54.5 MPG by 2025 for U.S. cars, lights trucks in auto – Obama – California pact

The White House has briefed the Washington press corps and word is spreading that a deal has been struck between the Obama administration, the auto industry and state of California on new Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards for cars and light trucks. By 2025, the fleet average reportedly will be required to reach 54.5 […]

Greenpeace with Puma, Sierra Club and Bloomberg, making deep inroads for sustainability while governments languish

Within the span of one week, Greenpeace and its new corporate partner Puma, the athletic wear maker, and the Sierra Club with the philanthropy of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, have unleashed an impressive one-two punch on two undeniable threats to human health and the environment: coal-fired power plants and dangerous toxic chemicals. What […]

Shale natural gas looking more like THE sustainable bridge to a more secure, cleaner and lower carbon energy future

While not all geologists agree, the estimated reserves of natural gas from shale deposits make natural gas the fuel of choice for the economy, U.S. energy security and the environment. How much depends on whom you believe. Chesapeake Energy’s CEO Aubrey McClendon has asserted on CBS’ 60 Minutes there is now twice as much natural […]

The demand response holy grail: are your commercial facility managers ‘PROsumers’?

To hear some industry pros explain it, only about 5% of all commercial buildings in the U.S. have achieved, or are about to achieve, what Siemens considers to be the “holy grail” of energy demand response management. These are facilities owned by companies that are not only holistically integrating sustainability into their operations and culture […]

Matching smart grid apps to customer lifestyles

Among the lessons emerging from various utility pilot programs around the country where homeowners respond to dynamic pricing and demand reduction incentives is this pre-requisite: to change behavior utilities need to truly e-n-g-a-g-e their customers. And the most effective way to accomplish that is to be sure the utility has a large stockpile of customer […]

Brookings and American Enterprise Institute on green jobs – how much of a real economic engine?

As economic stimulus spending winds down and efficiency and renewable energy projects take root from the array of grants, rebates and tax incentives seized by energy consumers, the focus on just how many new ‘green’ jobs comprising the “clean economy” is sharpening. The early returns present a less-than-compelling — albeit incomplete — economic snapshot fueling […]

LEED-raters begin pilot test of buildings able to respond to peak power demands

The U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) is testing a new credit for its Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) rating system that earns points for buildings that have installed automated demand response tools. Buildings satisfy the credit by demonstrating their ability to shift energy consumption by at least 10 percent of peak load demand. […]

EchoFirst solar electric / thermal systems getting traction in new homes

The recession and pull-back in many solar incentives through much of the world are not dissuading solar photovoltaic engineers from introducing what could be next significant leap forward in panel technology. Take the new panels headed for new home communities mostly in the Southwest by EchoFirst, Inc. The way EchoFirst Chief Marketing Officer Gordon Handelsman […]

Demand response and cleaner energy outbidding some coal-fired generation in PJM

Almost like a tree falling in the forest, the recent auction for wholesale power supplies from utilities and competitive generators produced a relatively quiet but telling shift in the PJM power grid which stretches from the Mid-Atlantic states into parts of the Midwest: Several aging coal-fired power plants were outbid by cleaner sources, including demand-response […]