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Alternative Energy


Let's Use Solar Energy to Power Air-Conditioning, Save Billions and Cut Emissions

September 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

Let solar power cool you off – no sweat!

According to the NREL, "air conditioning currently consumes about 15% of the electricity generated in the United States. It is also a major contributor to peak electrical demand on hot summer days, which can lead to escalating power costs, brownouts, and rolling blackouts".[read more]

Energy Use in Buildings: What’s Culture Got to Do with It?

September 29, 2015 by TheCityFix - produced by WRICities

When the March 11, 2011 earthquake in Japan caused a series of energy shortages throughout the country, the national government recommended that office buildings cut back on air conditioning during the summer months in order to reduce power usage. Through a campaign called “Super Cool Biz,” the government encouraged office workers to adjust to this change by wearing cooler outfits, like short sleeve shirts.[read more]


Cloud Computing: Understanding the Environmental Benefits of Modern Technology

September 28, 2015 by Ryan Kidman

Environmental sustainability is an essential aspect that many businesses are taking advantage of. As the world becomes more conscious of their contribution to the demise of natural resources, many have begun to look for ways to reduce their carbon footprint by going green[read more]

Is Solar Really Cheaper Than Fossil Fuels?

September 24, 2015 by GBIG Insight

If you want to be smart on solar, you have to hold one key distinction in your mind at all times – system costs vs. total lifecycle costs.[read more]


How Sustainable Cities Collective Members Are Building a Better Future

July 29, 2015 by David Thorpe

Towards the green city [This is Singapore]

This is my last post for the time being on Sustainable Cities Collective and I want to take the opportunity to explain how I have come to understand the great value that it has. What will life be like for urban citizens in the future? The answer may depend upon whether you or your descendants will be living in a city which has implemented many of the ideas already covered on this website.[read more]

Buildings: Our Biggest (and Most Underutilized) Asset for Improving How Cities Perform

A quiet moment in Wuxi, China

It’s time for leaders from both the public and private sectors to pay attention to buildings as a way of improving how their cities perform. High performance buildings (and their cousins: net zero, or near-net zero buildings) are a boost to health and productivity. Here's how to begin.[read more]

Sam Adams On The Main Challenges Faced By Modern Cities

The ex-mayor of Portland and Director of WRI US Climate Initiative.

Sam Adams is the former mayor of Portland and Director of WRI US Climate Initiative. He believes that integrated strategic planning for the city is the most efficient path to a sustainable future. In September, he will be at the Mayors´ Summit and the Cities & Transport International Congress in the session “Cities in the new climate economy”.[read more]

'One Planet' Home Wins Planning Battle

July 20, 2015 by David Thorpe

The 'hobbit house' can live!

A zero energy roundhouse, built by a young family, has been saved from demolition following an appeal to the local planning authority. Their campaign to save their house touched the hearts of thousands, who wrote in support, but this wasn't what saved the home.[read more]

The Leading U.S. City That Will Soon Consume 89% Renewable Electricity

July 16, 2015 by Celina Plaza

Oberlin, Ohio

Oberlin, Ohio, was recently recognized by the White House as one of the sixteen U.S. Climate Action Champions for Leadership on Climate Change. It will meet its goal to reduce GHG emissions by 50% from 2012 in 2015, and is scheduled in 2017 Oberlin to be consuming 89% of its electricity from renewable sources.[read more]

Five Reasons Alaskans Are Winning the Sustainable Food and Energy Race

Keeping plants warm in the cold

Alaska has much to share when it comes to creating sustainable economies. Despite dramatic seasonal changes, infrastructure gaps and transportation challenges, sustainability has always been a way of life in many of Alaska’s small communities in renewable energy, fish husbandry and food growing.[read more]

How One City Used Policy Integration to Enable Sustainable Energy Sources

Powered by biogas.

In 1994, Lille began developing a program to convert organic waste into energy. 20 years later, it has a fleet of over 400 buses running on biogas, with the compost byproduct used as fertilizer on large farms in the peri-urban area. It did this by coordinating the energy and other sectors to make its urban energy system more sustainable.[read more]

Meet Some of the Greenest Schools on Earth [PHOTOS]

Ng Yuk Secondary School in Hong Kong

We hope you enjoy the photos here featuring images from several of the schools nominated for the 2015 Greenest School on Earth award. They include schools from Croatia, Singapore, Lebanon and Hong Kong.[read more]