fuels

U.S. Energy Use Increased in 2013

Americans used more renewable, fossil and even nuclear energy in 2013, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Each year, the Laboratory releases energy flow charts that illustrate the nation’s consumption and use of energy. Overall, Americans used 2.3 quadrillion thermal units more in 2013 than the previous year. The Laboratory also […] Read more


Community Solar in the U.S

Presentations about solar energy have a definite rhythm. Initially, the audience is curious about renewable energy and midway through as they receive more information, the feeling turns to palpable excitement. But inevitably, by evening’s end, some of the excitement has dimmed. About 75% of people who want solar can’t get it, according to the National Renewable […] Read more


Money: The Reason We Aren’t 100% Solar YET

Solar energy from our Sun is constantly bombarding us, even at night – we just can’t see it because of our planet’s orbit and rotation. So how come we don’t have solar panels on every rooftop harnessing the natural renewable energy of the Sun? Money. Not the cost to you, those costs have dropped significantly […] Read more


The Problem With Solar Permitting

Experience any roadblocks while trying to pull a permit for a photovoltaic (PV) system in your city?   Paying too much?  You’re not alone.  Getting your PV system a permit can be a daunting task for both customers and installers. According to report by Clean Power Finance, about 23% of PV installations cost more than expected.   More […] Read more


In Focus: The US-China Solar Trade Dispute

In case you missed it, the International Trade Commission (ITC) has agreed to consider adding (more) restrictive tariffs to imported Chinese solar panels. Why this is happening, who’s behind the dispute, and what will happen to solar panel prices and installation costs if the suit moves forward are complicated questions—but important ones for both installers […] Read more


In Focus: Energiewende

I spent this week at the penultimate meeting of the Transatlantic Urban Climate Dialogue (TUCD) in Germany, over and over hearing the term energiewende. Some of our hosts translated this as “energy change”, demonstrating characteristic German modesty. If I bought a Tesla Roadster, installed a solar array on the roof of my home to power it, ever after laughing at […] Read more


7 Ways Solar is Killing It

Things are looking up for the solar energy industry. Its growth has skyrocketed over the past few years and is projected to endure. If current trends continue, solar will account for 10% of American electricity by 2022. A diverse array of stakeholders is largely affected by this booming industry, from veterans to homeowners to that […] Read more


Ocean Energy Tries Crowdfunding

Crowdfunding is everywhere today, reaching out to individuals in our field to fund documentaries on climate change,solar schools in England, solar systems in the US, and a wind turbine in the Netherlands. Now the ocean energy industry has launched its own platform, Clean Reach. Designed to address a lack of early-stage funding for this high potential energy industry, it wants to help entrepreneurial start-ups, coastal […] Read more


60 Minutes: Solar Reporting Fail

Last month, 60 Minutes aired a segment where one of the program’s anchors, Lesley Stahl, tried to make the case that clean technology and renewable energy were “dead.” In her report, Stahl makes a number of claims about the energy industry and the future of renewables that have been proven false by a number of […] Read more


How Many Electric Vehicles Live Near You?

Last week, Edmunds.com published a list of states that had the highest and lowest percentage of electric car registrations. Take a look. . . I can’t say I’m necessarily surprised. Of the top ten, you have four states (California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington), plus the District of Columbia – all strongholds for liberal types who […] Read more


Everybody Solar and RE-volv: Crowdfunding Rockstars

Andreas Karelas and Youness Scally, founders of RE-volv and Everybody Solar, have been busy. Since founding their solar crowdfunding nonprofits in 2011, they’ve shown that their ideas are more than just ideas by making actual projects happen. I’ve been following both organizations since before they started their first projects. Not only have they progressed along a similar trajectory, […] Read more


Predictions for US Energy Efficiency in 2014

What can we expect from energy efficiency in the US in 2014? Insight into some of the major trends in energy efficiency for the year to come and beyond (this article is a followup to US Energy Efficiency in 2013: Success Stories and Barriers). Efficiency will have an even greater impact on both residential and industrial […] Read more


Soft Costs: The Most Expensive Part of Solar Install

With the precipitous drop in prices to manufacture solar modules - down 75% over the past four years, so-called “soft costs” are now the most expensive part of installing residential solar systems – 64% of the total price. Previous research pegged soft costs at 50% of the total price for installing a solar system. National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL) conducted that research in […] Read more


Solar Parity: Arriving by 2025

The idea of parity for solar power, the day when power from solar panels costs as much as other electric generation sources like coal or natural gas, is coming closer, but when exactly will we hit that mark? The Department of Energy’s SunShot Initiative seeks to reach that point by the end of this decade—and […] Read more