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Pink on Green: How to ignite the second electrical revolution

By Elisa Wood April 4, 2012 The electric industry is good at building things. That’s how it solves problems. Is there a threat of blackouts? Develop  a new natural gas-fired plant. Worried about climate change? Build wind and solar power. Does electricity cost too much? Install a transmission line to import cheaper power. But build-to-solve … [Read more...]

All sustainability is local

By Elisa Wood March 15, 2012 “All politics is local.” This quote from the late US Congressman Tip O’Neill continues to frame political strategies today. It turns out his premise also applies to environmentalism. All sustainability is local, as a Massachusetts software company reveals in a new application that takes on the complicated task of … [Read more...]

Define ‘green’ please

By Elisa Wood July 27, 2011 Describing a building as ‘green’ makes a lot of people cringe. The word is overused. And what does it mean exactly? Serious efforts are underway to move away from the hype and offer a more specific analysis of a building’s energy performance. Think nutritional labels for food, except in kilowatt-hours instead of … [Read more...]

Wanted: GOLD for smart grid

By Elisa Wood April 8, 2010 As John McDonald tells it, smart grid needs GOLD. And he’s not talking money. GOLD stands for Graduates of the Last Decade, the technology savvy, risk-taking engineers and technicians who may be among the greatest benefactors of the new smart grid movement. While most recent college graduates face dismal employment … [Read more...]

Is green energy our new plastics industry?

By Elisa Wood December 17, 2009 If The Graduate were written today, Mr. McGuire’s career tip to Benjamin probably would have been “green,” rather than “plastics.”  But it’s likely Benjamin would have responded in the same quizzical way: “Just how do you mean that, sir?” It was difficult to envision the vast number of new products, businesses and … [Read more...]

Reality check: Is green arrogant?

By Elisa Wood June 25, 2009 During a recent interview, a utility executive used the phrase “the arrogance of renewable energy.” He was talking about the need to keep costs in check and implying that green energy businesses do not. The executive asked that I not attach his name to the phrase. He was afraid he would anger those in the renewable … [Read more...]