Viewing posts tagged: "Policy"

In the Beginning there was the Carbon Tax, and it was Good

Daniel Englander: May 22, 2008, 8:43 AM
Evolution, for the 62 percent of us who believe in it, happened incrementally, over millions of years, and involved a few missteps here and there. Grover Norquist is a good example. It is often said progressive policy changes happen in the same way. Yesterday, the Bay Area Quality Management District came out as the nematode of the climate policy world, voting 15-1 in favor of a carbon tax for the nine counties in the Bay Area. The legislation imposes a $0.044 tax per ton of carbon dioxide and will target close to 2,500 Bay Area businesses, if the plan gains approval from the California Air Resources Board. Unsurprisingly, the Bay Area business community is up in arms over the...

Sal DiMasi’s Green Jobs Bill Mandates Cake, Eating Too

Daniel Englander: May 20, 2008, 10:25 AM
Yesterday Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi, flanked by Gov. Deval Patrick and Senate President Therese Murray, held a press conference introducing the Speaker's $100 million green jobs bill. DiMasi, speaking at the press conference, said the bill "combines our commitment to jobs creation and economic development with our duty to protect the environment and increase energy efficiency." All good things, right? Certainly the Massachusetts greentech sector, which is "poised to be the 10th largest cluster in the state" (pdf) with 14,400 jobs created so far, needs ongoing support for both economic and environmental reasons. The support itself, which calls for the creation of a Clean...

Our Long, Tortured, Corn-Based History

Daniel Englander: May 20, 2008, 7:20 AM
In 40,000 years, after the last of the Himalayas have disappeared under the Indian Ocean, and future generations with webbed feet and gills rule the world from their outposts on rusted-out oil platforms, the memory of corn will have long been forgotten. Perhaps it will survive as a chapter in some elementary school history book - "The Cult of Corn," or possibly "Corn: God of the Ancients" - though it's doubtful anyone will understand our close, personal relationship with the cereal grain. I certainly don't. What's interesting about our addiction to corn are the steps government bodies have taken to maintain corn prices at artificially low levels. And there are several examples....

Luxim unveils the svelte streetlight

Michael Kanellos: May 14, 2008, 8:00 AM
That\'s a real quarter Someday, downtown streets may be lit with bulbs the size of a Tic Tac. Luxim, a lighting start-up in Silicon Valley, has released a lamp--the elegantly named LIFI STA-40-01—that delivers as much or more light than a standard street light. The trick is that it consumes less power. The new lamp cranks out 120 lumens per watt. Top-end LEDs provide around 70 lumens per watt. High-intensity discharge (HID) lamps, which you see on light poles today, get about 90 lumens per watt. HIDs are also quite large, which means a heavier street light or spotlight. The bulb at the center of Luxim's lamps is only a centimeter or so long. It looks like a Christmas tree light. You can pick...

A novel large solar project takes flight in New Jersey

Michael Kanellos: May 12, 2008, 11:23 AM

Drug maker Schering-Plough is getting a 1.7-megawatt solar system for its New Jersey facilities in a deal that, to some degree, forges new ground in solar.

The novelty in the deal is that Schering-Plough makes medicines. So far, the big solar installations have mostly been commissioned by companies directly or strongly interested in seeing solar power grow. Sharp, the biggest PV maker in the world, put up a 5-megawatt system to help run its advanced solar manufacturing facility in Japan while Applied Materials, with its 1.9-megawatt system, makes equipment for the solar industry. Nellis Air Force Base installed (with MMA Renewable Ventures) a 14-megawatt system, but the government...

Oil could hit $90 a barrel, or $200

Michael Kanellos: May 9, 2008, 10:07 AM

 The world could see an unprecedented spike in oil prices toward $200 a barrel that could plunge the world into a panic.

Or it might drop to $90 a barrel after a new president is inaugurated in 2009 as the Saudis try to cozy up to a new U.S. president.

Arjun Murti of Goldman Sachs put out a recent report, according to the Telegraph, that demand from China and lackluster growth in supply will push oil near the $200 mark over the coming months.

“We believe the current energy crisis may be coming to a head. A super-spike end game may be in the early stages of playing out,??? Murti wrote, according to the paper.

But wait! Edward Morse over at Lehman Brothers in a report...

Sun not shining on IPO for solar installer

Michael Kanellos: May 8, 2008, 6:04 AM

Not all solar IPOs are created equal.

Real Goods Solar, a solar installer that says it erected the first residential solar panel in the U.S. in 1978, started trading in a public offering at $10 a share today. The stock, however, is hovering around the $9 level at the moment. It has traded mostly between $8.25 and $9.25 so far. It's not the end of the world. Dell geared up for its IPO amid the 1987 stock meltdown. Nonetheless, it's not the best news in the world. The $10 offering price was at the low end of the pre-IPO $10 to $12 offering price range.

Solar installation is, according to some, the next hot frontier in solar. Installation takes up about half of the cost of a...