The best advice on energy efficiency, solar power, wind energy, living off the grid, and more.
Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners. As you evaluate offers from solar companies, there are many different factors to consider – the equipment that you choose for your system, your financing options, and the installer that you select all have an impact on your solar savings.
Dan Alway, longtime renewable energy advocate and pioneer, was honored by more than 600 of his friends and colleagues at an award presentation at The Energy Fair in Custer, Wisconsin.
Use solar panel buying guides to ensure that you're getting the best offer and value for your solar power system.
Installing solar panels for your home is becoming more and more affordable. In addition to the generous federal investment tax credit of 30%, there are over 900 financial and regulatory incentive programs across the United States. Combined with falling solar costs and rising electricity prices, these programs are helping to make solar panels an investment that can save you money in the long run.
When homeowners think of installing a solar energy system on their home, rooftop solar is probably the first thing to come to mind. What many homeowners don’t realize is that installing ground-mounted solar panels is both easy and cost-effective.
As the energy industry evolves, so does big data. Big data is probably best known for tracking people’s behaviors, purchases and viewpoints, but it can have many other applications. Now the energy sector is tapping into the resources big data has to offer. From renewable energy to oil, gas and coal, this data science can help many companies maximize profits, reduce costs and even lower risk.
A seemingly simple, light-trapping prism could revolutionize the future of solar power. The glass prism, which maximizes the amount of energy it can derive from sunlight, contains a 28-square centimeter, four-junction miniature module that works by utilizing a hybrid receiver designed to convert electricity from each sunbeam more than other devices.
Every solar company has a variation of the same sales pitch, but whether solar is a smart long-term investment for you depends on a few major factors. Before you buy into the hype, use this simple guide to cut through the sales jargon.
The price of solar energy is at an all-time low, according to a recent report. The average installed price of photovoltaic (PV) devices has fallen by more than 50 percent since 2009, making the initial investment cost of system installations feasible for a much wider range of homeowners and businesses.
Making the switch to solar energy for your home is a big decision. It pays to spend a little time and effort researching your solar options, whether it be how to finance your system, deciding which installer to hire or which size system to install. Avoiding the most common mistakes will help you through the process so that you can make the most of your investment.
If you’re looking for an investment that will help to save you money as well as conserve fossil fuels, solar power is great option for many homeowners and businesses. With the continual drop in equipment prices, the advantages of solar energy just keep growing. Before undertaking such a project, you may be wondering how much can solar panels save exactly? Here are the basics.
If you’re a homeowner weighing your renewable energy options, you already know that thorough research is the best way to find the right system for your home. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of residential wind vs. solar power so that you can make your decision with confidence.
If you’re starting to think about going solar, knowing that your home and solar are a good match makes the shopping process even easier. Here are the top five questions and answers that will help you determine whether solar is right for your home (they might surprise you).
Renewable energy is the way of the future. Understanding the history of renewable and fossil fuels helps us make wise choices about using renewable energy sources.
Choosing the right size solar photovoltaic system for your home depends on where you live, how much electricity you use, the specifications of your roof, as well as the policies in place at the state, municipal and utility level. By optimizing your system, you can make the most of your solar investment.
You may have heard that installing a solar energy system on your roof can increase the value of your home – but by how much? Get past the sales pitch and understand exactly what solar companies mean when they say that your home value increases when you install solar.
Solar energy is growing in popularity! But installing rooftop panels is a big investment, so homeowners naturally have a number of questions. By answering some of the most common questions, I hope to set your mind at ease and help you discover the many benefits of solar energy. Before long, you could be producing your own clean, green electricity.
The conventional wisdom from HGTV and home improvement magazines is that updating your kitchen, renovating your bathroom, and building an addition are among the smartest ways to increase the resale value of your home. But there’s another home improvement that you may not realize can add serious value to your property: installing a solar energy system.
Many homeowners don’t realize that energy efficiency measures and solar panels are each effective ways to save on electricity costs, and when you combine them, they can save you even more.
With favorable legislation in the form of a generous tax credit, along with low interest rates and stabilizing costs, switching to solar energy has never made more sense for homeowners frustrated by rising electricity rates and/or wanting to help the environment.
Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.
Solar panels and electric cars are a match made in heaven – when you install a solar energy system on your home, you can use it to both power your home and charge your electric car for emissions-free transportation.
