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Best of Greenbuild 2011 Education Sessions - Editor's Picks

There are 15 tracks of breakout sessions at Greenbuild 2011, each with 7 sessions. That's over 100 choices, not counting workshops, master speakers, plenary sessions and film festivals. One person can attend a mere 7 sessions in 2 days. Denis Du Bois lists the options that appeal to him this year.

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Greenbuild 2011 International Summit: We Have Much to Learn from Each Other

The 2011 International Summit at Greenbuild in Toronto conveyed an international message with voices from around the world.

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Smart Grid Defined

What exactly is the smart grid? Look it up!

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Interface Founder Ray Anderson Leaves an Inspiring Life Story

Ray C. Anderson lost a 20-month battle with cancer. But he won a 17-year campaign to change the way corporations view their role in sustainability.

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Take Light Rail to the Santa Clara Convention Center for ConnectivityWeek

It's possible to take rapid transit from the San Jose airport to the Santa Clara Convention Center, but it's not obvious how. Here's the run-down.

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Why You Shouldn't Demand Pay Cuts for Telecommuters

CIO Magazine advice columnist Meridith Levinson tells IT workers they should get a raise for working from home. Denis Du Bois reminds employers it's not just about the money.

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Getting Some Perspective on Smart Grid

Smart Grid. If you work in the energy industry, it’s everywhere you turn. Conferences, webinars, articles, press releases, advertisements. Messages on renewable integration, electric vehicle charging, privacy, security, consumer backlash, mergers and new acquisitions. Which aspect matters the most?

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Japan's Cloud of Secrecy

Nuclear secrecy can be justified in the name of security -- but it can also threaten people's health and safety, as well as the environment.

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Legislators Plead for Mercy on Obscure Coal Subsidy

I have to blink and rub my eyes every time I read of heartfelt pleas to prolong this tax break or that subsidy for mature fossil fuels. This week it's coal in Maryland.

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Quake Shifts Axis of U.S. Support for Nuclear

As soon as the magnitude-8.9 earthquake had finished moving Japan closer to the United States, it began moving apart American political collaborators supporting nuclear power at home.

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FY2012 Federal Budget Proposal Includes Renewable Energy Funds for Interior and Agriculture Depts

Two of the main public-lands management agencies -- the Departments of Agriculture and Interior -- have included renewable energy projects in their proposed FY2012 budgets. The question is whether Congress can pass a budget that enables these agencies to continue their work toward energy independence and creating clean-energy jobs.

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Solar Investments Shaped 2010 Growth in Cleantech Investment

The Energy Electricity segment raised $1.32 billion in 2010, the most venture capital funding for the year, according to an Ernst & Young LLP analysis based on data from Dow Jones VentureSource.

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2011, the Year of Energy Efficiency?

It's that time of year again, time to declare THIS the year of energy efficiency. Will a national sense of austerity bring this fundamental resource to the fore?

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If You Build It (Efficiently), They Will Come: Federal Leasing Rule Is Well-Timed

An early New Year's resolution from the Federal government is laying the foundation for job growth, taxpayer savings and a more energy-efficient commercial building stock in 2011 and beyond.

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Globalizing the Energy Revolution

The U.S. government must do more to promote cross-border innovation and protect intellectual property rights, say the authors of an essay in Foreign Policy Magazine. Are they dreaming?

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From COP16 to EU1: Global Climate Policy Goes Regional

UNFCC discussions in Cancun look unlikely to produce meaningful results without U.S. commitments. Regional talks coming up in Europe have better chances of bringing consensus and action.

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UK Nuke Reactor Results: Not Quite Glowing

The latest reactor technology, on which the nuclear industry's hopes of a revival are pinned, faces more trouble.

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Energy's "Internet Revolution"

I see myriad opportunities for tech entrepreneurs to transition to energy. The parallels between the Internet and the smart grid are notable -- from innovations to startup financing to industry transformation.

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Transitioning from High-Tech to Smart Grid for NW Entrepreneurs

Founding editor Denis Du Bois is moderating the MIT Enterprise Forum on smart-grid entrepreneurship next Wednesday evening. Here's a description. We hope you can be in the audience to ask your questions or share your tech-to-grid experience.

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ISSP Insight: Cities as Solutions

Next month's newsletter of the International Society of Sustainability Professionals will feature an article about Denmark and Sweden.

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USGBC Targeted in Class-Action Lawsuit

ed+c Magazine reported that the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and its founders have been named as defendants in a class action lawsuit filed in federal court.

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New FTC "Green Guides" -- Fundamental Issue is Deception

Attorney and guest columnist Jay Eckhardt of Stoel Rives has analyzed the FTC's proposed "Green Guides" for marketing, and finds they don't represent a radical shift from the 1998 version.

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GridWeek 2010 - The annual gathering of Smart Grid industry

Guest columnist Anto Budiardjo says GridWeek is broadly recognized as the most important annual Smart Grid gathering.

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Learning the Lessons of Energy Efficiency

Contributor Katy Campbell says there are plenty of fantastic examples of schools that are ploughing ahead with major energy efficiency initiatives. And more good news… increasing energy efficiency in schools, as in most other buildings, is actually pretty easy!

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Energy Efficiency Report Names Top Ten States and Policies

The Center for American Progress will release a report today, entitled "Efficiency Works: Creating Good Jobs and New Markets Through Energy Efficiency."

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The Most High-Tech Green Buildings

Forbes has gathered ten buildings it considers to be the most high-tech in the world. The photos are worth the trip.

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Out of office!

July and August are vacation time for Energy Priorities and the Building Priorities Briefing.

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Leadership Strategies for a Clean Energy Economy

The West Coast Energy Management Congress came to our neck of the woods this year. EMC is among a very few energy conferences that began long before current craze for green, and is still going strong.

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Telework Improvements Act of 2010 Would Reduce Commuting by Government Employees

The Telework Improvements Act would allow U.S. government employees to telecommute one day a week.

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Thought Leaders Group Tops 2,500 Energy Industry Pros

Great minds like to think. Now over 2,500 energy professionals are connecting with like minds, in our Thought Leaders group.

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Energy Priorities Marks 6th Birthday

Founding Editor Denis Du Bois looks forward on the 40th anniversary of Earth Day.

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U.K. Rolls Out Carbon Trading for Businesses -- Would the U.S. Adopt It Too?

While the U.S. Congress argues whether or not to adopt climate change legislation that includes cap-and-trade, the United Kingdom has rolled out a new mandatory carbon trading program sweeping in businesses that, up to now, have not been covered by the European Union's Emissions Trading System.

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A Comeback for Nuclear Power? (NY Times)

The Obama administration has approved a $8 billion loan guarantee to support the construction of two nuclear reactors in Georgia. It's the first step in a play to expand nuclear power as a way to control greenhouse gas emissions and bolster domestic energy production.

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Vancouver goes for the green and more (MSNBC.com)

MSNBC contributor Rebecca Agiewich has created an excellent overview of the meaning of "green" at the Vancouver 2010 Olympics.

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VANOC's Consultant Gives It a Bronze for Greenness

Suzuki Foundation finds little evidence of strong engagement by the parent organization, and recommends the IOC play a stronger role to ensure that future host cities like London and Sochi follow through on their environmental commitments.

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Must Solar Companies Sell their Soul to Save their Skin?

