The best advice on energy efficiency, solar power, wind energy, living off the grid, and more.
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.
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.
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.
Last year saw the biggest jump in CO2 emissions from power plants ever. Texas, Florida and Ohio lead the pack.
Most Americans have tried low-energy light bulbs and like them.
Colorado's once-thriving solar industry has ground to a halt following Xcel Energy's move to slash incentive rebates for homeowners.
In a move that could devastate Colorado's thriving solar industry, Xcel Energy slashes incentive program.
A year-long study in Oklahoma found that consumers who used energy-tracking technology and pricing plans that let them analyze their usage can cut their consumption in half.
A new study finds that generating electricity from coal costs taxpayers $345 billion each year, making renewable energy start to look like a bargain.
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!
A new wastewater treatment plant in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, will use methane gas to produce energy.
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.
Tulikivi provides a “green” cost-effective heating solution because it uses less wood to heat the same space than with a traditional wood burner.
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.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to heat your home with free, renewable solar energy? Some homeowners are discovering an appealing option: You can use a solar water-heating system to provide your domestic hot water, and also a portion of your home’s heat. This option is a good for new buildings, because it works especially well with radiant floor heat, and you’ll get the best return on your money in a well-insulated structure. In new construction, you can put in radiant floor heat and high levels of insulation right from the start.
By the end of 2009, nearly 23,000 megawatts of solar power had been installed worldwide — enough to power 4.6 million U.S. homes. As costs drop for renewable energy systems and we continue to transition away from fossil fuels, solar is poised to soar.
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!
Architect Debra Rucker Coleman discusses the many benefits of working with the sun, and what to consider when building a home using passive solar design.
Energy return on investment is a concept that explores the efficiency of various energy sources. It helps us determine which renewable fuels produce the most net energy given our current technology, and — perhaps most interesting of all — it also shows us why energy prices are relentlessly climbing and will continue to do so.
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.
Using invasive weeds, such as European buckthorn and Russian olive tree, instead of useful crops as a biofuel alternative could be beneficial to farmers and urbanites alike. In addition, uprooting these problem plants and replacing them with native species could also help prevent soil erosion.
The U.S. Department of the Interior has approved the first large-scale solar power plants to be built on public land in the United States. The two California projects, which could produce 754 megawatts of power, are among a number of solar projects recently approved by the state.
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.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture is offering grants of up to $50,000 to support feasibility studies of renewable energy installations for agricultural production facilities and rural small businesses. The USDA is also helping to fund a biorefinery’s shift from coal to wood power.
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.
Renewable Energy has advantages over nuclear power in the creating new jobs. Christine Todd Whitman, a nuclear power supporter, says that constructing nuclear power plants would create 70,000. But Elliot Negin from the Union of Concerned Scientists says more jobs would be created with renewable energy. Texas is one example he points to. The state has growing advantages in renewable energy, while the nuclear power plant, South Texas Project, is losing finances and support.
Taxpayers can end up handing out billions in taxpayer money to energy companies, but the government fails to ensure we receive the fair market value for commercial development of public lands.
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.
Former EPA head Christine Todd Whitman and industry PR agent Patrick Moore have been traveling around the country promoting a resurgence of nuclear power, but have failed to mention that nuclear industry lobbyists are paying them to do so.
A proposed wind farm off the coast of Massachusetts in Nantucket Sound has been approved, following a long debate over its location. Comprised of 130 wind turbines, the array is expected to reduce the area’s oil consumption by 113 million gallons per year. Learn why opponents were concerned, and more about the clean energy benefits the wind farm is expected to produce.
Following a reputation-damaging audit by the Government Accountability office, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are now strictly enforcing qualification requirements of products seeking the Energy Star Label. If you’re in the market for energy-efficient appliances, keep reading.
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.
The western United States could get 35 percent of its power from wind and solar energy in a few short years, according to a new study.
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 SolarLadyfromNorwood proudly uses the sun to power it through the day. Making good use of alternative energy, the bathhouse surrounded by lush grass looks like a great little escape. Adorned with a sign and additional artwork, this
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?
Juxtaposing the Cape offshore wind energy project with the Gulf oil spill points to a clear winner when it comes to choosing our energy future. More offshore oil drilling is not the answer.
