• Automated Vehicles and the Future of Fuel Efficiency

    Cars these days are becoming more and more like computers on wheels. Many car enthusiasts long for the days of simpler designs where they can figure out exactly what's going on... Topic: Fuel efficiency

  • Prius Plug-in Versus Volt: Which Costs Less to Drive?

    Now that Toyota’s Prius Plug-in Hybrid has been officially announced, we can begin the comparisons with the... Topic: EV, Price, Hybrid

  • Now you can determine the solar efficiency of your roof

    It is becoming more and more common to install solar panels on roofs in order to obtain green electricity, but not all roofs are equally suitable.... Topic: Solar, Solar resource

  • Vermont Experiments in Cow Power

    A recent case study in the State of Vermont suggests that deriving electricity from cow manure may be economically feasible. This small and largely agrarian state has no... Tagged: Vermont Topic: Biomass, Waste-to-energy, Anerobic digester

  • World's first consumer standard label for wind power launched

    The technical standard for the first global consumer label for companies to buy wind power and other clean... Tagged: International Topic: Wind

  • Charge It Up: Installing an EV Charging Station at Home

    Exciting, economical, and emission free: That’s the new world of electric vehicles!... Topic: EV

  • World First Low Carbon Fuel to Be Developed for Virgin Atlantic

    Virgin Atlantic today announced the development of a world-first low carbon aviation fuel with just half the carbon footprint of the standard fossil fuel alternative.
    ... Topic: Waste-to-energy

  • Nest Learning Thermostat: Shiny Toy or Serious Tool?

    It looks a bit like a hockey puck, but it’s designed to keep your home warm in the winter, while cooling it in the summer. But while it is indeed slick, it’s a lot smarter than... Topic: Efficiency, Thermostat

  • SAVE Act: Building Energy Efficiency into Home Value

    WASHINGTON, Oct. 20 -- The Alliance to Save Energy issued the following statement by President Kateri Callahan:

    "Every so often, a policy proposal turns out to be every... Tagged: Congress Topic: Efficiency, Legislation, Financing

  • A War Against Food Waste

    A food industry alliance is planning a three-year initiative to reduce the tremendous amount of food that Americans still throw in the garbage even as they grow... Topic: Biomass, Sustainability

  • Meet the Energy Superbugs: Extremophiles

    Extremophiles are tiny microbes that are able to thrive in hot, salty and even acidic or gaseous environments that would kill other forms of life.... Topic: Wind, Biomass, Waste-to-energy

  • Key Step Nears in Va. Quest for Offshore Winds

    A top state energy official says the federal government is preparing to accept expressions of interest from prospective developers of... Tagged: Virginia Topic: Wind, Offshore

  • Science Lags as Health Problems Emerge Near Gas Fields

     

    ...
    Tagged: Geothermal Topic: Natural gas, Solar
  • Health Effects and Light Bulbs

    For the first time scientists examined melatonin suppression in a various types of light bulbs, primarily those used for outdoor illumination, such as streetlights, road... Topic: Lighting, CFL, Solar

  • Duke Energy to Build Second Pennsylvania Wind Farm

     

    Duke Energy will build a new ... Topic: Wind farm, Wind, Utility scale

  • Military spearheads clean-energy drive

     

    ...
    Tagged: Ethanol, Electric Vehicles Topic: Renewables, Biodiesel
  • Solar homes showcase students’ energy, creativity

    University of Maryland students didn’t compete in the last Department of Energy Solar Decathlon... Topic: Solar, Site News

  • A Solar Panel on Every Roof? In U.S., Still a Distant Dream

    Daunted by high up-front costs, U.S. homeowners continue to shy away from residential solar power systems, even as utility-scale solar projects are taking off. But with do-it-... Tagged: United States, International Topic: Solar, Site News

  • Hog Waste Producing Electricity, Carbon Offsets

    A pilot waste-to-energy system constructed by Duke University and Duke Energy this week garnered the endorsement of Google Inc., which invests in... Tagged: Everything Else Topic: Waste-to-energy, Biomass

  • Waste Water + Bacteria = Clean Energy

    For the first time, researchers have sustainably produced hydrogen gas, a potential source of clean energy, using only water and bacteria.... Topic: Hydrogen

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

Solar

Now you can determine the solar efficiency of your roof

It is becoming more and more common to install solar panels on roofs in order to obtain green electricity, but not all roofs are equally suitable. Scientists from the University of Gothenburg have launched a tool that uses the actual conditions to determine the maximum possible magnitude of solar incidence - in a whole town, a neighbourhood, or a particular roof. The scientists have surveyed Gothenburg in a pilot project.

