solar power market share
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 industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a way to double electricity from solar cells by using dyed glass.
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.
The Federal Trade Commission is creating stricter guidelines for environmental marketing. Could this lead to a crackdown on greenwashing campaigns?
As the number of farmers markets grows, now may be the perfect time to join in on the market gardening fun.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
These seasoned off-the-grid veterans have found that hefty batteries make for a happy home.
Make your own rotisserie spit that is solar powered.
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.
A new company has redesigned the typical shape of solar panels to be more three-dimensional.
Dan Chiras talks about the benefits of passive solar design.
New York makes a plan to increase solar power as part of an aggressive energy policy.
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.
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.
Cam is back riding his solar-powered electric bike and he loves it!
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.
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.
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.
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
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.
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.
Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.
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.
Here’s how to find good background information on residential solar energy systems, including locating solar installers and finding advice on particular products.
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.
A new report from Shareable and the Sustainable Economies Law Center details ways that city officials can harness the power of sharing to transform their cities for the better.
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.
This is the hands on portion of how a solar power system operates.
Since they built their solar- and wind-powered cordwood home in Desboro, Ontario, Lisa and Ray Racicot have never looked back. The only thing they'll do differently next time is install the renewable energy systems first, to power the construction.
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.
Our power system begins to take shape.
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
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.
When you only drink one cup of coffee a day, the mug you use is pretty important.
Check out the PV Watts calculator and find out how much solar-electric power you can generate in your part of the world.
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.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
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.
A simple explanation of our solar power generating system and cost.
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!
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.
National Solar Tour couldn't have more perfect timing.
Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.
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.
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.
If you begin tomorrow, you can be soaking in fresh, 103-degree water by the evening.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
Short description of our solar system and the everyday things we do to operate them.
The Federal Trade Commission’s proposed revisions to its environmental marketing guidelines would make it more difficult for marketers to make false green claims for their products.
A few thoughts on why so many people are hesitant to make the transition to produce their own power.
A new social networking tool helps you share rarely used items with friends and neighbors, keep track of who has your stuff, and even lets you know how much you’re saving by borrowing instead of buying.
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.
Want to know more about the food at your farmers market? Here's some advice from the farmers themselves.
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.
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.
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.
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
We now have something to walk on other than dirt!
Has the "magic" energy solution been discovered?
We finally see walls and a loft floor.
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.
A roof is a wonderful thing to have!
Our humble abode begins to take shape.
We bring power from the array inside the building and put it to work.
At last, we construct the foundation.
Dan Chiras discusses the differences between power purchase agreements and lease programs, and the benefits of taking advantage of either.
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.
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.
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?
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Barter markets--great big swap meets where you can trade what you don't want for things that you do--have become commonplace in Spain and are spreading throughout Europe. This video shows why we may want to start those over here.
NeighborGoods is an online community that lets you borrow and lend tools and other items from people in your area.
Virtual farmers markets make buying and selling fresh farm goods easy and can grow into a thriving business!
Bike-share systems are popping up in cities across the Midwest as bike sharing becomes a more popular transportation option.
If you want to sell produce through an online farmers market, you'll want to feature mouth-watering photos of your goods. Here are some tips to show you how.
If you’re a market gardener battling the heat, you’ll want to check out these great tips for keeping yourself and your crops cool.
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
Apartment Therapy compiles a list of the best places to score vintage, retro and gently used items, from coast to coast.
You may need special farm liability insurance if you plan to sell eggs, produce or other products from your farm or at the farmers market.
Is the electric car all it's cracked up to be? Let's find out!
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.
TrikE, an electric-assisted human powered vehicle (HVP), provides weather protection and storage while maintaining all the benefits of a bicycle.
Look for local foods, such as fresh peaches, from your local farmers' market to make delightful summer desserts such as peaches and cream.
Green marketing faces new regulations from the FTC for the first time since 1998. Natural Home’s Editor-in-Chief, Robyn Griggs Lawrence, tells more in “FTC’s New Green Marketing Guidelines Go After Greenwashers.”
New Roots for Refugees, a program in the Kansas City area, helps fleeing refugees establish a new home and contributes to the local food system.
The White House will launch an open-to-the-public farmers market.
Human-powered generators cleverly derive electricity from something we already use in abundance — human movement — offering an easy way to tap renewable energy for anyone interested in a low-impact lifestyle. Two creative generators caught our attention: a merry-go-round that supplies light for poor Ghanaian schools and a revolving door that lights up a train station.
Take a lesson from Southerners, who know a thing or two about keeping cool naturally. These homes take advantage of old-fashioned and cutting-edge passive cooling techniques to stay temperate even during hot Southern summers.
