Episode 63: Banks remove blinders to climate risks; Beyond LEED with USGBC CEO

February 10, 2017 by  
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On this week: Holmes Hummel on taking the energy revolution to the utilities of the heartland. Can the conservative case for climate action thwart the Trumpocalpse?

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Episode 63: Banks remove blinders to climate risks; Beyond LEED with USGBC CEO

A new power player at PG&E, Boeing grabs GE’s aviation chief

November 29, 2016 by  
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This month’s Names in the News roundup of green business career moves spans the worlds of utilities, cities, clean energy and more.

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A new power player at PG&E, Boeing grabs GE’s aviation chief

The power of climate-competent boards

November 29, 2016 by  
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Businesses, take heed: You may be the world’s last, greatest hope.

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The power of climate-competent boards

6 takeaways from VERGE’s ‘Utility of the Future’ summit

October 12, 2016 by  
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How will energy utilities and customers adapt in an era of distributed, clean energy sources and smart-grid technologies?

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6 takeaways from VERGE’s ‘Utility of the Future’ summit

Why some utilities are embracing distributed power

October 11, 2016 by  
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Electricity companies that take initiative now can position themselves for a bright future in tomorrow’s clean energy economy

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Why some utilities are embracing distributed power

California looks to its roads for new source of renewable energy

September 27, 2016 by  
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California is putting $2 million into research to determine whether gridlock can be a beneficial source of electricity . The technology at the heart of the idea is piezoelectric crystals, which could turn mechanical energy from traffic into usable electricity that can be added to the power grid. The approach seeks to harness energy that is usually wasted, thus providing an additional source of renewable energy for the state’s residents. The California Energy Commission is looking for a research facility to conduct small-scale tests on harnessing the energy that is currently being lost from vehicles traveling on the state’s roadways. Piezoelectricity uses naturally occurring crystals to capture heat generated from moving vehicles and convert it into electricity for any number of uses. The primary objective of the research will be to determine whether a cost-effective system can be installed to produce a substantial amount of energy. Related: Piezoelectric energy-generating roads proposed for California “It’s not hard to see the opportunity in California,” said Mike Gravely, the commission’s deputy division chief of energy research and development. “It’s an energy that’s created but is just currently lost in vibration.” California currently has a goal of producing 50 percent of its electricity with renewables by 2030, and the energy commission says the state is on target to reach 25 percent by the end of this year. The $2 million research fund for testing new technologies will come from the California Public Utilities Commission, which expects to award a contract in the spring. Via Phys.org Images via Wikipedia and Flickr

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California looks to its roads for new source of renewable energy

Medical hackers create $30 DIY EpiPen in defiance of corporate greed

September 27, 2016 by  
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This summer, news of price hikes affecting the EpiPen went viral. Since 2007, the cost of the drug has risen sharply from $57 a dose to $318 – an increase of 461 percent. This kind of price hike would be outrageous for any medication , but it’s particularly galling in the case of the EpiPen. The epinephrine autoinjectors are a lifesaving drug of last resort meant to halt anaphylactic allergic reactions long enough for people with severe allergies to seek emergency care. Now, a group of medical hackers has figured out how to create a DIY replacement from common drugstore parts for just $30. https://youtu.be/ldFFJRdhVs8 The “EpiPencil” created by the Four Thieves Vinegar collective consists of an auto injector device designed to help diabetics , paired with a hypodermic needle capable of piercing through the skin into the muscle – the location where the medication needs to be injected in order to be effective. The active ingredient, epinephrine, can be obtained from a pharmacy with a prescription from a doctor. For those who are unable to afford an EpiPen for their allergies, this DIY hack could literally prove lifesaving. However, it is worth mentioning that many experts have voiced concern about the EpiPencil and warned that it’s not advisable to try to create a piece of medical equipment at home – it can be difficult to ensure the correct dose is being administered, the epinephrine inside is delicate and might lose its effectiveness if stored this way, and of course, if someone were to create the device without paying close attention to hygiene , it could become contaminated. A miscalibration of the device could even cause the medicine to be injected into a vein, which can have dangerous side effects. Related: 6 designs that could save your life Drawbacks aside, the video from Four Thieves Vinegar proves that Mylan’s price hikes have nothing to do with the cost of actually producing the EpiPen. If nothing else, the DIY autoinjector highlights the out of control corporate greed which allows such unreasonable price hikes in the first place. + Four Thieves Vinegar Via Minds

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Medical hackers create $30 DIY EpiPen in defiance of corporate greed

Artist turns urban trash into amazing animal murals

September 27, 2016 by  
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We’ve featured Bordalo II’s works around the streets of Lisbon previously , and the prolific artist has continued to spread his environmental message around the world from the Unexpected art project in Ft. Smith, Arkansas to the Street Art Jam 2016 in Estonia. His lifelike animal sculptures are made almost entirely from trash and other locally found waste materials that he upcycles into new forms. The mixed-media base is then spray painted to bring life to his works of art. Related: Artist “attacks” buildings with clutter to remind us of how much stuff we own His animal artworks are part of a series that he calls “Big Trash Animal” designed to bring attention to how a wasteful society harms animals . His newest additions to the series highlight animals both small and large, from tiny rodents to foxes. These artworks, which he hopes renders environmental destruction more visible, span more than just the sides of walls—the artist has taken his craft to freestanding works, fences, and even to the side of a drifting, decrepit ship. + Bordalo II Via Colossal Images via Bordalo II

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Artist turns urban trash into amazing animal murals

How net-zero buildings impact the grid

August 8, 2016 by  
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A new study by ASHRAE illustrates the surprising potential for city resilience allowed by smart buildings.

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How net-zero buildings impact the grid

The big lesson big companies can teach their utilities

July 28, 2016 by  
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It’s about embedding sustainability in your business model. For power providers, that starts with a more thoughtful approach to building new plants.

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The big lesson big companies can teach their utilities

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