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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Yesterday's radio show

Is now available 24/7 on Blog Talk Radio/Renewable Now channel.

Here's the information and link:
http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2013/03/27/sustainability-in-trash#.UVSTxcA5C6c.email

This Week on Renewable Now , It's a look at trash .
Peter Arpin and Jim Murphy from Rhode Island College will be speaking with Dr. Pierre Morenon . Dr. Morenon is a anthropology professor at Rhode Island College and he will be talking about his new course on trash . 

We also will be speaking to  Natalia Dinoble  who is a senior at Bay View academy .She will talk about her internship at Rhode Island College in sustainability 
.
After this show you may never look at trash the same again. .

Be sure to listen to Renewable Now  every Wednesday at 12 noon both on 1320warlradio.com and Blogtalkradio.com on the Renewable Now Channel .
Renewable Now is Educating you on the business side of green !

Wonderful day yesterday

As we covered the grand opening of eNow and their amazing new solar products that will transform, in so many positive ways, the transportation industry.

Here's the story taken from WPRI Channel 12's web site:


Clean tech company opening in Warwick

Sen Whitehouse: RI should be 'proud'

Updated: Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013, 2:35 PM EDT
Published : Wednesday, 27 Mar 2013, 2:35 PM EDT
WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) -- A clean-technology company opened its new headquarters in Warwick on Wednesday.
The company is called E-Now, and it specializes in renewable energy systems that help reduce greenhouse gas emissions. E-Now provides solar panel systems for the trucking industry that increase fuel mileage and reduce operating costs.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said this environmentally friendly company's success means a lot to Rhode Island.
"We can lay claim to a lot of Rhode Island pride in this new solar technology," said Senator Whitehouse. "It will save money for the companies that use it and it will protect all of us from the harms of excessive fossil fuel use."
In addition to providing well-paying jobs, Senator Whitehouse said E-Now also manufactures, assembles and installs most of its products in Rhode Island.
Copyright WPRI 12

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Part 2 from Forbes Magazine


China $10 Trillion Import Machine Says Goodbye To Cheap Energy, Food


..."China is facing two unprecedented transformations, Li said. One is for a nation of 1.3 billion people to complete its modernization process without destroying the environment or creating gaping income gaps. China is currently losing both of those fights.  That leads to the second challenge, to address and implement policies that will avoid these problems in the future, especially concerning environmental protection.  China is one of the most polluted countries on Earth.
On the way to maintaining sustainable economic growth, China is facing “huge opportunities and complicated and severe challenges,” and “we have to rely on domestic consumption in the long-term,” with “urbanization” being a major contributor to that growth, Li said.
The Boston Consulting Group forecasts that between now and 2020, China consumers will spend $41.5 trillion with annual expenditures rising from $2 trillion in 2010 to $6.2 trillion in 2020, an increase of 203%.  Chinese children born today will continue to live in a country on the path of rapid economic progress and growth.  They will consume 38 times more material goods — from food to shelter — than their grandparents before them, Silverstein estimated."

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Thank you to Forbes Magazine

For writing and posting a very interesting article on China's import appetite, and desire to balance economic growth with environmental protection, something they clearly have not done, which is, as you know, our sweet spot.

We helped start a new company focused on bridging RI and other parts of New England to China to build new, clean commerce.  This new company, RI International Group, will fit right into their goal of importing 10 trillion on products and services.

We'll run this over two days.  Let us know what you think:


China $10 Trillion Import Machine Says Goodbye To Cheap Energy, Food





If you think food and energy prices are ever coming down, guess again.
China‘s newly minted Premier Li Keqiang said Monday that his country is likely to import as much as $10 trillion worth of commodities and services in the next five years to boost domestic consumption,China Daily reported Tuesday.
Li renewed the nation’s pledge to maintain its open policy, and promised a further opening up of services and industries related to energy-saving and environmental protection.
That mammoth $10 trillion number comes as no surprise to Boston Consulting Group senior partner Michael Silverstein.  He co-authored the book that spelled it out last year titled — no kidding — “The $10 Trillion Prize: Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India“.  Only the Boston Consulting Group team that worked on the book forecast $10 trillion by 2020.  Li’s moved it up to 2018.
“We are in the third or fourth inning of the China consumer growth story,” Silverstein said in an interview with Forbes.  ”China consumer demand is going to make water scarce, wheat prices stable to high and keep luxury brands extremely happy.”
In his closing remarks this weekend at the China Development Forum in Beijing, Li said, “China will expand its opening-up policy. The nation needs to promote domestic consumption through continuing to open up its markets.”
China consumers are a big part of China’s future.  As part of the 12th Five-Year Plan (2011-15), the government has vowed to expand domestic consumption to help the nation move away from its export-driven, cheap labor model..."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Second good report from AutoBlogGreen

