31 March 2010

Bad air hurts Hong Kong, Nissan Leaf to underprice Prius, and other company, industry, and supply chain news

Top Stories

Air Quality in Hong Kong Seen as Possible Liability.reliability high.
"In a city where business leaders wield substantial political influence, Mr. Fung's remarks were unusually outspoken. They reflected a growing frustration here with the perpetually poor air quality — and the commercial implications for a city that prides itself on being one of Asia’s most forward-looking centers of international finance. ... For Hong Kong, pollution is not just about poor visibility and canceled school athletics. Many analysts and business people say the failure to push ahead on controlling emissions also risks tarnishing Hong Kong's precious — and deserved — reputation of being one of Asia's most advanced cities." More about costs to HK companies and related pollution issues. Story in The New York Times.

What factors make a green building market?reliability high.
"New index marries real estate economics with green design metrics. Why does one market tend to have more LEED Certified buildings than another? What is the impact of vacancy rates, utility incentives, or public policies on the feasibility and economics of "going green?” In this new study, Cushman & Wakefield and NEEA’s BetterBricks initiative have published the Green Building Opportunity Index - a comprehensive ranking of the top 25 U.S. markets for green buildings. Combining fundamental indicators from real estate sector with cultural, policy, and technical aspects related to green buildings, the Index highlights the ingredients necessary for a healthy green building market." From BetterBricks site. [San Francisco tops the list; Detroit comes last.]

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

Kaiser Permanente Invests in Solar Power.reliability high.
"Recurrent Energy, a San Francisco solar power company, will install solar power systems on 15 of Kaiser’s hospitals, offices and other facilities across California by summer  2011, the two companies said Tuesday. The installation represents 15 megawatts of energy, or 10 percent of the power Kaiser uses at these sites. It probably  is the biggest installation of solar power projects at any health care system in the country, according to Kaiser Permanente. ... Recurrent will own, operate and install the solar systems and sell back the power to Kaiser through 20-year purchase agreements. Kaiser expects to pay Recurrent $95.6 million, or the amount  it would have paid for power from the grid. Given volatile energy prices, Mr. Kouletsis expects Kaiser will save money over the life of the agreement." From New York Times Green Inc. blog.

2011 Nissan Leaf US pricing officially announced: as low as $25,280*.reliability medium.
"starting this December, Nissan  dealerships in select U.S markets will start selling the all-electric Leaf, the first mass-produced, zero-emission vehicle, at a starting price of $32,780. After $7,500 worth of federal tax credits, the price should drop to as low as $25,280. There are several states offering additional tax credits that could lower the cost of owning a Leaf even more – such as a $5,000 statewide tax rebate in California, a $5,000 tax credit in Georgia and a $1,500 tax credit in Oregon." Includes press release. From Autoblog Green. [In California it might cost as little as $20,000! Nissan really wants to make a splash with these low prices. Much cheaper than a Prius.]

And Think announces all-electric City will be sold in New York.reliability medium.
"Later this year, Think will begin importing the all-electric City vehicle from Finland to sell in the U.S. By early next year, the first Citys made in the U.S. (in Elkhart, IN) will roll off the production line. Those two pieces of information we've known for a while. What we didn't know – until now – was where Think would start sales of the City. One answer, it turns out, is New York City." Quote from Think: "Bringing the THINK City to New York will play a positive role in PlaNYC, the city's comprehensive sustainability plan that seeks to reduce the City's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent from 2005 level by 2030." Also from Autoblog Green.

Top Water-Saving Rebates and Incentives for Your Business.reliability medium.
Post explores incentives available for water-conservation actions by businesses. "Some rebates can cover half of the cost of water-saving equipment, drastically shortening the time it will take to see a return on your investment. After that, it's more free money as businesses see those water savings go straight to their bottom lines." See GreenBiz blog.

Greenpeace Takes Aim at Koch Industries.reliability high.
"Greenpeace has unveiled  a new report highlighting Koch Industries, one of the biggest industrial conglomerates you've probably never heard of. ... But the Greenpeace report suggests that Koch has also made a small industry of funding research and public relations endeavors aimed at undermining the prevailing scientific view that human-driven greenhouse gas emissions are contributing to a warming planet — as well as financing opposition to the development of clean-energy policy and technologies." According to Greenpeace "From 2005 to 2008, Exxon Mobil spent $8.9 million while the Koch Industries-controlled foundations contributed $24.9 million in funding to organizations of the 'climate denial machine.' " From The New York Times Green Inc. blog.

[Crossposted from HaraBara.com courtesy of HaraBara, Inc. Copyright © 2010 HaraBara, Inc.]