Archive for August, 2012

Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/31/12)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 31st, 2012

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/31/12)

  1. Stephen Lacey of ClimateProgress reports: “…[President] Obama signed an Executive Order that sets a national goal of 40,000 MW of new combined heat and power (CHP) installations in the next 10 years, while directing various departments to initiate policies and technical assistance programs to help implement projects. According to the White House, achieving these targets could bring between $40 billion and $80 billion in new capital investments to the manufacturing sector over the next decade.”
  2. According to CleanTechnica: “Government investment and support for clean, renewable energy development is paying off handsomely in Massachusetts, where the clean energy economy grew 11.2% between July 2011 and July 2012. The state’s fast-growing clean energy sector now employs 71,523 people at 4,995 clean energy businesses across the state.”
  3. Power Engineering International reports: “A controversial plan to build the world’s largest offshore wind farm off the Scottish coast, with 339 turbines sited in the Moray Firth, has been unveiled….Developers say the £4.5 billion project, 13 miles off Caithness, could create hundreds of jobs and provide electricity for a million homes. It would also be a major boost to the Scottish Government’s target of generating 100 per cent of the country’s electricity demand from renewables by the end of the decade.”
  4. According to the Dickinson Press, “The oil boom’s thirst for ‘fracking’ fluids fuels a thriving market for water that has become an industry with yearly sales estimated at between $45 million to $120 million.”
  5. CleanTechnica reports: “On Wednesday, Japan’s first floating wind turbine began operation about half a mile off the coat of the Nagasaki prefecture. The 100-kilowatt turbine will be replaced with a 2-megawatt turbine next summer, once data regarding performance and maintenance is collected.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/30/12)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 30th, 2012

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/30/12)

  1. Stephen Lacey of Climate Progress writes: “When the government encourages renewable energy, that’s called picking winners and losers. But when the government encourages coal — an increasingly-expensive resource that has become an environmental nightmare — that’s ‘the best way to advance North American energy independence.’”
  2. A guest post at Forbes by Peter Kely-Detwiler argues that the “real story about the solar power industry” is that it “is not only here to stay, but poised for rapid and relentless growth over the next 20 years.”
  3. According to The Guardian, “A new study into the efficiency and reliability of wind farms has concluded that a campaign against them by Conservative backbenchers and others is not supported by the evidence.”
  4. PV Magazine has an excellent infographic, “Setting the solar story straight.”
  5. Renewable Energy World reports, “Growing global interest in harvesting the sea’s vast generation potential is now focused on the UK, where a series of initiatives such as the new Marine Energy Parks are aimed at maintaining the country’s technological lead.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/29/12)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 29th, 2012

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/29/12)

  1. Renewable Energy World reports, “A move into concentrating solar thermal power (CSP) could not only drive Australia’s de-carbonization but establish a global technology lead, says a new analysis from the Australia Solar Institute.”
  2. According to CleanTechnica: “Yesterday, IKEA officially commissioned the solar panels it had installed at its Twin Cities store power plant in Bloomington, Minnesota. This is reportedly the largest solar array in the state.’
  3. Treehugger reports, “Solar PV Boom is Shaving Off Mid-Day Energy Demand Peak in Australia.”
  4. According to the Huffington Post,More than 1,000 demonstrators marched to New York’s state Capitol on Monday to keep up the pressure on Gov. Andrew Cuomo as he prepares to decide whether to allow shale gas drilling using high-volume hydraulic fracturing after four years of studying its health and environmental impacts.”
  5. Stephen Lacey of Climate Progress writes, “As natural gas and renewable energy development has surged, net generation from coal has fallen substantially. According to the EIA figures, coal-fired electricity has dropped 20 percent since May of 2011.”
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Five Energy Stories Worth Reading Today (8/28/12)

Posted By Lowell F. on August 28th, 2012

Here are five recommended reads for today (8/28/12)

