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One of the great inventions of our time – the modern refrigerator – will get an efficiency makeover when new national efficiency standards go into effect on September 15, reducing energy use of most refrigerators and freezers by about 20 to 25 percent. The new standards take effect 100 years after the first modern refrigerators were mass-produced…

Autonomous vehicles have captured people’s imaginations for decades. At the 1939 World’s Fair in New York, GM’spivotal Futurama exhibit presented its vision for 1960s autonomous highway infrastructure to 30,000 visitors a day. Two decades later, during the construction of the interstate highway system (largely based on Futurama, sans vehicle autonomy), the Central Power and Light Company, an electric…

Consumption of liquid fuels—petroleum, mainly—will stabilize or even fall a bit over the coming quarter century in the places that have long used the lion’s share, like the United States, Europe and Japan. But with large increases in China, India and the Middle East, global consumption will rise even more than previously thought, U.S. energy…

It’s not your imagination – you have been paying more for electricity this year. Driven by large increases in the Northeast, U.S. residential electricity prices took their biggest leap in five years during the first six months of this year, the government said on Tuesday. The U.S. Energy Information Administration said pinpointing all the factors…

A red food cart that sits on the corner of 17th Street and Broadway in New York City’s Union Square may not look different from the thousands of others scattered throughout the city, but it is unique in at least one way and that way has nothing to do with food. This Rafiqi’s cart, which…

This week in 2003, a chain of events that started with power line brushing against some overgrown trees resulted in a power outage across the northeastern United States and southeastern Canada. For up to two days, some 50 million people were left without electricity. (See related pictures: “World’s Worst Power Outages.”) We have seen other…

In July my colleagues and I, together with the Great Plains Institute in Minnesota, organized a Cellulosic Summit in Iowa.  We brought together experts in clean transportation (many from California) with experts in sustainable agriculture (many from Iowa) to see for themselves the latest developments in cellulosic biofuel commercialization. Cellulosic biofuels are a key element…

If last week’s news that the U.S. Department of Commerce was imposing new duties on Chinese solar imports left you with a bad case of déjà vu, or at least wondering if the story would ever end, that’s understandable. It’s been a long-running melodrama. Oregon-based SolarWorld Industries America, a division of the German company SolarWorld, got…

It’s ironic that a storm whose widespread blackouts left millions of Americans in the dark is finally helping us see the light.

Hurricane Sandy brought devastation and loss to the Eastern seaboard. The storm exposed the severe vulnerability of our electricity infrastructure and made global headlines as a harbinger of nature’s impacts in a climate changed world.

For over a decade, Cape Wind’s proposal to build a turbine farm off Cape Cod has generated excitement and opposition in large measures—but no power. New federal funding and recent courtroom victories may soon change all that, and launch America’s offshore wind industry in earnest. The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Loan Programs Office has announced…