To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY solar panel kits when they decide to go solar. Here are the top things you need to know about DIY solar before making a decision.
Determining the best places to go solar is not just about finding the sunniest places, but also about the economics of going solar. That means taking a look at electricity prices and available financial incentives as well.
Energy conversion efficiencies have been stuck in the 19th century. As a result the enormous drain on natural resources has polluted the entire planet and threatens to cause a return to a preindustrial lifestyle. An Energy breakthrough is needed. A breakthrough has occurred as prophesied by Nikola Tesla.
Establishing a secure financial future for your retirement requires that you explore a variety of options, but most homeowners don’t realize that installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest retirement investment options available.
Plenty of homeowners have both solar panels and snow, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S. for solar have snowy winters. Don’t let winter weather discourage you from going solar!
"Solar Empowerment" is a key component behind an educational development model that does more than trade third-world problems for first-world problems. The Integral Heart Foundation combines education for the poor with environmentalism in a way that bypasses the problems facing our developed world.
With rising utility rates, more and more homeowners are considering solar energy for their home. In a number of states, the cost of electricity from rooftop solar panels is the same or cheaper than electricity from the utility. A brief look at historical trends in utility rates across the U.S., is followed by an explanation of the available solar options.
In addition to solar's financial benefits, going solar is also great for the environment. When your solar panels generate electricity, they produce zero emissions.
This is the final article in a series on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
If you fall asleep or can't think straight at holiday gatherings, don't blame it on the turkey (or your relatives)! Research indicates that carbon dioxide is not only a greenhouse gas, but elevated levels of it are detrimental to human health and cognition. Learn how improving your indoor air quality will increase your health and stamina during holidays.
This is part four in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
So you finally took the leap and installed a home wind turbine. Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step to make your home energy generation more sustainable and secure, but what comes next? Wind turbines require maintenance and this post will outline some wind turbine maintenance essentials to consider.
This is part three in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.
Discussions about solar value are often limited to avoiding electricity costs, and oftentimes neglect the additional market value that these “mini power plants” can add to your home. EnergySage and Sandia National Laboratories conducted an analysis to estimate solar market values in 15 cities across the United States.
This is Part 2 in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. The author is currently entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at his mountain homestead after completing the construction of a small house.
Does solar energy make financial sense for you? Have a look at these considerations before deciding.
This is the first of a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable old-school techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small home.
If you’re reviewing multiple quotes for solar power, there are plenty of metrics that can help you make a decision about which solar option is best for you, but studies show most solar shoppers rely on one metric in particular: the solar panel payback period.
Energy storage technology is moving closer to mass-market adoption. As solar batteries become cheaper and more accessible for homeowners, more people are wondering, “Can I use solar batteries to go off the grid with my solar panel system?”
The cost of solar power has dropped to its lowest yet, making it a competitive option for residents outside of the solar-happy Southwest.
If you want to install a solar energy system on your property, one of the first questions you’ve probably asked is, “how will I pay for it?” In many areas, an increasingly popular option for home energy improvements like solar is property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing.
The benefits of your solar energy system significantly increase when you take advantage of available rebates, tax credits and incentives. Incentives will reduce upfront installation costs, and as a result accelerate your payback period – paying less up front means breaking even more quickly. These programs can reduce the upfront costs of your system by 30 to 50 percent, but vary state-by-state as well as city-by-city. See if your city makes the top 5!
Solar power is taking the world by storm. People are not only using solar power to produce energy by placing solar panels on their roofs, but they are starting to use the technology in new ways. This post highlights ways solar power can provide homeowner benefits but are less often discussed.
A 150-mile transmission line project proposed in 2012 costing up to $1.3 billon is a “dinosaur” that is still haunting the Hudson Valley. But rooftop solar energy, battery storage, and community microgrids can replace the ancient, costly, and vulnerable centralized generation and transmission electricity system that has dominated New York and the entire nation — and advanced little technologically — for over a century.
You’ve probably seen yard signs for Solarize campaigns around your neighborhood. But what exactly does it mean to solarize? Is it really a new verb? Here we’ll explain the basics of a Solarize program, plus what the pros and cons are for your community.
While the most expensive part of going solar is paying for the equipment, it still only represents 25 percent of the overall expense. We break down of all the costs of going solar, and tips on how you can save money!
CAES proposes storing excess green energy in salt caverns.
