Here’s a cross-section of the energy conversations that took center stage last week:
The New York Times reported that global temperatures are the highest they’ve been in 4,000 years.
GreentechMedia announced the winners of its North American Networked Utilities Awards, naming the top 10 power utilities based on their deployment of smart grid programs.
Bloomberg New Energy Finance released a new report, “Advantage America,” that examines the U.S.-China clean energy technology trade relationship.
Sustainable Business reported that companies including Coca-Cola, Dell, Facebook, and Hertz will soon offer workplace charging for EVs.
Environmental Leader, citing McGraw-Hill Construction, noted that construction companies expect more than 60% of their work to be green by 2015.
The Guardian, citing a new Greenpeace study, reported that air pollution from coal plants in India cause up to 120,000 premature deaths per year.
AutoblogGreen, citing PricewaterhouseCoopers, reported that electric vehicle market share is expected to reach 6.3% by 2020.
GreentechMedia noted that, with a 50% price gap between European and Chinese solar modules, experts are asking whether modules can be considered a commodity.
Greenbiz ran a story about “the 4 biggest barriers to corporate sustainability.”
Dexigner noted that the World Green Building Council released a new report, “The Business Case for Green Building: A Review of the Costs and Benefits for Developers, Investors, and Occupants.”
The Guardian reported that a Hawaii observatory documented the second-greatest annual rise in atmospheric CO2 concentrations.
AutoblogGreen, citing the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute, noted that increasing vehicle fuel economy can potentially be undone by increased travel and decreased occupancy.
GreentechMedia, citing an Edison Foundation IEE report, noted that in 2011 customer-funded utility energy efficiency programs saved enough energy to power more than 9 million average American homes.
Greenbiz noted that FTSE Group, NAREIT, and USGBC are partnering to launch a sustainability ratings index for real estate investments.
AutoblogGreen reported that Japan—like Europe—is now testing fuel-saving, self-driving “road trains.”
The Guardian reported that the $100-billion, 40-year cleanup of the Fukushima nuclear plant is now underway.
GreentechMedia reported that ARPA-E’s Energy Innovation Summit raised important questions, including “How much renewable energy can the grid handle?”
Treehugger, citing the Earth Policy Institute, reported that fossil fuel subsidies topped $620 billion in 2011.
Greenbiz, citing a Pike Research report, noted that smart city spending—including for energy, transportation, and buildings—is expected to hit $20 billion by 2020.
Inside Climate News reported that new national science teaching standards—expected to be adopted in up to 40 or so states—now includes human-caused global climate change as part of the curriculum.
Earth image courtesy of Shutterstock.com.