Wednesday, January 20, 2010

More Green Bucks for NYS Announced

New York State's Public Service Commission this month announced the expansion of the sort of oddly-named Renewable Portfolio Standard, a program providing subsidies to clean energy projects.

"The PSC issued an order Friday allowing an additional $200 million to be spent for large-scale projects. That's on top of $95 million in subsidies that the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) said it recently awarded to five projects, including two in the Capital Region."

"Renewable Portfolio Standard is expanded"
By Larry Rulison, Times-Union Business writer
The increase is needed because the state has also expanded its goals for renewable energy, which Gov. Paterson pushed up to drawing around a third of its energy from sources such as wind and hydro by 2015. (The Times-Union story says 30 percent, the Business Review's, 45.)

NYSERDA funds the Renewable Portfolio Standard through a special fee on utility bills. With the average homeowner paying roughly $3 a month, the program is credited with adding 1,200 megawatts of new, clean electricity for the people of New Green York.
"NY commits $300M to green energy projects"
The Business Review (Albany), 1/8/10
Pic of green bucks, "Triple Buck Shot"
by Deb Campbell on
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25 Posts tagged Green Tech

Monday, January 11, 2010

Green VC Investment Rose/Fell In 2009(?)

Fun with Statistics:
It was amusing to see these two reports next to each other on BusinessWeek's Green Energy news index. The first headline was:

"Cleantech Takes A Bigger Slice Of VC Pie, Again"

Promptly followed by:

"Green-tech venture investing cools off in 2009"

A quick read reveals, unsurprisingly, the classic apples and oranges comparison between percentages and hard numbers. The 'Bigger Slice' story, from BusinessWeek's subsite, stated that, "close to 20% of all dollars invested by VCs in 2009 went into clean technology, up from roughly 14.4% in 2008."

Ah, but 20% of what, exactly? That story never did get around to the size of the pie and hence of a slice, probably because then they'd have to come up with another, less appetizing headline.

That fell to the story that followed, from CNet's Green Tech blog, which explained that, "The amount of venture capital that went toward green-technology companies fell to $4.85 billion in 2009, compared to $7.6 billion in 2008. Solar continues to garner the most attention, having brought in $1.4 billion with 84 deals in 2009."

Biofuels received $975 mil, with energy efficiency and the smart grid, automotive, and batteries and other types of storage divvying up the remaining half.

"Greentech Media analyst Eric Wesoff predicts that there will be a wave of IPOs in green tech as well as more mergers and acquisitions, particularly in the crowded solar market.

"There will be more money available for expansion in 2010, but investors will remain cautious and focus on companies with the most potential, largely investing in emerging leaders and high-potential outfits."

"Green-tech venture investing cools off in 2009"
by Martin LaMonica, CNet, 12/30/09

Looks like I'm not going to be able to resist invoking Mark Twain's famed and mildly profane judgment on the subject of statistics:
"There are three kinds of lies. . ."

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25 Posts tagged Green Tech

On Giving Linky Credit Where Due

A side thought:
In today's other post, above, I encountered some internal resistance as I was picking links. Was it necessary to link to some automated index, which had vacuumed up these stories from their respective sources, or just to the original articles?

Why was such a commonplace even an issue? If you've ever discovered your own stuff lifted, as a whole — as distinguished from partial, Fair Use referencing — on some parasitic phantom site, you know where I'm coming from. Fie on those who profit (however slimly) off someone else's labor, while adding no real value of their own.
As I've been (slow-)blogging these last few years, I've given a lot of thought to linking, trying to achieve the right balance of interconnectivity with relevance to the piece. Every widely-travelled surfer has seen articles where the author, excuse me, the "content producer" has gone hog wild with links, producing madly distracting sentences with four or five separate words underlined and flight-ready, often just to a word's Wikipedia entry. Gee, thanks, but I can look it up myself if I'm puzzled; kinda gotten the hang of that now.

It never takes long for "link fatigue" to set in with these baubly pages; the writer is expecting you do so much work, not just reading but evaluating every third word to ask if you should follow the pointers to another, another, yet another page.

Then there are the opposite extreme, people who are, let's be blunt, too lazy and "self-preoccupied" (the mildest form of that dis I can come up with,) to make the little extra effort to be sure their borrowings are at least minimally attributed. C'mon, people, it's fun — and you know that if someone were quoting you...

(In this case, I did wind up choosing to link to that index, because it's BusinessWeek's, an established publication where one assumes some editorial effort was involved, and further inspection showed that one of the stories was their own, disguised as a related brand.)

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35 posts tagged "giving credit where due"

Thursday, January 07, 2010

More Americans Now "Elevating Experiences Over Things"

There's always the instinct to start a new year off deliberately, to take that opportunity to examine the state of the deeper values in your life. (Please bear with us, we're just humoring the staff writer here, let him out to run around the yard a little bit. You know, for the holidays. - Ed.)

So, the theme of this article grabbed my attention, with the additional hook of the setting, Miami, where I lived for many years.

"Quietly but noticeably over the past year, Americans have rejiggered their lives to elevate experiences over things. Because of the Great Recession, a recent New York Times/CBS News poll has found, nearly half of Americans said they were spending less time buying nonessentials, and more than half are spending less money in stores and online.

"But Americans are not just getting by with less. They are also doing more. Some are working longer hours, but a larger proportion... are spending additional time with family and friends, gardening, cooking, reading, watching television and ...other hobbies."

"In Recession, Americans Doing More, Buying Less"
By Damien Cave, NY Times, January 2, 2010
Now, the everyday businessperson might well jump on this as a disastrous idea, almost unpatriotic given the limping state of the economy. The very thought of people buying less, much less saying anything to encourage them, sends shivers down their balance sheets.

But why? When people are active, they buy services, and tools and accessories to do things with. If your focus is on how to profit from this population, open an amazing park of some sort and charge them admission. Sell them backpacks, camping gear, cameras...

What we're trying to steer away from here is stuff, defined as the kind of things you buy because it's fun to buy things, the kind which when you discover them in your closet a short time later, you ask yourself why you ever bought — and can't remember.

George Carlin's "Stuff"

I believe you really can't talk about the issue of Stuff without acknowledging George Carlin's classic take on it. Here's a five minute performance of that bit, unusually non-obscene due to its venue, the nationally televised Comic Relief benefit in 1986. ❤