The fledgling renewable energy industry has grown steadily over much of the past decade, adding jobs at more than twice the national rate, according to a Pew Charitable Trusts study released Wednesday. Solar and wind-power companies, energy-efficient light bulb makers, environmental engineering firms and others expanded their work force by 9.1 percent from 1998 to 2007, the latest year available, according to Pew. The average job growth in all industries was 3.7 percent during the same period.
Global warming is uprooting people from their homes and, left unchecked, could lead to the greatest human migration in history, said a report released Wednesday. Estimates vary on how many people are on the move because of climate change, but the report cites predictions from the International Organization for Migration that 200 million people will be displaced by environmental pressures by 2050.
House Republicans are calling for a hundred new nuclear power plants to be built in the next two decades as part of an energy plan they say is a better alternative than one championed by Democrats. The legislation unveiled by the GOP Wednesday would also increase production of oil and gas offshore, open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling and spur refinery construction.
Columbia Tech, a US-based contract manufacturer, today announced its partnership with Massachusetts-based Owl Power to manufacture the company’s Vegawatt cogeneration system.
The most comprehensive modeling yet carried out on the likelihood of how much hotter the Earth's climate will get in this century shows that without rapid and massive action, the problem will be about twice as severe as previously estimated six years ago - and could be even worse than that.
President Barack Obama said Friday he was increasingly hopeful that the United States can lead the way on climate change, six months before crunch global talks in Copenhagen. "I'm actually more optimistic than I was about America being able to take leadership on this issue, joining Europe, which over the last several years has been ahead of us on this issue," Obama said after talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Germany.
Toyota said Wednesday it will start leasing plug-in hybrid cars, that are even greener than its hit Prius, by the end of this year in the U.S., Japan and Europe.Toyota Motor Corp., the world's top automaker, will start leasing 200 plug-ins in Japan, 150 in the U.S. and 150 in Europe, mostly for rental, such as through special government-backed programs, it said in a release. Toyota will for the first time use lithium-ion batteries in the plug-ins. The batteries are already used in some cars but more common in laptops and other gadgets. Toyota hybrids now use nickel-metal hydride batteries. Using a lithium-ion battery will produce more energy, allowing the car to run more as an electric vehicle, but there have been some technological hurdles.
Here are a couple of articles on efficiency in flywheel and electro-optical systems from Douglas Electrical Components and Wavelength Electronics.
The South Korean city of Ulsan lets water generated from processing food waste run off into the ocean, which can generate methane gas harmful to the environment. Now, with the help of a Swedish company, it is going to start converting that waste water into biogas, a type of clean fuel that can be used as power to heat buildings and even power vehicles.
President Barack Obama wants drivers to go farther on a gallon of gas and cause less damage to the environment — and be willing to pick up the tab.
GE announced today that it will open a new, state-of-the-art battery manufacturing plant in Upstate New York that will serve as the main manufacturing facility for GE’s newly formed battery business. The initial investment in the factory will be $100 million. It will be located in the Capital Region and will create 350 new manufacturing jobs at GE and thousands more in the supply chain.
Compared to ethanol used for internal combustion engines, researcher say that bioelectricity used for battery-powered vehicles would deliver an average of 80% more miles of transportation per acre of crops, while also providing double the greenhouse gas offsets to mitigate climate change.
Conventional wisdom says that “early adopters” eventually bring new technologies into the mainstream. Thus, the effort to promote solid state lighting (SSL) has ample historical precedence. Back in the late 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s an epic battle was waged between Video Home System (VHS) and Betamax (Beta). One can draw lessons from the eponymous “videotape format war”—specifically, why technologies catch on (while others fade away)
The U.S. should build 100 more nuclear plants rather than spend "billions in subsidies" for renewable energy if it is truly committed to lowering electric bills and having clean air, the Republicans say. In the party's weekly radio and Internet address, Sen. Lamar Alexander said the United States should follow the example of France, which promoted nuclear power decades ago
Former Vice President Al Gore, a leading voice on climate change, urged lawmakers Friday to overcome partisan differences and pass legislation to curb greenhouse gases. Gore, who won a Nobel prize for his work on global warming, called the climate issue the most important ever before Congress. A Democratic bill limiting carbon dioxide and other pollution linked to a warming of the Earth will simultaneously solve the problems of the climate
The United States insisted Thursday that it had a common purpose and felt a sense of urgency over climate change, taking part in environment talks with other Group of Eight nations and developing countries. Delegates are holding three days of talks in this eastern Sicilian city amid high expectations over the extent of the U.S. commitment to tackle climate change
Raser Technologies recently announced a 100 MPG version of the Hummer H3 at the 2009 SAE International World Congress. The idea of taking the most infamous gas guzzler and making it “greener than a Prius” sounds like a pipe dream. But Raser claims to have achieved it. The resultant vehicle is the best of both worlds: environmentally-friendly and attractive
The last time Congress passed major environmental laws, acid rain was destroying lakes and forests, polluted rivers were on fire and smog was choking people in some cities. The fallout from global warming, while subtle now, could eventually be more dire. That prospect has Democrats pushing legislation that rivals in scope the nation's landmark anti-pollution laws.
President Barack Obama is calling for the country to move swiftly to a system of high-speed rail travel, saying it will relieve congestion, help clean the air and save on energy. Appearing with Vice President Joe Biden and Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood Thursday, Obama said the country cannot afford not to invest in a major upgrade to rail travel. He said he understands it necessarily will be "a long-term project" but said the time to start is now
There’re strange brewings in the auto industry. President Obama once remarked that “unless we free ourselves from a dependence on these fossil fuels and chart a new course on energy in this country, we are condemning future generations to global catastrophe.” Fresh off its government bailout, General Motors has devoted “significant resources” to the Chevy Volt, an "Extended Range Electric Vehicle" set for release in 2011. Obama’s response?
Tinkering with Earth's climate to chill runaway global warming — a radical idea once dismissed out of hand — is being discussed by the White House as a potential emergency option, the president's new science adviser said Wednesday. That's because global warming is happening so rapidly, John Holdren told The Associated Press in his first interview since being confirmed last month. The concept of using technology to purposely cool the climate is called geoengineering
To follow up on an earlier story, congress has urged the EPA to drop its SSL Energy Star criteria. A letter, signed by nine congressional members, encourages EPA administrator Lisa Jackson to defer to the DOE on Energy Star. The letter makes mention of “the current state of affairs, in which two federal agencies have put forth two separate standards,” and that, “The overlapping standards are creating uncertainty in the industry”
In response to an Obama Administration auto task force report, Plug In America on Tuesday proposed a plan to make GM’s Chevy Volt and other plug-in cars more affordable, noting that most advanced new technologies are initially more costly. California law requires that the Volt and other plug-in hybrids come with a 10-year warranty. To ensure this longer life, automakers are as much as doubling the size of the battery pack, increasing cost to manufacturer and consumer.
Advanced technology vehicles have yet to gain a foothold in the mainstream auto industry. Hybrids boast a fuel economy upwards of 40 mpg, but are too pricey for your average consumer. Similarly, “clean diesel” sports high MPG ratings, but diesel is prohibitively expensive. The more exotic ATV’s (air-cars, biodiesel, solar) are aesthetically morose. Pure electric vehicles (PEVs) lack the necessary infrastructure to support them. Welcko’s Mogwai Electric Vehicle (or MEV) is the first ATV with potential mainstream viability
The California Energy Commission (CEC) is moving ahead with a proposal that could make Plasma TVs legally obsolete. Based on the 2008 Report, “Draft Efficiency Standards for Television” (which drew heavily from Pacific Gas and Electric Company findings), the proposal would set a cap on the maximum active mode power usage (watts). This would effectively ban the sale of Plasma, DLP, rear projector, and certain LCD TV’s in California