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Tesla’s Next Car: An Electric BMW 3-Series Fighter
July 27, 2012 12:40 PM - Christopher DeMorro, Matter Network
Unlike many other also-rans, Tesla Motors is succeeding where other electric car companies have failed. And by succeeding, we mean Tesla is actually selling cars, with the Model S sedan reportedly receiving over 10,000 $5,000 deposits to date. At $50,000 after tax credits though, the Model S is still well beyond what most people can afford. So what is Tesla planning to build next? From the sounds of it, an all-electric BMW 3-series rival.
New Jersey Takes Slow, Steady Approach to Offshore Wind
May 18, 2012 08:21 AM - Peter Asmus, Matter Network
The international wind power industry is watching Washington, DC to see if lawmakers will extend the federal production tax credit (PTC) for wind power. But their eyes are also focused on Trenton, the state capital of New Jersey, to see if state regulators there will help launch America's long-awaited offshore wind energy industry.
Melting Sea Ice Could Lead to Pressure on Arctic Fishery
May 16, 2012 02:52 PM - Ed Struzik, Matter Network
With melting sea ice opening up previously inaccessible parts of the Arctic Ocean, the fishing industry sees a potential bonanza. But some scientists and government officials have begun calling for a moratorium on fishing in the region until the true state of the Arctic fishery is assessed. When scientists with the Circumpolar Biodiversity Monitoring Program began tracking 323 vertebrate species across the entire Arctic several years ago, most assumed that many fish and animals would not fare well in a region where rapid warming is causing such profound changes.
U.S. Military Not Retreating on Clean Energy
May 16, 2012 08:06 AM - John Gartner, Matter Network
While many government officials nervously await the outcome of the November elections and speculate as to its implications for the cleantech sector, one federal department is likely to be relatively unaffected regardless of the outcome: Defense. According to panelists at the recent "Mission Critical: Clean Energy and the U.S. Military" event in Denver, the military's growing commitment to reducing its use of fossil fuel, for both national security and economic reasons, will not waver regardless of who's in charge in the White House or the Congress.
On Emissions Limits, California Goes its Own Way
March 15, 2012 09:00 AM - Lisa Jerram, Matter Network
Earlier this year, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) completely revamped its passenger vehicle emissions control regulations. The new Advanced Clean Cars program, which covers model years 2017—2025, combines several regulatory schemes into the new program: the Low Emission Vehicle (LEV) program, which governs tailpipe regulations for light duty vehicles; the Clean Fuels Outlet regulation, a largely dormant effort to promote alternative fuel availability; and the most famous, or infamous, component, the ZEV mandate requiring automakers to produce vehicles with no tailpipe emissions.
The Death and Rebirth of the Car Company
March 14, 2012 09:46 AM - by John Gartner, Matter Network
The car company is dead, long live the car company! No, I’m not trying to pour cold water on the notion of the rebirth of Detroit, as effectively marketed by Chrysler and Clint Eastwood in the recent Super Bowl ad. Chrysler, Ford and GM have all done impressive phoenix impersonations, arising from the ashes of the SUV-dependent era to soar again with the winds of financial health and strong sales at their backs.
Zero Energy Buildings: Closer Than You Might Think
March 12, 2012 09:02 AM - Eric Bloom, Matter Network
It’s probably a safe bet to assume you’ve never been in or even passed by a zero energy building. The U.S. Department of Energy lists only eight zero energy buildings in the U.S. on its high performance building database (though there are a few others scattered across the U.S.). A number of developers, such as Meritage Homes, have started building zero energy developments around the U.S. In Europe, the Passivhaus standard has been used to build over 40,000 residential and commercial buildings, and the city of Frankfurt, Germany requires it in construction of new public buildings. Still, these represent only a tiny fraction of the total building stock and, for most of the construction world, zero energy design represents an all but unattainable challenge given the up-front costs of deep energy efficiency and renewable energy systems.
Chicago-Based Eco-Friendly Dentist Doubles Down on Green
February 3, 2012 04:48 PM - Jeff McIntire-Strasburg, Matter Network
Almost exactly five years ago, I took at look at Transcendentist, a Berkeley based green dentistry office that combined environmental responsibility with a very different approach to patient care. Rather than the typical clinical approach, the founders of Transcendentist created a spa-like atmosphere complete with foot massages. Even then, the idea was taking off: nothing like a little calm to take the edge off of that fear of the dentist thing.
Kick-Starting the Bio-Based Economy
January 31, 2012 02:31 PM - Mackinnon Lawrence, Matter Network
Massive, varied, and intricately woven into the fabric of modern industrial society, the global chemical industry was valued at over $4 trillion in 2011, according to Pike Research’s Green Chemistry report. The non-pharmaceutical chemicals industry in the United States is valued at around $700 billion per year. The rise of bio-chemicals promises to transform that industry. Bio-based chemicals and plastics — often referred to as bio-based products — are commercial or industrial products (other than food or feed) that are derived from biological products or biomass. They serve as direct replacements for the building blocks used in petrochemical production.
One Quarter of World's Agricultural Land "Highly Degraded", UN Report Concludes
December 8, 2011 03:18 PM - Michael Ricciardi, Matter Network
On Monday, the UN released the results of the first ever global study on the state of Earth’s land. The main finding: 25 percent of all land is highly degraded making it unsuitable for agriculture. The implications of this finding are enormous; the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that farm output must increase by 70 percent by 2050 to accommodate the food needs of an estimated 9 billion humans.