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Winners of the Auto Loans

C-Net's Cartech Blog posted the results of some loan awards by the federal government that I thought were note-worthy.  The Advanced Technology Vehicles Manufacturing Loan Program, a loan program created by the federal government to promote the next fuel efficient cars, were awarded three weeks ago.  The car companies included two household names and one up and coming American car company.

First off, Ford Motors received a $5.9 billion dollar loan to advance new fuel efficiency initiatives.  This should help with the planned launch of an electric vehicle by 2011.

Tesla Sports Sedan

Second, Nissan received $1.6 billion to retrofit a Tennessee plant for production of electric vehicles.  Nissan promises to outshine Ford by releasing their lithium ion powered vehicle in 2010.... read more

Simple Home Energy Management

Control4, an IP-based home control and entertainment systems company, is announcing a huge new investment of capital to fund an expansion in energy monitoring technology. This move will expand the company's portfolio in networked management of the expanding energy management sector.

Control4 Energy Management



The bread and butter of Control4's business is home theater management.  It networks one's theater and music entertainment through either a console or remote control for a unified system.  Control4 uses either Zigbee or Wi-Fi to network the devices.  But recently the Control4 has been utilizing this technology for other home usage, such as thermostat control and eventually energy management.

The new investment, $17.3 million in equity, is being provided by a conglomerate of interested parties; Best Buy Capital, Mercato Partners and University Venture Fund join current investors Foundation Capital, Frazier Technology Ventures, Thomas Weisel Venture Partners and vSpring Capital.  The reasoning that these interested parties are investing in the company even as Google and Microsoft is producing power management is simple: the display.

 

Control4 Energy Management



Even if information is available it must still be delivered.  Providing an aesthetically pleasing way to illustrate power usage in a simple graphical manner will be key to widespread adoption.  Contol4 already provides this for the complicated home theater systems in many people's houses.  Therefore, once the energy software is created the interface should be a simple overlay.  The concept is put best by a quote included in the press release.

 ... read more

Skyscrapers Becoming More Eco-Friendly In Hopes to Lure Tenants

According to a recent article at PhysOrg, the Empire State Building is getting a little makeover and it isn't just a new coat of paint.  A $120 million renovation is occurring on the 78 year building making it more sustainable and green.  The reason is only partly to make the aging landmark more efficient, but also to attract new tenants.

The article points out this as a stark example of what is occurring across the nation; commercial landlords are hurting.  Currently, the vacancy rate in commercial structures is 12.4 percent, compared to 10.9 the year previous.  This lack of customers has caused the buildings' owners to search out anything that may give them the upper hand.  And, according to real estate researcher CoStar Group, Inc. green-certified buildings do have fewer vacancies than other buildings with similar age, size and location.... read more

Greenpeace Guide to Green Electronics

Greenpeace recently released version 12 of their Guide to Green Electronics.  This guide,as previously discussed on this site, gives consumer's information regarding what computer and mobile device companies are practicing green standards.  So why is it important to consider ecology impace of technology?  Well, hundreds of thousands of obsolete computers and mobile phones are dumped in landfills or burned in smelters every year. Thousands more are exported from industrialised nations to countries in Asia. Worker's scrap these products and in the process are exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals and poisons.  So not only is it harmful to the envrionment, but it also affects innocent people throughout the world.... read more

No Place In Texas For Pickens Wind Farm

T. Boone Pickens, legendary oil man gone environmentalist, made an announcement concerning his upcoming wind farm in the Dallas Morning News. During an interview the man worth $3 billion informed the reporter that his wind farm did not have place in Texas.  Yes, the third biggest state, Texas.

No Place In Texas For Pickens Wind Farm

In all honesty, there is much more to this no.  The wind farm, expected to contain hundreds of turbines, was originally planned to be in the Texas Pan Handle.   No spot excited in the Pan Handle that was not only suitable but in the general vicinity of transmission lines.  No such spot could be found.  Therefore, the plan is on hold for the foreseeable future.... read more

Want to See a Really Cool Electric Bike?

Yamaha is filed a patent this previous week concerning a revolutionary new motor bike to accompany their current line.  This 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike will utilize a YZF-R6 600cc engine to power a generator, which in turn will drive the bike's rear wheel.  By using electricity as a power source this eliminates the need for both a clutch and gearbox.  This reduces the weight of bike and increases power efficiency.

