The best advice on energy efficiency, solar power, wind energy, living off the grid, and more.
As the importance of solar architecture grew, the southern aspect took on great stature in Chinese life. Ancient wisdom associated the south with fire and warmth, while the north came to be synonymous with winter and somberness. The Emperor facing south therefore shuns darkness and embraces enlightenment to govern. The Chinese to this day prefer a southern orientation for housing.
Solar lights replacing kerosene lamps in developing countries do more than solve energy poverty, they are also helping curb climate change by reducing black carbon emissions.
Learn how to evaluate your own home for solar potential with four easy steps!
Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.
Get all the benefits of a soapstone stove with only a portion of the cost.
Billions of taxpayer dollars are funneled into certain industries via government subsidies. In the case of the coal, oil and gas industries, fossil fuel subsidies are helping to bankroll the creation of carbon emissions.
A do-it-yourself portable solar cart allows us to have solar power without removing trees from the yard. We can also take it away from the home site and move it indoors before storms.
Let It Shine by John Perlin highlights the context in which solar energy developments have occurred and the people who have made the solar revolution possible, revealing a whole new group of unknown technological pioneers, as well as people famous for other accomplishments never before known for their work as the solar advocates and technologists they were.
It’s a small Honda industrial generator with Inverter and GFCI Technology.
Popular Mechanics gives Breakthrough Award to new zero-emission electric mower from Cub Cadet.
Renewable energy accounts for nearly 50 percent of added capacity in US in 2012.
Homeowners will demonstrate practical solar energy technologies as part of the National Solar Tour on Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013.
The Bureau of Land Management has approved construction of a California geothermal plant that will generate enough energy for 36,000 homes.
There are hundreds of types of solar panels to choose from. Newer ideas like thin film solar and solar shingles are competing with the more traditional hard panel. How can you pick the best solar panels for your site?
Skylight scoops are the latest design in skylights which help save more energy and enhance a building’s environment.
The documentary film “Beyond Off-Grid” is nearing completion and includes a dozen specialists across the United States living self-reliant lifestyles.
Affordable solar power is now a feasible option for more homeowners thanks to local, state and federal renewable energy incentives, as well as feed-in tariffs and other policies that favor renewables.
The first solar installation to interconnect the city power grid is completed on a North Hollywood apartment complex.
Admirals Bank opens Renewable Energy Lending Business Development Center in San Francisco.
Our efforts to improve energy efficiency in the United States might be faltering.
Finalist in national science competition partners with “green” city to endorse sustainable energy.
A look inside the struggles in shifting to wind power, including obtaining rights-of-way and funding for transmission lines.
Reaching an all-time annual high, the 2012 figures representing global PV capacity prove that clean electricity is sweeping the globe, from China to Chile.
As the U.S. solar market continues to expand, President Obama brings renewable energy to the White House.
Despite vast evidence supporting the advancement of renewable energy, various media outlets insist on denying its progress, blurring the lines between inefficient reporting and deliberate lying.
Due to a lack of federal standards limiting power-plant pollution, the majority of the United States' 386 coal plants discharge toxic pollutants into the water without regulation, monitoring, or notification.
New Worldwatch Institute study examines the global market for solar and wind energy production.
Billions of dollars in unaccounted-for subsidies are allowing the fossil fuel industry to escape paying corporate income taxes.
In the wake of San Onofre, Crystal River & Kewaunee Shutdowns, Cooper outlines the next nuclear reactors under the greatest pressure to close down. Reactors in 23 states are on the “At Risk” list.
Admirals Alternatives make it easier to obtain renewable energy systems for your home.
On sunny days it delivers about a half a megawatt of electricity to the biodiesel plant, while providing strategic shade to plants below. Energy is produced above as farmers harvest below in a genuine double cropping scenario.
The “Remote Community Renewable Energy Partnership” exceeds Obama’s goal for supporting clean energy development in small native villages.
World biodiesel production has some alarming and negative consequences.
New standards for Energy Star refrigerators and freezers will reduce energy consumption and include “connected” features.