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.
The Energy Information Administration’s Annual Energy Outlook looks at how current energy trends and energy policies will affect the United States’ energy use in the future. Their new release looks at 38 different energy scenarios and their relation to future economic growth.
Following a disastrous investigation into the Energy Star program’s certification process, the Department of Energy and the Environmental Protection Agency are making major changes, including scrapping automated approval and requiring stricter lab results.
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.
Save money and reduce your electricity usage by putting a timer on your water heater.
Should we be building more garbage incinerators in the United States? Leave a comment and tell us what you think.
Senator Bernie Sanders’ new bill would promote installation of 10 million new rooftop solar energy systems and 200,000 solar hot water heating systems in the United States in the next decade.
The global wind industry increased capacity to 158,000 megawatts in 2009, posting another record year. The wind industry is now capable of producing energy for 250 million people.
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.
Hydropower is a major source of renewable energy, and it’s not just big dams that are supplying all the power. Some are small, low-impact hydropower plants, such as the Bowersock Mills and Power Co. in Lawrence, Kan. This small hydroelectric facility is planning to expand — a move that would triple the dam’s power production with almost no additional environmental impact. Here’s a conversation with Sarah Hill-Nelson, co-owner of the plant, about why she loves her job running a small hydroelectric plant, the environmental value of low-impact hydropower, and the exciting potential of expanding hydropower production at existing dams.
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.
A leading wood-heat expert explains why wood is an essential energy resource. This article includes the latest information on EPA-certified woodstoves and why they should be considered a responsible choice for home heating. Wood is a renewable resource, and wood as a fuel is 75 percent CO2 neutral, making it a good choice for home heating in areas where wood is readily available.
New estimates for wind energy potential are blowing us away! The United States has the potential to create nine times as much energy by wind annually as was created by all energy sources combined in 2009.
Energy expert Dan Chiras shares the technique of conserving water with a two-gallon bucket.
We talk about lightening your load on the planet all the time. We tell you how to use the sun to heat your home, save gas, eat sustainably and much more. Ever wonder how MOTHER EARTH NEWS does our part? Aside from scraping together all the information and resources you need to make your own positive changes, our publisher, Ogden Publications, offsets its energy usage by purchasing renewable energy credits to the tune of 2.4 million kilowatt hours. That’s 100 percent of our electricity! Read more about our green office efforts.
Energy expert Dan Chiras suggests a simple process for locating energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
U.S. geothermal energy capacity grew 6 percent in 2009, and there are many more projects on the horizon.
Wind capacity went up 39 percent in 2009 in the United States, and rose 31 percent globally.
Thanks to action steps laid out this month by President Obama, U.S. biofuel production is set to undergo both short- and long-term growth.
Courses in solar energy taken through The Evergreen Institute now apply toward the Midwest Renewable Energy Association’s site assessor certificates.
Is nuclear power a green choice? Well, if by green you mean money, it appears to be tinted quite green. Read about a new investigation that traces millions of dollars the nuclear industry has spent over the past decade to sell the public and Congress on the virtues of new reactors.
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.
On her quest to discover the future of energy in the United States, Amanda Little traveled to west Texas to interview oil tycoon turned renewable energy advocate T. Boone Pickens. In this lively excerpt from Little’s impassioned, solutions-oriented book “Power Trip,” Pickens discusses his recent decision to advocate renewable energy, his plan to turn the Texas Panhandle into “wind capital of the world,” and why he thinks the shift to homegrown energy sources is as patriotic and economic as it is environmental.
Dan Chiras, founder of The Evergreen Institute, shares information on locating renewable energy training facilities.
Are you ready to bring solar power into your home? New and improved thin-film solar panels can help make that possible. Thin-film solar modules are lightweight and flexible, which makes them useful for many different applications, such as “solar shingles” for your roof. New scientific research is rapidly improving solar cells, making thin-film solar more efficient and less expensive all the time. Soon we may be asking ourselves, “Why not make ever roof a solar roof?”
Are you looking for a career in solar energy? Here’s what you need to know about training to be a solar installer or technician. Many renewable energy training programs are springing up around the country. A good place to start your search is by checking out what’s available from Solar Energy International and San Juan College.
