Did you know that you can both heat your home in the dead of winter and cool things down during the hottest day of the summer using the same system? Heat pumps are a highly efficient technology that serves the dual purpose of both heating and cooling spaces. But like other types of thermal technology, there are a variety of heat pumps to consider, and some may be better suited for you depending on your property, preferences, and heating and cooling needs. In this article, we’ll discuss the major differences between the two major types of heat pumps: air source heat pumps and ground source/geothermal heat pumps.Continue reading
Reading Time: 3 minutesLike solar energy, geothermal energy is a renewable source of power that can be installed for residential use. However, the two technologies differ in what they are capable of doing and who they are best suited for. Read on to learn how geothermal energy works, along with the similarities and differences for solar vs. geothermal.
Reading Time: 2 minutesIn this week’s Solar News Roundup, Hyundai and Kia announce solar car roof products, and U.S. electricity sector emissions dropped significantly due to new solar and wind installations.
Reading Time: 3 minutesRenewable energy resources are alternative to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Options like solar energy, wind, hydropower, and geothermal are becoming more and more popular as their reduced impact on the environment and increasingly attractive economics turn heads in the energy industry.
Reading Time: 2 minutesConvincing environmentalists or eco activists to adopt clean energy is on par with selling ice water in the desert. It isn’t a hard sell. They put a high value on reducing greenhouse gases and an extremely large percentage are willing to do whatever it takes to install solar panels, wind power or geothermal systems at their homes or businesses. They’ll do it simply because they believe that it’s “the right thing to do.” In fact, most of them have already done it. But as we work to expand the pool of solar, wind and geothermal energy users, is “doing the right thing” the only acceptable motivation? Continue reading
Reading Time: 3 minutesMost of us are completely unaware of how the electricity we use is generated. We just put the plug in the outlet and forget about it. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where ignorance is definitely not bliss! Understanding where your power originates is crucial in an energy efficiency standpoint.
For anyone wondering where their energy comes from, the chart above displays the sources of our power usage nationwide and can offer insight about output sources. No surprise: the decisions that determine this mix are made by your utility company with their best interests in mind. Sources are chosen on the basis of factors such as cost, availability, and reliability of supply. That’s how coal came to fuel almost half of the U.S.’s electrical needs. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful and it’s relatively easy to mine. What didn’t factor into the utility’s decision were things like the environmental impact of their choices–costs not borne by them but by you, me, and the communities in which we live. Nonetheless, the recent ITC extension and Paris Agreement are two reasons pointing to an approaching overthrowal of fossil fuels by the renewable industry. Continue reading
Reading Time: 2 minutesThere’s nothing as immutable as the basic laws of supply and demand. Right? Well, a recent CNN blog post is saying not so fast. With worldwide demand for oil low, CNN’s blogger asks, “so why is oil trading high at $113 a barrel, more than twice the price it was trading at five years ago when the global economy was booming? What in the world is going on?” Continue reading
Reading Time: 2 minutesThere are a lot of things that motivate people to switch to clean energy systems. Energy independence doesn’t usually top the list, although it’s usually included in the mix. Lately, though, it looks like Energy Independence may start to mount a strong challenge to other motivators such as cost savings and environmental benefits for the top spot. Continue reading
Reading Time: 2 minutesThis recent blog post “For Retirement Savings, Solar Power Is a Better Bet Than the Stock Market” from thedailygreen.com shows how one octogenarian couple is using renewable energy to stretch their savings and contain costs in retirement. While this post focuses on solar photovoltaics, any clean energy system—solar, wind, geothermal or biomass—can produce the same benefits. Continue reading
Reading Time: 2 minutesThe personal economics of clean energy systems such as solar energy panels, wind and geothermal power are phenomenal. Property owners with installed clean energy systems are generating returns on investment anywhere from 6% to 30% over the 25-30 year life span of the systems. But what about the macro economics? Is there a good story to tell there? We’re happy to report that there is. The clean energy sector is responsible for significant job growth. Here are a few interesting findings from a recent Brookings study, Sizing the Economy: A National and Regional Green Jobs Assessment. Continue reading