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  • China’s massive wind energy goals

    China’s massive wind energy goals

    China appears to be determined to generate as much of their rapidly expanding electricity demand from renewable sources as possible.  In addition to their solar and hydroelectric goals, China has very ambitious goals for wind generated electricity. China plans to increase wind energy generation from 40 gigawatts currently to 200 gigawatts in 2020, 400 gigawatts in [...]

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  • A $5 LED bulb

    A $5 LED bulb

    Lemnis Lighting has introduced three varieties of LED bulbs, including one priced at $4.95.  LED bulb prices have been in a virtual free fall.  In fact, the Department of Energy has predicted the price of LED bulbs will drop around 30% a year from 2010 to 2015 and 10 to 15% a year from then to [...]

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  • Community wind helping small wind turbine sales

    Community wind helping small wind turbine sales

    Global sales of small wind turbines are projected to increase from $235 million in 2010 to $634 million in 2015.  That more than double growth is being partly driven by the increase in community wind turbine installations. Community wind turbines are generally considered to be the intermediate-sized turbines, which are somewhat larger than residential-sized turbines and smaller than [...]

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  • U.S. needs to think big about energy efficiency

    U.S. needs to think big about energy efficiency

    The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE) has issued a comprehensive new report that concludes America can slash energy use by 60%, save energy consumers up to $400 billion a year (the equivalent of $2,600 per household annually), and create almost 2 million net jobs by 2050.  We just need to get serious about [...]

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  • Solar thermal heats up

    Solar thermal heats up

    Solar thermal is basic technology that’s been in use for a long time, and is very effective at using sunlight for heating water or interior space.  Unlike solar panels, which convert sunlight directly into electricity, solar thermal systems simply use the heat from sunlight to heat water or space.  Anyone who is uncertain just how effective solar thermal can [...]

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  • Soft costs for solar installations are way too high

    Soft costs for solar installations are way too high

    The Department of Energy reported that soft costs (permitting, financing, grid connections, etc.) now account for 40% to 50% of the total cost of installing and operating a rooftop solar energy system.  No doubt that high percentage of soft costs is partly due to the rapidly falling costs of the solar panels themselves. But still, 40% [...]

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  • Solar installations skyrocket

    Solar installations skyrocket

    Propelled in part by plummeting solar panel prices and expanding solar panel leasing programs, the number of U.S. solar panel installations is exploding.  As reported by the U.S. Solar Industry: in just the third quarter of 2010 (July – September) almost 450 megawatts-worth of solar panels were installed in the U.S., which made it the best [...]

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  • We need to decouple (No, not that)

    We need to decouple (No, not that)

    Studies have widely and consistently shown that the cheapest, quickest and most cost-effective way to have more available energy as a society is to simply use less energy through conservation and energy efficiency programs.  This makes perfect sense when you think about it. If, for example, every homeowner and business programmed their thermostats 2 or 3 degrees [...]

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  • The value of insulation

    The value of insulation

    Anyone who has neglected to take a coat to an outdoor event and ended up shivering in the cold, or taken cold drinks in an uninsulated container to a picnic on a hot day, understands the value of insulation on a concrete, personal level.  But the value of insulation in a home is much more difficult [...]

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  • Is it really the end of the electricity system?

    Is it really the end of the electricity system?

    So the EPA has decided to actually do its job of protecting the environment and the health of the American people by limiting the amount of mercury, dioxin, arsenic, and other poisonous and carcinogenic chemicals that coal-fired power plants will be allowed to emit.  This proposed EPA regulation will only limit emissions of the most [...]

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