The race is on to develop a competitive advantage in cleantech -- not just for corporate profit or state and regional economic development, but as a key driver of national economic competitiveness in the 21st Century. Is the US prepared to compete and win at this new Great Game? Two recent deals in China for US solar companies First Solar and eSolar show a worrying trend.

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Top 10 "Cleantech Top 10" Lists for 2010

One of the items on my "top 10 observations on January 1, 2010" is how many people are making Top 10 lists this week. Here are, well, how about 10 of them.

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Social Media Marketing for Cleantech Companies

Denis Du Bois's advice on social media marketing aired on the "Inside Renewable Energy" program from New Hampshire this morning.

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The Key Questions of Corporate Sustainability Can Peer Deep into a Company's Very Purpose

CSR initiatives should answer the questions of why, what, and how it will change us.

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And the CTO winner is... EcoFactor

The Cleantech Open held its first ever national awards gala tonight, incorporating finalists from two new regional pageants in Seattle and Boulder along with the larger pool of entrants from the original California competition. Here's a quick recap of the contestants and national award winners.

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"Our Choice" by Al Gore

Former Vice President Al Gore's new book, "Our Choice," exceeded my expectations. It should be required readng for new Chief Sustainability Officers, corporate green team members, and anyone else who has decided to place sustainability closer to the center of what they do.

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Twitterers List for Greenbuild 2009

GREENBUILD 2009 -- This year, hundreds of people were Tweeting from #Greenbuild. We compiled a list in collaboration with Johnson Controls.

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America's Berlin Wall of Energy

Germany's Berlin Wall fell 20 years ago today. It reminds me of the green movement...

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Kerry-Boxer Climate Bill Passes Senate Committee

Senate Environment and Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer and nine other Democrats passed the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) out of committee yesterday. It was an important step for the bill to eventually reach the floor, but was it a risky move?

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Public Transit: The Cost of Financial Carelessness

Will bailed-out banks bankrupt transit systems at a time when those systems are critical to our energy independence?

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President Obama's Energy Speech at MIT

President Barack Obama has been a courageous supporter of clean energy. He spoke October 23, 2009, to an audience of 750 at the MIT campus in Cambridge, MA. Here are our Founding Editor's take-aways from the speech, plus a link to the video and full transcript.

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The Nuclear Question

View from the Poletop: Should new nuclear plants be part of the US strategy on carbon reduction and renewable energy? Yes, but not necessarily for the reasons you think.

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Microsoft "Hohm" Connections Available to Seattle City Light Customers

Seattle City Light is the first utility to announce that it is offering customers the ability to link their electricity consumption data with Microsoft Hohm. Google's Powermeter has a head start over Hohm, but both lag behind the energy-monitoring industry.

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Green Building: Will somebody please change the channel?

Green building remains an underinvested segment of the cleantech landscape, with precious few venture funded success stories. Last week’s West Coast Green tradeshow – despite being a lively and well-attended event -- provided an object lesson in why this will likely continue to be the case for some time.

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Going, Going, Gone Green

Fall is conference season in the cleantech biz. With a deluge of events all clustered together in September and October, it’s a good time to gauge how the tumultuous economic ride of the last year has affected investment trends and the entrepreneurial outlook.

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Duke Rhymes with... Smart Grid?

When utility CEOs make proclamations about leadership in renewables or the smart grid, it's often difficult to get the troops to take it seriously. As a result, progressive pronouncements often are met with nods, but no action. At Duke Energy, observes the Smart Grid News, that may be changing.

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Stimulating through Subsidy -- Does It Work?

Current policies at the state and federal level are extremely supportive of clean energy development. But the structure of subsidies matters. As the stimulus pumps unprecedented billions into renewable energy, it is worth asking whether we are promoting the right kind of investment that will enhance future US competitiveness.

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Duke's Smarts

Duke Energy’s smart grid program continues to expand. The nation’s third-largest electric utility struck an agreement with Echelon to make the vendor's Networked Energy Services (NES) system a key part of the program. Duke CEO Jim Rogers, considered a visionary in the utility industry, tells Fortune about his career path.

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Energy Audit Shows DOE How to Get Its Own House in Order

Energy auditors found temperature "setback controls" lacking, broken or unused in roughly two out of three buildings sampled, including some of DOE's newest buildings at the Oak Ridge National Lab.

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National 100x20 Plan Met Little Resistance

Political will is apparently easier to find when global warming and rising sea levels threaten to inundate the tiny island nation you call home.

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Forrester: Media Spending Down 20 Percent or More

More than 7 in 10 chief marketing officers say their 2009 budgets have been reduced from 2008 levels, with a slight majority indicating that their budgets had been slashed by at least 20%, according to the Forrester Research "Q1 2009 Global CMO Recession Online Survey."

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Connectivity's Train Has Arrived

Some have called smart energy "the internet's next killer app." Actually it's the other way around.

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FERC Reports a National Assessment of Demand Response Potential to Congress

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) delivered its report to Congress quantifying the potential for demand response in the United States. The report was mandated two years ago by the Energy Independence and Security Act (EISA 2007) Section 529 (a).

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Getting the U.S. up to Speed in Rail Travel

The United States lags far behind other countries in developing high-speed rail. Examples: Paris to Lyon, 2 hours at 133 MPH; Madrid to Barcelona, 2.5 hours at 150 MPH; Tokyo to Osaka, 1.7 hours at 180 MPH; and Seattle to Portland, 3.5 hours, 41 MPH. President Obama announced plans to bring the U.S. up to speed with new funding for fast train travel. Will America jump on board?

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Introducing Organic Vinyl (Healthy Buildings News)

PVC products will soon carry the USDA "Organic" label, reports a green building magazine today, due to a loophole in the labeling law.

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Should states with RPS's roll them back due to economic conditions?

The Washington state legislature is debating a bill that would ease many of the requrements of its RPS, passed just a year ago. Other state legislatures and lobbyists surely are watching and considering whether they could do something similar.

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Federal Loan Guarantees for Renewable Energy and Electric Power Transmission Projects

The recently adopted $787 billion economic stimulus package known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 created a temporary program to facilitate the rapid deployment of renewable energy and electric power transmission projects by providing federal loan guarantees for certain projects that commence construction before September 30, 2011.

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Clean Energy in Federal Budget Proposal

While most of us are slashing budgets for everything, including energy, the federal government's budget for clean energy is poised to jump significantly -- directing a total of $646 billion between 2012 and 2019 to the development of clean energy sources.

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Smart Grid Battle Moves to the States

At the federal level in the U.S., the fight to legitimize the Smart Grid is over. It has been recognized in several key pieces of legislation -- mostly recently the stimulus package -- as an essential national asset. But the federal government has only limited say over the electric power industry. The final say lies at the state level, where public utility commissions oversee the regulated utilities that deliver the lion’s share of the nation's electricity. Here's what that means for Smart Grid proponents.

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Book Review: "Getting Green Done" by Auden Schendler

Hard truths from the front lines of the sustainability revolution: My two-sentence review of Auden Schendler's forthcoming "Getting Green Done" plus an examination of the author's opinions.

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Who Needs CO2 Caps when Shame Will Do?

A group of investors today named a builder and eight other companies to a "Climate Watch List," citing concerns that the firms are lagging behind their industry peers and are potentially undermining their long-term competitiveness in responding to the business challenges from global climate change.

