Clean Tech News Briefs November 11, 2011

EarthTechling looks at a lot of interesting clean tech news daily as we consider what items to have our staff write about. Here are some green tech news gems we found while researching online you might consider reading more on in today’s Clean Tech News Brief.

image via Shutterstock

Energy efficiency tax credits and you. If you’re worried about the expiration of energy efficiency tax credits, check out this Huffington Post article, which outlines the tax credits that have expired, the ones that have been extended until the end of 2011, and the ones that will stick around until 2016, and outlines how and why these tax credits work.

Fire safety and batteries. The NFPA Journal talks about a new report out by the Foundation’s Property Insurance Research Group, which hosted a workshop to determine the potential hazards of lithium ion battery storage in aircraft, after two crashes were found to have been caused by fires in battery storage areas. This has led to a need for reassessment of the safety precautions that must be taken in clean technologies like electric vehicles and photovoltaic panels.

The ups and downs of geothermal. While geothermal is a great, clean source of energy in theory, accessing it might be easier said than done, says IEEE Spectrum.

Tiny car packs a punch. The winner of the Future Car Challenge is not any of the well-known automobile makers, but rather Gordon Murray Designs, whose tiny, all-electric car consumed only 7 kilowatt hours of electricity over the course of a long race. Forbes has the whole story on this little wonder.

Wondering if retrofits actually made a difference? According to a study commissioned by the Deutsche Bank Americas Foundation, they do. The New York Times reports that, after examining about 19,000 affordable housing units in New York City, the study found that on average, there were decent savings in fuel and electrical expenses after energy efficiency retrofits.

Vanquishing range anxiety. Range anxiety is the worry faced by many consumers over the distance an electric car can travel on a single charge, and in many cases, this prevents people from purchasing electric vehicles. However, CleanTechnica reports, this fear might soon become a thing of the past as IBM strives to develop batteries with nanotechnology.

Laura Caseley is a graduate of SUNY New Paltz and a resident of New York State’s Hudson Valley. She writes for several publications and when she’s not writing, she can usually be found painting in her makeshift studio or enjoying the scenery of her hometown.