There continues to be a large amount of skepticism as to whether or not a promising renewable electricity future exists using solar and wind generation. Peter Bronski, with Rocky Mountain Institute, explains why the future is indeed promising and highlights the progress that has already been made in the field.
University of Maine leads the United States in clean-energy technology, thanks to the development of a grid-connected wind turbine off the coast of Maine.
The monthly public radio program “America Abroad” ran a show with a strong pro-fracking spin. It comes as little surprise to learn that ExxonMobil and Chevron are both among the program’s general funders.
A 3-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
You can be generating biogas at home to use for space and water heating, lighting, and cooking. Paul Scheckel guides you through the basics here.
In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.
The Pacific Marine Energy Center, the nation’s first wave-energy test site, is working to tap into the United States’ offshore energy potential.
Nokero International has been awarded the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s ‘Patents for Humanity’ award.
Find out what it takes to build an ethanol fuel plant, including sourcing feedstock.
A three-part series on sustainable comfort systems for heating and cooling homes using passive solar design, solar electric power, system controllers and newly popular heat pump technology.
KOR Water has announced the reusable Nava filtering water bottle.
Tonight when you get home from work or school, call your utility company and ask what incentives they have for you to get an energy audit for your home. Many utilities have been offering free energy audits for years, but very few people have actually taken advantage.
As America’s fuel use continues to decrease, proposed solutions such as the Keystone XL pipeline and food-to-fuel conversions may be unnecessary.
South Dakota and Alaska electric cooperatives received the award for 2012 Wind Cooperatives of the Year.
Wind turbines within two miles of residential areas can hurt the property values of homes.
Rain gardens provide many benefits including filtering out pollutants and keeping runoff out of city storm sewers.
A new report from the Union of Concerned Scientists shows significant lapses in nuclear power plant safety.
A mapping and assessment by the Electric Power Research Institute found that the U.S. hydrokinetic waterpower resources could provide 3 percent of the nation’s annual electricity use.
Defying conventional wisdom about the limits of wind power, in 2012 both Iowa and South Dakota generated close to one quarter of their electricity from wind farms. Wind power accounted for at least 10 percent of electricity generation in seven other states. Across the United States, wind power continues to strengthen its case as a serious energy source.
The U.S. Army is working toward sustainability with its Army Net-Zero Initiative, which aims to cut back on energy and water use and convert waste into resources.
A report from economic analyst Mark Cooper shows that continuing nuclear power projects in the Southeast will only produce billions of dollars in excess costs.
How new technologies, such as home automation are making Earth more eco-friendly.
According to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 100 percent of the electric generating capacity added in January was renewable.
Biodigesters anaerobically (without air) break down organic matter in a slurry held in a tank. The nitrogen remains in the composted slurry as ammonia, a vital plant nutrient. The flammable gas produced by biodigesters is about twothirds methane and one-third carbon dioxide—very similar to natural gas—making it a good cooking fuel. Cooking requires intense direct application of heat on demand, and renewable options for accomplishing this are limited.
Considering residential wind power for energy self-sufficiency? Find out whether a home wind turbine is right for you.
Rising safety concerns about nuclear power and radioactive waste are causing uncertainty to surround the future of the nuclear industry.
It's about seven unique way's you can use your iPhone to be more energy efficient.
Despite utility opposition, key policy drives rapid expansion of rooftop solar.
San Francisco may become be the second city after Seattle to join a growing movement to divest from the companies driving the climate crisis.
For rural Solomon Island villages reliant on kerosene lamps, a solar power project was just the thing to light their way.
Advanced, non-food biofuels are gaining momentum in 2013 as several new plants have gathered the capital and momentum for large-scale production.
Dan Brandborg founded Sunelco to harvest another of Montana's abundant resources: open sky.
For those wanting to know basic fundamentals of PV systems and arrays, here are a few solar panel facts.
In this renewable energy update from 1983, the U.S. Committee for Energy Awareness launches a pro-nuclear power campaign, ads mislead viewers about nuclear waste disposal safety, increased production of solar power cells is predicted, a weatherization program to save energy and create jobs is launched, record photovoltaic power plants are built, and electricity prices increase. Originally published as "Energy Flashes" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Through crowdfunding, Mosaic has found a way to make clean energy investing widely available.
