solar energy workshop
The Evergreen Institute lowers prices to encourage more participating in its January workshops in home energy efficiency, electricity and electrical wiring, and basic PVs: An Introduction to Solar Electricity.
Check out these high-quality workshops on solar electricity, home energy efficiency, and small wind energy systems. Geared to homeowners, aspiring professionals, students and teachers - anyone wishing to learn more about renewable energy systems
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Are you looking for professional training as a solar installer or retailer? Check out this list of workshops available at the American Solar Energy Society's 2009 Conference.
Dan Chiras, founder of The Evergreen Institute, shares information on locating renewable energy training facilities.
Nokero International has been awarded the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s ‘Patents for Humanity’ award.
Admirals Alternatives make it easier to obtain renewable energy systems for your home.
The GateMate, by Cartell, has the lowest current draw in standby than any other free exit system on the market.
The Appalachian State University team will be blogging about their progress on the solar home they are building for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.
Dan Chiras announces that five of The Evergreen Institute's workshops currently qualify as continuing education credits for LEED Accredited Professionals.
Here’s advice from a renewable energy expert about what you can expect to pay for a solar-electric system to power your home.
Next spring, President Obama will install a solar panels on the roof of the White House. The photovoltaic system will provide hot water and some electricity for the White House living quarters.
This handy online tool helps calculate your solar energy potential based on your location.
While photovoltaic panels are great for meeting small-scale energy needs (like those of individual homes or businesses), perhaps a more viable large-scale option is concentrated solar power (CSP) technology.
Check out this dramatic short movie.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
New York makes a plan to increase solar power as part of an aggressive energy policy.
MIT researchers announced a breakthrough that could ultimately make it much cheaper and easier to store solar energy.
As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers.
Solar Energy International is excited to announce the 2013 Online Solar Training schedule! On Jan. 14, we will kick off this year's online training schedule with some of the most rigorous solar training in the industry. Join thousands of people from all over the world in SEI's Online Campus!
Henry Red Cloud moved back to the Pine Ridge Reservation 12 years ago and started looking into renewable energy. Since then he has started a solar heating system company and a renewable energy training center to serve the Native American community.
Here's how you can find out what financial incentives are available for purchasing solar panels, or another renewable energy system for your home. Search these resources to find state and local incentives.
The Solar Decathletes begin assembly on the National Mall at midnight, Oct. 1. But just getting the houses into D.C. is no simple task.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
Here are three of the season’s brightest and cleanest gifts for a greener holiday celebration.
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.
Leasing solar panels may be a way for you to have a solar electric system on your home. See what our expert has to say on leasing solar panels, from an operating lease to a capital lease. Plus, learn about the federal tax incentives that come with solar electric systems.
The sun provides us with enough clean energy that if ever effectively harnessed, we might never need any other form again. Sadly, we are only able to harness a fraction of it's potential. Fortunately, we are making great progress to get where we want to be.
It's how solar energy is more affordable than we may realize.
Alternative energy has become a hot topic in recent years as we try and work towards more sustainable resources. Whether we'll get there or not remains to be seen.
The term "living off the grid" can be used in different ways, but it means something very specific when you start looking at producing electricity from renewable sources.
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
Today most new homes are sited without any reference to solar energy at all. A few builders are catching on, however, and making the simple adjustments necessary to turn new houses into solar collectors by adhering to the tenets of passive solar building. Learn more about how passive solar works and its benefits.
The fastest-growing energy technology in the world is solar, and photovoltaic solar collectors capture solar energy in a supremely adaptable and portable form. Find out more about photovoltaics, how they work, and how they can change the way we make energy.
When you're ready to price or purchase a new solar system, findsolar.com has everything you need.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
A do-it-yourself portable solar cart allows us to have solar power without removing trees from the yard. We can also take it away from the home site and move it indoors before storms.
We’re all in this for the glory projects: the garden, chickens, bees, and wind turbine. But there’s one thing all new homesteaders should do before getting started on these other projects.
By: Matt Kelly
This week green building author, architect and Natural Home columnist Carol Venolia dispenses advice on green remodeling during workshops sponsored by Design~Build~Live in Austin, Texas.
Learn to create your own heirloom kitchen garden at this 3-course series in Pennsylvania.
Cole announces an upcoming butchering workshop.
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
The Solar Energy Tour is coming to communities all over the U.S. the first weekend of October — learn how to attend an event, or create one yourself.
Solar energy organization Show Me Solar comes highly recommended by renewable energy expert Dan Chiras for its 2010 list of workshops, webinars and other educational opportunities.
Comly Wilson, Associate with CleanEdison, a solar installation training provider, offers her tips to remedy 6 common mistakes solar PV installers make when setting up new photovoltaic systems.
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
Whether you choose renewable energy for ecological or financial reasons, this article will help you see how solar panels and a solar hot water heating system can be financed and get you closer to being a sustainable household.
Heating water with the sun is no longer an option on the Hawaiian islands. A bill was passed in Hawaii that requires all new homes to install a solar water heater in order to receive a building permit.
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Scott Davis’ “Solar Projects, Big and Small” video offers inspiration for both solar energy enthusiasts and folks who are just curious. Tips and advice pertaining to solar energy can be found at the Yahoo! group Simply Solar, and you can make your dream project a reality with Gary Reysa’s instructions.
Lundberg Family Farms announces the opening of a new warehouse that is powered by 100% solar energy. Lundberg Family Farms produces wholesome, healthful rice products while protecting and improving the environment for future generations.
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable energy.
Start cutting your electricity use today, and it will save you a bundle of cash on a renewable energy system when you're ready to buy one.
Michael Strizki proves that living off the grid doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort.
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!
The word is that nitrogen trifluoride is more of a problem than previously thought, and it's used to manufacture all kinds of high-tech equipment, including thin-film solar panels.
Check out the PV Watts calculator and find out how much solar-electric power you can generate in your part of the world.
The energy a PV system will produce during its lifetime far exceeds the amount of energy it takes to produce the PV system
Save thousands on a solar electric system by learning this simple secret.
If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.
Check out RenewableEnergyWorld.com for background information and breaking news on renewable technologies.
This one policy makes it much easier to pay for a solar or wind-electric system, but not every state offers it.
If you’re thinking about getting a solar electric system to help the environment and save money, think about efficiency first.
Utility companies and solar power companies are vying for customers' business. See how that affects you.
How are US college students helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus?
We need a cloning machine workshop on top of all the plethora of other workshops organized at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR. Or maybe not ...?
Smooth out the temperature range in your greenhouse by adopting one of these strategies for heating greenhouses.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
Three-day workshop announcement on net zero energy homes by leading authority on energy efficiency and renewable energy, Dan Chiras. Learn how to reduce your utility bill through conservation, effriciency, & clean, affordable, renewable energy.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
Never in the history of the world has there been such a high-ranking member of society to advocate passive solar design than Socrates. He felt so strongly for building with the sun in mind that he even set up a class to teach his acolytes how the finer points of putting up a passive solar house.
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
More and more people are looking for jobs in the renewable energy field. If you're interested in this type of career, here's how you can get started.
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry.
Will a degree increase your employment prospects? Absolutely. Here are some programs to look into.
Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
The 20th-Annual Organic Growers School takes place March 8 through March 10 at the University of North Carolina at Asheville (UNCA) in Asheville, N.C. The event, which is open to the public, provides practical, region-appropriate organic growing and permaculture workshops, homesteading and rural living classes, as well as a seed exchange, silent auction and trade show.
Cam is hoping that the Queen attends his gardening workshop this weekend at the Royal Botanical Gardens....
The workshop series "In Her Shoes: Sustainable Farming for Women, by Women" will provide on-farm, women-led sharing of resources, experiences and inspiration to further connect, encourage and support female organic farmers, entrepreneurs and agricultural leaders. These all-day workshops will be in Wisconsin and Minnesota, and each will cost $20 and include lunch.
Cam enjoyed a recent workshop he held at Sunflower Farm, and the participants seemed to enjoy it too!
Cam loves sharing his homesteading skills in Hands-On Workshops at his off-grid home.
Tumbleweed Tiny House Company founder Jay Shafer teaches Americans how to build efficient homes of less than 1,000 square feet.
A. O. Smith Water Products Company, the leading manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters, has donated a 120-gallon solar storage tank to the Hurston family of Cocoa Beach, Fla., project of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Hodgson Mill Inc., a leading national producer of All-Natural and Organic, Whole-Grain foods, has added two wind turbines to successfully complete the second phase of a significant new green initiative.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
Make your home more energy efficient with Indow Windows Shade Grade.
Solar energy is the ultimate source of all life, and there's lots of it.
Whether you're planning to install solar panels, or hoping to put up a backyard wind turbine some day, share your thoughts on the renewable energy projects that intrigue you most.
Having a “green home” means lots of different things. What does it mean to you?
Dan Chiras discusses the differences between power purchase agreements and lease programs, and the benefits of taking advantage of either.
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
We settle in for a long winter's work.
Instead of learning new tricks, we devise new ways to do the same old tricks.
Finally, we start to take shape.
We heard from a variety of experts about the type and number of batteries to use in our DIY solar setup. Meanwhile, we checked in with the garden and bees.
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
Renewable energy is often seen as a way to have it all and still feel “green” and it is indeed at a glance more environment friendly than conventional power, but no power has as low footprint as the power not used.
On sunny days it delivers about a half a megawatt of electricity to the biodiesel plant, while providing strategic shade to plants below. Energy is produced above as farmers harvest below in a genuine double cropping scenario.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Learn about one couple's ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
With photovoltaic (PV) panel technology you can tap into the amazing world of free totally renewable energy from the sun. You generally cannot find a better more reliable source of power on the planet that solar. In our book you will find that a DIY on grid/off grid system is very affordable and a wise choice for almost everyone.
The embrace of environmentalism by professional sports provides us all with a new and large opportunity to educate people worldwide about the need to do something, however small it might seem, to protect our biosphere.
But what happens if progress in poverty’s eradication far-outpaces green energy solutions? Two of the most important issues of our century — clean energy and poverty eradication - are potentially mutually exclusive, if development efforts do not factor in increased consumption that will occur.
An index of posts related to energy, power, and climate, with a strong focus on solutions.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
With new breakthroughs in solar electricity coming out every year, should you wait before investing in a solar electric system? Energy expert Dan Chiras discusses cost of PV modules in terms of cost per watt of installed capacity.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
Some examples of passive solar design applied to homes in the southeast, where cooling, as well as heating, is a concern.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
Going solar at home will save you both money and energy. See why it's the future for renewable energy in residential areas.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
A BIG issue in everyone’s lives today is increasing fuel costs. The seriousness and scope of our energy problems calls for an all-out effort for sustainable solutions, starting as soon as possible.
Once our bodies and our imaginations are engaged, the incremental change begins. Then it gets easier and easier to envision humanity occupying this planet–this beautiful, abundant planet–far into the future.
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
Provide Multi-Purpose Tools For The Jobsite Or Workshop
Consider this One-Day Workshop For Horticultural Farmers Ready To Take Steps To Improve Farm Profits.
Rechargeable tool packages use the same battery to power multiple tools: saws, drills, drivers and flashlights. What are the benefits of these systems?
Jason Akers, The Self-Sufficient Gardener, taught kids of all ages the basics of gardening on Saturday and Sunday at the Fair.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
In this blog, my architect James Plagmann and I begin to tell the story of the construction of Dan's new net zero energy homes. Dan begins by laying the ground, defining a few terms and describing his experience in this field.
This blog contains a detailed list of most of my initial design priorities for my net zero energy home so others may benefit from my thinking and experience on creating a passive solar, net zero energy, green home.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
Tell us what you think. If you installed a wind turbine or solar-electric panels, would you want to be tied to the electric grid, or would you rather have a grid-independent system?
There are multiple philosophies that describe what characterizes a green home, but all have low energy loads in common.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
Dan and Karen Cripes made a few big upfront investments--including solar panels and a geothermal system--when they built their home in Round Rock, Texas. Now they're reaping the rewards with nearly nonexistent utility bills and a home they love.
Hold onto your hats, Congress is debating climate change. Right now the U.S. House is considering the Waxman-Markey climate bill. Here's where you can find more information about what is, and isn't, in the bill.
The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.
Solar Energy International (SEI), the National Wildlife Refuge System, and the National Sustainable Agriculture Information Service all offer events to educate participants in varying pursuits. This blog provides links to activity calendars and workshop schedules.
So far this year extreme weather events has cost the US over 35 billion dollars. This posting discusses the potential for non-carbon-based renewable energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
To build a net zero energy home, you'll need to design for passive gain. That requires a shallower footprint to ensure that the low-angled winter sun can enter and heat each room.
In this blog, I highlight the earliest decisions I had to make to create a net zero energy home: how I was going to build the foundation and walls. Thermal bridging, air tightness, insulation, cost, and greeness are all key deciders.
Insulation under the slab -- and lots of it -- is vital for the performance of a net zero energy home. So is the footprint. You can make the most of passive solar by creating a longer, narrower house in which each room is heated by the sun.
Be sure to install under-the-footing conduit to run electrical and water pipes, including sewer. I like to run pipes and wire under the foot to prevent penetrating the band joist or the foundation to create a more airtight, water tight home.
Don't forget to budget in the cost of deeper excavation and add $1000 to $2000 as a budget contingecy in case you run into bedrock.
Insulating concrete forms are an excellent choice for foundations for passive solar, net zero energy homes. They create a highly insulated, air-tight foundation, so essential for extremely high energy performance.
ICFs are not the most environmentally friendly green building product, but result in super energy efficient home, and offer many other benefits, that offset their origin from petrochemicals.
ICF walls must be carefully braced to prevent blowout.
Creating a net zero energy home requires that we eliminate all thermal bridging loss -- heat movement into and out of a building. All this starts in the basement.
Cyndee and Tony love being in control of their own power and never having to worry about rate increases and outages in south-central Colorado. Solar panels, a wind turbine and a wood-fired boiler keep them plenty warm and happy.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
The Ecological Farming Association will host the 33rd annual EcoFarm Conference at the Asilomar Conference Grounds in Pacific Grove, Calif., Jan. 23-26, 2013. The conference will offer more than sixty workshops, as well as the opportunity for eight beginning farmers to win substantial grants.
