Investments in Renewable Energy Topped Fossil Fuels Last Year

November 29, 2011 by  
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For the first time, investments in renewable energy projects surpassed those in fossil fuel power plants, according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance.  Last year, $187 billion was invested in renewable energy installations, while $157 billion was invested in new natural gas, oil and coal plants. The increase in investments in the sector , even while in a down economy, has led to price drops in equipment and renewable energy power, making solar and wind power far more competitive with coal power. Renewable energy subsidies deserve a lot of credit for the spending increase:  about $66 billion in subsidies were handed out last year. It’s a great bit of news as another round of global talks on the climate crisis is likely heading nowhere as we speak. via LA Times

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Investments in Renewable Energy Topped Fossil Fuels Last Year

London Using Glue to Clean Up Air

November 28, 2011 by  
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The European Union is requiring member countries to have no more than 35 bad air days per year by 2012 or the countries will face fines of around $450 million.  In order to clean up air pollution to meet the EU’s standards, London is turning to glue.  Well, a glue of sorts.  The English capital is applying a calcium-based adhesive to streets to trap particulate air pollution and, believe it or not, it’s working. The city’s street sweepers have applied the adhesive to air pollution hot spots around the city and particulate levels in those areas have dropped 14 percent.  The project has cost the city $1.4 million so far, which is pretty expensive, but 14 percent is a pretty substantial reduction from glue alone and a far cry from a payout of $450 million if they didn’t meet the standards. London will be taking other action to reduce air pollution, including rolling out cleaner buses , retiring the most polluting taxis, enforcing stricter emissions standards and planting trees. via Grist

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London Using Glue to Clean Up Air

A Short-Range Electric Vehicle for $7,000

November 22, 2011 by  
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The StreetScooter is caled an open-source electric vehicle and has been developed to provide an affordable and sustainable option for mobility. The target price for the vehicle is only $7,000, although the batteries would have to be leased separately. The StreetScooter is intended as a Short Distance Vehicle (SDV) with a range of 40 kilometers (about 25 miles). While this doesn’t meet every need, it is suitable for many basic transport purposes. A consortium of 20 different companies has been behind the development of this vehicle concept, which was recently unveiled at the Frankfurt International Auto Show. The design team began with the idea of a vehicle that is intended for primarily short trips, and could then be priced accordingly. While it has a limited range, the Street Scooter has a top speed of 74 miles per hour (120 kph). The modular approach undertaken by the design team focused on each partner applying their expertise to the area they knew best and having to coordinate only where the different systems interconnected. Production is supposed to begin in Europe in 2013 and then to follow to the United States later on. The original site is in German, but this link gives a Google translated version that can give you some idea about the project. via: Slashdot

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A Short-Range Electric Vehicle for $7,000

Jay Leno Has Logged 11,000 Gas-Free Miles in His Chevy Volt

November 22, 2011 by  
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We’ve heard a lot about sales numbers and predictions since the Chevy Volt’s release , but we haven’t heard as many real-world driving stories.  What kind of range are people getting?  Are they enjoying the car? Jay Leno, probably the most famous Volt driver so far, has raved about his experience with the vehicle and reported that he’s racked up 11,000 miles in the car without ever having to fill up the gas tank. Leno drives his Volt from his home to the studio and back every day — a 35-mile trip each way.  With the Volt’s battery range of 40 miles, he’s able to make the drive to work, plug in to recharge and then drive home again at the end of the day all without using any gas.  In fact, the half tank of gas that was in the vehicle when it was delivered to him is still there, untouched. The big idea behind the range-extended vehicle was just this scenario:  people could make their regular commutes on battery power only, but have the option of filling up on gas for longer trips where EV chargers weren’t as easily accessible.  Jay Leno has basically just proven that the idea totally works. via Inhabitat

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Jay Leno Has Logged 11,000 Gas-Free Miles in His Chevy Volt

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