How to Cut the Costs of Going Solar

Over the past few years, the cost of installing solar has fallen dramatically. Today, there are a growing number of financing options and incentives that will help you cut costs even further so you can enjoy all of the benefits of solar.

Community Solar: How to go Solar Without Rooftop Panels

Solar adoption is surging across the U.S., and it isn’t just limited to rooftop solar. The newest innovation in the solar industry: community solar, which offers many of the benefits of a home solar energy system without the need to install solar panels on your roof.

The Most Important Warranties for Your Solar Installation

Solar energy systems come with multiple warranties that apply to different parts of the installation, and trying to keep track of them all can get confusing. Here’s a simple guide to the different warranties for your solar energy system, and which ones you should really pay attention to.

Hybrid Home Energy Systems Offer Both Off-Grid and Grid-Tied Benefits

For residential electricity users who want to control and master their electrical consumption, as well as business owners and agricultural users, a hybrid approach offers the best of both worlds: reduced or even eliminated utility charges and backup during critical times, without the need to stay totally off the grid with a system that can draw from the grid when necessary to make up the difference.

Are Solar Panels a Sustainable Product?

Your solar panels’ lifespan is long enough to produce decades of renewable energy for your home. Additionally, solar panel recycling options mean that once your system does finally reach the end of its life, you can be confident that your panels won’t end up in a landfill.

How Much Does an Average Solar-Panel System Cost?

If you’re shopping for a solar-energy system, one of your first questions is probably, “How much will it cost?” Reviewing prices for a 5-kilowatt (kW) system is a great place to start — that’s the average system size in the United States.

Energy Pros Weigh In on Future of Solar Power

A friend of mine participated in the Second-Annual State of the Electric Utility survey. He also shared with me the results of the 2014 survey, which tabulates the opinions of more than 500 electric-utility professionals on the subjects of demand growth, distributed generation, power supply, regulatory models, and a number of other electricity-generation, transmission, and distribution-related issues.

Potential Health Impacts from Photovoltaics

We all know that renewable energy is an important part of a greener, more sustainable future, but are there health risks associated with home-scale photovoltaic installations? The jury is still out in the world of industry-sponsored and independent research, but there is a fast-growing segment of the population who feels ill from our ever-increasing use of electricity and wireless frequencies.

How To Choose The Best Solar-Energy Equipment

Installing a home solar energy system is a smart financial investment for many homeowners. As you evaluate offers from solar companies, there are many different factors to consider – the equipment that you choose for your system, your financing options, and the installer that you select all have an impact on your solar savings.

Remembering Renewable Energy Pioneer Dan Alway

Dan Alway, longtime renewable energy advocate and pioneer, was honored by more than 600 of his friends and colleagues at an award presentation at The Energy Fair in Custer, Wisconsin.

Solar-Energy Incentive Programs are Your Friends

Installing solar panels for your home is becoming more and more affordable. In addition to the generous federal investment tax credit of 30%, there are over 900 financial and regulatory incentive programs across the United States. Combined with falling solar costs and rising electricity prices, these programs are helping to make solar panels an investment that can save you money in the long run.

Ground-Mounted Solar Panels: Top 3 Things You Need to Know

When homeowners think of installing a solar energy system on their home, rooftop solar is probably the first thing to come to mind. What many homeowners don’t realize is that installing ground-mounted solar panels is both easy and cost-effective.

How Big Data is Becoming More Important to the Energy Industry

As the energy industry evolves, so does big data. Big data is probably best known for tracking people’s behaviors, purchases and viewpoints, but it can have many other applications. Now the energy sector is tapping into the resources big data has to offer. From renewable energy to oil, gas and coal, this data science can help many companies maximize profits, reduce costs and even lower risk.

New Device Could Make Solar Cheaper, More Efficient

A seemingly simple, light-trapping prism could revolutionize the future of solar power. The glass prism, which maximizes the amount of energy it can derive from sunlight, contains a 28-square centimeter, four-junction miniature module that works by utilizing a hybrid receiver designed to convert electricity from each sunbeam more than other devices.

Is Solar Really Worth It?

Every solar company has a variation of the same sales pitch, but whether solar is a smart long-term investment for you depends on a few major factors. Before you buy into the hype, use this simple guide to cut through the sales jargon.

The Dramatic Drop in Solar-Energy Prices

The price of solar energy is at an all-time low, according to a recent report. The average installed price of photovoltaic (PV) devices has fallen by more than 50 percent since 2009, making the initial investment cost of system installations feasible for a much wider range of homeowners and businesses.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Switching to Solar Energy

Making the switch to solar energy for your home is a big decision. It pays to spend a little time and effort researching your solar options, whether it be how to finance your system, deciding which installer to hire or which size system to install. Avoiding the most common mistakes will help you through the process so that you can make the most of your investment.

How Much Can I Save with Solar Panels?

If you’re looking for an investment that will help to save you money as well as conserve fossil fuels, solar power is great option for many homeowners and businesses. With the continual drop in equipment prices, the advantages of solar energy just keep growing. Before undertaking such a project, you may be wondering how much can solar panels save exactly? Here are the basics.

Solar vs Wind Energy: Which is Right for Your Home?

If you’re a homeowner weighing your renewable energy options, you already know that thorough research is the best way to find the right system for your home. Here’s everything you need to know about the benefits of residential wind vs. solar power so that you can make your decision with confidence.

Is Your Home Good for Solar? Find Out Now

If you’re starting to think about going solar, knowing that your home and solar are a good match makes the shopping process even easier. Here are the top five questions and answers that will help you determine whether solar is right for your home (they might surprise you).

Choosing the Right-Sized Solar-Energy System for Your Home

Choosing the right size solar photovoltaic system for your home depends on where you live, how much electricity you use, the specifications of your roof, as well as the policies in place at the state, municipal and utility level. By optimizing your system, you can make the most of your solar investment.

Solar Can Increase Your Home's Value: Here's How

You may have heard that installing a solar energy system on your roof can increase the value of your home – but by how much? Get past the sales pitch and understand exactly what solar companies mean when they say that your home value increases when you install solar.

Answers to Your Most Common Solar Energy Questions

Solar energy is growing in popularity! But installing rooftop panels is a big investment, so homeowners naturally have a number of questions. By answering some of the most common questions, I hope to set your mind at ease and help you discover the many benefits of solar energy. Before long, you could be producing your own clean, green electricity.

Solar Panels as a Home Improvement Strategy

The conventional wisdom from HGTV and home improvement magazines is that updating your kitchen, renovating your bathroom, and building an addition are among the smartest ways to increase the resale value of your home. But there’s another home improvement that you may not realize can add serious value to your property: installing a solar energy system.

Top 5 Reasons to Go Solar Right Now

With favorable legislation in the form of a generous tax credit, along with low interest rates and stabilizing costs, switching to solar energy has never made more sense for homeowners frustrated by rising electricity rates and/or wanting to help the environment.

Living Off-Grid, Really?!

Aur Beck, who has lived off-grid with solar electricity as his main power source for 18 years, shares some of his personal experiences with renewable resources throughout his life.

Should You DIY Solar with a Solar Panel Kit?

To save money, it’s no surprise that many homeowners are considering DIY solar panel kits when they decide to go solar. Here are the top things you need to know about DIY solar before making a decision.

Top 10 Places to Go Solar in the United States

Determining the best places to go solar is not just about finding the sunniest places, but also about the economics of going solar. That means taking a look at electricity prices and available financial incentives as well.

Energy Breakthrough: Reactionless Generator and 'Out of the Void' Film Review

Energy conversion efficiencies have been stuck in the 19th century. As a result the enormous drain on natural resources has polluted the entire planet and threatens to cause a return to a preindustrial lifestyle. An Energy breakthrough is needed. A breakthrough has occurred as prophesied by Nikola Tesla.

Solar Power as a Retirement Investment Strategy

Establishing a secure financial future for your retirement requires that you explore a variety of options, but most homeowners don’t realize that installing a solar panel system can be one of the smartest retirement investment options available.

Does Snow Affect My Solar Panels?

Plenty of homeowners have both solar panels and snow, and some of the most popular regions in the U.S. for solar have snowy winters. Don’t let winter weather discourage you from going solar!

Solar Empowerment: Lights Illuminating Guatemalan Hills and Hearts

"Solar Empowerment" is a key component behind an educational development model that does more than trade third-world problems for first-world problems. The Integral Heart Foundation combines education for the poor with environmentalism in a way that bypasses the problems facing our developed world.

My Utility Bill Keeps Increasing: What Are My Solar Options?

With rising utility rates, more and more homeowners are considering solar energy for their home. In a number of states, the cost of electricity from rooftop solar panels is the same or cheaper than electricity from the utility. A brief look at historical trends in utility rates across the U.S., is followed by an explanation of the available solar options.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 5: Heat

This is the final article in a series on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.

7 Ways to Increase Your Patience and Attention this Holiday Season

If you fall asleep or can't think straight at holiday gatherings, don't blame it on the turkey (or your relatives)! Research indicates that carbon dioxide is not only a greenhouse gas, but elevated levels of it are detrimental to human health and cognition. Learn how improving your indoor air quality will increase your health and stamina during holidays.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 4: Food

This is part four in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.

Essential Steps to Keep Your Wind Turbine Turning

So you finally took the leap and installed a home wind turbine. Congratulations! You’ve just taken a big step to make your home energy generation more sustainable and secure, but what comes next? Wind turbines require maintenance and this post will outline some wind turbine maintenance essentials to consider.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 3: Water

This is part three in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small house.

Home Solar Value: Analyzing 15 U.S. Cities

Discussions about solar value are often limited to avoiding electricity costs, and oftentimes neglect the additional market value that these “mini power plants” can add to your home. EnergySage and Sandia National Laboratories conducted an analysis to estimate solar market values in 15 cities across the United States.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 2: Electricity

This is Part 2 in a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. The author is currently entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at his mountain homestead after completing the construction of a small house.

Technological Challenges of Off-Grid Homestead Living, Part 1: Resources

This is the first of a series of articles on how I made the transition to off-grid homestead living by combining appropriate modern technology and reliable old-school techniques practiced for thousands of years of human history. Currently I’m entering the first winter of full-time off-grid living at my mountain homestead after completing the construction of my small home.

Can I Go Off the Grid with Solar Batteries?

Energy storage technology is moving closer to mass-market adoption. As solar batteries become cheaper and more accessible for homeowners, more people are wondering, “Can I use solar batteries to go off the grid with my solar panel system?”