Solar power systems require only a few parts, and can provide you with an emergency power supply during a power outage.
When local energy combines with local ownership, the entire community benefits.
The Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center has chosen Newport, Ore., as the future site of the first utility-scale, grid-connected wave energy and tidal power test site in the United States.
For some households, heating with wood is a smart, sustainable option. Learn about the benefits and costs of using a woodstove to heat your home.
The energy news stories covered in this installment of a continuing feature include a report on the Department of Energy's Solar Index and the rising popularity of co-generation as a hedge against electricity blackouts.
Congress has included the long-sought extension
of wind energy tax credits in the final passage of a bill to avert the “fiscal
cliff.” The bill now moves to President Obama for his expected signature.
The affect federal subsidies have had on advancing geothermal power development and "fat energy"—the amount of energy required to maintain obese Americans at their excess weight—are among the energy news stories covered in this ongoing feature.
Sandia National Laboratories scientists have
developed tiny, glitter-sized photovoltaic cells that could revolutionize the
way solar energy is collected and used.
Offshore wind represents a large, untapped energy resource for the United States, and seven offshore wind awards for projects in Maine, New Jersey, Ohio, Oregon, Texas and Virginia were announced today.
Wind turbines kills birds, but not as many as are killed by tall buildings and other hazards.
World nuclear electricity-generating capacity has been essentially flat since 2007 and is likely to fall as plants retire faster than new ones are built.
This installment of an ongoing energy news feature includes stories about the instant flow water heater and inquiries into the potential of peat fuel.
"Utopia Garden" apartment owners in Dezhou, China, save up to 75 percent annual home energy costs through innovative solar thermal installations.
A Wind Power Record is Set in 2012 for U.S. Commercial Wind Energy With Texas Leading the Way
A new design for folding bicycles and a home weatherization initiative in Pennsylvania are two of over a stores covered in this installment of an ongoing energy news feature.
In support of the Obama Administration's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced Nov. 19, 2012, 10 small business-led projects to speed solar energy innovation from the lab to the marketplace.
The Rocky Mountain Institute is partnering with leading Colorado communities to address the contracting, permitting and installation costs of solar photovoltaic panels.
Conventional generators require gasoline or diesel fuel, which can be expensive -- especially during emergencies. Also, the emissions from gas-powered generators contribute to air pollution. Solar generators are a smart alternative to consider.
This installment of a regular energy news feature covers five stories, including a man who built a methane generator and a man who opened an alternative energy store.
Finding green tech solutions after Hurricane Sandy, CleanEdison Associate Comly Wilson’s report “Emergency Energy” details ways renewable energy systems can deliver resilient and reliable power production during blackout and emergency situations.
Schools offering classes in wind generator design, mass produced solar components, and the energy efficiency benefits of heat pumps are among the energy news stories reported in this installment of an ongoing series.
Our website list of
human-powered machines and the organizations that are pedaling people power
into an international movement feature technologies that are diverse but, whether a bike-powered grain mill or a treadmill that sustains itself, have one thing in common: They are powered by you.
A report on one man's design for a solar kitchen and one company's plans to offer a range of alternative energy products are among the topics covered in this installment of an ongoing energy news feature.
As part of the Obama Administration’s all-of-the-above strategy to
expand safe and responsible domestic energy production, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced Nov. 7, 2012, a lease for commercial wind energy development 11 nautical miles off the coast of Delaware.
The Solar Foundation found a 13 percent increase in U.S. solar industry jobs in 2012, which is promising for the overall job market, and shows stability in the solar energy job market.
Solar Energy International is offering a free online course as an introduction to renewable energy. You will not walk away an expert, but will have learned the basics of renewable energy and be able to decide which technologies are right for you.
Find out whether a wood pellet stove is right for you, and discover the best stove to buy.
A 2012 survey by Northeast Group LLC was published in October, claiming 95 percent of U.S. cities that have tried LED streetlights are satisfied with the results, saving nearly 60 percent in costs.
