Intelligent disaster relief
December 27, 2013 11:46 AM - Kieran Dodds/Panos, SciDevNet
The "fragmented" coordination between relief actors in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan last month underscores the need for artificial intelligence to streamline disaster response, says a team behind such an effort. The ORCHID project, a consortium of UK universities and private firms, aims to make this possible by combining human and artificial intelligence into an efficient complementary unit known as a Human Agent Collective (HAC).
Smart is at a whole new level for homes
December 27, 2013 10:13 AM - Editor, ENN, Sierra Club Green Home
Smart homes have gone to a whole new level with Panasonic's showcase center in Tokyo, Japan. Panasonic's new technologies feature hydroponics, air ventilation, color customization, and energy consumption. The energy consumption specifically is integrated into a grid of other smart homes that share excess energy; respond to energy needs, and track community usage trends. The resultant home is a zero-emission smart house combining with nature’s elements.
New York City to Use Food Waste to Heat Homes
December 27, 2013 08:22 AM - Gina-Marie Cheeseman, Triple Pundit
New York City will reduce the amount of food waste sent to landfills by converting it into energy. Last week, Deputy Mayor Cas Calloway announced that the city will partner with Waste Management to deliver pre-processed organic waste food to Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant where it will be added to wastewater sludge to increase biogas production. The biogas by-product will be converted into renewable natural gas for both residential and commercial use through a partnership with National Grid, an international electricity and energy company. Through this project, enough energy could be produced to heat almost 5,200 New York city homes and reduce annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by over 90,000 metric tons, equivalent to removing almost 19,000 cars from the road.
COLLEGIATE CORNER: The Benefits of Laundry-to-Landscape Greywater Systems
December 26, 2013 04:28 PM - Madeline Valinski, University of Delaware, Class of 2015, Environmental Studies
Approximately 30% of household water use is for outdoor use in the form of garden irrigation. Outdoor water usage is very seasonal, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and outdoor water usage is highest when water availability is the lowest due to drought conditions and heat. The top three uses of water in the household are for landscaping, sewage, and laundry. Yet a simple laundry-to-landscape system could reduce one of these high water wasters. A laundry-to-landscape system might not be the only step to make the garden water neutral; approximately 15% of household water use is for laundry, which could at least reduce outdoor water usage by 50% if a laundry-to-landscape system were installed.
The "state" of Energy Efficiency
December 26, 2013 09:47 AM - Mary Mazzoni, Triple Pundit
Conversations about energy use in the U.S. often revolve around expanding domestic production or spurring renewables. It’s easy to forget another significant piece of the puzzle — energy efficiency. In its 2013 scorecard, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ranks the most energy-efficient states based on policy and program efforts that improve efficiency in homes, businesses, industries and transportation systems.
While there is no doubt that the electric vehicle market has performed admirably during 2013, what does the future hold for the electric vehicle industry in 2014? As we come to the end of 2013 all eyes are now moving towards next year when many experts believe we will see developments which could change the whole landscape of the electric vehicle market. There are a number of initiatives under the surface, perhaps not grabbing the headlines as you might expect, which could come into play in 2014 and indeed we will be one year nearer an affordable electric vehicle priced around $30,000. There are very few people who would have guessed that 2013 would be so successful for the worldwide electric vehicle market especially as the year began on a fairly downward note. Not only did we have a number of setbacks for the industry, with regards to government investments, but the spat between Tesla and the New York Times did nobody any favours.
20,000th LEED Project is Certified
December 24, 2013 12:16 PM - Green Building Law Update via, Clean Techies
Earlier this month, while few people were watching, the 20,000th LEED commercial project was certified! Wow. In the event you missed the huge happening on December 4th, it is a LEED 2009 Commercial Interior Certified project in Knoxville, Tennessee. This green tenant improvement portends enormous business opportunities associated with the U.S. Green Building Council and the existing built environment.
A little less coal for China
December 24, 2013 09:02 AM - Kieran Cooke, Ecologist
Coal mining companies in Australia have been enjoying the good life in recent years, making millions of dollars from feeding the seemingly insatiable energy appetites of Asia's tiger economies - particularly that of China. But a new report by the Smith School of Enterprise and the Environment (SSEE) at Oxford in the UK warns that Australia's coal mining party could be coming to an end.
Out with the old and in with the new--light bulbs that is!
December 23, 2013 09:25 AM - Robin Blackstone, ENN
As of January 1, 2014, 60 and 40 watt incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured or sold in the United States. Retailers will sell out what is on their shelves and not restock incandescents. George W. Bush signed the phase-out, which was called for by The Energy Independence and National Security Act, in 2007. The bill also includes improvements in energy efficiency for lighting and appliances many of which have been in stores for several years.
Climate change and livestock
December 21, 2013 07:46 AM - Roger Greenway, ENN
Climate change, and man's role in it is being extensively studied by universities and government agencies around the world. The impact of ruminant livestock has been studied, but the effects of livestock emissions may have been underestimated. A team of international scientists, including Oregon State University Professor William Ripple concludes that while climate change negotiators struggle to agree on ways to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, they have paid inadequate attention to other greenhouse gases associated with livestock, according to an analysis by an international research team. A reduction in non-CO2 greenhouse gases will be required to abate climate change, the researchers said. Cutting releases of methane and nitrous oxide, two gases that pound-for-pound trap more heat than does CO2, should be considered alongside the challenge of reducing fossil fuel use.