It’s time to stop pretending that roads pay for themselves: Car owners don’t come close to covering the price of maintaining the roads they use

By Angie Schmitt, 25 Nov 2015 If nothing else, the current round of federal transportation legislating should end the myth that highways are a uniquely self-sufficient form of infrastructure paid for by “user fees,” a.k.a. gas taxes and tolls. With all the general tax revenue that goes toward roads in America, car infrastructure has benefited from hefty subsidies for many …

Harnessing energy from glass walls: Semi-transparent perovskite solar cells have been developed that could be great candidates for solar windows

Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology, Science Daily, 29 May 2017  A Korean research team has developed semi-transparent perovskite solar cells that could be great candidates for solar windows. Scientists are exploring ways to develop transparent or semi-transparent solar cells as a substitute for glass walls in modern buildings with the aim of harnessing solar energy. But this has …

Paramilitary security tracked and targeted DAPL opponents as “jihadists,” docs show

Grist Special Report – By Antonia Juhasz on Jun 1, 2017 As people nationwide rallied last year to support the Standing Rock Sioux’s attempts to block the Dakota Access Pipeline, a private security firm with experience fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan launched an intrusive military-style surveillance and counterintelligence campaign against the activists and their allies, according to internal company documents. Its surveillance …

“This is a different world from three years ago” — renewables are no longer “alternative energy”

Joe Romm, Climate Progress, April 30, 2017 Renewables and efficiency have already won the battle for the future of electricity according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).  In his keynote talk at the end of April 2017, BNEF founder and chair Michael Liebreich explained that if you blinked, you missed the clean energy revolution: “This is a different world from three …

Freshwater & renewable energy storage for drought striken regions? Areas for integrated pumped hydro reverse osmosis (IPHRO) system identified

Combined energy and water system could provide for millions: Analysis shows system could economically bring fresh water and renewable energy storage to drought-stricken coastal regions worldwide. Introduction by Kelley Travers | MIT Energy Initiative, 18 April 2017.  Full copy of the article is available at the link and below the overview. The team’s analysis determined that in Southern California, all power …

What drove the driving downturn?

In an (academic) brawl over sprawl, planners are debating whether compact development contributed to a recent decrease in vehicles miles traveled. See Journal of the American Planning Association and CityLab By Richard Florida, 6 April 2017 Wikimedia Commons Since 2004, driving as measured by the number of vehicle miles traveled declined, reaching a two-decade low in 2012. Slumping figures for …

Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure?

Who should own and benefit from our country’s infrastructure? What is really being lost here is the public interest. Infrastructure should primarily serve public needs, not generate profits for enterprises owned and controlled by companies that care far more about their own bottom lines than the common good. That’s not to say that private interests can never build roads or bridges …

4 Dying Nuke Plants vs. Fleet of Gigafactories: Which Will Gov. Cuomo Choose?

By Harvey Wasserman and Tim Judson, EcoWatch, 30 March 2017 Elon Musk’s SolarCity is completing the construction of its “Buffalo Billion” Gigafactory for photovoltaic (PV) cells near the Niagara River in Buffalo, New York. It will soon put 500 New Yorkers to work inside the 1.2 million-square-foot facility with another 700 nearby, ramping up to nearly 3,000 over the next …

Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, first solar farm on tribal land, is now online

Originally published on Solar Love and in the Santa Fe New Mexican, 22 March 2017 On March 16th, the first solar farm on tribal land in the US was activated. The 250 megawatt Moapa Southern Paiute Solar Project, located on the 112 square mile Moapa River Indian Reservation about 30 miles north of Las Vegas, contains more than 3.2 million solar panels covering …