Cleaner, greener home heating options are abundant, but they’re not all equal. Compare the pros and cons before you decide which should heat your home.
Fed up with the noise, fumes, and cost of their gas-powered generator, a California family in California's Tehachapi mountains achieved energy self-sufficiency with a wind and solar power system.
The U.S. Department of Energy released a set of pumpkin-carving stencils celebrating Halloween through alternative energy.
The Obama Administration releases its plans for new renewable energy sources. Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior, explains that the new solar energy zones span six states and keep both domestic energy and environmental preservation in mind. If completed, the power generated from these solar energy zones would provide electricity to roughly seven-million homes.
Small-scale hydroelectric turbines offer big
opportunities to transform micro hydro energy from flowing water into electrical current.
The North American Solar Stores (NASS) network announces their nationally recognized solar store brand to meet the solar energy demands of today's alternative energy-aware consumers.
New technology achieves 80 percent energy efficiency during the coffee roasting process.
For people who never outgrew the fun of playing with flowing water, making small hydroelectric turbines is a passion.
Presidential candidates Barak Obama and Mitt Romney have widely divergent views especially on energy and environmental issues and strategies.
Kingtec K25Z-4 will not only cut the spiralling out of control energy demand from the power-hungry air-conditioning unit of the world but it can also cut a struggling families electric bill significantly.
Conergy Projects Group has broken ground on a 725 kw photovoltaic system for T&P Farms out of Arbuckle, Calif.
Communities and individuals should invest in solar energy to bring clean, renewable power to their state.
Does 100 mpg fuel economy justify cross-country recreational travel? Maybe so and maybe not, but I need to be careful—increasing fuel efficiency can increase fuel consumption if you increase your driving, too.
The presence of air conditioning units multiplies around the world as global warming continues its steady trend upward.
Solar expert Joe Utasi hopes to have his home solar panel installation complete and running, and will have lots of pictures to show and discuss by the time the Seven Springs Fair arrives.
The world can shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy by 2020 if we adopt the right public policies.
If you worry that renewable energy can’t expand fast enough to forestall a crisis, Lester Brown and the Earth Policy Institute offer a compelling case for optimism.
Beautiful night time display of spinning colors in downtown Ann Arbor vividly demonstrates possibilities of wind energy.
Try to get clean water and wanting simple bottling options with the purity. Most of the experts in water say you need a countertop water filtration system. Which one is the way to go? This story shows you one option but seems to be kicking it up.
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory opened the Solar Energy Research Institute in Colorado 35 years ago.
A Japanese report on the Fukushima reactor disaster is a "real wake up" call for sleeping U.S regulators. Some troubling parallels are seen between the US and Japan: The “U.S. has the same colluding system between industry, regulators and government.”
Have a look inside green, energy-efficient homes and buildings in your area to find out how you can tap renewables, slash your energy bills and more.
The cost of solar systems has never been lower — now is the right time to consider solar power for your home.
Reflecting clear biases and cherry picking of information, fracking study is "industry garbage in, industry garbage out" that does not hold up to close review.
Receives SRCC OG300 certification on 41 system configurations for residential solar water heating systems.
China, Brazil, Canada and the United States lead the world in hydroelectric power generation.
Within alternative energy, wind and solar get all the media attention, all the glamour. Yet both suffer from intermittency, from the problem that their power sources wax and wane. By contrast, geothermal draws on heat from deep below the earth to provide reliable base load power 24 hours a day.
Careful wind turbine siting is an essential part of installing a wind power system. Keep these tips in mind while getting started.
Leasing may be a business model that enables more people to afford solar energy systems.
Yellow Pages is making its website more appealing and enticing to customers.
In 1979, a MOTHER EARTH NEWS staffer attended a workshop on methane production sponsored by New Life Farm's Rural Gasification Project.
The 21st century promises to be the century for renewable energy sources to take the lead and build a new energy economy. Geothermal energy and solar power promise to play an important role, but for many reasons, wind energy is poised to be the star of our sustainable energy future.
A collection of short news items addressing energy-related topics, including atomic waste storage, energy efficient homes, small scale hydroelectric power, and more.
