NSI News

Everything listed under: Opinion

  • Green definition varies, but doesn’t really matter

    The U.S. Department of Commerce issued a report last month that indicates ­— as many have over the past several months — that the green sector of the U.S. economy appears poised to grow quickly.

  • New Energy Star program promotes commercial building energy efficiency

    A new Energy Star pilot program designed to further improve commercial building energy efficiency offers state and local governments another way to meet their greenhouse gas reduction (GHG) targets.. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in partnership with several states and utilities, introduced the Building Performance with Energy Star program last month.

  • Reports indicate life after stimulus for clean energy

    Reports continue to indicate the clean energy sector’s strength despite the recession and uncover signs pointing toward steep growth in the coming years. Perhaps there’s life after stimulus after all? A recent report from Bloomberg New Energy Finance noted that worldwide financial investment in clean energy, including wind farms, solar parks, biofuel plants, and other projects, as well as public market, venture capital, and private equity financing for clean energy companies reached $27.3 billio...

  • Found money good news for all

    The Obama Administration has done its share to create new opportunities for the energy and sustainability markets. As it turns out, there are even more worth billions of dollars within existing federal programs. The Washington, D.C.-based U.S.

  • Offshore wind market could take off

    With the nation’s first offshore wind project approved after a contentious nine-year battle between government officials and a wealthy opposition group, investors and developers might gain some long-awaited opportunities along the coastline. The controversial Cape Wind project in the waters of Nantucket Sound “will be the first of many projects up and down the Atlantic Coast,’’ Interior Secretary Salazar said at a Massachusetts State House press conference with Governor Deval Patrick at his side...

  • After 40 years, it’s all about energy

    For environmentalists, surely each Earth Day has marked another year of climbing the proverbial uphill battle. First, it was all about a whole lot of cleanup — the air, the water, litter along the highways. Some time later recycling was all the rage as a means of reducing waste streams.

  • Financing alternatives put solar within reach

    While no one argues against the merits of harnessing the sun’s power, the half-century-old technology’s growth has been slow in the United States. But that’s starting to change thanks to some creative financing options that are gaining favor in the public and private sectors. According to a recent Fast Company piece, despite the dramatic drop in cost of solar energy components and overall systems, companies remain slow to embrace the option due largely to the necessary capital investment regardl...

  • Collaboration will bring cybersecurity solutions

    Last year I had the opportunity to hear the Director of the US National Security Agency speak at three separate conferences and each time he repeated the need for an enhanced public-private partnership to confront cyber threats. In fact, this has become a mantra by government and military officials who understand how highly dependent Federal, State and Local governments are on critical information and communications technology infrastructures that are owned and operated by the private sector. Ho...

  • Health care reform brings challenges, opportunity

    The questions swirling around health care reform haven’t stopped since the legislation passed last month. Unfortunately, the answers are elusive, and will continue to be for some time. Clearly, the impact on states will be immense.

  • Real-time intelligence key to cybersecurity

    Why is it that cyber criminals and digital spies have such an advantage when it comes to successful exploitation of our information and communication technologies? At the core, the problem is that the Internet was built as a communication tool by and for an academic community where trust was taken for granted. Those early pioneers that built the Internet architecture could never have envisioned how in very short time this global information infrastructure would become a means for legions of mali...

  • Keys to success in public market small, but crucial

    The Federal, State and Local governments offer billions in grants, loans and tax incentives for myriad projects and publicly-owned utilities and also have a variety of rebates and incentives. But accessing those funds isn’t easy. In fact, a request for funding might be automatically rejected if it’s not submitted on double-sided paper.

  • The Nexus Between Terrorism, Crime and Cyberspace

    We’ve heard a lot about cyber terrorism lately – including FBI Director Mueller’s March 4th warning at the RSI Cyber Security Conference that “the cyberterrorism threat is real” and that terrorist organizations are looking to conduct cyber attacks against the US. Yet at the same time, and Mueller acknowledges this, terrorists have not launched any significant cyber attacks against Western targets. And why should they when there are so many factors mitigating against the use of such cyber weapons...

  • A lifeline for venture stage technology

    We’ve witnessed a recent wave of growth in cleantech with financial backing from the public and private sectors. Some of the most exciting opportunities, however, lie ahead and might have been lost in the cracks of risk assessment if not for ARPA-e. After attending the Inaugural ARPA-e Energy Innovation Summit held March 1-3, 2010, I have the feeling we can look forward to phenomenal energy innovation in the years to come.

  • Season of change for elections, brownfields

    We’re headed into another season of change when it comes to elections. Brownfield development may not be on the tip of the politicians’ tongues, but those close to the issue in both the public and private sectors must get the conversation going. Now.