Solar panels are strong enough to resist damage from most hail. But if you live in an area where large hail is common, there are a few things you can do to minimize your risk.
Student teams prepare to compete in the U.S. Department of Energy hosted, fourth biyearly Solar Decathlon, where they will be judged on the overall quality of their solar-powered homes.
In this blog, I describe two of the first and most important design considerations -- the length and depth of the home and the layout of rooms for optimum passive solar gain.
The Sustainable Poultry Network and Western Piedmont Community College have combined forces to create the American School of Sustainable Poultry Husbandry, an intensive poultry workshop for anyone interested in poultry production, marketing, breeding, hatching, cooking, etc.
Jim and Holly Smith, founders of Today’s Abundant Living, sent us this great review of a Homesteading Education Month open house and country skills workshop they hosted at their Michigan homestead.
Scaffolding is required to access the walls to pour the concrete. Scaffolding also helps support the walls.
Additional reinforcement is required around the garage door opening.
Admirals Bank opens Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center in San Francisco.
Passive Houses use only 5 percent of heating energy compared to traditional houses.
On a wintry Sunday morning, I can’t think of much I’d rather do than settle in at the kitchen table with a cup of fresh coffee and read the big, fat Sunday New York Times.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a way to double electricity from solar cells by using dyed glass.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
A new company has redesigned the typical shape of solar panels to be more three-dimensional.
Kingtec K25Z-4 will not only cut the spiralling out of control energy demand from the power-hungry air-conditioning unit of the world but it can also cut a struggling families electric bill significantly.
This is a summary of our attendance at the IBS show in Jan. Also a re-cap of Jan events and our transistion into the construction phase of the project. We also talk about the decision for the competiton to be moved off the Nationa Mall in DC
Here’s how to find good background information on residential solar energy systems, including locating solar installers and finding advice on particular products.
Without federal subsidies, the future of solar power looks grim. Fortunately, the Obama administration is giving solar a boost with four new large-scale solar projects.
QSolar Limited today announced that it has introduced its' new Kristal and Kristal Rainbow range of semi-transparent and colour semi-transparent solar panels.
Team Germany takes first place in the 2009 Solar Decathlon, followed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in second and Team California in third.
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
As the importance of solar architecture grew, the southern aspect took on great stature in Chinese life. Ancient wisdom associated the south with fire and warmth, while the north came to be synonymous with winter and somberness. The Emperor facing south therefore shuns darkness and embraces enlightenment to govern. The Chinese to this day prefer a southern orientation for housing.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
Going solar in developing countries, especially in communities that lack access to electricity, is a completely different experience. Here the 3 main reasons why solar is taking off abroad.
Geothermal energy is cleaner than fossil fuels and is endlessly renewable. Find out more about why we should seriously reconsider geothermal energy as a way to meet the world's energy needs.
Most of us would love to live in energy-efficient homes that are good for the environment and have low, low energy bills. But what are the best real options available? How do you create an extremely energy-efficient home that’s still affordable for most people?
Any net zero-energy home needs two things. The first is the sun, providing passive solar energy. The second necessity is retaining maximum heat.
The Canadian government’s ecoENERGY program stops giving financial assistance for energy-efficient home improvements.
Sustainability starts at home—but it sure does help to have community backing. Natural Home magazine editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence takes a closer look at the Cambridge Energy Alliance, a nonprofit, community-supported program that offers free energy audits and customized plans to make homes and buildings more eco-friendly.
The requirements for the much-trusted Energy Star label have changed after a government test discovered exploitable flaws in its certification process.
Every year, the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) releases a report assessing each state’s programs and policies for energy-efficiency. See how your home state did in 2010!
Try these DIY methods to help warm up a cold basement.
Find the right type of insulation for a Solar Heat Grabber from MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
AC solar panels are an intriguing new idea on the PV market. The panels themselves still produce DC, but each panel would come with its own attached micro-inverter, which converts the DC to AC.
This simple, low-tech method of disinfecting water with solar energy can be a lifesaver when safe drinking water isn't available.
In the United States, renewable energy is growing, but we still don't get very much of our electricity from renewable sources. How can we speed things up?
Here's another reason to love solar panels and wind turbines: They're great tools for providing power to people who wouldn't otherwise have electricity at home.
An energy audit can help the homeowner determine the best strategies for improving the home's energy efficiency.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
The Database of State Incentives for Renewables & Efficiency (DSIRE) provides state-by-state information on incentives, rebates and grant programs for renewable energy systems and energy efficient home improvement programs.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
Profitability, efficiency and growth are eternal goals. As we improve, we set higher goals, always asking how to raise the bar so that we continue getting better and better.
The bar has been raised! Televisions now need to consume less energy to qualify for the Energy Star label.
The new Microsoft Hohm application makes it easy to track your energy use and provides simple recommendations to save energy and money.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence shares exciting information about the Google PowerMeter, a new device that helps homeowners find ways to reduce their electric bills.
Yesterday I had coffee with Kirk Adkisson, a pastor who’s starting a progressive Presbyterian church here in Boulder. (In the continual erosion of my judgments and stereotypes, I got to learn this week that “progressive Presbyterian” is not necessarily the oxymoron I had assumed it to be!)
The future looks bright as long as the United States can follow its current energy efficiency programs.
An Energy Efficient Mortgage can help you add value to your home by making home energy improvements more affordable.
Looking for natural ways to ward off that 3 o'clock slump? Real Simple magazine offers nine natural tips for increasing your energy — no pills, caffeine or other stimulants required.
Want to know more about where that $787 billion dollars in the stimulus package is going? Here are links to a couple of timely articles with all the details about how the stimulus package will encourage renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Rice University's ZEROW HOUSE takes first place for hot water and second for architecture and market viability at the Solar Decathlon 2009 in D.C.
Share your opinion: Are you contemplating installing a solar-electric panel for your home?
Dan Chiras talks about the benefits of passive solar design.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
If you've been wondering how to dehrydrate tomatoes, look no further! We've compiled step-by-step instructions on solar dehydrating tomatoes, complete with photos from our own experience drying veggies in the solar dryer at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS office.
One of the easiest ways to bask and rejoice in the gifts of nature is to make and use a solar wall heater.
The Obama administration announced yesterday that it will place solar panels and a solar hot water heater on the White House roof by spring 2011.
One of the nation's largest home developers announces it will offer solar arrays as standard features on new homes in California.
How can you create a lush naturally abundant indoor garden year-round? With these 7 simple principles, you can create a greenhouse that is completely self-sufficient, relying only on the sun to provide all of its heating needs. Moreover, solar greenhouses can grow much more than traditional greenhouses - citrus, avocados, guava - using less energy, water and resources.
National Solar Tour couldn't have more perfect timing.
There are a growing number of small, solar-powered gadgets for sale including solar flashlights, radios, cell phone chargers, outdoor motion lights and more. Are you using any of these small solar products? Do you find them useful? Tell us what you think!
Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.
You can use a solar hot-air collector to heat your home with renewable energy. Here’s more about how they work.