Norwegian energy company StatoilHydro has developed a floating wind turbine, which greatly expands siting options for large wind generators. The company has its eye on U.S. coastlines, and it’s planning to launch a marketing plan when costs become more competitive.
In the global conversation about sustainable energy solutions, we hear a lot more about solar and wind than we do fuel wood. But that may be about to change. Advanced wood combustion is a new way to burn wood that’s cleaner and more efficient, and with sustainable forest management, fuel wood can be grown in a carbon-neutral manner. Find out how wood can become the fuel of the future.
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.
Coal Country exposes the damages to communities and the environment caused by mountaintop-removal coal mining.
For the first time, investors put more money into alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
When you start reading about technology, it seems as though every day there’s a revolutionary new breakthrough related to renewable energy. From superwindows to solar panels to the smart grid, there’s a world of promising new technology being developed that will help us produce more renewable energy and consume fewer fossil fuels. Here’s a rundown of five developments we think will make a difference in the next few years.
Rainwater Environmental Alliance for Learning (REAL) School Gardens, with the help of a grant from the Motorola Foundation’s Generation Innovation program, works to teach kids about gardening and power from the sun and wind.
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry.
Twenty leaders in the world's most industrialized nations have determined to "phase out their subsidies for fossil fuels."
The Golden State invests $3.1 billion in energy efficiency — the largest such investment ever made by a state — and will require state utilities to get a third of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2020.
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.
New research from the Environmental Law Institute shows that, from 2002 to 2008, the federal government gave more than two times the financial support it gave to renewable energy initiatives to fossil fuel production.
We recently wrote about which states have the best wind power resources. Now, we’re considering which states are best for solar power. How sunny is the spot where you live? Keep reading to find out which states have the best natural solar resources, which offer the best state solar incentives for homeowners, and which states have the greatest amount of solar power already installed.
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.
A new research report says making energy efficiency a priority could prevent 1.1 billion tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 10 years.
MyEmissionsExchange.com stimulates the economy and combats global warming by paying registered users for reducing their energy use.
How windy is the area where you live? Some parts of the United States have much better natural wind resources than others, and many offer strong financial incentives that make installing wind turbines more affordable. Check out the resources listed here to find state wind maps, information about financial incentives for homeowners, and the latest news about where the big wind projects are being constructed.
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?
The Citizen’s Guide to Climate Policy empowers everyday citizens with the knowledge to go up against industry lobbyists and fight for strong climate change legislation.
“Future Hype: The Myths of Technology Change” is an entertaining critique of our tendency to overstate the performance of technological advances. Author Bob Seidensticker helps us sift through the exaggeration.
In a new report, the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, residential and commercial energy bill savings could reach $255 billion by 2030. According to the organization, these savings would more than off-set the cost of converting to a clean energy economy. How do we get there from here? Check out the report to learn more.
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.
With its 24,000 mirrors glistening under the Southern California sun, the new Sierra SunTower is providing clean, affordable energy to thousands of homes — and more solar power plants of this kind are on the way. Find out how this breakthrough technology works, and which areas of the country it will be coming to next.
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.
The new Microsoft Hohm application makes it easy to track your energy use and provides simple recommendations to save energy and money.
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.
It’s easy to save on energy, and thus save money, at home. From using ceiling fans to adding power strips to finding creative new uses for bubble wrap, there are a variety of easy and proven ways to lower energy bills, and several can be done over a weekend or in even less time. These 10 ideas will set you on the road to home energy savings.
Kansas, West Virginia, Maine and Nevada recently took initiatives to boost renewable energy, with Kansas and West Virginia introducing thier first renewable energy standards while Maine and Nevada updated their standards with higher goals in mind.
Improvements in incandescent light bulb technology give compact fluorescent bulbs a revamped competitor.
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.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains a Pew Charitable Trusts study that finds that jobs in the clean energy sector are growing faster than jobs in the fossil fuel industry.
The U.S. House of Representatives passed the environmentally progressive Energy and Climate Change bill.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains why wind energy is growing in popularity right now.
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.
For the first time ever, alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and geothermal power received more investment money than fossil fuels such as coal and oil.
More money from the Stimulus plan has gone to hot and cold states for weatherization programs.