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Federal Stimulus Provides Major Funding for Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation

The economic stimulus package passed by Congress and signed by President Obama contains good news for supporters of renewable energy and energy conservation.

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Buildings Benefit from American Recovery and Reinvestment Act

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 includes $16.8 billion for the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE). The funding is a nearly tenfold increase for EERE, which received just $1.7 billion in fiscal year 2008.

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Smart Meters Read $4.2 Billion in Stimulus

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act signed into law this week calls for a $4.2 billion grant program that would support smart grid and smart metering projects.

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Stimulus Bill Creates $3.2 Billion in Tax Credits for Renewables

A new 30 percent tax credit for renewable energy is among many clean-energy provisions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. President Obama signed the bill into law yesterday.

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New RPS Proposals under Consideration by Congress

Enactment of a renewable portfolio standard ("RPS") has been under consideration in Congress and elsewhere for several years. In a nutshell, an RPS would require that a certain percentage of electricity sold to retail consumers must be obtained from renewable sources, such as wind, biomass, solar, and geothermal. Several states have enacted their own RPS, but to date no action has been taken at the federal level.

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Google Taking a Step Into Smart Meter Monitoring

Is this genuine hardware-agnosticism, or naïveté? Google launched a service to monitor residential electricity consumption, without knowing whether smart meters will work with it.

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Public Awareness Key Strategy To Combat Global Warming, Says Energy Secretary

Highlights of Steven Chu's first interview since his installation as Secretary of Energy.

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GE Smart Grid Ad Laments: "If I Only Had a Brain"

GE's Smart Grid campaign started during Super Bowl XLIII this week with a $3 million, 30-second ad.

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Energy Priorities Magazine Listed among Alltop Environment and Cleantech News Sources

Alltop has listed Energy Priorities Magazine among its top environmental and cleantech news sources.

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Obama's Energy Plan: Overview

How will Obama's New Energy for America plan create five million new jobs and revitalize a clean energy economy? Here's an overview.

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Wasting Our Watts: Efficiency and Conservation

Time Magazine writer Michael Grunwald gets it. Energy efficiency is the fifth fuel. His 3,000-word article in the most recent issue explores the potential and the barriers. Here are the main points.

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Consumer Electronics Show 2009: What I Hope To See at CES

The Consumer Electronics Show is January 8-11, 2009 in the capitol of energy decadence: Las Vegas. Will we see products aimed at helping consumers reduce their energy bills and carbon footprints?

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Carbon Tax vs. Cap and Trade

The best way to start addressing climate change is to yank subsidies from fossil fuels and put a price on carbon dioxide emissions from them. Of the two methods widely discussed for pricing carbon -- cap and trade, and a carbon tax, which is better? Economist Gilbert Metcalf argues his case for a tax.

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Will Green Marketing Keep Pulling Energy-Saving Investments?

Green marketing plays an important role in companies' decisions to invest in energy efficiency and renewable energy. I'm talking about the marketing done by the buyers, not by the vendors.

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Will Energy Secretary Chu Woo China's Cooperation on Energy?

Will Obama's appointment of Stephen Chu as Secretary of Energy make DOE's job in China any easier?

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Grid-Bonded Solar in Florida

Off-grid and grid-tied solar now have a new cousin: "Hybrid solar." Florida Power & Light executives marked the groundbreaking of a new solar power project that will be connected directly to a dinosaur power plant.

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Dark Economic Clouds Have Green Linings (TechFlash)

Cleantech stocks are down. But lower oil prices or a drop in the stock market cannot stop the powerful momentum pushing the revolution forward.

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Will New Reactor Make Us Say "IMBY!"?

Micro nuke power plants the size of a hot tub would fit in a back yard and power a small town.

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California Points the Way to an Energy-Efficient Future (IHT)

California now tops the ranking for per capita energy efficiency. How did it get there? Energy efficiency isn't sexy, but it's effective. "The utility will emulate efficient market outcomes and do the cheapest thing first," said Amory Lovins, chairman and chief scientist of Rocky Mountain Institute, in this article in the International Heral-Tribune.

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Communicate Sustainability through the Five P's of Green Marketing

Sustainable Industries Journal explains how marketers can avoid greenwashing and successfully align their brand attributes with their customers' green identities, in "Communicating Goals through the Five P's of Marketing."

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Efficiency: PC Power Shift

Kevin Klustner has stepped down as CEO of Verdiem, the Seattle energy-efficiency company backed by KPCB and others. Verdiem's product is a tough sell. Will network power management catch on before thin clients/mobility/telecommuting/24-7 shiftwork make it irrelevant?

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Reuse: Seventies Furniture Goes to UW

University of Washington staff have moved into the former Safeco headquarters tower in Seattle. Safeco donated 74,000 pieces of office furniture and fixtures that will be reused, instead of recycled.

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Data Center Energy: Reduction Is Not Really the Priority

White papers are pouring out of vendors in the information technology space as they shift their marketing positions to "green" as fast as they can. Many have locked onto an imagined want in data centers to reduce energy consumption from equipment and cooling. Energy efficiency is out of line with the business goals of most IT departments.

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Finance: How Oil-Rich Countries Are Reshaping the World

Harvard Business Review says Gulf countries are investing their wealth in new ways that will engender a broader systemic change in international trade and finance in the decades to come. FORTUNE says $500 oil is coming and we'll be lucky to get through it without "blowing each other up." What's your opinion?

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Friday Fun: Energy Crossword Puzzle

This was great fun for a Friday... a crossword puzzle all about energy and the utility industry. I got all but four.

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Green Marketing: Whose Job is Trust?

The major markets of the world are struggling with the authenticity of green claims. Most e-logos are recent, and labeling laws are a decade out of date. Who is responsible for instilling trust?

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Machine-to-Machine: Singularity or Savior? (SNS)

M2M is the basis of advanced building-control systems, industrial machinery, Google News, and Wall Street trading. Is it dangerous?

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Questions of Energy Security: Ask the Candidates (NY Times)

In an op-ed in the New York Times, Philip Bobbitt and John C. Danforth pose several questions to both Barak Obama and John McCain. One is related to energy. Denis Du Bois proposes an answer.

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Nuclear: French Utility is Banking on Nuke Growth in U.S.

French utility EdF roughly doubled its ownership stake in Constellation Energy to 9.51 percent at an estimate cost of a half-billion dollars. Is EdF counting on an increase in U.S. support for nuclear following the elections?

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Fusion: Key Component Passes Tests

The ITER project in Cadarache France passed a milestone last week. Scientists from several participating countries have tested a prototype superconductor for the Poloidal Field coils inside the fusion reactor.

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Business and Energy (NPR All Things Considered)

National Public Radio's prime-time program "All Things Considered" today ran a collection of brief stories about the steps businesses are taking to reduce their energy bills.

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Yancey's Family Wind Woes In the News Again

The Yancey brothers' family feud over wind turbines is back in the news.

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Intellectual Ventures Nuclear Invention Touted as Safer and Cheaper

Intellectual Ventures is talking up a new type of breeder reactor of its own invention. The "traveling wave" reactor would run on a raw mineral (uranium, or possibly thorium) rather than on processed fuel.

