Posts Tagged ‘investment’
In The Stand, one of Stephen King’s early (and imo best) novels a nuclear power plant becomes a central part of the action, and indeed is instrumental in keeping the world from descending into barbarism.
It sort of makes the point that, as The Police say, “When the world is running down/You make the best of what’s still around.” There is something to be said for the role of nuclear power as part of the modern-day, post-carbon-based fuel energy mix.
But a revised and updated version of the Sierra’s Club‘s classic Nukespeak throws some needed clear thinking about the inherent dangers of nuclear energy and concludes, as the first edition did, that it’s not really worth the risk.
Nearly 30 years ago, in the wake of the Three Mile Island nuclear accident, the first edition of Nukespeak from Sierra Club Books was published and immediately framed public debate on the immense risks of nuclear technology.
The extensively revised and updated edition promises to continue that debate, especially in the aftermath of the March earthquake and tsunami that struck the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant in Japan.
According to the Club, the original 1982 edition broke through the “linguistic filter of the nuclear mindset,” by documenting how nuclear developers confused their hopes—remember the dream of energy too cheap to meter?—with reality, covered up damaging information, harassed and dismissed scientists who disagreed with official policy, and generated false or misleading statistics to bolster their assertions about the benefits and safety of nuclear power. 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 “eco-industrial district” concept in Seattle is moving, slowly, but moving from concept to sustainable reality.
The Metropolitan King County Council recently adopted a proposal that calls for a partnership with the City of Seattle to create Eco-Industrial Districts in the city and throughout the county.
If this merger of green and industrial development manages to take off in a real way, it will assist in the cleanup and development in some of Seattle’s grittiest industrial core areas, such as the SoDo district or in the Duwamish River corridor in south Seattle by coordinating various public sector initiatives on sustainable communities.
A good way for a bank to make people forget its role in the sub-prime financial fiasco that’s rocked the economy is to focus on its climate change and sustainability efforts and that’s what Bank of America Merrill Lynch is doing.
BoA’s “Environmental Progress Report” this month revealed the good things it is up to on the corporate sustainability front, and to give the bank some credit (even if its not giving you any), there are some good things to report.
It’s ahead of the schedule it set in 2007 when it unveiled a 10-year, $20 billion “business initiative” focused on addressing climate change. Through June of this year BoA says it “directed” $8.4 billion through lending, investing, capital markets activity, philanthropy and its own operations. The bank committed about $5.4 billion of that in lending and investing activities while facilitating nearly $3 billion in capital markets activity.
A new website launched this month by the United Nations, FastStartFinance.org, will track climate funding commitments from industrialized countries, essentially attempting to make sure that developed economies will deliver on their plans to provide seed funds that help poorer nations battle climate change.
The Copenhagen Accord included a commitment from developed countries’ to provide developing countries with “fast start” financing of about $30 billion over the 2010-2012 period, earmarked for enhanced action on mitigation, including Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD), adaptation, technology development and transfer and capacity building.
Ever since the then Exxon Co. devastated the Prince William Sound environment in Alaska and the livelihoods of thousands workers in that area following the Exxon Valdez oil spill 21 years ago, I have to admit the company leaves me cold. And that’s a polite way of putting it.
Each year at about this time I take a moment to consider developments surrounding the worst oil spill in U.S. history.
The tanker Exxon Valdez ran aground on Bligh Reef in Alaska’s Prince William Sound on March 24, 1989, spilling about 11 million gallons of crude oil. The spill spread oil on more than 1,200 miles of coastline, closed fisheries and killed thousands of marine mammals and hundreds of thousands of sea birds.
Ford says it will invest another $450 million in electric vehicle development and facility retooling, bringing its total investment in this area to a round $1 billion.
The latest monetary infusion, a part of its “Electrification Strategy,” paves the way for the Dearborn, MI, carmaker plan to engineer, produce and launch new electrified vehicles, battery systems and hybrid transaxles, while creating up to 1,000 new jobs in the state.
GM is also planning to spend big dollars, about $246 million, for electric motor and hybrid component production at a Baltimore facility.
Ford will build what it calls its next-generation hybrid vehicles and plug-in hybrid vehicles at the Michigan Assembly Plant beginning in 2012, in addition to producing the new Ford Focus and Focus Electric at the same plant in 2010 and 2011, respectively.
The Washington State Algae Alliance, which includes two bioscience firms and the Washington State University, is set to receive $2 million from funding provisions in the 2010 Senate Energy and Water Development appropriations bill.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) was instrumental in securing the funding for the Alliance, which will jointly develop a new algae-based system for the production of sustainable and renewable fuels, chemicals, and chemical intermediates.
The Export-Import Bank of the United States is setting up a $250 million credit facility aimed at helping to promote and finance renewable energy exports, including solar, wind and geothermal energy products and projects.
The move this week makes Ex-Im the world’s first Export Credit Agency to fashion this type of credit assistance and also the first to adopt a “carbon policy” to guide financial support for U.S. exports “in light of climate change concerns,” the agency says.
“We want to help American manufacturers produce green technology for the world. This common sense approach is good for the environment. It’s good for business, and it’s good for American workers,” said Fred P. Hochberg, chairman and president of Ex-Im Bank.
Now we’re talking about some real money.
The Department of Energy is launching a new loan guarantee program that will provide $750 million in Recovery Act spending as seed money designed to accelerate the development of conventional renewable energy projects.
At that level of funding, the loan guarantees could support as much as $4 to $8 billion in lending to eligible projects, according to DOE’s announcement.
The department also says it will invite private sector participation to accelerate the financing of the renewable energy projects.
To make this happen it has created the Financial Institution Partnership Program, or FIPP, which it describes as a “streamlined set of standards designed to expedite DOE’s loan guarantee underwriting process and leverage private sector expertise and capital for the efficient and prudent funding of eligible projects.” Eligible projects include hydropower, wind power, geothermal, solar, biomass, and trash-to-energy.
On Thursday (Oct. 22) the department has scheduled a webinar to “help companies navigate the process of applying for loan guarantees” under FIPP. During the webinar, scheduled to begin at 12 p.m. eastern time, the DOE’s Douglas Schultz will address questions and concerns regarding the new program. Click here to register.