The advantages of combining wind and solar go beyond system performance and floating batteries – it’s an enhancement to the off-grid lifestyle as a whole.
You can save a lot of money when you use solar energy. But where do those savings come from, and how do you keep track of them? We’ll show you just how much you can save with solar energy.
Australian Prime Minister wants to cut back on funding being sent to wind farms. He also wants to cut funding to solar and hydropower projects.
Until we get electric or solar-run heavy equipment, here's a few tips on how to use less fuel when operating your equipment around the farm or construction site.
Tesla is developing batteries for home power storage that may solve the challenges presented by the irregular nature of wind and solar energy.
Solar radiation is the most prolific source of energy on our planet. For a small investment and a little know-how you can harness this power and make fuel-free meals.
Hydropower is the world’s leading form of renewable energy, accounting for more than 16 percent of global electricity generation. But dam enthusiasts who tout hydro’s climate credentials may not like the news about its emissions numbers.
Imagine being able to turn dead tree branches from your own property into motor fuel. Make power just about anywhere, at any time...for free. Sounds futuristic, right? Fuel your back-up electrical generator with wood gas and save a trip to town. Learn build tricks from a pro for a reliable system on a DIY budget.
The cost of solar panels, installation and system maintenance have fallen, making the prospect of solar affordable and appealing to both homeowners and businesses. But as residential and commercial solar installation surges, utility companies who have grown accustomed to large market share are pushing back.
Transformation of the electricity sector may be able to be delayed by wasting billions of federal tax dollars on unnecessary meters, and large long-distance transmission lines, but it cannot be stopped. It may be a politically rocky transition for the foreseeable future, but I am confident America will certainly achieve energy independence and clean energy abundance.
The previous entry provided a run-through of the basic wind turbine terms. Here, we’ll cover the tower, the unsung hero of small wind turbine energy production.
The previous installment focused on the benefits of small wind turbines for homeowners who are grid-tied, off-grid, or have battery backup systems. In this short episode, we’ll go over the main terminology associated with small wind turbines.
In our first installment, we covered the basics of electricity generation and the process by which a wind turbine creates power. This time, we’ll look at the benefits of adding a wind turbine as a source of clean power for your home.
In this blog series, we look at how a small wind turbine works, while exploring the concept of the smart home microgrid.
Energy ambassadors: convergence of energy and culture.
Energy Ambassadors: Travels to Cuba and Vermont.
Visit Vermont with my Cuban friend Mario as we explore renewable energy, energy efficiency, cultural exchange, and lunch.
You can digest food waste to produce a burnable gas (biogas), to produce high quality fertilizer, and to fight climate change. Learn how.
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.
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.
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.
In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."
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.
What do holidays, indoor air quality and global warming have in common?
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.
With a little bit of planning and DIY know-how, it is possible to thumb your nose at old-man winter and enjoy biogas in subzero temperatures.
International non-profit biogas professionals and their projects.
This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.
There are two things that are true about biogas. The first is that biogas wants to happen. It wants to happen like plants want to grow, like fire wants to burn. And that force, that will to happen, has (at least) those two aspects: life, like the plants; and chemistry, like the fire.
The new home for Friends School of Portland will be only the third school in the United States to achieve Passive House certification.
Did you know that you're going to have to make your digester either much larger or much warmer, if you expect to do practical biogas in the US? Well, here's that story...
Renewable energy's ugly duckling comes of age.
This article does not get into home biogas gas yields or what biogas can be used for, but it is a basic introduction to the five necessary conditions for how to make biogas at home to get you started.
Temperature is central to biogas production, and warmer is better. Much better. So if biogas is not a hot topic, it should be.
Sun Light and Power, a solar installation co signed a deal with SolED to offer Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in the State of California. This will help public or government buildings get these deals and save tax monies.
Summing up: How much food waste makes how much biogas to power what functions around the farmstead?
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.
Save your spare pocket change for energy efficiency upgrades, and intimidating up-front costs will quickly become affordable.
Wasting food in the U.S., making biogas, and using food waste to do it ... (Let's not waste all that wasted food!).
There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.
Transportation in the U.S. is responsible for high levels of carbon emissions. Simply by changing habits and adopting more eco-friendly methods of getting from A to B will help both the environment and overall health.
Learn about one couple's ongoing effort to reduce their carbon footprint.