As farmers markets open across the country, here are 10 good reasons to get out and support your local farmers. (The freshest seasonal food is just a part of it.)
When a fire destroyed their home and office near San Luis Obispo, Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper seized the opportunity to build the off-the-grid straw bale home of their dreams. Their comfortable compound now houses two other families as well.
Propelling a vehicle with air or water is possible, but whether it’s practical is another story.
As gas prices continue to rise, so does car sharing. Walk Score lists the top 10 car share cities in North America.
Bike-share programs are now operated in more than 500 cities in 49 countries. Most cities are finding that bike sharing leads to better mobility and safer streets.
The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) will launch the city’s new bike share system – called “Divvy” – later this year, with the goal of expanding to 4,000 bikes at 400 neighborhood locations.
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.
These online tools can help you find the best sources for local food, including local farmers markets and community-supported agriculture programs.
It's been a rough summer for gardeners and farmers alike. Here's how we've been dealing with drought and a few tips on watering.
Cam loves growing and selling food!
This summer Cam became a market gardener and actually got paid for something he loves to do - grow vegetables!
A farmers market is not only a place to purchase fresh produce; you can also count on going home with a new recipe or tip on how to prepare those yummy veggies and fruits.
In 2010 former horse-powered produce grower Michael Hari launched Equicert, a business that provides services to horse powered farms.
Keeping the project going is my goal.
A recent trip to Vietnam presents an opportunity to study people-powered devices and transportation.
Putting up a hoophouse expands the growing opportunity into the barren winter months. A USDA program is helping market growers purchase a hoophouse to find out if local farmers and consumers reap benefits from extending local growing seasons.
Most Americans believe that cleaning products are required to list ingredients on labels. They're not. But Whole Foods is taking matters into its own hands with a color-coded rating system that holds manufacturers accountable for green claims.
Most Americans use vehicles to travel less than three miles, a distance that can easily be walked. Choosing active transportation over vehicles can improve your health, decrease your spending and minimize all that time you spend at stop lights.
If you need a little horsepower for your homestead, a two-wheeled tractor may be a good choice.
Simran Sethi teams up with two neighbors to "grow food, not lawns."
Simran Sethi starts dreaming of spring gardening, with the goal of renewing her efforts to grow real food.
Future factors set a high standard for sustainable products and activities
Ann Harvey Yonkers, founder of Washington, D.C.'s FreshFarm Markets co-op, nests eggs in a bed of wilted fresh greens for a delicious meatless summertime brunch or dinner.
ECOvention, LLC announced today that as of August 2010, more than 30 Whole Foods Market locations in the Rocky Mountain region will use the multi-functional, eco-friendly GreenBox to serve take-away customers at their brick-oven pizza counters.
Whole Foods Market commits to verifying it products as free of genetically modified organisms. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains the grocer's commitment to providing natural and organic products.
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.
The Appalachian State University team will be blogging about their progress on the solar home they are building for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.
People are traveling fewer miles in vehicles, suggesting more compact communities whose residents choose walking over driving.
The United States has one of the lowest rates of active transportation in the world, leading to poor cardiovascular health and other diseases.
How a wood-fired hot tub allows us to live better on less energy.
A look back at how we’ve become addicted to electricity and its conveniences since the Great Depression.
An upcoming inspirational documentary, “Beyond Off-Grid,” that strives to motivate people to return to the old paths, includes self-sufficiency experts from around the country. A MOTHER EARTH NEWS blog prompted the producer to contact us.
A Danish study has found that concentration improves among students who bicycle or walk to school.
Waves, tides and currents can all be used as sources of energy.
Check out these wind resource maps for a quick look at wind around the world.
Simran Sethi learns how to compost the right way and explores her composting options.
Simran Sethi reflects on her first summer of yard-care and gardening.
Contemplations on what we eat and why we pay close attention to our food.
The World Community Grid uses grid technology and idle computers to power environmental and humanitarian research projects.
Here are the basic options for buying your electricity from sustainable sources.
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.
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.
Admirals Bank opens Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center in San Francisco.
The GateMate, by Cartell, has the lowest current draw in standby than any other free exit system on the market.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
Apartment Therapy's smart, comprehensive guide to the best summer flea markets and salvaging spots nationwide just might influence your summer travel plans.
With the lifting of the four-year Bicycle Plan injunction, we're watching the next premiere biking city unfold — at record pace — in San Francisco, California.
Rachel and her husband committed to a year without groceries, and they made it! She shares her experiences in local food in this post.
