Wednesday, July 14th, 2010
While others talk about the need to change our nation’s energy habits, GE is committing resources to find the best ideas and build a better energy grid.
GE and its partners announce the GE ecomagination Challenge: Powering the Grid, a $200 million investment in finding the best technologies, processes and business models to bring our energy grid into the 21st century. It’s about making clean energy real, bringing to market what works, right now.
In looking for the best ideas, GE is asking you to get involved in finding the solution.
You can submit an idea or vote for the ideas that you think are the most promising and play a part in defining the future of our energy grid.
There are three separate challenges to address how we create, connect and use energy, focused on: renewable energy, grid efficiency and eco homes/eco buildings.
Wednesday, July 7th, 2010
Picture a neighborhood block somewhere in your town. It might have single-story homes for 10 families — complete with front porches, sidewalks and green lawns. Or instead that block might have a single apartment building that houses 50 families over five floors. What we know is that each of the families — whether they’re living in a detached house or a mid-rise apartment — pays away some of their hard-earned dollars to pay for energy. And for many low-income Americans, these energy bills absorb a significant amount of the family income.
Now imagine that teams of trained experts come down that block and install measures to help those families save energy. Insulation, caulking, weatherstripping, windows, better furnaces or water heaters. So families’ energy bills go down and their comfort goes up. We call this ‘weatherization’ — and it’s happening in more than 82,000 homes as part of the Recovery Summer. (more…)
Friday, June 25th, 2010
The folks who install insulated windows, efficient factory motors and energy saving lights apparently missed the memo about the economic meltdown.
As US gross domestic product slipped to under 1% in 2008, the $4.1 billion energy service industry grew 7%. Jealous? Just wait. That was nothing compared to the expansion predicted over the next couple of years, according to a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. (more…)
Wednesday, June 23rd, 2010
PACE financing is one of those issues that has sweeping implications for clean energy adoption, but can be just so darn difficult to understand (see: net metering). If you can you believe it, the current acronym (PACE stands for Property Assessed Clean Energy) is a major step toward intelligibility from what we were first calling it (Municipal Property Tax Financing . . . or MPTF?). Acronym alphabet soup aside, it’s a topic that mixes the intricacies of tax law and bond finance with mortgages and clean energy. Like we said, not easy. (more…)
Friday, June 18th, 2010
A political consultant once told me that Americans only vote for the environmental candidate if the economy is thriving. The nation’s financial house needs to be in order before voters will tend the garden.
Green energy advocates appear to have circumvented this tendency in recent years by promoting green jobs. The political formula is no longer the environment or the economy, but the environment and the economy.
But the strength of that link may soon be tested.
The Deloitte Center for Energy Solutions published a recent survey that found 85% of utility regulators expect electricity rates to rise this year, and they worry that consumers will revolt. (more…)
Wednesday, June 16th, 2010
No one pays a higher price for our freedom than our nation’s veterans. They deserve our support long after they return from the fields of battle. Unfortunately, many of these brave men and women struggle with the process of re-adapting to civilian life, and they have difficulty reentering the very workforce they left behind to fight for our freedom.
This administration has made a number of investments to stabilize and strengthen the growing economy. (more…)
Monday, June 14th, 2010
Good news from the Buckeye State! The legislature passed important tax reform that drops the tax burden for solar farms from upwards of $100,000 per MW to a flat fee of $7,000 per MW. The bill (SB232) – which is expected to be signed by the Governor any day now – removes a major barrier to large-scale solar development in the state.
Existing Ohio tax law added these unreasonably high costs to the price of developing solar and other (more…)
Tuesday, June 8th, 2010
During President Obama’s speech this week at Carnegie Mellon University, he signaled emphatically that he would go after the votes to pass a clean energy bill this year, assuring that while “the votes may not be there right now… I intend to find them in the coming months… and we will get it done.”This is exactly the sort of presidential resolve that’s needed. The president went on to say,
[T]he only way the transition to clean energy will succeed is if the private sector is fully invested in this future – if capital comes off the sidelines and the ingenuity of our entrepreneurs is unleashed. And the only way to do that is by finally putting a price on carbon pollution.
He got it exactly right – investors are waiting to see what Congress decides. And once we do set a price for carbon pollution, a huge amount of money will be back in play to invest in clean energy. (more…)
Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010
Frontenac County, north of Kingston, Ontario, has launched a new Green Energy Task Force in order to “provide opportunities to citizens, farmers, businesses, and local governments of Frontenac County to be involved in and invest in the green economy, particularly through the development of community energy projects.” Councillors from each of the Frontenac townships will sit on the newly created task force, but the county will also seek citizen appointees with specific expertise in the solar and wind industries. (more…)
Friday, May 28th, 2010
If the world’s major nations fail to enact significant changes in energy and climate policies, global carbon dioxide emissions will increase 43 percent by 2035, according to the U.S. Energy Information Agency (EIA). In its annual long-term energy outlook, the EIA projected that global emissions from burning fossil fuels would grow from 29 billion tons in 2007 to 42 billion tons in 2035. The EIA said that most of the increase in greenhouse gas emissions will come from developing economies such as China, India, and Brazil, whose energy consumption is expected to nearly double in the next 25 years. The agency, part of the U.S. Department of Energy, presents a skeptical outlook for clean energy technologies, except for hydroelectric power and wind. (more…)