Foreign Policy Blogs

Some Notes on Renewable Energy

I talked about the depth and the intensity of the activity on renewable energy these days in my post from April 5. Here are some notes from recent news stories and elsewhere that highlight this theme.

PepsiCo , "PepsiCo makes big renewable energy buy" reads the headline from BusinessWeek. "The company's three-year purchase is made up of more than 1 billion kilowatt hours annually," says their story. See also this press release from the company. This is being done in concert with the U.S. EPA's Green Power Partnership. Great stuff.

Lasers for Fusion , Here's an update from "The Economist" on the state of research into laser-triggered nuclear fusion. This stuff is not in our immediate future, but it's important to know about developments and the potential. (You can always go to their coverage of environmental issues. Some articles require a subscription, some don't.) 

Hydrogen for Vehicles , The Sunday automotive section of the "NY Times" often has some interesting material. Here's a link to this week's issue in which they devote all their articles to hydrogen fuel vehicles. For greater depth on this, go to the U.S. DOE's article on hydrogen vehicles.

Solar Power on NOVA , This top-of-the-line PBS science and technology program recently aired a terrific survey of the latest in solar energy, Saved by The SunTheir website has a wealth of useful information, including a look at six new advanced technologies, a Teacher's Guide and where to buy the video.

Germany's New Energy Efficiency Initiative , In this story from Agence France-Presse (via WBCSD Energy & Climate News), we learn that "Environment Minister Sigmar Gabriel called for additional investment of three billion euros (four billion dollars) to develop energy-saving technologies "  You can go to the English-language website of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety to get information on their programs on climate and energy. 

On efficiency, see also Amory Lovins's Rocky Mountain Institute which claims to have laid " the intellectual foundation for the $5-billion-a-year ‘negawatt’ (saved electricity) industry, and inventing most of the ways now in use for making markets in negawatts."

RENEW Wisconsin , This is a nonprofit that promotes clean energy strategies for powering the state's economy in an environmentally responsible manner. It's one of the hundreds of superb local organizations that have been helping to drive the world's slow but steady progress toward cleaner, cooler energy.  Full disclosure:  The executive director, Michael Vickerman, is an old friend of mine , and he's a dynamo of thoughtfulness and clear-sightedness when it comes to this important work.

This is just a sampler. I will continue to jump in from time to time with more of this sort of melange of news and other items.



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change