This past October U. S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2015 concluded with final judging of the 14 entries at Orange County Great Park in Irvine, California. The Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient, and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. Stevens Institute of Technology won top honors overall (see photo); University at Buffalo, The State University of New York, took second place; and California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo, came in third place. Continue reading Reflection on DOE Solar Decathlon and Cal Poly INhouse
On Friday President Obama announced that he had rejected the request from TransCanada to build the Keystone XL oil pipeline which ultimately would have transported 800,000 barrels a day of heavy oil from the Canadian oil sands to the US Gulf Coast refineries. This ended a seven-year review that had become a contentious political issue and symbol of the debate over his climate policies. Continue reading Cancellation of Keystone Pipeline – A win for climate change or misplaced symbolism?