A nine-to-fiver turns a corner and leaves behind a twenty-year career to grow food amongst housing developments and strip malls.
A beginning urban farmer grows nothing without a smartphone.
Book reviews by permaculture educator Cindy Conner. Learn about Sustainable Market Farming, The Art of Fermentation, The Permaculture Handbook, and The Small-Scale Poultry Flock.
The “One Good Chair” competition winners, announced at Winter Las Vegas Market, demonstrate that minimal materials can result in maximum comfort.
Old mirrors are a dime a dozen at flea markets--but what can you do with them? Group several of different shapes together for a pretty, unique display.
There's no need to be afraid of canning. With basic skills a cook can safely prepare and process excess produce during the summer and have a ready supply all winter. An easy way to start is with dill pickles, with extras like garlic and hot peppers.
I’d like to introduce the words farmden and farmdener into the English language. I wonder if there are any other farmdeners out there. And just what is a farmden? It’s more than a garden, less than a farm. That’s my definition, but it also could be described as a site with more plants and/or land than one person can care for sanely. A gardener and garden gone wild, out of control.
Flea market shopping takes dedication and agility--and it's a ton of fun if you're well prepared.
Looking at all the wood powered cars
Walking School Buses make a big impact by improving health, building community and filling in where school budgets fall short.
Saying ‘Yes’ to a cross country bicycling trip
was easy. After I fully realized what my
mouth had done, my brain had second thoughts.
South Dakota and Alaska electric cooperatives received the award for 2012 Wind Cooperatives of the Year.
These 25 very different places all get some or all of their energy from wind power.
Check out this video on tapping wind power with kites.
On the eve of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) holding its annual meeting of stockholders in Pine Mountain, GA., the nonprofit Green America released a report ranking the major U.S. power producer as “the United States’ most irresponsible utility.”
DIY projects are great fun and can save money — unless you end up in the emergency room.
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
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.
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
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.
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
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.
Here are three of the season’s brightest and cleanest gifts for a greener holiday celebration.
Homeowners are willing to splurge on kitchen and bath remodels, but they're not interested in building luxury or second homes, according to an American Institute of Architects survey.
Gina Luker of The Shabby Chic Cottage turns a flea market suitcase and baskets into a wonderful bedside table that doubles as valuable storage.
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 handy online tool helps calculate your solar energy potential based on your location.
This simple, low-tech method of disinfecting water with solar energy can be a lifesaver when safe drinking water isn't available.
Check out this dramatic short movie.
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?
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.
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.
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
Try these DIY methods to help warm up a cold basement.
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
MIT researchers announced a breakthrough that could ultimately make it much cheaper and easier to store solar energy.
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.
On our journey to self-reliance, my husband, Darren, and I have been gathering human-powered tools when we can find them. It’s surprising and sad how quickly hand- and foot-powered tools were junked when electricity became available. From 1850 to 1890, more than 100 apple-pealing devices were patented. Then none, except those running on electric power. And so it goes with thousands of other nifty human-powered appliances.
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.
Landscapers, gardeners and DIYers have a fast and convenient solution that dethatches, bags, rakes, scalps, mulches and cuts lawns in a single tool.
Black and Decker.com provides project advice, community features and much more.
Honda Power Equipment is raising the standard for portable generators, adding value and enhanced performance to three of its popular portable generator lines.
Third party study proves Yamaha’s longstanding claim of most durable CVT transmission.
You can use your ATV to smooth your driveway with this new grader attachment.
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
Turn out the lights. Light the candles. Tomorrow night (March 28) from 8:30-9:30 (in your time zone) is Earth Hour.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently released a report discussing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and its possibility as an energy solution.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
Connect a bike to a grain grinder to discover a whole new world of pedal power possibility.
Many states are working quickly to develop their wind power resources knowing it will pay off big in the future.
Growing Power believes that youth working in city farms will grow, bloom and thrive right alongside the crops they cultivate.
Solar-powered jar lights are pretty but too pricey. You can easily make your own using easy-to-find items from the hardware store.
A new smaller utility trailer for your all-purpose ATV.
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 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
One of the easiest ways to bask and rejoice in the gifts of nature is to make and use a solar wall heater.
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
Share your opinion: Are you contemplating installing a solar-electric panel for your home?
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.
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.
When you're ready to price or purchase a new solar system, findsolar.com has everything you need.
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.
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
Toyota installs a large solar panel system on a California facility, proving its green thumb extends farther than the road.
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 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.
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.
You can use a solar hot-air collector to heat your home with renewable energy. Here’s more about how they work.
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.