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Grid Operator Warns of Power Rationing Eventuality

Michael Morris, chairman, president and chief executive of American Electric Power, which runs the nation's largest electrical transmission system, told the Associated Press he sees a dire situation ahead for the power grid, and the U.S. could eventually face power rationing.

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5-Year Anniversary of the 2003 Northeast Blackout

On August 14, 2003, a sagging power line coming into contact with untrimmed trees near Cleveland, Ohio triggered a massive blackout that left 50 million people without electricity in a 9,300 square mile area in the Northeast and Midwest United States and parts of Canada. Economic losses were estimated at as much as $10 billion. Five years later, is the North American electrical power grid less susceptible to disruption?

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Harvest the Sun -- From Space (NY Times)

A space-based solar power system would require building large solar energy collectors in Earth's orbit. Outside the atmosphere, in constant daylight, the panels would harvest more energy than land-based units.

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'Smart meters' May Soon be Outdated (LA Times): Misinformed Column Illustrates PR Challenge

An LA Times columnist's misunderstanding of the smart grid points out one of the toughest hurdles for advocates: explaining it to the general public and media.

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Green Scene a Flash in the Pan? (McClatchy)

"Probably not" is the response from people Janis Mara interviewed.

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HelioVolt Partners with AGA to Manufacture BIPV

HelioVolt and Architectural Glass & Aluminum Co. today announced a partnership to incorporate solar energy systems directly into standardized curtain wall products, the exterior glass facades that dominate modern urban construction.

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Why ROI Calculators are a Formula for Failure

Financial justification tools face three major challenges: Prospects don’t believe their output; facilities managers are not financially trained; and sales reps are not trusted to explain the numbers.

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PG&E Chief’s Green Crusade (Fortune)

PG&E Chairman and CEO Peter Darbee called a handful of journalists into his boardroom and talked about being a successful utility in an era when it's is less about building centralized power plants and more about tapping renewable energy and balancing supply and demand.

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China: New Great Walls - Construction for the Beijing Olympics (NG)

Beijing is building up for the Olympics, spending $40 billion to impress the world -- and pushing commercial architecture to its limits. National Geographic's May 2008 special-edition issue, "China, Inside the Dragon," features dozens of articles, most of them short, all of them about China.

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It's Earth Day and Energy Priorities is Four

When I started Energy Priorities on Earth Day 2004, "sustainable business" for most companies meant having enough working capital. Few people took global warming seriously. Venture capital investment in clean tech (counting everything from agriculture to water) in the previous year had barely crested a billion dollars. The 2003 blackouts were behind us; our attention was on the elections...

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How To Win the War on Global Warming (Time)

The upcoming issue of Time Magazine will be all about "How to win the war on global warming." It's interesting to note that this is the cover story in all worldwide editions of Time, except for Europe. That edition focuses on US-UK relations.

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Beijing Construction to be Halted ahead of China Olympic Games (NY Times)

How will Beijing stage "green games" in one of the world's most polluted cities? By placing all sources of pollution on hold for two months. If the plan fails, the International Olympic Committee's president says smog could postpone some outdoor events.

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China Olympics: Green Will Take a Bronze behind Human Rights

I thought the Beijing Olympics would create a world platform for progress on the environment. Turns out I was wrong. An older and stronger issue is taking the lead.

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Business of Green (NY Times)

A special section in today's New York Times focuses on green collar jobs, green college majors, business opportunities, zero-energy homebuilding, and investing. What collar am I?

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EdF and Iberdrola, a Renewable Energy Powerhouse?

Electricite de France is rumored to be working on a deal in which EdF could acquire a controlling share in Iberdrola. The combination would create a renewable energy giant with multinational clout.

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Power Plant Carbon Emissions Outpace Energy Production (AP)

Carbon emissions increased faster than electricity demand in 2007. As much as two-thirds of the greenhouse gas increase was due to increased demand for electricity, much of which was met by coal-fired power plants. Can we hope to make progress against greenhouse gases and continue to exempt ageing coal plants from the Clean Air Act of 1970?

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America's 50 Greenest Cities (PopSci)

My conclusion from reading "America's 50 Green Cities" in the March 2008 Popular Science: There aren't 50 green cities in America. Yet.

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Energy Security versus Environmental Stability (KCRW)

Can the U.S. have energy security at the same time it tries to cope with global warming? Warren Olney of KCRW's "To the Point" podcast looks at some of the contradictions we face as the U.S. searches for a coherent energy policy.

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Coal Power's Deja-Meltdown

The government's futuristic "clean coal" power project has joined the long list of scuttled coal plants. The death spiral of coal energy is reminiscent of the 1980s popular blockade of nuclear plant construction. Investors and even the Bush administration are backing out. Was "An Inconvenient Truth" the "China Syndrome" of coal?

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Top 12 Green-IT Companies 2008 (CW)

The next issue of ComputerWorld magazine (Monday, 18 February, 2008) will feature the magazine's picks for the top "green IT" companies. The winner's circle includes 12 vendors and 12 user companies.

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Deep Layoffs Announced at Yucca Mountain (AP)

Yucca Mountain's tunnel is closed and most workers have gone home.

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Keep your Eye on the Bali Conference

The conference of representatives of over 180 countries started Monday, December 3, 2007, and will continue for two weeks. The objective is to launch negotiations for the international agreement that will take over when the current Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.

The surface layer of news coverage will be about the fireworks when the U.S. refuses to back carbon limits, but there's much more going on there. The outcome will affect our power prices and American exports -- i.e., U.S. competitiveness -- through 2050. Here are some links to help you follow the events.

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KPCB, Khosla, DFJ Top Latest List of Clean-Tech Investors

3Q '07 numbers are out. Deal count is down slightly, but dollars are way up: $2.5 billion. And the year's not over yet. Nationally the most active investor in clean tech was Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, which invested $76.8 million. That was followed by Khosla Ventures at $68.4 million and Draper Fisher Jurvetson at $38.5 million.

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Patrick Moore Should Be Proud of China's Energy Plans (NY Times)

Not only is China doubling its nuclear energy capacity by 2020, it's on a hydro spree that appears to abandon the ecological values we take for granted in the developed world.

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Sport Utility Buildings and McMansions: The Latest Battlefront (Forbes)

I've been interested for several years in the concept of building systems as (very big) hardware platforms for increasingly sophisticated software. Mark Mills dug into this topic uncharacteristically far (for Forbes) this week. Maybe the idea is catching on.

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UN Report Describes Risks of Inaction on Climate Change (NY Times)

A United Nations panel of scientists meeting has concluded in Valencia, Spain. The scientists' final report, released today, describes the mounting risks of climate change in language that is more specific and forceful than its previous assessments. Here are links to the report, the IPCC web site, and a New York Times article about it this morning.

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Solar at Greenbuild: Audio Tour (Inside Renewable Energy)

The renewable energy industry's leading podcast series ran a segment I recorded at Greenbuild. It's an excerpt of an audio package I produced when I visited the exhibits of the major energy-related exhibitors there. (podcast)

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Green Building Standards Pass up Golden Opportunities

GREENBUILD-- Every building is different, and the US Green Building Council is working hard to establish LEED standards that apply fairly to all kinds of buildings. Would a more fluid, flexible system be more effective at encouraging green building?