A pair of US lawmakers told the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that ethanol credits are leading to some deficits. Attempting to stem what they say could be an additional boost in gas prices prior to the busy summer-driving months, David Vitter (R-LA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) are raising questions, Reutersreports.



In a letter to the EPA, the two senators say fuel suppliers are having a progressively harder time buying enough credits, or RINs (Renewable Identification Number), from renewable fuel producers to keep up with federal mandates.

Central to the issue is the fact that prices for RINs have jumped higher than Superman on his best day. They are now worth more than a dollar a gallon, up from one cent a gallon (!) in December. With ethanol accounting for about 10 percent of gasoline, the RIN price jump translates to a 10-cent-a gallon increase in gas prices. Average fuel prices are up about 40 cents a gallon compared to December, to about $3.70 a gallon, according to AAA.

Other senators from ethanol producing states say the jump in RIN prices has less to do with demand or stiffening biofuel mandates and may have more to do with speculators playing the RIN market. Recently, a 12-year-sentence was handed down to a fraudster misrepresenting biodiesel RIN credits.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Amp brings ex-energy secretary Bill Richardson on board

Thanks to AutoblogGreen for a good update on Bill Richardson moving to a private, plug-in truck maker.

We think this is good news.  As reported by AutoBlogGreen, Mr. Richardson, in New Mexico, pushed hard for renewables with the state's utilities co's before moving to head the Dept of Energy under President Clinton.  We love the technology of moving small trucks to electric--using the eNow solar panels to keep batteries charged without plugging in many times--and Mr. Richardson brings pedigree and clout to the job.

Here's the story.  ABG ran some other good stories this week and we will catch up with them this weekend and post for you:

While extended-range plug-in truck maker Amp is based in Cincinnati, the company appears to be making more of an impact west of the Rockies, as the company just brought on former New Mexico governor and ex-US Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson on to its advisory board.

Richardson was governor of the Enchanted State from 2003 to 2011, where he boosted his green cred by getting New Mexico's utility companies to get 20 percent of their energy from renewable sources. That followed up his stint as US Energy Secretary under President Clinton from 1998 to 2011.

Last year, Amp said it was moving away from passenger-vehicle conversions and focusing on delivery-truck plug-in vehicle production. Last month, California approved the sale of Amp's 2014 model-year E100 heavy-duty electric trucks, which have a 19,500-pound payload and a 100-mile single-charge range. Amp's press release on adding Richardson to its ranks is below.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

We are happy to share this with you


The National Wildlife Federation’s Emerging Leaders Initiative (ELI) will host its second Professional Development Webinar: Finding Meaning, Money, and Community in a Changing World—A Discussion with Billy Parish Co-Author of “MAKING GOOD” on Tuesday, March 26th, 2013 from 2 to 3 pm ET. Click HERE to register, receive reminders, and join the meeting (please register by 5 pm ET on March 25th)

See attached flyer for more information.
Fee free to reach me with any questions! And as always, spread the word!

About the Presenter:
BIILY PARISH is widely known as an innovative youth organ-izer, social entrepreneur, and champion of the emerging green economy. He co-founded the Energy Action Coalition, the largest youth advocacy organization in the world working on climate change issues, is co-founder and President of So-lar Mosaic, a solar energy marketplace and serves on numer-ous non-profit and clean-tech boards. Parish lives in Oak-land, California with his wife and daughters.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Here's today's radio show

Available 24/7 on the Renewable Now channel:   http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2013/03/20/environmental-business-council-of-new-england

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Continued from yesterday/Ceres

About Ceres: Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $11 trillion


"...Property and Casualty (P&C) insurers (including multiline) demonstrate far more advanced understanding of the theoretical risks that climate change poses to their business. P&C insurers also tend to be at a further stage of development in implementing the tools needed to manage climate change risks, when compared to the Life and Annuity and Health segments of the industry, irrespective of the size of the company.
Though most insurers view climate change as a risk that will inherently be captured in their Enterprise Risk Management strategies, the tendency for companies to plan to the short-term compromises their ability to cope with the dramatic changes projected to occur in the coming decades, including sea level rise, extreme wildfire, more persistent drought and more severe heat waves.

