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Obama announced $3.4 billion in spending for the nation’s ‘smart’ power grid will help – washingtonpost.com

In Energy, Power Grid, Sustainable, Technology on October 28, 2009 at 10:55 am

How the ‘smart’ power grid will help – washingtonpost.com.

Published in the Washington Post

Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 28, 2009

President Barack Obama announced $3.4 billion in spending for the nation’s power transmission system Tuesday. White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein talks to The Associated Press about the new ‘smart’ electric grid. (Oct. 27) (The Associated Press)

Modernization investment will create jobs, Obama says

Video
President Barack Obama announced $3.4 billion in spending for the nation’s power transmission system Tuesday. White House economic adviser Jared Bernstein talks to The Associated Press about the new ‘smart’ electric grid. (Oct. 27)

ARCADIA, FLA. — President Obama stepped up his promotion of the job-creating potential of the $787 billion economic stimulus package Tuesday, announcing $3.4 billion in grants to improve the nation’s electrical grid.

The federal money will pay for “smart meters,” updated transformers and other devices to make the transmission of power more efficient and reliable. Obama called the grants the largest investment in energy-grid modernization in U.S. history.

“There’s something big happening in America in terms of creating a clean-energy economy,” he said.

Obama’s vision for changing energy habits and reducing U.S. dependence on fossil fuels, especially foreign oil, relies on establishing a national “smart grid”: an array of switches, sensors and computer chips that will be installed at various stages in the energy-delivery process.

But no less important to the administration are the job-creation aspects of the investments. With the nation’s unemployment rate at 9.8 percent and projected to rise, energy technology promises a bounty of new jobs.

The Commerce Department is scheduled to release estimates Thursday of economic growth for the third quarter of 2009, and for the first time in a year, forecasters say, the economy has expanded.

But job losses continue to plague the country, although not nearly as much as when Obama took office. That has left an opening for Republican critics, who have said that rising unemployment is evidence that the president’s economic policies are not working.

“We’ve seen a $4 trillion budget — $787 billion stimulus, $700 billion financial bailouts, health care, cap and trade [climate change legislation]. Everything seems to be more government, big government,” said Rep. Connie Mack (R-Fla.).

While many economists say the stimulus money has helped stabilize the economy, most voters think otherwise, according to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll. It found that 22 percent of Americans think the package has made the economy worse, while 35 percent say it has had no effect.

That sentiment is lending urgency to the administration’s efforts to stem unemployment and talk up the virtues of its economic approach.

On Tuesday, Vice President Biden celebrated plans to reopen a General Motors plant in Wilmington, Del., to produce long-range plug-in electric hybrid vehicles.

The plant has been purchased by luxury automaker Fisker Automotive, which plans to hire 2,000 workers to manufacture the cars, and estimates are that 3,000 other jobs will be created to support the operation. The undertaking is being financed by a $529 million Energy Department loan.

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350.org On 24 October, people in 181 countries are coming together

In Energy, Environment, Science, Sustainable on October 23, 2009 at 6:27 pm

On 24 October, people in 181 countries are coming together for the most widespread day of environmental action in the planet’s history. At over 4500 events around the world, people are gathering to call for strong action and bold leadership on the climate crisis.

In 2008, the average concentration for atmospheric CO2 (Mauna Loa Observatory) was 385.57 parts per million (ppm).   Based on CO2 measurements made so far, we know that the 2009 average for atmospheric CO2 is more than 387 ppm.  (The seasonally-adjusted level atmospheric CO2 was 387.65 ppm in August 2009, and 388.00 ppm in September 2009.)

Since 1958, when precise CO2 measurements were first made of atmospheric air samples, the annual mean concentration of CO2 has only increased from one year to the next.   There have been no decreases in annual CO2 levels since direct instrument measurements began at the Mauna Loa Observatory.  The following CO2 data provides a snapshot of the longest-running, high-precision instrument record for atmospheric CO2:

Year        CO2 (ppm)               Notes

2009       387+                      Current CO2 levels

2008       385.57                   The latest year for which a full year of data is available

2007       383.71

2006       381.85



1997       363.47                   Kyoto Protocol

1992       356.27                   Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro

1987       348.98                   The last year in which the annual CO2 data was less than 350 ppm

1959       315.98                   The first year for which a full year of precise instrument data is available

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World Bank Development Marketplace Climate Adaptation Grant Recipients to be Announced November 10-13, 2009

In agriculture, Bioscience, Biotechnology, cleantech, Environment, greentech, Science, Sustainable, Technology on October 20, 2009 at 12:27 pm

The Development Marketplace is a competitive grant program administered by the World Bank. The 2009 global competition is funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and additional DM partners. It aims to identify 20 to 25 innovative, early-stage projects addressing climate adaptation.

