Posts Tagged ‘alternative energy’
Thanks in large part to the support the Chinese government has offered to manufacturing, cheap solar panels flooded the global market causing a great deal of damage to renewable energy businesses. The damage was fueled by subsidies from the Chinese government that allowed manufacturers to sell solar panels for less than actual cost, thus allowing these manufacturers to dominate the market and put many foreign developers out of business. Read the rest of this entry »
When it comes to renewable energy and efficiency, a double-dip in the dish is a great deal.
The latest in solar dish technology that does what solar installations do—converts sunlight into power—but with an added twist: it generates clean water.
The efficiency of the typical solar installation ranges from 10 to 20 percent, with the rest waste heat. Swiss researchers associated with IBM have developed the High Concentration PhotoVoltaic Thermal system (HCPVT), which uses that waste solar heat to generate fresh water.
It’s reminiscent of the ancient craft of turning lead into gold. But it’s not alchemy, it’s real. Read the rest of this entry »
And renewables? Fuhgetaboudit! A clean energy economy is the sort of idea that’s impossible to find in Mitt Romney’s approach to energy policy, contained in his 87-page platform document, “Believe in America: Mitt Romney’s Plan for Jobs and Economic Growth.”
Romney’s energy program is so bereft of new ideas and so cynically beholding to Big Oil and King Coal that it’s almost breathtaking: basically, whatever the fossil fuel industry wants, Romney is there.
One of the bills he says he’ll introduce on “day one” of his presidency will direct the Department of Interior “to undertake a comprehensive survey of American energy reserves in partnership with exploration companies and initiate leasing in all areas currently approved for exploration.”
There it is—Romney the handmaiden and toady for Big Oil and King Coal on energy policy. Exactly what the economy and the environment needs. Read the rest of this entry »
Reports of the solar industry’s pending demise have been greatly exaggerated, at least according to research by McKinsey.
According to the consultancy, the solar-power industry is merely suffering from “growing pains.” The article, “Solar power: Darkest before dawn,” dispels the notion that the industry has “lapsed into a classic cycle of boom and bust after a decade of unprecedented growth” even though that might appear to be what’s happening. Read the rest of this entry »
Sure $50 million—to be paid over four years—is a very big deal. Beyond the dollars the partnership between Bloomberg and the club takes the fight to end the coal era to a new well-staffed and nationwide level. Read the rest of this entry »
Here’s an amenity coming soon to an apartment complex near you: electric vehicle charging stations.
Car Charging, based in Miami, owns and operates EV charging services and plans to build a nationwide network of charging stations. Its business model focuses on residential charging services, which is where Equity Residential, a leading owner, developer and operator of high-end apartment communities, enters the picture. Read the rest of this entry »
The show lays out the current status of climate change and what is doable on an individual and global basis. For example energy efficiency, while certainly not the total answer, will help tremendously. Take a look at the carbon footprint of the average U.S. family in a year–some 50 tons of CO2!
Remarkably, while there’s no glossing over that what we’ve done to the planet is alarming and dangerous and getting more so — the show has an upbeat and even optimistic message. It’s a solvable crisis because we have the technology and innovative ideas; we need the will for change.
Ford calls its sustainability report for the 2009/10 period the “future at work,” and for a relatively short 8-page document, it outlines a surprisingly broad and—OK I’ll admit it—visionary strategy for the future of the company and alternative energy vehicle production.
The company says it is “steadfastly focused on creating a strong business that builds great products that contribute to a better world,” the way it has been able to weather difficult economic times is because it’s business and sustainability strategies are aligned and intertwined.”
While Ford’s much-ballyhooed “ONE Ford” plan, which began in 2007, is mostly about aggressive restructuring and accelerated product development, sustainability is a key part of the mix, especially the accelerated product development part.
Ford says it has developed a “science-based global strategy” to reduce GHG emissions and processes while “working cooperatively with the public and private sectors to advance climate change solutions.”
