Petroleum giant abandons tar sands in favor of wind power

December 29, 2016 by  
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In a startling move, Norwegian state-owned oil and gas company Statoil recently pulled all its investments out of the Alberta tar sands after winning a contract to develop an offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. CleanTechnica reports the company began selling off its tar sands assets almost within hours of learning earlier this month it had won the right to build a wind farm off the coast of New York State. According to CleanTechnica, the opportunity to develop the wind facility and provide power so close to New York City made the clean energy project a high-visibility, and thus high-status venture for Statoil. Winning the project was not easy, as the bid process was “intense,” but Statoil’s triumph means they’re part of a new coordinated program to develop a series of wind farms off the Atlantic coast. The project is just one of 11 offshore areas leased for development by the Department of the Interior, through its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management . Related: The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year CleanTechnica notes that much of the 3000 miles of ocean along America’s Eastern Seaboard is perfect for renewable energy development for several reasons. The relatively shallow waters of the Continental Shelf make building easier, while the proximity to major population centers all along the way make accessing markets a breeze. Add to that the fact that hot southern states are in dire need of affordable energy to power air conditioners, and you’ve got a recipe for strong demand for power. While they might have taken a step in the right direction by dropping dirty tar sands oil, Statoil’s hands are still far from clean. It recently invested in oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and has some questionable shale gas assets in the U.S. – including some in the Bakken play, the planned origin for the now-stalled Dakota Access Pipeline . Via Clean Technica Images via Parrot of Doom and Barrow Offshore Wind Turbines , Wikimedia Commons

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Petroleum giant abandons tar sands in favor of wind power

Petroleum giant abandons tar sands in favor of wind power

December 29, 2016 by  
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In a startling move, Norwegian state-owned oil and gas company Statoil recently pulled all its investments out of the Alberta tar sands after winning a contract to develop an offshore wind farm in U.S. waters. CleanTechnica reports the company began selling off its tar sands assets almost within hours of learning earlier this month it had won the right to build a wind farm off the coast of New York State. According to CleanTechnica, the opportunity to develop the wind facility and provide power so close to New York City made the clean energy project a high-visibility, and thus high-status venture for Statoil. Winning the project was not easy, as the bid process was “intense,” but Statoil’s triumph means they’re part of a new coordinated program to develop a series of wind farms off the Atlantic coast. The project is just one of 11 offshore areas leased for development by the Department of the Interior, through its Bureau of Ocean Energy Management . Related: The world’s largest floating wind farm will be operational next year CleanTechnica notes that much of the 3000 miles of ocean along America’s Eastern Seaboard is perfect for renewable energy development for several reasons. The relatively shallow waters of the Continental Shelf make building easier, while the proximity to major population centers all along the way make accessing markets a breeze. Add to that the fact that hot southern states are in dire need of affordable energy to power air conditioners, and you’ve got a recipe for strong demand for power. While they might have taken a step in the right direction by dropping dirty tar sands oil, Statoil’s hands are still far from clean. It recently invested in oil drilling in the Gulf of Mexico, and has some questionable shale gas assets in the U.S. – including some in the Bakken play, the planned origin for the now-stalled Dakota Access Pipeline . Via Clean Technica Images via Parrot of Doom and Barrow Offshore Wind Turbines , Wikimedia Commons

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Petroleum giant abandons tar sands in favor of wind power

Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened?

December 29, 2016 by  
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A recently surfaced dashcam video appears to show a Tesla in Autopilot mode alerting a driver to an upcoming crash moments before it actually happened. According to Twitter user Hans Noordsij , the Tesla used its radar to see “ahead” of the car in front of it, and predict that it was about to collide with another vehicle. In the video, viewers can hear the vehicle’s collision warning system activate as the car’s emergency breaks activate automatically. @elonmusk Finally the right one. pic.twitter.com/2fspGMUoWf — Hans Noordsij (@HansNoordsij) December 27, 2016 So far, Tesla hasn’t commented on the authenticity of the video, so it’s difficult to say if the incredible footage depicts exactly what the original poster claims. Some critics are already claiming that the car did nothing to “predict” a crash that an observant human driver couldn’t do better, pointing out that the incoming collision would have been obvious with or without the Autopilot system. However, even if a driver could predict and react to the oncoming accident as quickly as the vehicle’s AI, the fact that a car is able to see and respond with speed similar to a human is still impressive. Related: Elon Musk announces all new Teslas will be self-driving While the video may be impressive, it’s important to remember that Autopilot it not without its flaws. Back in July, Tesla Motors disclosed that one inattentive Model S driver had been killed when the Autopilot system mistook the bright white side of a truck for the sky and caused the car to collide with an 18-wheeler on the highway. Although Tesla has announced plans to build autonomous capabilities into all new cars produced going forward, drivers should still remain alert at all times and ready to take control of the vehicle if they sense something wrong. Via CNBC Images via Hans Noordsij /Screen capture

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Did Tesla Autopilot predict an upcoming accident before it actually happened?

Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

December 29, 2016 by  
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Following Tesla ’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, the California-based company just scored another big win. Panasonic will invest more than $256 million in Tesla’s New York solar cell factory. The Japan-based electronics company is already partnering with Tesla to build electric car batteries at its Nevada Gigafactory, and this investment, announced December 27, positions Panasonic more firmly in the automotive industry than ever before, marking the fulfillment of the company’s’s gradual shift away from consumer electronics. Tesla’s production facility in Buffalo is expected to be up and running within just a few months. According to Tuesday’s announcement, production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules will begin in the summer of 2017. By 2019, the two companies expect to be churning out the equivalent of one gigawatt of solar power modules each year. Related: Tesla taps Panasonic to build solar panels for their Powerwall and Powerpack systems The news of Panasonic ’s hefty investment in the Buffalo manufacturing plant is the first development since Tesla first named the electronics company as its partner in mid-October, which was contingent on the completion of Tesla’s merger with SolarCity . While that initial announcement came with very few details (in part because the merger wouldn’t be finalized for another month), this update illustrates the enormous scope of Panasonic’s commitment to the solar power market. The PV modules Panasonic produces at Tesla’s facility will be used primarily in the Powerwall and Powerpack systems, Tesla’s off-grid power solutions. While Tesla’s “solar roof” is still on deck, there is no word on when production on that line might begin. SolarCity previously promised the creation of over 1,400 jobs at the Buffalo facility and Tesla’s announcement Tuesday reaffirms that commitment and elaborates that the figure includes more than 500 manufacturing jobs—an important footnote for a city that once relied heavily on blue collar industries like steel and automotive manufacturing. Via Reuters Images via SolarCity and Panasonic

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Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

December 29, 2016 by  
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Following Tesla ’s recent acquisition of SolarCity, the California-based company just scored another big win. Panasonic will invest more than $256 million in Tesla’s New York solar cell factory. The Japan-based electronics company is already partnering with Tesla to build electric car batteries at its Nevada Gigafactory, and this investment, announced December 27, positions Panasonic more firmly in the automotive industry than ever before, marking the fulfillment of the company’s’s gradual shift away from consumer electronics. Tesla’s production facility in Buffalo is expected to be up and running within just a few months. According to Tuesday’s announcement, production of photovoltaic (PV) cells and modules will begin in the summer of 2017. By 2019, the two companies expect to be churning out the equivalent of one gigawatt of solar power modules each year. Related: Tesla taps Panasonic to build solar panels for their Powerwall and Powerpack systems The news of Panasonic ’s hefty investment in the Buffalo manufacturing plant is the first development since Tesla first named the electronics company as its partner in mid-October, which was contingent on the completion of Tesla’s merger with SolarCity . While that initial announcement came with very few details (in part because the merger wouldn’t be finalized for another month), this update illustrates the enormous scope of Panasonic’s commitment to the solar power market. The PV modules Panasonic produces at Tesla’s facility will be used primarily in the Powerwall and Powerpack systems, Tesla’s off-grid power solutions. While Tesla’s “solar roof” is still on deck, there is no word on when production on that line might begin. SolarCity previously promised the creation of over 1,400 jobs at the Buffalo facility and Tesla’s announcement Tuesday reaffirms that commitment and elaborates that the figure includes more than 500 manufacturing jobs—an important footnote for a city that once relied heavily on blue collar industries like steel and automotive manufacturing. Via Reuters Images via SolarCity and Panasonic

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Panasonic investing $256M in Tesla’s Buffalo solar manufacturing plant

320-square-foot tiny container home packs a surprising suite of amenities

December 29, 2016 by  
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A tiny home owner and California-based designer combined their expertise and experience to design and build a stylish 40-foot long container home . The resulting structure is a 320-square-foot oasis for those who value both mobility and good design, and it is packed to the gills with every amenity you could possibly need. The Intellectual Tiny Home includes one bedroom with a queen-sized bed, lots of storage space and a closet that can be customized. A full-sized bathroom has a washer and dryer combo and a shower, while the kitchen has a full-sized fridge, induction cook top, convection microwave oven, dishwasher and a countertop extension. Related: KODA is a tiny solar-powered house that can move with its owners The living room features an electric fireplace , which brings both real and aesthetic warmth to the space. The tiny house, available on Tiny House Listings for $62,000, is currently located on a plot of land in Longmont, Colorado , where it was built, and needs to be relocated. Via Tiny House Listings

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320-square-foot tiny container home packs a surprising suite of amenities

First Nation builds spirited solar project in the heart of Canada’s oil sands

August 28, 2015 by  
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Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill, fight set to continue

February 24, 2015 by  
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President Obama has today—as expected—quietly vetoed a bill that sought to approve construction of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline . The bill passed both the Senate and the House in recent weeks, but as Obama has often repeated, he will wait for the State Department to complete its review of the proposed pipeline before making a final decision as to its fate. Read the rest of Obama vetoes Keystone XL bill, fight set to continue Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: canada , Climate Change , crude oil , Environment , environmental destuction , environmental protection agency , keystone , keystone xl , obama , oil , oil industry , oil sands , pipeline , presidential veto , senate , Sierra Club , state department , tar sands , Veto

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The Keystone-style pipeline you probably didn’t know about

February 24, 2015 by  
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You’ve heard of the Keystone XL pipeline , but you’ve likely never heard of a new pipeline in Wisconsin that would make Keystone look minuscule in comparison. This 42-inch diameter crude oil pipeline is currently buried under every major waterway in that state, but plans for its massive expansion are slated for next year. Read the rest of The Keystone-style pipeline you probably didn’t know about Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Enbridge , keystone , keystone pipeline , keystone xl , Line 61 , oil pipeline , tar sands

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Tar Sands Development Financially Unsustainable, Report Shows

December 3, 2014 by  
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We’ve known for a long time that the Canada’s Tar Sands represent an environmental disaster, both in the present and future, but with a recent drop in North American oil prices it’s looking like they are also becoming somewhat of a financial disaster. Writing in The Ecologist , Gregory McGann posits the present price of oil and the predicted prices going forward won’t be enough to sustain the planned future development in the Tar Sands. Read the rest of Tar Sands Development Financially Unsustainable, Report Shows Permalink | Add to del.icio.us | digg Post tags: Alberta , canada , carbon tracker initiative , CTI , development , disaster , ECO:nomics , environmental , financial , fossil fuels , oil sands , renewable energy , tar sands

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