I’ve noticed that a lot of the interviews I’m asked to do around “Renewable Energy – Facts and Fantasies” have very little to do with the subject matter of the book directly. I’m headed back to New York City in a couple of weeks to tape a TV show called “Getting Your Money’s Worth,” which, as the name suggests,
As I reflect on my past three years at CBSR, I am struck by how far the Corporate Social Responsibility and sustainability movement has come. As we work in the trenches, it is sometimes hard to appreciate just how much transformation has taken place both in our personal lives and across the corporate sector. It
There’s one big reason why making your home more efficient should be at the top of your spring cleaning list: your home is addicted to coal. Did you know the average home produces twice as many emissions as the average car?
Just because your home doesn’t have a tailpipe,
In the last 15 years, Munich, the Bavarian capital of Germany, has managed to decrease its total residual waste volume, to 500,000 tons from 1.2 million tons. The goal of the city is to supply all private households with 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2015. Munich has been named Germany’s “Energy Saving Municipality” and the steps that it has taken
The owners of the Empire State Building will buy 55 million kilowatt-hours of wind energy certificates annually, enough to cover the landmark tower’s yearly electricity needs, according to a New York Times report. The two-year deal with Green Mountain Energy, a renewable energy and carbon offset retailer recently acquired by NRG Energy, makes the 80-year-old building the biggest
As surely as last year’s Paris fashions make their way west to New York, U.S. utilities are beginning to embrace European-style programs like feed-in tariffs and green power premiums.
State-level decoupling regulations are easing that transition to some extent. But many utilities are still reluctant to embrace the change fully, especially as prices for conventional energy have come back down and utilities are finding that available capacity in voluntary green power is going unsubscribed.
Utilities do not like the financial uncertainty posed by long-term contracting for renewable power to supply the programs if they are not going to be able to move the power. It inevitably puts the utility’s shareholder obligations at odds with its ratepayer obligations and results in one of two solutions: green premiums go up and make the company look bad on green; or, everyone on the system pays to cover the nut, and no one is happy.
Anyone watching the health care debate spread from Capitol Hill conference rooms to town halls nationwide knows that everyone agrees we need health care reform. The disagreement comes in determining what kind. Comprehensive tort reform fits under the heading and so would the implementation of a single-payer system, but the two solutions could not be much farther apart on the political spectrum. An apt analogy – as the summer vacation season comes to a close – may be the good old fashioned American road trip: the whole family knows the destination, but getting there is the tough part.
These are the days for clean tech observers and professionals. Our most innovative companies are finally bringing game-changing technologies to market and into competitive parity on cost. The political will that has been lacking for decades seems to be gaining critical mass. Even corporate America seems to be on board with making a profitable shift to a green economy.
Still, it’s not all rosy in the green tech picture. Getting climate change legislation through the house was a bloodsport and, as previously noted on the CleanTechies Blog, the Senate looks increasingly unlikely to put anything substantial on the President’s desk this year. And that is just the new policy. Around the country, existing policies designed to enable clean energy adoption are floundering, and even with all of the aforementioned momentum, in a down economy policy makers cannot afford too many false starts.