Energy Efficiency, Sourcing Renewables, Wind  -  September 1, 2018

Weekend reads: DOE pushes wind - does Trump know?; From AK-47s to EVs

It's the weekend! Kick back and relax with these must-read energy stories from around the web:

Bags or Behind-the-Scenes? Kroger, Walmart Diverge in Green Cred Bid (Bloomberg Environment)  Kroger Co.’s decision to ban plastic bags charts a separate path from Walmart Inc., its biggest grocery rival, as both chains look to burnish their sustainability bona fides. Both companies have made sustainability a focus of their global operations, but Walmart has looked inward for improvements while Kroger’s latest efforts are part its bid to green itself in ways its customers can see. Taken together, the retail giants could shift the way their competitors and suppliers operate. 

U.S. Energy Department Promotes Wind Energy Over Coal (Triple Pundit)  The Department of Energy (DOE) has just released three major reports charting the rapid growth of the U.S. wind energy industry. They paint a rosy outlook for future growth, too. That’s interesting enough, but the timing is even more interesting. The reports were released on August 23, just two days after the Trump Administration proposed new EPA rules that would enable older, dirtier coal power plants to continue operating. The new EPA rules are aimed at fulfilling Trump’s campaign promise to save coal jobs. Nevertheless, the new wind reports indicate that U.S. coal industry will inevitably shrink, no matter what the White House does. So, which is it?

How Cummins Became an Engine of Energy Efficiency (IndustryWeek)  Engine manufacturers may not immediately come to mind when you think of environmental stewards, but Cummins is not a typical engine manufacturer. In 2006, our team wanted to grow the company into a leader in industrial sustainability, so we set our first public energy savings and greenhouse gas reduction goal. Since then, we have successfully completed nearly 1,000 energy efficiency projects and now save an estimated $40 million to $50 million annually in energy costs and average about a 2% to 3% energy intensity reduction per year.  

Is Kalashnikov really having a transformation with electric vehicles? (The National)  It’s easy to laugh at the goofy prototype of an electric vehicle that the Russian company Kalashnikov is billing as a competitor to Tesla. Yet there is a serious story behind the surprising recent turnaround of the vehicle’s maker, the creator of the AK-47 assault rifle. The CV-1 prototype was introduced at the Russian Defence Ministry’s annual exhibition this year. It has the body of an Izh Kombi, a clunker made in Izhevsk, where Kalashnikov is based, between 1973 and 1997.  

Portland Plans Microgrid Statues in Parks. Will Use Pedal-Power (Vox)  The city of Portland and three partners have launched a pilot to offer emergency microgrid support in a park statue that will charge cell phones and store emergency supplies. It’s a classic project for this green city, featuring solar, storage and pedal power in a visible, small public park on Portland State University’s (PSU) campus. But the $300,000 pilot “PrepHub” project — a partnership of the city, Portland General Electric (PGE), PSU, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) — aims to achieve more than cell phone charging in a single location, said Conrad Eustis, director of retail technology strategy for PGE.

Keywords: Weekend reads

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