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High Hopes and Slender Means for IPCC's Parent (The Economist)

When it comes to getting global carbon emissions under control, The Economist's Green.view column says the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) is more of a distraction than a savior. Overall the Economist comes down on this IPCC co-creator pretty hard -- too hard.

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Greenbuild 2007 Gets Even More Jam-Packed

GREENBUILD-- The tally on the white board in the press room is up to 20,500 attendees at Greenbuild 2007. There are still more people in line to get in.

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Greenbuild 2007 Is Standing Room Only

GREENBUILD-- Put 18,000 architects, builders and vendors in one building, when you were expecting fewer than 10,000, and you get...

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If IT Merged with Energy Technology (NY Times)

Thomas L. Friedman says Mumbai and Calcutta, strained from the influx of workers from rural areas, can't keep growing. The tech revolution in India could expand to rural villages, benefiting some of India's 700 million villagers. But it can’t do it off car batteries, backup diesel generators and India’s rural electric grid. It will take a real energy revolution.

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Global Warming: Looking Further (Strategic News Service by Mark Anderson)

Global warming will be one of the themes of the 2008 Future in Review conference organized by Mark Anderson's Strategic News Service. In an SNS Special Letter, Anderson shares the transcript of "Looking Further," an interview about climate change between futurist Glen Heimstra (Futurist.com) and author Kim Stanley Robinson (“Mars” and “Science In The Capital” Trilogies). The elite ranks of SNS subscribers pay dearly for Anderson's insightful newsletter subscription. But we're bringing this interview to you, compliments of SNS and Energy Priorities.

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BetterBricks Seattle Award Winners 2007: Congratulations

A quick note to congratulate the Seattle winners and finalists in the third annual BetterBricks Awards.

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"Apollo's Fire," Jay Inslee's Apollo Project, the Book

In 1961 John F. Kennedy called for his nation to put a man on the moon in ten years. That was a formidable challenge -- and today's energy challenge is even greater. Congressman Jay Inslee has been calling for an end our oil addiction and the accompanying transformation of our economy. He calls it the Apollo Project for energy and his new book, "Apollo's Fire," spells out his vision.

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Green Design in Google SketchUp Highlighted

A couple of weeks ago, the authors of the Sketchup Blog decided to run a friendly competition. They asked readers to submit examples of sustainable work they've done in SketchUp. Six projects were selected -- "They were the most compelling, and most complete, that we received," writes blog author Aidan Chopra.

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SunPower's Shades of Fortune

Let me be the first to point you to next week's Fortune magazine. Marc Gunther's "The Future's So Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades" shines 4 pages of praise on solar module manufacturer SunPower.

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Energy Innovators Under 35 (Technology Review)

The September-October 2007 issue of Technology Review features the "TR35" -- 35 innovators under 35 -- and their inventions. Here are the innovations related to energy:

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Pushing a Smart Grid (NW Current)

In business, as with utilities, the real cost savings come not from the technologies themselves, but from the business strategies they enable. As energy costs rise, businesses must take strategic advantage of being able to know and control the costs in operations and production.

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Nuclear Renaissance: Far from a Sure Thing (Power Engineering)

World leaders are saying there is no solution to global warming that does not include nuclear power. The administration has had six years and the Energy Policy Act to reinvigorate the fission industry. No company, however, has broken ground -- or committed to break ground -- on a new nuke plant in the U.S. What's holding things up?

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Affordable Solar: High-Performance Housing + Smart Investing (Home Power)

Home builder Peter Erickson used some innovative business ideas to allow homeowners to share in the incentives and financial benefits of harnessing solar energy.

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Lighting Boost, No Power Needed (Lighting Design Lab News)

Before investing in lighting upgrades, consider spending some money on paint. Lighting Design Lab, a nationally recognized research facility in Seattle, has done some research into how a room's surfaces affect the quality of light.

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Hydrogen via Aluminum: From Soda Cans to Submarines

Even though the technique isn't quite out of the lab yet, Hydrogen Power in Seattle is already thinking about how to commercialize a process for producing hydrogen from aluminum powder.

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Book Review: "Lights Out"

Why our electricity system is headed for a state of emergency, and what can be done to head it off: My two-sentence review of "Lights Out" by Jason Makansi, plus why I liked it and where it falls short.

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Energy Search Goes Underground in Switzerland (AP)

Geothermal energy is one of the most intriguing renewable sources for me. Humans have used natural hot springs for millenia. A recent AP article reports on the latest efforts in Europe to tap hot rocks deep underground as a way to heat water to produce energy.

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Nuclear Power Not Clean Enough for Florida RPS (Miami Herald)

Florida Power & Light, the state's largest utility, asked for renewable energy credits for its nuclear power. The state said No.

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Data Centers Suck Down Energy, Mostly for AC (Seattle P-I)

In follow-up to my earlier article "How Green is Your IT?" here's an AP article on cooling data centers.

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Making the Best of $78-a-Barrel Oil (WSJ)

An August 1, 2007, Wall Street Journal article relates oil prices to new investment opportunities in energy. It discusses "exotic instruments" such as commodity (oil, natural gas) funds, and "clean alternatives" such as wind and solar. Those are actually quite different investment strategies. Let's talk about the second one, that of focusing on alternative energy sources as an investment strategy.

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Energy Events Calendar Is Filling Fast for Fall 2007

It might be summer, but the energy event calendar is packed with interesting events. Renewables, smart grid, intelligent buildings and more, all between now and Thanksgiving. Here are our recommended top picks.

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Utilities Could Buy Credits to Meet Renewable Energy Minimums

California's Renewables Portfolio Standard requires utilities to obtain 20 percent of their power from renewable sources by 2010. The California Public Utilities Commission is examining the potential use of renewable energy credits for compliance with the RPS.

Almost half the states have passed an RPS of some kind. Should utilities be allowed to buy RECs from other regions to meet their RPS, rather than build renewable energy sources in the state?

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Africa Power Crisis (NY Times)

Windpower in Namibia, free fluorescent bulbs in South Africa, industrial customers paid to switch off equipment during periods of high demand. These progressive ideas are but a postscript in the story of the power crisis in Africa. Most of the sub-Saharan nations face electricity shortages and unprecedented power crises that mirror -- or presage -- the U.S. experience. Their solution: more power plants, if they can build them.

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My Carbon Footprint (Fortune)

Stanley Bing stabs directly and not-altogether-humorously at the heart of American environmental gluttony. And he offers a solution.

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Europe's Energy Market Now Open -- Sort of

The European Commission set the beginning of July 2007 as the deadline for having a completely open retail energy market in the European Union. Residential customers should be able to choose their power and gas suppliers, just as business users can. In most countries, they still cannot.

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Solar Thermal Energy an Option in Large Facilities (WAPA)

Solar thermal doesn't get enough attention. Its energy output is used for building space heating, refrigeration and air conditioning, hot water, steam for industrial processes, drying, and electric power generation.

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Book Review: "The Clean Tech Revolution"

"The Clean Tech Revolution" by Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder will be released tomorrow -- June 12, 2007. Here is my review in a two-sentence nutshell, plus why I like it, and what it does and does not cover.


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IT-based Buildings: The New Trend of Managing Buildings via the Network (GCN)

The article covers an integration of systems in state facilities in Missouri, where the government’s energy costs had soared from $42 million to $74 million in two years.