To satisfy today's home buyer, a developer of million-dollar luxury homes in New York is offering smaller, more affordable houses--more anecdotal evidence that the McMansion is dying.
Ira Wallace explores good winter gardening reads, gives advice on how to use the winter lull wisely to plan and prepare, and shares an update in the ongoing court battle to protect family farmers from agri-giant Monsanto.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Enacting a law requiring builders to orient new homes toward the sun would drastically reduce home energy costs and greenhouse gas emissions.
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
Southwest Windpower is the world’s leading supplier of distributed wind generators. With history lasting more than two decades, the company is a global leader and pioneer in the design, manufacturing and distribution of small wind systems.
ECHO Bear Cat is pleased to introduce the 2” SC2170 Chipper/Shredder to its line of outdoor power equipment.
The new FSA 65 and FSA 85 grass trimmers, the latest products available for the 36-volt STIHL Lithium-Ion battery technology system, deliver fuel savings, time savings and environmental benefits for gasoline-free trimming applications.
Skystream install program helps consumers take advantage of their wind resource.
Blount, the world’s largest manufacturer of saw chain, announces the launch of the new OREGON PowerNow 40V MAX* Cordless Chainsaw.
KIOTI Tractor is pleased to announce the expansion of their popular implement and attachment lines.
DR Power Equipment has threatened to make ordinary hydraulic log splitters obsolete with the brand new DR®RapidFire™ Log Splitter. DR technology has eliminated the big drawbacks of hydraulic log splitters.
Worksaver, Inc. introduces new clamp-on snow blades, ideal for compact tractors with non-quick attach buckets.
New Platform Revealed at Dealer Road Shows
Husqvarna has issued the Ethanol Challenge in order to provide the tools for consumers to gain awareness about ethanol.
Sawing their own lumber enables home owners to fulfill their dreams.
Company announces plans for expanded production with Menlo and launch of Innovation Center at NPCC property.
Personal users can now buy welding and cutting products and accessories online from the comfort of their home.
Joplin’s one-year, post-tornado milestone to be marked with neighborhood tree planting, community beautification led by national equipment manufacturers, Vermeer Corporation and Kubota Tractor Corporation
Kubota partners with the Propane Education & Research Council to offer $1,000 purchase incentive on its ZP330, delivering ‘green’ performance and more ‘green’ in your pocket.
Choose smarter features for better results.
Two new models of pull behind cutters for use with tractors.
Investments in lawnmower fabrication processes save more than 310 tons of steel annually.
New burn barrel alternative provides safer, smarter home and garden burning for homeowners.
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
We’d like to hear more about your experiences with green power. Is it available where you live? How does the price compare to what you would otherwise pay for electricity? Why have you — or haven’t you — chosen this option?
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
A report from economic analyst Mark Cooper shows that continuing nuclear power projects in the Southeast will only produce billions of dollars in excess costs.
A mapping and assessment by the Electric Power Research Institute found that the U.S. hydrokinetic waterpower resources could provide 3 percent of the nation’s annual electricity use.
Wind turbines within two miles of residential areas can hurt the property values of homes.
University of Maine leads the United States in clean-energy technology, thanks to the development of a grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Maine.
Henry Red Cloud has a lot to do with the wind energy education happening in South Dakota on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations. Along with these tribes, the interest in wind energy is spreading across the nation, especially to Arizona, and outside organizations are lending a hand.
The pros and cons of nuclear power have been discussed in news and politics for years. We want to know what you think. Is nuclear power a viable and safe option for cleaning up our air? Are the risks of nuclear energy worth the potential rewards? Are there other energy alternatives that deserve more of our attention?
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.
T. Boone Pickens is the very embodiment of the Texas oil tycoon. He’s also, arguably, the world’s leading advocate for wind energy.
Rechargeable tool packages use the same battery to power multiple tools: saws, drills, drivers and flashlights. What are the benefits of these systems?
Steve explains what he's learned over 20 years of using generators and monitoring advances in design.
Healthy home advocates are concerned that wireless power and gas meters, which are being installed in homes across the country, could release dangerous radiation.
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.
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.
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.
Michael Strizki proves that living off the grid doesn't have to mean sacrificing comfort.
It's how solar energy is more affordable than we may realize.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
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.
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.
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.
This bathhouse from CU user SolarLadyfromNorwood 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
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.
Cleaning up an old water heater just requires two simple tools.
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.
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.
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable energy.
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.
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.
If you’re thinking about getting a solar electric system to help the environment and save money, think about efficiency first.
How are US college students helping to brighten the future of Nicaragua, the second poorest country in the Western Hemisphere, without leaving campus?
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!
