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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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More Than Words: The Book Producing Clean Drinking Water One Page at a Time

The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that the total number of people without access to clean drinking water now stands at 663 million; each year, more than 840,000 globally die from water-related diseases. A key challenge in developing effective water filter technologies has been making them cheap and portable for distribution to those who need them.

Study: Contrarian Climate Studies Contain Notable Scientific Errors

A new study published in the journal Theoretical and Applied Climatology examines contrarian climate science — the 3 percent of studies questioning the existence and human causes of climate change — and finds they include critical mistakes in selection and interpretation of data.The authors tried to replicate the results of 38 examples of contrarian climate research, selected for their high visibility and their arrival at different conclusions than consensus climate studies.

Trending: Promising Innovations, Public Sector Momentum Around Solar in the US

President Obama made several announcements on Monday at the National Clean Energy Summit in Las Vegas, mainly related to executive actions under the Clean Power Plan. New financial commitments include $1 billion in loan guarantees for “innovative” energy projects, $220 million in energy-saving activities for veterans and low-income households, and $24 million for 11 solar panel technology development projects.

Dutch Venture Developing Livable Windmills Powered by Wind Energy

Imagine living in a luxurious circular skyscraper, with a breathtaking view and without electricity bills on the table. As futuristic as that my seem, it may not be too far off, according to Lennart Graaff, director of Windwheel Corporation.The Netherlands-based consortium of companies BLOC, DoepelStrijkers and Meysters has plans to construct what it calls the “Dutch Windwheel,” a double-ring rotating edifice that is powered by the wind energy it generates.

Indian Airport Becomes World’s First to Operate Solely on Solar

Cochin International airport in Kochi, India has become the world’s first airport to completely operate on solar power, according to a recent announcement.The airport is powered by a 12 MWp solar power plant comprising of 46,150 solar panels laid across 45 acres. It now will have 50,000 to 60,000 thousand units of electricity per day to be consumed for all its operational functions, which make the airport 100 percent power neutral.

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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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