A solar-powered cooker made out of cardboard boxes, which aims to reduce carbon emissions, deforestation and the spread of water-borne diseases, took home the first prize at the Climate Change Challenge.
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.
The Energy Information Administration predicts a 39 percent growth in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030. A predicted 44 percent increase in global energy use will contribute to this. Both renewable energy sources and coal power are expected to see a bigger share of the global energy market.
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.
The United States cut its energy-related carbon dioxide emissions by a record amount in 2008. Though high gas prices and economic woes were major contributors to the decline, a move toward renewable energy also helped.
The U.S. Department of Energy heads an effort to create new jobs in renewable energy as part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
Nearly every homeowner can benefit from a home energy audit, which can help you save money on your heating and cooling bills, while also saving energy and making your home more comfortable. But the term “energy audit” is used differently by different people. Here’s what home energy rater Ken Riead had to say about the process, and what homeowners need to know before signing up for an energy audit.
A new report issued by The Lancet, an international medical journal, says global warming and climate change will create health risks for billions of people worldwide.
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.
Last December, the Quimby family paid $1,100 to heat and power their Winthrop, Maine, farmhouse for the month. Something had to be done. Jeld Wen, manufacturer of energy efficient doors and windows, came to the rescue.
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.
As tough economic times hit the renewable energy industry, unsold solar panels are collecting dust in warehouses in many parts of the country. But in Gainesville, Florida, homes, buildings and schools are glittering with brand new panels, installed after the city passed a feed-in tariff law, requiring the power company to buy renewable energy from local producers.
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.
Which renewable energy technology has the best potential to combat global warming and power our future? Wind, according to a study from the journal Energy and Environmental Science. Read more to learn about the criteria on which the finding is based.
The documentary “Kilowatt Ours, A Plan to Re-energize America” is an in-depth look at the problems associated with coal and nuclear power, as well as an exposé of green power solutions. Watch the DVD to learn how to cut your energy use in half.
The Environmental Protection Agency releases a list of the top green power purchasers in the United States.
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).
An analysis from the Union of Concerned Scientists concludes that consumers’ energy costs would actually be lower under the “25 percent by 2025” renewable energy standard.
Employment opportunities in the U.S. wind power industry increased 70 percent in 2008, and a record 8,545 megawatts of wind power were installed. With new manufacturing facilities in 24 states, the economic benefits of jobs in the wind power industry are being distributed around most of the country.
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.
Tapping wind resources off the coast of the continental United States has the potential to generate enough power to meet the nation’s electricity demands, according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). With such promising prospects, energy companies are vying to be the first to develop an offshore wind power facility in the United States.
Information and advice from the Small Wind Certification Council on creating wind power in your own backyard.
The U.S. Department of Energy reports that, under scenarios calling for higher gas prices and stronger controls on greenhouse gas emissions, the United States would experience a greater shift toward the development and production of renewable energy.
What’s the future look like for solar and renewable energy? To answer that question and more, we talked to an expert at the American Solar Energy Society.
Bills in the House and Senate are proposing a federal standard that would require utility companies to get 25 percent of their electricity from renewable energy sources by 2025. A report from the Union of Concerned Scientists found that such a standard would cut electricity bills for consumers across the country while also creating nearly 297,000 jobs and reducing global warming pollution by 277 million metric tons per year.
The United States’ solar industry experienced record growth in 2008, reaching a total solar energy capacity of 8,775 megawatts.
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.
From California to New Jersey, utilities across the nation are pursuing developments in solar power that collectively harness thousands of megawatts of clean, solar energy. Some companies have announced plans to buy solar power from concentrating solar power plants, while others are looking to build solar power facilities of their own.
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.
When reports of raptor deaths by the thousands began to surface from Altamont Pass Wind Resource Area in central California during the 1990s, both the wind industry and wildlife conservationists were taken by surprise. They have since been scrambling to gauge the severity of the problem and identify causes and solutions, but it hasn’t been easy. We chatted with experts from both sides to learn more about the situation.
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.
A new bill would require electricity companies to obtain 25 percent of their electricity from renewable sources by 2025. Experts from the Union of Concerned Scientists say the bill would not only combat global warming, but would also save consumers $94 billion by 2030.
