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Cleantech

The latest products, services and cleantech applications and how they are tackling some of our most pressing social and environmental issues.

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Google’s ‘Project Sunroof’ Calculates the Cost of Solar

Google is testing a new online tool to help homeowners explore whether they should go solar, according to a recent blog post by the search giant.Now available in the San Francisco Bay Area, Fresno and the Boston area, Project Sunroof utilizes the same high-resolution aerial mapping used by Google Earth to help homeowners calculate their roof’s solar energy potential, right from their laptop or smartphone.

UK Trialing 'Electric Highways' That Will Wirelessly Charge EVs

Highways England and Under Secretary of State for Transport Andrew Jones MP announced today that off-road (test track) trials of technology needed to power electric and hybrid vehicles on England’s major roads are due to take place later this year.The trials are the first of their kind and will test how the technology would work safely and effectively on the country’s motorways and major A roads, allowing drivers of ultra-low emission vehicles to travel long distances without needing to stop and charge the car’s battery.

LA Has Found a Creative, Low-Cost Way to Conserve 300M Gallons of Water a Year

In a creative attempt to protect California’s waning water supply, Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti yesterday announced the release of 20,000 “shade balls” into the LA Reservoir. The deployment marks the final phase of a program to safeguard the 175-acre, 3.3 billion gallon reservoir by releasing 96 million of the balls onto its surface.

USDA Invests $63M to Support Renewables and Energy Efficiency

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack on Friday announced $63 million in loans and grants for 264 renewable energy and energy efficiency projects nationwide that USDA is supporting through its Rural Energy for America Program (REAP).Eligible agricultural producers and rural small businesses may use REAP funds to make energy efficiency improvements or install renewable energy systems, including solar, wind, renewable biomass, small hydroelectric, ocean energy, hydrogen and geothermal.

IBM’s 2014 CSR Report Highlights City Resiliency, Public Health Efforts

The IBM Smarter Cities Challenge last year achieved concrete results in cities in Australia, Ireland, Mexico and the United States, according to the company’s 2014 Corporate Responsibility Report.This included improving infrastructure and its effectiveness, integrating municipally-owned solar energy into the existing power grid, planning for economic development and reversing neighborhood decline while increasing tax revenue.The report details how the company’s technology and talent are transforming governments, institutions, communities and the quality of life for people around the world.

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GE Says Predix Cloud Will Save Industrial Data, Analytics Operators Billions Annually

As a digital industrial company focused on answering the unique needs and scale of customers across aviation, energy, healthcare and transportation, GE has announced plans to enter the cloud services market with Predix Cloud. The world’s first and only cloud solution designed specifically for industrial data and analytics, this platform-as-a-service (PaaS) will capture and analyze the unique volume, velocity and variety of machine data within a highly secure, industrial-strength cloud environment.

Report: 90% of Colleges Expect to Invest More in Energy Efficiency

Nearly nine out of 10 higher education facility leaders expect to increase or maintain energy efficiency investments next year, according to a new study commissioned by Schneider Electric and the Alliance to Save Energy.The survey found that energy efficiency is recognized among U.S. higher education institutions as key to fulfilling their core mission.Notably, 88 percent of respondents also agree that energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to meet their energy needs while at the same time reducing greenhouse gas emissions and cutting costs.

CVS Health Taps IBM's Watson to Develop Care-Management Solutions for Chronic Disease

CVS Health and IBM have announced they will use predictive analytics and Watson cognitive computing to transform care management services for patients with chronic disease. The partnership will enable health care practitioners to use Watson to advance care management beyond programs and services typically available today.

Google Tests Air Pollution Monitoring With Street View Cars

Google and environmental sensor networks firm Aclima announced this week that they have partnered to map and better understand urban air quality.Three Google Street View cars equipped with Aclima’s mobile sensing platform took measurements of nitrogen dioxide, nitric oxide, ozone, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, methane, black carbon, particulate matter, and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) — air pollutants which can affect human health or climate change.

National Association of Manufacturers Slams EPA-Proposed Ozone Rule as Costly, Impractical

On Tuesday, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) launched a multimillion-dollar media campaign against the EPA’s proposal to restrict ground-level ozone pollution limits. The new ads released by NAM indicate that some U.S. national parks have more pollution than the proposed ozone restrictions, and aim to spur lawmakers to discuss the ozone rule with constituents during Congress’s August recess.

