Where The Sun Don’t Shine — Using Solar Power In Darker Climates

Where The Sun Don’t Shine — Using Solar Power In Darker Climates (via Clean Technica)

Written by David Glenn. No form of energy takes as much effort to generate as sunlight. To create a single photon of light, the gravitational force at the center of the sun has to create a pressure density of approximately 250 billion times that of…

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‘Green’ Saved Some Homebuilders From Recession

Daily Real Estate News | Wednesday, February 05, 2014

3501+MariposaHomebuilders are finding that betting on green features could be the key to rescuing an ailing business. A new study finds that builders with energy-efficient and green home construction experience remained in business during the Great Recession at higher rates than those who did not have any knowledge or experience with green housing.

In 2013, green homes comprised 23 percent of overall residential construction. It is expected to rise to one-third of the market by 2016, according to the newly released Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study by McGraw Hill Construction. Continue reading

The Ultimate Guide To High Efficiency Light Bulbs

Shrink That Footprint’s Ultimate Guide To Light Bulbs (via Clean Technica)

Originally published on Shrink That Footprintby Lindsay Wilson Five years ago I bought my first LED light bulbs.  They were to replace halogens in my bathroom.  I spent too much money on not enough lumens and way too many kelvin.  You know what I…

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Forget Intermittency: NREL Says Wind Energy Can Boost Grid Reliability

Forget Intermittency: NREL Says Wind Energy Can Boost Grid Reliability (via Clean Technica)

We’ve all heard the warnings about how intermittent renewables could “crash” the grid if for instance all of a sudden the wind stops blowing and grid operators are left in the lurch for power when they need it. But what if wind turbines actually…

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Has “Green” Run its Course?

The following was originally posted at GreenSource:

Has “Green” Run Its Course?

The movement that’s reinventing the built environment isn’t going away until the work is over.

By Nadav Malin, November 2013

I’ve heard many times over the past couple of decades that “green,” as a catchall for ecological, healthy, and natural attributes, has worn out its welcome. It’s either already mainstream, as the American Institute of Architects implied when it decided last year not to renew the sustainable-design requirements of its continuing-education program, or just washed out by too many lame claims and johnny-come-latelys seeking to profit from the trend.

There is, no doubt, some truth in these observations. In search of a term that conveys more meaning, many green-building pioneers have shifted their language to talk of “regeneration” or “resilience,” both of which shift the focus somewhat and help inject new energy into what can seem like a tired conversation. Continue reading

Wind Power Spain’s #1 Power Source In 2013!

Wind Power Spain’s #1 Power Source In 2013! (via Clean Technica)

In Spain, power generation from wind farms and hydroelectric plants has spiraled upwards, escalating in the last year. This renewable power sector is a leading cause of Spain’s recent 23.1% drop in greenhouse gas emissions. Wind farms moved for the…

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Home electricity use in U.S. falling to 2001 levels

This article was originally reported here

NEW YORK – The average amount of electricity consumed in U.S. homes has fallen to levels last seen more than a decade ago, back when the smartest device in people’s pockets was a Palm pilot and anyone talking about a tablet was probably an archaeologist or a preacher.

Because of more energy-efficient housing, appliances and gadgets, power usage is on track to decline in 2013 for the third year in a row, to its lowest point since 2001, even though our lives are more electrified.

Here’s a look at what has changed since the last time consumption was so low.
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Congress to bar enforcement of incandescent light-bulb phaseout

By Andy Mazal

The US Congress is demonstrating again what a bunch of idiots we’ve elected, this time by inserting language into the latest bipartisan budget bill that “bars the Department of Energy from spending money to enforce federal rules that set tougher efficiency standards for light bulbs.” Let’s remember, this was a bipartisan law signed by President Bush in 2007!

Despite that the cost of high-efficiency lighting (CFLs and LEDs) have come down to the point where they pay-back period is months if not weeks based on the energy these lights use vs. incandescent bulbs — I recently saw 13 watt (60 watt equivalent) CFLs for sale at the grocery store for 50 cents each — people still insist on their right to needlessly waste money and energy in the name of “freedom.”

Follow this link for the whole article on USA Today.

Attitudes Toward Alternative Energy Improve

The Boulder County Business Report summarized a recent report conducted by Navigant:

CFL-thumbs-upBOULDER – After years of declining attitudes toward clean and renewable energy concepts, public attitudes in 2013 improved significantly, according to a new study released this week by Boulder-based Navigant Research.

The survey of 1,084 adults in the United States was conducted in the fall, and asked respondents their level of favorability – very favorable, favorable, neutral, somewhat unfavorable, strongly unfavorable, not sure or not familiar – on 10 clean-energy concepts. Those included solar energy, wind energy, nuclear power, hybrid vehicles, electric cars, natural gas vehicles, biofuels, smart grid, smart meters and LEED certification.

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A Sad Reminder About the Need for Carbon Monoxide Detectors

By Andy Mazal

Every winter you hear or read another tragic story about an entire family killed by their own home’s heating system. One tragic example is a family of four in Missouri, all of whom succumbed to a carbon monoxide leak from a “poorly maintained” furnace in 2010. A couple of before that it was a vacationing family in a rental house near Aspen, CO, due to a new but improperly installed furnace flue. And these are just a couple of examples out of hundreds each year.   Continue reading