Day: March 27, 2019

DOE Announces $70 Million for Cybersecurity Institute for Energy Efficient Manufacturing

Today, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced up to $70 million for a Clean Energy Manufacturing Innovation Institute to develop technologies that will advance U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, energy efficiency, and innovation. This Institute will focus on early-stage research for advancing cybersecurity in energy efficient manufacturing.

The manufacturing and industrial sector consumes about 25% of the Nation’s energy. DOE estimates that the adoption of automated controls and sensors provide the potential for up to 15% improved energy efficiency in manufacturing, according to a report from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). Cybersecurity threats in the energy sector negatively impact the manufacturing and deployment of energy technologies such as electric vehicles, solar panels and wind turbines. Integration across the supply chain network and an increased use of automation applied in energy efficient manufacturing processes can make industrial infrastructures vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

“Improved cybersecurity can reduce risks as well as catalyze adoption of more energy efficient technologies in the manufacturing industry,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry. “This Institute will conduct early-stage research to help U.S. manufacturers remain resilient and globally competitive against cyberattacks.” DOE identified two major high priority challenge areas where collaborative research and development (R&D) can help U.S. manufacturers remain resilient and globally competitive against cyberattacks: 1) Securing Automation and 2) Securing the Supply Chain Network. The Institute will pursue targeted early stage R&D that will focus on understanding the evolving cybersecurity threats to greater energy efficiency in manufacturing industries, developing new cybersecurity technologies and methods, and sharing information and knowledge to the broader community of U.S. manufacturers. In addition, the Institute will address the education and training needed for cyber-secure automated sensors that will enable greater manufacturing energy efficiency.

While the DOE Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office will fund the Institute, it will be co-managed by DOE’s Office of Cybersecurity, Energy Security, and Emergency Response. DOE plans on funding one new award for up to five years, subject to appropriations. Concept papers are due on May 15, 2019.

View the funding application and submission requirements here.

EPA accepting applications for 2019 Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators

The Presidential Innovation Award for Environmental Educators recognizes outstanding kindergarten through grade 12 teachers who employ innovative approaches to environmental education and use the environment as a context for learning for their students. Up to two teachers from each of EPA’s 10 regions, from different states, will be selected to receive this award. The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ), in partnership with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) administers this award to honor, support and encourage educators who incorporate environmental education in their classrooms and teaching methods.

EPA is accepting applications for the 2019 awards through April 5.

Inspiration, Humility, Hope, and Sadness: Reflections on the Youth Climate Strike

Read the full post from the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Last Friday, hundreds of thousands of students in the United States and around the world were out in the streets rather than in their classrooms, demanding that our political leaders address the climate crisis with the urgency and focused action that the science so clearly demands.

As a soon-to-be-67-year-old advocate who’s been working on US and international climate policy and politics for some 30 years—as well as the father of a 24-year-old daughter—I welcome the passion, energy, and directness these young leaders are bringing to the conversation. As I listened to the powerful statements that youth leaders made at the rally at the US Capitol, I found myself experiencing a range of emotions: inspiration, hope, humility, and sadness.

Can modern, high-tech warehouses rely solely on the power grid?

Read the full story at Supply Chain Dive.

As warehouses add automation, facilities managers explore alternative energy and smart sensors to reduce reliance on the grid.

CSOs weigh in: How political polarization is affecting corporate sustainability

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Anyone with a passing interest in the news can see that political polarization defines U.S. politics. Recently, I have been wondering how that polarization affects the sustainability function, which focuses on some hot-button issues such as climate change, gender equality, wage disparities and even immigration.

For the second article in my series offering insights from U.S.-based CSOs on trending issues, I put this question to a number of CSOs in my network. (My first article in this series — building on the Weinreb Group’s latest research on CSOs — focused on the makeup of sustainability teams.) Interestingly, everyone who responded said political polarization has had little impact on their strategy and programs. This was the opposite of what I was expecting to hear.

Wastewater is an asset, with nutrients, energy and precious metals — and scientists are learning how to recover them

Read the full story at GreenBiz.

Most people think as little as possible about the wastewater that is produced daily from their showers, bathtubs, sinks, dishwashers and toilets. But with the right techniques, it can become a valuable resource.

On average, every Americans uses about 60 gallons of water per day (PDF) for purposes that include flushing toilets, showering and doing laundry. This figure can easily double if outdoor uses, such as watering lawns and filling swimming pools, are also included.

Most of the used water eventually will become wastewater that must be treated before it can be discharged into nature. And that treatment uses a lot of energy. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, water and wastewater facilities account for more than a third of municipal energy budgets (PDF).

My research focuses on recovering resources from wastewater. This process is difficult because wastewater contains many types of contaminants. But researchers in our fields are exploring many creative ways to make valuable products from them.

Coal companies join with Rick Perry to derail Trump nominee

Read the full story at Politico.

David Hill, a former Energy Department counsel, had criticized the Trump administration’s push to offer financial help to coal power plants.

The Trump Administration asks a judge to allow oil exploration to begin despite coastal communities’ lawsuit

Read the full story in Pacific Standard.

The Trump administration argued Monday in court filings that it should be allowed to begin exploratory work for offshore oil drilling while a lawsuit filed by coastal communities to block the practice is decided.

The Wrong — and Right — Way to Recycle

Read the full commentary in Governing.

Single-stream systems have produced stagnating collection rates and soaring costs. Localities need to go back to the dual-stream past and invest in the future.

The Observer view on the school climate strikes: it’s shameful that children need to take the lead

Read the full story in the Guardian.

For those who care passionately about our planet’s future, these are dispiriting times. Fossil fuel emissions, which are now causing our world to overheat dangerously, continue to rise despite scientists’ clear warnings about the likely consequences: melting ice sheets, rising sea levels, unprecedented storms, acidifying oceans and spreading deserts.

Such forecasts should have spurred global action a long time ago. Yet politicians across the world have consistently refused to act and for decades have procrastinated, discounting evidence that clearly shows global warming is already affecting our planet. Many factors account for this inaction. Lobbying by oil and gas companies obsessed with short-term gain has certainly been involved. Others have argued that only God can have a planet-wide influence and that humanity is being presumptuous in believing it could alter a global ecosystem. In addition, there are those who believe bids to introduce limits on coal and oil burning are simply the work of leftwing, anti-capitalist conspirators.

Such befuddled notions are no longer acceptable in an overheating world. In failing to act over climate change, our leaders are in real danger of betraying a generation of young people who, in a few decades, are likely to inherit a blighted world that has been denuded of much of its wildlife, coastline and fertile land. The future of our children is being stolen before their eyes.

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