Category Archives for "Clean Energy"

What is Environmental Sustainability?

environmental-sustainability

What is environmental sustainability, and how is it different from sustainable development?

We’ve heard the word ‘sustainable’ used often over the past decade as renewable energy sources continue to penetrate the energy market. But what exactly does environmental sustainability mean?

When can something be categorized as environmentally sustainable? What about sustainable development, is that a synonym or a different classification? In this article, I’ll differentiate between these two concepts that are commonly confused for one another, and explain the unique importance of each.Continue reading

Is Nuclear Energy Renewable?

is-nuclear-energy-renewable

What is nuclear energy, and is it renewable?

Renewable energy may be the buzzword of the decade, but how do we classify an energy source as actually being renewable? And is nuclear energy renewable according to this official classification? In this article, we’ll break down the elements that allow us to use the ‘R’ word, and whether we should apply it to a widely used energy source like nuclear energy.

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Renewable Energy Programs in US Island Territories

renewable-energy-programs

How successful are renewable energy programs on our islands?

We hear a lot about renewable energy programs in the US and all their ensuing controversies. Net metering, unhappy utilities, and even wars between the solar industry and local utilities (most famously in Arizona).

You might be surprised to find out that other areas of the US – outside the 50 states – are experiencing the same issues, but often on a heightened scale due to their isolation and the fact that they are all islands.

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Why is Renewable Energy Important?

why-is-renewable-energy-important

“How do I love renewable energy? Let me count the ways…”

Ever since school and poems by Emily Browning, we have been asking the question, “Why is renewable energy important?” What we all know by now is that renewable energy produces less emissions than traditional fuel sources like coal or natural gas, but did you know it can also strengthen your own energy independence, and build up your local economy?

Let’s take a look at each of these reasons to see why renewable energy is so important.

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The Duck Curve, or the Difficulty of 100% Renewable Energy Systems

renewable-energy-systems

Why’s it so hard to go to a 100% renewable energy system?

We often hear how renewable energy systems could easily power the world. Just throw up some solar and wind, add some hydro, and voila! we’re running on clean energy.

Unfortunately, though, it’s not that easy. Transferring to 100% renewable energy is fraught with difficulties, Today we’re going to focus on one huge issue with renewable energy: controllability.

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The “Tesla Off Grid Generator” Scam vs Elon Musk’s Powerwall

tesla-off-grid-generator

Is the Tesla Off Grid Generator legitimate or a scam?

Nikola Tesla was a famous engineer and inventor best known for his contributions to electricity supply systems. Many have tried to imitate his greatness but few have succeeded. How can you tell if machines currently on the market that bear Tesla’s name, such as the Tesla “Off Grid Generator”, are fact or fiction?

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How Much Does Wind Energy Cost?

how-much-does-wind-energy-cost

Comparing the cost of wind energy to the cost of solar energy.

You might’ve heard that, at least for utilities, wind energy is a ridiculously cheap form of electricity – cheaper than any other method. But what if you want to install a small wind turbine on your own property? How much does wind energy cost? Is it a wise financial investment? How about when compared to solar?Continue reading

How Many Watts Does a TV Use? You Might Be Surprised

how-many-watts-does-a-tv-use

If energy efficiency is your focus, we show you how many watts a TV uses.

How many watts does a TV use? With today’s high-efficiency models, the answer is surprisingly low (though of course, it depends on your TV). Take a look below for the answer, as well as tips on how to find your own TV’s wattage, and how many solar panels it would take to power your TV throughout the year.Continue reading

Pros and Cons of Nuclear Energy

pros-and-cons-of-nuclear-energy

What are the pros and cons of nuclear energy, our third largest source of power?

Nuclear power plants produce 20% of all electricity used in the US, more than all renewable energy combined (including solar, wind and even hydropower), taking third place behind natural gas and coal (each of which accounts for about 30% of total electricity production).

With nuclear power covering a significant portion of our electricity needs, it obviously plays an important role in our society. On the other hand, we’ve also heard the horror stories about accidents at nuclear plants: meltdowns, leaks, evacuations, and even deaths.

In the US, these stories have tainted our view of nuclear energy (or maybe more accurately, given us a more rounded, accurate view). Case in point: the US is the biggest producer of nuclear power in the world, with 100 nuclear reactors across the country. However, we’ve constructed just a handful of new plants in the last 30 years (remember Three Mile Island’s 1979 accident?).

We use nuclear energy every day to meet our basic needs, but we’re all vaguely scared of it, having heard the terrible stories of what can happen when something goes wrong. So what’s the real story? Continue reading

Storing Solar Energy in Water with Pumped Hydro Storage

pumped-hydro-storage-for-solar

Does it make sense to use pumped hydro storage for solar energy?

If you’re like the majority of people, the idea of storing solar energy in water sounds confusing and virtually impossible. Who has ever heard of pumped hydro storage for solar before? Yet “energy storage” is the renewable industry’s latest buzz phrase, and it is changing at a rate faster than anyone but those designing it can keep up with.

“But why should I care about storage?” you ask. Great question! At the end of the day, it’s about how much money you want to keep in your wallet. Our ability to store energy more effectively will directly impact the price you pay for your electricity.

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