AlertMe’s ‘huge’ UK gas deal: big data for real people

Smart energy startup AlertMe — which provides a cloud-based way to monitor your energy consumption — has struck a deal with British Gas, the U.K.’s largest domestic energy supplier. It’s the latest big break for the business, CEO Mary Turner explains.

The MPG of a human

How efficient is personal-powered transport — namely, walking and biking? After stuffing myself over Thanksgiving, I am curious to know how potent human fuel can be. How many miles per gallon do we get as our own engines of transportation?

How High Gas Prices Could Help Google

Google has shown a surprising interest in the future of energy, from investing in clean energy, to developing a plug-in vehicle project. But there’s another way that Google could be connected to energy through its search business: as gas prices rise, so do paid search clickthroughs.

Today in Cleantech

Let’s put some facts and figures behind last night’s SOTU clean energy pitches. As you’ve all read by now, President Barack Obama called for America to get 80 percent of its energy from clean energy resources by 2035. What does that mean? Well, first of all, Obama included natural gas and “clean coal” in his list of clean energy, a rhetorical addition that actually makes 80 percent a more realistic target, even if clean coal technology is probably 25 years down the road. Still, given that the U.S. Energy Information Administration predicts that coal will shrink from producing half of the country’s electricity today to a mere… 44 percent by 2035, we’d better find a way to make it cleaner. Second, Obama didn’t say how his administration or Congress might put us on that path during his remaining term. Will a national renewable energy mandate start us on the way, or will we have to rely on the 29 states and counting that have individual renewable portfolio standards? Third, Obama did say he would push Congress to strip the oil and gas industries of their federal subsidies and tax breaks, which according to some estimates have added up to $76 billion over the past decade, or 70 percent of all federal energy subsidies combined. Finally, Obama didn’t bring climate change into the argument — perhaps a good thing, since his hand-picked climate policy adviser is stepping down and carbon cap-and-trade legislation is all but dead for the next two years.

Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Renewables to Overtake Energy Incumbents Within Decade

kennedy2Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is no stranger to controversy. The environmental lawyer and president of the Waterkeeper Alliance served jail time in 2001 for trespassing after joining a protest at a U.S. Navy training facility in Puerto Rico, and wrote an article in Rolling Stone claiming the 2004 U.S. presidential election might have been “stolen” as eligible voters were prevented from casting ballots. But at the Solar Power International conference in Anaheim, Calif., on Wednesday, Kennedy called his support of greentech “the most subversive thing I’ve ever done.”

He underlined the power of the coal and oil lobbies in Washington and urged solar and other renewable-energy advocates to start showing their strength on Capitol Hill. The most important thing people can do is get involved in the government, he said. “It’s much more important to change your politician than it is to change your lightbulb,” he said to laughter from the audience. “We need to show our muscle and get tough, aggressive people on Capitol Hill, flying around in solar-power Lear jets or whatever it is. We need to be demanding, ‘Hey, we are patriotic, we are saving this country…and we need to fight these enemies.’ If a foreign enemy poisoned 600,000 children every year, we’d consider that an act of war. We shouldn’t put up with this, and we can’t put up with this.” Read More about Robert F. Kennedy Jr.: Renewables to Overtake Energy Incumbents Within Decade

Weekly App Store Roundup: Dec. 27, 2008

This week I pick my 12 favorite apps of the year as we lead 2008 around the back and shoot it’s face off, while gently beckoning a fresh-faced 2009 through the front door.

Just because it’s the holiday season, doesn’t mean Apple news stops happening. Quite the contrary in fact because this week we got all existential with Psystar’s ever-more-fantastical litigation, waxed lyrical with the creators of, and even chucked in a special Mac-themed gift — from us to you — for good measure.

Seeing as it’s not just the end of a week but the end of an entire year, I thought a special year-end Roundup was in order. Below I’m bringing together some of the best apps I’ve featured over the year and a few that I didn’t have space to mention. (Note, those looking for my Twitter app recommendation should check out my 12 Twitter Apps article.)

This year, I’ve been looking at Evernote, Harvest, Urbanspoon, Locly, Klick, iPolaroid, Backgammon Online, Cookie Bonus Solitaire, BeatMaker, FourTrack, Stanza and Palringo.

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