Biomass grass crops can be established on marginal lands and processed as a fuel replacement for heating oil or propane
We are currently facing a job crisis. Most jobs available today require specific skills and not college diplomas. Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which should help train workers but fails to take note of the booming green job market.
Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.
Why the cost of utilities won’t be drastically affected by renewable energy sources.
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.
Declare energy independence this Independence Day, 2014
Build your own wind generator for use with 12-Volt systems. Charge up batteries for lighting, fans, tools and more.
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.
The following post summarizes Chapter 7 of the book "Let It Shine The 6000 Year Story of Solar Energy."
With over 2 million devices recycled, plus it's hitting the USA by storm, ecoATM is poised to make an environmental difference with market driven economics.
Utility companies and solar power companies are vying for customers' business. See how that affects you.
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!
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
Going solar at home will save you both money and energy. See why it's the future for renewable energy in residential areas.
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.
How does induction cooking work? What are the pros and cons? Efficient electric cooking or hidden health risk?
Small changes to your lifestyle, such as switching to a water-saving shower head, can result in an environmentally friendly life.
Faith leaders urge Obama to reject Keystone XL pipeline project in order to curb carbon emissions and protect God’s Creation.
High efficiency air source heat pumps are proving their worth for cold climate heating and cooling.
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.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
Tips for solar advocates to invest money smartly and be part of the growing solar market
Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.
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.
Nothing lasts forever, let's do the math.
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.
When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.
Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.
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.
Here are three of the season’s brightest and cleanest gifts for a greener holiday celebration.
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.
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.
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.
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Get all the benefits of a soapstone stove with only a portion of the cost.
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.
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.
It’s a small Honda industrial generator with Inverter and GFCI Technology.
Popular Mechanics gives Breakthrough Award to new zero-emission electric mower from Cub Cadet.
Renewable energy accounts for nearly 50 percent of added capacity in US in 2012.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
Skylight scoops are the latest design in skylights which help save more energy and enhance a building’s environment.
The documentary film “Beyond Off-Grid” is nearing completion and includes a dozen specialists across the United States living self-reliant lifestyles.
Admirals Bank opens Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center in San Francisco.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
Finalist in national science competition partners with “green” city to endorse sustainable energy.
Admirals Alternatives make it easier to obtain renewable energy systems for your 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.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
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.
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.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
Nokero International has been awarded the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s ‘Patents for Humanity’ award.
Find out what it takes to build an ethanol fuel plant, including sourcing feedstock.
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.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
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.
As America’s fuel use continues to decrease, proposed solutions such as the Keystone XL pipeline and food-to-fuel conversions may be unnecessary.
South Dakota and Alaska electric cooperatives received the award for 2012 Wind Cooperatives of the Year.
Wind turbines within two miles of residential areas can hurt the property values of homes.
Rain gardens provide many benefits including filtering out pollutants and keeping runoff out of city storm sewers.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows significant lapses in nuclear power plant safety.
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.
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 report from economic analyst Mark Cooper shows that continuing nuclear power projects in the Southeast will only produce billions of dollars in excess costs.
How new technologies, such as home automation are making Earth more eco-friendly.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 100 percent of the electric generating capacity added in January was renewable.
It's about seven unique way's you can use your iPhone to be more energy efficient.
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
San Francisco may become be the second city after Seattle to join a growing movement to divest from the companies driving the climate crisis.
For rural Solomon Island villages reliant on kerosene lamps, a solar power project was just the thing to light their way.
Dan Brandborg founded Sunelco to harvest another of Montana's abundant resources: open sky.
For those wanting to know basic fundamentals of PV systems and arrays, here are a few solar panel facts.
In this renewable energy update from 1983, the U.S. Committee for Energy Awareness launches a pro-nuclear power campaign, ads mislead viewers about nuclear waste disposal safety, increased production of solar power cells is predicted, a weatherization program to save energy and create jobs is launched, record photovoltaic power plants are built, and electricity prices increase. Originally published as "Energy Flashes" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Solar power systems require only a few parts, and can provide you with an emergency power supply during a power outage.
The energy news stories covered in this installment of a continuing feature include a report on the Department of Energy's Solar Index and the rising popularity of co-generation as a hedge against electricity blackouts.
The affect federal subsidies have had on advancing geothermal power development and "fat energy"—the amount of energy required to maintain obese Americans at their excess weight—are among the energy news stories covered in this ongoing feature.