You can use the power of the sun to heat water for your home using manufactured solar hot water systems or one you build yourself.
Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.
The Solar Impulse has made history as the first solar-powered airplane to fly across the North American continent.
Blog post number 17: Jeff solves the problem of how to use higher-efficiency D/C power for long run-time loads, while using some A/C appliances as well.
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!
Solar energy solutions can reshape the future. It can help sculpt the world we live in and can help solve some of the greatest environmental problems facing the world today including climate change and our reliance on fossil fuels.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term "smart grid." We have a lot to talk about.
Check out how millions of gallons of water can be saved by Aug. 11, 2009!
Let's face it: Tax audits have given the word "audit" a bad name. But a home energy audit is a good thing, and every home can benefit from the information and recommendations a home energy audit provides.
More than the electricity needed to run these machines, the “rinse hold” hot water setting that many households use is the biggest energy drain associated with dishwashers – as much as 80 percent of the energy your dishwasher uses goes to heat water.
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, which passed the House on May 5, would provide $6 billion in rebates to homeowners who make energy-efficient upgrades to their homes.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
Summer marks the start of buzzing AC units, but this doesn’t have to waste energy or drain your wallet. By accessing the energy leaks in your home with a simple energy audit, you’ll save money on utility bills. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how to perform a home energy audit.
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
Tonight when you get home from work or school, call your utility company and ask what incentives they have for you to get an energy audit for your home. Many utilities have been offering free energy audits for years, but very few people have actually taken advantage.
Renewable energy accounts for nearly 50 percent of added capacity in US in 2012.
Hold on to the holiday spirit while saving energy and money this season with holiday LED lights.
Have you had a home energy audit done before? A home energy audit can show you the best ways to make your home more energy efficient.
It’s springtime and the weather is getting warm, but that is no excuse for letting money and energy fly out the window every single day. Hopefully you were able to find all the drafts and leaks in your windows last fall (if not, now is just as good a time as any).
Second annual report shows how homeowners consume and conserve energy; one third willing to cool off in undergarments rather than turn down the A/C.
Mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will stop accepting loans from the nationwide Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) program, which helps homeowners pay for the cost of energy-efficient retrofits.
Many states are working quickly to develop their wind power resources knowing it will pay off big in the future.
According to a recent American Wind Energy Association report, the U.S. market for small wind turbines grew 78 percent in 2008. Manufacturers predict that this trend will continue in the next few years.
Vermont passed a bill into law last week that established a feed-in tariff policy. The policy is one of the United States' first.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bipartisan bill that does not go far enough for some environmental groups.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
It's about seven unique way's you can use your iPhone to be more energy efficient.
Learn about three consumer-driven green energy trends for 2015 that will have a direct impact on our pocketbooks in the coming year, including net-zero energy homes, electric vehicles, and green energy production.
Green stadiums are being built all across the nation by a variety of sports franchises and this is only the start. These franchises are also implementing green team programs.
Sustainable Solar LLC has recently rolled out a line of Light-Weight, Portable, Noiseless Solar Generators providing a convenient power supply in remote or off-the-grid areas.
Solar protection window treatments that never go out of season.
Cleaning up an old water heater just requires two simple tools.
Passive House standards incorporate passive solar design principles, but the two labels don’t mean the same thing. Learn about the difference between passive solar design and Passive House certification.
Make your own rotisserie spit that is solar powered.
Check out this green gingerbread house built by MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff: It includes cookie and candy versions of SIPs construction, a living roof, and a solar electric system.
The solar-powered tractor was painted Terry’s favorite color—green—before the motor was strapped in. After the motor was installed a battery stand was welded over the top of the DC drive motor which is large enough to accommodate twelve 250-amp deep-cycle batteries. Once the performance controller was installed battery cables were run, linking the batteries together.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
Tools and techniques for sustainable living.
Join the green collar economy by going through a green job training program. Learn the ins and outs of solar photovoltaics, wind power or biomass and save the planet while furthering your career.
LEDs are all around us. Here are some of the ways these great green lightbulbs are being used, and a little more information about how they work.
The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.
To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
The Financial Times Climate Change Challenge winner is the Kyoto Box solar cooker, which uses no fuel other than the sun to cook food.
An introduction to Richard Hilderbrand’s new blog discussing climate change, plus the first installment. Learn how Earth utilizes greenhouse gases to ensure stable temperatures, or thermal equilibrium, as well as how fluctuations in solar activity relate to changes in global temperatures.
This bathhouse from CU user "Solar Lady from Norwood" proudly uses the sun to power it through the day. Making good use of alternative energy, the bathhouse surrounded by lush grass looks like a great little escape. Adorned with a sign and additional artwork, this
In 2010, Chevrolet announced that they were embarking on their Carbon Reduction Initiative, an effort to invest $40 million in carbon offset projects across the country with the goal of reducing up to 8 million metric tonnes of CO2 emissions. The program includes wind, landfill-gas-to-energy, solar, efficiency, and conservation projects.
When you build with structural insulated panels (SIPs), wiring isn't as much of a challenge as you might think.
Hanging your clothes up to dry rather than using an electric dryer is a great way to save energy. Here are links to a couple of sturdy wooden indoor drying racks.
Going off the grid offers complete energy independence — no utility bills, no grid outages, ever — but it takes some effort, and you will need to learn how to conserve energy.
Adjusting the timing of your water heater could help you increase energy savings.
Woodstoves can have indoor or outdoor air supplies depending on factors and requirements for the building.
Despite rumors to the contrary, a Prius is still better for the Earth and has less embodied energy than a Hummer.
Here's how you can find people selling home-scale wind turbines near where you live.
Here are the basic options for buying your electricity from sustainable sources.
Learn how to build your own wind turbine, install your own solar panels and convert your car to electricity with hands-on teaching by Dan Chiras.
We know that heating, cooling and operating our buildings is responsible for 40 percent of total energy expenditures in this country. That’s a huge percentage. But we also know how to test, evaluate and improve buildings so that energy use can be cut dramatically.
The International Window Film Association says older dwellings can reduce energy use with energy saving window film, which was recently voted into the new California building energy codes.
Are gas guzzlers becoming popular again? Dan Chiras gives his outlook.
Here are some ways to save on energy and money while keeping your home cool in extreme summer temperatures.
Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, according to a recent American Institute of Architects report.Homeowners want energy-efficient features and functional rooms that will expand on small homes’ square footage, says an American Institute of Architects report.
The World Community Grid uses grid technology and idle computers to power environmental and humanitarian research projects.
To meet its goal of making all new buildings carbon-neutral by 2030, the American Institute of Architects introduces an online tool that help designers predict how much energy their buildings will use.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory has invented an air conditioner, the DEVap, that’s up to 90 percent more efficient than traditional ACs.
Following a disastrous investigation into the Energy Star program’s certification process, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are making major changes, including scrapping automated approval and requiring stricter lab results.
Looser standards and self-certification have led to a market flooded with Energy Star appliances—many with questionable qualifications.
Touted as one of the greenest cities in the U.S., Boulder, Colorado, isn’t cutting the mustard when it comes to carbon emissions reduction because residents are slow to make energy-saving changes. City officials have gone so far as to send out contractors to perform the simplest changes for homeowners—including changing light bulbs.
