June 2nd, 2010

How to become a Clean Energy Infovore


Chris had a post on the Top 10 Boston companies killing it on Twitter.  I thought I’d add on to that with a post on the blogs and news feeds I use to stay abreast of the industry.  There’s no shortage of terrific news and analysis on energy and climate issues and I don’t intend for this list to be comprehensive.  But hopefully it will offer a starting point – or many starting points – to readers looking to keep up with the sector.  I also hope to hear from others about sources I may be missing.  (Quick plug: follow @GreenLDistrikt and @NECEC on Twitter!)

So here goes…

Local cleantech news: MassHighTech and Xconomy

MassHighTech is “the Journal of New England Technology” and covers much more than energy.  I make sure to at least skim everything they publish on both Energy and Envirotech.  Looking for a once-a-week news roundup in your inbox?  Sign up for MHT’s GreenFlash newsletter.  It’s as close to a one-stop-shop for local cleantech news as you’re going to find.

Xconomy is a great, hyper-local news site that covers all things innovation in Boston, Detroit, San Diego, and Seattle.  If you use RSS, you can sign up for feeds by either technology area (energy) or city (Boston).

The business of Boston: the Globe and the Boston Business Journal

Still don’t have your fill of business news?  I make sure to at least scan The Boston Globe’s Business section. Ditto with The Boston Business Journal.  Perhaps most importantly, I recommend you start reading Globe columnist Scott Kirsner’s blog, Innovation Economy.  Though it’s not always about cleantech, it’s a can’t-miss inside look into Boston’s start-up ecosystem.

Getting outside of Boston: a whole lotta cleantech news

These are all great feeds to keep up with the cleantech sector beyond – but including – New England.  I’d love to go into detail about what I like about each of these, but there are too many so I’ll just reel them off: CNET’s GreenTech by Martin LaMonica, Cambridge-based Greentech Media, VentureBeat’s GreenBeat, Earth2Tech, Green Energy Reporter, The Cleantech Group, and Clean Edge.

Beyond business: the science, policy and politics of climate & energy

The New York Times’ Energy & Environment feed is a good place to start.  So is their Green blogDot Earth, another NYT blog by former reporter Andy Revkin, covers the many implications of an increasingly strained planet.

For even more news and analysis on energy and environmental issues I keep tabs on the Washington Post’s Post Carbon blog, The New Republic’s The Vine blog, and Yale’s Environment 360.

I also highly recommend Climate Progress, by Joe Romm of the Center for American Progress, a liberal think tank.  Regardless of whether you agree with Romm’s politics, his blog is a must-read.  If nothing else, his daily news roundups are highly valuable.

If you’re interested in wonking out a bit on climate & energy policy not to worry – I have just the feeds for you.  Check out Harvard economist Rob Stavins’ blog along with Michael Levi’s at the Council on Foreign Relations.

Finally, if you want to keep up with the latest in energy technology, check out the energy page at MIT’s Technology Review.

‘There is no such thing as information overload’

…Only filter failure.  So says new media guru Clay Shirky.  The links above constitute most of my daily energy-specific reading.  There are a number of great individuals and organizations not included here that I follow on Twitter and count on to provide good links.  And my list is always changing.  But hopefully this gives you a starting point if you’re looking to keep up with all things clean energy.

I personally use Google Reader to manage all this.  If that doesn’t work for you, you could create a dashboard with iGoogle or NetVibes, sign up for email alerts, find these sources on Twitter, or just use old-fashioned bookmarking.

What great sites and feeds am I missing?  There’s more great energy info out there than anyone has time to read, but that doesn’t mean we can’t try!

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Walter Frick

About Walter Frick

Walter Frick works for the New England Clean Energy Council, managing the Council’s communications, web presence, and student outreach. Prior to joining the Council, Walter worked for the U.S. Green Building Council, creator of the LEED rating system, in D.C., where he focused on membership recruitment. Before that he worked in Richmond for the Virginia Senate Democratic Caucus. In addition to clean energy, Walter is interested in public policy, information and media, and how the web is changing our relationships with each. He is a graduate of Colgate University. Follow Walter on Twitter: @wfrick

  • Sarah

    Very insightful! One of the best posts I've read…wish we had an insider on our staff!

  • http://www.thegreenlightdistrikt.com Chris Williams


    Very glad you liked Walter's post. I agree, it was awesome! One of, if not the most, comprehensive review of renewable energy/green/sustainable reading materials. Thanks for the comment.