5 Green Tech Stories You Should Be Reading: April 23, 2012

The ups and downs in wind power across the world, the rise of “unofficial” EVs in China, and a handful of universities that go the extra step in being green—it’s what everyone’s talking about.

 

global wind capacity

image via Shutterstock

1. “Global Wind Capacity to Reach 500 GW in 2016” – EcoSeed – The wind industry forecasts annual growth of 8 percent over the next five years, with installations from now until 2016 at 255 gigawatts. Growth will primarily be driven by India and Brazil, but markets will continue to grow worldwide. The U.S., however, is expected to see a slump in 2013 due to the production tax credit expiration.

2. “Savvy Buyers Now Expect LEED-Certified Homes” – Nashville Ledger – LEED is beginning to become the standard in new homes, and is no longer being considered as much of an exotic luxury as it once was. In Tennessee, developers are building LEED-certified homes across a wide range of prices, and though these features do make houses more expensive at the outset, many buyers believe that due to their energy-efficiency and environmental sensitivity, it is well worth the cost.

3. “Mini Electric Cars Fill Gap in China as Official EVs Sputter” – Reuters – Despite very poor electric vehicle sales in China, “unofficial” EVs, created by equally “unofficial” startups, are emerging in more rural areas with lower average incomes. These cars are far, far cheaper (the equivalent of $5,000 as opposed to $58,000), and since they aren’t technically considered cars by the government, unlicensed drivers can use them without legal repercussions. Mainstream automakers, not happy with this competition, are revamping their EV approach in response.

4. “National Body Opposing Wind Power to Launch in Westminster” – The Guardian – The National Opposition to Windfarms, or NOW, is set to launch in the U.K.’s Houses of Parliament in an effort to “tackle” all wind development, including offshore wind farms. Their actions have involved seeking a celebrity face for the group and deciding on an anthem, but seem, so far, to have included little explanation as to why they oppose wind power.

5. “‘Green’ Schools That Go Beyond the Basics” – USA Today – Here’s a look at the green efforts of colleges around the country, from a geothermal project at Indiana’s Ball State University to the solar panels at Butte College in California that generate more energy than the school consumes. Green tech is growing on campuses; there are currently more LEED-certified projects on college campuses than there are colleges themselves, and according to a survey of 7,000 prospective students, 68 percent say that environmental dedication plays a big role in choosing a school.

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.