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Global Energy Consumption to Grow 53 Percent by 2035, Report Says
September 23, 2011 12:29 PM - Matter Network, Matter Network

A new report by the U.S. Energy Information Agency predicts that worldwide energy consumption will surge 53 percent between 2008 and 2035, with China and India accounting for about half of the growth. As their economies continue to expand, China and India are expected to double their energy demand by 2035, and combined they will consume about 31 percent of the world’s energy, according to the report, International Energy Outlook 2011. The report calculates that global energy use, which was about 505 quadrillion British thermal units (Btu) in 2008, will rise to 619 quadrillion Btu in 2020 and reach 770 quadrillion Btu in 2035.

International Hotels To Standardize Carbon Accounting Methods
August 31, 2011 04:50 PM - SustainableBusiness.com, Matter Network

A group of international hotels is collaborating on a groundbreaking initiative to standardize carbon accounting in the hospitality industry. The Carbon Measurement Working Group aims to reach a consensus on a single methodology for calculating carbon footprints and consistent metrics for communicating emissions. Currently, carbon measurement metrics vary widely which can lead to confusion among guests and investors. Additionally, the number of methodologies and tools in use make transparency within the industry difficult to achieve.

China Buys 27 Million Electric Bikes Annually
August 30, 2011 01:51 PM - Timothy Hurst, Matter Network

While I think no piece about electric bikes is really complete without touching on the Optibike electric mountain bike I had the thrill of taking on a week-long test drive two years ago, this piece by energyNOW!'s Josh Zepps about the trajectory of the e-bike industry in a changing world economy and transportation landscape really puts things into perspective. As Zepps points out, electric bikes may be gaining a small foothold in the U.S. market, with 80,000 purchased last year, the Chinese market is responsible for 27 million of the 28 million e-bikes sold annually.

Electric Bicycle for Two Now Available
August 22, 2011 07:48 AM - Aaron Colter, Matter Network

It was bound to happen, and now it’s here — an electric bicycle built for two is now available to purchase for anyone looking to be a little more eco-friendly on their commute with a friend. The bike comes from the Hammacher Schlemmer company, a high-end product maker we’ve covered a few times for the innovative, but often pricey, electric vehicles they carry.

Green Cement: Near Reality or Just a Dream?
July 19, 2011 12:47 PM - Chris Keenan, Matter Network

Cement is everywhere. The foundations of our buildings, the driveways that lead beyond suburban garage doors, the walls of our schools, and the mortar joints between every brick we lay contain a binding substance we call Portland cement. Cement is the binding agent used to hold together the tough aggregate (rocky gravel) in the concrete we can use for just about everything in modern construction. It seems harmless enough. We don’t have to cut down trees to build with it. It isn’t particularly full of toxins, and is incredibly durable and long lasting, but the environmental cost of concrete is astronomical. The basic process for making cement heats limestone (calcium carbonate or CaCO3) in a kiln to well over 2550F. This process not only requires enormous amounts of fuel, but also releases literal tons of CO2 as it separates the limestone into its constituents, lime and carbon dioxide. The manufacture of cement releases a terrifying 9kg of CO2 for every 10kg of cement produced, but if building with wood is not as strong or durable and involves all the sticky business of cutting trees and building with concrete is nearly an environmental abomination. What is the world to do?

Airline Industry Fights European Union Carbon Cap
July 14, 2011 08:48 AM - Ilana Solomon, Matter Network

Over the last century, innovation in global air transport has opened the door for endless possibilities worldwide. Because of these innovations we get to explore new parts of the world, visit our favorite destinations, or meet with international colleagues and friends. As someone who travels quite often, my own trips abroad have introduced me to people and exposed me to new issues and ideas. On some of these travels, I have witnessed how climate change has created new vulnerabilities in the agriculture sector because climate change is challenging farmers with increasingly unpredictable water supply and temperature extremes. I have met with farmers who are unable to grow food to feed their families because of the weather changes. I have met children who must stop going to school in order to spend time searching for water or helping to cultivate their families’ small farms. The impacts of climate change are devastating.

Portland Green Homes Outperform Non-Certified Homes For Fourth Straight Year
July 5, 2011 08:53 AM - Matt Smith, Green Building Elements, Matter Network

The desire for homes that conform to the green building standards of organizations such as Earth Advantage, ENERGY STAR, or LEEDS is growing throughout the world, and nowhere is that more evident than Portland, Oregon. For the fourth straight year in a row, green certified homes have outperformed non-certified homes in the Portland metro region, according to a study by the Earth Advantage Institute.

Five Reasons Why EVs Will Love L.A.
June 7, 2011 08:18 AM - John Gartner, Matter Network

Last week, I was fortunate to meet with two of the people driving Los Angeles' transition to plug-in electric vehicles (PEVs). Beth Jines, the Director of Sustainability for the City of Los Angeles, and Sarah Potts, City Director of Los Angeles for the Clinton Climate Initiative, are working together to navigate the complex issues of vehicle electrification and getting support from consumers and the private sector. They discussed how and why L.A. will be a leader in PEV adoption.

Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf Get Top Safety Nod
May 3, 2011 08:33 AM - Nino Marchetti , Matter Network

One factor everyone wonders about when buying a new car is how safe it is in case of an accident. For green cars, such as the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf, this is especially a question to consider given their short history in the market. Now, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has done its first ever U.S. crash tests of mainstream electric cars to rate how these types of vehicles hold up under impact.

Virginia Hybrid Car HOV Perk Is Tied to Police Budget
April 28, 2011 04:57 PM - HybridCars, Matter Network

Last week, Virginia passed yet another extension of its hybrid HOV law, which gives drivers of "clean fuel" vehicles access to the commonwealth's carpool lanes. The law has been extended annually since its original expiration date in 2006—even as the state's HOV lanes (and hybrid sales) swell. Could the extensions have anything to do with the fact that, with every registration for access, $15 goes to the state police's "HOV Enforcement Fund?"

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