A GE Lighting survey finds that 82 percent of Americans use compact fluorescent light bulbs—and 75 percent have no idea that the government plans to phase out incandescent light bulbs starting in 2012.
MyEmissionsExchange.com stimulates the economy and combats global warming by paying registered users for reducing their energy use.
A survey by the Shelton Group, a Tennessee-based advertising firm, reveals why energy-efficient products are flying off the shelves during this tough economic time.
A new government-sponsored program calls for India to replace 400 million incandescent bulbs with CFLs by 2012.
Energy-monitoring devices won big at the Greener Gadgets Conference in New York City.
As we continue to watch a zero energy home get built in my hometown of Boulder, Colorado, I’m digging the opportunity to learn more about building materials that I’ve seen in finished form but never in process. I like the
Almost everyone uses a computer these days. But not everyone knows how much energy is consumed by that one device.Most appliances or electronics tell you the number of watts they use. An average CPU uses 120 watts, while the monitor uses 150 watts. That's 270 watts of power while in use, but there are several easy ways to reduce that amount.
Try these helpful resources to follow environmental legislation currently being debated in Congress.
Here's one helpful link that can help you find out where your favorite candidate stands on nuclear power, biofuels, renewable energy, fuel economy and other hot environmental issues.
California ranks No. 1 on the ACEEE's scorecard of energy efficient states. See how your state ranked here!
Ready, set, save! Try these online calculators for help finding the best ways to save energy and money at home.
The Sacramento Municipal Utility Destrict (SMUD) recently approved a FIT policy, which will allow owners of small renewable energy systems in the company's area to sell excess energy back to it. Several areas in the United States have passed similar policies in recent years.
It’s a lot of fun to explore Google Earth, and you can find plenty of good information on environmental topics.
You say you’re an environmentalist, but are you practicing what you preach?
When you start measuring electricity use, you may be surprised by which appliances and electronics use the most energy.
October 15 is Blog Action Day and this year the topic is poverty. Here are several related blog posts on this subject, especially as it relates to the sustainable living topics that we write about every day.
If someone told you that you were losing money just by sitting in your home, you would probably want to do whatever you could to change that. Well the reality is that your home is using up energy regularly, and there is a huge chunk of that energy that you do not even need. Luckily, we live in a time when technology is constantly coming up with ways to fix problems such as these. Here are some of the ways that technology can help to save the environment, as well as your wallet.
Heating water is the highest drain that laundry machines and dishwashers have on your bill. Onaverage, water heating accounts for 18 percent of your energy bill.
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
SANYO North America Corporation (SANYO) announces the availability of its most advanced HIT Power® solar module, the HIT Power 220A, offering improved efficiency and energy output -- and designed to energize integrators and installers with more power per square foot than ever before.
Forty years ago a trombe wall worked to store and release heat in a passive solar house. Is it obsolete in the 21st century?
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
Cam has had to learn lots of new skills living in his off-grid home!
We’ve succeeded at drying herbs and greens in our SunWorks solar dehydrator, which promises to make future meals all the more flavorful and nutritious.
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
Deb and Tommy have spent just $7,500 to set up their off-the-grid homestead in Oklahoma's Kiamichi Mountains, which relies on one 80-watt solar panel for power. As they learn more, they will continue to build their systems.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
Solar food drying is incredibly easy with a solar food dehydrator, which requires very little effort to make perfectly preserved produce.
I have know Mark for years. Since I have known him (give or take a few years or so) Seiden asked me what were the best ways to go green and save energy at the same time. Then two years ago, we started with CFL bulbs. Now I'm trying to get him to go LED and get really green lighting in effect. In time. In time.
The Solar Foundation found a 13 percent increase in U.S. solar industry jobs in 2012, which is promising for the overall job market, and shows stability in the solar energy job market.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
Prestyl USA’s customizable infrared art panels prove efficient, ecological & elegant.
High-efficiency washers save energy, water and money with every load. And with the average household washing 400 loads per year, those savings add up.
Tips for saving energy at home while trying to stay cool.
CFLs use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than an incandescent bulb. I know that when I purchased new lamps for my house, they had a whole shelf of incandescent bulbs right next to it, and I had to go search the store for CFLs, so I understand if you are currently using incandescent bulbs. But it’s worth the switch — not only are CFLs equal in light quality, they last way longer and will save you hundreds of dollars over their lifetime.
Did you know that a dirty filter in your HVAC equipment can reduce its efficiency by up to 20 percent? Didyou also know that it is recommended to check your filter every month? Don’t despair!
When you get home today, do this simple test: Close your fridge door on a dollar bill or piece of paper; if you can pull the bill out easily or worse, if it falls, then it is time to replace the seal.
Did you know that heat transfer through windows can account for up to 25 percent of your energy bill by allowing heat out during the winter, and makes your air conditioner work overtime to combat the sun’s warming? Drafts and leaks can be the biggest culprit of energy waste but can also be fixed with relatively little effort.
Attics can be a huge energy drain if they are not insulated sufficiently. We’ll leave the
heavy lifting for next weekend, but for now look for uneven insulation, base sports, water damage, and anything else that looks out of place.
It might seem like a small thing, but your refrigerator can be a HUGE drain on your energy bill. We’ve already shown you how to check for leaks in your refrigerator seal—now let’s take the next step in keeping your fridge in top working order.
Having a properly maintained water heater is like going to the dentist: No one wants to do it, but it’s gotta be done. Ideally, you should have an inspection and necessary maintenance performed on your water heater once a year.
Save money and energy at home by choosing energy-efficient products whenever you purchase home appliances or computers and other electronics.
Here are seven devices that will help you conserve energy in your home, and maybe even help make our world livable again.
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
Two new federal programs, the Home Energy Scoring program and the PowerSaver program, make it easier for homeowners to save energy.
The X Prize Foundation needs your vote to help them decide their next X Prize.
The Apollo Alliance want you to tell the new Obama Energy Czar, Carol Browner that you support renewable energy policy.
Find out what different states are doing to promote power from renewable sources, including solar and wind energy.
Environmentalists are in a debate about the Cape Wind project. We want to know what you think about the proposed offshore wind farm.
To learn more about large wind energy companies and wind power generation, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with a representative from Horizon Wind Energy about the wind energy industry in this Wind Energy blog. With wind farms in 18 states, Horizon Wind Energy plays a role in the future of wind energy in the United States.
Wind turbines within two miles of residential areas can hurt the property values of homes.
Dan Chiras points out the efforts already being made to increase availability of renewable energy professionals and educators and talks about The Evergreen Institute's new goals to raise interest among potential students.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares details about The Evergreen Institute's new Renewable Energy Educator Certificate program, designed to prepare teachers to train a new generation of renewable energy professionals to meet the needs of a growing industry.
Biomass grass crops can be established on marginal lands and processed as a fuel replacement for heating oil or propane
The new home for Friends School of Portland will be only the third school in the United States to achieve Passive House certification.
The third in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
Tips on how to conserve energy at home with Energy Star compact fluorescent light bulbs.