  • Awareness must come before cyber security solutions

    In themselves, computers are harmless. But with certain brains behind them, they become a devastatingly powerful tool for theft and destruction. The media and government officials are certainly paying attention to the issue with increasing frequency, especially after the recent Google hack, and previous noteworthy exploits in 2009 that included the penetration of classified US military networks and the massive GhostNet operation against foreign embassies and other targets.

  • Conference a step toward cyber security awareness

    The real issues crucial to cyber security often get buried amid technical terms and the intricacies of the United States governments’ computer systems. But the key to defending our nation against potentially disastrous impacts of cyber espionage and criminal hacking is understanding the methodology and new threat matrix. Today, the intelligence, business and criminal communities are indistinguishable and often one in the same.

  • Spending down, interest in energy efficiency way up

    Whether a piece of news gets labeled “good” or “bad” always depends on the perspective. A recent case in point: The New York Times Green Inc. blog reported recently that venture capital investments in clean tech companies plunged by 50 percent to $2.6 billion last year as investors put their money in energy efficiency projects instead.

  • Federal energy-efficiency spending signals trend

    A recent report from the Federal Times indicates the ongoing trend in spending and subsequent opportunities that abound for public sector energy efficiency projects will continue. According to an article from Environmental Leader,federal agencies spent more than $1.7 billion last year on energy-efficiency projects, increasing their environmental spend by more than 80 percent from 2008. The Federal Times article reports that about two-thirds of the investments were paid for with federally appropr...

  • New network to drive cost-saving energy solutions

    There’s been a lot of talk on Capital Hill lately about saving ourselves from the slippery slope of increasing debt. No one answer will solve all of our economic woes, but some solutions don’t won’t a cent. The State Energy Efficiency Action Network is one of them.

  • EPA budget follows pattern

    I suppose it makes sense the theme flowing through the various federal department budgets would be streamlining. With the deficit as it is, anything else would be irresponsible. But sometimes the cuts trim more than fat.

  • State, local funds dropped from DOE budget

    As with most budgets, good and bad news can be found within the president’s recent fiscal request for the Department of Energy. Overall, the $28.4 billion Fiscal Year 2011 budget request represents a continuing commitment to energy efficiency and the core goals of the Obama Administration as laid out during the campaign. For example, there’s still plenty of money for Smart Meter retrofitting and renewables as well as the electric vehicle battery market.

  • Opportunity in Ocean State

    Our current economic problems have hit some states more profoundly than others. My small home state of Rhode Island continues to suffer and those without jobs have few opportunities. While unemployment hovers at nearly 13 percent, Governor Don Carcieri submitted a plan to cut millions of dollars in funding for local governments and schools, charge new bridge tolls, and increase fees for motorists in an effort to cope with a massive budget deficit.

  • Rail investment a great start

    Thirty-one states and the District of Columbiagot some very good news recently. They will soon claim their share of $8 billion in grants from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act to create 13 new high-speed rail corridor projects and for planning initiatives to lay the groundwork for future high-speed intercity rail service. The move represents a clear commitment and understanding by the Obama Administrationof this country’s dire need for a balanced transportation system.

  • New desktops won’t close real tech gap

    A top Obama Administration official recently claimed “federal workers having better computers at home than in the office” has led to a technology gap between the public and private sectors that nets “billions of dollars in waste.” Unfortunately, the comments fell short of addressing the real crisis for America’s CIOs. The Hill reported the comments made by Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag in a statement last week before a technology summit between Obama and dozens of corpora...

  • VC investments in clean-tech hold steady

    Critics who question the future of clean technology and our government’s investment in the industry’s future might have to admit they’re wrong, once and for all. Here’s a little bit of news for them from the New York Times’ Green Inc.: Venture capitalists invested $5.6 billion in green technology companies worldwide last year, according to a preliminary report from the Cleantech Group and Deloitte. VC firms don’t spend that kind of cash on pipe dreams, particularly in today’s economy.

  • A look at good news with an eye on the future

    A New Year always presents an opportunity to look back and look ahead and the crucial issues we have faced and will meet head on in the coming months. Amid last month’s flurry of debate and voting on health care reform legislation, there was a bit of good news that came out of the Department of Health and Human Services. The department announced the award of more than $72 million to nine states for making significant progress in enrolling children in health coverage through Medicaid and improvin...

  • Green construction to account for billions in wages

    Green construction in the United States has soared in recent years and there’s plenty of reason for optimism as we head into the New Year. A steady stream of statistics, studies and reports indicate the trend will continue in the coming years. In November, a report from the U.S.