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
World nuclear electricity-generating capacity has been essentially flat since 2007 and is likely to fall as plants retire faster than new ones are built.
This installment of an ongoing energy news feature includes stories about the instant flow water heater and inquiries into the potential of peat fuel.
A new design for folding bicycles and a home weatherization initiative in Pennsylvania are two of over a stores covered in this installment of an ongoing energy news feature.
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.
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.
This installment of a regular energy news feature covers five stories, including a man who built a methane generator and a man who opened an alternative energy store.
Schools offering classes in wind generator design, mass produced solar components, and the energy efficiency benefits of heat pumps are among the energy news stories reported in this installment of an ongoing series.
A report on one man's design for a solar kitchen and one company's plans to offer a range of alternative energy products are among the topics covered in this installment of an ongoing energy news feature.
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 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.
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.
Find out whether a wood pellet stove is right for you, and discover the best stove to buy.
A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs.
Fed up with the noise, fumes, and cost of their gas-powered generator, a California family in California's Tehachapi mountains achieved energy self-sufficiency with a wind and solar power system.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
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.
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.
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
For people who never outgrew the fun of playing with flowing water, making small hydroelectric turbines is a passion.
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.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
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.
Beautiful night time display of spinning colors in downtown Ann Arbor vividly demonstrates possibilities of wind energy.
Try to get clean water and wanting simple bottling options with the purity. Most of the experts in water say you need a countertop water filtration system. Which one is the way to go? This story shows you one option but seems to be kicking it up.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
Within alternative energy, wind and solar get all the media attention, all the glamour. Yet both suffer from intermittency, from the problem that their power sources wax and wane. By contrast, geothermal draws on heat from deep below the earth to provide reliable base load power 24 hours a day.
Yellow Pages is making its website more appealing and enticing to customers.
In 1979, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS staffer attended a workshop on methane production sponsored by New Life Farm's Rural Gasification Project.
A collection of short news items addressing energy-related topics, including atomic waste storage, energy efficient homes, small scale hydroelectric power, and more.
Tinkerer and MOTHER EARTH NEWS researcher Clarence Goosen has created a functioning still with a six inch column that produces as much as ten times more fuel than his original three inch design.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
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...
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
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.
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Can party technology teach you about energy savings and even the theory behind electric cars? It sure can if you follow this simple video tutorial on pulse width modulation.
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
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.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a new Wind Turbine project at the port of Milwaukee will produce more than enough electricity for the city building there. Blogger Ben Nelson checks it out for you with a report, photos, and video.
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.
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.
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
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.
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
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.
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Prestyl USA’s customizable infrared art panels prove efficient, ecological & elegant.
Skystream install program helps consumers take advantage of their wind resource.
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.
QSolar Limited today announced that it has introduced its' new Kristal and Kristal Rainbow range of semi-transparent and colour semi-transparent solar panels.
ClearSpan Fabric Structures, a division of ESAPCO, is proud to announce a new strategic partnership with Vermont’s AgriLab Technologies, a company specializing in heat capture and transfer from aerobic composting.
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.
A TransCanada Keystone pipeline was shut down by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, due to two spills in May. Though it lasted only a day, the suspension raises bigger questions about the risks of TransCanada’s current piping of tar sands oil, as well as the company’s proposal to build an even longer pipeline, the Keystone XL.
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.”
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam loves growing his own heat!
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.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
Our “needs” for the latest gadgets elevates our energy consumption, even with the onslaught of energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics in recent years.
B&R Automation announces partnership to serve renewable energy industry in US and Canada.
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.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake. Radiation levels are on the rise. The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
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.
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
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.
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.
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 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.
Learn more about the upcoming Vetter Fuel Economy Challenges.
A typical winter morning chore - cleaning off the solar panels.
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!
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
Cam readily admits to being obsessed about his use of energy.
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.
Cam is glad to find out that he has been successful at encouraging people to embrace renewable energy.
A solar log home could be an ideal solution to your power problem if you live somewhere with limited alternative energy options. Look into different photovoltaic or photovoltaic/generator systems to see what options could work for you.
For developing countries without the means to store life-saving vaccines, solar refrigerators may be the answer.
Tulikivi provides a “green” cost-effective heating solution because it uses less wood to heat the same space than with a traditional wood burner.
Thanks to favorable economics, more power utilities have plans to build wind farms.
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.
The Appalachian State University team will be blogging about their progress on the solar home they are building for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.
Luna Lodge, on Costa Rica's Osa Peninsula, relies on hydro power.
Evergreen Institute founder's Missouri home burns; wood furnace is suspected cause.
New investment in clean energy reached $243 billion last year, driven by soaring activity in China, offshore wind and European rooftop photovoltaics
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.
The difference between power and energy and how it relates to toast!
U.S. energy consumers will rely more on natural gas and renewables and less on imports in 2011. Coal remains dominant.
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.
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.
Author, activist and co-founder of Global Exchange Kevin Danaher gives a presentation about the bright future of green jobs at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
A question about our future.
Technology allows us to live where we live, but it doesn't make it any easier to deal with!
The EcoAire is designed to be installed in much the same fashion as a window air conditioner and just as easily.
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!
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.
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.
GRIT Assistant Editor Caleb Regan talks to a representative of the Mother Earth Resources Co-Op, one of the sponsors of the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR, about his company's vision and the reception he's gotten from fairgoers.
MOTHER EARTH NEWS Assistant Editor Heidi Hunt chats with Dan Lepinski of MOTHER EARTH NEWS RADIO about converting sunshine into electricity at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR in Seven Springs, Pa.
Managing Editor John Rockhold catches up with Amanda Little ahead of her keynote speech at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
Shannon Whitworth performs at the charity dinner for the Natural Resources Defense Council at the 2010 MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR.
What's the most efficient way to boil water?
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.
An introduction to Cam Mather's off-grid home and lifestyle.
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.
Having your own wind turbine can save you money on your utility bill and lower your impact on the environment. What are your thoughts on wind turbines in backyards?
American and European renewable power sources made up more than half of the countries' new electrical capacity in 2009.
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.
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.
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.
Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.
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
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.
Save energy and resources and reduce waste when traveling by dumping all your trash in one receptical.
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.
Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.
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
The requirements for the much-trusted Energy Star label have changed after a government test discovered exploitable flaws in its certification process.
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?
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.
Students from the University of Kansas spent spring break installing solar panels in a low-income neighborhood in Oakland, California.
Environmentalists are in a debate about the Cape Wind project. We want to know what you think about the proposed offshore wind farm.
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.
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.
Should we be building more garbage incinerators in the United States? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
The energy a PV system will produce during its lifetime far exceeds the amount of energy it takes to produce the PV system
Dan Chiras announces a four-day energy workshop he'll be teaching in Kansas City, Mo.
Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.
Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.
Dan Chiras questions the idea that disposable items are worth the tremendous waste they create.
Energy expert Dan Chiras shares the technique of conserving water with a two-gallon bucket.
It takes some mechanical aptitude, but you can make your own fuel by fermenting appropriate feed stocks into 96 proof alcohol. Originally published as "Make Your Own Gas! Alcohol Fuel Basics" in the April/May 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Energy expert Dan Chiras suggests a simple process for locating energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
This glossary lists terms related to renewable energy.
Do you have a woodstove or pellet stove at home? We’d like to hear more about your experiences with woodstoves and any tips you may have for heating with wood.
Are you a renewable energy whiz? Take our quiz and find out how enlightened you are about solar energy. Our quick quiz has 10 solar-powered questions guaranteed to brighten your day.
Dan Chiras, founder of The Evergreen Institute, shares information on locating renewable energy training facilities.
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.
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.
Will a degree increase your employment prospects? Absolutely. Here are some programs to look into.
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.
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.
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.
Find out what types of federal tax incentives are available for homeowners who install renewable 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.
Let's take a trip back into the Mother Earth News archive to learn more about thin-film solar.
Check out these renewable-energy courses to see if there’s an Evergreen class for you.
From smart grids to better solar panels, green energy technology is making gains that will help us build a brighter future. Originally published as "Green Energy Breakthroughs" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
A grant from the Motorola Foundation is enabling REAL School Gardens to experiment with renewable energy.
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry.
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.
The G-20 met in Pittsburgh this week to discuss global economic issues and agreed to eliminate fossil fuel subsides to combat gloabl climate change.
Check out the PV Watts calculator and find out how much solar-electric power you can generate in your part of the world.
The U.S. Congress has retuned from summer recess, but conflict might keep the Senate from drafting climate and energy legislation quickly.
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.
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?
