Vancouver proceeds toward 100% renewable energy – including transport and heating – by 2050. Here’s how they are doing it!

Cross-posted from the redoubtable David Roberts at Vox.com and highlighting thoughts from Vancouver’s City Manager (and Chicago’s former environmental director) Sadhu Johnston. Last year, Vancouver, British Columbia, officially adopted the goal of powering itself entirely with clean energy by 2050.  That’s a bigger deal than it might sound. Plenty of North American cities have committed to getting all their electricity from …

Four models of solar-powered vehicles in the works at Hanergy thin-film solar; sales planned before the decade is out

 China’s Hanergy Holding Group (Hanergy) has unveiled four solar-powered electric concept cars, set for production within three years. Hanergy is a large clean-energy company and one of the largest thin-film solar cell manufacturers in the world. Hanergy is also the owner of U.S. based Alta Devices, which it bought in 2014. Hanergy Solar 0. (AP Photo/Mark Schiefelbein) Much of the …

Small, decentralized, pay-as-you-go solar energy scaling up in Africa

The 1.3 billion [people] who have no access to electricity spend an estimated $30 billion annually on kerosene.” Most customers start with the basic service, said Helgesen in a previous interview. They tend to upgrade after a few months once they get comfortable with the company’s services and know they’re reliable. Earlier this month, Lacey reported on M-Kopa, another solar …

Rising percentage of energy from solar is saving lives

Solar power could deliver $400 billion in environmental and public health benefits throughout the United States by 2050, according to a study from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). “We find that a U.S. electric system in which solar plays a major role–supplying 14% of demand in 2030, …

Advice from Warsaw, on its way to becoming a Clean City

Every few years I visit Warsaw, where I grew up and lived until moving to Vancouver 24 years ago. Warsaw and its surrounding communities comprise roughly the same size and population as Greater Vancouver. Both cities underwent rapid population growth in the last couple of decades. Both invested heavily in infrastructure and public transit with mixed results. The average car …

Beijing’s electric bikes and buses – in pictures

Vehicles are the source of a third of the air pollution in the Chinese capital, which restricts their use during episodes of heavy smog. Electric cars, buses, scooters and bicycles offer an alternative, cleaner form of transport.  The Guardian shares this pictoral overview.  http://www.theguardian.com/sustainable-business/gallery/2016/jun/11/beijing-pollution-smog-electric-bikes-buses-china Heavy traffic passes along Beijing’s 3rd Ring Road, in the centre of the Chinese capital. Although …

South Korea requires diesel free zones and 30% EVs by 2020 on the way to cleaner air

As part of a plan to reduce growing air-pollution problems, the government of South Korea will be toughening restrictions on the use of old diesel vehicles, according to recent reports. In addition to these efforts, the government will also be working to promote the use of “environmentally-friendly vehicles” (electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, etc) through various means. The Kia Soul EV …

New power demand in China being met by clean energy, as China meets emission reduction goals 3-4 years ahead of schedule

China’s 13th five-year plan is quite possibly the most important document in the world in setting the pace of acting on climate change. With the first draft of the energy sector plan likely released in June, and the overarching strategy intriguingly promising to ‘enhance’ its climate contributions, the stakes are high. However, the kind of climate action once expected to be laid out in the plan is …

Outdoor pollution has risen 8% in five years with fast-growing cities in the developing world worst affected, WHO data shows

“It is crucial for city and national governments to make urban air quality a health and development priority,” said Dr Carlos Dora, co-ordinator of the WHO’s Interventions for Healthy Environment program. “When air quality improves, health costs from air pollution related diseases shrink, worker productivity expands and life expectancy grows. Outdoor air pollution has grown 8% globally in the past …