The survey reveals five main motivators of action on climate change, INcluding:

  1. Impacts on revenue and profitsThe exposure of the company’s operations, revenue and profitability, is a motivator for 110 out of 184 companies, although this is primarily due to concern for current extreme weather events, rather than climate change per se.
  2. Emergent risks from future climate trends. 88 out of 184 companies viewed climate change as a potential future loss driver, even though scientific assessments such as the recent IPCC Extreme Events report and draft National Climate Assessment emphasize that climate change is already amplifying extreme events that lead to insured losses.
  3. Client exposure to climate change was cited by 72 out of 184 companies, with concerns including clients’ exposure to carbon regulation, extreme weather damage to clients’ physical operations or assets and damage to clients’ investments.
  4. Sustainability and related reputational benefits. This driver is relevant for all segments, but especially so for health insurers. While only nine companies include the reputational benefits of acting on climate change, a far higher number highlight correlations between sustainability programs and reputational benefits (77 firms, or over 40% of the survey).

While the insurance industry has begun to recognize the potential impacts of climate change and to evaluate its likely effects on their business, significant challenges remain.  Some leading insurers and reinsurers are promoting new products and policies that will help reduce carbon pollution, which is driving climate change. Others are focused on building stronger resiliency to climate impacts, especially sea level rise, stronger storms and extreme precipitation events.
“Just as the insurance industry asserted leadership to minimize building fire and earthquake risks in the 20th century, the industry has a huge opportunity today to lead in tackling climate change risks,” Lubber said.

Recommendations


The Ceres report recommends that insurance companies:
  • Treat climate change as a corporate-wide strategic issue, affecting all functions, at all levels, and formalize this in a public corporate policy statement.
  • Assess how a warming climate will alter extreme weather events, disease vectors, political risk and infrastructure resilience, and implement strategies to adapt their underwriting and investment practices accordingly.
  • Develop catastrophic models that anticipate the probable effects of climate change on extreme weather events.
  • Advocate for public policies that will help reduce carbon emissions and maintain an economy that is resilient to climate risk.

Insurance regulators have a role to play as well. Ceres recommends regulators:
  • Continue to mandate annual, public climate risk disclosure by insurers.
  • Engage with insurers, consumers and other public policy makers to better understand the nature of climate change risk, including how rates should be adjusted to reflect changing risks, and the steps insurers and regulators need to take to better incentivize consumers to reduce their vulnerability to these risks.

Monday, March 18, 2013

What a great article and follow up to some of the recent shows we did

The business side of green covers a lot terrain.  One of the subjects that has intrigued us, and a focus on both radio and TV, has been the ability, going forward, to insure coastal properties, some of which have already suffered immense storm damage.

Should we push back from the water's edge?  Should we recognize a rising sea level and fear massive storm surges that crest on those high tides?  Should we change zoning and permitting and accept a new, safe reality?

Those are some of the questions we surfaced on recent shows.  Here's the links to our radio and TV sites so you can listen to some of the answers:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now; http://www.arpinbroadcastnetwork.com/Arpin-ABN-Home.html

Now we follow with a wonderful article from Ceres, a group we had not heard of till we found this piece.  They sound like a great group, one we hope to have on soon.

