President Barack Obama didn't launch any new initiatives in his visit today to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he highlighted clean energy technology and the need for climate change legislation. But he did wonder if he'd be able to leave the campus. "I understand a bunch of engineering students put my motorcade on top of building 10," he quipped. MIT has an archived webcast of his speech.
The U.S. House of Representatives yesterday passed a bill, H.R. 3585, that would require the Department of Energy to create a road map for solar energy technology development and to get more industry input. The bill requires industry grants to be merit-reviewed and increases the authorization for funding from $250 million to $550 million by 2015 (current appropriation is about $200 million). DOE would also have to establish an R&D program for recycling of solar panels. No companion bill has been introduced in the Senate.
Researchers in Germany released a study (PDF, auf Deutsch) yesterday showing how by 2050 Germany could reduce its emissions by 95% from its 1990 levels while maintaining its living standards. Renewable energy for electricity, traffic, and heating would do 60% of the job, the rest would come from industry, farming, and waste management.
After dodging a shutdown of its animal research, the University of Wisconsin, Madison, is proposing to hire a vice chancellor for research to manage grants and compliance with federal rules.