Want to enjoy the warmth of your home this winter without using more energy than is necessary? These tips are for you!
Energy ambassadors: convergence of energy and culture.
Beautiful night time display of spinning colors in downtown Ann Arbor vividly demonstrates possibilities of wind energy.
Figure out whether a home wind turbine is right for you by evaluating land for the best wind turbine location. Our expert explains placement, turbulence, wind speed and wind site assessment. These steps and factors will determine if a wind turbine is right for you.
Have you found helpful ways to cut your energy use at home? Whether it's turning down the thermostat or installing new light bulbs, tell us what you've done to conserve energy and how well it's worked.
Information about energy-efficient washing machines and cellular window shades. These energy-efficient appliances and window shades will please environmentally conscious consumers.
Check out this magical photograph of an energy-efficient dome home and the surprise above.
The BP oil spill shocked the nation, but it’s not too late to take action. We want to know what you plan to change.
The fourth annual Earth Hour is Saturday between 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Turn off the lights and take a stand against climate change!
The Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star program reached a major milestone this week when it qualified its 1 millionth Energy Star home.
President Obama and the Department of Energy are creating new standards for energy-efficiency in lighting.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains how the new energy and climate legislation that creates opportunities in green building.
Last December, the Quimby family paid $1,100 to heat and power their Winthrop, Maine, farmhouse for the month. Something had to be done. Jeld Wen, manufacturer of energy efficient doors and windows, came to the rescue.
These 25 very different places all get some or all of their energy from wind power.
For holiday cheer that uses less fossil-fueled energy consider LED Christmas lights.
Want to learn more about the benefits of compact fluorescents (CFLs)? Here's a fast explanation of how the new efficient light bulbs can be better.
Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner energy.
The X Prize Foundation will be hosting a forum in early September to discuss different ideas regarding renewable energy.
This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
Dan Chiras elaborates on his previous blog about the disadvantages of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs).
Check out this video on tapping wind power with kites.
More money from the Stimulus plan has gone to hot and cold states for weatherization programs.
The Electric Power Research Institute, Inc. (EPRI) assures consumers that manufacturers have rectified many of the issues related to using CFLs, making them into mere myths. These issues include usage in three-way fixtures, non-compatibility in dimmers, the high price of CFLs and CFL use in fans and candelabras. Additionally, CFL users should understand the lifespan of the bulb and causes of flicker.
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
How much electricity is your computer using right now? You might be surprised how easy it is to find out.
Nothing lasts forever, let's do the math.
The second post in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
The first in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont for a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
If you crave great music with an eco-conscious cause, attend Rock the Green, Milwaukee’s first green music festival.
How to save energy in commercial and industrial buildings.
Press Release about UNEP/GEF en.lighten initiative’s Toolkit, “Achieving the Transition to Energy Efficient Lighting.”
Some large electronics can use as much energy as a light bulb while in "stanby" mode, meaning you should unplug them when you leave the house or know you won’t use them for awhile. Having a large electronic setup plugged into a power strip makes it much easier to completely power it down, especially if it has a lot of plugs like a home theater system or computer.
There are two situations which do not require you to be heating your home: when it is warm and when you are not at home. Since it is still a bit chilly outside, you may want to consider setting up a routine of turning down the set temperature on your thermostat when you head out in the morning and when you go to bed.
Replacing a task that uses electricity with one that does not is a no-brainer when trying to save on your energy bill — and air drying is one of the easiest ways to go.
When you get home, go to your hot water heater, remove the cover and turn it down to 120 degrees (sometimes labeled “hot” as opposed to “very hot”).
From choosing affordable floods for the bedroom remodel to switching out the oven-hood incandescent, Jennifer details how much it cost to light her house sustainably, as well as forecast her long term savings.
Monitoring energy use has led to increased motivation for conservation
Homeowners and renters who made five or more energy-efficient improvements found satisfying savings, a new study finds.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
A brief announcement of a rare educational opportunity ... a wind turbine installation. We'll be installing a 2.5 kW Skystream wind turbine on a 127-foot tilt-up tower.
In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.
Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
Many people don’t know that most HVAC systems don’t produce more or less heating or cooling based on the room temperature – they simply blow air for longer.
Energy expert Dan Chiras suggests a simple process for locating energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
Looking for a better way to preserve all that garden produce without a hot kitchen canning project? A new solar food dryer promises to dry food fast and save energy and money using the sunshine in your back yard.
After spending several years drying food in an electric food dehydrator, I built a SunWorks solar food dehydrator to try and create truly sun-dried tomatoes.
Michael Morley will post regular updates about his progress building a unique green home with structural insulated panels (SIPs). Here, he discusses options for installing a colored concrete floor, and considering whether to install a solar hot water system.
User of our CU photo-sharing website submits photo documents the building process on their new biomass and solar dome home.
Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Your favorite moments could become famous on our homepage!
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house - learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
The ongoing debate between the merits and faults of Passive House design and passive solar design is important for those looking to build an energy-efficient home and for all enthusiasts of energy-efficient building. We've opened up the discussion to our online audience in this blog post. Please share your thoughts!
Watch this video to learn how to build tiny home for just $2,000.
What's it take to build your own SOLAR-POWERED Electric Car? How about starting small with some hardware store parts and an old child's ride-on toy? Read how a tinkerer Dad builds a Solar-Powered Power Wheels with just basic tools and skills.
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
Weekly user photo of a simple solar homestead. Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage for all the world to see!
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
At last, we construct the foundation.
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
Nuclear Armageddon due to solar flares or EMP, avoidable for teh cost of a single Stealth bomber
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
Our power system begins to take shape.
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
It seems only common sense that you don’t depend on a single source alone for life-giving home heat in the winter.
Our chickens aren't fond of the snow and the wind, but we found a way to let them enjoy the sunshine from the comfort of their coop!
A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. In the last five years, falling costs of solar technology have made solar economically viable without subsidies for off-grid communities. How can businesses keep up with this potential solar growth? Hint: it’s all about the customer.
Add an efficient solar cooker to your winter emergency kit for hot meals during power outages. Even when you could have power, it's fun to roast potatoes or bake dessert off-grid on sunny winter days.
These two structures for creating a sustainable homestead are not often associated, but with the right planning they can be integrated into a single multi-use structure that enhances both environments. A greenhouse/chicken coop becomes a year-round food-producing machine, giving you a bounty of fruits, vegetables and protein all in one.
One homesteading couple reads up on passive solar house design and then modifies online options to create their own custom passive solar plans. Here are their recommended resources.
Our “needs” for the latest gadgets elevates our energy consumption, even with the onslaught of energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics in recent years.
The thousands of families who have built affordable homes, cash up front, made of earthbags, straw bales, cordwood, cob and rammed tires are not in danger of losing their homes in the current mortgage crisis.
The ENERGY STAR Rebate Finder app uses your zip code to find sales tax exemptions, credits, or rebates on qualified products.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
NativeEnergy, an innovator in the United States carbon market, today launched its year-long 10-Year Anniversary program.
