NEXT100 provides an in-depth look at the intersection of the clean energy business and the environment. It focuses on trends in green technology, policy and the Earth’s climate that will most impact the energy industry and our customers over the next 100 years–PG&E’s second century in operation.

NEXT100 is written and edited by Jonathan Marshall, with contributions from colleagues at PG&E. Postings on NEXT100 represent the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of PG&E.

No Free Ride

The good news first: Americans are paying less in gas taxes per 1,000 miles driven, and per $100 of income, than at anytime since 1929, according to USA Today. In fact, in inflation-adjusted dollars, gasoline taxes were more than twice as high in the early 1970s. Now the bad news: There’s no free ride.

The Smart Grid Ecosystem

At the event, Vice President of GE Ecomagination Steve Fludder described the “eco” in GE’s idea of Ecomagination as compelling eco-nomical solutions for customers with eco-logical benefits.

Beating the Heat

The average person takes for granted that the lights go on when he or she flips the switch. But during the record-breaking heat wave that hit the East Coast earlier this month, as millions of people cranked up their air conditioners, it took some unheralded heroics to prevent overloaded circuits and widespread brownouts.

The Solar Energy Gusher

Here’s another reason to support utility-scale solar energy, besides all the usual environment benefits: It will help balance the federal budget.

Climate Changes

Global warming may have an impact on crocs – the animals, not the shoes. According to a study done by Australian scientists, global warming could make it harder for crocodiles to find food and take refuge from predators.

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