Open to the public: this year’s Climate Adaptation Grant Recipients will be announced on Nov 10-13, 2009

Development Marketplace – DM2009 – Climate Adaptation.

In 2008- twenty-two project winners collected their crystal awards and grant checks in the 2008 Global Development Marketplace: Sustainable Agriculture for Development:

The winners came from Sub-Saharan Africa, South and East Asia, and Latin America and the Caribbean.  India, Mexico, Brazil, Ecuador, Cambodia, and Vietnam were each the home of two award winners.  Altogether, 15 countries and Sub-Saharan Africa as a region were represented.

The projects that made the final cut — from 1,800 applications that were winnowed down to 100 from 42 countries — promise to deliver a number of objectives and innovations to increase agricultural productivity, give farmers more land rights and link them to global markets, and, overall, reduce the deep poverty of rural regions in developing countries.

All the grants are $200,000 or less — but the World Bank Group and other funders of DM2008 see even the smallest projects having a catalyst effect on lagging agricultural development that has been undercutting gains in the global fight against poverty.

In her opening remarks, Katherine Sierra, Vice President of Sustainable Development at the World Bank, a DM2008 partner, complimented the winners on their “ambition and drive,” and said their innovation comes when it’s especially needed — amid the crisis of rising commodity prices.

“Today we meet to celebrate innovation,” said second speaker Monique Barbut, CEO of the Global Environment Facility, a competition partner.  “And the projects we are recognizing here do just that by supporting communities struggling with the agricultural challenges of the food price crisis.”

More compliments came from other speakers representing other partners — Mercy Karanja, Senior Program Officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and Albert Engel, Head, Division for Agriculture, Fisheries, and Food at GTZ.

The winners that used technology are listed below: (listed by project, country, sponsoring organization, and objective):

1. Using Cassava Waste to Raise Goats, Nigeria, University of Agricultural, Abeokuta. To create a new market linking cassava producers and goat keepers through the introduction of a simple drying technology that will turn cassava waste into goat feed.  As a result, the project will increase farming incomes and reduce carbon dioxide wastes by eliminating the need to burn cassava waste.

2. Converting Rice Fields into Green Fertilizer Factories, Ecuador, Escuela Superior Politécnica del Litoral (ESPOL). To increase rice yields and reduce dependency on imported artificial nitrogen fertilizers through the re-introduction and cultivation of the Azolla Anabena plant as a biofertilizer.

3. Linking Coffee Farmers to Markets via Traceable Coffee, Sub-Saharan Africa, Pachama Coffee Cooperative of Small-scale coffee producers. To support small farmers to obtain a greater share of the value-added in coffee production through the introduction of an online tracking system that will allow end consumers to trace a specific coffee back to the level of the actual farm.

4. Mini Cold Storage Ventures, India, Tiruchirappalli Regional Engineering College- Science and Technology Entrepreneurs Park. To establish cold chain enterprises among trained youth using the latest technology in refrigeration adapted to the needs of small farmers.

5. Renewable Energy-Powered Milk Coolers, Uganda, University of Georgia, To test a reengineered milk cooling system to match the needs of smallholder dairy farmers, resulting in reduced post-harvest losses and increased farm income.

6. Micro-Franchising Scheme for Agricultural Services, Cambodia, International Development Enterprises Cambodia. To develop a sustainable micro-franchise enterprise to provide affordable horticulture services through private extension agents.

7. Açaí Production for Income Generation and Forest Protection, Brazil, Centro Ecológico. To provide technical services to a local cooperative of small scale farmers in the biodiversity-rich Atlantic Forests to harvest and market the açaí berry.

8. Value Chain Development for Textile Products, Mongolia, VSO. To increase the domestic value of livestock production through better marketing opportunities and services to raw material producers and processors.

9. Organoleptic Analysis to Improve Market Access for Cacao Growers, Ecuador, Conservación y Desarrollo. To equip cacao growers with access to chocolate making machinery so that they can better serve differentiated markets and improve the quality of their product.

10. Ancient Cocoa: Modern Genomics Methods Benefiting Small Farmers, Trinida and Tobago, Bioversity International. To enhance the cocoa value chain by facilitating the identification of more profitable trace cocoa cultivars using modern genomics methods.

