Tag Archives for " clean energy "

Problems with Solar Energy – Why Solar Hasn’t Taken Over the World (Yet)

problems-with-solar-energy

Why are we experiencing problems with solar energy?

If solar is so absolutely great, and we’re hurtling towards a climate catastrophe, why does it only power about 2% of the world? If it’s the panacea to our problems, why aren’t solar panels adorning rooftops the world over? What are the causes behind the problems with solar energy that we face?

To answer such questions, we at UnderstandSolar have dug into the facts and present the fruits of our labor below – an unfortunate tale of G20 hypocrisy, the Concorde fallacy (find out what this is later), and the sobering fact that we still need fossil fuels to power our planet (at least for now).

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The Lighter Side of Life with a Solar Panel Cartoon

solar-cartoons

If a Picture is Worth a Thousand Words, What About a Solar Panel Cartoon?

Cartoons can be a great way to find the humor in something: news highlights, politics, or to educate (and usually, some combination of the three). A lot can be said with few words – about solar politics, finances, and safety. Take a look at a solar panel cartoon or three that we found below!

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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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