Looking to save some money? How about improve your home’s value? You can accomplish both by installing some energy efficiency systems in your home.
Energy efficiency can be accomplished by a number of different ways. Among the most common are reducing air leaks in your home, installing more efficient appliances, and cutting back on energy use in general.
Additionally, you can increase your energy cost efficiency by installing renewable energy systems in your home. Solar panels, wind turbines, and geothermal heat systems all provide on-site energy generation which means you can rely less on external power.
Why Install On-Site Power?
On-site power is useful for a lot of reasons. For one, it decreases your home’s reliance on external power. That means your energy bill goes down.
Second, on-site power generation means in the event of a power outage, you may still have power. This can be exceptionally
Now that Halloween is over, many pumpkins are going to start decomposing and tossed into the garbage (or a backyard if you have the space).
However, some places, like Oakland, California, have been taking pumpkin waste and using it to produce energy. Considering how many holiday lights go up between October and December, it’s definitely not a bad thing to help contribute to energy production.
The pumpkin waste is utilized by the East Bay Municipal Utility District (EBMUD) which places the waste into large tanks known as anaerobic digesters.
What is an Anaerobic Digester?
If you think it sounds like a big ol’ stomach, you wouldn’t be far off the mark. Just like our own stomachs, an anaerobic digester is home to millions of bacteria which break down biomatter, in this case, vegetation in the form of pumpkin waste.
Imagine all the pumpkin pie you might eat at a Thanksgiving dinner. After a
In the heart of Texas lies a deep seeded love for oil and natural gas. The power output and affordability of these fuels make them highly sought commodities.
But in a world where fossil fuels are dying out, albeit slowly, and renewable energy is rising to take its place, can Texas make the jump from reliance on fossil fuels to clean energy?
If the readings from a cold, windy night in February are any indication, yes.
Blowing Away Energy Production
Texas has become home to the nation’s largest wind energy production. The large flat plains of Texas offer many opportunities to seize the power of the wind and use it to power the state’s energy needs.
Back in 1999, then-Governor George W. Bush led an initiative to overhaul the energy market in Texas. He wanted the market to open up to competition rather than be dominated by
In an effort to reduce carbon emissions and help North America rely more on sustainable energy options, the U.S., Canada, and Mexico have pledged to produce half of their total energy from carbon-free energy sources by 2025.
At the North American Leaders’ Summit in Ottawa, Ontario on Wednesday, the leaders of the three nations made a pact to cut carbon emissions and help build a sustainable future for the continent.
The pact symbolizes a bond between the three nations; one that will emphasize cooperation in a world desperately in need of depolarizing.
Realistic Goals through Steep Change
Currently, the whole of North America produces about 37% of its total energy from carbon free sources, which includes nuclear power.
Considering how rapidly renewable energy has expanded over the past decade alone, an increase to 50% seems to be well within reach.
Realistically, it will require a major uptick
Renewable energy has been on the rise for quite some time now, but the big change is still coming. Bloomberg New Energy Finance has predicted that we’re about to reach the peak of fossil fuel use, and the old way of powering our world will steadily decline soon after in favor of other forms of energy production.
Natural Gas: Skipping the Royal Lineage
Since 2008, natural gas has been talked about as a “bridge fuel” that will link the world in transition from oil and coal to renewable energy. This was when fracking became the best method for extracting cheap fuel, making natural gas a fierce competitor in the energy market, underselling both coal and oil.
This royal succession of fossil fuels looks like it’s not going to work, however. Renewable energy seems determined to usurp the throne as a dominant energy producer. Solar and wind costs
Next year will be the 8th Biennial Solar Decathlon, a contest organized by the U.S. Department of Energy. The contest pulls students from all over the world and has the contestants use their skills to design and build energy efficient solar homes that would be affordable to produce and purchase in the housing market.
The Solar Decathlon 2017 will be comprised of 16 collegiate teams of students from colleges and universities all over the world and have been announced as the following:
• École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (Lausanne, Switzerland)
• Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Daytona State College (Daytona Beach, Florida)
• Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, Georgia)
• HU University of Applied Science Utrecht (Utrecht, Netherlands)
• Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla, Missouri)
• Northwestern University (Evanston, Illinois)
• Rice University (Houston, Texas)
• Syracuse University (Syracuse, New York)
On the outskirts of London, a massive manmade lake is about to become the home of the world’s largest floating solar farm. It won’t remain the largest in the world as there are others under construction, but it will be the largest in Europe. Set upon the Queen Elizabeth II reservoir at Walton-on-Thames, 23,000 solar panels are under construction and nearly completed. The project cost about £6 million ($8.52 million USD) and was constructed to aid in water treatment.
The Queen Elizabeth II reservoir provides drinking water for 10 million people in the greater London area and the treatment plants consume a vast amount of electricity in order to provide that water. The solar farm will be able to power the treatment plants for decades, freeing up energy generation from other sources to go to residences and businesses.
Placing the solar panels on the water is a
Disney World is a place where magic comes alive. Our favorite children’s characters jump to life in the streets, greeting visitors and interacting with children. One of the major attractions at Disney World, Tomorrowland, was rife with speculation and science, showing what the world could become through technological advances. Today, Disney brings the park one step closer to that world with their massive solar installation.
Shaped like the iconic silhouette of everyone’s favorite mouse, the solar photovoltaic installation covers 20 acres of land with 48,000 panels, which is equivalent to about 1,000 residential solar generation systems. At peak capacity, the solar farm produces 5 megawatts of electricity for the park. The installation, built by Duke Energy, is part of a solar power investment which has Duke building 500 megawatts of solar installations by 2024. Reedy Creek Improvement District, which manages all of the utilities within
Solar power continues to be a rising star in the world of renewable energy. In 2016, the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) expects an additional 9.5 gigawatts of solar energy to enter the electricity grid alongside 8 Gw of natural gas and 6.8 Gw of wind power. These numbers are strictly limited to utility scale installations and do not include personal solar installations on homes, which is also expected to add even more power to the national energy supply.
Last year, solar had set a new record of 7.3 Gw worth of new solar capacity, making this year’s projections a new record breaker. Justin Baca, VP for markets and research at the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), expects that solar power will actually grow by 11.8 gigawatts this year, citing that the SEIA expressed their numbers as direct current versus alternating current, showing a larger growth than
In a city strapped for power, there is only one hope to stave off rolling blackouts: soccer.
Sounds like the pitch to a sports B-movie, doesn’t it? Well, in Lagos, Nigeria, it’s not a movie pitch, but rather real life. Lagos has been hard hit for energy because the city’s government and power sectors are poorly managed. As a result, the city with a population of about 17 million suffers intermittent blackouts and constant shutoffs. So, they turned to a favorite sport for help.
British technology company Pavegen has designed a soccer field that uses the player’s own steps as a renewable fuel source to light up the field. In collaboration with music star Akon and corporate energy giant Shell, the field contains 100 kinetic energy absorbing tiles along with some solar panels to generate power. The tiles absorb the impact from every step players take and