The best advice on energy efficiency, solar power, wind energy, living off the grid, and more.
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."
People are controlling their energy security by financing and operating community energy initiatives with renewable energy sources harvested in their own backyards.
EnergySage, a new online solar marketplace, allows you to compare solar prices between different installers so you can find the best deal.
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.
Proper solar system design is essential to ensure successful and safe do-it-yourself photovoltaic systems that generate the maximum amount of power. Check out these tips for planning a DIY solar power system to get started.
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.
You’ll be glad you took the time to assemble an emergency lighting system the next time a power outage hits your home.
In the past year, a hopeful number of organizations, townships, companies and universities have divested funds they once held in the fossil fuel industry.
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.
Some schools in the United States and Europe have begun to use geothermal energy to cut down on energy consumption and provide students with an energy-efficient education.
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.
Renewable energy options are expanding rapidly for those who dream of life on an off-grid homestead. Solar panel costs have plummeted, home-scale wind power is readily available, and plug-in electric cars are becoming more affordable. In short, the brass ring of wiser living is within our grasp.
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
Discover how miscanthus helped one successful Canadian tomato farmer come closer to achieving carbon neutrality.
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.
Transform grass clippings, food waste and livestock manure into renewable energy via a homemade biogas generator.
Electric utilities’ concerns about distributed energy may result from them eyeing their bottom line more than considering the practicality and sustainability of home energy generation.
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."
Safety and health concerns surrounding natural gas fracking challenge the energy industry to improve and grow renewable energy systems.
The U.S. Department of Energy is funding a $15 million program known as the SunShot Initiative to install solar electricity in homes and businesses.
Discover dozens of viable alternatives to mainstream, fossil fuel-powered farm devices that instead run via the sun, wind and other clean sources.
By the year 2052, we may see the fall of fossil fuel-based energy and its megacorporations in accordance with the rise of renewable energy, producing a significant portion of our electrical energy with solar power.
In 2052, the United States may see changes in productivity that will require a substantial increase in energy efficiency.
The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) has released the first map of wind turbine locations across the nation.
Learn how to size solar hot water systems for every region, climate and family size.
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!
Wind power is one renewable energy source that’s fixing its flaws and being used for small-scale production.
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.
Store extra energy produced by solar panels by using batteries for solar power after dark.
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?
For light in their homes, many people around the world must spend about 30 percent of their daily income on kerosene-based fuels to burn in makeshift lamps, emitting toxic fumes. Solar light bulbs by Nokero offer a promising solution.
Small changes to your lifestyle, such as switching to a water-saving shower head, can result in an environmentally friendly life.
A group of volunteers in Africa is teaching low-income residents how to cook with less fuel by using a rocket stove and hot box.
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.
Wave energy may still contribute to the pool of renewable energy despite its share of challenges.
For many people, going green seems like a daunting task, but in reality, a few simple lifestyle changes is all you need.
While the benefits of geothermal energy would outweigh the initial investment over time, federal incentives meant to help taxpayers with environmental updates could expire before many projects are complete.
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.
Whether you’re heating or cooling with home geothermal, the system is basically free once installed, apart from the electricity to run the pump.
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.
Catherine Tumber, Research Affiliate with MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning, believes that renewable clean technology can bring industry and prosperity back to America.
Drawing energy from algae farms is still costly, but can someday soon join a growing family of sustainable green biofuels.
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.
Billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled into certain industries via government subsidies. In the case of the coal, oil and gas industries, fossil fuel subsidies are helping to bankroll the creation of carbon emissions.
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.
Homeowners will demonstrate practical solar energy technologies as part of the National Solar Tour on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
There are hundreds of types of solar panels to choose from. Newer ideas like thin film solar and solar shingles are competing with the more traditional hard panel. How can you pick the best solar panels for your site?
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.
Affordable solar power is now a feasible option for more homeowners thanks to local, state and federal renewable energy incentives, as well as feed-in tariffs and other policies that favor renewables.
The first solar installation to interconnect the city power grid is completed on a North Hollywood apartment complex.
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.
A look inside the struggles in shifting to wind power, including obtaining rights-of-way and funding for transmission lines.
Reaching an all-time annual high, the 2012 figures representing global PV capacity prove that clean electricity is sweeping the globe, from China to Chile.
As the U.S. solar market continues to expand, President Obama brings renewable energy to the White House.
Despite vast evidence supporting the advancement of renewable energy, various media outlets insist on denying its progress, blurring the lines between inefficient reporting and deliberate lying.
Due to a lack of federal standards limiting power-plant pollution, the majority of the United States' 386 coal plants discharge toxic pollutants into the water without regulation, monitoring, or notification.
New Worldwatch Institute study examines the global market for solar and wind energy production.
Billions of dollars in unaccounted-for subsidies are allowing the fossil fuel industry to escape paying corporate income taxes.