Yamaha Electric Motorcycle

I know many of you will ask why do we need to improve fuel efficiency of bikes since they are already frugal in gas use?  Well, simply it isn't all about fuel efficiency, it is also about power.  By dropping weight the Gen-Ryu hybrid can feel like a bike with twice as large an engine.  At the same time the bike becomes much less complex, making it more attractive for older riders.... read more

Want to See a Really Cool Electric Bike?

Yamaha is filed a patent this previous week concerning a revolutionary new motor bike to accompany their current line.  This 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike will utilize a YZF-R6 600cc engine to power a generator, which in turn will drive the bike's rear wheel. By using electricity as a power source this eliminates the need for both a clutch and gearbox.  This reduces the weight of bike and increases power efficency.... read more

Want to See a Really Cool Electric Bike?

Yamaha is filed a patent this previous week concerning a revolutionary new motor bike to accompany their current line.  This 2005 Gen-Ryu hybrid concept bike will utilize a YZF-R6 600cc engine to power a generator, which in turn will drive the bike's rear wheel. By using electricity as a power source this eliminates the need for both a clutch and gearbox.  This reduces the weight of bike and increases power efficency.... read more

Green Articles from Best Buy , South Korea and Veterans' Green Job Training

Morning and I hope you all had a great holiday weekend.  It was a blast for me as friends and family came to see the new addition to the family.  She was quite well behaved (even being quiet through her first mass).  Very exciting.  I know you don't come to the site solely for news concerning my family so let me present, without further ado, the latest and greatest clean technology and sustainability news being produced across traditional news outlets.

Best Buy Electric Bikes

Best Buy to Sell Green Vehicles: Miguel Bustillo & Nick Wingfield of the Wall Street Journal are reporting on the sale of green vehicles at one of the largest electronics vendors in the country: Best Buy. The store will sell electric scooters, bicycles and Segways at 19 locations on a trial basis. The most important vehicle is the Enertia, a $11,995 electric scooter able to travel 45 miles at speeds of up to 50 miles per hour and plugs into a standard wall outlet. I highlight this product not just because of it's large price during a recession or applicability to most people's lives but to show that we scooped the Journal!! KeenforGreen.com reported on the sale of the bikes in Best Buy in this earlier post on May 29, 2009.

South Korea Green

South Korea to spend $85 billion on green industries: On Monday a statement was released by the President's office in South Korea that the Asian tiger economy will invest 107 trillion won ($84.5 billion), or 2 percent of its annual GDP, in environment-related industries over the next five years. Reuters reported on this aggressive campaign by the government (which is without any explanation on where the funds will come from). Part of this huge investment includes the $19.4 billion over the next year on creating "star brands" in key new growth sectors, previously reported on by KeenforGreen.com.

Green Pizza Box

Green Box Offers Alternative to Traditional Pizza Box: The Miami Herald wrote a wonderfully light piece on the new 'green' pizza box that is being used in Florida. The box, properly titled the “green box,” is made out of 100% recycled materials. I did additional searching and found the manufacturer's, Eco-incorporated, web page so readers can go and find out more about this fun product.

 

A Green Car Nation: Philadelphia Inquirer provided a great overview of the new Cash for Clunkers program being initiated by the federal government in the site's. The piece done by staff writer Jeff Gelles not only gives some background information but answer's questions such as which cars qualify, what one has to do to qualify, does an SUV or minivan qualify and if the program will truly help the environment. Nicely researched and well written.

Veterans' Green Job Training

Labor Department Grants $7.5M for Veterans' Green Job Training: Sustainable Business is reporting on a federal program that seeks to aid veterans enter into the new green workforce. The program will give 17 grants, totaling more than $7.5 million dollars, to provide approximately 3,000 veterans with green job training. Organizations receiving funds are in California, Texas, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Colorado and Arizona. Here is hoping that these funds help vets find truly worthwhile jobs in this economy.... read more

Greenpeace Guide to Green Electronics

Greenpeace recently released version 12 of their Guide to Green Electronics.  This guide,as previously discussed on this site, gives consumer's information regarding what computer and mobile device companies are practicing green standards.  So why is it important to consider ecology impace of technology?  Well, hundreds of thousands of obsolete computers and mobile phones are dumped in landfills or burned in smelters every year. Thousands more are exported from industrialised nations to countries in Asia. Worker's scrap these products and in the process are exposed to a cocktail of toxic chemicals and poisons.  So not only is it harmful to the envrionment, but it also affects innocent people throughout the world.

... read more

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