Solar Energy Prices at All-Time Low

The cost of solar power has dropped to its lowest yet, making it a competitive option for residents outside of the solar-happy Southwest.

What is PACE Financing for Home Solar Power?

If you want to install a solar energy system on your property, one of the first questions you’ve probably asked is, “how will I pay for it?” In many areas, an increasingly popular option for home energy improvements like solar is property assessed clean energy (PACE) financing.

Top 5 Cities That Incentivize Solar

The benefits of your solar energy system significantly increase when you take advantage of available rebates, tax credits and incentives. Incentives will reduce upfront installation costs, and as a result accelerate your payback period – paying less up front means breaking even more quickly. These programs can reduce the upfront costs of your system by 30 to 50 percent, but vary state-by-state as well as city-by-city. See if your city makes the top 5!

5 Unique Ways to Use Solar Power

Solar power is taking the world by storm. People are not only using solar power to produce energy by placing solar panels on their roofs, but they are starting to use the technology in new ways. This post highlights ways solar power can provide homeowner benefits but are less often discussed.

The Wise Grid Series, Part 2: The Hudson Valley ‘Energy Highway’ Transmission Project — An Idea Whose Time Has Passed?

A 150-mile transmission line project proposed in 2012 costing up to $1.3 billon is a “dinosaur” that is still haunting the Hudson Valley. But rooftop solar energy, battery storage, and community microgrids can replace the ancient, costly, and vulnerable centralized generation and transmission electricity system that has dominated New York and the entire nation — and advanced little technologically — for over a century.

Understanding the Costs of a Solar-Panel System

While the most expensive part of going solar is paying for the equipment, it still only represents 25 percent of the overall expense. We break down of all the costs of going solar, and tips on how you can save money!

Why Off-Gridders Love Home Wind Turbines

The advantages of combining wind and solar go beyond system performance and floating batteries – it’s an enhancement to the off-grid lifestyle as a whole.

How to Count Your Home Solar Savings in 6 Steps

You can save a lot of money when you use solar energy. But where do those savings come from, and how do you keep track of them? We’ll show you just how much you can save with solar energy.

Everyday Solar Cooking

Solar radiation is the most prolific source of energy on our planet. For a small investment and a little know-how you can harness this power and make fuel-free meals.

Turn Wood into Free Motor Fuel with a Wood Gasifier

Imagine being able to turn dead tree branches from your own property into motor fuel. Make power just about anywhere, at any time...for free. Sounds futuristic, right? Fuel your back-up electrical generator with wood gas and save a trip to town. Learn build tricks from a pro for a reliable system on a DIY budget.

Why Utility Companies Want You to Pay More for Solar Power

The cost of solar panels, installation and system maintenance have fallen, making the prospect of solar affordable and appealing to both homeowners and businesses. But as residential and commercial solar installation surges, utility companies who have grown accustomed to large market share are pushing back.

The Wise Grid Series, Part 1: Smart Meters Are Not Smart

Transformation of the electricity sector may be able to be delayed by wasting billions of federal tax dollars on unnecessary meters, and large long-distance transmission lines, but it cannot be stopped. It may be a politically rocky transition for the foreseeable future, but I am confident America will certainly achieve energy independence and clean energy abundance.

How a Small Wind Turbine Works, Part 3: Turbine Terminology

The previous installment focused on the benefits of small wind turbines for homeowners who are grid-tied, off-grid, or have battery backup systems. In this short episode, we’ll go over the main terminology associated with small wind turbines.

Cuba and Vermont Perspectives on Energy and Culture, Part 4

The fourth in a series of postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.

Cuba and Vermont Perspectives on Energy and Culture, Part 3

The third in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.

Cuba and Vermont Perspectives on Energy and Culture, Part 2

The second post in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont where I developed a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.

Cuba and Vermont Perspectives on Energy and Culture, Part 1

The first in a series of weekly postings about my visit to Cuba with a delegation of energy industry professionals, and a Cuban colleague’s visit to Vermont for a similar tour. Along the way we learned about efficiency and renewables, and some striking contrasts between ourselves and our countries were revealed.

'Life Off Grid'

In this blog post we describe the choices we made in producing and editing our film, "Life Off Grid."

DIY Solar Power Is a Wise Choice

With photovoltaic (PV) panel technology you can tap into the amazing world of free totally renewable energy from the sun. You generally cannot find a better more reliable source of power on the planet that solar. In our book you will find that a DIY on grid/off grid system is very affordable and a wise choice for almost everyone.

The Top 3 Green Energy Trends for 2015

Learn about three consumer-driven green energy trends for 2015 that will have a direct impact on our pocketbooks in the coming year, including net-zero energy homes, electric vehicles, and green energy production.

Life. Off the Grid.

This initial blog post tells the story of how Phillip Vannini became interested in off-grid living and how he began — together with Jonathan Taggart — to do research on the off-grid lifestyle in Canada.

Biogas at Home

Renewable energy's ugly duckling comes of age.

How to Make Biogas in 5 Easy Steps

This article does not get into home biogas gas yields or what biogas can be used for, but it is a basic introduction to the five necessary conditions for how to make biogas at home to get you started.

Taxpayers Save on Solar Energy With Green Businesses

Sun Light and Power, a solar installation co signed a deal with SolED to offer Power Purchase Agreements (PPA) in the State of California. This will help public or government buildings get these deals and save tax monies.

DIY Photovoltaic Power

Doug and Jennie Ostgaard designed and built a photovoltaic system for their home, a project they was completed in six months. DIY photovoltaic solar has many benefits, and they outline a few of them here.

Complete Biogas: Food Waste and Biogas, Part 1

There’s a gold mine out back of your local restaurant in the form of wasted food. Learn to think like an ecologist and discover how nature turns “waste” into useable, renewable energy.

Reducing Transportation Emissions

Transportation in the U.S. is responsible for high levels of carbon emissions. Simply by changing habits and adopting more eco-friendly methods of getting from A to B will help both the environment and overall health.

A College Degree No Longer a Guarantee

We are currently facing a job crisis. Most jobs available today require specific skills and not college diplomas. Congress recently passed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act which should help train workers but fails to take note of the booming green job market.

Understanding the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act

Congress passed a piece of legislation which could have a serious impact on the nation's job crisis. This post explains the act, analyzes its impact, and notes that the whole renewable job sector has been pretty much ignored.

Why We Need the Clean Power Plan

The Clean Power Plan to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants, proposed on June 2, 2014, by the Environmental Protection Agency, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan not only limits our carbon pollution but also injects life back into our domestic workforce.

Homemade Wind Generator

Build your own wind generator for use with 12-Volt systems. Charge up batteries for lighting, fans, tools and more.

From Selenium to Silicon and Beyond

60 years ago scientists at Bell Laboratories developed the first solar cell capable of converting enough sunlight into electricity for practical uses. Their discovery is the greatest breakthrough in the 6000-year history of solar energy, and the sire to today's solar revolution. Let's celebrate!

Let It Shine: Modeling Global Warming in 1767

To see how much solar heat could be trapped by glass, Horace de Saussure, in 1767 built a solar hot box that consisted of several glass sheets covering an insulated box. Solar heat accumulated in the solar hot box, reaching temperatures far above the boiling point of water

Aspirations of the Energy Poor are the Key for Solar to Thrive

1.3 billion people live without access to electricity. In the last five years, falling costs of solar technology have made solar economically viable without subsidies for off-grid communities. How can businesses keep up with this potential solar growth? Hint: it’s all about the customer.

Induction Cooking

How does induction cooking work? What are the pros and cons? Efficient electric cooking or hidden health risk?

Air-Source Heat Pumps

High efficiency air source heat pumps are proving their worth for cold climate heating and cooling.

Let It Shine: Solar Heat for Gardening

The invention of clear window glass allowed the ancient Romans to trap solar energy to enhance their gardening techniques to grow vegetables out of season and exotic non-native plants in Rome. A thousand years later, empire builders in Europe rediscovered the trapping of solar heat with clear window glass so they as well could enjoy the foreign plants in their own back yard and grow native vegetables throughout the year.

Earn Green By Going Green

Tips for solar advocates to invest money smartly and be part of the growing solar market

Let It Shine: Making Fire from the Sun

Chinese archaeologists have recently found the oldest solar device – a bronze concave mirror – capable of almost instantaneously making fire from sunlight.

Avoiding Disaster: Why We Need Green Development

But what happens if progress in poverty’s eradication far-outpaces green energy solutions? Two of the most important issues of our century — clean energy and poverty eradication - are potentially mutually exclusive, if development efforts do not factor in increased consumption that will occur.

Let It Shine: Solar Energy in Ancient Rome

When writing his great work On Architecture, Rome’s greatest solar architect Vitruvius emphasized proper solar orientation for buildings and bath houses.

Winter Chores for Off-Grid Living

Outside of a few rare equipment failures, we’ve never had a power outage in the past 20 years that wasn’t our own fault — usually caused by not paying attention to power use or proper battery charging. Weather failures, on the other hand, are starting to become noticeable.

Solar Power: The Idea, the Reality and the Future

The sun provides us with enough clean energy that if ever effectively harnessed, we might never need any other form again. Sadly, we are only able to harness a fraction of it's potential. Fortunately, we are making great progress to get where we want to be.

The Gift of Solar Energy

Here are three of the season’s brightest and cleanest gifts for a greener holiday celebration.

Let It Shine: Solar Design in Ancient Greece

Never in the history of the world has there been such a high-ranking member of society to advocate passive solar design than Socrates. He felt so strongly for building with the sun in mind that he even set up a class to teach his acolytes how the finer points of putting up a passive solar house.

Let It Shine: Solar Architecture in Ancient China

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.

Team Austria Wins Solar Decathlon 2013

Team Austria wins the Solar Decathlon 2013 for building the most energy-efficient, cost-effective and most attractive solar-powered house.

Build a Solar Cart Instead of Removing Trees

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: The 6,000-Year Story of Solar Energy

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.

Solar Double Cropping

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.

Towards Perpetual Motion Machines-Part 3

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.

Are Wind Farms Making People Sick?

In a recent study, researchers found that watching videos about wind farm-related illnesses made participants claim the same symptons.

Towards Perpetual Motion Machines - Part 2 of 3

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.

30 Steps to Energy Efficiency - Step 1: Call Your Utility Company

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.

States Achieve 25 Percent Renewable Energy With Wind Power

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.

Solar Panel Facts

For those wanting to know basic fundamentals of PV systems and arrays, here are a few solar panel facts.

U.S. Committee for Energy Awareness Launches Pro-Nuclear-Power Campaign, and More Renewable Energy News

In this renewable energy update from 1983, the U.S. Committee for Energy Awareness launches a pro-nuclear power campaign, ads mislead viewers about nuclear waste disposal safety, increased production of solar power cells is predicted, a weatherization program to save energy and create jobs is launched, record photovoltaic power plants are  built, and electricity prices increase. Originally published as "Energy Flashes" in the July/August 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.  

Solar Index, Co-Generation, and Other Energy News

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.

Geothermal Power, Fat Energy, and Other Energy News

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.

Small Business Solar Power Gets $10 Million Boost from DOE

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.

Solar Generators: Clean, Portable Power

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.

U.S. Government Approves 450 MW Offshore Wind Energy Lease

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 Search for Energy Self-Sufficiency

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.

Growing Renewable Energy Sources in the United States

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.  

Making Hydroelectric Turbines

For people who never outgrew the fun of playing with flowing water, making small hydroelectric turbines is a passion.

MAX Update No. 96: Jevons' Paradox and Gore's Dilemma

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.

DIY Solar Installation

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.

Countertop Water Filtration Growing In Popularity

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.

Why Geothermal HVAC Matters

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.

Energy Topics

A collection of short news items addressing energy-related topics, including atomic waste storage, energy efficient homes, small scale hydroelectric power, and more.

Mother's Six Inch Alcohol Fuel Still

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.

Solar Electric Incentive Status: What's Changing and What's Not

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...

Tendril Announces Partnership with BMW

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.

Fun with PWM (Pulse Width Modulation)

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.

How About 16 Horsepower?

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. 

The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

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.

My Friend Mark Seiden Went Solar on His Business and He's Saving $57,000

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.

Due to Spills, TransCanada Keystone Pipeline Shuts Down … for a Day

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.

Those Southern Power Plants Are Dirty

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.”    

The Homestead's Solar Tech

In this blog we talk about our three differnet types of solar technology that we have on the Homestead.

A. O. Smith Donates to Extreme Makeover

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.

Wind Energy Blog No. 3: A Wind Energy Degree Program

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.

Going Solar in Seattle

Getting solar panels in Seattle is becoming more affordable with state incentives and net metering but still doesn't quite compare to other states.

Wind Energy Blog No. 2: The Nature Conservancy

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.

The Dark Side of Nuclear Energy - Is Nuclear Power Worth the Risk?

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?

March Madness

Brief description of our journey back onto the National Mall, our Flex Space design, and our Solar Thermal Skylight.

Wind Energy Blog No. 1: Horizon Wind Energy

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.

Power to the People

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

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.

CFL Myths Exposed

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.  

Moving Into the Construction Phase

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

Inspiration for Solar Projects

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.  

Solar Log Homes

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.

Soapstone Masonry Heating Alternative

Tulikivi provides a “green” cost-effective heating solution because it uses less wood to heat the same space than with a traditional wood burner.

Wind Farms Proliferating

Thanks to favorable economics, more power utilities have plans to build wind farms.

Is a Wind Turbine Right for Me?

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 Solar Homestead Project

The Appalachian State University team will be blogging about their progress on the solar home they are building for the 2011 Solar Decathlon.

Pellet heat gaining traction as viable renewable home energy

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.

Amanda Little at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

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.

Why is There an Energy Crisis?

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.

Kevin Danaher at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

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.

2400 EcoAire Pellet Stove

The EcoAire is designed to be installed in much the same fashion as a window air conditioner and just as easily.

2010 Energy-Efficiency Scorecard Released

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!

Mother Earth Resources Co-Op at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

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.

Solar Shuttle at the MOTHER EARTH NEWS FAIR

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.

Native American Wind Energy Projects and Training

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.

Drill baby, drill...for efficiency

Now's the time to redouble our efforts to tap into energy efficiency. The potential is huge and the benefits are even greater.

Train Now for Tomorrow's Jobs

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

The Smart Grid

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”[1] and agreeing to pay homeowners who generate electricity.

Human Powered Generators: Cheap and Easy Renewable Energy

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.

Pros and Cons of DIY Solar Panels

Yes, you can make your own solar panels, but it won’t necessarily save you much money compared with buying commercial solar panels.

Photo of the Day: Solar Bathhouse

This bathhouse from CU user "Solar Lady from Norwood" proudly uses the sun to power it through the day. Making good use of alternative energy, the bathhouse surrounded by lush grass looks like a great little escape. Adorned with a sign and additional artwork, this

What Is Your Opinion on Nuclear Power?

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?

Should You Wait for the Latest, Greatest PV Modules?

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.

Renewable Energy Education

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.

Cape Wind Approved

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.  



Can Solar Power the World?

Dan Chiras and other energy experts envision a future powered by a combination of renewable energy resources, including wind and solar.

The Potential of Green Charcoal

Pro-Natura International is changing how the world fuels itself by turning renewable biomass and other waste products into green charcoal.

Make Your Own Fuel! Alcohol Fuel Basics

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.

Share Your Thoughts on Woodstoves

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.

Why We Should Reconsider Geothermal Energy

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.

Career Opportunities in Renewable Energy: Becoming an Educator

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.

Photovoltaics: The Future of Solar Power

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.

Active Passive

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.

Are We Putting the Renewable Energy Cart before the Horse?

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.

Green Energy Technology Breakthroughs

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.

Landing a Job in Renewable Energy

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.

What Are AC Solar Panels?

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.

Does Your Electric Utility Offer a Green Power Option?

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?

Saving Billions With a New Energy Economy

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.

Not-so-new Energy Source Makes Waves

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.

The Greenest Band in the Land

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."

FITs Picking Up Across the Country

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.

Senate Starts Hearings For Energy Bill

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.

Senate Committee passes energy bill

The Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee passed a bipartisan bill that does not go far enough for some environmental groups.

Small Wind Turbine Market Sees Big Growth

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.

Checking in on the Climate Bill Debate

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.

What Do you Think About Small Solar Gadgets?

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!

Wind Power: Best Bet for Renewable Energy

Experts have concluded wind power is the best of the available renewable energy alternative to polluting fossil fuels. Originally published as "Wind: Best Bet for Renewable Energy" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Kilowatt Ours: The Effects of Energy Choices

"Kilowatt Ours, A Plan to Re-energize America" shows the consequences of our current energy choices, advocates usage efficiency, and explains why green power must be a part of our future. Originally published as "The Effects of Electricity Choice" in the June/July 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Thinking About the Grid

There's lots of good information on renewable energy in this new NPR series on electricity in America.

Keeps on Ticking

The Bedol water-and-salt-powered clock runs for six months on a teaspoon of salt.

Can Solar Panels Be Damaged By Hail?

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.

Renewable Energy on the Farm

There are many ways farmers can benefit from renewable energy, including wind energy, solar energy, energy efficiency and biofuels.

Follow the Money: Renewable Energy in the Stimulus Package

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.

Getting to Know Your LEDs

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.

A Plan for the Solar Revolution

It’s not too late for the United States to lead a solar revolution that transitions the world to carbon-free energy, but it will take commitment on a scale not seen since World War II.

Keep the Stimulus Bill Green

Contact your senators now to encourage them to support the clean energy initiatives in the new stimulus package.

Road Map for Oil Independence

In his newest book, Winning the Oil Endgame, influential energy thinker Amory Lovins lays out a strategy for a successful transition to energy independence.

Go Solar with Outdoor Lights

We tested several solar-powered motion-sensor lights so you can secure your residence while saving money on your electric bills.

Award-Winning Solar Power Innovations

New solar power innovations from the U.S. Department of Energy could help photovoltaics achieve their long sought potential. Originally published as "Award-winning Advances in Solar Power" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Wood Pellet Stove Turns Waste Wood Into Home Heat

For a convenient, eco-friendly, and potentially money-saving method of home heating, give some thought to using a wood pellet stove. Originally published as "Turn Waste Wood into Home Heat: Buy a Pellet Stove" in the February/March 2009 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Another Greenhouse Gas to Watch

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.

Bailout Bill Rescues Renewable Energy

The bailout bill rescues renewable energy. Did you know that the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008, also known as the “bailout bill,” actually included some good news for renewable energy? Wind, solar and geothermal all got a boost.

Lessons From 1973: Save Energy Using Homemade Christmas Ornaments

Save energy using homemade Christmas ornaments. During the 1973 oil crisis, folks used fewer lights to decorate for the holidays and instead used homemade decorations. Originally published as "Country Lore: Lessons from ’73: Vibrant Holidays that Save Energy" December 2008/January 2009 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Video Contest for Alternative Fuels

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.

Our Shining Star

National Solar Tour couldn't have more perfect timing.

Small State, Big Power

Rhode Island plans to install large wind far off it's Atlantic Ocean shore.

A New Way of Looking At the Bailout

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.

No Batteries Required

This unusual water-powered clock from Bedol is powered by salt and water.

Average Electric Bills

How does the amount of electricity you use each month compare to the  average American household?

A Missouri Town is Powered by Renewable Wind Energy

Read about how one Missouri town became the first in America to receive 100 percent of their power from the renewable wind energy created by Loess Hills Wind Farm. Originally published as "Towns Dependence of Fossil Fuels is Gone with the Wind" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Schools Save Money by Installing Wind Energy Systems

Schools save money by installing wind energy systems. More than 100 schools in 30 states have installed wind generators. The systems not only provide greater energy security and lower bills, but they also teach the students and the community about the benefits of renewable energy. Originally published as "Why Wind Power Works for Schools" October/November 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Can I Afford to Make my House Energy Efficient?

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.

Make Electricity While You Exercise

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.

More Wind, More Wires

If we want more electricity from renewable sources, we need to think about upgrades to our electric grid.

Speaking of Clean Energy

Bill Clinton has 10 recommendations for what the U.S. government should be doing to promote cleaner energy.

More Renewable Energy Please

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?

The Candidates Discuss Energy Issues

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.

What Does Living “Off the Grid” Mean?

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.

A Big Breakthrough with Hydrogen

MIT researchers announced a breakthrough that could ultimately make it much cheaper and easier to store solar energy.

Clean Energy, Clean Water

This simple, low-tech method of disinfecting water with solar energy can be a lifesaver when safe drinking water isn't available. 

Solar Energy Advantages: Increased Efficiency and Better Building Incentives

Learn what you need to know about solar energy advantages: how solar panels work, how much they cost, why you might want a grid-tied system, and where to learn more about important local regulations such as net metering in this article reprinted in our August/September 2008 issue courtesy of Fine Homebuilding. Originally published as "Solar Energy: Why Its Better Than Ever" August/September 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Energy Advances One Award at a Time

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

San Frantastic

After a five month struggle, the San Francisco board of supervisors approved a program called GoSolarSF, making solar installations more affordable for its citizens.

