Valley 25x’25 promotes sensible solutions to achieve 25 percent renewable energy in the Shenandoah Valley before 2025.

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We have heard many arguments in the recent months and years about the effectiveness of solar.    Plenty of sun to go around, but apparently, our technology isn't "efficient" enough to compete with...

Valley 25x'25 seeks to achieve 25% renewable energy in the Shenandoah Valley before 2025 by promoting sensible renewable energy and energy effiicent solutions.  We are still in the development stages, so check back often, as this site becomes a space where community members can learn about energy options for the Shenandoah Valley and keep up with local energy-related events.  Be part of the effort, and help Valley 25x'25 to empower the Valley's future.

Latest Post

Dear Virginia 25x’25 Partners and Supporters,

The 25x’25 Team and I want to thank you for your continued support of the 25x’25 Alliance and for your work to help advance the vision of America’s farms, forests, and ranches providing 25% of the total energy consumed in the U.S. while continuing to produce safe, abundant and affordable food, feed and fiber.

Progress to the Goal

2012 has provided us with reasons to be proud of accomplishments to further diversify the nation’s energy portfolio as the production and use of biofuel, biomass, wind, solar, geothermal and hydropower development has grown.  The nation’s blenders and refiners are on track to meet and exceed our nation’s renewable fuel standard at the same time that next generation biofuels production facilities are coming online.  The U.S. Navy successfully demonstrated the utilization of biofuels in multiple warfighting equipment in a...

Posted on 09/07/2012 - 10:27am
by Craig Honeycutt

Recent Blog Posts

The ongoing debate about Solar in the U.S.

We have heard many arguments in the recent months and years about the effectiveness of solar.    Plenty of sun to go around, but apparently, our technology isn't "efficient" enough to compete with fossil fuels yet....

The rest of the world is certainly not taking this stance, as solar is becoming a serious solution for power problems in other sectors.

Read the full post by Craig Honeycutt
State of Solar

Solar power is something of the everyday person's darling of renewable energy: it is easy to see and conceptualize, and (along with wind turbines) sort of defines renewable energy for most people.  Unfortunately, there is not very much knowledge among the average citizen about solar energy systems beyond that they are renewable.  Our solar page gives a basic introduction to solar energy -- which for small-scale purposes can be subdivided between solar thermal system for hot water/heat and photovoltaic (PV) system for electricity.  My own house (pictured on the right) has an old solar thermal system that is still functioning well after more than 25 years.

Personally, I am strong advocate for solar thermal systems.  Were I dictator -- and trust me, and I quite aware that I am NOT dictator, nor will I ever be -- I would have Virginia follow Israel, Portugal, and Greece by requiring solar hot water systems in any new construction.  [Disclaimer: this is NOT a stance of Valley 25x'25, just my own personal opinion.]  Simply put, the payback period is too short and the energy savings over the systems' lifetimes are too great to ignore.  If we collectively commit to solar hot water,... Read the full post by Jeffrey Tang

Summer Travel, Fuel, and Tire Pressure

Last week, I traveled with my children to visit my parents in Michigan.  The drive, which is about 750 miles and takes over twelve hours each way, allows lots of time for reflection. 

As the miles whizzed by, our minivan passed by thousands of cars, trucks, and other motor vehicles.  For me, seeing all of these vehicles burning gasoline or diesel -- which are essentially just processed, stored solar energy that took millions of years to produce -- can be almost overwhelming.  The sheer volume of fuel consumption in the United States is mind-boggling.  In 2010, we consumed about 134 billion gallons of gasoline and over 52 billion gallons of diesel fuel.  Combined, that adds up to more than 600 gallons of petroleum-based fuel... Read the full post by Jeffrey Tang

Biofuels and the Future

Few topics in renewable energy are as controversial as biofuels.  Politically, ethanol is the biggest hotbutton issue, which does the seeming impossible: alienate many liberals and conservatives, while still enjoying substantial practical support from the federal government.  Love it or hate it, ethanol is one of the leading sources of renewable energy in the U.S., and unquestionaly the most widely used, since most gasoline is blended with up to 10% ethanol.  Although many myths or half-truths persist about ethanol (and biofuels more generally), there are real advantages as well as real concerns about biofuels.  Few see biofuels as a long-term solution to all of our energy challenges in transportation, yet only the most foolhardy suggest that biofuels have no place in our energy future either.  Considerable progress has been made in the efficiency of biofuel production, though much work remains.

In a recent article, "Growing Better Biofuel Crops," researchers at the Energy Biosciences Institute of the U-C Berkeley argue that the future of biofuels are potentially bright.  Biomass resources currently provide "the most cost-effective route to produce renewable liquid fuels."  By... Read the full post by Jeffrey Tang