A smoky brown haze settled over Beijing on a recent Saturday night, dense enough to blur buildings viewed across a city street.
Beijing's environmental agency reported "light pollution" and "breathable" air. A $20,000 device sitting atop the U.S. embassy, located blocks from the city's monitor, had different words to describe the evening.Read more »
Fossil-fuel consumers worldwide received about six times more government subsidies than were given to the renewable-energy industry, according to the chief adviser to oil-importing nations.
State spending to cut retail prices of gasoline, coal and natural gas rose 36 percent to $409 billion as global energy costs increased, the Paris-based International Energy Agency said today in its World Energy Outlook. Aid for biofuels, wind power and solar energy, rose 10 percent to $66 billion.Read more »
Here’s a vision for the U.S. in 2050: No oil. No coal. No nuclear. Less gas. All for $5 trillion less than the projected business-as-usual energy spending.
Many would call this a pipe dream, but when such predictions come from Rocky Mountain Institute Chairman Amory Lovins, as they have since his groundbreaking 1976 essay in Foreign Affairs, they are backed by intellectual rigor. Lovins recently spoke with Bloomberg News energy and environment reporter Kim Chipman about the energy future he lays out in his new book, Reinventing Fire.Read more »
If oil prices fell from their 2008 peak as far as solar component prices have, a barrel of oil would cost about $10 – a 93 percent drop. Everyone could afford to fuel his own Formula One racecar.
Instead, more utilities and companies can now afford to install solar power. A kilogram of polysilicon, the basic material in solar panels, dropped from $475 in February 2008 to less than $35 Oct. 31. Not every manufacturer can stay in business with prices so low. The great shakeout has begun in the U.S. and elsewhere -- even as the largest producers continue to ramp up output. But what’s going on in China?Read more »
Holly Schean didn’t know what was on the other side of the hill near her parents’ home in Kingston, Tennessee. At 1 a.m. on Dec. 22, 2008, she found out. The earth split and toxic coal ash surged across a finger of the Emory River.
The 5.4-million-cubic-yard torrent from a slurry-filled pond owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority deposited the splintered house 10 yards from its foundation. It relocated a road and a rail line, choked waterways and created a moonscape of mounds residents dubbed “ashbergs.”Read more »
The section started out as a nice gesture -- much like sustainability initiatives at the very companies who protesters are targeting. After six weeks of protests and winter closing in, sustainability has become occupiers’ high-stakes attempt to cope with competition for limited strategic resources -- also not unlike the corporate movement.Read more »
An Indian state official, Yashwant Sonawane, was burned alive earlier this year when he tried to prevent people from stealing kerosene from a tanker near Mumbai.
The people of Jharia, in eastern India, live in crushing poverty. They also live atop a $1 trillion coal deposit that has been burning for a century and poses risks to health and homes. Many prefer to stay and eke out a living selling coal. Starting a new life elsewhere would mean an uncertain wait for the government to find them jobs.Read more »
Anders Soe-Jensen is the founding president of the offshore division of Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world's biggest turbine maker. He spoke recently with Alex Morales, renewable energy and climate change reporter for Bloomberg News in London.
Q: What’s most difficult about planting a turbine in the sea?
A: The sea. You cannot predict the sea, but you can plan for any eventuality.
Boulder, Colorado, voters will decide today whether to publicly take over their local electric utility, effectively ending one of the most high-profile "smart grid" projects in the country.
The referendum comes after Xcel Energy spent more than $44.8 million, exceeding its original budget estimate of $15 million, according to regulatory filings. The initiative is one of the nation's first "smart grid" pilot projects, designed to help customers reduce power use and cut down on greenhouse gas emissions. Xcel raised $950,000 for its campaign to keep the Boulder utility private, compared with $88,500 spent by backers of the referendum, according to city records.Read more »