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Stories About Energy/Utilities

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Awards Honoring Innovations in Bio-Based Fuels, Products Now Accepting Nominations
Awards Honoring Innovations in Bio-Based Fuels, Products Now Accepting Nominations

CLEANTECH - Now in their fifth year, the Sustainable Bio Awards recognize the range of innovations taking place in the development of truly sustainable bio-based fuels and products. From biofuels and feedstocks to face cream and finance, this year’s awards will celebrate the advancements made throughout 2013. World Bio Markets, the company behind the awards, is accepting nominations through midnight on January 31 (GMT). Winners will be announced at an awards ceremony in Amsterdam on March 5, 2014.

Walmart, Costco Top 2013 Solar Capacity Rankings
Walmart, Costco Top 2013 Solar Capacity Rankings

CLEANTECH - Walmart, Costco and Kohl's topped the 2013 Solar Capacity Rankings, which ranks companies by the total installed capacity of their systems and the number of operating installations, as well as showing the geographic diversity of their solar deployment.Apple, IKEA, Macy’s, Johnson & Johnson, McGraw-Hill, Staples and Campbell’s round out the top 10.

South America's Largest Solar-Thermal Plant Planned for Chile
South America's Largest Solar-Thermal Plant Planned for Chile

CLEANTECH - Abengoa, an international company that applies technology solutions for sustainability in the energy and environment sectors, has been selected by the Ministry of Energy of the Chilean Government and Corfo (Corporacion de Fomento de la Produccion) to develop a 110 MW solar plant using tower technology with 17.5 hours of thermal energy storage using molten salts.Located in the Atacama Desert, the region with the highest solar radiation concentrations in the world, the project will be the first solar-thermal plant for direct electricity production in South America.

NYC Now Heating Thousands of Homes with Food Waste
NYC Now Heating Thousands of Homes with Food Waste

WASTE NOT - Just before the turn of the new year, when many of us were enjoying our annual season of gluttony, New York City Deputy Mayor Cas Holloway announced a pilot program that will convert the thousands of pounds of food waste currently shipped to out-of-state landfills into biogas, which will heat up to 5,200 homes throughout the city and help curb roughly 90,000 metric tons of the state’s annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

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Generating Buzz: BioLite's Co-Founder on Ending Poverty Through 'Parallel Innovation'
Generating Buzz: BioLite's Co-Founder on Ending Poverty Through 'Parallel Innovation'

PRODUCT, SERVICE & DESIGN INNOVATION - BioLite uses revenues from outdoor recreation products such as the CampStove to incubate products for emerging markets, most prominently the HomeStove. It's a market-based approach to addressing poverty, one that generates self-sustaining energy access as well as health- and time-saving benefits.

New Mac Pro Consumes 68% Less Power
New Mac Pro Consumes 68% Less Power

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - The latest iteration of the Mac Pro desktop consumes 68 percent less power in idle mode and its packaging consumes 82 percent less volume than the previous-generation computer, according to Apple’s recent Mac Pro Environmental Report.In the report, Apple highlights the computer’s sustainability performance in relation to climate change, energy efficiency, material efficiency and restricted substances.Most (65 percent) of the Mac Pro’s greenhouse gas emissions come from its production process, while the second highest percentage (33 percent) comes from customer use. The Mac Pro’s emissions total 940 kg CO2e, the company says.

Whole Foods' Brooklyn Flagship Store to Use 60% Less Energy Than Typical U.S. Grocery
Whole Foods' Brooklyn Flagship Store to Use 60% Less Energy Than Typical U.S. Grocery

PRODUCTS AND DESIGN - The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) has announced the completion of Whole Foods Market’s flagship Brooklyn store, which it is heralding as a model of energy efficiency and the company’s commitment to protecting the environment. The 56,000-square-foot supermarket was constructed on a former brownfield site restored for the purpose by Whole Foods.

Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept Provides Sunny Glimpse of Future for Clean Vehicles
Ford C-Max Solar Energi Concept Provides Sunny Glimpse of Future for Clean Vehicles

COLLABORATION - Ford Motor Company announced today the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept, a first-of-its-kind sun-powered vehicle with the potential to deliver the best features of a plug-in hybrid without relying on the electric grid for fuel. The concept car will be exhibited at the 2014 International CES in Las Vegas next week.Instead of powering its battery from an electrical outlet, the C-MAX Solar Energi Concept harnesses the power of the sun by using a special concentrator that acts as a magnifying glass, directing rays to solar panels on the vehicle roof.

Mosaic and Mark Ruffalo Make New Year's Resolution to 'Put Solar on It'
Mosaic and Mark Ruffalo Make New Year's Resolution to 'Put Solar on It'

MARKETING AND COMMS - Mosaic, the first U.S. company to crowdsource investments for solar projects, is kicking off 2014 with a New Year’s Resolution campaign to “Put Solar on It.” The campaign invites anyone to pledge to put solar on a local home, school, place of worship, business or other property on PutSolarOnIt.com. Throughout 2014, Mosaic says it will provide people with the tools and network they need to make their pledge a reality.Oscar-nominated actor Mark Ruffalo is leading the campaign with his pledge to put solar on his children’s school, Stephen Gaynor Elementary, in Manhattan.

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Over 380 Waitrose, John Lewis Stores to Be Powered by Renewables Through New Deal
Over 380 Waitrose, John Lewis Stores to Be Powered by Renewables Through New Deal

CLEANTECH - Already leading the charge when it comes to wiping out its food and plastic waste, The John Lewis Partnership has become the latest company to commit to drastically increasing its use of renewable energy. The UK retail giant recently announced a new partnership with SmartestEnergy to supply over 380 of its Waitrose and John Lewis stores with 100 percent clean power.