We'll break this up into a couple of parts.  Let us know what you think:


About Ceres: Ceres is an advocate for sustainability leadership. Ceres mobilizes a powerful coalition of investors, companies and public interest groups to accelerate and expand the adoption of sustainable business practices and solutions to build a healthy global economy. Ceres also directs the Investor Network on Climate Risk (INCR), a network of 100 institutional investors with collective assets totaling more than $11 trillion.
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2012 was the warmest year on record in the lower 48 states and the second most extreme weather year in United States history. Insurers are increasingly acknowledging that extreme weather has become the new normal, yet a new report from Ceres finds that many in the industry are only just beginning to think about how to address the effects climate change may have on their business – while a small group of companies is leading the way.
The Ceres report, Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey: 2012 Findings & Recommendations, is based on 184 company disclosures in response to a climate risk survey developed by insurance regulators. Surveys were completed by insurers licensed to operate in three states – California, New York and Washington – that require climate risk disclosure. Collectively, these companies represent a significant majority of the American insurance market.
Ceres found only 23 companies in the property & casualty, life & annuity and health insurance sectors have comprehensive climate change strategies. Those companies provide a roadmap for the rest of the industry as it begins to wrestle with the issue.
“Every segment of the insurance industry faces climate risks, yet the industry’s response has been highly uneven,” said Ceres president Mindy Lubber, who wrote the report foreword. “The implications of this are profound because the insurance sector is a key driver of the economy. If climate change undermines the future availability of insurance products and risk management services in major markets throughout the US, it threatens the economy and taxpayers as well.”
“Climate change is potentially a serious financial threat to the insurance industry, and needs to be on insurers’ and regulators’ radar,” said Washington State Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler, a leading advocate for stronger climate risk disclosure and action by insurance companies. “If insurance is to remain available and affordable, companies will need to adapt. The last thing we want to see are unprepared companies simply pulling out of markets or seeking unreasonable rate hikes.”
Eleven extreme weather events each caused at least a billion dollars in losses last year in the United States. Hurricane Sandy alone caused $50 billion in economic losses, including tens of billions of insured losses by P&C firms whose quarterly profits suffered as a result.  Additionally, American taxpayers are absorbing even bigger financial hits thanks to losses sustained by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) as well as growing costs for disaster relief spending.
At first glance it might appear that only property and casualty insurers have reason to be concerned about claims related to climate change. In fact, every segment of the insurance industry has climate risks. Life insurers, for example, own hundreds of billions of dollars worth of real estate in vulnerable coastal areas.
“As a long-term investor, CalSTRS is dedicated to making sure climate change is factored into the regular risk management practices of our portfolio companies,” said Jack Ehnes, chief executive officer of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), the largest educator-only pension fund in the world and former Colorado insurance commissioner, who spoke at today’s news conference. “By integrating climate change risk management into their practices, insurance companies greatly improve their abilities to offer sustained shareholder value. This report gives us yet another tool as we engage with companies on climate change and other sustainability challenges.”

Key report findings

  • The quality of overall disclosure and performance by the 184 insurers was low – the average score, on a scale developed by Ceres, was 7.3 points out of a possible 50 points.
  • Of the 23 insurance companies with a comprehensive strategy to cope with climate change, 13 of those companies are foreign-owned, and eight are P&C companies.
  • Based on their climate risk disclosure responses, the industry leaders include: ACE Ltd., Munich Re, Allianz Group, Swiss Re Group, Farmers Group, The Prudential Group, Travelers Group, Hartford Insurance Group, Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Zurich US Insurance.
  • Smaller insurance companies tend to be far less prepared to mange climate risk than larger companies.

Our special radio show

Looking at Brown students pushing the university to divest its holdings in coal-related industries and, ultimately, all fossil fuel companies is now edited and available 24/7.  This is a fascinating show and national trend that deserves serious consideration as we dig deep into the economics of divestiture and ESG style-investments.

Here's the link to a great show.  Let us know what you think:  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2013/03/15/brown-divest-coal

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Dark Days Ahead: The Financial Future of Brayton Point/Part 2