Addressing Congress on his plan to transform the economy, President Obama pushed for a cap on carbon emissions and stressed greater investment in the production of renewable energy. The president said the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) will double the United States’ supply of renewable energy within the next three years, as well as create 3.5 million jobs.
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.
Would solar power be a good choice for your home? In some cases, purchasing solar panels now can add up to big savings over time. But whether solar makes sense for you depends on a lot of different factors, including how sunny your location is and what kinds of financial incentives are available in your area. Here are some helpful questions to ask if you're considering solar power, and resources that can help you learn more about the options.
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.
The world is facing serious energy problems in the face of global climate change and declining supplies of oil and natural gas. Author Denis Hayes, a long-time advocate for solar energy, explains that now is the perfect time to take a fresh look at those problems. Through new investment in renewable energy and energy efficiency, as well as effective new climate legislation, we can build a brighter future and create millions of new green jobs. But it will take an immediate and profound commitment to make those changes a reality.
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.
The Energy Information Administration reports that, in 2007, renewable energy sources other than hydropower provided the majority of new electric generating capacity for the first time.
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!
The new president’s energy plan calls for $150 billion to be invested in building a clean energy future, and aims for renewable energy to supply 10 percent of the nation's electricity by 2012.
Find out what different states are doing to promote power from renewable sources, including solar and wind energy.
The International Energy Agency projects a 30 percent increase in global energy demand by 2020, but Lester Brown, of the Earth Policy Institute, argues that we can reduce this number. Read about Brown's plan to decrease global energy demand by preventing energy waste and switching to more energy-efficient products.
The U.S. Department of Energy has added two 100 Awards to their trophy case — for a total of 42 — for advances in solar power made by two of their latest inventions. Find out more about how these new technologies might transform the way solar cells are created and used.
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.
The consensus is in: Climate change is real and is fueled by human activities — which means that we now need action based on a solid plan for success. Check out these five ambitious strategies for heading off a climate crisis and creating a new, sustainable national energy policy.
Check out pellet stoves, which burn pellets made of compressed wood byproducts and other biomass. Pellet appliances vary from designs that are lit manually, with heat output controlled directly by the homeowner using a dial or buttons, to those units that ignite electrically, with pellet supply and heat output controlled automatically by a wall-mounted thermostat. And switching from a fossil fuel to pellets can reduce your carbon footprint. Wood pellets produce almost no net climate-changing carbon dioxide if they are used as fuel.
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.
DOE and EPA's National Action Plan Vision for 2025 outlines strategies to help lower the growth in energy demand across the country by more than 50 percent.
Thanks to new federal tax credits for energy improvements, U.S. homeowners can get more money back when they buy solar panels, wind turbines, woodstoves, energy efficient windows and more. The tax credits go into effect starting Jan. 1, 2009. Read more to find out the details of what products qualify for tax credits and whether energy upgrades might be a good idea for your home.
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.
Missouri creates a stronger market for renewable energy by passing a clean energy initiative.
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.
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.
During the 1973 oil crisis, folks used fewer lights to decorate for the holidays and instead used homemade decorations.
Ready, set, save! Try these online calculators for help finding the best ways to save energy and money at home.
The 5-megawatt plant will use Ausra's flat solar panels, which work like solar troughs but with lower costs.
A string of new solar manufacturing plants are scheduled to open within the next few years.
A new technology developed at MIT, solar concentrators, could dramatically reduce the cost of photovoltaic (PV) power.
Wind, solar and geothermal energy has already begun replacing coal and oil in large quantities. States such as Texas and California are already national leaders in the movement toward alternative fuels, but many more states are jumping on the proverbial bandwagon and adding their own green power arrays.
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.
With the search for an alternative type of energy in high demand, geothermal energy — energy from the Earth's core — could be a viable solution. Thirty-nine countries have the geothermal energy resources they need to give power to all 750 million of their residents; and after the passage of the Earth Policy Act of 2005, seven thousand jobs are expected to be created by this industry in the United States alone.
Rock Port, Mo., took advantage of the power generated from the nearby Loess Hills Wind Farm in a big way.
More than 100 schools in 30 states have installed wind generators, and many more are doing the research to see if wind will work for them. 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.