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BuilConn 2007 Perspective

BuilConn was an interactive environment where attendees helped shape big ideas, such as Buildings 2.0 and GridWise. Ken Sinclair of Automated Buildings magazine called to get my report from the conference, and he published this article:

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Bush, Born-Again Environmentalist?

Quick take on an unexpected pronouncement by George Bush in favor of reducing carbon emissions.

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Gatorade Goes Green, Gets Gold (Archi-Tech)

Gatorade has earned Gold LEED Certification for its new manufacturing plant, in part by maximizing its energy efficiency.

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Integrating Dynamic Facades with Building Control Systems (AutomatedBuildings)

Given that passive features make a building more comfortable and energy efficient with minimal complexity, can active and dynamic components such as automated shading enhance the benefits without overwhelming complexity? For an average 50,000 square foot building, they can reduce cooling energy demand by as much as 40 percent, and reduce lighting energy consumption by 60 percent. Dynamic envelope technologies reduce energy demand, especially during peak periods. Reduced energy demand means fewer greenhouse gas emissions.

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Green Power Programs: These Utilities Have the 10 Best (NREL)

The DOE's NREL has released its 2007 ranking of leading utility green power programs. Utilities are ranked according to green energy sales, number of participants, and the lowest premium charged per kWh.

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France Gets X Percent of its Energy from Nuclear Plants

Does France really get 78 percent of its energy from nuclear power? Well, not really. But don't ask its politicians for the answer. In fact, the truth is hard to find.

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Energy Trends in Manufacturing

Twelve manufacturing sectors account for 85 percent of U.S. industrial energy use. A new report from the EPA details their energy use and explores policy and regulatory improvements.

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Legislators Propose Bundle of Bills To Reduce Carbon Emissions (UPI)

Legislators proposing two carbon-capture bills in the U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee say the technology is necessary to coal's future. A third bill, if passed, would greatly reduce emissions through energy efficiency.

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Summer Is Coming, Is your Workplace Ready To Stay Cool Efficiently? (Buildings Magazine)

Cooling, space heating and ventilation are responsible for a 30 percent of a building's energy consumption, the largest portion, on average. Regionally the percentage can be considerably higher -- especially in hot climates. As summer aproaches, building owners need to check not only the health of their cooling systems, but the condition of the building envelope itself.

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Save the Planet -- Or Else (Newsweek)

In the short term there will be winners and losers from climate change. Who are they? In this special double issue devoted to global warming ("Living With Global Warming" in overseas editions), Newsweek takes a look at many aspects of the phenomenon.

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BPA Charts its Grid Future (Smart Grid News)

Terry Oliver, Chief Technology Innovation Officer of the Bonneville Power Administration, highlights three emerging issues: intermittency, interaction and immediacy. He also predicts unpleasant surprises for utilities that fail to recognize the growing power of reliability rules and equipment standards.

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TMI's 28th (NY Times)

On March 28, 1979, America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred inside the Unit Two reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown, PA.

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Who Wants To Finance a Coal Plant? (Sustainable Industries Journal)

Environmental activists and Wall Street are interweaving at a fevered pitch. Is it the activists who are grasping the importance of finance, or is it the finance community that finally gets the potential economic disaster of ignoring climate change?

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Solar America Initiative Starts Not with a Bang, but with a Whimper

The U.S. Department of Energy announced $168 million in funding to accelerate solar energy technology development, positioning the money as a giant boost to the future of photovoltaics. Will this really make solar cost-competitive with grid power in the next eight years? How meaningful is this announcement to businesses?

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CEOs Urge U.S. To Double Energy Research Funding

The pro-innovation group TechNet, whose membership includes top executives from more than 115 tech firms, believes the move away from nonrenewable sources of electricity and fuel will require timely, active support from federal and state government. The group issued an agenda that would focus national attention on expanding policies that encourage the development and adoption of sustainable technologies.

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You Are Not Alone: Environmental Site Traffic Up

Compete.com looks at the growth in traffic to environmental sites as a whole. They indexed 125 sites, including this one. The aggregate traffic is growing, they say, but not at the rate expected. Growth is also uneven. I wonder, if we were to overlay on their chart the cost of a gallon of gasoline... http://blog.compete.com/2007/03/05/environment-sites-an-inconvenient-truth/

Climate Change: America Blinks First

After several years of imagining that the U.S. can live by a separate standard than the rest of the developed world, the Bush administration has begun to soften its stance on climate change. How far off is the U.S. carbon cap and trade system?

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Clean Energy Markets Expand to $55 Billion in 2006, $220 Billion by 2016, Says Report

Global clean-energy markets are poised to quadruple in the next decade, growing from $55.4 billion in revenues in 2006 to more than $226.5 billion by 2016 for four benchmark technologies, according to a report released today.

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Cogeneration Rising (Distributed Energy Magazine)

The January-February 2007 issue of Distributed Energy Magazine includes two case studies of successful on-site generation projects that capture heat from power generation and put it to productive uses.

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Regulators Put Nuclear Plant on the Most-Watched List for Safety Violations (AZ Republic)

Desert dwellers know they can cope with the heat by cool seeking the shade of a Palo Verde tree. But operators of Arizona's Palo Verde nuclear plant are in the hot seat, and relief might be years away.

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MMA Renewable Ventures Closes $39 Million in Solar Project Financing for 2006

Six solar projects make 2006 a milestone year for this renewable-energy finance innovator. Third-party financing removes removes a cost barrier, and power purchase agreements promise predictably-priced green energy.

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Go Green, Get Rich (B2.0)

Business 2.0 looked at today's top 9 environmental problems from the perspective of (what else?) where the most money's to be made. Here are their energy-related entrepreneurial hot spots, and links to related items of interest...

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France Tells U.S. to Sign Climate Pacts or Face Tax (NY Times)

Kyoto countries have hinted loudly that there might be consequences for trading partners who have not signed onto the accord. France's President Jacques Chirac is the latest to reiterate the prospect.

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EPA Launches Fortune 500 Challenge (NW Current)

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) launched a "Fortune 500 Green Power Challenge" for 2007. The campaign urges large companies to make a greater commitment to renewable energy.

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Utility Engineering Program at Gonzaga University To Help Replace Graying Workforce

Engineers have been giving the electric utility industry gray hair -- literally. For several years, utilities have worried about the imbalance between the rates of retirement and recruitment of engineers. They're concerned that they'll lose one out of five of their most experienced engineers in the next 10 years, and as many as half of them in 20 years, to retirement.

Gonzaga University has a formula to help address the graying of the utility workforce. (The traditional formula, Grecian, goes only so far.)

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Connecticut Turns Holiday Trash into Electricity (Waterbury Rep-American)

A power plant in Connecticut would rather have a pile of garbage than a lump of coal for Christmas. A state-sponsored project turns non-recyclable garbage into fuel for this and four more generating stations. During the holidays, Americans produce more garbage than in any other season.

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Iraqi Insurgents Attack Capital's Weakness: Its Power Grid

Iraqi insurgents are waging war on the electric grid around Baghdad, and winning.

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Americans Favor Taxing Carbon, Poll Says

A new poll also shows that Americans are worried about global warming -- 58 percent say global warming will have a "great to extreme" impact on their children's future -- and two out of three agree it will adversely impact the U.S. economy over the next ten years.

