The project, called ROD-SOL (short for Rods for Novel Solar Cells), aims to create new nanomaterials that are substantially more efficient and less costly than traditional photovoltaic technology, Alternative Energy News reports.
While recent news about renewable energy layoffs raise questions about wind and solar in the near future, there remains a healthy commitment in the US to creating strong incentives to move renewable technologies forward.
With most states and the federal government struggling to meet aggressive Renewable Portfolio Standards (“RPS”), regulatory agencies and governmental leaders are considering robust incentives to boost renewable energy production.
Barack Obama promised change and hope. He’s bringing it when it comes to the mercury control industry.
Coal, the backbone of America’s electrical grid, runs about 1,100 plants in the U.S., but also spews out about 48 tons of mercury per year. The element is a potent toxic substance that affects brain development. It settles in our rivers and lakes and most people are exposed to it by eating fish.
Amongst the hoo-ha of the US presidential inauguration I noted a small article stating that the new President is getting some pressure to turn the White House lawn into a vegetable patch all be it a somewhat large one, under the spiffy banner of eat the view. Putting aside for the moment critical considerations this would create, such as defining if broccoli was patriotic enough to be planted, and if a composter would be seen as a threat to the nation. There may be mileage in taking this idea a step further to demonstrate his by now well documented and stated clean tech commitments.
Vol. IV: Is CleanTech really an industry? (Today: A welcome to President Obama, International Collaboration & Legislation)Tuesday, January 20th, 2009
This morning Barack Hussain Obama became 44th President of the United States before a backdrop of mounting environmental concerns, national security fears, economic instability and a very expectant, demanding and increasingly impatient constituency. Today he humbly called on American and the World’s citizens and to help him. The future of clean technologies of every sector require forward thinking politicians and intelligentsia to wean the public from energy sources that “strengthen our adversaries and threaten our planet“.
Despite the clean tech sector’s emergence as the next big investment play, significant political and regulatory uncertainty remains heading into 2009. Amidst falling crude prices and a severe economic downturn, speculation abounds as to whether the Obama Administration can deliver on a “New Green Deal,” both at home and abroad.
To date, most reports about what the Obama Administration will deliver are encouraging. While it is doubtful the 111th Congress can wade through the worsening financial crisis in time to pass a stand-alone cap-and-trade bill, the safe bet is that legislation will target job creation around energy efficiency and renewables. This is laudable – any commitment to a greener future is a break from the past and overdue. Even so, just how aggressive the Administration’s efforts will be with regard to greening the economy remains to be seen. Of greater concern is the rhetoric around job creation and a New Green Deal. Both are short-sighted approaches that couch environmentally-sensitive federal policy in a post-New Deal framework. The clean tech sector should monitor this carefully.
If you are tight on time jump over to 1:50; President-Elect Obama sees upgrades to the US’ infrastructure, the development of alternative energy and the implementation of alternative energy projects as critical components to the country’s economic recovery.
The Economist, a weekly newspaper, wrote an article entitled “Green,easy and wrong” – and I think it is preposterous. I realize I am taking a big stab here, and might well destroy any shred of credibility by coming out against such a well regarded publication. Yet, I’m surprised that the Economist came out so strongly, and frankly, inarticulately against what is a critical investment by the United States’ government.
Please read the article and come back to get my thoughts.
It is precisely because the United States has two huge problems – an economy that is sickly at best (doomed at worst) and an environmental (and energy) predicament that should be disconcerting if not alarming – that this country’s government should do everything in its power to align a pathway to success for both issues.
After Obama’s win, it did not take long for the first blog and news articles to appear speculating about the future of CleanTech.
One of these articles is coming from the Cleantech Group asking ”Does Obama’s win spell victory for ethanol and carbon trading?” (link to article):
Everybody is talking about “green energy” these days. It seems, anywhere in the world, the “green movement” has taken hold of individuals, companies and organizations. Individuals are making efforts to shift some of their consumption to renewable energy sources, companies are eagerly trying to develop or employ innovative clean technology and organizations are lobbying the green idea. Even governments are actively promoting and supporting the development of renewable energies.
With 64,500,000 search results for “green business”, 30,100,000 for “green energy” and 14,500,000 for “clean technology”, Google provides some insights into the dimensions of this movement.* Other sources give a clear picture: The International Energy Agency (IEA) indicates that investments in renewable energy will nearly triple from the current €40 billion to €115 billion by 2020. At the same time, employment in the overall sector will increase by 54% and even double in the solid biomass and photovoltaic fields, according to the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU).**
There are many centers of activity in this worldwide movement for a better (greener) world, and I don’t want to take sides for one or the other. However, I would like to share an observation:
The United States has been criticized for its high levels of energy consumption, lack of adequate governmental policies to curb usage and insufficient promotion of alternative energy sources. At the same time, it might be the country with the largest and most dynamic “green energy” movement in the world.
Truth of the matter is: There is a large and ever growing group of dedicated people out there in the United States who believe in a “green future”. These are people who want to make a difference, people who are fed up with the current legislation’s stance on energy. These people rally all over the country in a quest for change. And they are pretty good at it.