Monthly Archives: May 2012

California State Energy Grants Yield Big Savings in Megawatts, and Dollars

While media outlets often publicize government missteps, such as the U.S. Department of Energy’s loans to the now bankrupt company Solyndra,[1] they typically underreport quiet successes. One such example at the state level is the California Energy Commission’s Public Interest Energy Research (PIER) program, which leverages public and private investments to develop and deploy innovative technologies that benefit both the environment and economic growth. Continue reading

NREL Releases Roadmap for State, Local Bulk Purchasing Programs for Solar PV

Following the success of a solar bulk purchasing program pioneered by residents of Portland, Oregon and spreading to communities across the country, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has released a roadmap for state and local leaders who wish to launch their own campaigns. Continue reading

New York State, City Move Forward on Recycling

New Yorkers discard 310,000 thermostats containing hazardous mercury each year, but only 1% is recycled, meaning that 1,800 pounds of mercury end up in landfills or combustion facilities. If these products are improperly disposed of, they can be released into the environment, with harmful effects on humans and wildlife. Continue reading

California Sinks $15 million into Green Transportation

California has once again given a substantial boost to the development of advanced biofuels and electric vehicles. The state’s Energy Commission today announced that it will award more than $15 million for projects ranging from artificial photosynthesis to vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technologies. Continue reading

Despite Challenges, Solar Industry Set to Shine, Report Says

In recent months, the burgeoning global solar market has faced a wave of setbacks, including an oversupply of modules, low profit margins, reduced government support and competition from cheap shale gas. But amid the litany of bad news, a new report from McKinsey & Company suggests that the future of solar is bright.

Annual solar photovoltaic (PV) installations could increase fifty-fold by 2020 compared with 2005 levels, “achieving installation rates that could rival those of gas, wind, and hydro, and could outpace nuclear,” the report says. Continue reading

New York Gov. Cuomo Promotes Energy Efficiency, Solar, Green Manufacturing

Last week, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a range of clean-energy and environmental initiatives, including a $450 million investment aimed at reducing energy use in state buildings by 20 percent over four years. Continue reading

Nations Urged to Accelerate Clean Energy, Efficiency to Avoid Devastating Climate Impacts

The global community must take urgent action to speed deployment of clean-energy technologies and ramp up energy efficiency if the planet is to avoid the worst effects of climate change, says a new report from the Paris-based International Energy Agency. Continue reading