Future Profitability is Unlikely
The report provides two extremely conservative scenarios of future performance: an “optimistic scenario,” in which generation from Brayton Point coal Units 1-3 is projected to rise to a 60% capacity factor through the years 2013-2020, and a “less optimistic” scenario, which assumes that the units’ generation will not exceed 40% for any year in the period. In 2012, Brayton Points Units 1-3 operated at an average 16% capacity factor. Thus, the report says, earnings from those units could be much lower than projected in the two scenarios modeled. “In no way have we looked at a ‘worst case’ scenario,” noted Mr. Sanzillo.
In both scenarios, based on forward-looking conditions, the report shows that it is unlikely that future energy market prices, ISO-NE capacity market prices, plant generation and coal prices will lead to earnings high enough to provide its owner with adequate recovery of capital or return on investment. The report’s conclusions are based on projections that show that it is reasonable to expect that for the remainder of this decade, at least:
• Energy market prices in New England will remain low, reflecting continuing low natural gas prices.
• Energy consumption in New England will remain flat while consumption in Massachusetts may decline.
• Bituminous coal prices will increase over time.
• As a result, the generation at Brayton Point Units 1-3 is not likely to reach the high levels of performance achieved by the units through 2009.
• Future New England capacity prices are not likely to increase significantly.
On the longer horizon, from 2020 on, the report points to increasing pressure to place a significant price on carbon emissions from fossil fuel-fired power plants, and the plant’s age, as additional factors that will likely weigh on the plant’s earnings.
N. Jonathan Peress, VP and director of Conservation Law Foundation’s Clean Energy and Climate Change program, commented, “Brayton Point, like many other old coal plants in New England and around the country, is at a tipping point. Dominion has already made a losing investment in trying to make this plant viable beyond its useful life. Now, Dominion and its shareholders need to decide whether to keep pumping money into Brayton Point with little chance of a return, as this analysis clearly shows, or to let it go. This report provides compelling evidence for the Town of Somerset, which has been seeing its tax revenue from the plant decline in recent years, to begin planning for Brayton Point’s retirement, and a healthier future for that community in all respects.”

Friday, March 15, 2013

This week's radio show

This is the first of two radio shows we broadcast this week.  We'll post the second segment, which was a fascinating interview with Brown University students who are pushing the college to divest of their holdings in stocks/companies tied into coal and fossil fuel.

In the meantime here's the link to a great interview with Jeff Flath and Dave Schwartz from the Carbon War Room.  We'd love to have your feedback and comments:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/renewable-now/2013/03/13/the-carbon-war-room-show

Here's a brief description of the show, but we hope, very much, you listen in:


"On this Episode,  we will have the opportunity to meet  David Schwartz from the Carbon War Room.
The Carbon War room harnesses the power of entrepreneurs in order to create market driven solutions to climate change .  This will be a very educational and informative show .If you would like to learn more about the Carbon War Room,  log on to www.thecarbonwarroom.com to learn more ."


Great example of pushing commerce

 
March 14, 2013
Steve Lane MIH Breakfast
Steve Lane discusses MedMates, a new group to connect and strengthen Rhode Island's med tech sector. 
It's Happening, RI

Turn rhetoric to action -- that was the charge we gave ourselves and all Rhode Islanders six months ago at Make It Happen RI. Today, we are proud to say that's exactly what's happening.
 
This morning, leaders of 17 projects initiated and cultivated at Make It Happen RI gathered to present the action steps they are taking to improve the Rhode Island economy. The initiatives range from a marketing campaign to improve the perception and conversation about our great state to an extensive outreach to Rhode Island's top 1,000 manufacturers to identify and evaluate the potential of the manufacturing sector.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dark Days Ahead: The Financial Future of Brayton Point

We've had Conservation Law Foundation on the radio side (great shows...go back and listen on Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel), and we spoke at length about conversions of plants from coal to natural gas--or, possibly, getting shut down.

This is a great follow up.  We will cover over two days.  Send us your comments:


Today, Conservation Law Foundation released an independent analysis of the financial performance of Dominion Resources’ Brayton Point power plant in Somerset, Massachusetts. The report, authored by the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis, projects a bleak future for the 50-year-old coal-fired facility. Entitled Dark Days Ahead: Financial Factors Cloud Future Profitability at Dominion’s Brayton Point, the report found that the once profitable power plant’s earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) are plummeting due to a perfect storm of market conditions that are projected to continue at least through the end of the decade.
The report shows that those conditions make it unlikely that Brayton Point will ever recoup its recent $1 billion investment in upgrades to the facility, or return to profitability.
“Brayton Point is looking at losing money for the foreseeable future,” said David Schlissel, who co-authored the report with financial expert Tom Sanzillo. “The market conditions have changed and are continuing to change for old coal plants. There is nothing on the horizon that shows that this power plant will be able to return to financial health; in fact, even the most optimistic scenario shows that Brayton Point cannot produce earnings that would cover its costs and produce a return for equity investors at any time through 2020.”
Sanzillo added, “The forecast for Brayton Point is indicative of what’s happening all over the country. We are seeing the owners of these 50-year-old coal-burning facilities facing do or die decisions about their futures, with hundreds having already announced their plans to retire in the next few years and more going that route every month. Brayton Point’s current experience – bleeding money and owner Dominion Resources having already written off $700 million of its $1 billion investment in upgrading the plant – and its bleak outlook clearly show that continuing to operate this plant doesn’t make economic sense.”
A Perfect Storm of Changing Conditions Sends Earnings Plummeting
The report points to a set of changed conditions that together are putting severe downward pressure on Brayton Point’s earnings, which dropped from $345 million in 2009 to an anemic $24 million in 2012, a decrease of some 93 percent:
• Natural gas prices have declined significantly since 2008 and are expected to remain low for at least the remainder of this decade.
• Wholesale energy market prices have decreased In response to the declining natural gas prices, , meaning reduced revenue for coal plant owners and reduced generation at coal plants like Brayton Point.
• Meanwhile, prices for capacity have been also been declining with a 35% decrease in the price obtained in the Forward Capacity Auction in 2012 as compared to the price for 2010.
• Additionally, energy usage in ISO-NE decreased by 2-3 percent between 2008 and 2012 as a result of the economic downturn and increasing energy efficiency efforts...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

For Today's live radio show

Please make sure you tune in live, 12-1p, EST, on WARL 1320AM and Blog Talk Radio, Renewable Now channel.  Great guest and show (with Jeff Flath, from eNow, my co-host calling in from TN):

Also, we are running, for the first time, the show we recorded with the Brown Students who are pushing Brown University to divest their holdings in fossil fuel companies as part of their sustainability improvements. Listen, same places, live 1-2p, EST.

Enjoy the shows.


David currently is a Senior Associate at the Carbon War Room, which he joined at its inception. The Carbon War Room is an initiative launched by Sir Richard Branson that focuses on market-based solutions to climate change. David currently leads Carbon War Room’s Network Engagement team. In his role, David engages with external stakeholders to incubate roadmaps that accelerate the deployment of clean technology solutions.
David holds a Bachelors degree from Cornell University. It was at Cornell where David began to develop a passion for combining entrepreneurial spirit with helping the environment. David started a company that designed, built, and maintained green roofs specifically tailored for hotels. It was this experience that allowed him to see first hand that there does not have to be a choice between the economy and the environment.
Outside of Carbon War Room, David serves on the boards of the William James Foundation – a sustainable business plan competition organization – and the professional chapter of DC NetImpact. David volunteers as a reading judge for the Unreasonable Institute and is passionate about all things related to start-ups, sustainability and technology.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Hope you are thinking about electric vehicles

Take a look at this very helpful article:


