Business & Technology

Solar Power

Solar is getting cheap fast — pay attention, Very Serious People

Solar PV could be the cheapest source of electricity within 15 years. You'd think utilities, regulators, investors, and political leaders would want to take note.

Charge your EV in 10 minutes flat

Pretty much no one wants to wait around for their theoretical EV to charge, which is one reason why people aren't buying them in droves yet. But in the near future, charging won't take more than 10 minutes, thanks to Nissan. Along with a Japanese university, the car company developed an EV charger that takes a fraction of the time of current chargers without compromising battery life. Right now, charging an EV generally takes about eight hours, or 48 times as long as this new charger will need.

Sustainable Business

What's the greenest business?

From Apple to News Corp.: Here's why we need new criteria to rank truly "green" companies.

Disadvantaged teens build 160 MPG hybrid car

West Philadelphia High School has a dropout rate of more than 50 percent, and 85 percent of students are low-income. But instead of making trouble in their neighborhood, getting in one little fight, or even shooting some B-ball outside of the school, a team of 15 dedicated West Philly students built a badass hybrid car that gets 160 miles to the gallon. Then they entered it in a contest where it beat the pants off cars built by fancy Ivy League engineers.

Virgin Atlantic plans to halve jet fuel’s carbon footprint using industrial gas

Virgin Atlantic is promising that within a few years, they'll be able to make their long haul flights with half the carbon impact that their jet fuel creates now. The key technology here captures gases from steel production and makes them into jet fuel. It's supposedly better than biofuels, in part because it doesn't raise the same land use concerns. Virgin's not making the transition on its own: the company is partnering with Boeing, Swedish Fuels, and New Zealand-based Lanza Tech.

Solar Power

The Washington Post's boneheaded conventional wisdom on Solyndra

The Washington Post is spouting the Very Serious Conventional Wisdom: government is a "crappy" venture capitalist that shouldn't be picking winners.

Critical List: Invasive species jump the border; Gulf sheen not BP’s fault

While U.S. border monitors were busy looking for terrorists in cargo containers, a slew of invasive species slipped unnoticed into the country. Whatever that sheen in the Gulf is, it's not BP's fault, okay?? If carbon is a risk (and it is!), the market should adjust for that, valuing companies with high "exposure to climate change" less than those that are climate-resilient. But since markets don't seem to ever do what they should in theory, that hasn't happened yet.

Politics

How to beat the Tea Party and win on clean energy

Tea Party politics have locked the U.S. into energy-policy stalemate. With the climate clock running out, is this stalemate also checkmate for Earth?

Politics

Solyndra and the self-referential Beltway media cycle

Solyndra is being called a scandal even though there hasn't been any official wrongdoing established or charged. Blame cable news and the political press.

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