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Wind Energy

Green Technology

10 Technology Trends for Modern Homesteading

November 8, 2019
technology trends for homesteading

Are you looking for a lifestyle of self-sufficiency? Then homesteading may be for you. You may be thinking, “I have to move away from everything, and go far, far away to do that.” But that’s not quite true. People all over the U.S. have been buying land and moving to a more self-sufficient lifestyle. Taking full advantage of a homestead may be difficult to undergo, but it’s not impossible. New advances in technology can help you have a cost and energy-efficient life.

If you and your family are debating whether or not a homestead is for you, keep reading to learn how the clean air, the quiet nights and the calmness of the outdoors can be more than just a beautiful place to live, but it can be an independent and world-changing lifestyle.

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Green Technology

Renewable Energy Initiatives Around the World

January 3, 2019
renewable energy initiatives

Climate change is a global issue, and around the world, countries have organized renewable energy initiatives to reduce their environmental impact. These projects and programs reflect a society more conscious of its footprint, aware of the effect of carbon emissions and excessive waste on the planet’s health.

Though it’s a slow transition — and some are still reluctant to accept the change — the United States is moving closer to clean energy every day. While the president has made his position clear, state leaders across the nation continue to push for renewables as they distance themselves from fossil fuels.

Overseas, policymakers have shown the same dedication to preserving the environment, developing plans to decrease their dependence on coal, oil and natural gas. We’ll touch on a few of these ambitious initiatives and others like them, exploring projects in Tunisia, Nicaragua, Wales and China.

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Green Technology

Are Wind and Solar Viable Options for 100% Renewable Energy?

November 9, 2018

As public concern over climate change increases, more people see the need for sustainable energy production. Traditional power generation relies on burning fossil fuels like coal and natural gas, a process which releases the warming greenhouse gas carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Renewable energy sources like wind and solar aim to produce essential energy without the carbon emissions.

The popular demand for 100 percent renewable energy, reflected in public opinion and policy in states like California, has lead to increased investment in wind and solar power in recent years. Despite growing interest in renewable energy, it remains unclear whether renewable energy alone can get us to a zero-carbon future.

Wind and solar power represent great potential for clean, renewable electricity. However, they may not fill all the world’s energy needs by themselves. Let’s examine wind and solar as a path to 100 percent renewable energy and consider possible alternative solutions.

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Green Technology

How Renewables Can Prevail Despite Trump’s Renewable Energy Policy

September 20, 2018
Trump's renewable energy policy

America’s Trump-Republican government has rendered its judgment on climate change with vast silence and outlined its renewable energy policy by doubling-down on coal. We thought Trump’s renewable energy policy would reach “peak contrarian” when we pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord. But the truth is, we’ll scarcely have a single environmental regulation on the books by the time this administration is shown the door.

The good news is, there’s lots of good news. We don’t have to get partisan about the damage done when the wrong people get elected. Let’s focus instead on the undeniable momentum behind the pivot to renewable energy, despite Trump’s renewable energy policy.

Understanding that the U.S. is just one piece of the global puzzle, and that what’s happening here is raising consciousness elsewhere in the world, might help our current political situation feel slightly less sad and regressive. So let’s jump into the good news about why renewables are set to prevail no matter who’s at the helm.

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Green Technology

Hydroelectric vs. Wind Power: What Offshore Energy Should We Invest In?

May 31, 2018
hydroelectric vs wind power

Hydroelectric power was the largest source of renewable energy, but recent rapid growth in wind power capacity took away that title. Wind surpassed hydro regarding capacity in 2016, and the U.S. Energy Information Administration recently predicted that it would also overtake it in an actual generation this year.

Offshore wind, meanwhile, is just getting started in the U.S. As of now, Europe has much more offshore wind but, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the United States has a technical resource potential of around 2,000 gigawatts per year for offshore wind.

Interest in building new dams may be waning, but hydro has offshore potential too in the form of largely unexplored tidal and wave power. Plus, dams continue to be a vital, reliable energy resource.

So, hydroelectric vs. wind power: which makes a better investment? Let’s explore.

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Green Technology

Wind Energy vs. Solar Energy for Meeting Renewable Energy Goals

April 30, 2018
wind energy vs. solar energy

Having goals is an integral part of progress, regardless of what they entail. Individuals, families, communities — and yes, even countries — set a series of goals. As you achieve goals and set new ones, your options change. Moving from fossil fuels to renewable energy for an entire nation doesn’t require you to decide on one kind of energy source. Instead, it’s a better idea to take a look at all the available options and use as many of them as possible.

With that in mind, it’s important to note there are tons of options for renewable energy sources. The factors that determine what’s “best” for a given area depend on its natural resources. Places like Chile in South America have a plethora of wind, sun and geothermal energy. Other regions, like Iceland, are better suited to water and geothermal than they are to solar. Meanwhile, China has arranged to make biomass available to their citizens regardless of natural availability, which changes individuals’ ability to produce energy independently.

The U.S. is in a unique position. We have a vast landmass to work with that enables us to take advantage of many resources, not just one or two. However, given the availability of land and the way the economy has worked out, our two most common options are wind and solar. Here, there are solar options for everything including backpacks and sunglasses. Wind isn’t as common for everyday use, but it is a significant contributor to the energy grid.

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Green Technology

How Does Renewable Energy Compare to Nuclear Power?

April 19, 2018
Renewable energy compare to nuclear power

As concerns about increasing populations and the environmental impacts of fossil fuels grow, the energy industry is looking for ways to evolve. Renewable energy and nuclear power both have the potential to be significant players in the next era of electricity generation. Each type of energy resource has its benefits and challenges, and both have their proponents.

Will nuclear or renewables be the answer to our energy woes? The issue isn’t quite so straightforward. We already use both, and comparing these two very different types of energy can get a bit messy. Circumstances vary from facility to facility, and opinions vary widely. However, we’ll do our best to break the differences down for you in this article.

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Green Technology

Renewable Energy Installations Costs by State

March 12, 2018
renewable energy installation costs by state

Renewable energy differs slightly for each state. This can lead to confusion for homeowners who are looking to improve their homes and reduce their energy costs because a simple google search for green technology on homes doesn’t give you a solid picture. There are some similarities across borders though. Most states agree on the major components of what renewable energy is and include at least solar, wind, hydroelectric, geothermal, biogas and biomass.

This is far from an exhaustive list of renewable energy sources, but it covers the main ones that most homeowners are familiar with and have a high probability of trying to incorporate. Each one has a different kind of market, depending on location and availability. Even when working with the best possible options for an area, there are still substantial costs and challenges to overcome.

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Green Technology

How Do Offshore Wind Farms Compare to Onshore Wind Farms?

January 29, 2018
Offshore wind farms compare to onshore wind farms

Picture a boat 7,000 years ago carrying pottery, iron tools and a fresh haul of fish from the Nile. Okay, now how is it moving? Wind, of course! Fast-forward 5,000 years to China in 200 B.C., and we see simple windmills used to pump water — once again, harnessing the impressive power of the wind.

While we are the first to commercially exploit the wind’s power on an industrialized scale, using the power of wind — and that of the other elements such as water and sun — is not a new concept. Nevertheless, the progression to today’s wind farms both on and offshore is striking.

In the UK alone, onshore wind farms have the capacity of more than 8,800 megawatts, and offshore farms have the capacity of over 5,000 megawatts. So how do wind farms produce all this energy? Let’s briefly go back to basics. Wind farms are made up of groups of wind turbines, located within relatively close vicinity to each other. More often than not, wind farms are home to hundreds of turbines across hundreds of square miles, and each one produces electricity.

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