The DIY Guide to OFF GRID Solar Electricity

In this article I'll show you how to untether from the grid, and avoid a smelly, noisy, fuel consuming generator except in extreme weather conditions. It can be pricey for a good system, but you'll have minimal ongoing expenses, unlike fuel and maintenance on a generator. The less power you consume, the less power you will need to generate, keeping the system costs down. It's important to start with conservation.

Solar System Racking Systems

From a materials perspective, racking represents roughly 5-10% of the system cost. That said, the labor required to install the modules on the racking system costs twice as much as the racking material involved and can account for up to 66% of the total installed cost of a system. According to expert industry analysts, the speed and ease of installation for the racking system can directly impact roughly 40% of the total installed cost.

The World's Largest Fleet of Hydrogen Fuel Cell Hybrid Buses

Between 2006 - 2010 Ballard Power Systems and its consortium partners developed the next generation of zero- emission fuel cell buses for deployment by BC Transit.

SolarAid - A growing solar charity increasing access to electricity in rural Africa

To date, SolarAid has installed over 150 rural solar systems in Africa and plans to double this number in the coming year. With only a small fraction of people living in rural Africa currently enjoying access to electricity, SolarAid is planning to increase the scale of its work so that it can reach as many people as possible and continue to contribute towards the growth of solar market in Africa.

The Five Myths of Going Green

Understand that Green is profitable from Day 1 when quantifiable Savings exceed project's Finance Costs. For example, verifiable Energy and/or Water savings equal $ 1 per month; while financing that project costs anything less than $ 1 per month. Focus on projects with fast Payback Period, double-digit ROI, and Tax Incentives.

Pickens Plan No Longer Features Wind Energy

Oil tycoon T. Boone Pickens' TV commercials blasted the airwaves in 2008 with his big idea to get America off foreign oil imports: natural gas and wind energy. Two years later, let’s just make that natural gas. Since the billionaire’s plans for the world’s largest wind farm fell apart in the Texas Panhandle, Pickens has edited his much-hyped “Pickens Plan” to focus primarily on his other big business interest: natural gas. Touting 1.7 million Pickens Plan supporters, he’s now pushing Congress to pass legislation that would offer incentives to convert 18-wheelers and fleet vehicles to run on compressed natural gas, or CNG, rather than diesel. He said if just 8 million of those trucks switch to the domestic-produced fuel, it could cut in half the amount of foreign oil imported by the United States. “I’m all American,” Pickens said on Friday. “Any energy in America beats importing.” The businessman said he is now looking to Canada as a place to build his 500-megawatt wind farm, because he couldn’t get a deal done in Texas.

The First Wave of Electric Vehicles Compared

On Saturday, Nissan delivered its first battery-powered Leaf to a customer in Northern California, helping bring the nation one step closer to a future in which our cars, trucks and buses will be electric drive. That future will include a mix of electric vehicles: battery vehicles (BEVs) like the Leaf, plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs) like Chevrolet’s Volt and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) like the Honda FCX Clarity and Mercedes B-Class F-CELL. All four vehicles are or soon will be in customer hands in limited numbers in California. In fact, the first FCEVs were delivered to California customers back in 2008. With the Leaf to be delivered tomorrow, and the Chevy Volt soon to follow, it’s not too early to begin asking how these vehicles stack up. Fuel Cells 2000 has done just that, using company or government data to compare in comfort, range, performance, cargo space and other customary measures. The resulting chart is available at: http://www.fuelcells.org/info/ElectricVehicles.pdf

Clean Energy Patents Have Skyrocketed

When the Obama administration Nobel prizewinning Steven Chu took over from Bush/Cheney oil man Bodman at the Department of Energy, he prioritized clean energy innovation. By December last year, to speed the development of clean energy solutions to prevent climate change, he had overhauled the patent review process, hiring experts so he could put clean energy patents on a fast track. Looks like that investment in patent-reviewing brains is paying off. An upward trend is clear by the beginning of 2010, according to the data from the Clean Energy Patent Growth Index. And this quarter, a record number of clean energy patents have been granted. Overall, among technologies, solar led clean tech with 88 solar patents, followed by wind with 71. Auto companies filed mostly fuel cell patents. GM filed 9 hybrid-electric vehicle patents and 30 for fuel cells. Samsung also went heavily into fuel cells with 21 patents, and a couple for solar technologies. GE filed 19 wind patents (and 3 for fuel cells).

