Thursday, June 21, 2007

Goldman Sachs' Thoughts on Renewable Energy Sector

Goldman, a company showing leadership in the fight against global warming, has listed five factors they feel will help the renewable energy sector. One, a call for a cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax, exemplifies their leadership. As the article points out, though, the fifth factor - a more receptive presidential administration - will be needed.

The complete list:
  1. "Enacting renewable portfolio standards"
  2. 'Boost enforcement of renewable portfolio standards'
  3. "Enact a carbon cap-and-trade system or a carbon tax"
  4. "A significant increase in fossil fuel prices"
  5. "The 2008 presidential election"

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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What are American Automakers Thinking?

American automakers are still fighting against increases in mileage standards claiming that it will force them to lose money and lay off workers. The last time I checked, they weren't doing so well in either regard as it is. Will years to prepare for a regulated increase from the current 27.5 mpg for cars (which has been in place since 1983) to something in the area of 35 mpg by 2020 really hurt automakers that much? If so, I am curious to hear why that is. It's easy for automakers to simply say that it will cost them, but I'd like to hear how. Yes, I realize it's easy for me, with no knowledge of the auto industry, to feel that it's a feasible undertaking.

It appears a compromise may be in the works, mandating a less aggressive increase.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Google and PG&E Unveil Next Generation Hybrids

The philanthropic arm of Google,, and Pacific Gas & Electric, a northern California utility, have worked together on a project that allows certain hybrids to get up to 75 miles per gallon. The project allows for the cars to be plugged into the energy grid when they are not in use. A wireless signal is sent to the car at different points to see how charged it is the time. If the grid needs more energy, it take some from the hybrid. If not, the hybrid will charge.

Such a technology is not commercialized at this point due to the extra battery needed for the energy storage from the grid not being durable enough at this point.

You can also read about it at the website for RechargeIT, which is tied in with

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Tech Coalition Backs Electricity Conservation

A coalition led by Google and Intel and including Dell, Hewlett-Packard (HP), Hitachi, IBM, Lenovo, Microsoft, Sun and Yahoo, is backing a plan to make computers and servers more energy efficient. The plan aims to cut the amount of electricity computers use by one-half by making them more energy efficient. Currently, most computers lose about one-half of the power it uses and servers lose about one-third.

It is expected that making them more efficient will raise prices slightly, but save consumers more on their electricity bill.

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Friday, June 08, 2007

G.M. To Speed Electric Car Roll-out; Increase Hybrid Offerings

General Motors announced new contracts with vendors that will help speed production of its planned Chevy Volt electric car. In addition, they have announced intentions to release more hybrid models for their Saturn, Chevy and GMC lines as well as for large city buses (using a diesel/electric hybrid).

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Ecomagination Unit Ahead of Schedule

GE recently announced that their Ecomagination unit will "blow away" previous sales forecasts "as demand for environmental products and services surges." On the heels of that announcement, the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) stated that windpower is expected to comprise approximately 20 percent of all electricity produced in the U.S. by 2030.

GE is sure to benefit from the growth in demand for windpower.

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Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Coca-Cola Aims to "Conserve and Protect" Water

As the need to protect the world's water supply is given more and more attention (see this week's cover story "Why You Should Worry About Water" in U.S. News & World Report) Coca-Cola has announced their intention to make their production more efficient and use less water. They also intend to recycle the water used in their production process as well as replenish the water in the communities in which they conduct their production. Their stated goal is to "replace every drop of water used to produce our beverages".

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