The New York Times on a clean competitor to solar "Combined heat and power," or CHP, is the clunky name for an alternative energy that's emerging as a competitor to solar in home energy production. Kate Galbraith runs down the technology, which improves the efficiency of existing electric systems. "These systems use the heat left over from generating electricity to produce either hot water, which circulates through pipes to nearby buildings to provide heat, or steam, which can be used for industrial purposes," she writes. While CHP systems have taken off in a big way in post-tsunami Japan, manufactures are struggling to sell the technology in the U.S. even though it pairs well with natural gas, abundant with the fracking boom, and is often less costly than installing solar panels. "In the United States, a basic obstacle is lack of knowledge."
The Denver Post on a drought brewing in another state Last year, Texas received national attention for its devastating drought; this year the same might happen with Colorado. Colorado State Univerisity scientists confirm this week what residents suspected, that the vast majority (98 percent, it turns out) of Colorado is in drought, with the two water basins supplying Denver at half their usual levels. "Conditions have changed drastically since October, when 60 percent of the state didn't have any drought categories," reports The Denver Post. That has officials worried about a terrifying repeat of the 2002 drought in 2012 or if conditions persist in 2013, which "saw the most devastating wildfire season in state history."