5 GreenTech Stories You Should Be Reading: April 17, 2012

Cell phone-based solar energy, political and legal contests for smart and renewable technology and … sustainability as a step toward exploring the cosmos? No, really.

electric milk truck

image via Brian Snelson

1. “US Leads in Clean Power Investment—For Now” – CNN – Thanks to federal support, the U.S. is once again the world’s largest investor in the renewable energy sector, narrowly beating out China‘s private investments by $2.5 billion. However, much of the investments are going into oversea manufacturing for products the U.S. imports, and to really get ahead in the renewable energy game, some say we need to do more manufacturing domestically and exporting.

2. “Elon Musk to Jon Stewart: Sustainable Energy Easier Than Making Life ‘Multi-Planetary’” – Autoblog Green – When interviewed by “Daily Show” host Jon Stewart about inventing PayPal and aiming to settle humans on other planets (yes), Elon Musk explains why achieving clean-energy sustainability is a must for the perpetuation of the human species.

3. “Farmers Foil Utilities Using Cell Phones to Access Solar” – Bloomberg – In rural India, consumers can now access solar energy as part of a pay-as-you-go plan, receiving a code via text message that allows them to keep accessing the power. This means big changes in energy distribution, as well as in utility company operations, in rural and developing areas as these microgrids become more and more popular.

4. “Electric Milk Trucks Still Working in Jolly Old England” – Treehugger – Milk delivery may seem like a thing of the past, but in England, 100 percent electric milk trucks are zipping along. Some are still used by dairies for their original purpose, while others are tackling other areas of the food pyramid and delivering fruits and vegetables.

5. “Nest Labs to Honeywell: We’ll See You In Court” – CNET – In response to Honeywell’s allegations that it had infringed upon Honeywell’s copyright for a smart thermostat, Nest Labs is saying the large thermostat company was using its bulk to stifle smaller companies from entering the market. Nest Labs’ Learning Thermostat is a device that memorizes a user’s heating and cooling habits and adjusts accordingly, saving energy in the home.

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.