Its Energy Efficiency, Stupid

The keystone of the green economy is a drastic increase in energy efficiency. Increasing our societies energy efficiency is the single most vital and important thing we need to do in order to have a green economy or in fact any kind of economy at all. It is also vitally important to throttle back the amounts of fossil fuel we burn in order to mitigate and diminish the rapid and potentially catastrophic climate change that is being driven by our fossil fuel habit.

Without much more energy efficient buildings and transportation systems nothing we do will be able to prevent an economic collapse brought about by the inevitable and rapidly approaching decline in the recoverable supplies of all forms of fossil energy. We cannot build out wind, geothermal, biofuel, or solar energy fast enough to sustain our civilization in the face of rapidly shrinking recoverable fossil energy reserves; unless we embark on an urgent and sustained drive to use energy (and other resources) with much higher efficiency.

Department of Energy Announces $800 Million in Funding to Biofuels

US Department of Energy Secretary Chu announced plans to provide nearly $800 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act targeted towards advancing biofuels research and development and for commercial-scale biorefinery demonstration projects. The $786.5 million in Recovery Act funding a mix of new funding opportunities and additional funding for existing projects, will be allocated over four main areas. Integrated pilot- and demonstration-scale biorefineries projects are to receive the bulk of the funding with the remainder going to commercial-scale biorefinery projects, fundamental research in key areas to advance cutting-edge conversion technologies, including generating more desirable catalysts, fuel-producing microbes, and feedstocks and to ethanol research.

Duckweed Turns Pig Poop into Biofuel

Researchers from North Carolina State University have shown that Duckweed, a tiny aquatic plant much loved by Ducks can thrive in the effluent waste water produced by large feedlots, such as hog farming operations and potentially in urban sewage water as well. This hardworking little plant not only cleans the waste water of the excess nutrients, but in the process it produces large quantities of valuable starchy biomass. Biomas that can be harvested and used to produce ethonol in the same types of facilities that are currently being used to make ethanol from corn starch.

Local Green Jobs Roundup: Denver, Annapolis, Wisconsin, Ohio and Los Angeles

A solar power plant construction will brings 200 green jobs to Denver. Annapolis will build a clean-energy industrial park. Feingold announced stimulus funds to create green jobs inWisconsin. Ohio hopes to offset job loss by investing in alternative energy and providing incentives to business. The Los Angeles building retrofit program is designed to boost green jobs.