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Cleantech news you might have missed: 26 Jan. 2009

newspapersSkipped the cleantech news reports over the weekend? Not to worry. Greenbang’s got you covered with today’s roundup of stories you might have missed:

  • When you think about the potential for solar power, talking rubbish bins probably aren’t the first application to come to mind. But, hey, why not? The city of Shanghai in China recently put up 10 such bins in People’s Square, with an eventual total of 480 expected to be deployed in various parts of town. The solar energy powers not only a light-up map of local roads and public facilities, but a button-activated voice feature directing users to the nearest two toilets.
  • Germans are being urged to eat less meat, not only for their personal health but for the planet’s as well. The Guardian recently reported that German’s federal environment agency has urged citizens to eat meat only on special occasions, as livestock operations are the most energy-intensive form of agriculture, which itself produces about 15 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Can NASCAR really be going green? The US auto-racing organisation plans to make its sport “greener and environmentally smarter,” according to chairman Brian France. Newly named managing director for green innovation Mike Lynch has been tasked with establishing an organisation-wide eco-focused initiative to address fans’ concerns about the environment, “high fuel cost, global warming and energy independence,” France said.
  • Corn ethanol might be more environmentally sound than its critics assert, according to new research from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Agronomists at the university have published a paper showing that corn ethanol is directly responsible for 51 percent less greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) than petrol. “Critics claim that corn ethanol has only a small net energy yield and little potential for direct reductions in GHG emissions compared to use of gasoline,” said Ken Cassman, a member of the research team. “This is the first peer-reviewed study to document that these claims are not correct.”

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