Green Week in Review July 12th- 18th, 2010

Changing how transportation works and getting away from fossil fuels appears to be the theme this week, with a few energy/water demand shaping articles thrown in to keep it interesting.  Let’s get started.

CNET: Toyota taps Tesla to bring back electric RAV4

With a 100 mile range, an all electric RAV4 would make a great commuting car.  It is nice to see other outcomes from the Tesla/Toyota projects like this.

CNET: Mercedes-Benz shows off its green supercar

Tesla isn’t the only one who can make all electric power cars.  Here is a sweet ride from Mercedes which might spell good things in the works for production cars down the road.

Treehugger: Want to Kick Our Oil Addiction? Let’s Get Our Priorities Straight First

Matt McDermott makes some good points in this article.  A shocking 71% of oil goes into transportation of people and goods, so clearly that is a good place to work on reducing our consumption of oil.  The bigger energy picture is equally important though and should drive our prioritization of projects for the future.  Also, since a huge portion of the transportation is related to food, something like over 25% of all traffic is related to the production and distribution of food, better solutions for more local food sources would be have huge impacts on our oil consumption as well, not to mention health benefits.

Treehugger: Boeing Unveils Hydrogen-Powered Phantom Eye Unmanned Drone

It is nice to see the military development leading some of the clean fuel and energy projects.  This hydrogen powered UAV is a great example.  Wouldn’t it be great to see this combined with the solar plane idea to have an even longer duration flight.  Imagine the aerial surveys of towns that could be done using UAV with IR cameras.

CNET: Virtual power plants fill supply gaps in heat wave

Articles like this help explain why the SmartGrid is so important to the future.  On hot summer days we use more electricity for cooling than at other times.  Even minor adjustments of behavior, like washing dishes or clothes at night or raising the temperature 1 degree can have big impacts when aggregated across the grid.  We hope to see more examples of an even smarter grid in action in the future.

Treehugger: NYC to Track Real Time Water Use With Wireless Meters

Photo of rusty water tower

If we could get real time usage for water (and eventually natural gas) in addition to that available for electricity today with the TED5000, that would be amazing.  If you can measure it, you can do something about it.  Unfortunately, according to our friends in Brooklyn, as with the early electric utility models for Smart Meters, it looks like the Water Companies are stopping short of providing the data to their customers where it could be really put to use. Hopefully that will shift soon.

Runners up:

Happy Greening!
Jon & Alicia

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