___________________


Posted on NRDC's blog March 5, 2013
by Max Baumhefner of NRDC and Felix Kramer of CalCars and DrivingElectric.org
When it comes to consumer products, environmentalists generally don’t encourage people to buy new and buy now. But that’s what we're about to do because electric cars are significantly cleaner than gasoline vehicles, and driving one can save you serious cash at the pump.
Perhaps you’ve already thought about buying an electric car, but dismissed the idea for one reason or another. Let's look at some common misconceptions, and offer some good reasons why you might want to reconsider:
“I should drive my current car into the ground.”
“Hold on,” you say to yourself, “I already own a car that gets 25 miles a gallon. I want to get my money’s worth from the investment.” The sooner you start saving gas, the better it is for the planet and your pocketbook. There’s no use in throwing good money after bad at the pump, and the sooner you sell your current car, the less money you’ll lose to depreciation.
 “I’d just be switching my pollution from the tailpipe to the power plant.”
If you want to go green, driving on electricity is a clear winner. Using today’s average American electricity mix of natural gas, coal, nuclear, hydro, wind, geothermal, and solar, an electric car emits half the amount of climate-changing carbon pollution per mile as the average new vehicle. In states with cleaner mixes, such as California, it’s only a quarter as much. To find out how clean your electric car would be today, plug your zip code into the EPA’s “Beyond Tailpipe Emissions Calculator.” You should also know that, because old coal plants are increasingly being retired and replaced by cleaner and renewable resources, plug-in cars are the only cars that become cleaner as they age.
“What I save on gas, I’ll pay in electricity.”
On average US residential electricity rates, driving one of today’s electric cars is the equivalent of driving a 27 mile-per-gallon car on buck-a-gallon gasoline. It’s been that way for the last four decades, and is forecasted to stay that way for the next three decades. Experts basically throw up their hands when asked to predict the price of gas next year, let alone 30 years from now. One thing we do know: the price at the pump will jump up and down due to geopolitical events beyond our control. If you’re tired of that rollercoaster, call your local utility to ask about electricity rates designed for plug-in cars.
“I’ll hold off until prices go down and there are more places to charge.”
 If you’re thinking you’d be better off waiting for a cheaper, better electric car, and a charging station on every block, consider the following:
  • Modern electric cars start well below $30,000.  Even better, there’s a federal tax credit worth $7,500, and states like California have rebates of up to $2,500, which mean you can buy an electric car for under $20,000 or lease one at a very attractive price. Still thinking of waiting for a better deal? Those incentives won’t last forever.
  • A variety of high-quality electric cars are available today. There are over 80,000 of them on America’s streets, with the Chevy Volt, Nissan Leaf, Toyota Prius Plug-in, and Tesla Model S leading the pack.
  • Public charging stations are proliferating rapidly, but you don’t need to wait for them to be as abundant as gas stations.  Drivers of plug-in cars enjoy fuel that comes to them, relying on home charging to meet the vast majority of their needs.
 “I often need to drive farther than electric vehicles can go without recharging.”
Broadly speaking, electric cars come in two flavors: all-electric and plug-in hybrid. The second has no range limitations whatsoever; they have batteries sufficient for normal trips (between 10 and 40 miles, depending on the model), and they become efficient gasoline hybrids for longer trips. If you want one car to do it all, a plug-in hybrid like the Chevy Volt, Toyota Prius Plug-in, Honda Accord Plug-in, Ford Fusion Energi, or Ford C-Max Energi is a great option.
If, however, your household has more than one vehicle, an all-electric is an ideal “second car” you’ll end up using most of the time. All-electrics, such as the Nissan Leaf, Ford Focus EV, Mitsubishi-i, BMW Active-E, Fiat 500 EV, Coda, Chevy Spark EV, Honda Fit EV, or Tesla Model S, have ranges between 60 and 265 miles, more than enough for the daily commute. When it comes time for the long road trip, you can always take the other car.
When you get behind the wheel of an electric car, you'll experience the joy of full torque from a standstill and a super-quiet cabin. You may have a hard time going back to a machine that relies exclusively on thousands of explosions of fossil fuel every minute.
If you’d like to try a plug-in outside of a dealership, you can find an owner onDrivingElectric.org to give you a spin. You'll be surprised in ways you could never expect and you’ll never get tired of driving on a clean fuel for the equivalent of buck-a-gallon gas.
 *Felix Kramer is an entrepreneur who founded CalCars.org in 2002 to promote plug-in hybrids and DrivingElectric.org in 2002 to connect curious people with enthusiastic plug-in drivers.

Monday, March 11, 2013

Good webinar for all business owners



Calvert is a sponsor on the show, with Merrill Lynch, doing great work around the world, and we hope you consider signing up and listening in on March 21.


Corporate perspectives on investing in renewable energy


Thursday, March 21, 2013 2:30 PM - 3:45 PM EDT

Webinar Registration

This webinar will highlight the recent report by Calvert Investments, Ceres and World Wildlife Federation (WWF), “Power Forward: Why the World’s Largest Companies are Investing in Renewable Energy.” The report found that a majority of Fortune 100 companies have set a renewable energy commitment, a greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction commitment or both. Google and General Motors will also present their perspectives on renewable energy investments.

Speakers will include:
Bryn Baker, World Wildlife Federation
Anne Kelly, Ceres
Stu Dalheim, Calvert
Rick Needham, Google
Rob Threlkeld, General Motors
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