Justice Department announces they will end the use of private prisons

“They simply do not provide the same level of correctional services, programs, and resources; they do not save substantially on costs; and as noted in a recent report by the Department’s Office of Inspector General, they do not maintain the same level of safety and security.” The Justice Department just announced they would end the use of private prisons. Letting …

Baltimore’s ‘Pop-Up’ protected bikelane aims for greater ridership and injury reductions between 10% and 50%.

Cross-posted from Transforming Streets, August 18, 2016 Four city blocks in Baltimore were transformed last Thursday, with a “pop-up” two-way protected bike lane, open for use by the end of the afternoon. Pratt Street between Central Avenue and Broadway is a three-lane, one-way street between two schools to the north and a residential area to the south. The width of the …

Piezoelectric crystals the size of watch batteries will be installed on several freeways in California to test power provision

This article was reposted from Car2. Piezoelectric crystals, about the size of watch batteries, give off an electrical discharge when they’re mechanically stressed, such as when a vehicle drives over them. Multiply that by thousands of vehicles and it creates an electric current that can be harvested to feed the grid.  In fact, scientists estimate the energy generated from piezoelectric …

The demand for electricity is going to increase dramatically as we electrify transportation, transition heating, and more – a view from Elon Musk and Peter Rive

During the Q2 earnings call for SolarCity, Elon Musk and Peter Rive laid out their vision for the future as Tesla and SolarCity combine forces. In his remarks, Musk told the analysts and investors on hand that demand for electrical power will double or triple, as the world transitions away from fossil fuels to renewables. “Electricity usage is going to …

Indigenous land rights: how far we’ve come and how far we have to go

By Katie Reytar, Peter Veit and Nicholas Tagliarino – August 09, 2016 cross-posted from World Resources Institute How well do national laws protect the interests of historically marginalized Indigenous Peoples? Photo by Thomas Muller/SPDA Peru Today is International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, observed every year on August 9, the anniversary of the first meeting of theUN Working Group on …

Lion school buses and Massachusetts partner on electric school bus pilot

August 16th, 2016 by James Ayre, cross-posted from Clean Technica The government of the state of Massachusetts has awarded a total of $1.4 million in grants to pay for the operation of a new electric school bus pilot program, according to recent reports. Image courtesy eLion The grant money was spread across four different awards ($350,000 each) and will be …

Multilateral Development Banks’ climate financing – $81 billion in 2015: where is it all going?

August 17th, 2016 by Joshua S Hill on Clean Technica A total of $81 billion in climate financing was mobilised for projects being funded by the world’s six largest multilateral development banks, according to a new report. According to the new report, the 2015 Joint Report on Multilateral Development Banks’ Climate Finance, the total $81 billion dedicated to financing climate change mitigation …

Key graphs for the energy transition – solar

1. The price of a solar panel in 1975 was ~227 times higher than it is today — $101.5/watt versus $0.447/watt. 2. The price of a solar panel today is ~30% what it was in 2010 — $0.447/watt versus $1.50/watt. That’s a 70% discount! 3. The lowest wholesale solar price bid from a solar project developer (unsubsidized) is2.99¢/kWh. That’s cheaper than what new …