In the wake of San Onofre, Crystal River & Kewaunee Shutdowns, Cooper outlines the next nuclear reactors under the greatest pressure to close down. Reactors in 23 states are on the “At Risk” list.
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.
World biodiesel production has some alarming and negative consequences.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
There continues to be a large amount of skepticism as to whether or not a promising renewable electricity future exists using solar and wind generation. Peter Bronski, with Rocky Mountain Institute, explains why the future is indeed promising and highlights the progress that has already been made in the field.
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.
The monthly public radio program “America Abroad” ran a show with a strong pro-fracking spin. It comes as little surprise to learn that ExxonMobil and Chevron are both among the program’s general funders.
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.
You can be generating biogas at home to use for space and water heating, lighting, and cooking. Paul Scheckel guides you through the basics here.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
The Pacific Marine Energy Center, the nation’s first wave-energy test site, is working to tap into the United States’ offshore energy potential.
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.
The U.S. Army is working toward sustainability with its Army Net-Zero Initiative, which aims to cut back on energy and water use and convert waste into resources.
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.
Biodigesters anaerobically (without air) break down organic matter in a slurry held in a tank. The nitrogen remains in the composted slurry as ammonia, a vital plant nutrient. The flammable gas produced by biodigesters is about twothirds methane and one-third carbon dioxide—very similar to natural gas—making it a good cooking fuel. Cooking requires intense direct application of heat on demand, and renewable options for accomplishing this are limited.
Considering residential wind power for energy self-sufficiency? Find out whether a home wind turbine is right for you.
Rising safety concerns about nuclear power and radioactive waste are causing uncertainty to surround the future of the nuclear industry.
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.
Advanced, non-food biofuels are gaining momentum in 2013 as several new plants have gathered the capital and momentum for large-scale production.
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.
Through crowdfunding, Mosaic has found a way to make clean energy investing widely available.
Solar power systems require only a few parts, and can provide you with an emergency power supply during a power outage.
When local energy combines with local ownership, the entire community benefits.
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center has chosen Newport, Ore., as the future site of the first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy and tidal power test site in the United States.
For some households, heating with wood is a smart, sustainable option. Learn about the benefits and costs of using a woodstove to heat your home.
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.
Congress has included the long-sought extension
of wind energy tax credits in the final passage of a bill to avert the “fiscal
cliff.” The bill now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.
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.
Sandia National Laboratories scientists have
developed tiny, glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the
way solar energy is collected and used.
Offshore wind represents a large, untapped energy resource for the United States, and seven offshore wind awards for projects in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia were announced today.
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.
"Utopia Garden" apartment owners in Dezhou, China, save up to 75 percent annual home energy costs through innovative solar thermal installations.
A Wind Power Record is Set in 2012 for U.S. Commercial Wind Energy With Texas Leading the Way
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.
The Rocky Mountain Institute is partnering with leading Colorado communities to address the contracting, permitting and installation costs of solar photovoltaic panels.
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.
Finding green tech solutions after Hurricane Sandy, CleanEdison Associate Comly Wilson’s report “Emergency Energy” details ways renewable energy systems can deliver resilient and reliable power production during blackout and emergency situations.
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.
Our website list of
human-powered machines and the organizations that are pedaling people power
into an international movement feature technologies that are diverse but, whether a bike-powered grain mill or a treadmill that sustains itself, have one thing in common: They are powered by you.
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.
Cleaner, greener home heating options are abundant, but they’re not all equal. Compare the pros and cons before you decide which should heat your home.
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.
Small-scale hydroelectric turbines offer big
opportunities to transform micro hydro energy from flowing water into electrical current.
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.
Presidential candidates Barak Obama and Mitt Romney have widely divergent views especially on energy and environmental issues and strategies.
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.
Communities and individuals should invest in solar energy to bring clean, renewable power to their state.
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.
The presence of air conditioning units multiplies around the world as global warming continues its steady trend upward.
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.
The world can shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2020 if we adopt the right public policies.
If you worry that renewable energy can’t expand fast enough to forestall a crisis, Lester Brown and the Earth Policy Institute offer a compelling case for optimism.
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.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory opened the Solar Energy Research Institute in Colorado 35 years ago.
A Japanese report on the Fukushima reactor disaster is a "real wake up" call for sleeping U.S regulators. Some troubling parallels are seen between the US and Japan: The “U.S. has the same colluding system between industry, regulators and government.”
Have a look inside green, energy-efficient homes and buildings in your area to find out how you can tap renewables, slash your energy bills and more.
The cost of solar systems has never been lower — now is the right time to consider solar power for your home.
Reflecting clear biases and cherry picking of information, fracking study is "industry garbage in, industry garbage out" that does not hold up to close review.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
China, Brazil, Canada and the United States lead the world in hydroelectric power generation.
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.
Careful wind turbine siting is an essential part of installing a wind power system. Keep these tips in mind while getting started.