The ANWR Answer?

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.

Aloha, Solar Power

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.

Teeter-Totter for Sustainable Living

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.

Community-Supported Wind Farms

Denmark has successfully created renewable energy systems with community-supported wind farms for decades. Learn how you can partner with your neighbors and create clean, locally controlled wind farms in your community.

On the Road to Energy Independence

A closer look at the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007, and what it means for fuel economy, biofuel production and more.

8 Easy Projects for Instant Home Energy Savings

It’s easier than you might think to reduce energy consumption and reduce your carbon footprint. These eight simple home energy projects are easy enough to do yourself, and pay for themselves quickly in instant energy savings.  

All Kinds of Solar: Understanding the Options

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.

What's Watt: How Much Electricity Are You Using?

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.

What are the Candidates Saying About Energy?

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.

Hot Technology for Solar Power

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.

25 Wind-powered Places

These 25 very different places all get some or all of their energy from wind power.

Bicycles Provide Pedal Power

Did you know that you can hook up a generator to your bicycle so that when you create electricity every time you pedal?

Congress Gets Energetic

Try these helpful resources to follow environmental legislation currently being debated in Congress.

Harnessing Solar Energy Power

It’s time to take renewable energy seriously. By harnessing solar energy power's current technologies and tapping the world’s virtually inexhaustible supply of solar energy, we can begin to build a brighter future. Originally published as "Solar is the Solution" December 2007/January 2008 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

All Eyes on the Energy Bill

Congress has been busy debating the future of energy in this country. Here's more about what they've been saying.

National Youth Climate Summit Starts Today

I am 22 years old, and I've got a crisis on my hands. One of the greatest challenges my generation will face is confronting global warming. With the advent of the Internet naturally comes Internet activism. Unfortunately, it can be tempting to shoot off an e-mail to a congressman, sign a Facebook petition, and call it a day for fighting for what you believe in.Today, however, more than 5,500 young people are confronting and shattering?

Less Coal, More Wind Power?

Sometimes it's easiest to understand energy issues by watching them unfold one power plant at a time.

How to Calculate Your Office Building's Carbon Emissions

Learn how to calculate the carbon footprint of your office building, reduce energy use at the work place to combat global warming, and compare your office to others around the country. Includes resources for CO2 emission calculators and checklists for greening the office.

Reduce Computer Energy Use

Almost everyone uses a computer these days. But not everyone knows how much energy is consumed by that one device.Most appliances or electronics tell you the number of watts they use. An average CPU uses 120 watts, while the monitor uses 150 watts. That's 270 watts of power while in use, but there are several easy ways to reduce that amount.

Renewable Energy Projects on the Mediterranean

After graduating from college with a degree in mechanical engineering, Michael Plescia knew he wanted to work in Europe. He ended up at a Spanish ecological living center on the sunny island of Ibiza working on renewable energy projects. Originally published as "Hands-on Solar Power" October/November 2007 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Home Power Magazine Turns 20

The Home Power Magazine team provides great advice for all manner of renewable energy projects, including hydro, wind and solar power.

Planning a Wind Powered Future

Many states are working quickly to develop their wind power resources knowing it will pay off big in the future.

Update on Solar Panel Prices

The price of solar panels should go down in the next few years, as the supply of high-grade silicon catches up with demand.

Geothermal Electricity Picks up Steam

We have the power! If geothermal resources were tapped across the United States, they could provide as much as one-fifth of our electricity.

Schools Teach Renewable Energy

Schools across the country are teaching students about renewable energy, and some are even installing solar and wind power systems.

Wind Power Near You

Some parts of the United States have more wind turbines than others. Find out the state of wind power where you live!

Greensburg Green Town

Kansas town that was destroyed by a tornado is being rebuilt as model eco-friendly 'green' town.

Wind Power Worldwide

Find out which parts of the world have the most wind-generated electricity and check out these links to other handy wind power info.


Discovery channel launches new series on green building.

Different Incentives

Incentives for renewable energy vary widely from state to state. Find out what incentives are available where you live.

Super Solar Cells

Scientists are researching new techniques for better and more efficient solar cells.

Bright Ideas for Home Lighting

A bright idea for home lighting is changing your light bulbs, an effective step you can take to reduce your electric bill and the greenhouse gases emitted by creating electricity.

Whither Wind?

Could a windmill’s ability to “derive maximum benefit out of the site-specific gift nature is providing — wind and open space,” in the words of aesthetician Yuriko Saito, help Americans bridge the divide between pristine landscapes and sustainable ones? Could windmills help Americans subscribe to the “higher order of beauty” that environmental educator David Orr defines as something that “causes no ugliness somewhere else or at some later time”? Could acceptance of wind farms be our generation’s way of avowing our love for the next?

Buyer's Guide to Solar Heating

Buyer's Guide to Solar Heating Tap free heat from the sun with these solar hot-air collectors. December/January 2007 By Dan Chiras Are you freezing in the winter to keep your fuel bill down? Or paying an arm and a leg to stay warm? Either way, it’s probably time to consider installing a solar hot-air

Build a Simple Solar Air Heater

This low-cost solar air heater plan lets you turn any south wall into a source of free heat. Originally published as "Build a Simple Solar Heater" in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Cost of Solar Power: You Can Afford It

You've heard about the cost of solar power systems. If you're thinking about installing one, here’s how to calculate the payback period. Originally published as "You Can Afford Solar Power" in the October/November 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Easy Solar Power

Installing clean, reliable, inflation-proof solar power is easier than ever, thanks to the invention of thin-film photovoltaic (PV) laminates that can be bonded directly onto metal roofing panels. Unlike crystalline PV material, there’s no need for obtrusive racks and heavy, expensive glass. Instead, unbreakable thin-film PV is produced using amorphous silicon, encapsulated in Teflon and other polymers.

Concentrated Solar Power Is Heating Up in the Southwest

Flat, open space and abundant sunlight make the southwestern U.S. a great place to build concentrated solar power plants. Originally published as "Super Hot Solar Energy" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Super Hot Solar Energy - Green Gazette

A new solar plant in Nevada shows the potential of the southwestern United States’ deserts to provide a significant amount of clean, renewable energy from concentrating solar power (CSP). Though most people are more familiar with photovoltaic (PV) systems, CSP is one of the most promising large-scale energy technologies.

Solar Solutions Are the Way Forward

Our editors highlight some of the solar solutions inventive people have devised to address our energy needs without aggravating global warming. Originally published as "News From Mother: Solar is the Solution" in the August/September 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Rooting Roses

A reader asks for advice about rooting roses at her new house.

Renewable Energy Incentives Are Catching On

Canada and many European countries are taking steps to drive adoption of solar power by offering renewable energy incentives. Originally published as "Renewable Energy Catching On - Green Gazette" in the June/July 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Declare Energy Independence

We the people need to motivate Uncle Sam to adopt rational and revolutionary policies for long-term energy independence.

The True Cost of Nuclear Power

Taxpayer subsidies have disguised the high cost of nuclear power for years. The money should be redirected to promote alternative energy. Originally published as "The True Costs of Nuclear Power" in the April/May 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Renewable Energy Education

Meet the teacher who is furthering the cause of renewable energy education. Originally published as "Sprouts and Snippets - Green Gazette" in the April/May 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Sun Farm Network Installs PV Arrays

Learn about Sun Farm Network’s initiative to provide solar power to New Jersey farmers. Originally published as "New Jersey Farms Grow Energy" in the February/March 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Use a Solar Calculator to Calculate Renewable Energy Costs

A solar calculator gives a cost estimate for a solar set-up based on location, climate and electric bills. Originally published as “Calculate Your Solar Needs Online” in the Feburary/March 2006 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Alternative Energy Answers

Tax credits for energy-efficient home improvements; blower door tests to fix drafty houses; and preventing window condensation.

Simpler Solar Power

Check out this guide to grid-tied solar systems to learn more about the simplest way to tap renewable energy for your home.

Renewable Energy Incentives: Part Three

If you live in Delaware, New York, Florida, Vermont, Massachusetts, New Jersey or Rhode Island, you can save big bucks on a solar- or wind-powered system.

Magic Heat Pumps

Tap free energy from the air or ground to heat and cool your home with this superefficient technology.

Homestead Hydropower

Harness the power of hydropower; flowing water for clean, sustainable home electricity.

Renewable Energy Incentives: Part Two

Installing a renewable energy system is increasingly affordable thanks to renewable energy incentives from federal and state governments, as well as local utilities.

Renewable Energy Incentives: Part Two

Installing a renewable energy system is increasingly affordable thanks to renewable energy incentives from federal and state governments, as well as local utilities.

Heat Your Home With Biodiesel

Heating your home with dirty fossil fuels in an oil furnace? Learn how to heat your home with biodiesel. This winter, add some biodiesel for a cleaner, greener burn.

A History of Solar Water Heating

Greg Pahl shares a history of solar water heating, including when the first solar water heater was patented, when solar heating hit the mainstream market and the downfall and resurgence of the solar industry.

Save Money With a Solar Hot Water System

Greg Pahl explains how you can save money using a solar hot water system for your homestead, includes solar shopping tips, types of solar heaters and real-life solar applications. Originally published as "Save With Solar Hot Water" October November 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Solar Energy Industry

Find out more about the solar energy industry, includes information on solar classes and training and a list of solar dealer training programs.

Renewable Energy Systems: The Home Power Magazine

The Home Power Magazine covers detailed renewable energy systems using sun, wind and water, includes reviews of energy efficient appliances and a directory of renewable energy businesses.

Installing a Solar Photovoltaic System

Laurie Guevara-Stone shares the story of a family who were able to keep their modern-day comforts while installing a solar photovoltaic system to save on electricity costs. Originally published as "A Simple Solar Solution" August/September 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Choose A Solar Installer

Laurie Guevara-Stone shares tips on how to choose a solar installer, including checking professional credentials, training, experience and quality of products.

Learn About Solar Energy Training Courses

Learn about these exciting solar energy training courses. Get plugged in to the exciting realities of photovoltaics, whether just to learn the basics or maybe to find a new career.

A Solar Electric System Saves Cash

Rusty Haynes and Lindsey Hodel discuss how a solar electric system saves cash, includes information on solar rebates and incentives, tax breaks and solar solutions.

