India triples solar power capacity in three years

March 14, 2017 by  
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India’s solar power capacity has exploded over the past three years, growing from just 3,000 megawatts in 2014 to an installed capacity of 10,000 MW in 2017. And that’s just the beginning of the country’s solar ambitions, with a renewable energy target of 175 gigawatts as soon as 2022. India’s government is working to further its ambitious goal already, with more than 14,000 MW worth of solar projects in the works, and another 6 GW set to go to auction soon. India expects to add a total of 8.8 GW of further solar capacity in 2017. As Swarahya reports, this investment in solar power is aimed at addressing a growing demand for electricity in India. Projections peg the country’s power consumption at three times its current rate by 2030. The government’s recent national electricity plan says those needs could reach as much as 360 GW of total generation by 2022. The plan says that by developing renewable technologies like solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectricity, the country can meet the growing demand while reducing environmental impacts. Related: New 2D perskovite cell could slash the cost of solar No doubt, reducing air pollution is also high in the minds of the Indian government. A report issued earlier this year showed that China and India are leading the way in deaths due to air pollution . The two countries experienced a combined 2.2 million deaths due to air pollution in 2015 . Via Swarahya Images via Pixabay and Flickr Creative Commons, jepoirrier

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India triples solar power capacity in three years

Alaska gas leak endangering beluga whales won’t be fixed until the ice melts

March 6, 2017 by  
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A leaking natural gas pipeline in Cook Inlet, Alaska won’t be fixed until the ice melts – continuing to flow unchecked into a habitat for endangered beluga whales. Inside Climate News reports that Hilcorp Alaska, the company responsible for the leak, says it won’t be able repair the damage until later this month, at the earliest, due to concerns over safety for its workers. The 8-inch underwater pipeline has been leaking about 120,000 to 310,000 cubic feet of natural gas per day into the ocean since Feb. 7, 2017. “Given the typical weather patterns affecting ice formation and dissipation in Cook Inlet, we currently anticipate that the earliest that the conditions will allow diving will be in mid-to-late March,” wrote Hilcorp Alaska Senior Vice President, David Wilkins. Doing so before that date would likely make it unsafe for the divers who have to head underwater to fix the leak. But it would be appear to be a case of humans vs. whales, as the oil is leaking into a critical habitat for endangered beluga whales . Bob Shavelson, or the Alaska non-profit Cook Inletkeepe r, have concerns that methane in the leaking gas could displace oxygen in the water and create hypoxic zones that could be dangerous for the roughly 340 belugas in the area. Related: Hundreds of whales die in New Zealand’s third largest mass stranding As Inside Climate News reports, Alaska’s Department of Environment Conservation says Hilcorp didn’t respond to its request for a plan to monitor the leak and environmental impacts. Without such data the state agency can’t assess the threat posed by leak to Cook Inlet. The state has since asked Hilcorp to provide a plan by March 8 – more than a month after the leak began. In a letter to Alaska’s DEC, Hilcorp says the amount of dissolved methane coming from the leak is so minimal that it’s not toxic to aquatic organisms, and that belugas tend to avoid areas covered in ice – meaning that there are likely no belugas around the area of the leak. But the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says otherwise. In a recent letter the agency noted that Cook Inlet belugas tend to prefer ice cover, to the point that their presence has become associated with that of ice. “If a significant hypoxic zone is created by a continuing natural gas discharge,” the NOAA explained, “Cook Inlet belugas and multiple [physical and biological features] of their critical habitat could be adversely affected.” Via Inside Climate News Images via fooey and briangratwke , Flickr Creative Commons and Frank K , Wikimedia Commons

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Alaska gas leak endangering beluga whales won’t be fixed until the ice melts