Good news! We have plenty of energy for everyone — but it’s not a fossil fuel, it’s solar! And new developments in technology (and economics) are making solar-electric systems an increasingly attractive option.
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. While you probably won’t produce enough electricity to power your entire house, pedal-powered generators can play a small but useful role in some homes.
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 these recent breakthroughs in solar energy technology.
Check out this dramatic short movie.
Sure you’re aware of photovoltaics, aka solar panels, but what about concentrated solar power? This lesser-known form of solar energy works like a magnifying glass in sunlight. Instead of setting ants on fire, though, these mirrors generate electricity. Generally speaking, the curved mirrors of concentrated solar power plants amplify heat to warm water, which turns to steam, which then powers an electric generator. Also known as solar thermal power, this form of renewable energy is experiencing a new boom, and has tremendous potential. A recent study says the United States could replace 90 percent of its fossil fuel derived power with solar thermal, for less money than the cost of importing oil.
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 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.
If you're considering purchasing a pellet or corn stove to save money on your heating bills this winter, here are some issues to think about before making that investment.
Research & Development Magazine announced that an ultra light, highly efficient solar cell and use of ink jet printing to manufacture thin film photovoltaics, the production of electricity from sunlight, will be included this year’s most significant innovations. According to its
Al Gore is calling on Americans to support a rapid transition to renewable energy. Tell us what you think.
This one policy makes it much easier to pay for a solar or wind-electric system, but not every state offers it.
After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.
Massachusetts Institute of Technology has developed a way to double electricity from solar cells by using dyed glass.
Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge will not lower gas prices anytime soon. This summary of facts released by the Alaska Wilderness League exposes important pieces of the ANWR debate.
Heating water with the sun is no longer an option on the Hawaiian islands. A bill was passed in Hawaii that requires all new homes to install a solar water heater in order to receive a building permit.
Rapid growth, declining costs: the future looks bright for solar energy.
A wind energy expert discusses the durability of small-scale wind turbines.
Daniel Sheridan found a way to turn children's energy into electrical power with a see-saw that generates electricity. The see-saw should generate enough electricity to light a classroom for a whole evening after only five to 10 minutes of use.
A new city being built in the Middle East could become the model for the world's move to renewable resources. Could the U.S. be next in line for a carbon-free metropolis?
If you want to learn more about renewable energy, green building and other sustainable living topics, the Solar Living Institute (SLI) in Hopland, Calif., is a great resource. The Institute offers hands-on workshops to help participants learn sustainable living skills such as brewing biodiesel, making natural plasters, building with straw bales and much more. Every summer, the Institute also holds an annual festival called SolFest, which features workshops, speakers, music and food.
After an avalanche destroyed transmission lines, residents of the Alaskan capital mobilized to conserve energy.
As a result of a successful lawsuit against the Department of Energy, the DOE must now update energy efficiency standards on 22 different consumer products, such as air conditioners, stoves and lamps. The evaluation will continue through 2011.
To understand the power of conserving energy and using renewable energy instead of fossil fuels, it helps to know some of the basics about electricity. Knowing your kilowatts from your kilowatt hours can help you make smart choices that add up to big energy savings. So do you know your stuff? Take this short quiz and find out if you know what's watt about electricity.
Mounting a wind turbine on your roof instead of on a tower might seem like a good idea, but here are some issues you should consider.
$10 billion will buy you a lot of wind power, and it's even sweeter when that money comes from one of the world's foremost oil tycoons.
2008 is off to a record pace for production of clean, renewable wind power. But that pace may come to a screeching halt if Congress does not renew critical incentives. The next several months are critical for the wind industry, especially in the wake of a new Department of Energy study that outlines how wind power could provide 20 percent of U.S. electricity by 2030.
The U.S. Department of Energy's work with the city of Greensburg, Kan., over the past year is bearing fruit, as the city is now rebuilding with a new emphasis on energy-efficient buildings and renewable energy, particularly wind energy.
Here are the basic options for buying your electricity from sustainable sources.
Want to know how to build your own photovoltaic system, how to construct a solar water pump, or even how to start a solar-based business? Solar Energy International in Carbondale, Colo. offers workshops on these topics and many, many more. Read about all the things you can learn from the experts at this organization.