Renewable Energy Living: Annual Green Festivals

The Green Gazette column shares renewable energy living topics, this issue covers a list of renewable energy, sustainability, organic food and eco-spirituality workshops and annual green festivals. Originally published as "Green Gazette" June/July 2003 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Greener Pastures: Chicago, Illinois

Greener Pastures: Chicago, Illinois February/March 2003 by John Ivanko and Lisa Kivirist With one of the most progressive renewable energy rebate programs in the country, Chicago is becoming a city of solar panels and skyscrapers. Scarred brownfields and littered lots are undergoing verdant transformations, pro

Gaining Energy Independence Using Sun and Wind Power

Rex A. Ewing and his wife gain energy independence by using the renewable sources of sun and wind to power their home. Originally published as "Freedom With the Sun and Wind" October/November 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Choosing Wind as a Source of Renewable Energy

Michael Hackleman and Claire Anderson explain how choosing wind as a source for renewable energy makes us less dependent on utility giants and nonrenewable, polluting fossil fuels. Originally published as "Harvest the Wind" June/July 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Renewable Energy Living: Family Farming, Kaolin Clay and Frontier House

The Green Gazette column shares renewable energy living topics, including family friendly farming, kaolin clay an orchard miracle for fruit growers and a close-up look at the PBS reality history show Frontier House. Originally published as "Green Gazette" April/May 2002 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Save Energy and Money Now

These simple home energy improvements will reduce your energy bills by up to 50 percent!

Choosing Farm Windmills

Choosing between antique and new farm windmills for well-water retrieval is largely a matter of choice, but the first thing you need to do is find a reputable merchant.

New Light Bulb Development

Scientists are developing a better light bulb — an ultraviolet, vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser.

Geothermal Power: Heating and Cooling the Home

Introducing the most efficient, cost-effective way to heat and cool your home: geothermal power, by transferring and storing heat from the earth, with a geoexchange system.

The Guerrilla Solar Movement

Solar advocates are starting a guerrilla solar movement to combat the notion that one should have to pay for energy.

Saving With Solar Power

How one family took a leap of faith into the world of solar power — and wound up being their own utility in the process.

The Decline of the Solar Energy Industry in North America

This article shares the 50 year history and the decline of the solar energy industry in North America, as solar markets establish themselves in Germany and Japan. Originally published as "Not Your Mother's SOLAR POWER Anymore" December 2000/January 2001 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

A Timeline of the Discovery of Solar Power

This timeline shows the discovery of solar power and its use from the height of its popularity to its decline in North America. Originally published as "Discovery Timeline" December 2000/January 2001 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Find the Best Value Buying Large Solar Panels

Learn about these solar manufacturers and how you can find the best value buying large solar panels while saving money. Originally published as "Heavy Hitters" December 2000/January 2001 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

The Clean Energy Shell Game

Lisa Cohn discusses the clean energy shell game, and the players and power sources in the green power energy.

A Homemade Hydroelectric Plant Powers a Homestead

Bill Isely and his wife create a homemade hydroelectric plant that powers their homestead using only 1 kilowatt of power. Originally published as "Happy on One Kilowatt" June/July 2000 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How Switchgrass Fuels Power Plants

This prairie grass may prove to be an especially effective bio-fuel, learn how switchgrass fuels power plants. Originally published as "Hay Hay, My My" February/March 2000 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Back to the Future: Energy Alternatives

The last 30 years have heard ever louder, more insistent calls for energy alternatives and pollution controls — reverberating in the Clean Air Act and Amendments of 1963, '70 and '90, and more recently in the Kyoto Protocol.

Wind Power for the Home

Wind generators can supplement solar energy systems for big savings. Originally published as "600 Watts, 600 Bucks" in the June/July 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Santa Monica's Solar Ferris Wheel

Santa Monica's ferris wheel is equipped with solar panels that generate 200-kilowatt hours of energy a day. Originally published as "Reinventing the Wheel" in the April/May 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Power Outside the Sunbelt

Whether you are in Maine, British Columbia or Alaska you can still use the sun to power your home. Originally published as "Extreme Technology" in the April/May 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

U.S. Renewable Power in 1999

A quick overview of wind, solar, geothermal, hydroelectric and biomass power in early 1999. Originally published as "The State of US Renewable Power" in the February/March 1999 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Simple Math of Electrical Solar Power Systems

If you're evaluating solar power systems, here is a quick guide to help you calculate your energy useage and the number of solar modules and storage batteries needed to meet it. Originally published as "THE MATH OF A SOLAR SYSTEM" in the October/November 1998 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

I Want a Portable Solar Panel For Christmas

The author outlines his idea for a multi-use portable solar panel. Originally published as "What I Want For Christmas" in the August/September 1991 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Types of Alternative Energy for the Home

Make a home alternative energy friendly by installing a wind turbine, solar panels, and backup generator. Originally published as "Power at Thunderhawk Ranch" in the June/July 1998 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Future of Cutting Edge Solar Power

The future of cutting edge solar power is here to stay as we come closer to solving energy problems for the earth. The article includes information on new solar technology and solar energy and the government. Originally published as "The Future is Bright" December 1997/January 1998 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

The State of Solar Power: The PV Power System

The state of solar power for 1998. Learn more about the economic success of PV power system and their future in new building developments. Originally published as "The State of Solar Power: 1998" October/November 1997 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Wind Energy: The End of the World's Largest Windmill

A winter storm decimates a Wyoming windmill with a 257 foot diameter blade, destroying the world's largest windmill on a wind farm focused on renewable wind energy. Originally published as "The Last Days of the World's Largest Windmill" June/July 1996 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Common Questions about Wood Burning Stoves

MOTHER answers some frequent reader inquiries about wood heat. Originally published as "Burning Questions" in the October/November issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Environmental Regulations and Wood Stoves

The EPA, air regulations and home heating stoves. MOTHER looks at the state of affairs in 1995. Originally published as "Update for 1995: Wood Heat" in the October/November 1995 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Move Off the Grid with Solar Energy

New technology in photovoltaic power has improved the world of solar energy. Learn abut: new power sources and cell technology. Originally published as "The Future of Solar is Now" in the August/September 1995 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

News Items: Green Building Design, Alternative Fuels Station

The new headquarters of Real Goods Trading Co., which scrupulously follow green building design principles, and a free publication directing owners of alternative fuel vehicles to service and support, were the two news items covered in this installment of an ongoing series. Originally published as "AN ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SHOWPLACE" in the December/January 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Wood Heating Update

After a little grousing about wood stove regulations, our resident curmudgeon finds something to cheer about on the wood heating front. Originally published as "Wood Stove UPDATE" in the October/November 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Catching the Wind: Home Wind Power

So you think wind power is noisy, unreliable, and inefficient? Well, the newest home wind power systems have finally come of age. Originally published as "Living off the grid, Part IV: Catching the Wind" in the October/November 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Practical Fireplace Heating

Wood stoves and furnaces supplanted fireplaces centuries ago, but with the right design fireplace heating is still practical. Originally published as "Fireplaces That Can Heat Your Home and Cook Your Meal" in the October/November 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Adding Cheap Solar Power to Your Home

If you're looking for ways to cut your fuel bill, here are two cheap solar power projects you can take up this weekend. Originally published as "ADDING CHEAP SOLAR POWER TO YOUR HOME" in the June/July 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A New Era in Small-Scale Hydropower

With a small-scale hydropower system, even a relatively small stream can offer a lifetime's escape from electric utility bills. Originally published as "A New Era in Home-Owner Hydro" in the April/May 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

21 Ways to Save Energy

Applying these ways to save energy will ultimately save you money. Originally published as "21 Ways To Save Energy $$" in the April/May 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Living off the Grid, Part II: Vermont Solar Power

Despite short days and long, cold winters, Kip Tewksbury took a chance that Vermont solar power would work for the needs of his remote mountain home. Originally published as "Living off the Grid, Part II: Northern Exposure" in the February/March 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Living Off the Grid: Solar Power for Homes, 1994 Guide

Incremental improvements have made solar power for homes a more viable alternative than it was in the 1970s, when cost and performance issues eventually blunted enthusiasm for the technology. Originally published as "1994 Guide to Solar Power for Home Owners" in the December 1993/January 1994 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Build a Wind-Powered Battery Charger

How to build a simple windmill that can be used to recharge standard batteries. Originally published as "A Wind-Powered Energy Charger" in the June/July 1993 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

An Update on Wind Energy

Alternative energy from the skies gains momentum and popularity. Originally published in the April/May 1993 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

An Advance Look at the Future of Alternative Energy from 1992

Two experts discuss the future of alternative energy, including alcohol fuels, electric vehicles, natural gas vehicles, propane and hydrogen fuel. Originally published as "AN ADVANCE LOOK AT THE FUTURE OF ALTERNATIVE ENERGY" in the February/March 1992 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Build Your Own Homemade Wind Generator

Marshall Price built his own homemade wind generator, the article includes using wind energy to create free electricity, recharging batteries, and the investment cost to build the wind generator. Originally published as "Wind Generator" July/August 1986 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Preparing Your Land for Hydroelectric Power

If your goal is residential hydroelectricity, then it's time to get familiar with flow duration, the weir method and other measuing tools. Originally published as "Waterpower Site Assessment" in the JANURARY/FEBRUARY 1986 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

10 Quick Tips Regarding Passive Solar Energy

Catch up on the developments and discoveries presented at the annual meeting of the American Solar Energy Society Passive Division. This post was originally published as "Ten Tidbits from Passive '85" in the January/February 1986 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

MOTHER's Light Bulb Comparison Test

MOTHER's light bulb comparison test offers information and a detailed chart comparing different types of light bubls and their performance levels. Originally published as "MOTHER's Light-Bulb Test" November/December 1985 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Site Assessments: The Alternative Energy Potential of Homesteads

An in-depth look at the alternative energy potential of homesteads, including site assessments of renewable energy on land such as solar, wind, natural factors and harvesting advice. Originally published as "Site Assesment for Alternative Energy" November/December 1985 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Ni-Cad Battery Charger

Kiss wasteful disposable batteries goodbye by building this $6 ni-cad battery charger battery charger, including proper care a feeding, the design, circuit board diagram, cost and materials list.

Tips on Home Weatherization and Conservation

Tips on home weatherization and conservation. Includes how home options stack up and a chart that compares different energy conservation methods and their cost versus conservation benefit. Originally published as "Weatherization and Conservation" September/October 1985 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Photovoltaics Today: The Transition of Solar Cell Technology

Solar cell technology is in a state of transition, includes information on ARCO Solar's photovoltaic project, ARCO Solar's genesis panel, home-scale PV matures, shopping for panels and new solar cell technologies. Originally published as "Photovoltiacs Today" July/August 1985 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Solar Technical Training

The sun is just beginning to rise on the job market for men and women who choose solar technical training. Includes a list of comprehensive training programs for solar training programs. 