A report from the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that transitioning to a new energy economy based on clean technologies would reduce environmental stress and save the country $255 billion by 2030. Originally published as "Saving Billions with a New Energy Economy" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Tidal and wave energy have been around for years, but they’re just now starting to get the attention they deserve. See why this option is an inventive solution to our future energy needs.
You can use a solar hot-air collector to heat your home with renewable energy. Here’s more about how they work.
Check out these wind resource maps for a quick look at wind around the world.
The Giving Tree Band has done it again with their latest folk album, "Great Possessions." Read how they created what has been dubbed "the greenest of albums."
It’s a lot of fun to explore Google Earth, and you can find plenty of good information on environmental topics.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced a list of the top 20 on-site renewable electtricity generators.
An Energy Efficient Mortgage can help you add value to your home by making home energy improvements more affordable.
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.
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.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the environmentally progressive Energy and Climate Change bill.
The House votes on the Climate Energy Bill Friday and President Barack Obama encouraged the passage of the bill.
The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bipartisan bill that does not go far enough for some environmental groups.
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.
More money from the Stimulus plan has gone to hot and cold states for weatherization programs.
Learning the basics about electricity will help you conserve energy.
Vermont passed a bill into law last week that established a feed-in tariff policy. The policy is one of the United States' first.
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.
New York makes a plan to increase solar power as part of an aggressive energy policy.
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.
Here’s advice from a renewable energy expert about what you can expect to pay for a solar-electric system to power your home.
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!
Check out this video on tapping wind power with kites.
Installing an outdoor wood burner is a great way to make your home more energy efficient. Find out whether such an investment can count toward energy credits on your income tax return.
Experts have concluded wind power is the best of the available renewable energy alternative to polluting fossil fuels. Originally published as "Wind: Best Bet for Renewable Energy" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
"Kilowatt Ours, A Plan to Re-energize America" shows the consequences of our current energy choices, advocates usage efficiency, and explains why green power must be a part of our future. Originally published as "The Effects of Electricity Choice" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.
Dan Chiras elaborates on his previous blog about the disadvantages of vertical axis wind turbines (VAWTs).
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.
Information and advice from the Small Wind Certification Council on creating wind power in your own backyard.
The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.
Not all wind generators are equally effective. Learn the pros and cons of vertical and horizontal axis wind turbines.
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.
Check out RenewableEnergyWorld.com for background information and breaking news on renewable technologies.
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.
If you’re thinking about getting a solar electric system to help the environment and save money, think about efficiency first.
There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.
Poultry producer turns manure into propane substitute with biochar as a byproduct.
You say you’re an environmentalist, but are you practicing what you preach?
If you’re interested in a green career, here’s some helpful advice.
The new economy promises an abundance of green jobs. Are you ready?
It took a long time to get into this mess. It will take a while to get out of it.
Save thousands on a solar electric system by learning this simple secret.
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.
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.
Yep, some of the money in that stimulus bill is committed to green initiatives, including creating green jobs.
Are we spending too many resources to restore an economic system that was broken anyway? It's time for a new economy.
It’s not too late for the United States to lead a solar revolution that transitions the world to carbon-free energy, but it will take commitment on a scale not seen since World War II.
This easy-to-read graph shows the effects of slight climate change on crops, sea levels and weather.
The X Prize Foundation recently announced the winner of their "What's Your Crazy Green Idea" competition.
We have to rethink our dependence on spending to make the economy work.
Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.
In his newest book, Winning the Oil Endgame, influential energy thinker Amory Lovins lays out a strategy for a successful transition to energy independence.
We tested several solar-powered motion-sensor lights so you can secure your residence while saving money on your electric bills.
Former Vice President Al Gore thinks 2009 needs to be the year that America creates a climate bill. And he's got a plan to back it up!
The future looks bright as long as the United States can follow its current energy efficiency programs.
Earlier this month a plan was drafted to remove all plasma screen televisions from California retail shelves.
Take this quiz from How Stuff Works and learn more about how solar panels produce electricity.
ASES released a report that says 37 million green jobs are possible by 2030. Check out the study here!
Find out what different states are doing to promote power from renewable sources, including solar and wind energy.
New solar power innovations from the U.S. Department of Energy could help photovoltaics achieve their long sought potential. Originally published as "Award-winning Advances in Solar Power" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Environmental groups want supporters to write Congress to ensure that the new economic stimulus package includes green jobs.
It's easy to find out what fuels your power comes from using this nifty tool from the EPA.
