Archive for November, 2012

American manufacturing and small business landed front and center on President Barack Obama’s public push for a congressional deal that would prevent higher taxes and budget cuts from automatically kicking in at the end of the year, a scenario known as the “fiscal cliff.” Read more


Plus: A Day in NYC Transit, Super-Strong Artificial Muscles and Navigating a Robot Obstacle Course. Read more


Despite some short-term challenges, including the fiscal cliff and the potential end of the Production Tax Credit, an emphasis on green jobs hiring is clearly going to bring long-term benefit for the cleantech industries. But as we have explored in previous stories on Green & Clean, there aren’t enough trained skilled workers who can step in to these jobs.

But training programs, looking long term to the future, continue to spring up across the country, aided by federal grants and nonprofits, and one of the most inspiring ones comes from an area that isn’t thought of as a cleantech hot spot: the Bronx.

In New York City’s northernmost borough, arguably most famous for being the home of the New York Yankees but also for having a rough-and-tumble reputation, an organization called the Consortium for Workers Education (CWE) has been been training adults and recent college graduates for green jobs. Read more


Global crude steel production increased on both a month-to-month and year-over-year basis in October. However, output from U.S. steel manufacturers has declined slightly, while international markets may face an overcapacity problem in the near future. Read more


When President Barack Obama passed the American Investment and Recovery Act in 2009, it included a number of provisions for supporting and accelerating the growth of green energy technologies. Much of the cleantech policy incorporated into that bill was first proposed by the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of union groups, small businesses, manufacturers, and social justice groups that work together to find common ground on environmental policies.

On Nov. 13, the BlueGreen Alliance unveiled what it calls the California Green MAP (Manufacturing Action Plan). The document proposes policy changes similar to those included in the Investments for Manufacturing Progress and Clean Technology (IMPACT) Act of 2009 proposed by Senator Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), which were ultimately included in the American Investment and Recovery Act.

The California Green MAP is the fourth such “action plan” created by the group. Read more

Credit: brionv

Plus: U.S. Cracks Down on Counterfeiters, Being a Business Visionary, Europe’s Downturn Affecting American Manufacturers, Why Holiday Sales Are a Bad Idea and the Coming “Industrial Internet” Worth Trillions. Read more


Credit: DNV KEMA

One fairly constant criticism of solar energy not being able to provide significant chunks of power for everyday life is that the amount of space and scale needed for installations that can meet those needs are staggeringly huge. For solar energy to make significant contributions to the electric grid, a whole lot of space must be devoted for power plants and solar farms.

For example, solar installations in the Mojave Desert, which receives about twice the sunlight compared with the rest of the U.S., can spread over five to 10 miles. Often, the high levels of sunlight craved by solar farms are found in the desert, but the drawback of locating huge solar installations in the desert is that not a lot of people live all that close to deserts, meaning additional infrastructure is needed to transport the electricity to population centers far away.

This gave Netherlands-based energy industry consultancy and certification firm DNV KEMA some inspiration. Read more

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