11. Riverbed Farming for Landless Households in Nepal, Nepal, Helvetas. To facilitate the use of leasing arrangements for landless households to gain access to unused dry riverbeds for off-season cultivation of horticultural produce.

12. Collective Land Ownership Model for Women, India, Manav Seva Sansthan “SEVA.” To demonstrate the effectiveness of a collective land ownership model that provides women secured land holdings necessary for them to adopt more profitable modern farming practices.

13. Legal Aid for Farmers’ Land Rights, China, Rural Development Institute. To create the first legal aid center in China devoted to farmers’ agricultural land rights.

14. Land Ownership for the Rural Poor in Mexico, Mexico, Agros International.To create two sustainable farming communities in Chiapas through the long-term lease of land and provision of integrated technical services to landless farmers.

15. Producing Biofuel from Indigenous Non-Edible Nuts, Tanazania, Africa Biofuel and Emission Reduction Ltd. To cultivate and sell an indigenous oil-seed for biofuel from the Croton tree, creating a new, sustainable cash crop for smallholder farmers.

16. Locally Produced Biofuel Outboard Motor, Senegal, Mission Goorgoorlu. To introduce along Senegal’s waterways an affordable and environmentally friendly mode to transport agriculture products to market. The project is using traditional vessels powered by a locally produced biofuel outboard motor fueled by processed indigenous oil seeds.

17. Agricultural Cooperatives for Biodiversity Conservation, Cambodia, Wildlife Conservation Society. To pilot Cambodia’s first market for payment for environmental services generated from agriculture using a “Wildlife-friendly” branding and marketing strategy.

18. Reducing Impacts of Ranching on Biodiversity, Mexico, Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda. To pilot a payment scheme for a “gourmet” menu of integrated environmental services generated from intensive cattle operations in the biodiversity-rich area of San Antonio Tancoyol.

19. Sustaining Nitrogen-Efficient Rice Production, Vietnam, University of Sydney. To establish an integrated production-supply-extension chain to ensure a reliable biofertilizer product that reduces chemical contamination and increases yields.

20. Low-Cost Housing: Waste Rice Straw Construction Panels, Vietnam, Vinh Sang Ltd. To create a sustainable enterprise that manufactures kits for affordable environmentally sustainable housing made from recycled straw waste in the Mekong Delta.

22. Payment for Ecosystem Services and Sustainable Agriculture, Paraguay, Organization of American States. To implement in three pilot sites a menu of agro-forestry practices combined with a scheme of Payments for Ecosystem Services. This will be the first application of Paraguay’s Law of Ecosystem Services in the context of a rural farm economy.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation Supports Sustainable Agricultural Development through Science & Technology

In agriculture, Bioscience, Biotechnology, Environment, finance, greentech, investment, Science, Sustainable, Technology on October 20, 2009 at 10:42 am

The following is taken from parts of the Gates Foundation’s website

Frequently Asked Questions About Agricultural Development – Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation support programs that will enable small farmers to break the cycle of hunger and poverty—to sell what they grow or raise, increase their incomes, and make their farms more productive and sustainable.
“We fund projects with partners who”:
  • Employ a collaborative and comprehensive approach.
  • Provide small farmers with the supplies and support they need to succeed.
  • Put women at the center of their work.
  • Help small farmers profit from their crops.
  • Use science and technology to develop crops that can thrive.

Updates on Funded Projects
During the original Green Revolution, overuse of fertilizer led to unanticipated environmental consequences. Today, we consider potential environmental impacts in all of our grantmaking, and are committed to a sustainable model of agriculture that takes into account the needs of both farmers and the environment. So while Africa’s severely depleted soils require fertilizer, we promote judicious and efficient uses of fertilizer, and more intensive use of organic matter. We also invest in efforts to improve soil and water conservation techniques.

Another unanticipated consequence of the original Green Revolution was increased inequity in some areas. Our work is focused on providing small farmers living on less than a dollar a day—most of whom are women—with tools and opportunities to lift themselves out of hunger and poverty. We and our grantees work to involve small farmers in the design and evaluation of our projects, to ensure that our work meets their needs and addresses the realities they face in their local areas.

Another difference is that the original Green Revolution focused primarily on raising the yields of two staple crops: rice and wheat. Africa’s diverse agroecological zones and varied conditions will require a much greater range of approaches, from boosting productivity in a wider range of crops to developing crops that are resistant to drought, disease, and pests. We are working to carefully understand the different needs of small farmers throughout the continent and are designing our efforts to respond to their specific circumstances.