For a convenient, eco-friendly, and potentially money-saving method of home heating, give some thought to using a wood pellet stove. Originally published as "Turn Waste Wood into Home Heat: Buy a Pellet Stove" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
The Apollo Alliance want you to tell the new Obama Energy Czar, Carol Browner that you support renewable energy policy.
The Union of Concerned Scientists created a new Web feature to show the success of green-collar jobs.
The Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently released a report discussing Combined Heat and Power (CHP) and its possibility as an energy solution.
What should we do about climate and energy issues? These three articles raise interesting questions.
When you start measuring electricity use, you may be surprised by which appliances and electronics use the most energy.
The X Prize Foundation needs your vote to help them decide their next X Prize.
It's true! You really can pump water to a higher elevation using nothing but water power.
How much electricity is your computer using right now? You might be surprised how easy it is to find out.
The bailout bill rescues renewable energy. Did you know that the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, also known as the “bailout bill,” actually included some good news for renewable energy? Wind, solar and geothermal all got a boost.
Save energy using homemade Christmas ornaments. During the 1973 oil crisis, folks used fewer lights to decorate for the holidays and instead used homemade decorations. Originally published as "Country Lore: Lessons from ’73: Vibrant Holidays that Save Energy" December 2008/January 2009 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Ready, set, save! Try these online calculators for help finding the best ways to save energy and money at home.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
T. Boone Pickens is calling Americans to submit videos about the importance of independence from foreign oil. The contest ends Oct. 25, and the winning video will be sent to national political leaders.
The Presidential candidates had one last chance to address energy policy.
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.
A new company has redesigned the typical shape of solar panels to be more three-dimensional.
California ranks No. 1 on the ACEEE's scorecard of energy efficient states. See how your state ranked here!
National Solar Tour couldn't have more perfect timing.
On Sept. 30, the offshore drilling moratorium expired, and the energy battle between the Democrats and Republicans began.
Rhode Island plans to install large wind far off it's Atlantic Ocean shore.
Here are the pros and cons of using south facing windows for home heating, rather than solar collectors.
Ben & Jerry's teams up with Greenpeace to bring the U.S. a cleaner way of freezing food, especially ice cream.
Everyone's talking about the economic bailout, but few seem to focus on the bigger issue: we need more jobs, and we need a viable economic stimulus. One study shows those needs could come from green investment.
The news on climate change isn't good, but renewable energy could lead us to a brighter future.
Three-hundred colleges and universities have been graded on their commitment to environmentalism. Did your alma mater make the Green Grade?
Wouldn't it be nice if we could produce all the energy we needed from local, renewable resources, such as solar and wind power?
The X Prize Foundation wants your craziest green idea, so let the games begin.
This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.
How does the amount of electricity you use each month compare to the average American household?
How big is that wind turbine exactly? For a frame of reference on the different sizes, check out these photos and links.
Read about how one Missouri town became the first in America to receive 100 percent of their power from the renewable wind energy created by Loess Hills Wind Farm. Originally published as "Towns Dependence of Fossil Fuels is Gone with the Wind" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Schools save money by installing wind energy systems. More than 100 schools in 30 states have installed wind generators. The systems not only provide greater energy security and lower bills, but they also teach the students and the community about the benefits of renewable energy. Originally published as "Why Wind Power Works for Schools" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
Most treadmills and stationary bikes use electricity, but what if you could produce electricity while exercising? With a pedal-power generator, you can! And you can use the electricity immediately to power a television, computer, stereo or other electronics — or store it in batteries to use it later.
If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.
The X Prize Foundation will be hosting a forum in early September to discuss different ideas regarding renewable energy.
Check out this dramatic short movie.
Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner energy.
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?
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 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.
MIT researchers announced a breakthrough that could ultimately make it much cheaper and easier to store solar energy.
This simple, low-tech method of disinfecting water with solar energy can be a lifesaver when safe drinking water isn't available.
Ever wondered which countries around the world are installing the most wind power?
Texas is already the U.S. leader in wind power, and that lead is about to get even bigger.
Learn what you need to know about solar energy advantages: how solar panels work, how much they cost, why you might want a grid-tied system, and where to learn more about important local regulations such as net metering in this article reprinted in our August/September 2008 issue courtesy of Fine Homebuilding. Originally published as "Solar Energy: Why Its Better Than Ever" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.