Category Archives: Clean Tech

If California’s Drought Weren’t Scary Enough, Now It May Trigger Earthquakes

Courtesy: TakePart. Update on 'Last Call at the Oasis' and California's Drought

By Chris Clarke

California’s drought has reached epic proportions. Nearly 60 percent of the state is in exceptional drought — the most severe category — and farmers are depleting groundwater reserves at record rates as wildfires break out north and south.

Now there’s something else to worry about: drought-triggered earthquakes. Read more »

Water Wasters May Face $500-per-day Fine in California


David McNew/Getty Images Sprinklers water the lawns of a housing development in Hesperia, California.

California residents who overwater their lawns or hose down their cars without a shut-off nozzle may soon face a $500-per-day fine. The State Water Resources Control Board proposed new regulations on Wednesday to crack down on excess water use. The board is set to consider the proposal on July 15.

In this KQED Forum interview, Host Joshua Johnson discusses the drought and proposed fines with Felicia Marcus, Chair of the State Water Resources Control Board.

Simple, Elegant, Affordable, Off-the-grid Housing Solutions by Brilliant Bay Area Designers

Housing Solution: Allow Off-the-Shelf Homes in San Francisco’s Underused Spaces

Originally published on Jun 13 2014 – 12:50pm


Hacking the Housing Crisis: Creative Ideas for Affordability. See other stories in this reporting project.  |  Attend the Hack the Housing Crisis conference June 13, 2014.

Two Bay Area designers are re-imagining the home as a simple consumer good. If they and other entrepreneurs are successful, San Francisco’s marginal land — including parking spaces — could theoretically be retrofitted to accommodate hundreds or thousands of these barebones, movable living spaces.

Tim McCormick and Luke Iseman have devised similar concepts for “productizing” modest but modern homes that consumers could order online or even build themselves. Both use inexpensive materials that can be assembled offsite as an alternative to conventional construction practices, which they call unnecessarily complicated, time-consuming and costly.

The "Houslet," which Tim McCormick designed alongside architect Morgan Pintarich, is made from individual cubes that each take up 64 square feet. The smallest version of the Houslet could fit into a parking space. Image courtesy of Tim McCormick.

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Organica Water, Innovation in Wastewater Treatment, and Good Neighbors

From Cleantech Investment Insight

Matthew Kuzma, Vice President – Technical Solutions & Global Business Development of Organica Water, talks about change in wastewater treatment and being a good neighbour.

Photo: Organica Water

One of our sessions during the Cleantech Forum Europe that will be held in Stockholm (May 19-21) is titled the 10 Year Track – How we (can have) Impact. The theme is about how European companies are tackling environmental and resource challenges in some of the most populous and impoverished regions of the world. One of the speakers in this session is Matthew Kuzma of Organica Water, a company revolutionizing urban wastewater treatment and 2013 Global Cleantech “Company of the Year” in Europe and Israel.  Founded in 1998 in Budapest, Hungary, Organica Water now holds a major office in Princeton, USA as well as offices in cities such as Delhi, Shanghai and Jakarta.  We asked Matthew about his outlook on the future of cleantech and the future of his company. Read more »

San Francisco’s New Urban Agriculture Program Up and Running

From Spur
By Eli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager
Fort Mason Community Garden. Photo courtesy of Flickr user greychr

After many months of planning, San Francisco’s new urban agriculture program launched in January. The program, housed in the Recreation and Parks Department, is tasked with meeting a broad set of goals originally set in 2012 legislation passed by the Board of Supervisors.  Looking at how to increase the city’s support for urban farmers and gardeners, the program recently released details about its first year priorities. Read more »

‘”Carbon Bubble” Threatens Stock Markets, say UK MPs

BBC News

By Matt McGrath, Environment Correspondent

oil rig2 Investments in coal and oil may be overvalued, according to MPs.


The world’s financial markets could be creating a “carbon bubble” by over valuing the fossil fuel assets of large companies say MPs.

Much of this coal and oil may have to be left in the ground to combat climate change, according to the Environmental Audit Committee (EAC)

The Committee also hits out at the lack of green finance.

Less than half the £200bn needed to deliver emissions cuts by 2020 is in place they say.

A number of studies in recent years have warned that stock markets around the world have overvalued companies with large holdings of coal, oil and gas. Read more »

6 Green-Roof Myths, Busted

From Houzz


Green roofs, living roofs, vegetated roofs, ecoroofs — whatever you want to call them, they are sprouting up everywhere lately, including atop residential homes. And with that increase in popularity comes general assumptions and misconceptions. For example, that green roofs are only for ecobuffs, they’re high maintenance and they’re experimental and risky. All untrue. 

Let’s take a look at some common green-roof myths and see if they, er, hold any water.beach style exterior by Prentiss Architects Read more »

The Week in Cleantech: July 22 – 29

From i3 Research Team, Cleantech Investment Insight

This past week saw a number of interesting financing rounds in the cleantech space. Although all were fairly small amounts, the variety of technologies represented is of interest. Cleanweb continues to grab headlines, although the more traditional Energy Efficiency and Solar sectors are also attracting financing.

Easy Taxi, a Brazilian app for ordering and pre-paying taxis, received $10 million from Millicom and Rocket Internet, in the form of the firms’ joint venture, Africa Internet Holding. The company will use the funding to expand into Africa, Asia and the Middle East, with Nigeria as the first new market. Easy Taxi joins LyftHailo and other taxi and ride apps that have raised money recently.

Bidgely, a California-based developer of an online platform enabling home energy monitoring and management, received $5 million from Khosla Ventures. The company plans to use the funding to make hires in its business and engineering teams and commercialize its technology through energy carriers.

BrightSource Energy, the California-based developer of concentrating solar thermal technology used to produce high-value electricity and steam for power, petroleum and process markets, received $15 million of a targeted $35 million round. The company has previously raised over $620 million from BP VenturesChevron Technology Ventures and VantagePoint Capital Partners, among others.

Seattle ready to “Pay for Performance”

Seattle leading the way with a new incentive model.

From The Toronto Atmospheric Fund.

Traditional energy conservation incentives typically consist of a one-time rebate after finishing the energy retrofit. While this type of project-based incentive has achieved significant progress on energy efficiency, it has limitations. For one, the one-time rebate doesn’t reflect the ongoing value of energy savings that can last for a decade or more. These programs also have no provisions to ensure the savings are maintained over the long-term. Enter Seattle City Light (SCL), the 10th largest public electric utility in the country. SCL is testing a new incentive model that aims to combat these limitations: Pay for Performance (PfP). The PfP model will be available to buildings undertaking a major energy retrofit, and will provide an ongoing rebate per kilowatt hour saved each year based on verified performance. Participants who go beyond the minimum 15% savings target are eligible for a higher rebate per kilowatt hour. It’s an intriguing new model, one that could have widespread use should it prove effective.

A 280,000% Mark Up for… Water? A Look Inside the Bottled Water Industry


Imagine there was a time when bottled water didn’t exist in our catalog of popular commodities. Perhaps the trend started in 1976 when the chic French sparkling water, Perrier, made its introduction. There it was seductively bottled in its emerald green glass amongst the era of disco and the spectacle of excesses… who could resist right?! What could be more decadent than to package, sell and consume what most consider (in the Western world) a common human right easily supplied through a home faucet! It’s absurd that the cost of designer water is at a “280,000% markup” to your tap water and it’s reaching record heights in consumption.

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