This new Green Revolution is broad based and includes significant African leadership on a number of levels. We are working with a wide range of partners to strengthen the entire agricultural value chain—from seeds and soil to farm management and market access—so that progress is sustainable over the long-term. We are also working to involve and empower women—who are integral to success in agriculture—at every level of our work.

Q: Do you pay attention to the environmental impact of your agricultural grantmaking?

A: Yes—we consider potential environmental impacts in all of our grantmaking. Our approach is to support both poor farmers and the environment.Population growth and poor soil health in Africa have forced farmers to clear and cultivate more marginal lands, often leading to erosion, deforestation, and sometimes desertification. In Asia, the misuse of fertilizers and irrigation has caused large areas of land to be lost to acidification and salinization.

We understand these are not sustainable ways to produce food or preserve the environment. In revitalizing small-scale farm production we are funding approaches that support small farmers and are ecologically sound.

Q: Does the foundation promote the use of fertilizers?

A: Healthy soil is critical to farm productivity, and the judicious use of organic and mineral fertilizers can help small farmers prosper while preserving their land.We support AGRA’s Soil Health Program, which focuses on integrated soil fertility management as well as the use of fertilizers where necessary to provide important plant nutrients missing from the soil and from organic materials available to the farmer. We invest in information and knowledge-sharing to assist small farmers in using the right fertilizers in the right way to nourish their soil. We also invest in efforts to improve soil and water conservation techniques.

We are committed to sustainable agriculture, using farming supplies that farmers can afford and that take environmental needs into account.

Q: What is the foundation doing about climate change?

A: The foundation believes that climate change is a major issue facing all of us, particularly poor people in developing countries, and we applaud the work that many are doing to help find solutions in this area. While the foundation does not fund efforts specifically aimed at reducing carbon emissions, many of our Agricultural Development grants directly address problems that climate change creates or exacerbates. For example, we have made several grants to help small farmers who live on less than $1 per day adapt to increased drought and flooding through the development of drought and flood resistant crops, improved irrigation efficiency, and other means.

Bill Gates Wants a Green Agriculture Revolution: Here’s Tech That Can Drive It

In agriculture, cleantech, entrepreneur, Environment, greentech, investment, Science, Sustainable, Venture Capital on October 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm

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By Josie Garthwaite
Original content at earth2tech.com

bill-gates-agriculture

Excerpts below

At the World Food Prize in Des Moines, Iowa today, Gates announced that the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has awarded $120 million in nine new grants to organizations and research partners (including $15 million for the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa), to work on the effort, focusing primarily on small-scale farming in sub-Saharan Africa. In his speech Gates called for an end to the ideological division over the future of agriculture: “Productivity or sustainability — they say you have to choose. It’s a false choice,” he said. Rather, we need farming techniques that are both environmentally responsible and highly productive, and technology will help bridge the gap, he said.

Today’s grants are being awarded for projects including distribution of legumes that fix nitrogen in the soil and pest-resistant sweet potatoes, training for African governments to “draw on as they regulate biotechnologies,” help for women farmers in India to manage land and water resources sustainably and programs to deliver information to farmers via radio and mobile phones. The awards come as part of the $1.4 billion that the Gates Foundation has committed so far for agricultural development efforts — promoting techniques such as no-till farming (explained in the video clip below), rainwater harvesting and drip irrigation.

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The Gates Foundation has drawn criticism, as the Seattle Times points out today, for focusing too strongly “on technology solutions and higher yields, a path that risks repeating the mistakes of the original Green Revolution.” But a growing number of firms, including startups and small companies, are working on a new wave of agricultural tech that could play an important role in a real green shift.

via Bill Gates Wants a Green Agriculture Revolution: Here’s Tech That Can Drive It.

Climate change is raising the stakes for agricultural tech as the world population grows and the amount of arable land shrinks. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, farmers will have to deal with “increased potential” for extreme events like droughts, floods and heat waves,” and “enduring changes in climate, water supply and soil moisture could make it less feasible to continue crop production in certain regions.” More mouths to feed, plus less arable land and changing rainfall patterns, means growing demand for tech that lets farmers do more with less.

Venture capitalist David Anthony, founding partner of 21Ventures and a frequent co-investor with Quercus Trust, thinks that “aeroponic farming,” or farms in urban environments that use technology like LEDs to grow crops, will find a growing market. His firm invested in Aero Farm Systems, a New York-based startup that develops tech-heavy urban farming processes. In general, Anthony thinks that advanced farming techniques are an under-invested area where his firm sees promise.