Interface to Use Food Waste to Power Dutch Plant
Interface to Use Food Waste to Power Dutch Plant

WASTE NOT - Global carpet-tile manufacturer Interface has announced it will switch to using 100 percent renewable gas at its manufacturing plant in Scherpenzeel, The Netherlands, beginning January 1, 2014. The company has signed a contract with sustainable energy supplier Eneco, which will supply the Interface plant with gas produced using certified 'green' waste from the food industry, provided by fish processor A. van de Groep.

Microsoft Releases Carbon Fee Playbook
Microsoft Releases Carbon Fee Playbook

MARKETING AND COMMS - Earlier this month, the CDP released a report highlighting 29 public U.S. companies across various industries that have incorporated an internal carbon price as a strategic planning tool, effectively holding themselves accountable for the carbon emissions produced as a result of daily operations.

Making Energy Efficiency Work for Utilities: New Findings
Making Energy Efficiency Work for Utilities: New Findings

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - How can utilities be persuaded to help their customers use less electricity and natural gas? It’s entirely possible, starting with regulatory reforms that remove any linkage between the financial health of our hometown utilities and the amount of electricity and natural gas they sell. NRDC and diverse allies have dedicated literally decades of effort to getting such measures adopted, and a new study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy provides new insights on progress across the United States.

Caesars Reports Strides in Energy & Waste Reductions, Commitment to 'Vibrant Communities'
Caesars Reports Strides in Energy & Waste Reductions, Commitment to 'Vibrant Communities'

MARKETING AND COMMS - In 2012, Caesars Entertainment Corporation achieved a total savings of roughly 750 million kWh since its benchmark year in 2007, representing an 8.5 percent absolute reduction in electricity and gas. The savings equal enough energy to power a community of more than 30,000 during this period. Additional details of the company’s efforts and commitment to enhance the environment, employee well-being, guest experience and economic development are available in Caesars’ fourth CSR and Sustainability Report, Vibrant Communities, released today.

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Disney, Wells Fargo, Google Among U.S. Companies Proactively Pricing Carbon, Says CDP
Disney, Wells Fargo, Google Among U.S. Companies Proactively Pricing Carbon, Says CDP

MARKETING AND COMMS - CDP announced today that 29 major publicly traded companies based in or operating in the U.S. disclosed an internal price on carbon pollution to CDP (formerly known as the Carbon Disclosure Project) in 2013, detailing both the risk and potential business opportunity for early action by their companies. Prices range from $6-60 dollars, and exist at companies spanning all sectors of the economy, including energy, utilities, airlines, technology and the financial industry. Twenty-seven of the companies are listed in the S&P 500, while the other two (BP and Royal Dutch Shell) are foreign-based.

Lucid, Urjanet Partnering to Increase Accessibility of Building Energy Data
Lucid, Urjanet Partnering to Increase Accessibility of Building Energy Data

ICT AND BIG DATA - Oakland, CA-based software company Lucid and utility data management provider Urjanet today announced they are teaming up to solve one of the largest barriers to deploying energy efficiency: the cost of acquiring and managing building performance data.Through the new partnership, Urjanet’s utilityCONNECT service will automate the collection and delivery of electricity, water and natural gas billing, history and rate-plan data for Lucid’s BuildingOS energy-management platform.

Browns' Food Waste Program Helping Turn Cleveland Into 'a Green City on a Blue Lake'
Browns' Food Waste Program Helping Turn Cleveland Into 'a Green City on a Blue Lake'

WASTE NOT - Waste-to-energy is a trend we’re happy to see growing like wildfire, with new initiatives seeming to pop up weekly that turn waste generated by everything from food and alcohol to heat, humans and

How Green Is Your Coffee? New PCR Standardizes GHG Calculation for Coffee Production
How Green Is Your Coffee? New PCR Standardizes GHG Calculation for Coffee Production

NEW METRICS - A new Green Coffee Carbon Footprint Product Category Rule (CFP-PCR) was published this week, providing the first CPR for the calculation of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from coffee production. The Green Coffee CFP-PCR rule was initiated by SAI Platform’s Coffee Working group members, including illycaffé, Nestlé, Tchibo, Mondelez and Lavazza, and standard-setting bodies 4C, Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance and UTZ Certified, in collaboration with the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH).

#SustyGoals 3: GE's Gretchen Hancock on Context-Based Goal-Setting (Part 2)
#SustyGoals 3: GE's Gretchen Hancock on Context-Based Goal-Setting (Part 2)

NEW METRICS - At SB's third annual #NewMetrics Conference at the University of Pennsylvania in September, the need for next-generation sustainability goals — which measure progress toward real-world goal-lines such as carbon budgets, water tables, and living wages — emerged as a key theme.

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Greenpeace Praises Google, Apple, Facebook for Duke Clean Energy Breakthrough
Greenpeace Praises Google, Apple, Facebook for Duke Clean Energy Breakthrough

BEHAVIOR CHANGE - Duke Energy Carolinas, which provides roughly 20,000 megawatts of electricity to approximately 2.4 million customers throughout the Carolinas through a mix of nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas and hydroelectric power generation, announced on Friday the addition of a “Green Source Rider” that will offer its large customers an opportunity to purchase renewable energy, apparently in response to requests from some of said large customers.

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