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China To Import Coal-Mine Methane Technology from Australia

Exporting clean energy technologies to developing countries is a potentially huge business. This deal is an example. China produces over 10 billion cubic meters of methane per year from their coal mines. A $100 million Hybrid Coal and Gas Turbine (HCGT) will turn that methane into electricity. The "clean coal" power plant technology was developed in Australia.

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Growing Number of States Requiring Alternative Energy (USA Today)

Voters around the U.S. are pushing electric utilities to generate a percentage of electricity from renewable sources such as wind and solar power. Will this push the Feds to pass a national RPS, and would that be a good thing?

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Who Owns Solar Renewable Energy Credits?

Renewable energy credits (RECs) are earned as power is produced, and can be sold to companies who want to offset their carbon output. That's an incentive to companies installing solar, but when California said "mine," solar companies screamed.

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AquaEnergy Bouyed by Regulatory Progress (Puget Sound Business Journal)

Wave energy company AquaEnergy Ltd. of Seattle is through an environmental assessment and is ready to apply for a permit to install its offshore buoys. The passage of Washington's I-937 was good news for the company and its parent, who expects to go public within weeks.

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SunPower To Acquire PowerLight

SunPower Corporation yesterday announced it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire PowerLight Corp.

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BP Statistical Review of World Energy (iTunes)

BP's "Statistical Review of World Energy: Quantifying Energy, the Global Context" is summarized online in several forms, including a video podcast available on iTunes.

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Carbon Neutral Is Oxford Dictionary 2006 Word of the Year

The publishers of the Oxford American Dictionary have selected the word of the year for 2006: "carbon neutral."

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Europe Hit by Massive Blackouts (Le Monde)

Five million French and countless others were deprived of electricity for about an hour on Saturday night, 4 November 2006. The blackout also hit Germany, Italy, Belgium, Spain and Portugal.

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European Energy Usage Pushes the Limits (Deutsche Welle)

Many EU countries are getting nervous about having enough electricity supply to meet peak demands. Although Europe is not expecting widespread blackouts on the scale of those in the U.S. in 2003, a new report says energy conservation and investments in alternatives are urgent.

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Competitors Measuring your Carbon Footprint?

More companies are focusing on greenhouse gases and their economic implications, according to a new report based on a survey of 92 companies from various industries. About 75 percent of companies are actively measuring their carbon footprint, and a few are measuring the footprints of their competitors.

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CEO Golfers: Utility Leaders Are No Duffers (Golf Digest)

Don't think regulated utilities are competitive? Think again. The CEOs of 11 utilities rated among the lowest golf handicaps in the 2006 Golf Digest ranking of Fortune 1000 top executives.

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Wirelessly Powered Sensors Collect Data and Energy (MIT Technology Review)

Do battery-free sensors have a future in building automation?

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Product Oriented Environmental Management System Measures Embodied Energy in Products (Intl Herald Tribune)

Europe's Product Oriented Environmental Management System -- "Poems" for short -- determines how much energy is used across a production process, and what waste is generated at each step. Scoring could eventually allow consumers to compare products and select the more energy-efficient choice.

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Renewable Energy Initiative Puts 15-by-20 Plan on Washington's Ballot

Washington state voters will decide whether to compel utilities to choose renewable energy sources. The initiative is about keeping Washington from slipping backward while other states advance in their renewable energy use.

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Nuclear Power Is No Hedge against Uncertain Gas Prices (Energy Journal)

In the UK's deregulated energy markets, power producers are free to choose nuclear over fossil fuels for their new plants. Should they? A lead article in the latest edition of The Energy Journal concludes that nuclear is not a wise economic investment, so power producers will continue to choose natural gas to fuel new plants.

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If I Had the Energy, I'd Invest in this Sector (Seattle P-I)

"If you are inclined to take a flier on an investment, might we suggest not a specific stock but a specific sector: energy." --Bill Virgin, P-I columnist.

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The Rise of Renewable Energy (Scientific American)

Renewable energy sources could soon become significant contributors to the world's growing energy demand -- and they had better, because energy efficiency alone is not enough to counter the alarming trend of climate change.

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Solar Innovators HelioVolt, SunPower, Stellaris Honored for Innovations (Wall Street Journal)

Three solar power innovators were honored in the Wall St. Journal's 2006 Technology Innovation Awards, along with Fiberstars (lighting), A123Systems (storage) and Zensys (wireless).

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Modern Grid Initiative Expands Online Resources

The Modern Grid Initiative has launched an expanded and redesigned Web site to disseminate information and promote collaboration about grid R&D.

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Does Airport Security Throw Evian on Notebook Fuel Cells?

Now that liquids -- and potentially notebook computers and cell phones -- are banned from carry-ons, how will airport security measures affect the future of hydrogen fuel cells for electronics?

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Solar Integrator SunEdison Closes Second Round (VentureWire)

SunEdison LLC has closed a multimillion-dollar financing round led by Goldman Sachs. The company offers financial and management services for commercial and residential solar installations.

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Global Warming: A Sputnik Moment? (Radio Open Source)

Al Gore's movie "An Inconvenient Truth" bears bad news, but perhaps it's just what entrepreneurs and scientists have been waiting for. This may be the opportunity for the U.S. to take the lead in the new energy economy. What will it take?

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Ventilation: MIT Energy Researchers Get Some Fresh Air (MIT ERC)

Comfortable buildings without air conditioning? More facilities could do it, using what MIT is learning about fresh air ventilation. MIT president Susan Hockfield launched a day-long MIT Energy Forum last month entitled "Taking on the Challenge," which brought the university's diverse energy research programs into the spotlight.

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WebGen Raises $9.5M Series B

WebGen Systems Inc. raised $9.5 million in Series B funding during 2Q 2006. The energy management software company offers applications for energy conservation and control in commercial buildings. Sigma Partners led the round.

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Bogus vs. Real BPL (Smart Grid Newsletter)

Is broadband over powerlines bogus, or real? Analysts and vendors are predicting rapid growth for the internet technology. One analyst, though, has done the research and doesn't share their zeal.

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Energy Policy Act Compromised by Presidential Signing Statements

The Energy Policy Act of 2005 explicitly protected any DOE or NRC employee who tells Congress about possible violations of the Atomic Energy Act. But President Bush reserved the right to silence the would-be whistle blowers, using a little-known legislative practice.

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China Energy Venture Backed by DFJ (VentureWire)

Miartech Inc., a Chinese start-up, just raised $6 million in venture capital from Draper Fisher Jurvetson's Dragonfund for its BPL chip.

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US Energy Industry Falling Behind World, Says Weather Makers Author

Author Tim Flannery, interviewed recently on NPR, said he sees a softening in the Bush administration's rhetoric on climate change. It's a softening, he said, that cannot come too soon.

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Renewable Energy World Acquisition Announced at Power-Gen RE 2006

Power-Gen RE 2006 -- In the opening ceremony for the 2006 Power-Gen Renewable Energy & Fuels conference, organizer PennWell announced the purchase of three UK magazines.

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European Energy Conglomerate Zeros in on U.S. Nuclear Plans (Wall St. Journal)

Bush appointee retires, takes post as chairman of Areva SA, a nuclear energy giant with designs on the newly lucrative U.S. market.

