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  • Why the Saudis are Looking at Solar

    Saudi Arabia makes more than 10 million barrels of oil a day, but it may be turning an eye on a cleaner, brighter prospect: solar power. Oil minister Ali al-Nuaimi told French media that the oil-rich nation is researching how it can become a center for solar energy research and eventually become a “major megawatt” […] More

  • Measuring Solar's Total Impact

    Renewable energy generates clean power, and the fuel is often free: There’s no cost to make the wind blow or the sun shine. But just as many people advocate for considering the full cost of fossil fuels in the price of electricity (the cost of the pollution, mining, etc), so too must the full cost […] More

  • Wining about Global Warming

    Last week, 350 wine makers and scientists from around the globe discussed how global warming is effecting their wines and how they can adjust their productions to emit less emissions themselves. Carbon sequestration was a hot topic, whereby carbon dioxide (CO2, a major contributor to global warming) is captured and stored underground, instead of letting […] More

  • Banks Announce "Carbon Principles"

    Spurred by looming federal policy on CO2 emissions, many banks are exploring how to mitigate their financial risk as much as possible. This week, Citigroup, Morgan Stanley, and JP Morgan announced guidelines to help them determine whether to lend money to projects that emit a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2) – like coal-fired power plants. […] More

  • FutureGen Coal Plant Starts Over

    A U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) project called FutureGen was originally a $1 billion coal plant to produce hydrogen and test carbon capture and sequestration technology (CCS). CCS means that the carbon dioxide (CO2) – a major contributor to global warming – is captured before it’s spewed into the atmosphere and then transferred underground for […] More

  • EU Debates Renewable Energy Goals

    The European Commission has unveiled a plan to cut global warming emissions one-fifth in the next twelve years, and it requires the 27 European Union (EU) countries to have specific emissions targets. If successful, the plan would cut emissions 20 percent by 2020, based on 1990 emission levels. Some countries are better suited to invest […] More

  • Florida Considers Carbon Control

    Florida Governor Charlie Crist (R) signed an executive order last summer to develop a carbon market in the state, and has been making other good strides in the renewable energy department. Now, the governor, lawmakers, and Florida-based companies are debating the two main methods of carbon control: A carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system. A […] More

  • Analyses Finds Law Would Cut Carbon with Modest Impact on Economy

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Energy Information Administration (EIA) have both published analyses of Senators Arlen Specter (R-PA) and Jeff Bingaman’s (D-NM) proposed “Low Carbon Economy Act of 2007” (S. 1766) Using a cap-and-trade system, the Act aims to cut global warming emissions to 2006 levels by 2020, 1990 levels by 2030, […] More

  • How a Billionaire Candy Man Fights Energy Companies

    In many western states, landowners don’t necessarily own the minerals beneath their own property. This allows energies companies, in some cases, to drop in and drill. That doesn’t sit well with one wealthy Montana resident. Forrest E. Mars, Jr. is the billionaire owner of the Mars Candy Company, the wonderful people who bring us treats […] More

  • Asphalt Heats Up Solar Power

    I don’t like wearing shoes or socks, but I live in Minnesota so most months out of the year I don’t have a choice. I remember one time when I was a teenager, I decided to walk barefoot down the paved road in front of my parents’ house. It was a beautiful summer day, but […] More

  • Scientific American's Solar Grand Plan

    Scientific American has a thought-provoking proposal in its January 2008 issue. The magazine proposes a massive, far-reaching plan to get solar power generating 69 percent of America’s electricity 35 percent of our total energy by 2050, thus replacing all of our foreign oil needs and slashing global warming emissions. Below are some of the highlights […] More

  • Cleantech Possibilities for 2008

    The end of 2007 brought with it news of cleantech developments for 2008 and beyond. Here are a few that I found most interesting. Do any sound promising to you? Fuel Cubes A Minnesota company called Renewafuel has developed a biomass briquette that is similar in size and moisture content to coal, produces a consistent […] More

