clean energy economy

Alternative Energy
4:16 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Germany Provides Inspiration, Potential Market for Wash. Clean Tech Companies

Solar panels on the roofs of houses in the Bavarian village of Eitting near Munich, Germany.
Riex Flickr via Compfight

A delegation from Germany recently paid Washington’s clean tech lobby a visit. At a meeting in Seattle, the delegation, whose country's emphasis on renewable energy has made it a global leader in the sector, presented some of the lessons local companies are learning from the German example.

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Environment
5:00 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Expo Showcases Wash. State Companies' Budding Clean Tech Economy

The Incycle Cup, made by Arlington-based Microgreen Polymers, is a clean tech success story many people are eager to tell. Airlines, including launch customer Alaska Air Group, say they save fuel because the cup is lighter than paper and can be recycled.
Bellamy Pailthorp

A cornerstone of Gov. Jay Inslee’s election campaign was the promise of new jobs in clean technology.

But how healthy is the sector in Washington and what’s still holding it back? Hard data on those questions is yet to come, but a visit to the state's inaugural Clean Technology Showcase provided some answers.

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Clean Energy Economy
5:10 pm
Thu February 27, 2014

Enviro Group Pushing Gov. Inslee To Adopt Clean Fuels Standard

The environmental group Climate Solutions is urging Gov. Jay Inslee to exercise his executive power to adopt a clean fuels standard. 

The group's leaders spoke to reporters on Thursday in hopes of adding momentum to their efforts to follow in the footsteps of California and British Columbia.

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Smart-Grid Technology
5:01 am
Mon January 13, 2014

Fox Island Utility's Smart-Grid Technology Aims To Save Energy, Save Money

A grid-friendly appliance controller; this PNNL-developed computer chip can make most household appliances (including water heaters) “smart.”
courtesy PNNL

When you turn on your tap or shower in the morning or run your washing machine at night, you probably aren’t thinking much about how many other people in the area are doing the same thing.

But when it’s cold outside, use of electric heaters for hot water often pushes peak loads to the brink for local utilities.

That’s where so-called smart-grid technology could come in and save the day. The idea, which increases energy efficiency and saves everyone money, is being put to the test on Fox Island, near Tacoma.

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Champion of Change
5:15 pm
Mon November 4, 2013

White House to Honor Seattle Vet for Advancing Clean Energy

Avi Jacobson rappels off a building in 2012 for the “Over the Edge” benefit at the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.
WSHFC

Avi Jacobson was serving his first tour in Iraq in 2007 when he noticed his own unit's heavy reliance on a single generator. 

Jacobson’s Air Force base ran almost solely on the generator, which was overworked with computers and air conditioners almost daily. When the usage hit the generator’s tipping point, Jacobson said, “everything would die," triggering an eerie silence.

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energy efficiency 2.0
8:13 pm
Wed July 10, 2013

Seattle, Microsoft team up to make buildings more energy-efficient

The Seattle Sheraton Hotel, one of four buildings that are part of the city's High-Performance Building Pilot Project. The aim is to use real-time data to reduce energy use by 10 to 25 percent without reducing worker productivity.
mage courtesy of Sheraton Seattle Hotel Facebook page.

Already known as a leader in sustainable architecture, Seattle is teaming up with Microsoft to take green building to the next level with the help of big-data computing.

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Environment
4:20 pm
Mon January 28, 2013

Clean tech boosters looking to military for leg up

When you think of the clean energy economy, military barracks and mortar launchers probably aren’t the first things that come to mind.

But local clean energy boosters say the use of solar panels and biodiesel by the Department of Defense could be the key to getting more of these technologies off the ground.

Two years ago, the DOD created a new office, with a goal of reducing energy use by the U.S. military.

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Energy Efficiency
5:00 am
Mon October 22, 2012

Smart grid pilot project debuting at University of Washington

A smart grid meter developed by grad students at the University of Washington. It can be remotely controlled by an app, via cell phone or computer.
Bellamy Pailthorp KPLU News

Most people who pay their own energy bills know that power is expensive. But where it’s coming from and how much it costs is often more mysterious.

That could change if technology that’s part of a demonstration project at the University of Washington catches on. It’s co funded by the US Department of Energy. The U-dub is the largest of 16 demo sites creating a new Pacific Northwest Smart Grid.

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Business
10:56 pm
Sun September 16, 2012

'Upcycling' is taking recycling to a higher level

Some of the lampshades and pendants made out of cardboard at the SODO warehouse for Gray Pants
Jennifer Wing KPLU

You already know what  recycling  is. Soon you will start hearing more about upcycling. No, it doesn’t involve going up a steep hill on a bike. Upcycling is one of the focuses of this week's Seattle Design Festival and a good example of what it is can be found in an old wooden warehouse in Seattle’s SODO neighborhood. 

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Environment
10:50 am
Fri June 15, 2012

Puget Sound Energy target of 'Beyond Coal' campaign

Eastern Montana's Colstrip Power Project is the single largest power-generating facility PSE owns. Coal comprises about 35% of PSE's energy portfolio.

The Pacific Northwest has made headlines for its efforts to become the first coal-free region in the United States. Washington’s last coal-fired power plant, in Centralia, is scheduled to be shut down by 2025.

Yet one of the region’s largest utilities still derives more than a third of its power from coal.

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Energy
5:51 pm
Tue May 1, 2012

Energy developers eye new grid-stabilizing hydro projects

Artist's rendition of upper and lower reservoir of Swan Lake Pumped Storage Project northeast of Klamath Falls, Ore. Image courtesy of Riverbank Power

Originally published on Tue May 1, 2012 2:45 pm

PORTLAND - If you thought the great dam building era of the Northwest was long over, you might be mistaken. But we're not talking about damming rivers here. This is about building long earthen dams to make new off-stream hydropower reservoirs. They're being designed to act as giant batteries and shock absorbers for the electric grid.

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Renewable Energy
1:48 pm
Tue March 13, 2012

An under-used resource in Washington: forest biomass

Slash such as the branches and stumps shown here in Wishkah, Washington could be used for sustainable biofuels. A new study from the Commissioner of Public Lands says market use of such biomass could double without any impacts to forest sustainability.
Photo by Hugo90 Flickr

Renewable energy is growing on trees in Washington – and right now, much of it is going up in smoke.

That’s the word from Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark, who has just released the results of a study on forest biomass.

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Tidal Power
6:03 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Ocean energy gaining momentum in Washington

You might call it harnessing the power of the moon.

Ocean energy is electricity that is generated when the power of tides, waves and currents moves turbines and windmills. It’s an idea that’s caught on already in Oregon. And there are plans on the horizon to bring it to Washington. 

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Clean Energy
6:57 am
Mon March 21, 2011

Puget Sound waters test wave energy prototype buoy

A prototype of a wave-energy buoy
Columbia Power Technologies

An Oregon-based alternative energy company is one step closer to generating electricity from the ocean's waves. The company has launched a prototype wave energy buoy. For testing, the startup chose the gentler waters of Puget Sound.

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Cancun Climate Conference
4:18 am
Mon December 13, 2010

Looking forward from Cancun

Greenpeace activists form the word hope as a question with their bodies, next to a giant life saver, during a demonstration near the site of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Cancun, Mexico, Friday, Dec. 10, 2010.
AP

It was time to put up or shut up. Delegates to the United Nations climate conference in Cancun knew if they came out of the talks empty-handed, the whole effort to reach a global warming treaty could collapse. The agreement that emerged over the past weekend made just enough progress to keep the talks alive for another year.

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