Perhaps you’d like to have a wind turbine in your back yard, but for one reason or another, your property just isn’t a good location. But what if someone else in your community has an excellent site on which the whole community could put one or more turbines? If you can gather enough support from area residents, you may be able to install a medium to large-scale, locally owned wind turbine project that can benefit everyone. It’s already been done in Denmark, and even Canada — read about how to make it happen in the states.
Wind power has enormous potential, is the fastest growing form of electricity and creates no pollution or emissions. Also, the price of wind power is cost-competitive with other forms of energy. But the wind still needs our support to continue to grow and provide an eco-friendly form of electricity. New laws and expansion are needed in order for the wind industry to reach its potential and to continue to be a competitor in the power industry.
Here's how you can find people selling home-scale wind turbines near where you live.
Have you ever daydreamed about putting solar panels on your roof, or a wind turbine in your back yard? With helpful new online resources, it's getting easier to learn more about renewable energy and whether it's a good option for your home. Check out these handy web calculators and consumer resources to learn more about whether your area has enough wind or sunshine to make a home electric system a good choice, to help you understand the basic issues and terminology, and to find contact information for installers and distributors in your area.
Over the past year, Congress has spent a lot of time debating energy policy, a topic loaded with heated issues such as climate change and foreign oil. The final result of months of negotiation is the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, which became law in December. For environmentalists, the law offers some good news, but leaves a lot of unfinished business. Here’s a quick look at what made it in, what got left out, and how close it comes to real energy independence and security.
John Gulland and Wendy Milne power their home almost entirely with renewable energy. They started converting their home to renewables about eight years ago, and now rely almost exclusively on wood, wind and solar energy to power and heat their home, offices and workshop. The choice to use renewable energy does not come without challenges, say Gulland and Milne, and they admit they’ve made a few mistakes along the way. Here are the details of what they learned in the process of converting their home to renewable energy, a process that Gulland and Milne say has changed the way they think about energy.
Here's how you can find out what financial incentives are available for purchasing solar panels, or another renewable energy system for your home. Search these resources to find state and local incentives.
It’s easier than you might think to reduce your energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint. In fact, you can slash your home heating and electric bills by taking a series of simple steps, that together add up to big savings. One easy place to start is with the ideas listed here, eight simple home energy projects that are easy enough to do yourself, and pay for themselves quickly in reduced energy bills.
Worldwide interest in renewable energy options has given rise to a rash of new wind turbine designs. Some of the most recent models on the market are vertical axis turbines, which manufacturers claim are quiet, efficient, economical and perfect for residential energy production, especially in urban environments. We asked Mick Sagrillo, veteran residential wind power authority, to answer our questions about this technology and its future in the realm of alternative energy.
Whether you’re headed back to school or just need something to lug your stuff around town, a backpack is an essential accessory. But rather than just an ordinary bag, check out a solar backpack. Here’s a look at three sun-seizing bags that let you capture renewable energy to power your electronics on the go.
There are many different ways to bring solar power into your home. Here's a quick overview of the different ways people use solar energy, with links to related articles and plans.
New energy-efficient front-load washing machines are not like the front-loaders at the laundry mat.
This week, I've been using a Kill-a-Watt at home. It's a small meter that costs about $25, and you can use it to measure the electricity consumption of your appliances and home electronics.
Want to learn more about the benefits of compact fluorescents (CFLs)? Here's a fast explanation of how the new efficient light bulbs can be better.
Here's one helpful link that can help you find out where your favorite candidate stands on nuclear power, biofuels, renewable energy, fuel economy and other hot environmental issues.
The topic of alternative energy can be confusing. Fortunately, some of the best minds in the field have condensed their decades of research and innovation into an easily accessible form — books.
While photovoltaic panels are great for meeting small-scale energy needs (like those of individual homes or businesses), perhaps a more viable large-scale option is concentrated solar power (CSP) technology.
These 25 very different places all get some or all of their energy from wind power.
When you need tools for low-impact living, where do you go to find them?
For holiday cheer that uses less fossil-fueled energy consider LED Christmas lights.
Did you know that you can hook up a generator to your bicycle so that when you create electricity every time you pedal?
Try these helpful resources to follow environmental legislation currently being debated in Congress.