A slew of companies are also working on smart water management technology, and some of them could extend to agricultural applications. PureSense, for example, uses soil moisture sensors and sends data via wireless networks to irrigation control systems.

Other companies are helping small-scale farmers bring their surplus foods to market using technology and the broadband age. Take FarmsReach, a California startup that won the audience choice award at our Green:Net conference in March. The 2-year-old company has developed a web marketplace to make it easier for buyers, such as restaurants, hospitals and schools, to order produce from nearby farmers, and for farmers to manage their sales and deliveries.

FarmsReach has been designed with the U.S. food system in mind, but other iterations — perhaps utilizing mobile devices for areas without ready computer or broadband access — could be useful elsewhere. Gates spoke to that need today, urging food companies to “buying power to provide markets for small farmers,” although, “the logistics might be more complex at first.”

Of course, the farmers and communities that the Gates Foundation is seeking to serve with these grants need low-cost solutions, and much of the technology emerging from startups right now still has a ways to go on the cost curve. As Pacific Institute co-founder Peter Gleick put it at this year’s Clean-Tech Investor Summit, “It’s entirely possible to create brilliant water technology that the places that need it the most can’t afford.” So we second the call from Gates for a “greener” revolution, with an extra nudge for startups to  put technology to work for small farmers and the planet.

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Photo credit Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Megakites & Solar Flowers at Popular Science By Carina Storrs

In cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, greentech, Science, Solar, Sustainable, Venture Capital on October 14, 2009 at 12:19 pm

This Month’s Innovations For a Greener Future: Megakites, Solar Flowers, and More

via This Month’s Innovations For a Greener Future: Megakites, Solar Flowers, and More | Popular Science.

By Carina Storrs Posted 10.14.2009 at 10:21 am

Up and Away: The kite generates electricity as it ascends.

A kite flown in a strong breeze will quickly unspool string as it climbs higher. KiteGen Research in Italy aims to turn that action into electricity. The company developed a prototype that flies 200-square-foot kites to altitudes of 2,600 feet, where wind streams are four times as strong as they are near ground-based wind turbines.

As the kite’s tether unspools, it spins an alternator that generates up to 40 kilowatts. Once the kite reaches its peak altitude, it collapses, and motors quickly reel it back in to restart the cycle. This spring, KiteGen started building a machine to fly a 1,500-square-foot kite, which it plans to finish by 2011, that could generate up to three megawatts—enough to power 9,000 homes.

Smoke and Mirrors: Mirrors direct sunlight onto the solar plant’s tower, heating air to run a turbine that powers 70 nearby homes. Aora/Haim Fried

Flower Power

Any blossom would stand out in the desert of southern Israel, but you’d be hard-pressed to miss a 98-foot-tall one. The tulip-shaped tower is the centerpiece of the world’s first hybrid-solar power plant, opened this summer by Israeli start-up AORA Solar. An array of 30 mirrors focuses the sun’s rays on the central steel bud. Inside, the solar energy heats air to 1,800ºF, causing it to expand and spin a turbine to generate 100 kilowatts. When night falls or clouds obscure the sun, the plant helps heat the air with a standard diesel combuster running on up to eight gallons per hour to provide consistent electricity output, unlike strictly solar plants. AORA is working with Spanish, Chilean and Australian companies to export the tech, which could be reconfigured to burn biofuel, says Pinchas Doron, the company’s chief technology officer. “Soon,” he says, “it could be green energy 24/7.”

DOE Solar Decathlon: About Solar Decathlon

In cleantech, Energy, entrepreneur, Environment, finance, greentech, Sustainable, Technology, technology transfer on October 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm

DOE Solar Decathlon: About Solar Decathlon.

For three weeks in October 2009, the U.S. Department of Energy will host the Solar Decathlon—a competition in which 20 teams of college and university students compete to design, build, and operate the most attractive, effective, and energy-efficient solar-powered house. The Solar Decathlon is also an event to which the public is invited to observe the powerful combination of solar energy, energy efficiency, and the best in home design.

Exact dates of the 2009 event are:

  • Oct. 1—Teams arrive at the National Mall and begin assembly of their houses
  • Oct. 8-16—Teams compete in 10 contests
  • Oct. 9-13—Houses are open to the public
  • Oct. 15-18—Houses are open to the public
  • Oct. 19-21—Teams disassemble their houses.

The Solar Decathlon houses will be open for public tours 11 a.m.­–3 p.m. Monday–Friday and 10 a.m.–5 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. Please note that all homes will be closed Wed., Oct. 14.