The Blue Max: Affordable Home Wind Power

Here's an inexpensive home wind power generator you can build from recycled parts. Originally published as "An Affordable Wind Generator You Can Make Yourself: The Blue Max" in the May/June 1985 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Most Efficient Wood Stove

Tests show one of our former researchers has assembled one of the most efficient wood stoves on the market.

Flight of the "Red Baron:" Our Homemade Wind Generator

At last, here's a screw-and-stitch-together homemade wind generator that anyone with hand tools can build. Originally published as "The Flight of the Red Barron" in the March/April 1985 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

MOTHER's Small Hydroelectric Plant Revisited

MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors reflect on the successes and failures of the Eco-Village small hydroelectric plant. Originally published as "MOTHER's Microhydroelectric Plant Revisited" in the January/February 1985 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Absorption-Cycle Heat Pump

Scientists are close to finalizing a new type of heat pump that uses the absorption cycle instead of a compressor, and pair well with solar energy.

Grid Connect Your Wind Machine

Federal utility regulations make it worth you while to grid connect a home wind machine, if you have one. Originally published as "Hook Your Wind Machine to the Grid" in the September/October 1984 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Refrigerator Efficiency Gap?

Some experts believe it's possible that refrigerator efficiency, like auto fuel efficiency before it, will become a factor in appliance sales.

Heating Fuel From Scrap Tires

A Pennsylvania tire retreading company is expected to save money after implementing a process that extracts liquid heating fuel from scrap tires.

Reagan Administration Energy Policy

The Reagan administration's spending priorities show U.S. energy policy will be tilting further away from conservation and renewable power sources.

Probing the Mysteries of Power Inverters: Part II II

This second installment of a two-part article discusses how to connect power inverters to a home DC power generation system. Originally published as "PROBING MYSTERIES OF THE INVERTER: PART II" in the May/June 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Heaters on a Church

An inspired leader and a willing congregation reaped unexpected benefits when they fitted their church with solar heaters. Originally published as "A Solar-Heated Church" in the May/June 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Probing the Mysteries of Power Inverters: Part I

Thanks to power inverters, generating your own electricity doesn't mean you have to give up the convenience of AC living. Originally published as "PROBING MYSTERIES OF THE INVERTER: PART I" in the March/April 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Biomass Fuel: Kilowatts From Corn Cobs

Small communities could realize an economic gain from recycling corn cobs into biomass fuel for electrical generation. Originally published as "KILOWATTS FROM CORNOBS" in the March/April 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Nuclear Issues That Never Go Away

Where to dispose of the waste, responsibility for accidents, and whether to build the plants at all — it seems the same nuclear issues are always with us.

Tools from the Nation's Past: Finding and Restoring a Wind Charger

For people who want to generate their own electricity, locating an old, abandoned, but still serviceable wind charger on a remote Great Plains farm is a treasure hunt. Originally published as "WIND CHARGERS: BUILDING TOOLS FROM THE NATION'S PAST" in the March/April 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Local Self-Reliance: Citizen Participation in Energy Planning

When it became clear a federal agency might end up with centralized control of regional energy planning and policy, residents of the Pacific Northwest successfully fought for citizen participation in the process. Originally published as "Local Self-reliance" in the March/April 1983 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar and Wind Power Together

A homesteader asks about the feasibility of setting up a system that generates electricity from both solar and wind power.

Largest Solar Power Plant and Other Solar News

This collection of solar news items from 1983 look at two favorable court rulings and a planned 15 MW installation in the Mohave Desert that became the largest solar power plant in the world.

Solar Chimney and Other Wind Power News

This collection of wind power news items features stories about a major investment by a public utility in wind technology and an experimental plant called a solar chimney.

A Profitable Private Microhydroelectric Plant

The Department of Energy's term for any installation with less than 100 kilowatts (KW) of capacity is microhydropower, a small stream can be used for a private microhydroelectric plant as a long-term energy investment. Originally published as "A Profitable Private Microhydroelectric Plant" November/December 1982 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Thin-Film Amorphous-Silicon Photovoltaics

The search for a less expensive solar-generated electricity just might end up focusing upon the solar cell construction design of thin-film amorphous-silicon photovoltaics. Includes diagram and cost versus efficiency.

The Manufacture of Photovoltaic Panels: The Birth of a Solar Cell

If you've ever wondered about the manufacture of photovoltaic panels, this article includes a wealth of information, including crystal cultivation and assembling the module. Originally published as "The Birth of a Solar Cell" July/August 1982 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Early History of Thermex Paper-Cube Fuel

Learn how one Vermont farmer put his equipment to new use by making wood- and paper-cube fuel through his new Thermex business. Originally titled "Paper-Cube Fuel" in the January/February 1982 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Building a Sustainable Energy Future

The following is an excerpt from a 454-page report the federal government originated but never published outlining a pathway the country could take to a sustainable energy future. Originally published as "Economic Outlook" in the November/December1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Ground Water Heat Pump

All the solar energy you need to heat and cool your home is already collected and stored. You just need a ground water heat pump to use it. Originally published as "The Great Solar Flywheel" in the November/December1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Do-It-Yourself Water Heating Solar Collectors Comparison

Now fully assembled, our group of water heating solar collectors finally have their day(s) in the sun to prove how well they work. Originally published as "Mother's Do It Yourself Solar Water Heating Project" in the September/October1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Paul MacCready Interview: Toward A Rational Use of Energy

Physicist Paul MacCready discusses the process of designing human-powered flying machines, the unexpected turn his career path took into aeronautical engineering, and the potential he sees for wider adoption of renewable energy sources. Originally published as "THE PLOWBOY INTERVIEW" in the September/October1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Update: Wood Gas Power

MOTHER EARTH NEWS' researchers have made a few improvements to their wood gas power system. Here is an update. Originally published as "WOOD-GAS UPDATE" in the September/October1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Wind Power Book

"The Wind Power Book" provides the information you'll need to determine whether wind energy can trim your use of conventional sources of power. Originally published as "THE WIND POWER BOOK" in the September/October1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The New Kalamazoo Stove

The popularity of renewable energy sources has put new life in a grand old name: the Kalamazoo stove. Originally published as "'A KALAMAZOO DIRECT TO YOU'" in the September/October1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.The popularity of renewable energy sources has put new life in a grand, old name.

Practical Photovoltaic Applications

Solar electric technology has come far enough that powering your house is now within the realm of practical photovoltaic applications. Originally published as "PRACTICAL PHOTOVOLTAICS" in the July/August 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Homestead

It didn't start out that way, but Richard and Maureen Pratt's North Carolina homestead is now mostly a solar homestead. Originally published as "PHOTOVOLTAICS ON THE FARMSTEAD" in the July/August 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Backyard Wood Powered Generator

Free electricity? Free heat? Yep, you can have both with a wood powered generator. Originally published as "BACKYARD HOMESTEAD UTILITY" in the July/August 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Do-It-Yourself Solar Collectors Comparison

Here is a preliminary look at the form and materials of three commercially available hot water solar collectors. Originally published as "Mother's Do-It-Yourself Collector Comparison" in the July/August 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Compost Water Heater

Here is a report on MOTHER EARTH NEWS' third attempt at building and using a compost water heater. Originally published as "DIY Water Heating with Compost" in the July/August 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Sichuan's Home Methane Digesters

A recent MOTHER EARTH NEWS tour to China revealed the nation was using home methane digesters to solve some of its health, food, and energy problems. Originally published as "SICHUAN'S HOME-SCALE BIOGAS DIGESTERS" in the May/June 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Wind Power Generation Comes to Our Spread

Restoring a Jacobs windplant finally gave MOTHER EARTH NEWS the capacity for wind power generation. Originally published as "WIND POWER COMES TO MOTHER'S LAND" in the May/June 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Solar Home of the Future May Be Here Today

In what was expected to be the first of 100 such dwellings, a solar home in Phoenix, AZ enabled the owner to sell electricity back into the grid and/or charge up an electric car. Originally published as "The Home of the Future May Be Here Today" in the May/June 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Urban Alcohol Fuel Production

Although it had caught on in rural areas first, by the early 1980s urban areas were starting to investigate the potential of alcohol fuel production as well. Originally published as "Local Self-Reliance" in the January/February 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Wood Stove Pollution

For years no news was good news, but now information is beginning to come in on wood stove pollution. Originally published as "Woodstove Pollution" in the January/February 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Israel's Biogas Production Plant

The biogas production plant in Kefar Gil'adi, Israel effectively turns farm waste into feed, methane fuel, and other useful products. Originally published as "Israel's Complete Biogas Plant" in the January/February 1981 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Mother's Hydroelectric Plant

It took a little innovation and improvisation, but in 1980 MOTHER EARTH NEWS was able to set up a 110 volt AC hydropower plant on a low-head stream on their property. Originally published as "MOTHER'S ELECTRIC HYDROELECTRIC PLANT" in the November/December 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Energy in Jamaica

At a time when "experts" claimed practical solar power was years away, one local engineer took the first step towards bringing commercial solar energy to Jamaica. Originally published as "JAMAICA TAKES THE FIRST STEP" in the November/December 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Alcohol Fuel Returns to Oshkosh

Our traveling crew continues to spread the word about homemade alcohol fuel. Originally published as "ALCOHOL FUEL RETURNS TO OSKOSH" in the November/December 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Alcohol Fuel Questions and Answers

In 1980 MOTHER EARTH NEWS spoke with Mr. Dee L. Flynn, then Southeast Regional Regulatory Administrator for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms, about regulations governing alcohol fuel production by individuals. Originally published as "Alcohol Questions and Answers" in the September/October 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Fluidized Bed Combustion

Although it's a method typically used in large power plants, individual inventors like the author were conducting successful experiments with efficient small scale fluidized bed combustion in the 1970s.

Brazil Alcohol Fuel Tour

To prepare interested readers for its 1981 Brazil alcohol fuel tour, MOTHER EARTH NEWS ran this short piece describing the sights that awaited travelers. Originally published as "The Land Of Liquid Sunshine" in the July/August 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Hybrid Poplars

Hybrid poplars just may provide a fast-growing answer to America's energy crisis.

Solar-Powered Radio: Tune in to the Sun!