Jeff Bingaman, chairman of the Senate Energy Committee, has a well-deserved reputation for focusing on facts. He worries about the many myths surrounding gasoline prices, oil prices and domestic production. Today, on the Senate floor, he called out some of these fictions and refocused attention on the facts.
Tinkerer and MOTHER EARTH NEWS researcher Clarence Goosen has created a functioning still with a six inch column that produces as much as ten times more fuel than his original three inch design.
Cam recently spoke to a Transition group about the challenges ahead and how to prepare for them.
A lot of people have been asking us what incentives are still in place for 2012. The answer: All of them. While there were a few changes in 2011, the majority of programs that will impact the average homeowner remain the same. Here is an overview...
Sometimes being off grid doesn't necessarily mean that you're green.
Cam & Michelle recently enjoyed a visit from an ethnographer who is studying off-gridders.
A grid-connected PV system is the least expensive and lowest-maintenance option for a home solar electric system. Could it be right for you? Get familiar with its components, how it works, and the pros and cons of seizing the sun’s energy via a grid-tied PV system.
Impressive in both its scope and detail — Lovins new book discusses everything from how to redesign heavy trucks to make them more fuel efficient to ways to change factory pipes to conserve energy.
Join renewable energy researchers around the world and follow this year's World Renewable Energy Forum to examine how renewable energy technologies address the world’s economic, environmental and security challenges.
Adding hydropower capacity to existing dams could supply the same amount of energy as 18 new nuclear reactors.
The declining cost of solar energy, coupled with the rising cost of conventional electricity, create a playing field that’s now more level than ever.
Ocean waves and tidal coastal currents could contribute significantly to U.S. electricity production, according to the Department of Energy.
Companies launch demonstration site to illustrate the consumer and utility benefits of a BMW electric vehicle in a Smart Energy Home powered by Tendril Connect(TM) cloud platform.
Cam shares his enthusiasm for the sun and the wind at his off-grid home.
Installation of rooftop solar water heaters is increasing worldwide, according to the Earth Policy Institute.
Can party technology teach you about energy savings and even the theory behind electric cars? It sure can if you follow this simple video tutorial on pulse width modulation.
Cam discusses the decision to go off-grid or on-grid and shares his experience with batteries and the dangers of high winds to solar panels.
The Earth Policy Institute reports that the Keystone XL pipeline is not needed due to changes in U.S. gasoline usage.
Western civilization is totally dependent upon cheap and abundant energy. Three quarters of the petroleum we burn in our engines is imported. Could it be cut off suddenly? Without cheap and abundant energy, our way of life would collapse. If we value our freedom and independence, we should not be relying on foreign petroleum. We should be making our own energy.
In Milwaukee, Wisconsin, a new Wind Turbine project at the port of Milwaukee will produce more than enough electricity for the city building there. Blogger Ben Nelson checks it out for you with a report, photos, and video.
I have know Mark for years. Since I have known him (give or take a few years or so) Seiden asked me what were the best ways to go green and save energy at the same time. Then two years ago, we started with CFL bulbs. Now I'm trying to get him to go LED and get really green lighting in effect. In time. In time.
Follow this step-by-step advice to find the woodstove of your dreams with the proper combustion system, heating capacity and style for your home.
Coal plants contribute to scarred land, poor human health and disastrous climate change. As we begin to resist coal’s growth as an energy source, new opportunities may arise for sustainable energy sources, such as wind and solar. But will we ditch coal fast enough to save the planet?
Small- and medium-scale biofuel distillation equipment will soon be available for use in rural and urban locations alike. Find out how these systems will allow you to produce your own fuel.
Solar PV systems are becoming even more affordable as installation costs continue to decrease!
Many people dream of going completely off the grid and producing all of their own electricity. William and Lorraine Kemp made that dream a reality at their home in rural Ontario. The Kemps have a wind turbine and two solar arrays for electricity. They use a woodstove for home heating and solar energy (plus a woodstove) to heat their water. Learn more about how they put all of these systems to work in a home that runs with an absolute minimum of fossil fuel energy.
John Noska will present a workshop on solar passive tipis at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Cam wonders why more people don't prepare for blackouts.