NASCAR To Use corn ethanol E15 in its Nextel Cup

Advanced Biofuels industry leaders should use the unique Green Racing focus of the American Le Mans Series to promote and advocate for the adoption of advanced biofuels according to Bob Kozak, Senior Green Racing Editor and founding board member of Advanced Biofuels USA in an opinion piece published today on AdvancedBiofuelsUSA.org. This week American corn growers, Growth Energy, and NASCAR came together to announce NASCAR’s decision to “go green” by using corn ethanol E15 in its Nextel Cup series in 2011. A small step for mankind perhaps, but it pales when compared to the testing and adoption of innovative green automotive technologies in the American Le Mans Series races where cellulosic E-85 is becoming the norm. Kozak urges the advanced biofuels industry to emulate the moves of Growth Energy and American Ethanol and use automotive racing, which boasts the largest audience of any sport both in the US and worldwide, to educate the public on the benefits of American grown 2nd and 3rd generation non-food biofuels.

Electric Eel Powers Holiday Lights in Japan

An aquarium in Japan is shocking visitors with its Christmas display -- using an eco-friendly electric eel to illuminate the lights on its holiday tree. Each time the eel moves, two aluminium panels gather enough electricity to light up the 2-metre (6 ft 6 in) tall tree, decked out in white, in glowing intermittent flashes. The aquarium in Kamakura, just south of Tokyo, has featured the electric eel for five years to encourage ecological sensitivity. This year, it added a Santa robot that sings and dances when visitors stomp on a pad. "We first decided to get an electric eel to light up a Christmas tree and its top ornament using its electricity," said Kazuhiko Minawa, on the public relations team for the Enoshima Aquarium. "As electric eels use their muscles when generating a charge, we also thought to get humans to use their muscles to light up parts of the tree and power Santa." Visitor Sumie Chiba was fascinated with the display but questioned the practicality of eel energy for domestic use. "If this was possible, I think it's very nice and extremely eco-friendly," she said.

Government denies cutting corners in solar farm

Responding to a lawsuit by an Indian tribe, government lawyers said Monday that officials properly approved a 10-square mile solar farm to power San Diego and asked a judge not to stop the project. The Quechan Indian tribe has sued in San Diego federal court to stop the Imperial Valley Solar project, which would provide 709 megawatts to San Diego Gas & Electric if fully built. The tribe said that the environmental reviews of the project didn't fully consider the impact on artifacts and sacred sites. But in a filing with the court, lawyers for the Department of Interior said officials did what was required of them and a judge can't second-guess those decisions unless they were "arbitrary and capricious."

Solar Industry Mergers and Aquisitions - Q3 2010

Reprinted with permission from Lincoln International Deal Reader - Solar Energy

10 Things to Know When Developing Rooftop Solar Photovoltaic Systems

It is critical to understand the many complexities specific to rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) development. Successful execution and delivery of expected returns requires careful management of the complex route to rooftop solar PV development.

Prop 23, Alternative Energy And The Built Environment

In 2006 California passed legislation to require consumers and industries to begin reducing their carbon emissions. The name of this bill is AB32.

Who are The Renewables? What do they represent?

The Renewables™ are part of a multi-platform marketing and educational program for renewable energy and energy efficiency. This team of sustainable superheroes represents five sources of renewable energy and serves as educators, promoters, and spokespeople for clean energy and the environment.

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