Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bill Ritter: Natural Gas and America's Clean Energy Future

I was fairly disappointed when former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter opted out of running for a second term. He had done so much to further clean energy in the state of Colorado and I was worried that clean energy would begin to take a back seat with a new administration. Surely, in my mind, there was no other Colorado politician that could live up to the former governor's passion for clean energy. But after reading this article by Bill Ritter, I am beginning to think that being governor was just a stepping stone towards a bigger and more aggressive goal of establishing clean energy, not only in the state of Colorado but in all 50 states. After having negotiated with the left and the right, small business and big business, and environmentalists and pure capitalists, the former governor now has the skills to help the entire country implement smart and sensible clean energy policies. Plus, he can do this unencumbered by the politician's shackles. I'm happy for Bill Ritter and his new gig up at Colorado State University and I look forward to seeing some healthy changes to our national energy policy in the new future.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

MIT Study: Companies Up Commitment to Sustainability

The MIT Sloan Management Review recently completed a study that determined more and more corporate leaders are committing to sustainability practices. I would imagine that any intelligent business leader is going to implement triple-bottom line practices throughout their enterprise. Putting policies in place that tend to the social, environmental, and economic stakeholders of your company will do several things for your company. For one, business sustainability practices will save you money. Two, these practices will lessen your company's impact on the environment by reducing your carbon footprint. And three, your reputation amongst your employees and the community will be enhanced. The end result? Your employees are happy and they produce more, you help save the planet and conserve resources, and you make lots of money. What's not to like about business sustainability? Oh and if you stay true to these sustainability principles your company will last for a long, long time.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Colorado Renewable Energy Rules Survive GOP Offensive

Kudos to Dems in the Colorado State Legislature for putting the kibosh on an attempt to roll back Colorado's clean energy mandates outlined in the Clean-Air Clean Jobs law. I understand the sensitivity towards the cost to the consumer, but rolling back good policy that will help Colorado clean the air and create jobs is a little short-sited. We all are going to have to take on additional cost if we want to help build a better and cleaner future for our children. Plus there are things that we can do today to help reduce our energy bills, namely weatherizing our home to make it more energy efficient.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Study: By 2030 World Can Run On Renewables

Headlines like this excite me to no end. Here are some scientists from Stanford and University of California who say that they have a detailed plan to power the planet with clean, renewable energy in just 20 years. Some of the highlights include implementing hydrogen fuels cells to generate electricity, using offshore and onshore wind turbines, implementing a smarter grid, accessing geothermal, and making sure we aren't wasting any energy in our buildings or transporting materials. This study (Part 1 and Part 2) published in  Energy Policy journal is comprehensive and stunning. Everything from the financial cost of implementing renewables globally by 2020 to the amount of mined rare earth materials is included. Converting from fossil fuels to renewable energy is completely doable, as long as we start thinking about building the future and not building a bridge to the past. I'm ready, are you?

Wishful Thinking

*Before adding PV, wind, or solar thermal to your residential or commercial structure, the first step is to analyze this structure's energy consumption through a professional energy audit. I'd like to see some public education on the importance of an energy audit for any structure. Remember Smokey the Bear's forest fire shtick drilled into our heads over the last few decades? How about something like, "Henry the House" desperately wanting to know how much energy he consumes and wastes throughout the day?

*With over 300 sunny days a year on the Front Range is it too much to ask for solar PV and thermal modules on every residential and commercial unit (after an energy audit of course)?

*How about affordable plug-in electric cars that go more than 100 miles on a charge with PV and wind powered recharging stations?

*Dreaming of companies large and small adopting business sustainability practices to maximize profits, reduce their carbon footprint, and enhance the lives of their employees and the communities that surround them.


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