Archives for September, 2011

Comments Off on Cutting Oil Use Should Be Focus of U.S. Energy Research, New Roadmap Says

A major study modeled after goal-setting reports from the Departments of Defense and State, the first Quadrennial Technology Review by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), called for a shift in energy research and development priorities to reduce America’s dependence on oil. “Reliance on oil is the greatest immediate threat to U.S. economic and national…

Comments Off on Seen at the Solar Decathlon: Green Roofs

At the 2011 Solar Decathlon, where collegiate teams are displaying their super-efficient model homes for judging in Washington, D.C., Planet Forward host Frank Sesno speaks with Don Ferrier, president of Ferrier Custom Homes, about green roofs. (Related Photos: Solar’s Model Homes at the 2011 Decathlon) Using the University of Maryland WaterShed model home as a…

Comments Off on Green Tech Group Picks Company of the Year

With so many business ventures vying for a piece of the green economy pie, it’s hard for investors to know which firm will be the next SunPower and which will be the next Solyndra. AlwaysOn, a business media and social networking company in Silicon Valley, CA, has released its list of the 200 top private…

Comments Off on One Step Forward, Two Steps Back: Still Trying to Get Ahead on Energy Efficiency

Ever have those days when you feel you just can’t get ahead? That’s been the story with energy efficiency for some time now. There’s a constant stream of highly touted innovations designed to get the same amount of work done using less energy. You can hardly open up a catalog or walk into a store…

Wangari Muta Maathi, the Nobel Prize-winning environmental activist who founded the Green Belt Movement, died Sunday at Nairobi Hospital at the age of 71 after “a prolonged and bravely borne struggle with cancer,” her website announced. I got to know Mwalimu Maathai initially 20 years ago when working on stove and woodlot projects in rural…

Comments Off on Ending Fossil Fuel Subsidies May Be the Way to Jumpstart Climate Finance

A leaked World Bank document, due to be presented at the G20 meeting in November, proposes that rich countries eliminate their fossil fuel subsidies and instead contribute the money to climate aid for poor countries to help with green energy and adaptation measures. The paper also said donor countries are unlikely to come up with…

Comments Off on Which Solar Decathlon House Is Your Ideal Home?

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, a bi-annual competition among collegiate teams to build solar-powered houses, opens to the public this Friday in Washington, D.C. Twenty teams from around the world will compete in 10 contests including architecture, affordability, home entertainment, and energy balance. The sustainable technology in the competing houses makes them interesting,…

A Surge of Wind Over Brazil

Brazil has suddenly realized the attractiveness of its immense wind power potential. Once deemed too expensive and small-scale, unable to meet the country’s power needs, it is now braced to grow sevenfold to 2014. Brazil has today a dismal 1 gigawatt of wind power installed capacity. But the government’s regulatory agency has already approved an…

Comments Off on Natural Gas, Hydrofracking and Safety: The Three Faces of Fracking Water

When it comes to water from hydrofracking, the question of safety is murky at best. The Chemical Cocktail of Fracking Fluid For many folks the big baddie of hydraulic fracturing, also called hydrofracking or fracking, is fracking fluid — the mixture of water, sand, and chemicals that’s injected deep below the surface to fracture the…

Comments Off on Wanted: Seismic Experts for the Nuclear Industry

The U.S. nuclear industry needs more qualified people and better equipment to assess seismic risk for its nuclear plants, panelists told regulators in a meeting on post-Fukushima safety recommendations this week in Rockville, Md. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Japan Near-Term Task Force report, which was released in July, outlined 12 action items for bolstering plant…