Once you know how to dry firewood properly, wood fuel can be a renewable source of low-cost clean energy and heat. Choosing where to buy firewood, which wood species to use, the best ways to split your logs, and even the most efficient stacking methods all play a part in whether you’ll end up with a stack of well-seasoned firewood to last you through winter. Use this guide for all you need to know to get the best firewood for your time and money.
Joe Utasi of Cinci Home Solar will present a workshop on photovoltaic solar panels at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Cam considers how Peak Oil will affect our lives....
Author John Ivanko will present a workshop on residential renewable energy at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, September 24-25, 2011 in Seven Springs, Pa.
Find out how to enter our Solar Giveaway.
Cam is handling this heatwave much better thanks to his solar-powered air conditioner!
Back before the days of air conditioning, homes were designed to stay cool naturally during hot summers. People sought out houses with comfortable, shaded porches, and builders knew how to position windows and doors for great natural ventilation. Here’s what you can learn from some of these old-fashioned home design techniques that will help you save energy and money by making you less dependent on air conditioning.
Prestyl USA’s customizable infrared art panels prove efficient, ecological & elegant.
Because it operates primarily on the power of gravity, the Feltenberger Pendulum Pump has proven effective in providing emergency water in places where electricity or liquid fuels aren’t readily available. This innovative machine can provide clean drinking water, irrigation or even electricity when fitted with a small generator. Find out how it works.
Make the switch from incandescent lighing to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) and light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to reduce your electricity bill and, therefore, your overall impact in the world's energy economy. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
Skystream install program helps consumers take advantage of their wind resource.
Sustainable Solar LLC has recently rolled out a line of Light-Weight, Portable, Noiseless Solar Generators providing a convenient power supply in remote or off-the-grid areas.
QSolar Limited today announced that it has introduced its' new Kristal and Kristal Rainbow range of semi-transparent and colour semi-transparent solar panels.
ClearSpan Fabric Structures, a division of ESAPCO, is proud to announce a new strategic partnership with Vermont’s AgriLab Technologies, a company specializing in heat capture and transfer from aerobic composting.
Hodgson Mill Inc., a leading national producer of All-Natural and Organic, Whole-Grain foods, has added two wind turbines to successfully complete the second phase of a significant new green initiative.
Summer's here, but the solar panels that President Obama promised to install on the White House this spring aren't. Today the administration announced that it's still working out the details. We'll just have to wait.
Geothermal heating and cooling systems rely on the earth’s constant underground temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit to provide comfortable indoor climates. The technology works in any size or style home, in nearly any setting on earth.
Last October, President Obama filled us all with hope when he announced he would install solar panels on the White House by this spring. The panels haven't materialized, and the White House isn't talking. Call Obama and find out what's up.
Blume Distillation debuts appropriate-scale biofuel distillation equipment that will allow farmers, entrepreneurs, municipalities and communities to produce their own alcohol fuel from a variety of readily available fuel stock sources.
Cable set-top boxes in the United States consume 27 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity—equivalent to the annual output of nine coal-fired power plants. Cable providers have a lot of energy-efficient improvements to make.
The nation's largest community-owned solar array in Rifle, Colorado, will provide clean energy for up to 350 residents, who don't even need a roof to enjoy the benefits of renewable energy.
A TransCanada Keystone pipeline was shut down by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, due to two spills in May. Though it lasted only a day, the suspension raises bigger questions about the risks of TransCanada’s current piping of tar sands oil, as well as the company’s proposal to build an even longer pipeline, the Keystone XL.
On the eve of Southern Company (NYSE: SO) holding its annual meeting of stockholders in Pine Mountain, GA., the nonprofit Green America released a report ranking the major U.S. power producer as “the United States’ most irresponsible utility.”
In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.
A. O. Smith Water Products Company, the leading manufacturer and marketer of residential and commercial water heaters, has donated a 120-gallon solar storage tank to the Hurston family of Cocoa Beach, Fla., project of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Kirk Haffner, solar power expert, and Jeff Swotek of the USDA will present workshops on solar power and USDA programs at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
MIT students have developed an outdoor rocking lounge chair that doubles as a solar charging station, recasting power generation as an integrated and distributed public activity.
