IBM’s Smart Cities Challenge Begins

Posted on November 15th, 2010 by

Governor Schwarzenegger opens the Governor’s Global Climate Summit at UC-Davis, IBM launches the Smart Cities Challenge, and GE purchases more than 10,000 rechargeable cars from GM.

3rd Annual Governors Global Climate Conference Kicks Off Today In Davis, CA

Arnold Schwarzenegger kicked off the 3rd Annual Governors Global Climate Summit at UC Davis today, by stressing the importance of the failed passing of Proposition 23.  The GGCS, which took place in Los Angeles, last year, is being hosted by UC-Davis so that the State can show off the university’s long history of research and development in environment sustainability and green jobs. Actor and environmentalist, Harrison Ford, and former Secretary of State, George Schultz, were also provided the opportunity to speak about the importance of climate change.

IBM Launches the Smart Cities Challenge Worldwide

IBM initiated their Smart Cities Challenge, the largest philanthropic investment on their agenda. The program is a competitive grant that will award $50 million-worth of technology and services to help 100 cities worldwide grow efficiently. Included in IBM’s initiatives are cities such as Mexico City, Atlanta, Shanghai, and numerous other populous and flourishing hubs. IBM wants smarter healthcare, water, buildings, transportation, energy, and smarter education to promote efficiency in the world’s leading cities. Company experts will support civic engagement in the cities and improve the delivery of municipal services. Cities can apply for the grant at IBM’s program website and will be chosen based on various criteria such as their past record of accomplishment and commitment to the use of smarter technologies and innovative problem solving. “Cities are vitally important to society and the economy,” said Stanley S. Litow, President of IBM’s Foundation. “But they have enormous challenges and need the innovation, creativity and technical know-how to tackle longstanding, tough issues and plan for the future.”

Corporate Giants Invest in Electric Cars- GE orders from GM

Corporate companies are increasing their investments in alternative energies. A few weeks back, office supply giant, Staple’s Inc. ordered electric trucks to be added to its fleet of delivery vehicles. Now, General Electric is supplementing its own array of cars with 25,000 rechargeable cars. Almost half of the order was placed with General Motors as the company unveils its powerful Chevrolet Volt. Not only will the company get a handsome tax break, CEO Jeffrey Immelt plans to produce batteries, car-charging stations, and smart-grid systems. Thus, the electric cars are the needed initiative to launch GE’s energy-efficient initiatives. Other companies investing in electric vehicles include UPS, FedEx, Google Inc, and rental companies such as Enterprise and Hertz. Consumers considering buying the $41,000 Volt are even eligible for $7,500 rebate from the federal government.

DOE Establishes New Energy Agency

The U.S. Department of Energy launched a new bureaucratic agency called the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Advisory Committee (ERAC). The members of the advisory committee will report directly to Steven Chu, the Secretary of Energy. The 19 qualified officials will offer input on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s portfolio. They will also advise Secretary Chu on the completion of long-range plans, program funding, and anything else he requires. Their open meetings will occur twice per year. “We are fortunate to have such knowledgeable people volunteering their time and efforts to the Department’s clean energy endeavors,” said Secretary Chu. “They will be contributing their expertise and experience to help address the energy challenges faced by our Nation.” The officials come from a variety of disciplines and will be able to offer diverse insights for clean energy.

Toronto’s Garbage Trucks to run on Garbage?

The City of Toronto has announced new developments in biogas that will enable their garbage trucks to run on natural gas generated from local landfills. The new trucks will be equipped with a Cummins Westport ISL G engine, a high-performance machine. However, the program is still a pilot initiative that is a part of the city’s Green Fleet Plan.  If the one truck currently operating proves successful, then Toronto officials will consider investing in additional similar vehicles.

Geoff Rathbone, General Manager of Solid Waste Management Services, said: “Pending results from a pilot program, the City hopes to convert biogas produced from digesting Green Bin organic material into compressed natural gas for distribution across Enbridge’s system. In essence, Toronto will be making its own natural gas.”

New Green Bulb Unveiled by Vu1 Corp.

The conventional incandescent light bulb has long become a thing of the past as more energy efficient bulbs take its place on retail shelves. Newer, greener bulbs have especially become popular for their cost effectiveness in today’s slumping economy. Experts at Vu1 Corp. have engineered a third alternative besides LED and CFL bulbs. The company’s ESL bulb (Electron Stimulated Luminescence) promises to save consumers 70 percent of the energy used by incandescent bulbs and boasts five times the life of a traditional bulb. The ESL will use accelerated electrons to stimulate phosphor and create warm light that is even dim-able.

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