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Innovation Modeling Comparison Project (Energy Journal)

What is the relationship between policy change, technological change, and climate change? A special issue of The Energy Journal examines various models for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

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Voltage Reduction Saves Snohomish PUD Customers Millions

Utilities typically send out more voltage than utility customers need, just to make sure the last customer on the line gets enough. A Washington state utility is changing that -- and willingly costing themselves millions a year in revenue -- by installing conservation voltage reduction devices.

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Energy Angels To Fuel Industry (Puget Sound Business Journal)

The Northwest Energy Angel Group was formed in late 2005 and has already financed its first clean tech company.

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Smart Meters: Jump in or Wait?

Choosing a supplier for advanced meter reading technology and services is a difficult task for utilities. Analysts offer their views on AMR technology trends.

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Alternative Fuels Attracting Venture Capital (Wall St. Journal)

Appearing two days after the "green" State of the Union Address, and in the middle of a Clean Tech Investor Summit, this Wall Street Journal article covers all the bases.

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20 NIMBYs Dead in Clash with Police in Eminent Domain Dispute (AP)

Police fired into a crowd, killing between 10 and 20 villagers protesting property confiscation and the loss of agricultural land for the construction of a wind power generating facility in China.

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BP to Raise Investment in Alternative Energy (AP)

BP Alternative Energy will manage BP's growing investments in solar, wind, hydrogen and gas-turbine power generation. They say the unit's investments could amount to $8 billion over the next ten years, generating revenues of around $6 billion a year within that time, employing several hundred staff, and achieving a 15 percent return on capital.

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Chrysalix Leads Day4 Energy VC Round 4 (VentureWire)

Day4Energy Inc. has closed a fourth round of new funding for its specialized photovoltaic technologies.

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Dependence on Foreign... Biodiesel?

The sun is shining on the biodiesel industry, and every agricultural state has a plan to make hay. Or soybeans, as the case may be. But biodiesel importers might rain on their parade.

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Utilities Face Environmentalists in Court on Charges of Global Warming (Energy Biz)

Eight states and the city of New York continue to pursue their global warming lawsuit against five of the largest U.S. utilities.

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Batimat, BuilConn Compete for Builders with Concurrent Expos

Two building shows happened this November in Europe. Batimat 2005 and BuilConn 2005 appeal to the green building and building automation industries.

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Business Profits by Going Green (Greenbuild)

A new study highlighted at the GreenBuild Conference 2005 says that green buildings can provide a significant competitive advantage to business.

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Coalition Seeks to Embed Sustainable Strategies in Gulf Coast Rebuilding Efforts [Greenbuild]

Green builders will gather in Atlanta for the Greenbuild Conference and Expo -- and to help Gulf Coast leaders find ways to rebuild green in the aftermath of Hurricanes Rita and Katrina. Coalition members include Habitat for Humanity, Enterprise Foundation, Trust for Public Land and Congress for New Urbanism.

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So When Exactly Is Daylight Savings Time?

The most-reported aspect of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 was the extension of Daylight Savings Time. It does not take effect until 2007. Here are the dates.

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The French Nuclear Lesson (Energy Biz)

Magazines serving the utility industry are understandably biased in favor of nuclear energy. In the current climate of zeal for a nuke revival, it is important to keep the facts straight.

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Refineries Top Political Agenda in Both Washingtons (Reuters)

Bush calls on lawmakers to give oil companies a break. Oil companies, despite record profits, won't build refineries without federal assistance. Northwest legislators, meanwhile, want to build a biodiesel plant to boost the economy and promote cleaner fuels Washington state, and they have the money to fund it. Both proposals would increase supply, although their economic and environmental impacts would be dramatically different.

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Making Solar Hot - Massachusetts Technology Collaborative Launches Rebate Program to Encourage Adoption (Boston Globe)

The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) has launched a new US$5 million rebate program to help consumers, businesses, and institutions buy renewable energy systems.

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Idealab Reloaded (FORTUNE)

One of the high-tech bubble's top innovators is playing with solar power. Actually, he's not playing. This is getting serious.

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ZigBee Wireless Standard Could Make Building Automation More Practical (Technology Review)

Squeezing incremental energy efficiency from HVAC and lighting systems takes increasingly sophisticated networks of sensors and controls. A wireless networking protocol known as ZigBee is targeting this market. The open standard allows inexpensive controllers and sensors to interconnect over a resilient mesh network.

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Green Energy, Greenbacks (Marketplace)

The role of venture capitalists is to find the next big thing before everyone else does. Some private equity investors are finding companies with green and clean technologies.

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Energy Bill: What's In It for You (Wall Street Journal)

The new energy bill offers incentives that should help companies with energy-efficient home appliances and residential renewable energy systems.

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Two Years After the Northeast Blackout, Has Anything Changed? (NPR)

The large-scale blackout that hit the Northeastern U.S. on August 14, 2003, could happen again. The comprehensive energy bill supports a conventional, centralized system for electricity. Grid modernization, distributed generation, and a more resilient electric grid are still a distant vision, even though the technology is here today.

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Nuclear Redux (FORTUNE)

President Bush's support of nuclear power has brought a noticeable increase in advertising and contributed articles by the nuclear industry. Today's FORTUNE carries a five-page special advertising section sponsored by two nuclear associations and Southern Company. Here's an analysis of the industry's advertising message.

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Standby Power Supports Business (Energy User News)

Businesses are considering the economics of power outages alongside the conventional load calculations when sizing on-site power. Utility incentives and penalties also figure into the decision to be self sufficient with distributed generation. The need for backup electric power is categorized based on the net cost of an outage and a facility's risk tolerance.

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On the Road to a Broadband Nation (Business 2.0)

Major carriers are not serving the high-speed internet needs of every community to the satisfaction of city leaders. Some municipalities are rolling out broadband networks of their own -- to the consternation of incumbent service providers like Verizon and Comcast. In the process, these towns are testing leading-edge technologies such as 4G wireless. Others are moving ahead with broadband over powerlines (BPL).

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Business Magazine "Energy Priorities" Celebrates One Year Anniversary

First "hybrid" publication on energy combines best qualities of magazine and blog.

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Nuclear Power Is Good: U.S. and Iran Have No Argument There (New York Times International)

"...the United States and Iran discovered this week that they had something in common. They are both passionate cheerleaders for nuclear power. It's just that the United States wants to deny Iran the right to develop its own nuclear power capacity."

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Rural Northeastern Regions Working on Getting Broadband

New Hampshire, Vermont, Maine and New York are working on separate plans to bring broadband to rural businesses and homes. Australia is taking a more national approach, while the US cuts funding for rural broadband. The U.S. is falling behind its global competitors, according to the Global Information Technology Report.

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When Carbon Becomes Money (New Academy Review)

Michael Northrop and David Sassoon describe how carbon has become an important currency in much of the developed world, with the advent of the EU emission trading market and the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol next month.

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Developing Regional Climate Solutions (Seattle Times)

The authors describe how simple, focused climate policies can improve regional economic competitiveness while encouraging private investment in clean energy and climate solutions.

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Carbon Calculator

Every business contributes to unhealthy carbon emissions. A few have gone as far as to plant trees to offset their share. For those with a green thumb (but a guilty conscience), a carbon calculator is available online. The UK site will even plant the trees for you.

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New Online Resource Launched for Business-Related News on Renewables, Efficiency, Reliability

Welcome to Energy Priorities. We have officially launched the first hybrid publication on energy!

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