Thursday, August 02, 2007

Clean Energy Quick Clicks

Last week the U.S. House of Representatives passed 231-191 a Farm Bill that includes more than $2 billion for clean energy. Highlights include $21.7 billion for the Renewable Energy and Efficiency loan guarantee program, which funds energy efficiency improvements and renewable energy projects and will be renamed the Rural Energy for America Program; cellulosic ethanol will get $150 million for research and grants; and $500 million will go towards university-level bioenergy research.
  • Talk about an unlikely messenger. Ecorazzi points out a rather strange "green" spokesperson choice by General Motors: Rush Limbaugh. That's right - the radio talk show host who's called environmentalists "wackos" and doesn't believe that global warming is happening is now singing the praises of GM's commitment to efficiency, biofuels, and hydrogen. Well, at least they're not preaching to the choir. Listen to the ad here.

  • I'd like to hear from some wind turbine experts and engineers on this one: An engineering grad student from the Royal College of Art won the British Standards Institution's (BSI) Sustainability Design Award for his creation of a personal wind turbine that that uses vertical rotation to harness the wind and produce electricity. Basically, it looks like an egg beater. The student, Ben Storan, says that his design has a slower rotational speed that allows it to capture more energy from the turbulent air flow common in urban environments. This design has been around before and in my energy policy days I heard rumblings from engineers that it really isn't more efficient that the traditional turbines...anyone agree?

  • Congratulations to Treehugger, which announced its buyout by Discovery Communications yesterday. For a reported $10 million, Discovery acquires a Top 20 blog with 1.4 million unique monthly visitors. Treehugger will serve as the web compliment to Discovery's proposed Planet Green cable network, and the Treehugger team will help drive the direction of those online green efforts. Just don't drop Maria Energia from the blogroll! :)

1 comment:

lornadoone said...

Well, at least they're not preaching to the choir.

You know, that's a good point. I was really weirded out to hear that Rush was doing such a thing, but maybe it will get a whole new audience thinking about issues they otherwise would have ignored.

I'll be damned if the glass isn't half full all of a sudden.