"The roofs structures of a town may be more or less suitable for the installation of solar panels, depending on such factors as how much a particular roof is shadowed by surrounding buildings and vegetation, the gradient of the roof, and the angle of incidence of sunlight. It is now possible for the first time to determine how much solar energy a particular roof will receive during the year", says Fredrik Lindberg of the Department of Earth Sciences at Gothenburg University.

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Health Effects and Light Bulbs

For the first time scientists examined melatonin suppression in a various types of light bulbs, primarily those used for outdoor illumination, such as streetlights, road lighting, mall lighting and the like. Exposure to the light of white LED bulbs, it turns out, suppresses melatonin five times more than exposure to the outdoor lights filled with high pressure sodium bulbs that give off an orange-yellow light. Melatonin is a compound that adjusts our biological clock and is known for its anti-oxidant and anti-cancerous properties. All devices have their effects, both positive and negative it seems.

The study investigated the influence of different types of bulbs on “light pollution” and the suppression of melatonin, with the researchers recommending several steps that should be taken to balance the need to save energy and protecting public health.

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Solar homes showcase students’ energy, creativity

University of Maryland students didn’t compete in the last Department of Energy Solar Decathlon, but that doesn’t mean they didn’t show up. Dozens of them carried clipboards and furiously scribbled notes while eyeballing solar-powered houses designed and built by other students from around the world.

They were preparing to vie for this year’s event, which started Thursday at West Potomac Park and runs through Oct. 2. U-Md. is unveiling ­WaterShed , a house inspired by the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Water from its sinks, shower and washer is captured, filtered and recycled to sustain a lush water garden that runs the length of the house. Solar tubes heat running water.

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Solar Panels on Every Roof Still a Distant Dream

Daunted by high up-front costs, U.S. homeowners continue to shy away from residential solar power systems, even as utility-scale solar projects are taking off. But with do-it-yourself kits and other innovative installation approaches now on the market, residential solar is having modest growth.

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Price Cuts Stimulate Massive Growth in US Photovoltaics

Large cuts in factory gate module prices over the summer have resulted in a significant increase in photovoltaic (PV) project development activity in the US. After standing at 17 gigawatts (GW) two months ago, the US non-residential pipeline has now increased to 24 GW.

The September 2011 edition of the United States Deal Tracker database released by Solarbuzz this week identifies 1,865 non-residential projects totaling 25.9 GW either installed, being installed or in their development phase since January 1, 2010. Development phase projects include pre-RFP, going through the RFP process, or planned without RFP.

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Jeffrey Tang's picture

Local Solar Tour!

Wed, 09/28/2011 - 3:41pm -- Jeffrey Tang

Have you ever considered getting solar panels for your home or business?  Ever wanted to know more about solar panels in practice, but didn't know anyone with experience with them?  If so, you have a chance this Saturday, October 1, to talk with home and business owners in the central Shenandoah Valley who have solar panels.  This informal "solar tour" will feature installations of both PV and solar thermal panels in locations ranging from Waynesboro to Harrisonburg to Fincastle.  There is no need to sign up, just show up at any of the locations listed here during the availability listed on each location.

These home and business owners will obviously have different levels of knowledge, but all have agreed to be around their homes and answer whatever questions they can about their panels.  The sites range from newly installed systems whose history is measured in months to systems that have been in place for over two decades.  The event is part of a national effort to increase awareness of solar power as a clean and available source of renewable energy.  Hopefully, the more people are able to see installed systems and ask questions about them, the more they will consider solar systems for their own homes.  Also, if you have a solar installation and want to be added to the list, details for getting involved are here.

Ford to Sell Rooftop Solar Panels with Electric Vehicles

Auto companies with electric vehicle offerings are increasingly taking the opportunity to build links between their vehicles and renewable energy. Perhaps in response to those who say (incorrectly) that EVs do nothing to help mitigate carbon emissions – due to a prevalence of coal-fired electricity generation – manufacturers are forging strategic partnerships with solar companies to shore up the environmental case for the electric car.

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Related Links

These links may be helpful in finding more information about sustainability, clean energy, and local agriculture.

National 25x'25

  • 'Climate-Smart' Agriculture Includes Accelerating Renewable Energy
  • Level the Playing Field for All Energy Sources
  • Highlighting another Path to Economic, Energy Benefits
  • Ongoing Growth of U.S. Renewable Energy Sector is Cause for Thanks
  • Farm Energy Programs Preserved in Ag Appropriations Deal

Renewable Energy World

  • Project Finance in a Post-stimulus World
  • Value of CSP Increases Substantially at High Solar Penetration
  • Working with National Lab, AWS Truepower Makes Headway on Forecasting Improvement Project
  • Hydropower Outlook 2012: Continued Large-scale Development in North America
  • Can We Achieve a "Smart Home" Future?

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