries.

The WSU group, led by Katie Zhong, Westinghouse Distinguished Professor in the School of Mechanical and Materials Engineering, recently reported on their work in the journal, Advanced Energy Materials. They have filed a patent on the substance. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

March 3, 2014 at 7:00 am

Solar heat

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solar energy_Mike RaySolar is very hot at the moment. A list of cleantech stock picks for 2014 has First Solar (a solar manufacturer) and SolarCity (a solar installer) at Nos. 1 and 2, respectively, and further down the list are a solar holding company, Renewable Energy Trade Board, and a solar equipment company, Meyer Burger.

There are many reports, including one on another site that I write for on occasion TriplePundit, that the solar market is heading for a “second gold rush” this year; there’s little to dispute the fact that solar is definitely an in thing, especially for investors. Read the rest of this entry »

Written by William DiBenedetto

February 13, 2014 at 4:00 am

Infographic: Do Hybrids Make Sense and Cents?

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As this infographic courtesy of AutoPawn indicates, maybe you can’t have everything—at least not yet.

Does Buying a Hybrid Car Make Sense?

Created by AutoPawn

Infographic – Get smart about that thermostat

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Vivint Inc., one of the largest home automation companies in North America, designed this infographic. It was sent to me courtesy of Alex Koritz, partner and vice president at Method Communications, a Salt Lake City PR firm. Vivint provides services to about 500,000 customers through its offices in Provo, UT, South St. Paul, MN, and Calgary, AB.

Vivint says its mission is to help families “live intelligently by creating simple, affordable home automation systems where all devices work together to enhance safety and convenience and improve energy efficiency.”

It seems like such a simple step: Time to get smart and green on the home front.

Written by William DiBenedetto

August 15, 2012 at 2:01 am

Getting charged up for a $10K EV rebate

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If you are on the fence about that new Nissan Leaf or Chevy Volt, how does taking $10,000 off sound? That’s right, those thinking about jumping into the EV market could pocket a nice new incentive in the form of a $10,000 rebate, which is part of President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2013 budget plan.

While lacking in specifics, the proposal is a boost and a change in approach – buyers of electric vehicles currently are eligible for a $7,500 tax credit for the tax-filing year in which the vehicle is purchased, while the new rebate program would allow consumers to slice $10,000 off the top of an EV at the time of purchase.

It’s a big incentive for potential buyers who are scared off by the pricing of EVs, which are still a bit beyond the comfort zone of what many consumers are prepared to pay, even though their yearly savings at the gas pump will be substantial. It should also boost sales for vehicles such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf. For example instead of making payments on a Volt, which lists at $41,000, a buyer would see that financing hit drop to $31,000. For the Leaf, the base price would drop to about $26,000 with the rebate.

It’s argued that the tax credit idea—a product of the Bush Administration—favors wealthy buyers who can more easily afford higher upfront payments in exchange for a lower tax rate in April. The Obama rebate makes EVs more accessible to the average American.

The rebate could also apply to natural gas vehicles and other high tech, green cars, according to reports.

Assuming Congress will go along with this, which is a major if given the parlous conditions there, it’s a great idea that’s a win-win-win for the makers, sellers and buyers of EVs. It’s also a big win for the environment, sustainability and energy independence. That’s a lot of wins.

It’s far from a done deal, but this could change a lot of minds about EVs, especially now that gas prices are spiking—again. For example under the rebate plan, a Leaf might be financed for about $300 a month, which is probably what many people have to scrape up each month for gasoline in their current driver.

Written by William DiBenedetto

February 27, 2012 at 2:00 am

State of green biz is mixed

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Like a mixed green salad, GreenBiz Group‘s fifth annual 2012 State of Green Business report offers a jumbled view of the current green and sustainable business landscape.

“Things aren’t going as well as we’d hoped,” said Joel Makower, principal author of the 84-page report. “For the first time since we began doing our assessment, in 2008, several of the indicators have taken a downward turn.”

Each year GreenBiz examines sustainable business by tracking 20 indicators of progress that measure such things as carbon emissions, e-waste recycling, green office space, vehicle fleet emissions, toxic emissions, energy efficiency, employee commuting, corporate reporting, and a dozen other metrics. Read the rest of this entry »

GreenTouch to unveil sustainable ICT network roadmap

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Mark your calendars: The Amsterdam-based GreenTouch™ Consortium, a global research initiative that wants to improve the energy efficiency of information and communications technology (ICT) networks by a factor of 1,000, will reveal a comprehensive Roadmap at an Open Forum on Thursday, November 17, in conjunction with the organization’s Members Meeting November 14-17 at the Edgewater Hotel in here in Seattle.

The GreenTouch Roadmap will be presented to consortium members and the public during the Open Forum’s morning session, and expert speakers will make presentations on energy-efficient network technologies, eco-sustainability, climate change and related topics during the afternoon. There is no charge to attend the GreenTouch Open Forum, but advance registration is required.

GreenTouch is a global consortium of leading service providers, academic and industrial research institutions and non-governmental organizations working together to “define the challenges, identify the trends and issues and develop solutions that will achieve the goal of delivering within five years the architecture, specifications, roadmap and demonstrations of key components needed to increase the energy efficiency of ICT  networks ‒ in particular, the service provider networks that make up the Internet ‒ by a factor of 1,000 from current levels.”

Since its formation last year the consortium has grown rapidly and now includes more than 300 participants from 50-plus member organizations in 19 countries. GreenTouch is comprised of diverse constituencies, including global telecommunications industry leaders, acclaimed research centers and premier academic institutions.

Written by William DiBenedetto

October 7, 2011 at 2:00 am

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