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Next up: A smarter streetlight

Someone has invented a better streetlamp. It uses light emitting diodes (LEDs); it costs twice as much as ordinary lights and doesn’t save much electricity, but it’s smart enough to report on its condition, which cuts down on crews seeking failed lights. LEDs emit an appealing white light.

 
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At upstate campus, saving energy is part of dorm life

Many people are familiar with the Energy Star label on appliances, but fewer know that buildings are rated too. In New York, dormitories at two colleges have earned Energy Star labels. Ithaca College has spent $1.3 million to upgrade boilers, insulate attics, and install submeters. Fraud is low.

 
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Atlantic may see above-average hurricane season

Forecasters from Colorado State University predicted that the 2010 Atlantic hurricane season (June 1 – Nov, 30) will be above average, with 15 named storms and 8 hurricanes, 4 of Category 3 or higher. They forecast the probability of a major hurricane hitting the U.S. coast at 69%. These preliminary predictions will be revised on June 2 and August 4. Although much remains to be learned about the connection between hurricanes and climate change, some climate scientists think global warming affects hurricane severity more than frequency.

 
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A grid of wind turbines to pick up the slack

Let’s face it, wind power needs wind, which can be intermittent. How to resolve this problem? Scientists at the University of Delaware analyzed the effect of connecting wind turbines together in a grid. They found that linking 11 offshore wind farms would be costly but would reduce fluctuation.

 
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Europe finds clean energy in trash, but U.S. lags

Incinerators aren’t noisy, smelly, smoky beasts anymore. In Europe’s new generation of waste-to-energy plants, dozens of filters trap pollutants. The plants produce electricity as they dispose of garbage, lower energy costs, and limit the use of landfills. In the U.S., opposition dies hard.

 
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