WBNO-AM in cloudy Bryan, OH was the world's first solar-powered radio station. Originally published as "TUNE IN TO THE SUN!" in the May/June 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Ocean Power

Interest in ocean power, the process of generating electricity through ocean temperature differentials between surface and deep water, was the subject of a modest amount of research effort in the 1970s and early 1980s. Originally published as "OCEAN POWER" in the May/June 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Israel's 150kw Solar Pond

In 1980, one Israeli turbine manufacturer was using temperature differentials in a solar pond to generate electricity. Originally published as "ISRAEL'S 150-KW SOLAR POND" in the May/June 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Mehrkam Wind Power Turbine

Prior to his untimely death in 1981, Terry Mehrkam's company Mehrkam Energy Development Company successfully designed and marketing wind power turbine systems. Originally published as "THE MEHRKAM WIND TURBINE" in the May/June 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

SolaRoll Solar Heater

Back in 1980 you could buy a product that would let you build a freeze-resistant passive solar collector for less than half the price of conventional equipment: the SolaRoll solar heater. Originally published as "SOLAROLL" in the May/June 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Applications in Rehab

In 1979 solar applications were popping up everywhere, including at an alcohol and drug addiction center in Columbia, South Carolina. Originally published as "SOLAR REHABILITATION" in the March/April 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Portable Solar Water Heater

For less than $10, you can make a portable solar water heater that provides hot water just about anywhere.

John Lorenzen: Self Taught Engineer and Energy Inventor

Retired Iowa farmer and self-taught engineer John Lorenzen was so driven to doing for himself and self-sufficiency he figured out how to power his property with a combination of wind, solar, and hydrogen power. Originally published as "Wind-produced power, solar collectors, homemade to" in the March/April 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Affordable Solar Power for a Dollar a Watt

Affordable solar power took a step closer to reality in the late 1970s when the research arm of RCA made a breakthrough that brought the cost down to as little as a dollar a watt. Originally published as "Dollar-A-Watt Solar Electricity" in the March/April 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar on a Shoestring: Homemade Solar Thermostat

Solar researcher Dennis Burkholder devised a solar control system that blows heat from his solar heater into his house when he needs it and shuts off when he doesn't. Originally published as "Solar on a Shoestring: Mother's Automatic Collector Control" in the March/April 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Waste Oil Filter: Cleaning Waste Oil for Fuel

If you heat your home with an oil burner, here is one design for a waste oil filter you can use to turn waste oil into fuel. Originally published as "CLEAN FUEL FOR YOUR WASTE-OIL HEATER" in the January/February 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Mother's Alcohol Fuel Preheater

Adding a fuel preheater to your alcohol-powered vehicle improves combustion and can improve fuel economy. It should take about an hour to assemble and install the unit described here. Originally published as "Mother's Alcohol Preheater" in the January/February 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Tullahoma Air Show 1979

At the Tullahoma Air Show's debut event in 1979, MOTHER EARTH NEWS showed off several pieces of equipment running on ethyl alcohol. Originally published as "Tullahoma '79" in the January/February 1980 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Windmill House: Go Dutch for Exectricity

Devon Tassen's interest in alternative forms of energy took a practical and beautiful form when he built a Dutch-inspired windmill house to generate his own electricity. Originally published as "GO DUTCH FOR ELECTRICITY" in the November/December 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Fuel Alcohol Field Day for Farmers

In July 1979, 1,500 farmers left their cornfields to attend a fuel alcohol symposium in Des Moines, IA. Originally published as "FARM ALCOHOL FIELD DAY" in the November/December 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Homemade Solar Water Heater

For one Florida family, it made more sense to build a homemade solar water heater before they actually had a home.

Fill Your Waste Oil Heater With Free Fuel

Obtaining fuel for your waste oil heater—service stations are more than happy to give it to you. Originally published as "No-Cost Heat Is Still Available" in the September/October 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

In Defense of Non-Conventional Energy Sources

Anne and Paul Ehrlich, experts in biological sciences from Stanford University, debunk the "Risk of Energy Production" report by Herbert Inhaber which claims that non-conventional energy sources, such as solar power, present as great a hazard to human health as do conventional sources. Originally titled "EcoScience" in the July/August 1979 issue of  MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Robert Soleta: A Proponent of Gasohol Production

Robert Soleta is a farmer as well as a firm proponent of gasohol production using raw agricultural products. Originally titled "A Modern Farm Energy System!" in the July/August 1979 issue of  MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How To Make a Still for Home Ethanol Production

Jimmy Langley shares his tips on how to make a still for home ethanol production. Originally titled " An Offbeat Approach to Alcohol Production" in the July/August 1979 issue of  MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Seminar Museum: Alternative Energy Systems on Display

A diverse array of previously unseen alternative energy systems will be featured at the upcoming MOTHER EARTH NEWS seminar. Originally published as "Mother's Seminar Museum" in the May/June 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Mother Tests An Impressive Wood-Burning Water Heater

You could potentially slice 25% off your utility bill with the Dual Magamex wood-burning water heater. Originally published as "Mother Test An Impressive Wood-Burning Water Heater" in the May/June 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Mother's Alcohol Fuel Cookbook

Before you can distill alcohol fuel to power your vehicles and heat your home, you have to know how to mix up a "mash." Originally published as "MOTHER'S ALCOHOL FUEL COOKBOOK" in the May/June 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Making Alcohol Fuel With a Solar Still

Following the lead of a Minnesota farmer, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' researchers built a solar still to try making alcohol fuel of their own. Originally published as "Mother Is Makin' Fuel!" in the March/April 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Hydrogen Power: Another Solution to the Energy Crunch

Of all the proposed solutions to the energy crisis, hydrogen power is among the most promising. Originally published as "HYDROGEN: ANOTHER SOLUTION TO THE ENERGY CRUNCH" in the March/April 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Alcohol Fuel Solution

The energy crisis has sparked renewed interest in an old idea: alcohol fuel. Originally published as "The Alcohol-Gasohol Fuel Solution" in the January/February 1979 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Solar Sales, Oil Alternatives, and Other Energy News

This installment of an ongoing energy news feature includes stories about the effect a proposed tax credit has had on solar equipment sales and a symposium of chemical engineers in Toronto to discuss oil alternatives.

MOTHER's Solar Air Heater

Because an earlier version of this solar air heater included an expensive, hard-to-obtain material, MOTHER EARTH NEWS' crack research team has come up with this alternative version.

MOTHER's Solar Furnace

It's still very much a work in progress, but we wanted to give you an update on the development of our solar furnace. Originally published as "MOTHER'S SOLAR FURNACE" in the November/December 1978 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The VITA Solar Cooker

The VITA Solar Cooker is an inexpensive, easy to build, portable and virtually unbreakable sun-powered cooker.

A Reliable Solar Site Selector

The Don Lewis Solar Site Selector is an affordable and convenient way to make sure your property is solar power ready. Originally published as "The Amazing $30 Solar Site Selector" in the July/August 1978 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Energy Businesses: Opportunities That Foster Self-Reliance

Start on the path to self-reliance with these tips from the Institute for Local Self-Reliance on ways for community groups to get started in an energy business. Originally published as "Local Self-Reliance" in the 1978 July/August issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Make a Solar Furnace

Solar energy is easy to harvest wherever the sun shines, but Charles Curnutt's solar furnace makes harvesting solar energy a feasable and cheap task for anyone with basic shop skills. Start on the path towards renewable energy and learn how to make a solar furnace with this article. Originally published as "At Last! A Low-Cost Solar Furnace" in the July/August 1978 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Windplant Power System That Sells to the Electric Company

A homesteader creates a windplant power system using Gemini synchronous inverters, eventually selling energy to the local electric company. Originally published as "Rowland Morgan Says You Too May Be Able To Sell Power To The Electric Company" January/February 1978 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Amory Lovins: Energy Analyst and Environmentalist

The Plowboy Interviews spotlights Amory Lovins, energy Analyst and environmentalist and author of the 1976 essay, "Energy Strategy: The Road Not Taken?" Originally published as "The Plowboy Interview with Amory Lovins" November/December 1977 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Use a Parabolic Curve to Collect Sun Energy

A guide to use a parabolic curve to collect sun energy, includes parabolic curve myths, standard authorities information to construct a parabolic reflector and diagrams. Originally published as "Strictly Parabolic" September/October 1977 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Homemade Solar Water Heater

Learn how a used water heater painted flat black can be transformed into a solar water heater. Originally published as "The Khanh Solar Water Heater" in the May/June 1977 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Alternative Energy House Experiment

MOTHER EARTH NEWS bought land to experiment building a house using only alternative energy resources. Originally published as "News From MOTHER" in the January/February 1977 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Elementary School Students Build Their Own Wind Generator

The kids at Coburg Elementary School decided reading about wind energy wasn't enough, so they built their own wind-powered generator. Originally published as "The Coburg Elementary School "WIN" Generator" in the July/August 1976 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Hot-Line Solar Collector

Iowa entrepreneur invents a fixed-position, concentrating solar collector and teams up with Iowa City-based NRG Corporation to install models on homes and businesses. Learn how it works and how to build your own. Including photos, diagrams and detailed instructions. Originally published in the May/June 1976 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS Heats up With Solar Energy

As far back as the mid 1970s, MOTHER was going green. Solar energy was used to heat the editorial offices. Here's a look at the system, with diagrams. Originally published as "MOTHER'S Solar Heating System" in the May/June 1976 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

MOTHER's Solar Conversion

Thirty solar collectors are mounted on the roof of MOTHER's North Carolina headquarters.

