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Energy & Green Tech Jobs Manufacturing

Deloitte’s Chris Park: 3D Printing for Cleaner and Leaner U.S. Manufacturing

Revitalizing manufacturing is essential to U.S. economic recovery, but it’s not clear yet how this new phase might look. One thing is certain: it won’t look anything thing like manufacturing did 15 or even 5 years ago. PARC CEO Stephen Hoover has spoken at Techonomy events about how innovations like 3D printing and crowdsourcing can drive a paradigm shift in manufacturing. But can a new American manufacturing approach also be eco-friendly? Techonomy spoke with Chris Park, a principal at Deloitte who helps clients with their environmental, social, and sustainability performance, about how next-generation manufacturing technology could reduce environmental impact and bring jobs back to the U.S.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Ford to Crowdsource Fuel-Efficiency App

As part of a campaign to help drivers learn more about how to optimize their fuel usage, Ford announced its Personalized Fuel-Efficiency App Challenge at last week's New York International Auto Show. The app will address what Ford officials say is the number one concern among drivers. By creating a platform designed to share information through social media, Ford believes it can empower drivers to improve their personal fuel efficiency.   More

Energy & Green Tech Global Tech

China’s Suntech Insolvent, Yingli Links With GLC

The inevitable has finally happened at tanking former solar star Suntech, which has been forced into bankruptcy, ending a months-long battle between the company's founder Shi Zhengrong and just about all the company's other stakeholders. In the meantime, I would be remiss not to mention another solar news tidbit that has panel maker Yingli forming a new strategic tie-up with GLC-Poly Energy, in what could eventually become the first mega-merger in the struggling solar panel sector.   More

Techonomy 12 Energy & Green Tech Techonomy Events Video

The SunSaluter: One Year On

Eden Full studied for two years at Princeton University and is currently taking gap years to work full time on her startup, Roseicollis Technologies, after being selected for the inaugural class of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship. Full, who was named Ashoka’s Youth Social Entrepreneur of the Year at the Techonomy conference in 2011, founded Roseicollis to take her solar panel tracking invention, called the SunSaluter, to developing communities and established markets that need them. Here she speaks at the Techonomy 2012 conference in Tucson, Ariz.   More

Techonomy 12 Energy & Green Tech Techonomy Events Video

Geo-Engineering: Who Decides, and Who Benefits?

Without tech and science, we cannot create a thermostat for the planet. What are the risks, the opportunities, and the socioeconomic and political implications of the rapidly- evolving science of geo-engineering? Who will decide whether and how we alter our atmosphere? Harvard University's David Keith, Andrew Parker of the Harvard Kennedy School, and Jeff Goodell of Rolling Stone explore some these questions in a session at Techonomy 2012.   More

Energy & Green Tech Manufacturing

Will the Car of the Future Be Printable?

We've already seen 3D-printed guitars, motorcycles, and even stem cells. Is 3D printing ready to disrupt the auto industry? It could happen sooner than you think. The Urbee 2, a lightweight three-wheeled, two-passenger vehicle designed to be constructed from 3D-printed materials, is the brainchild of engineer Jim Kor. Using ABS plastic and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM)—an automated, additive process that prints all of the car's parts in about 2,500 hours—Kor and his team have created a prototype at the on-demand 3D-printing facility RedEye.   More

Business Energy & Green Tech

Is 2013 the Year of the Car in China?

The auto industry is humming over new data that show China car sales soared 45 percent in January, marking their strongest growth since April 2010, when government incentives during the global economic crisis helped to turbocharge the sector. Industry watchers are acknowledging that seasonal factors played a major role in this latest jump, but point out that they still expect to see a return to strong growth in the upcoming Year of the Snake, as China's economy improves and consumers rediscover their love affair with cars.   More

Bio & Life Sciences Energy & Green Tech

Better Living Through Bacteria

Chances are, when you hear the word “bacteria,” your mind goes straight to the negative interpretations: nasty infections, food poisoning, tainted water. But the vast majority of bacteria on earth are harmless to humans—and some, if scientists have anything to say about it, could become downright friendly.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Can Chinese Investment in Clean Tech Cut Through Record-breaking Smog?

With Beijing suffering its worst levels of air pollution on record, news that China was the world's biggest investor in clean energy in 2012 may offer a ray of hope—hopefully one that can cut through the thickening smog. As reported at SmartPlanet, a year-end study by Bloomberg New Energy Finance shows that Chinese investment in clean energy reached $67.7 billion in 2012, up 20 percent from 2011.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Canadian Company to Scour Carbon Dioxide from the Skies

The Canadian company Carbon Engineering, formed in 2009 with partial funding from Bill Gates, has developed technology to scrub carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. A pilot plant for capturing the gas will open by the end of 2014, reports The New York Times. While the process is aimed primarily at cleaning up the environment, there may be a profit opportunity as well. The oil industry could purchase captured carbon dioxide to inject into oil fields to help extract additional oil, a widely used procedure that Howard J. Herzog, a senior research engineer at MIT, says poses little environmental risk. As oil becomes scarcer, demand for carbon dioxide will likely increase.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Climate Change Threatens America’s Ski Resorts

