First Takes: Benyus, Hansen Among Heinz Award Winners, Biofuels Not So Green? & More...

First Takes: Benyus, Hansen Among Heinz Award Winners, Biofuels Not So Green? & More...

A Who's-Who of Green Innovation: The winners of the 17th annual Heinz Awards were announced today, and the winners, especially in the environmental category, are an all-star list of people whose work we've covered on Among the winners: Green chemistry guru Paul Anastas, RMI founder Amory Lovins, climate scientist James Hansen, and Janine Benyus, who won a Special Focus award for her work in biomimicry. The full list of recipients is here.

Biofuels' Benefits May Have Been Double-Counted: The European Union may have significantly overestimated the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions from burning biofuels, perhaps double-counting reductions through a simple accounting error. The news comes in a draft paper from climate scientists, describing how carbon accounting practices do not include how much carbon the crops sequester as they grow. If the findings are supported, it could lead to major changes in estimates for and funding of biofuels programs.

• Iceland's Only Got 11 EVs? With nearly 100 percent of its electricity generated from geothermal and hydroelectric power, Iceland should be "the perfect place to have the world’s first all-electric fleet – plug in your cars at night and drive for next to nothing," writes Michael Vaughan in the Globe and Mail. Instead? He finds traffic jams, debates about oil drilling, and just 11 electric vehicles in the whole country. Read why here.

Ford, Bug Labs Join Forces on Auto Fuel Efficiency: A new partnership, announced at TechCrunch Disrupt this week, brings gamification to fuel-efficient driving. As one part of a larger partnership between Ford and Bug Labs to bring socially connected vehicles to market, Bug Labs CEO Peter Semmelhack described a prototype "Fuel Economy Challenge" application that gives drivers "real-time access and share performance stats to see who is driving the most efficiently."

Walmart, SolarCity Expand Solar Partnership in Calif.: Continuing on an ongoing partnership to bring solar power to big boxes, Walmart tomorrow will be holding a press conference to announce that it is expanding its work with SolarCity to bring more solar panels to more of its stories in California.

Photo courtesy of The Heinz Foundation.