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Obama Announces Government Emissions Targets

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The largest consumer of energy in the US aims for 28% decrease in greenhouse gas emissions by 2020.

President Obama announced yesterday that his administration will aim to reduce the federal government's greenhouse gas emissions 28% over the next decade. “As the largest energy consumer in the United States, we have a responsibility to American citizens to reduce our energy use and become more efficient,” said President Obama. “Our goal is to lower costs, reduce pollution, and shift......read more

Wind Could Power 20% of Eastern Grid

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A photographic look at the connections and contradictions between life inside the city and out.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wind energy could generate 20 percent of the electricity needed by households and businesses in the eastern half of the United States by 2024, but it would require up to $90 billion in investment, according to a government report released on Wednesday. For the 20 percent wind scenario to work, billions must be spent on installing wind towers on land and sea and about 22,000......read more

Hot Pants

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New nanotechnology research means your pants may one day power your iPod.

The human body is constantly moving around and creating energy. Wouldn't it be convenient if we could harness that energy to do things like charge our electronic devices? According to scientists at UC Berkeley, we can. Researchers are developing this breakthrough technology that will enable individuals to create their own renewable energy. The scientists are using microscopic fibers known as......read more

The Evolving Lightbulb

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The switch to efficient lighting will have a significant impact on emissions – and climate change.

Light bulbs have been around since the days of Thomas Edison, but they're not the same old bulbs anymore. Technology is improving rapidly, and with that progress comes new levels of efficiency and sustainability. In his new book 'Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization,' author Lester Brown explains that one of the easiest and quickest ways that we can reduce electricity use......read more

SHFT Sampler 8-26-10

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Weekly links: SF's list of green vendors, organic Ugandan cotton, and capturing electricity from the air.

Municipal departments at the City of San Francisco are required to buy products that meet strict environmental standards. Now they're sharing what they know about green vendors. The SF Approved List is like a cheat sheet for buying green. (via NYT Green Blog) When Ali Hewson and her husband Bono launched Edun in 2005, they were among the first to combine fashion with ethics. The......read more

Smart Grid Will Cost a Ton But Save More

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Costs of planned upgrade are massive, but benefits are bigger

You have to spend money to save money. That's the tune being sung by energy industry experts, who this week announced that revamping the national power grid will cost $474 billion over the next 20 years but will save consumers $2 trillion. The new grid would enable two-way communication between power sources, allowing renewable energy projects to operate more effectively. "The average electric......read more

Renewable Energy Production Exceeds Nuclear

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US biofuels, wind, solar, and hydro production on the rise

Well, renewable power is not in last place anymore. According to the Monthly Energy Review published by the Energy Information Administration, renewable energy production has passed nuclear energy and is continuing to grow rapidly. By the agency's definition, renewable energy includes biofuels, geothermal, solar, hydroelectric, and wind power. Together, these sources currently......read more

Storing Wind Energy In-House

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When supply outstrips demand, utilities look to consumers to help stabilize power grid

In the Pacific Northwest, wind power has become an important source of income in rural areas, where energy entrepreneurs are eagerly erecting turbines in windy zones like the Columbia River Gorge. But wind is a volatile beast, and all the new turbines have presented utilities with a problem: when it's storming, the turbines create more electricity than the grid can soak up. In the New York......read more

Solar Tech Breakthrough

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New discovery could double solar electricity output

Tech breakthroughs in the solar energy industry continue to roll in. The latest, from a study published last week in Science Daily, may allow photovoltaic solar cells to double their efficiency, meaning panels will produce loads more electrical power from regular sunlight. Until now, solar energy efficiency has been hampered by the fact that much of the energy delivered to photovoltaic......read more

Coal Plants Shift to Natural Gas

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Bill will cleaner electricity bring higher prices?

The huge, belching smokestacks of electric power plants have long symbolized air pollution woes. But a shift is under way: More and more electric plants around the nation are being fueled by natural gas, which is far cleaner than coal, the traditional fuel. The most optimistic projections describe an abundant domestic energy source that will create enormous numbers of jobs and lead to cleaner......read more

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