5 Green Tech Stories You Should Be Reading: May 1, 2012

The Web’s abuzz with new developments in the wind energy tax credit expiration, green building in California, and how clean energy and politics intersect.

wind farm, production tax credit

image via Shutterstock

1. “Traditional Architecture Offers a Strong Foundation for Green Building” – The Guardian – Green building is taking a cue from the past to make buildings more energy efficient and lessen their impact on the environment. In the Middle East, for example, narrow corridors encourage air flow while thick walls retain cool temperatures inside, which are building traditions that have been used in the region for thousands of years. Efficient building techniques of Southwestern Native American cultures and Japan are also being used.

2. “US Lawmakers Consider Phaseout of Wind Energy Tax Break” – Bloomberg – Because the pending 2013 expiration of the wind energy production tax credit is already causing job loss, according to wind industry advocates, several lawmakers are considering extending the credits, and then slowly phasing them out, rather than simply cutting them abruptly. This way, the industry could have more time to stabilize, potentially reaching the point where government boosts would be no longer needed.

3. “23 Governments Commit to Clean Energy in London” – Renewable Energy Magazine – The Clean Energy Ministerial, made up of representatives from 23 governments, and the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Energy for All outlined a new initiative that would seek to improve energy efficiency, clean energy technology and energy access to more areas of the world. Participating countries pledged to take on a variety of responsibilities, including providing electricity for rural India, energy storage technology in developing nations and mapping out solar and wind potential worldwide.

4. “Clean Energy: Still a Wedge Issue That Favors Democrats” – Grist – Grist’s David Roberts looks at the discrepancies between Republicans and Republican candidates on the topic of clean energy and global warming, citing a poll [PDF] that shows 84 percent of Republicans believing that clean energy should be a governmental priority. Also examined are the political implications of pushing these topics into the spotlight.

5. “California Governor Issues Sweeping Order to Green Government” – Sustainable Business – A new executive order from Gov. Jerry Brown will require half of California’s government buildings to be net zero by 2020, and by 2025, all new state buildings and renovations must also be net zero. Among the criteria are stipulations that all buildings 10,000 square feet and larger must be certified a minimum of LEED Silver and must, if possible, generate their own power onsite.

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.