22 April 2010

Cisco's no-limit bet on smartgrid, plan for 3 degrees, and other company, industry, and government items from GreenBase

Top Stories

'Paltry' Copenhagen carbon pledges point to 3C world.reliability high.
"Pledges made at December's UN summit in Copenhagen are unlikely to keep global warming below 2C, a study concludes. Writing in the journal Nature, analysts at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impacts Research in Germany say a rise of at least 3C by 2100 is likely. The team also says many countries, including EU members and China, have pledged slower carbon curbs than they have been achieving anyway. ... 'There's a big mismatch between the ambitious goal, which is 2C... and the emissions reductions,' said Potsdam's Malte Meinshausen. 'The pledged emissions reductions are in most cases very unambitious,' he told BBC News." From BBC News. Abstract here (paper behind pay wall). [Not really news. Better plan on it.]

Selling Agriculture 2.0 to Silicon Valley.reliability high.
" 'Sustainable agriculture is a space that looks as big or bigger than clean tech,' said Paul Matteucci, a venture capitalist with U.S. Venture Partners in Menlo Park, Calif. 'Historically, we have not seen a ton of entrepreneurial activity in agriculture, but we are beginning to see it now, and the opportunities are huge.' " See The New York Times.

Companies, Industries, Markets and Supply Chains

The empty promises of 'green' labels.reliability high.
"Environmental marketing claims have become so pervasive that the Federal Trade Commission is reviewing its green marketing guide for businesses, a year earlier than planned. For now, the agency suggests consumers be wary of vague terms like "environmentally friendly" or "better for the Earth" that are short on specifics. Still, it's easy to assume such labels denote superior health or environmental perks." Article reviews some such terms with elastic meanings. See MSNBC from AP.

40 Ways to Green the Workplace.reliability high.
Suggestions from real estate services firm Jones Lang LaSalle include advice for building owners, property managers, office managers and employees. List at GreenBiz. [Standard items but worthy reminders.]

Report: plug-in chargers could be a $11.75 billion market by 2015.reliability medium.
"ABI Research conducted a market study of vehicles chargers and determined that this is, indeed, big business. The study suggests that global investments will reach $11.75 billion by 2015. The spending will help increase the number of charging stations from 20,000 worldwide today to over 3 million five years from now." See Autoblog Green. [Not all EV items are positive--See GreenBase for some contrary views.]

5 Questions for Cisco Smart Grid Guru.reliability medium.
"Cisco sees a $20 billion opportunity in the smart grid, and while it may have gotten off a bit late to the party, it’s crashed it in a big way. The networking giant wants to deliver products and services that span the grid, from home and business energy management to a secure, IP-based network to control substations and distributed energy resources. ... CEO John Chambers has described the IT giant’s budget for smart grid as 'unlimited.'" Interview with Laura Ipsen, Cisco's senior vice president of smart grid. From earth2tech.

University makes changes, saves $600,000 a year.reliability high.
Energy improvements at California  State University San Marcos. "The energy-efficiency efforts were paid for through incentives from the California Public Utilities Commission and San Diego  Gas & Electric Co. But saving energy in the existing buildings wasn't enough to meet the demands of the new addition, so the university had to make its central plant operate more efficiently. The school now has a thermal tank, essentially a big Thermos, in which it stores water cooled at night, when power is less in demand. That cool water is then used to cool buildings in the daytime. The results: The efficiency changes in the central plant were enough that it can supply the new buildings. The energy savings are worth about $600,000 a year, more than expected. The university allocates about $400,000 a year from its annual utility budget for the next 15 years to pay for the efficiency improvements." See San Diego Union-Tribune.

Government and Regulation

Environmental Courts Becoming More Popular Worldwide, but Steps Needed for Improvement.reliability high.
"The number of specialized courts that resolve environmental issues has grown from only a handful in the 1970s to more than 350 in 41 countries. And while past research has studied a few courts in one or two countries, The Access Initiative of the World Resources Institute (WRI) today releases the first comprehensive global report on the status of these courts." See WRI site. Access report here. [Some of these may just be means to fast-track infrastructure projects around existing environmental laws and lawsuits that would delay them.]

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