Thursday, January 21st, 2010
A new book touts energy efficiency as one possible environmentally and economic solution for solving the global energy crisis. In Crossing The Energy Divide, authors Robert and Edward Ayres argue that we need to reform the way we manage our existing energy systems to double the amount of “energy service” we get from every drop of fossil fuel we use. They claim the resulting improvements in energy efficiency can bridge the global economy until clean renewables can fully replace fossil fuels.
CleanTechies put three questions to the authors:
CleanTechies: Is the U.S. government listening to you on your energy efficiency/waste-to-energy arguments? If so, where are we at in terms of implementation of your proposals?
Monday, January 18th, 2010
Investing in energy efficiency is a critical piece of the climate change puzzle. Given that the built environment accounts for 39 percent of total energy use in the US, real estate investment represents one of the most effective ways to implement energy efficiency strategies. A recent report from Ceres and Mercer, reviewed in Environmental Leader, outlines the business case that investing in energy efficiency enhances value in real estate portfolios. The report draws on key industry and academic research on building efficiency’s economic impacts and outlines steps and best practices for leveraging efficiency in real estate investments, including pertinent case studies about TIAA-CREF and CalPERS.
Wednesday, January 13th, 2010
The AFCOM association recently revealed the results of a survey of 436 data center sites that showed the following trends: Cyber terrorism is an increasing concern, mainframe deployment is declining, storage deployment is increasing, and “green” technologies are definitely happening.
AFCOM found that there is a shift in data centers away from mainframe computers and toward other types of servers. That makes total sense as virtualization is the mantra of the day for those companies that are interested in optimizing their power by having several operating systems function within just one server. Data processing and storage is done within one server as opposed to a traditional system where the network is distributed in an elaborate design comprising of several servers and workstations all attached to their own separate hardware components. Similar to a virtual environment, all the physical resources such as additional servers, PCs, storage, hard drives, processors, and mother boards are totally eliminated. That way, not only are we saving big time in hardware investment (good for the planet!), we are also avoiding excess maintenance costs. That’s a big thumbs up!
Friday, December 18th, 2009
How do you force a company that earns money by selling power to reduce its sales? This conflict of interests is what the state of California faced in the 1970s and the result was the formation of the California Public Utilities Corporation (CPUC) an agency that oversees the publicly owned utilities in the state and regulates the amount those utilities can charge. A major goal for the CPUC? Disincentivize the utilities from increasing sales.
Energy use across the United States has grown steadily both on a per capita basis and in total for the last 30 years. California is one of the few states that has been able to control its per-capita energy use over the last few decades. In fact, the per capita utility use curve in California has been almost completely flat since the late ‘70s which many find amazing considering the overwhelming increase in technology in our lives. The way California has done so is as startling as it is strange: beauracratic wisdom.
Thursday, December 17th, 2009
These are the green gifts your utility company doesn’t want you to know about and your girlfriend doesn’t want to receive but for less than $75 you can save yourself over $300 next year and every year thereafter.
While the holidays usually represent massive purchases of items destined for landfills and dark corners of attics and basements, there are several items you can purchase this holiday season that will pay for themselves many times over and put a smile on your face every month of the year. Whether you care about the environment, hate sending your hard earned money to the utility company or simply have better things to do with your money, these tips will help you put a smile on the recipients face every month of the year.
Tuesday, December 15th, 2009
CleanTechies sits down with John Viera, director of sustainable business strategies for Ford Motor Company, for three questions.
CleanTechies: What are your day to day duties and the big picture of your job?
John Viera: Basically, my responsibilities are two-fold. My organization is responsible for our sustainability strategies and also responsible for environmental policy for the company. So, when you think about those two pockets – the sustainability strategy, you can think about it in a couple of different buckets. Everything we do from a sustainability strategy standpoint has to have economic goodness to it. I say that because when we talk about doing things that are environmentally friendly and whatnot, we say that it does need to have a good business case. We’re not the philanthropic arm of Ford. There is a philanthropic arm. It’s called the Ford Fund. And what we do is we set up strategies that make business sense.
Friday, December 4th, 2009
Christmas Lights … scrooge or savior? (an annual refrain …) Do you love those displays of Christmas (or Hannukah or Kwanza or …) lights? Are you awed by those so impassioned that they string up 1000s of lights in awesome displays worthy of a city center?
I once did, pausing on cold winter nights, white clouds issuing from my mouth, enjoying being in the glow of beautiful displays. And, in a way, I was inspired that they would spend $1000s (or $10,000s) on displays and the electricity to power them so that others could enjoy the sight on those cold winter nights. But … no longer … not for awhile.
Friday, December 4th, 2009
I recently attended the West Coast Green conference in San Francisco and came out enthused and confused.
I was enthused about the progress the green building industry is making. That over 14,000 people from all over the country came to learn about the new innovations in green building is huge for an industry, which in many ways, is in its infancy.
I listened to speakers from all sides of the business, real estate experts, government officials, green building consultants, and contractors to list only a few. They all provided interesting insights on where the industry was and should be going and a bit about it how it was going to get there.
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
According to a new report [Fr] from ADEME (the French Environment and Energy Management Agency), 90,000 jobs have been created in green sectors in France between 2006 and 2008.
These jobs have been created mostly in the fields of energy conservation and the development of renewable energy.
Overall, the French green sectors now employ over 294,000 jobs (up from 204,000 jobs in 2006). The ADEME is optimistic that this trend will continue and believes an additional 200,000 jobs could be created by 2012.
The energy conservation and renewable energy sectors grew by 28 percent and represent a market worth €50 billion ($75 billion). They could grow to up to €90 billion ($135 billion) by 2012. (more…)
Sunday, November 29th, 2009
With the United States of America’s ever-mounting trade and budget deficits, unemployment above 10 percent (and, dependent on counting, un- and under-employment above 20 percent), looming peak oil and other resource (water, for example) limitations, environmental challenges, and ever-mounting climate chaos , America faces a very serious situation.
In fact, to one degree or another, these same intertwined challenges (with the exception of trade/budget deficits for some countries) are those face by societies and nations throughout the globe in our networked, systems-of-systems global community.
These serious challenges are a networked system-of-systems that interact and reinforce each other. As we strive to stop digging the holes deeper and climb our way out, we can seek to deal with these challenges in a stove-piped manner or address them with W6 solutions that have wins across multiple arenas: