Tag archives for clean energy

NEW DELHI–A cross-section of representatives from the energy sector in India gathered on December 4, 2014, to discuss a critical conundrum faced by the giant South Asia nation: How to deliver on the new government’s election promise to extend access to energy to 400 million people without electricity, while also containing, if not reducing, the heavy…

California enacted its Global Warming Solutions Act (AB32) in 2006. Since then, an entire network of interacting, mutually-reinforcing legislation  has evolved in the state,  historic in how the different measures support one another. A solar roof mandate (one million by 2020)  augments  an electric vehicle mandate (also one million in 2020), while both bolster  a…

British Columbia finds itself at the forefront of the global debate on natural gas, and its role in the future of energy. Some 15 energy company consortiums are vying to build massive export terminals on the Pacific coastline of Canada’s westernmost province, with an eye to shipping gas to energy-hungry Asia. British Columbia, in other…

  Former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s now famous comment, “Never let a serious crisis to go to waste,” could not have been more true of Hurricane Sandy, which was a harbinger of the costly destructive power of climate change.  Sandy made clear that willful ignorance of climate science and inaction is simply…

We generally complain that action on climate change is mired in polarized partisan politics and thus nothing can be done.  True to an extent, but let’s hold on a bit. In terms of generating important discussion about the clarity that exists around the conclusion that the scientific debate over climate change as an anthropogenic process…

When we published a story this week on a study that showed the negative consequences of environmental messaging on light bulbs, we suspected the subject would spark a lively debate—and our readers delivered. The post garnered more than 2,500 Facebook “likes,” 582 tweets, 93 Google+ “+1s,” and more than 90 comments. A few themes are…

Louisiana Tech University has been a perennial winner at Shell Eco-marathon Americas, with an emphasis on slipping aerodynamic features into sleekly designed cars that look like they could be driving the roads today. “They want a car that looks like a car,” explained Heath Tims, associate professor of mechanical engineering and team coach. “They want…

Why does this team’s high-efficiency car look like a taxi? Ride-sharing is the idea that students at St. Paul’s School in Covington, Louisiana wanted to drive home with the vehicle they built for Shell Eco-marathon Americas 2013. It’s nicknamed “Big Yellow Taxi,” and modeled after Benny the cartoon taxi in the movie, “Who Framed Roger…

One of the great frustrations to the climate science and environmental stewardship research community is that the steady advance of solid scientific consensus about the risks of climate change warrants very little coverage.  On the other hand, disasters— mega-story Sandy, heat waves, fires, and drought— get a lot of attention, even if the risk assessment…

As China selects its new leadership this week, jobs, energy, and international relations will be very much on the minds of the leaders of the Chinese Communist Party.  Over the past decade China has transformed its economy into the leading manufacturing power in the clean energy sector.  This is a tremendous achievement, and one that…

News that China’s largest auto parts maker is seeking a controlling stake in one of the most heralded U.S. green technology companies, A123 Systems, has quickly ignited into a debate on national security and the energy future. Of course, the Obama administration, which supported A123 with a $249.1 million grant in 2009, like the Bush…

On the heels of the violent storm system that felled enough overhead wires to disrupt electricity for 4.3 million utility customers on the U.S. East Coast,  new research suggests that the technology for transmitting power without connection to the vulnerable electric grid may be closer at hand than most people think. “Wireless power” will be…

Something crucial was missing from the first-ever global inventory of tax breaks for oil companies and other fossil-fuel subsidies when the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development released it last fall. The report detailed all the subtle and not-so-subtle supports for production and consumption of oil, coal, and natural gas in 24 nations, including the world’s most advanced economies—all…

One of the most unusual looking cars at this year’s Shell Eco-marathon Europe was testing out one of the oldest concepts for harnessing energy for motion: the Stirling heat engine. Team Schluckspecht from the University of Applied Sciences, of Offenburg, Germany, designed a vehicle that relied on external heating and cooling to drive pistons. The…

Students from Spain’s La Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (UPV) do some final testing on “Urban Spirit,” the car they hope will help test new possibilities for fuel efficiency in Shell Eco-marathon Europe 2012. The Valencia team is one of 154 teams from some 20 countries gathered in Rotterdam this week for the student design, build,…

Bryony Schwan, co-founder and Executive Director of The Biomimicry Institute, discusses the solutions embedded in nature that could help address global food, water and energy issues. She appeared at the Powering Progress forum Wednesday in Rotterdam. Related: Pictures: Nature Yields New Ideas for Energy and Efficiency  

Hubert Klumpner, co-founder of the Urban Think Tank in Zurich, Switzerland and Sao Paulo, Brazil, discusses the challenge and promise of cities in addressing global resource stresses, at the Powering Progress business forum Wednesday in Rotterdam. Related: The City Solution Pictures: Twelve Car-Free City Zones Quiz: What You Don’t Know About Cities and Energy  …

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Monday approved the first large-scale liquefied natural gas export terminal in the lower 48 states despite record falling gas prices. Shipping from the $10 billion Louisiana plant is projected to begin as early as 2015. The Cheniere plant is the third liquefied natural gas plant in the works in Louisiana. Others are planned elsewhere in the country. The plants…

For the past 20 years, Purdue Solar Racing (PSR) has been designing and building a variety of solar powered vehicles. While these cars have all varied greatly in their designs and manufacturing processes,  Shell Eco-marathon’s urban concept category motivated PSR to enter into a completely unexplored realm with its eighth car, Celeritas. Urban concept vehicles…

Bringing together students majoring in mechanical, material, and aerospace engineering, as well as computer science, the Cal Poly Supermileage Vehicle Team combines all these disciplines to produce the most efficient vehicles possible. Last year, we took home the Technical Innovation Award at Shell Eco-marathon Americas for the onboard electronics and custom data acquisition and monitoring…

In the world’s quest for energy solutions, the ideas and dedication of young people will be crucial. So the Great Energy Challenge Blog will feature the stories of high school and college students who have spent much of the past year focusing on the problem of building vehicles that use less fuel. The young mechanics…

After public pressure, Chicago will shut two aging coal-fired power plants, and the owner of one of the power plants, Midwest Generation, may shut its other four coal plants in Illinois. Since the start of 2010, more than 100 coal plants have been slated for early retirement. A major reason for coal plants shutting has been public opposition to…

For the first time in 34 years, the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission cleared the way for licensing of new nuclear reactors in the United States. It’s not the first step for the addition to the Vogtle site outside of Augusta, Georgia, which four years ago began what was supposed to be a streamlined approval process.…

Average prices of oil and gasoline at the pump reached an all-time high in 2011, according to U.S. Energy Information Administration data. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, averaged $111 a barrel—the first time it broke $100 for a whole year. In some ways, these records snuck up on Americans, since there was no extreme…

In Durban, South Africa, the latest round of United Nations climate negotiations opened with a plea from South Africa’s president, Jacob Zuma, for countries to look beyond national interests. So far, however, the talks have been marked by many of the same divisions that plagued earlier meets. A coalition of environmental groups—including the Natural Resources…