Uber rolls out autonomous cars in Arizona

February 22, 2017 by  
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Just shy of two months after Uber’s autonomous cars were banned in California, the company is rolling out its second round of experimental autonomous vehicles on the roadways of Arizona. Uber’s most-recent experiment is happening on the streets of Tempe Arizona, where locals have the option to ride in one of the company’s self-driving Volvo XC90s – along with two Uber engineers in the front seats for safety purposes. Uber’s operation on the streets of San Francisco lasted only a week due to a dispute over regulations, but the company could benefit from less restrictive regulations in the Grand Canyon State. Uber and California went their separate ways because the state’s DMV threatened legal action for the improper licensing of test vehicles. When Uber refused to apply for the necessary permits, the state just up and revoked their license. It didn’t take the company long to hit the road in Arizona, where Governor Doug Ducey put out a big welcome mat for them in the form of an executive order. Signed in August, 2015, the order directed several government agencies to “undertake any necessary steps to support the testing and operation of self-driving vehicles on public roads in the state. According to The Verge , he also “empowered” universities to launch pilot programs for self-driving cars. Related: Uber launches self-driving cars in Pittsburgh After nearly a year of rumors that the company was planning to experiment with autonomous cars, Uber confirmed suspicions when it announced and began testing the vehicles on the streets of Pittsburgh in September 2016. Pricing for the Arizona pilot project remains the same as UberX service in other cities, and the Volvos can carry up to three passengers along with the “safety drivers.” Riders will have the option to cancel their request if they feel nervous when a self-driving car shows up, allowing them to opt for a human-piloted vehicle instead. Via The Verge and Engadget Images via Uber, Dilu , Wikimedia Commons and Foo Conner , Flickr Creative Commons

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Tesla extends free charging at Supercharger stations

January 4, 2017 by  
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As of two weeks from now, there will be no more free lunch for Tesla car buyers, as the company will be cutting off free access to its Supercharger network of charging stations as of January 15, 2017. Engadget reports that this is actually somewhat of a reprieve for Tesla customers, as the cutoff was initially supposed to be January 1, 2017. According to Engadget , Tesla announced this change was coming a few months ago, telling customers they were soon going to have to pay for their own electricity. Given the recent announcement, potential buyers have just a short period in which to get unlimited free electricity for their Tesla car, which amounts to a huge bonus for anyone buying before January 15. Cars bought after that date will be limited to just 400 kilowatt hours of free power per year, and owners will have to pay for the rest. According to Tesla, that’s roughly enough power to drive for about 1,000 miles. Related: Tesla’s next Supercharger could charge electric cars in mere seconds Tesla says charging beyond that amount will be available at an additional fee, the amount of which has yet to be announced. They have said it “won’t be too expensive” and will cost drivers “less than the price of filling up a comparable gas car.” So if you’re thinking about a Tesla, now could be the time to buy. This announcement comes shortly after CEO Elon Musk hinted that a new generation of Superchargers could charge a Model S in just seconds. Near the end of December 2016, Musk hinted in a tweet that the Supercharger V3 would have an ouput of at least 350 kilowatts, or more than double the output of the current Superchargers in Tesla’s network. Via Engadget Images via Tesla Motors, Joseph Thornton and Steve Jurvetson , Flickr Creative Commons

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Tesla extends free charging at Supercharger stations

