With Greenbuild 2011—the largest international conference and expo devoted to green buildings—in Toronto this week, the blogosphere has been abuzz with announcements from the event. But, this hasn’t distracted the mainstream media from highly controversial topics that have been dominating headlines for several weeks like Solyndra’s aftermath, green jobs, and the Keystone XL.
Here’s this week’s news roundup. Did you come across news this week that you want to share? Comment with your favorites.
This Week’s News Roundup
Does clean energy kill jobs?
CNN, October 7, 2011
According to a Pew Research Center study, 63 percent of Americans say developing alternative energy sources should be a higher priority than expanding fossil fuel exploration and production.
Making net-zero homes a reality
Chicago Tribune, October 7, 2011
Prospective homebuyers are paying closer attention to energy efficiency, especially when it comes to the bottom line on home purchases.
An Escalator That Feeds the Building
New York Times, October 7, 2011
At Greenbuild, Otis introduced a new escalator that combines regenerative breaking with a standby feature to cut down on a large energy user in retail buildings.
If Steve Jobs Had Applied His Talents to Energy and Climate Change
Fast Company, October 7, 2011
Steve Jobs created innovative products that change the world of technology. Imagine the other industries he could have disrupted.
Stop Subsidizing Fossil Fuels, IEA Tells Government
Sustainable Business, October 7, 2011
Phasing out subsidies to fossil fuels, if well-executed, can generate important economic, energy security, and environmental benefits.
Solyndra Investigation Likely to Hurt ‘Green Jobs’ Not Obama
Bloomberg Businessweek, October 7, 2011
According to President Obama, “If we are going to compete, then we have to dominate in cutting edge technology and dominate in cutting edge manufacturing. Clean energy is part of that cutting edge package of the future.”
Keystone XL: The wrong question
LA Times, October 6, 2011
The Keystone XL pipeline from Canada's tar sands has sparked a hot debate with arguments both for and against. The focus should shift to the bigger issue: How to end U.S. fossil fuel dependence.
Energy Efficiency, Renewable Energy Cheaper and Safer than Building New Nuclear Plants in Florida and Georgia, Report Finds
Union of Concerned Scientists release, October 6, 2011
According to a new report, ratepayers in Florida and Georgia would be better served by investments in energy efficiency and renewable energy resources, rather than building new nuclear reactors in those states.
Obama Defends Green Energy Industry in Wake of Solyndra, Says U.S. Can Compete
Fox News, October 6, 2011
The President argued that dwindling traditional energy sources and future increases in worldwide demand make the clean energy industry a priority.
Solar Entrepreneur Lynn Jurich: Sunny Days Ahead
Fast Company, October 6, 2011
One company who is flourishing in the midst of high-profile industry bankruptcies weights in on the bright future of solar.
Why the Defense Department is Way Ahead of Congress on Clean Energy
GreenBiz, October 6, 2011
The Department of Defense has committed to get 25 percent of its energy from renewables by 2025, and for good reasons. The value of clean energy is found not only in its cost effectiveness but in its power to secure our nation and save lives.
Pa. links with private equity for college energy efficiency programs
Philadelphia Business Journal, October 5, 2011
A new campus energy efficiency fund was unveiled at Drexel, which is meant to use up to $10 million to generate $45 million in energy improvements at as many as 12 Pennsylvania colleges and universities.
Unused Electric Cars As a Giant Battery: Vehicle-To-Grid Charging Is Coming Soon
Fast Company, October 5, 2011
Most cars, even electric ones, sit unused most of the day. What if the power in their batteries could be fed back into the grid? It's coming, and there's incentive.
Retroficiency: 25M Square Feet of Hands-Free Commercial Building Efficiency
Greentechmedia, October 5, 2011
There's little doubt that making buildings more energy efficient remains one of the fastest and cheapest ways to green a company's energy profile, so there have been more entrants—like Retroficiency—into the field.
Green War in the Skies: Can Europe Make U.S. Planes Pay for Pollution?
The Atlantic, October 5, 2011
Europe is asking international flights to pay for their carbon emissions.
Will Fleet Sales Be Alternative Energy Vehicles' Bridget to Market Viability?
Greentechmedia, October 5, 2011
As a new generation of EVs emerges in today's uncertain marketplace, fleets may act as the initial savior market.
Nissan, GE ink deal to fast track electric vehicle adoption
Autoblog Green, October 4, 2011
GE and Nissan have signed a two-year deal to collectively explore ways to promote the widespread adoption of EVs both in the U.S. and around the globe.
Green Jobs By The Numbers
Grist, October 4, 2011
The clean economy sector focused on clean energy--especially wind, solar, fuel cell, smart grid, biofuel, and battery companies--grew far more quickly than the economy as a whole.
Solyndra and the Dubious Benefits of Loan Guarantees
The Atlantic, October 3, 2011
Solyndra's recent bankruptcy has sparked several debates about the effectiveness of subsidies and loan guarantees in general—not only for solar.
Working Together for a Sustainable Future
Environmental Design + Construction, October 3, 2011
Architects and engineers can work together more effectively to improve the overall functionality and energy efficiency of buildings.