Daily Sprout

Toyota Feels the Heat from Honda on Hybrids: Toyota may cut the price of its Prius down to $19,250 in Japan to match Honda’s new Insight Hybrid. — Bloomberg

Feds Figure Out Permitting for Ocean Energy Projects: Two federal agencies have finally ended a turf war over authority to regulate offshore energy sources. The Interior will now handle permits for offshore wind projects in federal waters and FERC will oversee wave, tidal and ocean current projects. — Washington Post

Wall-E in Real Life: Somerville, Mass. plans to install 50 high tech trash cans by BigBelly Solar that will notify haulers when they’re full via text messages to a central database, helping managers maximize collection efficiency. — NYT’s Green Inc.

Suntech Joins Bidders for China Solar Project: Solar cell and panel maker Suntech Power Holdings has submitted one of 50 bids for a 10 MW solar power station planned for China’s Gansu province. — Cleantech Group

Bridging the Science-Policy Gap: Scientists have the knowledge, politicians and social institutions hold the power — and channels between them are rudimentary. Some analysts are calling for a fundamental shift in emphasis within the scientific community to ensure that emissions are cut and civilization adapts to its impacts. — Scientific American

Where to Watch the Tour of California

adobetourofcaliforniaLive video is a slam dunk for sporting events, bringing in major viewership via the Olympics and golf’s U.S. Open and basketball’s March Madness, and significant paying audiences for sports from baseball to basketball to hockey to cricket.

One sport that gets hardly any oldteevee love whatsoever is professional cycling, though there’s certainly demand for it online, with 3.4 million Tour de France video downloads last year. And so a group of Adobe (s ADBE) employees have teamed up for the third year running to make a live tracking dashboard for the Amgen Tour of California, which starts Saturday right in their backyard of Sacramento.

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Ocean Energy Groups Line Up for Scotland’s Saltire Prize

There’s a cash prize in them thar waters! The government of Scotland said today that its £10 million ($14.5 million) Saltire Prize for ocean energy has pulled in 33 registrations of interest from around the world. Scotland, already a major hub for wave and tidal power research, raised its ocean energy profile when it announced the creation of the Saltire Prize in April.

At the time, the Scottish government called it the world’s largest single prize for marine power technology. Although it’s open to groups from other countries, they must prove the commercial viability of their technology in Scotland’s waters.

The registrations of interest follow the release earlier this month of some criteria for the competition. The prize will be awarded to the team that can demonstrate a commercially viable wave or tidal power system that generates at least 100 gigawatt hours of power over two years. The technology will also be judged based on cost, environmental sustainability and safety.

The government did not disclose which groups registered interest in the prize, but it’s likely a who’s-who of the ocean energy industry. In a statement, Scotland’s First Minister Alex Salmond would only say that the interest comes from “some of the great companies and best minds in the world,” including groups from the U.S., Australia, South Africa, India, Mexico, Italy, France, Norway and Spain, as well as Scotland and England.
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Obama Team Gets an Earful on Ocean Energy

Ocean energy could have a big part to play under President-elect Barack Obama’s environmentally friendly administration, but a coalition that’s pushing for more wave and tidal power says change is needed to expand the number of projects in the U.S. Right now, there are only a handful of ocean energy projects in the U.S. and they’re all in the testing phase, according to the coalition.

The group, which is led by the New York-based Environmental Defense Fund, a non-profit environmental advocacy organization, said it has met with Obama’s transition team to discuss what it says is a confusing, and sometimes contradictory, array of federal regulations for ocean power. It claims that with federal help, ocean energy has the potential to generate 10 percent of the country’s demand for electricity, as well as create tens of thousands of jobs in the U.S.

Earlier this month, Obama named four key members to his cabinet that will be responsible for energy and climate change, including Steven Chu as energy secretary.

One big conflict the new cabinet may have to deal with is a jurisdictional dispute between the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Minerals Management Service, part of the Department of the Interior. Both agencies have claims on the waters where ocean energy projects would be installed.
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Atek OnBoard Travel Keyboard- it’s pretty big

When you absolutely must have a full-sized keyboard to use when you’re out and about you might want to look at the Atek OnBoard Travel Keyboard.  The Atek is a full-sized keyboard that sits in a sliding cover that the company says lets you "get more work done".  That may be true but at 14.75 inches long when stored and 1.4 pounds the Atek may be as big as that netbook you’re carrying.  Oh, there’s an inflatable palm rest, too.  $30.