The Grid: Energy, Resources, Environment, Sustainability | Bloomberg

Sustainability Indicator: 40% Renewables Growth


Today’s sustainability indicator, 40 percent, is the anticipated growth of renewable energy use worldwide in the next five years. Wind, solar, bioenergy and geothermal is on track to supply 8 percent of global electric generation capacity by 2018.

And there's more...

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Balloon Pilot Hopes New Solar Plane Will Succeed in Cleaner Skies

Solar Impulse

For aviators Andre Borschberg and Bertrand Piccard, it's not about the plane.

"Our goal," said Piccard, the first person to circumnavigate the globe in a balloon, "is not to make a revolution in air transportation, but a revolution in the mindset toward technology."

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Climate-Change Science Poised to Enter Nation's Classrooms

Melting of Greenland and Antarctic Ice Greater Than Estimated -- New national science standards that make the teaching of global warming part of the public school curriculum are slated to be released this month, potentially curtailing climate skepticism in the nation's classrooms.

The Next Generation Science Standards were developed by the National Research Council, the National Science Teachers Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the nonprofit Achieve and more than two dozen states. They recommend that educators teach the evidence for man-made climate change starting as early as elementary school and incorporate it into all science classes, ranging from earth science to chemistry. By eighth grade, students should understand that "human activities, such as the release of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels, are major factors in the current rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature (global warming)," the standards say.

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Wal-Mart To Reduce Carbon Emissions

Wal-Mart CEO Mike Duke delivered upbeat news to the company’s semi-annual Sustainability Milestones Meeting in November 2009. The world’s largest retailer was on track to hit 36 of the 37 energy and environment goals Duke’s predecessor set for the company in 2005. Not everyone in the audience responded with glee.

“When Mike Duke made that statement, my ears turned bright red. I felt my face flushing,” said Charles Zimmerman, Wal-Mart’s vice president of international design and construction. He was in charge of the one initiative among 37 that was failing to deliver. “I felt eyes in the auditorium turning to me.”

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Sustainability vs Question Mark

Sustainability? Sustainability??? 

It seems the word has an unshakable bond with the question mark -- most recently confirmed by a little-known Google tool called Google Correlate, which lets you type in a word and spits out other words and phrases that people have Googled with the same pattern over time. 

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Obama to Tackle Climate Change Soon, Advisor Says

White House Official Says Obama To Discuss Climate Change Action

Bloomberg BNA -- President Obama will announce in the upcoming weeks and months decisive actions the administration is planning to combat climate change, a senior White House adviser said Feb. 27.

Climate change is “one of the clearest and most urgent challenges of our time,” and Obama will soon discuss steps the administration will take to address it, said Heather Zichal, deputy assistant to the president for energy and climate change.

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White House Says Sequestration Would Cut Millions for Water, Air

A series of automatic spending cuts scheduled to begin taking effect March 1 would result in an estimated $154 million reduction in federal funding for state environmental programs, according to the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

The council, in a Feb. 25 email, said the spending cuts would “severely undermine” efforts to ensure that air and water are clean. 

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Business Leaders Call for Expanding Fossil Fuel Tax Break

Bloomberg BNA -- Congress should expand a tax incentive reserved for the fossil fuel industry known as master limited partnerships to the renewable energy industry, a coalition of chief executive officers said in a report released Feb. 25.

That recommendation was among dozens a energy policy proposals in a report released by the Business Roundtable that also included approval of the Keystone XL pipeline by the Obama administration and ensuring that future regulations on hydraulic fracturing are “consistent” with industry best practices and state regulations. 

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Obama May Expand Oil Drilling to Pay for Clean-Car Research

Obama's Plan To Fund Clean Cars with Oil Royalties Faces Test -- With a couple of lines tucked into his State of the Union speech this month, President Obama pitched the tent for a three-ring circus starring advocates with competing agendas: controlling greenhouse gases, expanding fossil fuel development and conserving open spaces.

The idea Obama proposed would siphon $2 billion from the swelling oil and gas royalties the government expects to collect over the next decade and devote it to federally sponsored clean-car research that has been starved for cash. The question is what he will have to give up in negotiations to get what he wants.

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Investors Demand Climate-Risk Disclosure in 2013 Proxies

Investors Show Greater Interest in Climate Change Risks

Bloomberg BNA -- Shareholders are filing resolutions asking companies to disclose physical risks posed by climate change for the first time this proxy season, according to representatives of sustainable investor groups.

Shareholders also are continuing to file an increasing number of sustainability related resolutions asking companies to set greenhouse gas emission reduction goals, publish sustainability reports, pursue energy efficiency, and disclose information about hydraulic fracturing operations.

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About The Grid

Nations and companies face rising competition for strategic resources — energy, food, water, materials — and the technologies that make best use of them. That's sustainability. It's about the 21st-century race for wealth, health and long-term security, across the global grid.

Analyses or commentary in this blog are the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Bloomberg News.

Eric Roston, Editor

Tom Randall, Deputy Editor

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