ALL THINGS ECOTHENTIC

Houses Follow the Sun Like Sunflowers

Posted by Tom Denham on Apr 25, 2017 1:14:39 PM

Plants don’t appear to move until you use time lapse photography.  But when you do, you will notice that many plants almost imperceptibly follow the sun from sunrise to sunset.  Can houses do the same thing?

Apparently they can but whether this can become something that can be mass produced remains to be seen.  But the prototype is off the drawing board and on the sales floor.  A Portuguese company called Casas em Movimento (Houses in Motion) has designed rotating solar-powered houses that follow the sun just like a sunflower to harness the maximum amount of solar energy.

 



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Topics: Renewable Energy

Google's Project Sunroof Expands to All 50 States

Posted by Tom Denham on Apr 11, 2017 12:50:26 PM

For homeowners and potential homeowners who have never had an energy efficient home, calculating the projected energy costs can sometimes be confusing and challenging due to different projections.  But now there is a new tool that can help.

Google announced recently that its online tool to assist homeowners in calculating energy savings from rooftop solar installations has now expanded to all 50 US states.  Approximately 60 million buildings have already analyzed by the program.

 



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Topics: Renewable Energy

New York State Wants 50% Renewable Energy by 2030

Posted by Tom Denham on Mar 21, 2017 1:09:10 PM

New York State Public Service Commission is beginning to work through the details of the Clean Energy Standard that requires 50 percent of the state’s electricity to be provided from renewable energy sources by 2030.

 New York’s goal is similar to the 50 percent renewable energy by 2030 law adopted by the California legislature last year. The Massachusetts legislature also passed an energy bill in 2016 ensuring that by 2030, 40 percent of the state’s electricity will be provided from renewable sources, while including a major commitment to offshore wind power.



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Topics: Renewable Energy

Solar Energy Milestone: It is Now the Top U.S. New Energy Source

Posted by Tom Denham on Mar 13, 2017 1:49:10 PM

For the first time, solar power is now the top new energy source and credit for the milestone goes to large commercial projects that almost doubled in 2016, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). Solar accounted for 39 percent of new power coming on to the grid, more than natural gas, wind or coal.


Part of the reason for the increase in large commercial projects was because investors were worried about the possible expiration at the end of 2015 of the federal investment tax credit. Congress eventually extended the 30 percent credit for solar projects into 2021. Solar panels have also become cheaper and more competitive with fossil fuels.



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Topics: Renewable Energy

Abundant Natural Gas Changes Everything

Posted by Tom Denham on Mar 3, 2017 2:28:37 PM

It is not solar, wind or even politics that knocked coal from its perch atop the US energy provider market, but natural gas.  However, there is an environmental price to pay.  Although it does not contribute to global warming as much as coal, it does contribute to an increase in CO2 emissions.

Natural gas is expected to replace not just declining coal power in the future, but also a significant portion of low-carbon nuclear power plants scheduled to close. Compared to coal, natural gas produces approximately half of the carbon emissions per unit of electricity generated than coal.



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Topics: Renewable Energy

Solar Jobs Steadily Increased in 2016 As Coal Jobs Decline

Posted by Tom Denham on Mar 3, 2017 2:24:26 PM

The solar industry continued its steady and remarkable creation of new jobs in 2016 with a 25 percent increase by adding 73,000 jobs – the fourth year in a row with more than a 20 percent increase. US solar power now employs more people than oil, coal and gas combined. Meanwhile, coal jobs continued to decline. 

The results were in several reports, including one from The Solar Foundation in its annual National Solar Job Census and the other in a new report from the Department of Energy.



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Topics: Renewable Energy

Conservative Lancaster California Introduces Zero Net Energy Home Ordinance

Posted by Tom Denham on Feb 24, 2017 4:00:00 PM

The city council of Lancaster, California – one of the most conservative Republican districts in the nation – has introduced the Zero Net Energy (ZNE) Home Ordinance in a recent city council meeting and is moving forward with adopting the ordinance. If the ordinance is approved by the state and implemented by the city, it would make Lancaster the first ZNE city in the nation.

The ZNE ordinance mandates all builders to install a solar system equal to two watts per square foot for each home built, beginning in 2017. Builders will have three options available to comply with the City’s Zero Net Energy requirement: a solar component, mitigation fees in lieu of a solar component, or a combination of both.



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Topics: Renewable Energy

The Solar Power World Leader Not US or Europe...it's India.

Posted by Tom Denham on Jan 4, 2017 1:35:04 PM

The leader of solar power in the world is not the United States or in Europe – it is India.

The Indian government predicts it will vastly exceed its renewable energy target agreed to at the Paris Climate Change conference last year.

India recently predicted it will generate 57 per cent of its energy through renewable sources by 2027. The target set by the conference last year was 40 percent by 2030. 



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Topics: Renewable Energy

City Services in Las Vegas Now Powered by Solar

Posted by Tom Denham on Dec 28, 2016 2:57:12 PM

The city of Las Vegas achieved a milestone recently when it began supplying 100% of the city’s municipal power after a new solar power plant went online.

“Boulder Solar 1” is a solar power plant on the edge of Boulder City, Nevada.

It is an important milestone, but that doesn’t mean that solar power is powering all those glitzy Las Vegas signs and big hotels.  It is powering city government services only.

 



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Topics: Renewable Energy

The Future Looking Bright with Solar Roadways

Posted by Sara McIntosh on Dec 26, 2016 2:25:37 PM

It is incredible to see the advanced technology that is coming from the Solar Roadways® company and their development of solar panels for the incredible assistance of walking and driving alike.  While they are developing the proper technology of road and sidewalk quality, along with renewable energy sources for the traffic and crosswalk lights there is much to be seen for what Solar Roadways® will be able to do for the progression of combined energy and traffic benefits in our country.

 



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Topics: Renewable Energy