After a massive, violent tornado leveled their Kansas town and John Deere dealership, two brothers chose to embrace the power of wind and start a nationwide network of reliable small wind turbine dealers and service providers.
Dan Chiras, renewable energy expert, will present workshops on wind and solar power at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
A UN report shows that nearly 80 percent of the global energy supply could be met by renewable energy by 2050, if baked by strong public policies.
If you want to install a solar electric system, you can save some cash by doing the work yourself. Contributing editor Gary Reysa recently bought a solar kit and installed it at his home in Montana. He reports that the process of situating, mounting and wiring the system is simpler than you may think — and leads to significant money savings.
Scott Davis, microhydro energy expert, will present a workshop on microhydro energy at the Mother Earth News Fair, an annual sustainability festival, June 4-5, 2011 in Puyallup, Wash.
Cam considers one of the causes of high gas prices....
Put your kitchen on an energy diet without spending money on new appliances. Use these simple tricks to use less energy while cooking, freezing and refrigerating--even drinking your morning coffee.
Cam describes how our solar electric system has evolved over time.
Adding solar panels can increase a home's resale value by as much as $17,000, a new Lawrence Berkeley Lab report finds.
Cam describes some recent speaking engagements including the thrill of being "piped in."
Cam loves growing his own heat!
When Paula and Matt learned that running a utility line to their rural Vermont home would cost the same as buying solar panels, they never hesitated. Now they're living the good life, off the grid.
To learn more about large wind energy degrees, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with educators at Iowa Lakes Community College about the wind energy degree program in this Wind Energy blog. Iowa Lakes had the first wind energy program in Iowa.
Two Department of Energy labs have joined forces to research ways to increase energy savings from exisiting cool roof technologies. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
Adding hydropower capacity to existing dams and canals has the potential to generate up to one million megawatt hours of electricity annually. Reprinted with permission from EERE Network News.
Solar industry analysts and executives say PV installations will surge in the next two years as prices continue to drop.
The President outlines how he enviosions lowering U.S. oil imports by one-third by 2025, focusing on energy efficiency and renewable energy. Reprinted with permission from the U.S. Department of Energy.
With 67 percent growth in one year, the solar energy industry eclipses even the telecommunications industry, according to a new Solar Energy Industries Association report.
For the first time since the U.S. Energy Information Administration began collecting data on greenhouse gas emissions in 1990, the United States saw a record-setting 5.8 percent decline.
Cam leaves his lights on during Earth Hour since he generates his own electricity with solar and wind!
Only 43 percent of Americans know what smart grid technology is, and of those, 70 percent don’t really understand how it works, according to a survey released today.
Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.
Our “needs” for the latest gadgets elevates our energy consumption, even with the onslaught of energy-efficient appliances and consumer electronics in recent years.
B&R Automation announces partnership to serve renewable energy industry in US and Canada.
Covering an area about the size of California with solar panels would provide enough power to handle the world's needs.
Willis Tower in Chicago, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, gets new windows that could generate up to 2 megawatts of solar power.
Former Boulder, Colorado, mayor Shaun McGrath, the new head of the American Solar Energy Society, has his work cut out for him.
Change we can believe in? The Obama administration paves the way for more than 300,000 megawatts of coal-fired energy.
Sixty-one percent of Americans say they understand our nation's energy issues, but more than half have never heard the term "smart grid." We have a lot to talk about.
In this Wind Energy Blog, we talk with a representative from The Nature Conservancy to learn more about the environmental impacts of wind energy. Despite the many concerns about the impacts these wind farms can have on wildlife, there are no current regulations that wind farm developers must follow before building their wind farms.
Cam has always enjoyed playing with water. Now he lets his solar-powered pump do some of the work!
A National Resources Defense Council analyst calls proposed standards “the most important actions to clean up air pollution from dirty coal-burning power plants since the Clean Air Act was last updated in 1990.”
