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TAFE SA TONSLEY / Flickr

Worldwide Clean Energy Investments Hit $333.5 Billion Last Year

Global investment in renewable energy hit $333.5 billion in 2018, the second-highest on record, according to a new analysis from Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

That's a 3 percent jump from 2016 and 7 percent short of the $360 billion record set in 2015.

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District heating pipes in Germany. Mbdortmund / Wikimedia Commons

District Heating Warms Cities Without Fossil Fuels

By Paul Brown

Heating homes and offices without adding to the dangers of climate change is a major challenge for many cities, but re-imagined district heating is now offering an answer.

A district heating scheme is a network of insulated pipes used to deliver heat, in the form of hot water or steam, from where it is generated to wherever it is to be used.

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Even pocket parks in cities (e.g. Duane Park in Lower Manhattan) can shelter wildlife. Read below for ideas about urban biodiversity. Aude / CC BY-SA

Creating a Sustainable Future: 5 Essential Reads

By Jennifer Weeks

Much news about the environment in 2017 focused on controversies over Trump administration actions, such as proposals to promote more use of coal and budget cuts at relevant federal agencies. At the same time, however, many scholars across the U.S. are pursuing innovations that could help create a more sustainable world. Here we spotlight five examples from our 2017 archives.

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Energy
Harvesting sugarcane in Brazil. Jonathan Wilkins / CC BY-SA

Jet Fuel From Sugarcane? It’s No Flight of Fancy

By Deepak Kumar, Stephen P. Long and Vijay Singh

The aviation industry produces two percent of global human-induced carbon dioxide emissions. This share may seem relatively small—for perspective, electricity generation and home heating account for more than 40 percent—but aviation is one of the world's fastest-growing greenhouse gas sources. Demand for air travel is projected to double in the next 20 years.

Airlines are under pressure to reduce their carbon emissions, and are highly vulnerable to global oil price fluctuations. These challenges have spurred strong interest in biomass-derived jet fuels. Bio-jet fuel can be produced from various plant materials, including oil crops, sugar crops, starchy plants and lignocellulosic biomass, through various chemical and biological routes. However, the technologies to convert oil to jet fuel are at a more advanced stage of development and yield higher energy efficiency than other sources.

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The Sierra Bonita mixed use housing project in West Hollywood, California is a sustainable building. Patrick Tighe/CC BY 3.0

Cutting Emissions in Buildings Is Critical to Fighting Climate Change

By Pierre Delforge

Reducing pollution from direct use of fossil fuels in buildings—such as burning natural gas, propane, and fuel oil in furnaces and water heaters—is critical to helping us stave off dangerous climate change and cut harmful pollution.

So finds a groundbreaking new NRDC report.

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Wikimedia Commons

Field Test of GMO Algae Sparks Outrage

Scientists from the University of California at San Diego and Sapphire Energy released results Thursday from the first open-pond trials of genetically engineered microalgae.

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Here We Go Again ... New York Times Columnist Bret Stephens Now Misleads on Biofuels

Here we go again. Bret Stephens, apparently riding high on a wave of hate-clicks, has another column that yet again deceives readers with a bait and switch.

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Electric Vehicles vs. Biofuels

By Jan Rocha

By 2040, the number of electric cars in the world could reach 150 million, or even, if more ambitious targets for emissions reductions are adopted, 715 million. So said the International Energy Agency.

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Finland Set to Become First Country in the World to Ban Coal

The Finnish government has announced plans to stop using coal, one of the the dirtiest fuels on the planet, by 2030.

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