The next victims of global warming are America’s skiers and snowboarders. Scientists say that climate change means the nation’s ski centers will eventually vanish, the New York Times reported today. After last winter’s record-breaking warmth, the long-term outlook for winter sporting is bleak.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Solar-Powered Plane Flies Through the Night

Two Swiss inventors have developed the first solar-powered plane capable of flying at night. The Solar Impulse has already flown multiple overnight flights, including one 72-hour intercontinental journey, and by 2015 they hope to fly around the world in 20 days and 20 nights. The plane’s carbon fiber frame is super lightweight, and 12,000 solar cells make up the surface of its extra-long wings. The engines use almost all of the solar energy captured, with excess energy stored in batteries. One hitch that makes it unlikely that the plane will be used for commercial flights anywhere in the near future: its optimal speed is only 30 mph.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Considering Solar Power, Post-Sandy

In the month since Superstorm Sandy left millions in the dark, solar power has become an essential part of relief efforts, especially in ravaged areas of Brooklyn and Queens, New York. For instance, a coalition of energy companies called “Solar Sandy” has contributed renewable electricity generators to victims in hardest-hit areas. But can we use solar power to prevent similar blackouts in the future?   More

Energy & Green Tech Techonomy Events

Can Geo-Engineering Help Lower the Earth’s Temperature… And Cause War?

Just weeks after Hurricane Sandy ravaged the east coast, climate change was on the forefront of everyone's mind at Techonomy 2012 in Tucson, Ariz. In a session about geo-engineering, Harvard physics professor David Keith and Harvard Kennedy School research fellow Andrew Parker talked about the realistic possibility of reflecting sunlight away from the planet to lower the earth's temperature -- and, more pressing, the complicated political implications of this climate change quick-fix.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Will We Finally Get Serious About Climate Change?

To those of us who believe in science, which includes the rest of the world and apparently no more than half of Americans, it has been painful in recent years to see continued bizarre and destructive weather, even as data clearly suggested climate change is at least partly responsible. Now in the wake of Hurricane Sandy's devastation, experts like Eric Pooley of the Environmental Defense Fund are clearly articulating yet again why we must act. This will be hard politically, because reasonable action will by necessity be global, not just national. We're not too good at that here. Not to mention that many Americans, including powerful politicians, still willfully disregard reality and the likely costs of inaction. This essay by Pooley from The New Republic eloquently underscores the basics. Business Week's cover story entitled It's Global Warming, Stupid! also is a must-read. (Pooley, a great supporter of Techonomy, was my editor at Fortune.)   More

Energy & Green Tech

Tech Companies Pitch in to Provide Storm Support to Startups

Many tech and media businesses have been disrupted by power loss and connectivity issues in the wake of Superstorm Sandy. But several companies, like the social media optimization service SocialFlow, are fortunate to have fully operational offices. In addition to being able to offer uninterrupted service to clients, they've been generous with their good fortune by opening their offices to entrepreneurs who need space and resources. The workspace sharing hub PivotDesk has stepped up to create a dedicated page for entrepreneurs affected by the storm. "Entrepreneurial communities thrive when people give before they get," reads the site, which lists available office spaces at tech companies throughout New York and New Jersey.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Chicago Lays Pollution-Fighting Pavement

In an effort to curb pollution one block at a time, the Chicago Department of Transportation is developing what it calls "the greenest street in America." A two-mile stretch of Blue Island Avenue and Cermak Road in the industrial Pilsen neighborhood, which sees heavy truck traffic, is made with pavement that both recycles air and is made from recycled materials. The "photocatalytic cement removes nitrogen oxide gases from the air through a catalytic reaction driven by UV light," as reported on SmartPlanet. The street also incorporates bioswales, rain gardens, and permeable pavements, designed to keep polluted water out of the Chicago River and Lake Michigan and divert rainfall from the sewers. According to the CDOT, 60% of the project's construction waste was recycled.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Energy Data Management Heads to the Cloud

Managing “Big Data” is a big issue these days, especially within the energy industry, SmartPlanet reports. Companies are compiling huge amounts of data about energy supply and consumption, and cloud computing is enabling them to forecast future usage and even create alternative energy models.   More

Energy & Green Tech

Whiskey, Beer, and Wine Producers Clean up Their Act

Could tech make having a stiff drink good for the environment? As reported by David Worthington at Smartplanet, Tulibardine distillery in Scotland has partnered with energy startup Celtic Renewables to turn whiskey byproducts into butanol based biofuel, so booze hounds can feel they're doing their part to save the planet. The project, which repurposes sugary waste produced during the distillation process, represents an eco-friendly—and cost-cutting—trend in the spirits industry.   More

Energy & Green Tech Learning

Augmented Reality Intensifies Nature on Middle School Field Trips

The annual field trip to the local pond has gone high-tech for some Massachusetts and New York middle-school students. Harvard education researchers are giving the kids smartphones loaded with augmented reality software to see how the technology changes the way they explore of local environments.   More