Germany plans to slash CO2 emissions up to 95 percent by 2050

November 15, 2016 by  
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Germany’s coalition government just announced plans to cut greenhouse gas emissions by a whopping 80 to 95 percent by the year 2050. The leaders reached the agreement just in time for the COP22 Climate Conference in Marrakech , and the project also includes plans to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by one fifth by 2030. While the agreement does include a clause that the targets will be reviewed again in 2018, it still represents a major breakthrough. The Guardian notes that German environment minister Barbara Hendricks first presented CO2 reduction targets for various industry sectors in 2015, but they were stymied by special ministers from different parties in the coalition government . The finalized agreement does contain some compromises, including: lower reduction targets for power plants, and the loss of a planned minimum price for pollution certificates in the European Union’s carbon trading arrangement. Despite concerns about job losses due to the phasing out of brown coal (which releases the highest amount of CO2 emissions per ton when burned), German economic minister, Sigmar Gabriel believes the plan is “a good and well-balanced solution.” Other countries will only follow in the footsteps of our very ambitious climate policy if we manage to combine the fight against climate change with the protection of industrial jobs, even in energy-intensive sectors,” Gabriel told The Guardian. Related: Here’s how much Arctic sea ice melt you are personally responsible for Despite that, the Association of German Industry did not like what president Ulrich Grillo called “arbitrary and tonne-high reduction targets for individual sectors.” On the other side, Greenpeace International lauded the German government for sticking to sector-specific reduction targets. “By committing to halving emissions in the energy sector, the government’s climate action plans effectively hail the phase-out of the coal industry and the end of the era of the combustion engine, said Greenpeace International climate expert, Karsten Smid. Via The Guardian Images via fahrertuer and freefotouk, Flickr Creative Commons    

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Germany plans to slash CO2 emissions up to 95 percent by 2050

Elon Musk says Tesla will launch a new product line on April 30 – but he won’t say what it is

March 31, 2015 by  
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Elon Musk announced on Twitter , as is his style, that Tesla will release a new product line at their Hawthorne Design Studio on April 30. He won’t say what it is, except to clarify that it’s not a car. Given Musk’s promise earlier this year about producing a stationary house battery  within the next few months, the tech world is in a tizzy in anticipation of the end-of-the-month release. Will Musk unveil the battery that will allow any home to go off the grid? If the April 30 event isn’t centered on the battery, what else does he have up his sleeve? It’ll be a long month full of speculation as we all eagerly wait to find out what else Tesla has in store for the future. Via The Verge Image via OnInnovation via Flickr Creative Commons Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: april 30 tesla announcement , april 30 tesla product launch , elon musk announcement , new tesla announcement , new tesla designs , tesla new products

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Elon Musk says Tesla will launch a new product line on April 30 – but he won’t say what it is

The TreeHugger Recap: Monday, July 25, 2011

July 26, 2011 by  
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Photo Credit: Dan O’Connor , Flickr Creative Commons Attribution License . With ~30+ new posts on TreeHugger.com each weekday, we understand if you miss a post here and there. To keep you up-to-date, here’s what we covered on Monday, July 25, 2011…. Read the full story on TreeHugger

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The TreeHugger Recap: Monday, July 25, 2011

WWF Responds to Global Witness’ "Pandering to the Loggers" Report

July 26, 2011 by  
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Screenshot via GFTN Global Witness released a report yesterday claiming that WWF’s partnerships with logging companies, created to bring sustainability to the global timber industry, have instead had the opposite effect and facilitated illegal logging and human rights abuses. WWF wants people to hear its side of the story. The group has issued a response to the report, saying that the Global Forest & Trade Network has been able to “create a global marketplace for sustainably sourced forest products.” The… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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WWF Responds to Global Witness’ "Pandering to the Loggers" Report

World Naked Bike Ride in NYC Protests Car Culture and Body Shame (Photos)

July 26, 2011 by  
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All Photos Courtesy of Barbara Ross Sunday was a big day in New York City. It was the first day of legalized gay marriage, so there was plenty of celebrating going on in the streets. And to add to things, a horde of scantily clad, even naked cyclists were seen rolling through lower Manhattan and Brooklyn. They were participating in the third annual World Naked Bike Ride , NYC edition. With the slogan “bear as you dare,” the ride was part of a worldwide network of naked rides, protesting against car-culture and car… Read the full story on TreeHugger

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World Naked Bike Ride in NYC Protests Car Culture and Body Shame (Photos)

China Takes Smart Grid Lead With Projected $61.4 Billion Market

January 14, 2011 by  
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Photo by SMercury98 via Flickr Creative Commons The trend of China taking the lead on smart grid spending isn’t new. Zpryme showed that the country would outspend the US in this sector during 2010

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China Takes Smart Grid Lead With Projected $61.4 Billion Market

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