The Solar Decathlon consists of three major phases:

  • Building: This is where most of the work—and the learning—happens. In addition to designing houses that use innovative, high-tech elements in ingenious ways, students have to raise funds, communicate team activities, collect supplies, and work with contractors. Although the Solar Decathlon competition receives the most attention, it’s the hard work that students put in during the building phase that makes or breaks a team.
  • Moving to the Solar Village: When it’s time for the Solar Decathlon, the teams transport their houses to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., and rebuild them on site.
  • Competing: During the competition itself, the teams receive points for their performance in 10 contests and open their homes to the public.

Purpose

The Solar Decathlon brings attention to one of the biggest challenges we face—an ever-increasing need for energy. As an internationally recognized event, it offers powerful solutions—using energy more efficiently and using energy from renewable sources.

The Solar Decathlon has several goals:

  1. To educate the student participants—the “Decathletes”—about the benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy and green building technologies. As the next generation of engineers, architects, builders, and communicators, the Decathletes will be able to use this knowledge in their studies and their future careers.
  2. To raise awareness among the general public about renewable energy and energy efficiency, and how solar energy technologies can reduce energy usage.
  3. To help solar energy technologies enter the marketplace faster. This competition encourages the research and development of energy efficiency and energy production technologies.
  4. To foster collaboration among students from different academic disciplines—including engineering and architecture students, who rarely work together until they enter the workplace.
  5. To promote an integrated or “whole building design” approach to new construction. This approach differs from the traditional design/build process because the design team considers the interactions of all building components and systems to create a more comfortable building, save energy, and reduce environmental impact.
  6. To demonstrate to the public the potential of Zero Energy Homes, which produce as much energy from renewable sources, such as the sun and wind, as they consume. Even though the home might be connected to a utility grid, it has net zero energy consumption from the utility provider.


Green Roof: Elevation 314

In architecture, cleantech, Energy, Science, Sustainable on October 13, 2009 at 2:46 pm

National Building Museum

Green Roof: Elevation 314.

Russell Katz from Design Conserve Develop Corp., architect and developer of the green roof at 314 Carroll Street, NW, Washington, DC and Amy Arnold, a landscape architect, discuss, ELEVATION 314, the first project in Washington, DC that has been approved to include a “green roof” as part of the storm water management system.

Green Roof: Elevation 314 from National Building Museum on Vimeo.

Soros Throws $1B into Cleantech

In Technology on October 11, 2009 at 2:08 pm

Soros Throws $1B into Cleantech · Environmental Leader · Green Business, Sustainable Business, and Green Strategy News for Corporate Sustainability Executives.

He also is creating a new organization to influence policy makers on the environment, reports Bloomberg.

Soros is the founder of Soros Fund Management LLC, which manages more than $24 billion in investments, much of which belong to Soros himself.

The Climate Policy Initiative, a San Francisco-based organization, is the name of the policy and watchdog group, to which Soros will donate $10 million a year over the course of a decade. The group will attempt to influence policy in the U.S., Europe, China, India and Brazil, among other areas.

The Center for Clean Air Policy also has a group called the U.S. Climate Policy Initiative, which is not affiliated with the Soros group.

Thomas Heller, a professor at Stanford University Law School with expertise in energy law and regulation and environmental law, will head the Climate Policy Initiative.

Soros said he prefers an emissions tax over a cap-and-trade system, which he has said is vulnerable to market manipulation.

Cleantech VC funding up in Q3 – BloggingStocks

In cleantech, Energy, Environment, greentech, investment, maintech, Sustainable, Technology, Venture Capital on October 11, 2009 at 12:35 pm

Cleantech VC funding up in Q3

Posted Oct 2nd 2009 3:20PM by Tom JohansmeyerTom Johansmeyer RSS Feed

Venture capital investment in clean technology grew 10% from the second quarter to the third this year. According to a report by the Cleantech Group and Deloitte, 134 companies received investments of $1.59 billion – up from $1.2 billion in the second quarter. The sector’s upward trajectory continues, with last quarter marking the second in a row of double-digit growth. In the first quarter of 2009, venture capital investment in cleantech companies hit a low of $1 billion.

The strong third quarter has made the cleantech sector the largest in the venture capital business, according to the Cleantech Group, pulling ahead of biotech. Twenty-seven percent of venture capital funds invested in the second quarter of 2009 went to cleantech companies – up from 3% at the beginning of 2004.

via Cleantech VC funding up in Q3 – BloggingStocks.