Archives for June, 2011

Comments Off on Green Jobs in Local Manufacturing Can Build Prosperous, Clean-Energy African Future

By now it is clear that climate change is an immediate threat as well as a problem that will affect our children in the distant future.  At a meeting of the Clean Investment Funds Partnership Forum in Cape Town there was a telling comment in a session I chaired on climate change science when a…

Comments Off on VT-REX Makes Gas Guzzlers Look Like Dinosaurs

One of the problems with the fuel alternative ethanol is it doesn’t pack as much energy density as gasoline—meaning fewer miles per gallon. But students from Virginia Tech University have proven that with the right technology—and that includes an electric motor—it’s possible to engineer a vehicle that will get the equivalent of 81.9 miles per…

A jump-start to the weak economy, rather than an easing of any energy crisis is behind the decision by the United States and European nations to release 60 million barrels of oil from their strategic petroleum stocks, says an oil analyst seen as one of the fathers of the idea of emergency oil reserves. “Now…

Comments Off on Sour Reactions to the IEA’s Oil Release

The International Energy Agency’s announcement Thursday that it would be releasing 60 million barrels of oil over the next 30 days in response to the conflict in Libya was met with many questions—questions so obvious that the agency anticipated them in the FAQ that it published alongside the news release on its website. (Related: Oil…

The international talks that take place each year on climate change—stalled as they are—always get a lot of attention. There’s been less focus on an important United Nations event underway this week—Vienna Energy Forum 2011. Energy ministers and vice ministers from 40 nations are gathered in Austria to address the challenge of bringing electricity and…

Comments Off on Solar Industry Momentum at Risk

I spoke this week on a panel at REFF Wall Street about the U.S. utility solar market. REFF is one of my favorite conferences in the renewable industry. It’s well attended and presents a mid-year opportunity to catch up on the year’s progress and compare notes on the challenges ahead. This year my message was…

Comments Off on Is NYC really losing 30% of its water?

Former three-term Albuquerque mayor Marty Chavez has some sage advice for other mayors: “Providing water may not get you elected, but not providing water will get you fired.” It seems New York City’s Mayor Bloomberg could use his advice. In a recent interview with Planet Forward, Chavez told us that New York City is losing…

An important series of meetings on the Climate Investment Funds, hosted by the African Development Bank, began June 20 in Cape Town, South Africa. At one of the first events, discussion focused on how individual households, communities, cities, companies, and nations find and use tools to develop low-carbon, pro-growth, gender-sensitive, pro-access energy solutions. A key factor…

Comments Off on How Aluminum Cans Can Power a Village

For a thrilling week every summer, explorers arrive by the dozen at NG headquarters for the Explorers Symposium, to meet and inspire each other, to share ideas, and to plan how we can help tell their stories over the coming year. Today was the first day of meetings and it was full of fascinating ideas…

In many parts of the world, a picture of a woman sitting in front of a smoky cookstove preparing a family meal remains an iconic picture of life today. For many families, the three- stone fire or a traditional stove as a cooking device has not changed over centuries. This need not be the case,…