  1. Mindy S. Lubber of the Forbes Sustainable Capitalism Blog writes at Ceres that a new “report, More Jobs Per Gallon, produced by independent analyst Management Information Systems Inc. found that the 54.5-mpg rule would create nearly 484,000 new jobs nationwide and over 43,000 jobs in the auto sector.“
  2. NJ.com reports: “Standing in front of the large, empty expanse that is the Paulsboro Marine Terminal, local legislators joined the Sierra Club in urging Gov. Chris Christie to act on creating wind energy jobs in New Jersey Monday afternoon.”
  3. At Renewable Energy World, Heather Lammers of NREL explains: “While very reliable today, the U.S. electricity grid is old and has gone at least five decades without a significant technological upgrade. The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is working with industry on one solution to help maintain a secure, reliable flow of energy: microgrids.”
  4. CleanTechnica reports, “The two largest electricity utilities in Germany – E.ON and RWE – have declared they will build no more fossil fuel generation plants because they are not needed, challenging a widespread belief that the phasing out of nuclear in Europe’s most industrialised economy will require more coal-fired generation to be built.”
  5. According to The Hill, “The Republican platform slated for approval at the party’s convention includes expanded offshore oil-and-gas development, opening Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) to drilling rigs and thwarting Environmental Protection Agency climate change regulations.”
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Creator of “Texts from Hillary” Explains the Anatomy of Buzz

Posted By mikec on August 27th, 2012

This is the final piece in our series on BuzzFeed editor Stacy Lambe’s “Scaling Green Communicating Energy Lecture Series” recent talk. The first two installments are available here and here.  The topic for this post is “buzz” – what is it, how to create it – from the creative force behind the viral phenomenon, “Texts from Hillary.”

Our first question to Stacy was straightforward: what is “buzz?” According to Stacy:

Buzz…[is] something that we consider is going viral, something that we consider is a hot topic, or just anything of interest that is considered shareable. The idea is not just you would like it, but you and 20 of your friends…would like it as well.

A classic example of how this works was undoubtedly “Texts from Hillary,” which quickly became a viral phenomenon, on both social and “traditional” media. But why did “Texts from Hillary” work so well? Stacy’s answer revolved around the concept of shareability, along with the word “meme” – “an idea that is propagated through the World Wide Web,” and that “spread[s] from person to person via social networksblogs, direct email, news sources, or other web-based services.”

Texts from Hillary came about at the right time that really spoke to what was the undercurrent of the current mood in Washington, as well as apparently the nation. We created something that was definitely very genuine and real. I think it was funny. It was simple, and it kept it politics free, which I know sounds bizarre because it’s labeled as one of the best political memes of this year. But our idea was to never take a stance on a certain issue, it was capturing the idea or persona of someone we’ve all come to know and then letting people have an outlet for that.

In addition, as we’ve noted in previous posts on Stacy’s talk, the keys in a social media world, which we certainly appear to be living in these days, revolve around being short, punchy, visual, creative, approachable, genuine, and interactive, and shareable. Pictures are great too, as well as anything that taps into the zeitgeist.

Given our particular focus on clean energy communications, our follow-up question to Stacy was how public relations professionals can latch onto, or even create the next, “Texts from Hillary.” Stacy’s response, in short, was that it’s not so easy. Hey, you can always dream, right?

That’s a very hard one, I’ve been trying to figure out that myself, trying to see if I can strike twice, and I don’t know if even I can per se. I think it’s…a matter of just paying attention to all the memes and all the things that do go viral, and just looking for those opportunities that make the most sense for you and your client

So, these strategies worked with “Texts from Hillary,” but how about with clean energy? As the example of Greenpeace’s fake, satirical Shell website demonstrates, it’s certainly possible. The key, it appears, is tapping into hot, popular memes; presenting stories in a user-friendly way for information-overloaded internet dwellers; and, as Stacy Lambe puts it, making content – clean energy or whatever it is – an “inviting experience that [people] can react to, that they can participate in.”

These days, in Stacy’s viewand we tend to agreesimply presenting “hard news or straight news told at [people]” isn’t going to cut it. Instead, professional energy communicators need to work at acclimating themselves to the world of BuzzFeed, the world of “Texts from Hillary,” and the world of social media more broadly. That is, if they want to succeed at what they’re doing.

Posted in Media, New Media
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