Leasing may be a business model that enables more people to afford solar energy systems.
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.
The 21st century promises to be the century for renewable energy sources to take the lead and build a new energy economy. Geothermal energy and solar power promise to play an important role, but for many reasons, wind energy is poised to be the star of our sustainable energy future.
A collection of short news items addressing energy-related topics, including atomic waste storage, energy efficient homes, small scale hydroelectric power, and more.
Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, has a well-deserved reputation for focusing on facts. He worries about the many myths surrounding gasoline prices, oil prices and domestic production. Today, on the Senate floor, he called out some of these fictions and refocused attention on the facts.
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.
A grid-connected PV system is the least expensive and lowest-maintenance option for a home solar electric system. Could it be right for you? Get familiar with its components, how it works, and the pros and cons of seizing the sun’s energy via a grid-tied PV system.
Impressive in both its scope and detail — Lovins new book discusses everything from how to redesign heavy trucks to make them more fuel efficient to ways to change factory pipes to conserve energy.
Join renewable energy researchers around the world and follow this year's World Renewable Energy Forum to examine how renewable energy technologies address the world’s economic, environmental and security challenges.
Adding hydropower capacity to existing dams could supply the same amount of energy as 18 new nuclear reactors.
The declining cost of solar energy, coupled with the rising cost of conventional electricity, create a playing field that’s now more level than ever.
Ocean waves and tidal coastal currents could contribute significantly to U.S. electricity production, according to the Department of Energy.
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.
Installation of rooftop solar water heaters is increasing worldwide, according to the Earth Policy Institute.
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.
The Earth Policy Institute reports that the Keystone XL pipeline is not needed due to changes in U.S. gasoline usage.
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.
Follow this step-by-step advice to find the woodstove of your dreams with the proper combustion system, heating capacity and style for your home.
Coal plants contribute to scarred land, poor human health and disastrous climate change. As we begin to resist coal’s growth as an energy source, new opportunities may arise for sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar. But will we ditch coal fast enough to save the planet?
Small- and medium-scale biofuel distillation equipment will soon be available for use in rural and urban locations alike. Find out how these systems will allow you to produce your own fuel.
Solar PV systems are becoming even more affordable as installation costs continue to decrease!
Many people dream of going completely off the grid and producing all of their own electricity. William and Lorraine Kemp made that dream a reality at their home in rural Ontario. The Kemps have a wind turbine and two solar arrays for electricity. They use a woodstove for home heating and solar energy (plus a woodstove) to heat their water. Learn more about how they put all of these systems to work in a home that runs with an absolute minimum of fossil fuel energy.
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.
Once you know how to dry firewood properly, wood fuel can be a renewable source of low-cost clean energy and heat. Choosing where to buy firewood, which wood species to use, the best ways to split your logs, and even the most efficient stacking methods all play a part in whether you’ll end up with a stack of well-seasoned firewood to last you through winter. Use this guide for all you need to know to get the best firewood for your time and money.
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!
Back before the days of air conditioning, homes were designed to stay cool naturally during hot summers. People sought out houses with comfortable, shaded porches, and builders knew how to position windows and doors for great natural ventilation. Here’s what you can learn from some of these old-fashioned home design techniques that will help you save energy and money by making you less dependent on air conditioning.
Prestyl USA’s customizable infrared art panels prove efficient, ecological & elegant.
Because it operates primarily on the power of gravity, the Feltenberger Pendulum Pump has proven effective in providing emergency water in places where electricity or liquid fuels aren’t readily available. This innovative machine can provide clean drinking water, irrigation or even electricity when fitted with a small generator. Find out how it works.
Make the switch from incandescent lighing to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to reduce your electricity bill and, therefore, your overall impact in the world's energy economy. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
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.
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.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
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.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
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.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
A 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.
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.
After a massive, violent tornado leveled their Kansas town and John Deere dealership, two brothers chose to embrace the power of wind and start a nationwide network of reliable small wind turbine dealers and service providers.
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.
A UN report shows that nearly 80 percent of the global energy supply could be met by renewable energy by 2050, if baked by strong public policies.
If you want to install a solar electric system, you can save some cash by doing the work yourself. Contributing editor Gary Reysa recently bought a solar kit and installed it at his home in Montana. He reports that the process of situating, mounting and wiring the system is simpler than you may think — and leads to significant money savings.
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....
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam loves growing his own heat!
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
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.
Two Department of Energy labs have joined forces to research ways to increase energy savings from exisiting cool roof technologies. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
Adding hydropower capacity to existing dams and canals has the potential to generate up to one million megawatt hours of electricity annually. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
The President outlines how he enviosions lowering U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025, focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Reprinted with permission from the U.S. Department of Energy.
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.
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
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.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term "smart grid." We have a lot to talk about.
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!
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.”
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?
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
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.
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.
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.