Archives for July, 2012

Comments Off on A Look at Electric Cars from Chevy and Tesla

In March we took you on a video test drive of the all-electric Nissan Leaf (see below). Today we explore a few other electric models. With estimated electric car sales in the United States set to jump from less than 20,000 in 2011 to 40,000–60,000 in 2012 (with some optimistic predictions going as high as…

How can cities, especially those in developing countries, become more energy-efficient and sustainable? The recent World Cities Summit in Singapore brought no easy answers. Dr. Isher Judge Ahluwalia from India highlighted during the conference’s keynote plenary that her country needs to pump in some $400 billion in the next two decades to improve its urban infrastructure…

Buildings designed by Frank Gehry tend to function both as city landmarks and tourist attractions, and they certainly don’t come cheap. His works, which have been cited as among the most important works of contemporary architecture by World Architecture Survey, include include the titanium-covered Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain, constructed at a cost of $100 million, and the Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, which came in…

Looking for signs that renewable energy is gaining real traction? We present IKEA. Back in the day, every single solar installation from the purveyor of cheap and cheerful home furnishings was news. Now, IKEA solarizing a store is as common as, well, a birch veneer bookshelf. That’s got to be a sign of progress. Already this month, the…

In five to six years, highly diluted radioactive water from the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant in Japan could arrive on the Pacific shoreline in the United States, a new study concluded. The model developed by German oceanographers and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Pacific Marine Environment Laboratory traced the probable pathway of…

Reports that SolarWorld had formally brought its solar trade fight against China to Europe elicited a fresh round of scorn from critics within the industry this week, but the company said it had not in fact filed a complaint. Yet. “We have always said that we will ask the European Union to take urgent action against unfair competition from…

Today National Geographic News published a story by Victoria Markovitz on the size and relative greeness of wind turbines. In it, she summarizes a new study by the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich. Those researchers did an energy accounting of commercial-scale wind turbines in Europe, taking into account the energy they produce as well…

The Navy’s Great Green Fleet staged an impressive show of force as it gears up for more battles — of a political nature — ahead. This week, F/A-18 Hornets powered by a mix of petroleum biofuels roared off the deck of the USS Nimitz for the first time in a demonstration north of Hawaii. Some…

Water samples in Pennsylvania suggest there may be natural pathways for contamination. Drinking water contamination from horizontal drilling and hydraulic fracturing — a k a fracking — for natural gas in Pennsylvania, does it occur? No, say the gas companies (and many geologists). A new paper adds a “but.” Many Say It Can’t Happen There…

Change is hard in the world of energy, and nothing shows that more than attempts to change the deep roots of the vehicles Americans drive every day. Almost all the oil we use as a nation goes for transportation, with all the implications that brings in terms of dependence on foreign oil, gas prices that…