13 November 2009

Clean technologies competitive with oil, EVs for Iceland, Microsoft for 3.5 mln power customers, and other company, industry, market and government news

Top Stories

Accenture predicts low-carbon technologies will reshape oil industry.reliability high.
"The global oil sector will face unprecedented levels of disruption within the next five years as a result of the emergence of commercially viable biofuels and electric vehicle technologies, according to a report from Accenture which argues that demand for conventional transport fuels such as petrol and diesel could be significantly lower than anticipated by 2015." "The report found that a large number of emerging technologies have the potential to be competitive with oil at a price of between $45 (£27) and $90, while delivering emission savings upwards of 30 per cent." See Business Green. Short summary here.

Reva partners with Northern Lights Energy to bring NXR electric car to Iceland.reliability high.
"Starting in the second half of next year, Northern Lights Energy will begin marketing and selling the NXR and plans to deliver the first vehicles to customers by the end of 2010. . . . While Reva builds the cars, Northern Lights will develop a charging infrastructure in Iceland " From Autoblog Green. [Makes great sense for Iceland. Like France, it gets most of its electricity from low-carbon domestic sources, but all of its motor fuel is imported.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Plastic Roads Offer Greener Way to Travel in India.reliability high.
K.K. Plastic Waste Management of Bangalore has built more than 1,200 kilometers, or 745 miles, of roads using 3,500 tons of plastic waste, mixing plastic with asphalt. Makes roads more durable saving on repairs and repaving. More on plastic in India. See New York Times.

For Xcel Energy Customers, Microsoft's Hohm is Now Live!reliability high.
"On Friday Microsoft plans to announce that its energy management online tool Hohm is now live and available to utility Xcel Energy’s 3.4 million customers." "Xcel Energy’s customers can now opt-in to the free Hohm service (via the Hohm site), and then look back at their energy consumption history, see a breakdown of their energy consumption, and receive recommendations for how to curb home energy consumption." From earth2tech.

Thin-Film Solar Panels to Double their Share of the Market by 2013?reliability high.
"A new report by iSuppli Corp. predicts that by 2013, 31% of the solar panel market will be accounted for by thin-film solar panels. These thin-film panels are rapidly replacing traditional crystalline photovoltaic panels." From CleanTechnica. Press release here.

Starbucks Goes Bonkers for LED Lights.reliability high.
"Coffee behemoth Starbucks will replace conventional lights with light emitting diode (LED) bulbs in 8,000 stores by March of next year. The switch from incandescents and other vacuum-and-chemical lights to solid state lighting is expected to reduce energy consumption in a store by 7 percent. Starbucks overall has a goal of reducing energy consumption by 25 percent by the end of next year." See Greentech Media.

Siemens CEO Says Asia Leads in 'Green' Investments.reliability high.
Asian countries lead in "green" technology investments, says the chief executive of Siemens AG. "Siemens CEO Peter Loescher said in an interview on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit that countries such as China have moved more quickly than the U.S. to spend their stimulus packages, and are increasingly doing so on high-tech, low-pollution technologies such as high-speed trains." See Wall Street Journal.

Best-in-Class Manufacturers Cut Energy Use by 24%, Study Shows.reliability high.
"Best-in-class manufacturers typically reduce their energy consumption by 24 percent compared to laggard companies that increase their energy use by 6 percent, according to new benchmarking research from Aberdeen Group. Other findings reveal that best-in-class companies also reduce their emissions by 30 percent, outperform goals for operating margin by 19 percent, and achieve 89 percent overall equipment effectiveness (OEE)." See Environmental Leader. Access report here (registration required, everything but your shoe size).

Campaigning for a Cause (and Customers).reliability high.
About Seventh Generation's cute "Million Baby Crawl" advertising campaign (videos) ostensibly to get people to contact their representatives in Congress about soon-to-be introduced legislation that would amend the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976. Of course it also points out that many cleaning products have unlabeled toxic components, but not Seventh Generation's. From New York Times Green Inc. blog.

Government and Regulation

Fact Sheet: Stacking Payments for Ecosystem Services.reliability high.
"Payments for ecosystem services are becoming an increasingly important part of the U.S. business and regulatory landscape. Used properly, these payments can efficiently mitigate greenhouse gases, filter pollution from runoff, protect wildlife habitat, and prevent soil erosion." "As programs that provide payments for ecosystem services grow, policy makers will need to determine how these various payments should interact with each other. This interaction presents an opportunity to expand the suite of services for which an ecosystem is managed. However, it also creates the risk that multiple payments will be made for the same ecosystem services, possibly reducing the efficiency of payments or diminishing the environmental benefits they were intended to provide." See WRI site. PDF of fact sheet here.

Britain's renewable energy targets are 'physically impossible', says study.reliability high.
"It will be physically impossible for the UK to meet its renewable energy targets in both the short and long term, according to a group of engineering experts. In a new study, they called for the government to adopt a "war-time" mentality in their approach to dealing with climate change and consider experimental approaches such as artificial trees that soak up carbon dioxide to buy the time needed to build the required level of low-carbon infrastructure in the UK." From The Guardian. PDF of report here. [Full-employment program for engineers?]

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2009 HaraBara, Inc.]