Green news harvest: Scarce minerals and green tech
Minerals are vital to many green technologies, including lithium batteries for electric cars. Now neodymium, used in magnets for wind turbines and car batteries, comes into focus.
A sampling of green-tech news with quick commentary.
Clean Energy's Dirty Little Secret - The Atlantic
First it was concerns over , now it's the rare earth metal neodymium. The bigger story here is national strategies for managing mineral supplies for economic, environmental, and security reasons.
- State wants to pull plug on energy-guzzling TVs - San Francisco Chronicle
State regulators want to apply more stringent standards on TV energy use but consumer electronics industry association says it's going about it the wrong way. Old cathode ray tube consume the least.
- Deciphering California's Efficiency Successes - New York Times
California's per-capital electricity use has been steady since the 1970s, a credit to state-led efficiency programs. But a researcher argues other factors are at play so lessons to other states are limited.
- Pond Scum Gets Its Moment in the Limelight - Wall Street Journal
A visit to the University of Texas' massive stash of algae strains.
- Why Warren Buffett is investing in electric car company BYD - Fortune
Profile of ambitious Chinese company BYD which is expanding from small batteries to electric cars.
- Abound Solar Opens Factory, Claims Under $1/Watt Cost - Greentech Media
A First Solar competitor opens factory to make solar cells from cadmium telluride.
- Norway turns to poo-powered buses - Cosmos magazine
Methane, the main gas in natural gas, derived from sludge will power buses in Norway.
- 'Green Revolution' Trapping India's Farmers In Debt - National Public Radio
Modern farming techniques are creating a thirst for water that Indian farmers are unable to keep up, creating real social upheaval.
- Bioethanol's Impact On Water Supply Three Times Higher Than Once Thought - Science Daily
No doubt people will dispute these revised numbers, but it's still eye-opening: researchers find that it takes between roughly 200 and 800 gallons of water to make one gallon of ethanol.