An Electrical Generator Runs on Wind Generated Power

After a year of thinking, talking, writing, and doing — and on their third attempt — Gary N. Bregg and the Students and Instructors of R.E.T.S. Electronic School finally have a working wind-powered electrical generator. Originally published as "God Bless Mr. Savonius!" November/December 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Wind Energy News: Wind Power Digest Continues Publication

Wind energy news: Wind Power Digest, featured in MOTHER EARTH NEWS NO. 32, is alive and well due to reader donations, publishing issue 2 of the digest this summer. Originally published as "Wind Power Digest Lives On!" November/December 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Feedback: Peat, a Cheap and Renewable Fuel

Barry Devine offers feedback on peat as a cheap and renewable fuel, sharing concerns about peat as fuel being ecologically unsound and something that should be discouraged.  Originally published as "Feedback on ... Peat" September/October 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

The ACES Alternative Water Energy System

A team of engineers designed, constructed, and tested the ACES alternative water energy system using a water tank to cool a house in summer as well as heat a house in winter. Originally published as "Aces Trump in Energy Game!" September/October 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Kal-Lite's Fiberglass Solar Energy Innovation

MOTHER EARTH NEWS reports that solar energy isn't just an alternative energy topic, respectable, established corporations like Kai-Lite are taking the plunge into the solar energy arena.  Originally published as "When Better Collectors are Built Kal-Lite will Build 'Em" July/August 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Solar Energy Digest: The Latest in the Solar Energy Field

MOTHER EARTH NEWS recommends Solar Energy Digest for an easy to understand overview of the latest news and information related to solar energy.  Originally published as "Solar Energy Digest" July/August 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Advantages Of Wind Energy: More on Wind Generators and Home Wind Power

Ever consider the advantages of wind energy? Here are a few more options if you're considering using home wind power for electricity by buying or building a wind generator. Originally published as "More On Wind Generators and Home Wind Power" July/August 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

IBM's Solar Absorber Innovation

IBM's research division develops an improved solar absorber using a laboratory-grown tungsten film that acts as an unusually good absorber of light. Originally published as "IBM's Research Division Develops a New and Better Solar-Energy Absorber" July/August 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Danger: Methane Power Plant Notice

Author L. John Fry explains the dangers homesteaders can experience when improperly storing methane gas or mixing the gas with air and igniting it when stored. Originally published as "Special Notice From L. John Fry" May/June 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Windplants: Learn About Wind Power

Bill Smith provides a windplant design service and Mike Evans shares information on his more efficient windplant designs in a special windplant section of MOTHER EARTH NEWS No 32. Originally published as "Special Windplant Section" March/April 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Salter RD-7000 Wind Turbine Design

Edmund L. Slater, a mechanical engineer and President of San Diego-based Wind Power Systems, Inc., explains the company's Salter RD-7000 wind turbine design. Originally published as "The Salter RD-7000 Wind Turbine" March/April 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

A Low-Cost Homemade Wind Turbine

C.L. Swett shares the history of his homemade wind turbine and the benefits of using such a device. Originally published as "A Low-cost wind Turbine" March/April 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS. 

Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine Plans

The Odin Windmaker, a vertical-axis wind turbine, was developed by the Global Wind and Electric Collective in Ottawa, Canada. Originally published as "A Vertical-Axis Wind Turbine" March/April 1975 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Jack Park's Wind Experiments

Jack Park, a former aerospace engineer and member of the Experimental Aircraft Association, shares his test results on "hybrid" windplants in his new manual "Simplified Wind Power Systems For Experimenters." 

John Thalmann’s Alternative Energy Design

See the unique, inexpensive and efficient alternative energy design of John Thalmann’s wind turbine. Originally published as "John M. Thalmann's Wind Turbine" in the January/February 1975 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Set Up a Jacobs Wind Generator

Don’t make this mistake when installing a Jacobs Wind Generator. Originally published as "Feedback on ... 'The Answer is Blowin' in the Wind' in the January/February 1975 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Better Plan for Stovepipe Installation

Follow this plan for safe, effective stovepipe installation. Originally published as "Feedback on ... 'Stovepipe Power'" in the January/February 1975 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Notes on My Wind Power System

Here's what the author learned after installing a small wind power system to provide power for his hydroponics and aquaculture project. Originally published as "Wind Generator Notes" in the November/December 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The American Wind Energy Association

Disgusted with the lack of representation for alternative energy sources at the 1974 World Energy Conference in Detroit, founding members of the American Wind Energy Association held their own conference three days earlier. Originally published as "THE AMERICAN WIND ENERGY ASSOCIATION" in the November/December 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

How to Build a Solar Still

Some redwood boards, a large black towel, copper pipe, a glass pane, screws, and these plans are all you need to make a solar still that will purify more than a gallon a day of salt water. Originally published as "HOW TO BUILD - AND USE! - A SOLAR STILL" in the September/October 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

More on the Savonius Wind Turbine

According to our informed readers, MOTHER EARTH NEWS overstated the amount of wind energy a savonius wind turbine could capture. Originally published as "More on... The Savonius Super Rotor!" in the July/August 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

DIY Solar Furnace Plans

This DIY solar project uses a fresnel lens to create a high-temperature solar furnace for soldering, jewelry work or firing pottery.

Comments and Corrections about the Savonius Super Rotor

Amendments to a previous article, this piece offers updated information about the Savonius Wind Generator System. Originally published as "More About the S-Rotor" in the May/June 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Producer Gas Vehicles: Burning Your Own Homemade Fuel

Using wood or other organic material as an alternative fuel source is nothing new: Producer gas vehicles were the norm for some European nations during the oil shortage of World War II. Originally published as "How to Run Your Car on Wood" in the May/June 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

The Savonius Super Rotor!

Michael Hackleman introduces a very effective wind energy device made from 55 gallon drums. The Savonius or S-rotor is from California-based farm research center Earthmind, which specializes in alternative energy experiments.

Homemade Natural Gas: The MOTHER EARTH NEWS Methane Digester

The MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors investigate the process of methane production and uses for methane biogas with their own homemade digester. Originally published as "MOTHER'S METHANE MAKER:" in the January/February 1974 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Parsonage Hill Methane Generator

In Parsonage Hill, CT in 1973 inventors Alton Eliason and Joe Pellicio joined forces to build a methane generator that would supply heating fuel for Al's backyard greenhouse. Originally published as "The Parsonage Hill Methane Plant" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Home Wind Energy: A One Year Update on Henry Clews' Homestead

In 1972, Henry Clew started using home wind energy to run his 50 acre Maine homestead and became the U.S. agent for the Australian company that made his 2000w generator. A year later he was the agent for two other wind power companies and had upgraded to a 6,000w generator. Originally published as "::A SHORT UPDATE ON HENRY CLEWS' MIRACULOUS WIND-POWERED HOMESTEAD" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Stovepipe Power: Using Waste Heat

If you've been thinking about ways of using waste heat from you cookstove rather than letting it escape, here are a number of suggested stovepipe modifications to make it possible. Originally published as "STOVEPIPE POWER" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

MOTHER's Methane Digester Meets Media

Late in 1973 MOTHER EARTH NEWS hosted a media event to debut a methane generator that Dick Shuttleworth and Ram Bux Singh had been working on for more than a year. Originally published as "MOTHER'S METHANE MAKER MEETS MASS MEDIA" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Dr. Erich Farber: Solar Expert

A brief look at the research of solar expert Dr. Erich Farber as Director of the  Solar Energy & Energy Conversion Laboratory at the University of Florida-Gainsville in the early 1970s. Originally published as "Dr. E.A. Farber Sunshine Superman" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Energy Flashes: Home Power Generation and Solar Energy Storage

An assortment of news clips revealing the state of home power generation, methane production, and solar energy storage research in the early 1970s. Originally published as "Alternative Energy" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Wind Power History: Marcellus Jacobs Interview

Marcellus Jacobs, a seminal figure in wind power history, not only invented the first practical, durable, and fault-tolerant wind-powered electrical generating system but also sold his system commercially for over 20 years. Originally published as "Marcellus Jacobs: Wind-Power Generating Inventor" in the November/December 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Feedback on C.D. Prewitt: The Electricity Safety Debate Continues

C.D. Prewitt's past assertions about the superiority of DC in terms of electricity safety draw fire from two readers, who argue AC and DC are both dangerous. Originally published as "FEEDBACK on C.D. PREWITT" in the September/October 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Feedback on Sencenbaugh's O2 Delight: Windmill Blade Design

A reader in Romayor, Texas questions the efficiency of the windmill blade design Jim Sencenbaugh used in his O2 Delight windmill. Jim Sencenbaugh explains his decision and comments on current and future refinements he's planning. Originally published as "Feedback on SENCENBAUGH'S O2 DELIGHT" in the July/August 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

An Experimental Solar Water Heater Design

Kenneth Whetzel came up with his own recirculating, closed loop solar water heater design as an experiment to study first hand the possibilities of solar heating. Originally published as "Solar heater" in the May/June 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Further Thoughts from C.D. Prewitt on Electricity Safety, A.C. vs. D.C.

In this piece C.D. Prewitt argues that, contrary to the opinion of several readers, personal experience has taught him that where electricity safety is concerned direct current is much less dangerous than alternating current. Originally published as "Further thoughts on A.C. vs. D.C. from C.D. Prewitt" in the May/June 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Modest Experiment in Methane Gas Production

For all the folks who want to find out firsthand if decaying garbage will actually and truly and honestly and really produce burnable methane, here is a modest experiment in methane gas production. Originally published as "Modest Experiment In Methane Gas Production" in the March/April 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

I Built a Wind Charger for $400!

In 1972, the author designed and built a wind charger system from a combination of new, scavenged, and hand-made parts to provide supplementary power to his home. 

Feedback on Methane Digesters

Readers of MOTHER EARTH NEWS offer their observations on the use of methane digesters to create methane fuel from sewage. Originally published as "Feedback on MOTHER’s METHANE MAKER" in the January/February 1973 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

A Home Powered by the Wind

Wind power was so effective for Henry Clews, he went ahead and founded a company to import windplants to the U.S. Originally published as "Henry Clew's Miraculous Wind-Powered Homestead" in the November/December 1972 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Harnessing Wind Power for Your Home

A windmill allows you to generate electricity from the wind, an endlessly renewable resource. Originally published as "Free Power From the Wind" in the September/October 1972 issue of MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Homestead Hydro Power: Build Your Own Water-Power Plant

Harness the power of your stream and forget the electric company. This is the first of three installments of the five-part article printed by Popular Science that very concisely sketched out every step for establishing a small water-power plant on a farm or homestead.

Gobar Gas: Experiments in Renewable Energy Sources

Ram Bux Singh writes about his experiments in India creating renewable energy sources using methane gas from cow manure. Originally published as "Gobar Gas: Methane Experiments in India" November/December 1971 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Lejay Wind Power: How to Generate Electricity

This Lejay wind power information and plan guides you on how to construct a wind plant to generate electricity. Originally published as "Power!" November/December 1970 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Guide to Creating Free Heat from Recycled Oil

Bill Cheney describes how he saved money by recycling a condemned bottled-gas cylinder fueled with free old crankcase oil to build a stove that creates free heat for his shop. Originally published as "Cheap Heat" September/October 1970 MOTHER EARTH NEWS.

Convert Waste to Energy with Methane Production

Learn how to convert manure and garbage to energy using this small-scale methane producing plant. Originally titled "How I Generate Power from Garbage" in the May/June 1970 issue of  MOTHER EARTH NEWS.