Environment and Climate Change News

Getting Off the Grid: IKEA Leads the Way in Wind Energy

(3BL Media and Just Means)-The Windy City is about to get windier. And hopefully, less reliant on fossil fuels.  IKEA recently announced their purchase of Hoopeston Wind, a wind farm of 49 wind turbines near Hoopeston in Vermilion County, two hours south of Chicago.  The purchase is the first wind power investment IKEA has made in the USA and their largest renewable energy project ever.

Capitalizing Conservation: Land Conservation Crowdfunding Platform Gives 100%

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - The first-ever, crowdfunding campaign to take... not 10% of the project funding, not 5% of the project funding, not even a dollar to compensate for Paypal's fees...ZERO percent of the project funding--- has finally hit the market.  In case you didn't get that: Yes, they are giving 100% of their crowd-sourced funding to the projects. Their niche focus? Land conservation projects.

Florida’s Untapped Solar Power

(3BL Media/Just Means) I've spent the summer living in historic St. Augustine, Florida. The surf is great, the people are friendly and the sun shines brightly every single day. The sun is powerful here, powerful enough it seems to produce enough solar energy for most of the nation.

Zero Waste: Reality or Fantasy?

With more companies and communities diverting waste from landfills, incinerators and waterways, could a zero-waste planet be possible someday?

Blackouts, More Than Efficiency, Drive Smart Grid Growth

(3BL Media/Justmeans) We’ve been hearing about the potential wonders of the Smart Grid for several years now. It will save energy, make utility operations more streamlined, support renewables and save money for consumers. All these things are true, and they will be even more important in the years ahead as the impacts of climate change are felt more strongly. But blackouts are happening right now, and they are costing utilities money. That seems to be the primary driver for many power companies to begin investing in technology today.

According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), power outages cost US businesses $150 billion per year. The number of blackouts has increased 285% since 1984 and their duration, here in the US, is the longest among industrialized countries.

Why is that? There are two reasons. First, there is more power going through our electric grid than ever before. Second, and most important, the grid is getting old.

The U.S. electrical grid, once considered a marvel, is becoming a dinosaur. Going back over 60 years, some of the designs date back to Edison himself. It consists of some 7,000 power plants pushing electrons out over 450,000 miles of transmission lines, to businesses and homes that are interconnected by some 2.5 million miles of feeder lines. According to the Edison Electric Institute, it is worth $876 billion, though the value of what it produces is incalculable.

It was built for a time and a scale when things could be done manually. Meter readers would go from house to house reading mechanical meters, and linemen could inspect the lines to see where repairs were needed. Today, it has become too big and too indispensable for that.

The High Cost of Climate Change: A Warning to Businesses, Investors, and Homeowners

"Risky Business," a new report led by Mike Bloomberg and Henry Paulson, aims to frame climate change in economic terms. Will it make Americans care more about the issue?

(Justmeans/3BL Media) -- So much of how climate change is reported on and understood is through numbers. Here are a few.

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