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Archive for April, 2011

From Culture to Cleantech: A travel diary from South Korea

By Guest Author Lee Barken, CPA, LEED-AP

   Blink twice in Seoul, South Korea, and you might think you’re in any big city in the United States.  Cars whiz by, tall buildings sprawl out in familiar, dense, urban patterns, and of course, there’s the occasional Starbucks dotting the landscape.  My visit to this country came at the invitation of the SWEET Renewable Energy and Cleantech Conference.  Given that this was to be my first trip to Korea, I accepted the speaking invitation with the eagerness and anticipation of a young wizard on his first train ride to Hogwarts.  Frankly, I had no idea what to expect, but I was excited to be on board.  What I discovered was striking.  Korea is a country with vast differences and abundant similarities to western culture.  “How is that possible?” you might be wondering.  Let me explain.
   After spending a week in Korea, one might make the observation that westerners are in familiar territory.  This is a place where the people are friendly, the cars drive on the same side of the road, and one can survive on English alone.  In short, it feels safe and navigable.  (OK, so all the measurements are in metric units, but you get the point.)  However, once you start engaging strangers in conversation and (more…)


San Diego’s massive transportation plan: Now to 2050

On Tuesday I attended the San Diego Regional Smart Grid Working Group Stakeholder MeetingOrganized by CleanTECH San Diego, the meeting reviewed San Diego’s leadership position in integrating Plug-In Electric Vehicles (PEV) into the grid.  With over 2,000 PEVs (primarily Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt) scheduled to hit San Diego streets this year alone, there is much to do to create an effective infrastructure to handle what will soon be a substantially larger base of electric transportation.  Included on the “to do” list is the construction of 1,400 non-residential PEV chargers.

“If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there” is frequently included in the preamble of major planning projects.  Muggs Stoll of SANDAG presented an overview of San Diego’s 2050 Regional Transportation Plan (RTP).  SANDAG is the first regional planning agency in California to integrate Green House Gas (GHG) reduction targets and PEVs in its regional plan.  On Friday the SANDAG Board of Directors released the Draft 2050 RTP and its Sustainable Communities Strategy (SCS). The release of the Draft 2050 RTP begins the public comment period which will extend through June 30, 2011.

Click to link to the 2050 Regional Transportation PlanIt is a hefty 313 pages and over 50 mb if you download the PDF as one file.  SANDAG has created a three-minute video entitled “Our Region. Our Future.” about the 2050 RTP.