May 22, 2013 - The taxpayer no longer has to worry about Tesla Motors.
Tesla, the maker of electric cars, paid off a $465 million loan on Wednesday that the Energy Department made in 2010. The repayment is a lift to the Obama administration, whose clean-energy loan programs faced criticism after the collapse of Solyndra, the solar panel maker. The company, using money it raised last week in the markets, is repaying the government nine years before its loan was due. read more>>>
May 20, 2013 - Last week, Nissan announced that its electric vehicle, the Leaf, surpassed 25,000 in sales in the U.S. The industry-leading Chevy Volt reached that milestone last year. Over the weekend, John Voelcker, writing for Green Car Reports, estimated that more than 100,000 modern plug-in electric cars have been "delivered to a buyer somewhere in the U.S."
Since the introduction of plug-in electrics in late 2010, first with Nissan's Leaf then days later with the Volt, the numbers have grown, tripling in 2012. Some analysts expect sales to double in 2013. Through April, Chevy has sold 5,550 units of the Volt, up 3.2 percent from the same period last year, according to Kevin M. Kelly, General Motors' manager of electric-vehicle communications.
We’re wondering if the outlook is as rosy for the plug-in electric vehicle market here. read more>>>
23 May 2013 - The Swiss-made Solar Impulse plane landed in Dallas on Thursday, breaking the distance record for a solar-powered flight on the second leg of its coast-to-coast odyssey across America.
The super-light, super-wide plane rose from its runway at Phoenix's Sky Harbor International Airport at 4:47 a.m. MST (7:47 a.m. ET) Wednesday with Andre Borschberg, Solar Impulse's co-founder and CEO, at the controls. He guided the plane through Arizona, New Mexico and West Texas, conducting a string of interviews from the air.
"It's flying very well," Borschberg told NBC News a couple of hours after takeoff.
Although the cockpit had room for only one flier, many more people were looking over his shoulder, thanks to a live video link. "They're all with me virtually," Borschberg said. read more>>>
20 May 2013 - Tom Steyer spent years as a wildly successful hedge fund manager, a vigorous philanthropist, and a sought-after funder of Democratic politicians, but most of that activity took place beneath the public radar.
A few years ago, however, Steyer stepped into the spotlight. In January 2009, he and his wife Kat Taylor donated $40 million to found the Tomkat Center for Sustainable Energy within the Precourt Institute for Energy at Stanford, and another $7 million to found the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, run by ex-Google energy guy Dan Reicher. read more>>>
May 21, 2013 - Global warming and clean energy should be priorities for Congress and the president, a majority of Americans said in a recent survey.
In the survey, released Tuesday by Yale and George Mason universities, 70% of American adults say global warming should be a priority for the nation’s leaders, while 87% say leaders should make it a priority to develop sources of clean energy. Those support levels have dropped by 7% and 5% respectively since fall.
Six in 10 Americans want the U.S. to reduce greenhouse gas emissions regardless of other countries’ emissions efforts, according to the survey. read more>>>
Solar power is getting much easier to store — and at a much cheaper price
May 21, 2013 - The total solar energy hitting Earth each year is equivalent to 12.2 trillion watt-hours. That's over 20,000 times more than the total energy all of humanity consumes each year.
And yet photovoltaic solar panels, the instruments that convert solar radiation into electricity, produce only 0.7 percent of the energy the world uses.
So what gives? read more>>>
May 21, 2013 - Ongoing water scarcity, paired with aging infrastructure and related funding gaps, are increasing already heightened concerns over the U.S. water sector. In response, Ernst & Young has proposed a 10-point action plan for addressing critical water infrastructure and sustainability issues in the United States.
The proposal emphasizes the need for both political and professional stakeholders to work together to promote adoption of innovative market mechanisms, cutting-edge engineering practices, and efficiency technologies, as well as standards and regulations that enhance accountability. read more>>>
May 22, 2013 - Energy efficiency is a good decision for businesses, homeowners and the government, John Mandyck, chief sustainability officer at UTC Climate, Controls & Security told attendees at the Energy Efficiency Global Forum in Washington, D.C. yesterday.
UTC had the Rhodium Group analyze the impact of a 30 percent improvement in U.S. building efficiency by 2030. According to the findings, improving energy efficiency in buildings by 30 percent would create a $275 billion market for advanced technology, engineering and design services, and construction activity in the U.S. alone. read more>>>