In 2008 the carmaker set a target to reduce CO2 emissions from new U.S. and European vehicles by 30 percent by 2020, relative to the 2006 model-year baseline. Ford also set a “technology migration plan” for near-, mid- and long-term product plans to meet that goal. The company says it is “on track” to surpass that 30 percent CO2 reduction goal.
In 2009 and early 2010 Ford reduced CO2 emissions from its new 2009 models by 12 percent for U.S. vehicles and 6.7 percent for European vehicles. Among a host of progress points in 2009/10, Ford said it was delivering on a 2006 pledge to double the number of flexible-fuel vehicles produced in the United States by the end of 2010. Ford also committed to introduce five new electrified vehicles in Europe by 2013, including battery electric, plug-in hybrid and hybrid electric vehicles that will also be introduced in North America by 2012.
The company this month unveiled a battery electric version of the Focus,which will debut in 2012.
Ford noted that the shift to EVs will “require unprecedented levels of collaboration and partnership” between automakers, government officials, utilities, transportation providers and IT companies. “A wide range of stakeholders will need to work together to develop charging infrastructure, integrate electric vehicles with electric utilities, and knit vehicles and grids together into an efficient system,” Ford says.
The company revealed it is collaborating with Microsoft on new energy management software that will help owners of plug-in EVs determine when and how to recharge their vehicles, “while giving utilities better tools for managing the expected changes in energy demand.” Now there’s an app for the EV age.
Over the 2020-2030 period, Ford’s vision is for “volume expansion of hybrid technologies, “continued leverage” of plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles (whatever that means), introduction of fuel cell vehicles and increased use renewable fuels, clean electric/hydrogen fuels.
A surprising observation by the company is that “by 2050, there will be nine billion people on Earth, 75 percent of whom will live in urban areas. Putting nine billion people into private automobiles is neither practical nor desirable.”
There’s a switch, a company that doesn’t want to sell its products to every person on the planet.
It was a very good week indeed for green and Pacific Northwest—the PNW’s first cargo ship plugged into shore power at the Port of Tacoma, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport received an $18 million environmental grant and the Port of Portland received a 2010 Green Power Leadership Award from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Here’s the run-down:
- State, federal and Port of Tacoma and Totem Ocean Trailer Express officials flipped the switch on October 27 on the Pacific Northwest’s first cargo ship to run on dockside shore power.
Helped by an EPA grant worth nearly $1.5 million, two TOTE cargo ships will now plug into electrical power and shut down diesel engines while docked during weekly calls at their Tacoma terminal. Also known as cold ironing, it’s a great way to reduce air-polluting diesel emissions, but has been slow to catch on. Passenger vessels at the Port of Seattle have had the shore power option for several years.
Tacoma port officials said the $2.7 million shore power project will reduce diesel and greenhouse gas emissions by up to 90 percent during TOTE’s 100 ship calls each year in Tacoma. That equals about 1.9 tons of diesel particulates and 1,360 tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year.
TOTE, a private shipping company that serves the Alaska trade, contributed about $1.2 million to retrofit the two ships to accommodate shore power connections and add some of the terminal infrastructure. The port provided environmental permitting, grant administration and project management.
The EPA grant was provided under the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act
(ARRA) of 2009 National Clean Diesel Funding Assistance Program. Read the rest of this entry »
All- or mostly-electric vehicles are coming soon to a charging station or electric outlet near you.
Not only is the gas-free option arriving, there are some interesting and attractive choices hitting the road.
My favorite (for what that’s worth) is the all-electric Nissan Leaf, which will make its market debut this year as will the Chevy Volt. Meanwhile, the Ford Focus EV is slated to roll late next year and BMW reportedly is working on a small electric car that might launch in 2012.
“It seems that the era of the electric vehicle is finally upon us,” Esurance said in a recent blog post on the “Top 5.1 Things You Don’t Know About the Electric Car (But Should).” Read the rest of this entry »