Wired Magazine ran an interesting article this week about Intel CEO, Andy Grove, calling for 10 million plug-in convestion over 4 years. We are talking about your Ford F-150, your Toyota Tundra, your Chevy Silverado, your car or your truck. For between $10,000 and $15,000 (price currently unknown) you can slap a electric vehicle conversion kit and see an increase of 30-50% in your fuel economy. One company, EV Power Systems, is testing a kit that wouldn't change or modify the engine, emissions system or any other major piece of equipment under the hood. So, I guess my question is...
If you have been living in a cave the past couple of weeks, then you missed T. Boone Pickens' plan (see video above) for reducing our dependence on foreign oil. T. Boone is an oil tycoon that made more money on crude than many of us can even begin to comprehend. Now, he is backing alternative energy (wind, solar, etc.) as a way for us to successfully survive and not put every penny into our gas tank. On a different note, ff you want some perspective to our current situation, check out this article in the NY Times written on December 1, 1990. Seems like the airlines complain about the price of crude oil regardless of price. That industry is jacked up anyway.
According to a study by Texas A&M professor Jerry Jackson, Maine and other New England states lead the country in office building energy efficiency. The study is the first of its kind to attempt to rank the states on their energy use. Each state's rank is determined by the percent of buildings that exceed Energy Star's 75th percentile energy efficiency standard. The data for the study is taken from the MAISY Utility Customer Energy Use State Database, which report on a sample of commercial buildings across the country on measures such as building energy use through the use of space heating, air conditioning, interior lighting, water heating, etc.
I am in San Francisco this weekend and I have a rental car. Its one thing to pay $40 a night to use the hotel's vallet parking system. Its another to go driving around the city and not find a single place to park. I am dreading the search and rescue effort it is going to take to find a parking space in this city. Fortunately for me, I have experience on my side and know where all the good parking spots are located. But not everyone does. Enter Streetline. Streetline is a small technology company based here in the Bay Area that has partnered with the city to install "bumps" in 6,000 test parking slots across the city. These bumps have embedded sensors in them and notify parking officials as to whether a parking stall is vacant or occupied. The 6,000 bumps will form a wireless network across the city informing "parking-stalkers" of open spaces. These notifications will eventually come to people on their phones and can notify them when spots open up. According to Donald Shoup, professor of urban planning at UCLA, "It will have a cascade of positive effects on transportation and econony and environment." Check out the NY Times article below.
Also, if you didn't get your hands on a Wall Street Journal today, you missed an opinion piece written by T. Boone Pickens titled "My Plan to Escape the Grip of Foreign Oil" where Mr. Pickens outlines his 10-year plan to reduce America's reliance on foreign oil by more than 1/3 over the next 5 to 10 years. Very interesting piece and well-deserved dialogue. He sees the writing on the wall and feels an extreme urgency to get out from under the shadow of foreign oil.
I was surfing the net and came across some sustainable furniture. From Design Public..."The newest addition to the Design Public sustainable family: Housefish and their Key Modular Storage! These pieces are made in the USA, crafted out of a maple Veneer over FSC certified birch / alder plywood, have a zero VOC clear finish and the doors are waterjet cut steel with a zero VOC powdercoat finish. The entire piece is crafted out of renewable or recycleable materials. A perfect storage or shelving piece to add to your collection and reduce your carbon guilt."
This footage is fascinating. Sort of scary and unbelievable at the same time. The tower was almost 200 feet tall and the turbines were moving close to 70 mph. The whole thing just disintegrates, which isn't what you want to see or hear about, especially with the capital investment required to get a wind turbine installed. In an unrelated story, Suzlon Energy installed some wind turbines in the Midwest that have been breaking down due to the cold weather (see link below), which is probably contributing to a declining stock price.
Well, maybe not a mass exodus right now but people are definitely re-thinking their commute time and cost, which may result more people moving closer to work and big cities. Many times, moving closer to the city means smaller homes, less square feet and less commute time. However, prices can be higher than in the suburbs. So, for those looking to buy a home, are you willing to pay a little more for a house to cut down on travel time and commute costs? That's the question people are asking. A move like this could be worth an additional $30,000 towards the purchase of a home...