New approach to renewable home energy – heating with pelletized fuel in free-standing pellet stoves and fireplace inserts. Generally made from recycled wood byproducts, pellets are low carbon fuel that can reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Companies launch demonstration site to illustrate the consumer and utility benefits of a BMW electric vehicle in a Smart Energy Home powered by Tendril Connect(TM) cloud platform.
A Federal Housing Association (FHA) EEM provides mortgage insurance to the borrower who is looking to purchase or refinance their home, and incorporate the costs of energy efficient improvements into their mortgage.
Check out the Kimberly stove, an energy efficient, small space wood cookstove.
TERA-Light is a perpetually renewable fire starter that requires no batteries, no chemicals — only air and organic plant material!
Here's a rundown of the many reasons behind the recent rise in the price of gas.
Mounting a wind turbine on your roof instead of on a tower might seem like a good idea, but here are some issues you should consider.
Have you thought about adding more insulation to your home to reduce your energy bills? Here are some good places to go for more information.
Tell us what you think! We'd like to know whether you're using compact-fluorescent light bulbs at home and why or why not.
SunRay Kelley’s Gypsy Wagon is an exciting, sustainable home on wheels built from a camper vehicle.
Passive solar design comes to Navajo families, as architecture students build homes on Utah reservations.
Save money and energy by going green and being smart about your home utilities.
The decision to replace an old refrigerator should not always be made based only on how well it is functioning. New Energy Star models have many energy-saving and cost-saving advantages that can make that decision much easier.
The second post (of three) describing an organic gardener's attempt to grow his own wheat.
Cam shares the results of his experiment growing wheat in his vegetable garden.
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
We finally build somthing!
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
How packing snow against your house can add R-value to your insulation - and subtract energy costs.
Environmental journalist and author Amanda Little gives a keynote speech about America's dependence on fossil fuels at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
The Snail, the winner of Electrolux Design Lab 2010 Competition, saves both energy and space by heating food with magnetic induction.
Researchers at the University of Bath are all set to test the efficiency of the HemPod, a building made from a hemp-lime composite.
The Sierra Club’s top 100 greenest colleges and universities carve a clean energy future—students demand it.
A National Association of Home Builders report and a Better Homes and Gardens survey find that builders and homeowners are moving toward smaller, more energy-efficient homes.
LG Electronics unveiled a new energy-efficient bottom-freezer refrigerator at the Maison & Object living design exhibition in Paris. The product, which uses linear compressor technology to save energy, was named the best example of an eco-chic product at the exhibition.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
Waves, tides and currents can all be used as sources of energy.
A new city being built in the Middle East could become the model for the world's move to renewable resources. Could the U.S. be next in line for a carbon-free metropolis?
Find out what John McCain and Barack Obama have to say about energy issues including the use of nuclear power, clean coal and support for renewable energy.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently released a report discussing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and its possibility as an energy solution.
Earlier this month a plan was drafted to remove all plasma screen televisions from California retail shelves.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
The U.S. Congress has retuned from summer recess, but conflict might keep the Senate from drafting climate and energy legislation quickly.
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
Tips for solar advocates to invest money smartly and be part of the growing solar market
How does induction cooking work? What are the pros and cons? Efficient electric cooking or hidden health risk?
Declare energy independence this Independence Day, 2014
Why the cost of utilities won’t be drastically affected by renewable energy sources.
What do holidays, indoor air quality and global warming have in common?
Meet the new green team! Here are the people Obama picked for key environmental posts in the new administration.
Tips to save energy and water during the holiday season.
Tips on how saving energy this fall and winter can help reduce nutrient pollution in water bodies.
Tips on how to conserve energy and save money with compact fluorescent bulbs during shorter daylight hours.
November 11-17, 2012 is Geography Awareness Week and the theme is 'interdependency' this year.
Tips on how to reduce energy with lights during the holiday season.
Fall is a great time to replace traditional light bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs. Save up to $50 per year.
Ready to decorate? Show your holiday spirit with LED lighting to save energy and money. www.earthgauge.net/?p=33327
Natural gas sounds green. After all, it has "natural" in the title. But how green is natural gas, really?
The fourth in a series of postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.
Visit Vermont with my Cuban friend Mario as we explore renewable energy, energy efficiency, cultural exchange, and lunch.
Energy Ambassadors: Travels to Cuba and Vermont.
Describing how we are trying to provide a low budget solar panel back up system for under 1000 dollars that will run our laptops and router along with a few other things if the local power grid has any issues.
Michael Funk's 6,000-square-foot off-the-grid home and retreat center on 1,200 acres in the Sierra Nevadas is an heirloom, handbuilt with reverence for the spectacle that surrounds it. He hopes it will inspire every visitor to preserve the paradise.
Frontier Natural Products Co-op announced today that it has been awarded LEED Silver certification for a major renovation at its manufacturing facility.
Steve explains how one practical guy invented a way to burn pellets efficiently without an expensive pellet stove
Dan Chiras of The Evergreen Institute invites readers to attend a one-day conference on the future of building in Wichita, Kansas.
This two-day, alternative building workshop featuring energy expert Dan Chiras will be held March 13-14, 2010 in St. Louis.
The work invovlve in tranforming a house that wastes energy into a house that's 50%-95% more energy efficient is called a "deep energy retrofit." We need to find ways to do more of these to save energy, money and the environment.
The basement of Dan Chiras' net zero energy home is outfitted with PVC pipes, insulation and concrete.
Energy Star for Homes is a worthwhile green building certification with demonstrated market value.
As demand for air conditioning continues to increase, discover how to reduce the impact it has on the environment.
Detroit automakers ask Congress for $25 billion, but that money could come with some energy efficiency strings.
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras warns us that building nuclear power plants is not the solution to our current energy crisis.
No one had ever attempted to set a land speed record for gasification vehicles so Beaver Energy was the first.
The Union of Concerned Scientists created a new Web feature to show the success of green-collar jobs.
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
Since the U.S. House of Represenatives passed the American Clean Energy and Security Act, the U.S. Senate started work on its own energy and clilmate change bill.
Recent approval by the Obama administration of the Massachusetts based Cape Wind project creates the potential for 130 offshore wind turbines, which are predicted to produce up to 468 megawatts of wind power.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
Generate energy in this week’s Photo of the Week. Remember to submit your own pictures, and you could be the next Photo of the Week!
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
As spring approaches the lawn surrounding your home will certainly begin to grow. With the New Lithium Powered Cordless Recharge Mower ULTRALITE, from Driven By Solar Inc., achieve beautiful manicured results without nasty fumes.
Engineer Venkappa Gani leads by example when it comes to sustainable living. His entire backyard is an organic garden, an edible landscape that borders his rainwater harvesting tank collectors overlooked by solar panels that power his home (and more!). Gani is dedicated to sustainability, a word he lives by everyday at his suburban home in Austin, Texas.
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
Is the electric car all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!
Solar drying experiences in 2012, including tomato varieties Principe Borghese and Long Tom.
Grow calcium in your garden with collards, kale, and parsley. Suggestions are given for including these crops in your meals. Learn about companions to plant among your collards and kale to deter harmful insects.