Three nuclear reactors in Japan have been destroyed by a 9.0 earthquake. Radiation levels are on the rise. The world watches helplessly, wondering if escaping radiation will eventually find its way to them. Are we not witnessing in Japan the dark side of nuclear energy? It is not that hard to see this happening in United States, is it?
Wind power grew by 30 percent and solar power grew by 40 percent in 2010, according to a new report.
Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.
Cam welcomed a group of high school students to his home/office recently.
The bad news? Coal-fired power plants are our biggest source of industrial pollution. The good news? Solar grew by 67 percent last year, making it our fastest-growing energy sector.
Cam learns a lot by spending time with people who "get it."
There are many ways that each of us can lessen our unhealthy dependence on filthy fuels. You can do so in every area of your life, from choices you make regarding your house and home improvements, to food, transportation, and other consumer choices.
Cam speaks to a group of university students about "sustainable" development...
To learn more about large wind energy companies and wind power generation, Brittney Tyler-Milholland and Brenna Long talk with a representative from Horizon Wind Energy about the wind energy industry in this Wind Energy blog. With wind farms in 18 states, Horizon Wind Energy plays a role in the future of wind energy in the United States.
Southwest Windpower is the world’s leading supplier of distributed wind generators. With history lasting more than two decades, the company is a global leader and pioneer in the design, manufacturing and distribution of small wind systems.
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.
On a sunny day, dark screening over a window can supply passive solar heat to a room. Originally published as "Solar Heating Savings" in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Not all energy sources are created equal in terms of energy return on investment — the amount of energy they produce for the amount spent to produce them. Originally published as "How Much Energy Does It Take to Get Our Energy?" in the December 2010/January 2011 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
In 2010, the controversial Cape Wind offshore wind farm project became the first of its kind to receive federal approval.
Consumers shopping for energy-efficient appliances can soon trust the Energy Star certification label again, thanks to more stringent testing procedures. Originally published as "Energy Star Criteria Now Tougher" in the August/September 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
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.
Ogden Publications, publisher of MOTHER EARTH NEWS and nine other magazines, has purchased enough renewable energy credits through the Green Power Partnership to offset 100 percent of its power costs. Originally published as "MOTHER’s Publisher Chooses Green Power" in the April/May 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
It takes some mechanical aptitude, but you can make your own fuel by fermenting appropriate feed stocks into 96 proof alcohol. Originally published as "Make Your Own Gas! Alcohol Fuel Basics" in the April/May 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Energy expert Dan Chiras suggests a simple process for locating energy-efficient appliances and electronics.
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.
This glossary lists terms related to renewable energy.
Do you have a woodstove or pellet stove at home? We’d like to hear more about your experiences with woodstoves and any tips you may have for heating with wood.
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.
Are you a renewable energy whiz? Take our quiz and find out how enlightened you are about solar energy. Our quick quiz has 10 solar-powered questions guaranteed to brighten your day.
Dan Chiras, founder of The Evergreen Institute, shares information on locating renewable energy training facilities.
Are you ready to bring solar power into your home? Ongoing development of thin-film solar technology heralds the arrival of a long dreamed of future where everyone can generate their own power cleanly with the sun's energy.
Here’s how you can get the training you need to become a solar installer or solar technician. Originally published as "How to Start a Solar Career" in the February/March 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Floating wind turbines have an aesthetic advantage over fixed wind turbines, but higher costs might slow their deployment. Originally published as "Water Power + Wind Power = Win!" in the February/March 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
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.
From smart grids to better solar panels, green energy technology is making gains that will help us build a brighter future. Originally published as "Green Energy Breakthroughs" in the December 2009/January 2010 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
A grant from the Motorola Foundation is enabling REAL School Gardens to experiment with renewable energy.
When you're looking for a job, there's just no substitute for getting out and meeting the professionals in the industry.
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.
A report from the Union of Concerned Scientists estimates that transitioning to a new energy economy based on clean technologies would reduce environmental stress and save the country $255 billion by 2030. Originally published as "Saving Billions with a New Energy Economy" in the October/November 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.
Tidal and wave energy have been around for years, but they’re just now starting to get the attention they deserve. See why this option is an inventive solution to our future energy needs.
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!