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Hillary Clinton Promises Half a Billion Solar Panels by 2020

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Sunday pledged to construct half a million new solar panels within her first four years of taking office, Reuters reports.Clinton called for a decisive national shift to renewable energy sources, setting a goal of generating enough renewable energy to power every U.S. home within a decade after she takes office. She called for more solar, advanced biofuels and energy efficiency, among others.The two goals were the first elements of what Clinton said would be a comprehensive climate-change agenda to be released over the next few months, Reuters reports.

TruValue Labs Expands ESG Monitoring to NYSE and NASDAQ

Information technology company TruValue Labs has announced a major update to Insight360, a technology-based platform offering real-time environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and sustainability data.The new release allows the tool to substantially increased its coverage, from the 500 largest companies to now over 5,000 publicly traded companies in the United States, representing all companies that are traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ exchanges.

Tech Startup Helping Costco Cut Water Use by 22%

As water-dependent companies seek to cut their usage and survive through punishing droughts, Costco is finding solutions with the help of the latest computing technologies – the cloud, data algorithms, wireless tech and low-cost sensors. Through a partnership with Washington-based startup Apana, the retail giant is employing innovative water-conservation technology to cut water use and generate significant cost savings.Costco first tested the Apana technology on several of its buildings in Mexico. After saving thousands of dollars at each facility, the company has now expanded its use of the technology to over 50 buildings in North America.

FedEx to Purchase 3 Million Gallons of Jet Biofuel Annually

Red Rock Biofuels, maker of renewable biofuels, announced Monday that it will produce approximately three million gallons of low-carbon, renewable jet fuel per year for FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corp.The agreement runs through 2024, with first delivery expected in 2017. FedEx joins Southwest Airlines in purchasing Red Rock’s total available volume of jet fuel.

Trending: HP, Other Tech Giants Making Huge Investments in Wind Energy

Technology giants are making strides towards a sustainable cloud: in the past two weeks, HP, Facebook and Amazon announced significant investments in wind energy.HP’s first utility-scale renewable energy purchase involves a 12-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with SunEdison for 112 megawatts (MW) of wind energy, which will power 100 percent of its Texas-based data center operations.

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Prawns Found to Be Win-Win-Win Solution to Spread of Deadly Parasite in West Africa

Stanford researchers announced today that a study in Senegal, West Africa, has found that freshwater prawns can serve as an effective natural solution in the battle against schistosomiasis, a potentially deadly parasitic disease that infects roughly 230 million people. The prawns prey on parasite-infected snails, while providing a marketable, protein-rich food source. Because prawns cannot support schistosomiasis' complex life cycle, they do not transmit the disease themselves.

Hyundai Heavy Industries, Accenture Building Connected 'Smart Ships'

Hyundai Heavy Industries, a leading shipbuilder, and Accenture are collaborating to design a ‘connected smart ship’ that will enable ship owners to better manage their fleets and achieve potential operational savings through the application of digital technologies. The collaboration is part of Hyundai Heavy Industries’ plans to expand its business, moving from manufacturing to services.Using a network of sensors that will be built into new vessels, ship owners will be able to capture a range of ship voyage information including location, weather, and ocean current data, as well as on-board

Boeing Developing Sustainable Aviation Fuels For 2020 Olympics in Japan

Boeing and Japanese aviation industry stakeholders have partnered to develop sustainable aviation biofuel for flights during the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, when millions of people are expected to visit Japan. The Initiatives for Next Generation Aviation Fuels (INAF) — a consortium of 46 organizations including Boeing, ANA (All Nippon Airways), Japan Airlines, Nippon Cargo Airlines, Japan's government and the University of Tokyo — laid out a five-year "roadmap" to develop biofuel by 2020 as a way to reduce aviation's environmental footprint.

Common, Rigorous, Robust Standards Needed for Sustainability to Fly in the Airline Industry

If you think about air travel and sustainability, a couple of things might occur to you: First, that you are not involved or interested; second, that since airlines are so dependent on liquid fuel, reducing their carbon emissions is a lost cause. But, you probably are involved, and flying can become less disruptive of the planet’s systems.

Trending: Island Nations Poised to Reap Billions in Benefits Through Renewables

Perhaps one of the silver linings of the climate crisis is the continued emergence of innovations from both the private and public sectors to avert impending disaster while creating new growth and development opportunities.

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