5 Green Tech Stories You Should Be Reading: April 30, 2012

Today people are reading about shifts, and potential shifts, in clean technology, including a big step for tidal power; struggles for the wind industry; and a new plan to take more steps into the era of the bioeconomy. Read all about it.

image via Ocean Renewable Power Company

1. “A Historic Day for Tidal Energy in the US” – Sustainable Business – Maine is on course to be the first state to use tidal power commercially, as it mandated three of its utilities to purchase 4 megawatts from the Ocean Renewable Power Company. Tidal power, which has the potential to provide 10 percent of power needs in the U.S., is particularly strong in Maine, and the state legislature unanimously passed a bill making tidal power development a priority.

2. “Layoffs in US Wind Power Accelerate as Congress Fails to Act on Tax Credit” – Renewable Energy World – Wind industry members and leaders of a bipartisan group gathered to urge Congress to extend the production tax credit for wind energy in the hopes of avoiding the massive layoffs that ending the program would cause. The PTC is scheduled to end in 2013, even though private investment in the sector has generated $15 billion to $20 billion annually, and estimates that retaining the tax credit could generate 100,ooo jobs.

3. “IEA Status Reports Finds Clean Energy Technologies With Greatest Potential Lagging” – Renewable Energy Magazine – The International Energy Agency (IEA)’s 2012 Tracking Clean Energy Progress Report, which measures clean energy and energy-efficiency development across the globe, found that the technologies with the largest potential to slow the global temperature rise to show the slowest progress. In response, they issued a list of recommendations to allow these technologies a greater chance in becoming fully developed.

4. “Greenest States to Own an Electric Car” – CNN Money – The environmental advocacy group Climate Central released a report detailing which states make it greenest to own an EV, based on how each state generates its electrical power. In states that rely heavily on coal, like West Virginia, plugging in your EV would actually create more carbon emissions than driving a fuel-efficient gas-powered car, while states in like Washington, where much of the electricity is sourced from hydropower, EVs are quite the green choice.

5. “White House Promotes a Bioeconomy” – New York Times – The National Bioeconomy Blueprint is scheduled to be unveiled by the Obama Administration, and will detail plans to replace industrial methods with biological ones in the hopes of reducing oil dependency and solving environmental issues. The report is a list of programs that are already underway, and so some are skeptical as to how much change will take place, but others are optimistic and saw the plan as a way to make biotechnology development programs easier to push.

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.