• Renewable Sources Provide All New Generating Capacity in January – Three-Fold Increase From Same Period Last Year

    The latest Energy Infrastructure Update released yesterday by the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports that the US had 1,231 megawatts (MW) of new in-service generating capacity come online in January of 2013 – all of it from renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass. The new capacity for January represents a three-fold increase from the 431 MW of new renewable generating capacity that came online in January of 2012. >> Read the Full Article
  • Shell suspends Arctic oil drilling for the year

    Royal Dutch Shell announced yesterday that it was setting "pause" on its exploratory drilling activities in the Arctic for 2013. Shell's operations are currently under review by the federal government after the oil company suffered numerous setbacks during last year's opening attempt to drill exploratory wells in the Beaufort and Chukchi Seas, including running its drilling rig aground on Sitkalidak Island in southern Alaska in late December. >> Read the Full Article
  • 9 Energy-Efficiency Questions to Ask Your Realtor

    From the threat of high-impact storms like Sandy to the destruction of natural habitats, climate change affects everyone. It’s clear that we all need to reduce our carbon footprint to minimize global warming. Fortunately, more Americans are reducing greenhouse gases through better choices in home energy use – and saving money, too. In 2008, Americans saved more than $19 billion and prevented the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to 29 million cars through energy-efficiency measures, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. >> Read the Full Article
  • France Unveils Measures to Decrease Energy Use

    Even after the election of François Hollande as President of France, an energy conservation measure of the previous government will be implemented. The Sarkozy government wanted to require shops and offices to turn off their unnecessary lights at nights. This will be effective as of July 1, 2013. All nonresidential buildings will be required to shut off their lights an hour after the last worker leaves or by 1 a.m. each morning. Lights can be turned on again until 7 a.m. or just before they open. Similarly, the lights on building facades will have to be turned off. >> Read the Full Article
  • Capturing Carbon Dioxide with a "Solar Sponge"

    A new smart material called a MOF (metal organic framework) has the ability to adsorb carbon dioxide and release it when exposed to sunlight thus creating a new breakthrough in a way to recycle CO2 emissions using renewable energy. The process is known as dynamic photo-switching which refers to the reversible light-induced switching of floor or intensity. This capture-and-release method is extremely energy efficient and only requires UV light to trigger the release of CO2 after it has been captured from the mixture of exhaust gases. >> Read the Full Article
  • Element Hotels - Green Traveler Friendly

    Element Hotels are made to order for travelers who are conscious of the environment and who appreciate good design and lots of light. Their design ethic includes guest rooms and public spaces with as much natural light as possible. Stylish and sustainable throughout, Element offers comfort with a conscience and signature amenities from its complimentary, healthy RISE breakfast and RELAX evening reception to saline swimming pools, spacious fitness centers, bikes to borrow and electric vehicle charging stations. Element made history in 2008 as the only major hotel brand to pursue LEED certification for high-performance buildings brand-wide. To date, there are Element hotels in 10 U.S. markets, with new domestic and international hotels in development. My wife and I stayed at the Element hotel in New York City recently, guests of the chain. We drove to the hotel in our Chevrolet Volt and charged it at the EV charging station in the parking facility the hotel uses. This was the first time in over two years of Volt ownership that I was actually able to charge the car at a hotel. I am planning on purchasing an all electric in a year or so, being able to charge at a hotel becomes extremely important. Kudos to Element for being kind to EV owners! Note, this was not free at the New York hotel where a parking facility across the street is used for parking, but I was told that at other Element Hotels free charging stations are available. >> Read the Full Article
  • The Growth of Efficient Buildings

    The area of building efficiency affords tremendous opportunities for both economic growth and reduced environmental impacts. Buildings are the single largest emitters of greenhouse gases. According to a UNEP study titled "Towards a Green Economy," homes and businesses are responsible for 40 percent of the climate change causing carbon pollution. There is significant room for improvement in new construction and retrofits in homes, businesses, schools and other organization. >> Read the Full Article
  • America's Electric Vehicle Workplace Charging Challenge

    Sales of plug-in Electric Vehicles (EV) in the U.S. more than tripled in 2012 and continue to grow. The Obama administration has invested $7.5 billion, and billions more have been invested by car manufacturers, including companies like Ford, Nissan and BMW, who are putting out eight more new models of plug-in vehicles on U.S. roads this year. Nissan has invested $5 billion in electric cars while General Motors has invested a $1 billion. This continued support for the mass adoption of the EV is crucial, particularly as environmentalists believe it will help to control greenhouse gas emissions. All this means getting American drivers to think about what they are driving. >> Read the Full Article
  • Mobile masts could help measure rain and chill vaccines

    Mobile-phone masts in Africa could be used for other development initiatives, such as filling gaps in rainfall data and providing electricity to refrigerate vaccines, experts say. For example, masts could be used to measure rainfall in areas without rain gauges, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) this month (4 February). >> Read the Full Article
  • Renewable Energy Capacity Fuels Power Growth in January

    The latest Energy Infrastructure Update released yesterday by the Office of Energy Projects at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission reports that the US had 1,231 megawatts (MW) of new in-service generating capacity come online in January of 2013 – all of it from renewable sources including wind, solar and biomass. The new capacity for January represents a three-fold increase from the 431 MW of new renewable generating capacity that came online in January of 2012. Wind energy led the pack with six new units providing 958 MW, followed by 16 new solar units generating 267 MW of electricity and six new biomass units for 6 MW of new generation. Nuclear, hydro and all fossil fuel sources, including coal, oil, and natural gas offered no new electrical generating capacity last month. >> Read the Full Article