Being a homesteader and living off the land often means being subjected to natural conditions beyond our control, sometimes predictable changes of seasons and temperatures, other times curve balls such as unseen pest pressure, hard frosts in late May or heavy snow in early November. A lifestyle where these natural circumstances is the main determining factor for what gets done when is getting increasingly rarer – humans have gained what some consider an advantage by manipulating the world into a state where we, in many ways, can remain unaffected from the forces of nature.
Cam shares his experience trying to fix a broken hot-water tank.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Chris Larson's Asheville, North Carolina, home--already a superb example of smart, passive solar design--gets even better with the addition of solar hot water collectors.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
Liza Fleischer was a suburbanite through and through when she met her husband, Ted, who she says was "born 100 years too late." Now they live in a solar- and hydro-powered hand-built home on 160 acres in Vermont--and she loves it.
Although winter is setting in, that doesn't mean an end to the garden season in desert climates! Get inspired by this beautiful rainwater-harvesting, food-producing desert landscape!
Solar lights replacing kerosene lamps in developing countries do more than solve energy poverty, they are also helping curb climate change by reducing black carbon emissions.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
The tankless water heater new design adheres to our corporate philosophy of practicing the Three Rs; of Reduce, Recycle and Reuse.
B&R Automation announces partnership to serve renewable energy industry in US and Canada.
Elmira Stove Works offers distinctive, superior quality appliances with its innovative line of Fireview cookstoves.
Skystream install program helps consumers take advantage of their wind resource.
GO Home, built by architecture and construction firm G•O Logic LLC, received the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) 2011 LEED for Homes Project of the Year Award.
If you're considering purchasing a pellet or corn stove to save money on your heating bills this winter, here are some issues to think about before making that investment.
Vertical axis wind turbines don't always produce as much power as expected. Here's what we were able to learn about the new Windspire.
Find out whether a wood pellet stove is right for you, and discover the best stove to buy.
T. Boone Pickens is the very embodiment of the Texas oil tycoon. He’s also, arguably, the world’s leading advocate for wind energy.
We have the technology, today, to make our power grid more sustainable, cleaner, more robust and more reliable just by replacing old-fashioned metering with “smart-metering” and agreeing to pay homeowners who generate electricity.
Learn how to build a simple, dual-burner rocket stove using recycled materials from your homestead, garden or workshop.
The DOE and NREL released a study outlining ways to build grocery stories and medium-sized businesses that need 50 percent less energy.
Let's dream a little dream of green home improvement, without worries about funding.
We'd like to hear about projects you have planned that will help you save energy, save water or otherwise make your home greener.
The ARCX dome has been sold to young couple!
A look at the completed project and some of the features.
Upgrading wall insulation is tricky. You can't see the insulation that is (or isn't) in your walls, and it's not easy to install new insulation in a hidden wall cavity. One solution that shows promise is filling wall cavities with injections foam.
I decided to build double 2-by-4 walls to achieve 14-inch thick super-insulated walls. This is just one way of achieving the high R-values for net zero energy homes.
A look at the advantages and disadvantages of “off-grid” and "grid-tied” solar electric systems.
A home’s air-tightness is just as important as how much R-value it has.
Dan Chiras’ superefficient net zero energy home, floor joists, efficient floor design, band beam and rim joist
Renewable energy expert Dan Chiras shares tips for saving on energy costs by sealing leaks in your home.
Earlier this month I visited Greensburg, Kan., and toured a few of its many green buildings. Here's what I found.
Everything you need to know about avoiding problems when you build or remodel your own house. Learn from the mistakes of others and make fewer of your own.
A new building insulation guide is available from NAIMA Canada to assist homeowners in choosing the right insulation for new building and DIY home renovation projects.
There are many ways we can conserve energy, and be more eco-friendly, especially with the advancements that technology is making every day.
If you missed it, be sure to check out this great informative interview with John Burke of MSi Green Lighting LED Company. They are lighting it green in Macy’s and saving them millions!! They use Cree LED diodes in their bulbs and proprietary tech.
Considering induction cooking as an eco-friendly alternative to cooking with electricity? Can’t begin to contemplate spending $3,000 on a stove? This article will run down how you can integrate the hottest new tech in cooking into your kitchen without winning the lottery.
Although cooking is not as big of an energy-drain in the home as other things, there are still ways to do it in an energy-efficient way. This article describes some of the best ways to cook sustainably.
If you are looking to make your home more eco-friendly, there is no better place to start than in the kitchen. Here are 8 simple ways to save energy in the kitchen.
What kind of car would you get with the Car Allowance Rebate System, which gives consumers up to $4,500 to trade in old, inefficient vehicles?
I just came across these videos that show the wood gas Isuzu Trooper built by our friends at Beaver Energy in action and had to share them.
Renowned inventor Craig Vetter discusses his history with aerodynamics and motorcycles, and his vision for doing more with less energy.
Yes, you can power a car or truck on wood. Chip Beam thinks it won’t be long before we encounter a gas shortage and/or significantly more expensive gas. So what can be an alternative source of energy to power our vehicles? How about wood chips or pellets of plant matter? It may sound bizarre, but it really works. Here’s the first post in a new blog devoted to wood gasification for transportation.
See the power of gasification before we hit the road.
A new tool released by the U.S. Department of Energy allows drivers to compare fuel costs of electric cars with those of gas-powered vehicles.
Wayne you'd better slow down! The master of vehicle gasification is hard pressed to stay within the speed limit.
Here's how Wayne Keith he shuts down the wood gasifier when he gets to where he's going.
Here's Wayne Keith lighting up his woodgas truck. He's driving on wood before he gets out of the driveway!
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Demise of the Southern Energy and Environmental (See) Expo
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Amanda Little ahead of her keynote speech at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Chip Beam of Beaver Energy to hear about Beam's latest exploits with wood gasification to power vehicles.
Michael Paul Holmes of Paul and Sabrina's EV Stuff will present a workshop on electric vehicles at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Scott Davis, microhydro energy expert, will present a workshop on microhydro energy at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Dan Chiras, renewable energy expert, will present workshops on wind and solar power at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Lyle Estill of Piedmont Biofuels and Mark Kastel of the Cornucopia Institute will present workshops on low-carbon solutions and local eating at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Author John Ivanko will present a workshop on residential renewable energy at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Joe Utasi of Cinci Home Solar will present a workshop on photovoltaic solar panels at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
John Noska will present a workshop on solar passive tipis at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
BuildingGreen’s 2010 Top 10 Green Building Products list includes a low-flow toilet, composite decking, a high-performing wall system and other products that conserve energy and resources.
The Home Star Energy Retrofit Act of 2010, expected to pass this summer, offers rebates for windows, doors, skylights, window films and storm windows and doors.
The International Green Construction Code, an International Code Council initiative, released its first set of green building standards today. Standard 189.1 addresses energy efficiency, site sustainability, materials and resources, and more.
President Obama revealed plans for his new Home Star Program, also known as Cash for Caulkers, which will offer rebates for energy-efficient home renovations such as replacing windows, adding insulation and sealing ducts.
For less than the cost of an SUV, a Michigan couple rehabbed their historic home to include solar panels and a geothermal system. The 110-year-old house now produces more energy than it needs.
One of the disadvantages of wind power is that the wind doesn't always blow. But in the future, new technology could make it easier to store wind energy.