  • Climate Change Must Factor into UK Policy Decisions

    The U.K. Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, has ordered UK ministers to factor in climate change consequences for all policy and financial decisions related to transportation, construction, energy, housing and planning. To do this, carbon dioxide (CO2) – a major contributor to global warming – has been assigned a “shadow price” that government officials will have […] More

  • 'Tis the Season…for Donated Solar Power

    There have been several stories about companies and nonprofits donating solar energy systems this holiday season and I think that’s a measure of renewable energy’s success and the awareness of energy issues as a whole. Here are a few examples that might make you a little warmer and fuzzier this week: The Capital Area Food […] More

  • Coal Plants Cancelled in Wyoming

    I may begin to sound like a broken record here, but yet another coal plant has been pulled because of global warming-related concerns. Back in October, the Kansas Department of Health denied a coal plant permit solely because of its carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions (CO2 is a major contributor to global warming). Not long after, […] More

  • Texas Going Nuclear to Fight Climate Change?

    The threat of global warming has created an opening for many utilities – and even some clean energy supporters – to push for nuclear power as a solution. Texas, in particular, has attracted more interest in new reactors than any other state and could become the biggest building ground for nuclear power plants. NRG Energy, […] More

  • Wind, Solar Incentives Stripped from Energy Bill

    The Senate version of the energy bill that passed last week includes great things, like boosting vehicles’ average fuel efficiency to 35 miles per gallon (up from 25 mpg today), increasing the use of biofuels and updating efficiency standards for federal buildings. But the glaring gaps include the absence of renewable energy incentives. Specifically, a […] More

  • Clean Energy Round-Up

    Coinciding with the Bali talks on climate change, there has been all sorts of renewable energy and global warming news cropping up. Here are a few I’ve come across lately: New Zealand may ban fossil fuels. A bill introduced in the NZ Parliament last week would ban new power plants if they burned fossil fuels. […] More

  • UN Report: Renewable Energy Best Way to Cut Emissions

    A report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) says that renewable energy is making a difference in the fight against global warming and that we need more of it. In fact, renewable energy is the best way to cut carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. At least 56 nations have policies that promote renewable energy […] More

  • Governors Form Wind Power Coalition

    Governor Tim Pawlenty of Minnesota (R) and Governor Bill Richardson of New Mexico (D) have joined forces to promote a “Governors Windpower Coalition” to increase the use of wind energy across the United States. The objectives of the coalition include interstate collaboration (on issues like transmission), exchanging information on policy and technology, commissioning research on […] More

  • Middle East and Africa to Power Europe?

    If a Jordanian Prince has his way, yes. Prince Hassan bin Talal of Jordan believes that giant solar power stations along the Mediterranean coast of northern Africa and the Middle East could power up to one-sixth of Europe’s electricity. What’s more, the Prince says the stations could function as desalinization plants to provide Africa and […] More

  • More Big Business Calls for Climate Action

    Yet another round of global business executives has called for action on climate change. This time, about 150 global firms agreed that they want mandatory emissions cuts. The companies aren’t obviously green ones, either. They’re names like Nike, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola, Nokia, and Nestle. And they represent the U.S., Australia, China, and many European […] More

  • Washington Rejects Coal Plant's "Plan to Make a Plan"

    Regulatory bodies that reject coal plants because of global warming emissions are becoming a more common occurrence in the U.S. Kansas, Texas, and Florida have all rejected plants because of climate change concerns and now Washington State has just shot down a new coal plant because it couldn’t come up with a satisfactory answer for […] More

  • China Goes Big on Wind

    Everything we hear about China seems to be BIG. Big numbers of people, big numbers of cars, pollution, quantity of food, and so on. Now, a new report out by the Worldwatch Institute says that China is going big in another way: renewable energy. Powering China’s Development: The Role of Renewable Energy finds that China […] More

  • Bayer Invests Over a Billion in Climate Change

    Bayer – the multinational chemical giant that also makes your aspirin – has announced it will spend $1.46 billion dollars in the next three years on a new climate program aimed at cutting carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions that contribute to global warming. This is the first I’ve heard of Bayer taking a leadership role in […] More