Tag Archives for " clean energy "

Why Have Solar Power Subsidies in the United States?

solar-power-subsidies

Does the US still need solar power subsidies when solar is so popular?

Without getting into too many of the nitty gritty details, energy subsidies exist in order to help get new or struggling technologies off the ground and able to compete on their own, and solar power subsidies are no exception. The reason new technologies need help is simple: money.

According to a recent study, energy subsidies have been around since at least 1789, when our country placed a tariff on the selling of any British coal entering America. Since that time, federal money has flowed to industries such as coal, natural gas, oil, nuclear, and renewable energy.

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How Much Energy Does the Sun Produce?

how-much-energy-does-the-sun-produce

To answer the question “How much energy does the sun produce?” we turn to scientists for an answer.

If we want to move away from fossil fuels and to more earth-friendly and renewable sources of energy, we must be sure that any alternatives will provide us with enough energy to meet our needs. But how much energy does the sun produce? And is it enough?
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What are the Benefits of Solar Energy?

benefits-of-solar-energy

Taking a societal look at the benefits of solar energy.

As you can probably imagine, there are many benefits of solar energy. We’ve written about the benefits and drawbacks of solar before in our October 2016 Solar Energy Pros and Cons – Top 10, but in that article we mostly focused on issues important to homeowners going solar – solar panel efficiency, cost-effectiveness, and the high upfront cost of solar panels.

Today, let’s take a step back and look at the benefits of solar energy on a much wider scale. We’ll delve into how solar can benefit a nation or society’s economy while increasing energy independence and financial security.Continue reading

Smart Street Lights: More than Just a Pretty Glow

smart streetlight

On the road, the concept of ‘smart street light’ probably doesn’t jump to mind for most of us.

But in the last 5 years, as the boring street light has gotten a smart facelift, that’s exactly what’s been going on.

You might be saying to yourself “Streetlights? They just light our streets at night! What else is there?” Smart street lights – which use bright white LEDs – provide light, of course, but they are much more than that. They’ve got motion sensors, they reduce energy usage and therefore emissions, and they send data back to the utility and city about their energy usage.Continue reading

Tribal Lands Adopting Solar Energy in Innovative Ways

solar-panels-tribal-land

In the last 10 years, hundreds of tribal groups across the US have adopted renewable energy like solar and wind as a way to serve their community needs better.

The type and size of the solar installation depends on the needs and goals of each community. Each group has adopted it in unique ways, from large utility-scale projects where the tribe leases land to a developer, to small solar-plus-storage systems designed to provide electricity to rural homes that are too distant to connect to the electric grid.

Reasons and goals vary among tribes. Some desire greater independence from the utility, while others want to set a higher standard of living for local residents through greater financial independence. Others want to bring electricity to rural households. But one goal is shared: to adopt an energy source that offers clean, renewable electricity.Continue reading

Trump vs. Clinton on Renewable Energy

Presidential candidates on renewable energy

It’s not surprising that Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton don’t see eye-to-eye on dozens of issues, but the 2016 election presidential candidates have adopted completely opposite renewable energy strategies.

Perhaps the best way to approach this issue is to start with Trump’s now-infamous 2012 tweet stating that global warming was “created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive”.

When Clinton made mention of this during this year’s first presidential debate, Trump interjected (in a fashion that ruled the entire event) – “I did not, I do not say that.”Continue reading

South Africa: The Continent’s First Solar-Powered Airport

south africa seashore

With the launch of a clean energy project, Africa’s first solar-powered airport has opened up in the Western Cape Province of South Africa.

This is a first for the continent, following the launch of a solar-powered soccer field in Lagos, Nigeria, also the first of its kind in Africa, thanks to Pavegen– an innovative clean tech company headquartered in London, England.

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Concentrated Solar Power: 7 Mind-Blowing Facts

solar to replace fossil fuels

A new, revolutionary technology has emerged called Concentrated Solar Power (CSP), which intensifies sunlight with hundreds of thousands of mirrors.

The Sun has always been regarded as a powerful heavenly body, taking the form of deities dating all the way back to times of antiquity. It’s no surprise that today, technology has also evolved to conjure the power of our Solar System’s star in the form of solar power. Although we’ve dispensed of Egyptian legends surrounding Râ, the almighty Sun God, humans are now going beyond the simple basics of photovoltaics that convert electricity into solar power using the photovoltaic effect.

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Do clean energy projects have adverse effects?

There can always be adverse unintended consequences when we seek to make the world better. The trick is knowing the difference and proceed understanding the whole picture.

When Florida brought in thirsty melaleuca trees to deal with the swampy conditions they never dreamed they would snuff out native species and they would be impossible to eradicate. We need to learn from these lessons and consider the domino effect of what we do. It is great to institute clean energy projects, but we must be cognizant of the potential adverse effects when doing so.

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