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 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.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.
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!
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
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.
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.
Kerr-Cole Sustainable Living Center in Taylor, Arizona celebrates national homesteading month with a display of solar ingenuity.
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.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
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.
Collegiate teams showcase affordable, energy-efficient houses in global competition.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
Steve Maxwell, “Canada’s Handiest Man”, guides an inquiring homeowner on how to find the right circular saw.
Capable of moving a host of materials: snow, aggregate materials, livestock feed and silage.
Hud-Son Forest Equipment would like to introduce the all new 2012 HFE-21 Homesteader portable sawmill.
Select Kubota models now available for rent at the Home Depot.
Think outside the box and consider outdoor power equipment for your Valentine this year.
DR offers innovative ATV utility trailer with 1 year hands-on trial.
Cub Cadet is known for providing break-through innovations, a reputation supported by the Best Buy rating.
Put your riding mower to work!
Grasshopper announces a new online tool designed to calculate fuel costs and impacts of commercial mowing equipment.
Setting weld parameters is now easier than ever with the Miller Auto-Set elite feature.
Bobcat Company introduces 3-point tiller implements for the Toolcat 5610 utility work machine and the full line of compact tractors.
With new powerful engine options, more safety features, enhanced technology and easy, comfortable handling, the 4500 will soon become a customer favorite in Ventrac’s lineup.
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.
Chicago has decided to convert its entire garbage truck fleet to electric trucks from Motiv Power Systems, making it the first city in the U.S. to have a zero-emission fleet.
Luna Lodge, on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, relies on hydro power.
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
When Joan King Salwen is invited to speak with Bill and Melinda Gates about The Power of Half, she learns how valuable homemade gifts can be.
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.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows significant lapses in nuclear power plant safety.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
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!
It's easy to find out what fuels your power comes from using this nifty tool from the EPA.
Steve shares 11 years of his experience with the newest mainstay power tool in the world, and offers three free chances to win an impact driver.
Solar energy is the ultimate source of all life, and there's lots of it.
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.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
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!
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.
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 typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
Nuclear Armageddon due to solar flares or EMP, avoidable for teh cost of a single Stealth bomber
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.
A brief description of our experiences with solar tubes in our off grid home.
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.
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.
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.
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.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
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.
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...
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!
Use this parabolic mirror as a handy pocket-sized firestarter.
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.
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?
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.
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Keep your greenhouse above freezing during short cold periods without paying for a heater.
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!
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.
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
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
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.
Our process of buying the land for our homestead had little to do with logic and a lot to do with emotion. For me, it was a chance to return to the plains where I grew up and be close to family.
Read about methods to utilize animal- and human- power for trimming the lawn and keeping back weeds, all free of fossil fuels.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
Many criticize eliminating coal mining in West Virginia because of the amount of jobs the sector provides. A wind farm, however, would employ over 200 local residents during the two-year construction phase, and create 40-50 permanent maintenance jobs afterward. A wind farm would also allow the mountain to be used for other purposes, like sustainable forestry, mountain harvesting, and gathering of wild forest plants, creating additional jobs and the opportunity for stable income for locals.
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.
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.
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.
Sun-Lite HP for greenhouse glazing provides excellent diffused light.
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.
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.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
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.
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.
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.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
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 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.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
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.
Get a glimpse of some of the unique exhibitors at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
A homemade solar food dryer allows you to dry tomatoes and apples for delicious and nutritious winter snacks and addition to your meals.
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman shares tips for converting your home to passive solar energy.
Describing how to look up tax maps, cutting carrots, and deleting problem tomato plants that only produce insipid fruit. The main attraction this week is our Power Plucker review and how awesome this new product is at saving time when plucking.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
An update on generating electricity with pedal power and which exercise bike we decided on and testing soil for nutrient ratios along with fixing a pair of leaky boots with adhesive and inner tube scrap patch.
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Launching Anna's new E book on cover crops in a no till garden and talking about the recent power failure that prompted us to do some Off Grid Homesteading which taught us a few lessons on using golf cart batteries for supplemental lighting.
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
Home energy management, electric cars and solar gadgets take starring roles at consumer electronics industry’s biggest trade show.
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
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.
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.
Describes two effective alternatives to composting. Many factors can limit the ability to produce compost. These two products offer different but practical ways to organically recycle food scraps.
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.
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.
Eating only homegrown foods on the Fridays in Lent.
We will discuss how the Earth overcomes the increasing solar radiation from the Sun to maintain a stable temperature for life (Gaia Hypothesis). The role anthropogenic forces will also be discussed.
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.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
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.
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.
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.