EU10C. Stay Current—Our Energy Future

2022-09-21. Are There Better Places to Put Large Solar Farms Than These Forests? [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/21/opinion/environment/solar-panels-virginia-climate-change.html] New York Times opinion piece by Gabriel Popkin. Excerpt: CHARLOTTE COURT HOUSE, Va. — In Charlotte County, population 11,448, forests and farms slope gently toward pretty little streams. The Roanoke River, whose floodplain includes one of the most ecologically valuable and intact forests in the Mid-Atlantic, forms the county’s southwestern border. On a recent driving tour, a local conservationist, P.K. Pettus, told me she’s already grieving the eventual loss of much of this beautiful landscape. The Randolph Solar Project, a 4,500-acre project that will take out some 3,500 acres of forest during construction, was approved in July to join at least five other solar farms built or planned here thanks to several huge transmission lines that crisscross the county. When built, it will become one of the largest solar installations east of the Rocky Mountains. Although she is all for clean energy, Ms. Pettus opposed the project’s immense size, fearing it will destroy forests, disrupt soil and pollute streams and rivers in the place she calls home. “I was so excited and hoped to see solar canopies over parking lots, solar panels on rooftops, solar panels on big box stores” after Virginia passed a 2020 law requiring the elimination of fossil fuels from its power sector by 2050, Ms. Pettus says. “I never dreamed it would involve so much deforestation and grading in a place I deeply care about.” The conflict Ms. Pettus described is becoming increasingly common in rural Virginia, where a recent boom in solar farm construction has given many people pause.…

2022-09-15. Facing Budget Shortfalls, These Schools Are Turning to the Sun. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/15/climate/solar-energy-school-funding.html] By Cara Buckley, The New York Times. Excerpt: One school district was able to give pay raises to its teachers as big as 30 percent. Another bought new heating and ventilation systems, all the better to help students and educators breathe easier in these times. The improvements didn’t cost taxpayers a cent, and were paid for by an endlessly renewable source — the sun. As solar energy gains traction across the country, one beneficiary have been schools, particularly those in cash-strapped districts contending with dwindling tax bases. From New Jersey to California, nearly one in 10 K-12 public and private schools across the country were using solar energy by early 2022, according to data released Thursday by Generation180, a nonprofit that promotes and tracks clean energy. That’s twice as many as existed in 2015. The savings in electric bills from schools with solar panels often topped millions in each district, and many have been able to adopt the technology without shouldering any costs up front.…

2022-09-15. Ethereum cryptocurrency completes move to cut CO2 output by 99%. [https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2022/sep/15/ethereum-cryptocurrency-completes-move-to-cut-co2-output-by-99] By Dan Milmo, The Guardian. Excerpt: Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, has completed a plan to reduce its carbon emissions by more than 99%. The software upgrade, known as “the merge”, will change how transactions are managed on the ethereum blockchain, a public and decentralised ledger that underpins the cryptocurrency and generates ether tokens, the world’s most popular cryptocurrency after bitcoin. …The move means that ethereum will no longer be created by an energy intensive process known as “mining”, where banks of computers generate random numbers that validate transactions on the blockchain and generate new ether tokens as part of the process. The process, known as “proof of work” in the cryptocurrency world, will now move to a “proof of stake” system, where individuals and companies act as validators, pledging or “staking” their own ether as a form of guarantee, to win newly created tokens. …Ethereum mining used up as much electricity as Austria, according to the Digiconomist website, at 72 terawatt-hours a year. Alex de Vries, the economist behind the website, estimates that the merge will reduce the carbon emissions linked to ethereum by more than 99%. De Vries added that the move could represent 0.2% of the world’s electricity consumption disappearing overnight. However, he said bitcoin remained the biggest single contributor to the crypto world’s carbon footprint. “All eyes will be on bitcoin. It remains the largest polluter in the crypto space. Even today bitcoin is responsible for as much electricity consumption as Sweden. And we know that’s not going to change,” said De Vries.…

2022-09-07. Clean Energy Projects Surge After Climate Bill Passage. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/09/07/business/energy-environment/clean-energy-climate-bill.html] By Jack Ewing and Ivan Penn, The New York Times. Excerpt: In the weeks since President Biden signed a comprehensive climate bill devised to spur investment in electric cars and clean energy, corporations have announced a series of big-ticket projects to produce the kind of technology the legislation aims to promote. Toyota said it would invest an additional $2.5 billion in a factory in North Carolina to produce batteries for electric cars and hybrids. Honda and LG Energy Solution announced a joint venture to build a $4.4 billion battery factory at a location to be named. …At a time of economic uncertainty, the legislation gives companies more confidence that they can earn a return on their bets. The investments serve as affirmation of political leaders’ intent: to further accelerate America’s transition away from fossil fuels and to reduce dependence on foreign suppliers, especially those in China.…

2022-09-06. Out of thin air: new solar-powered invention creates hydrogen fuel from the atmosphere. [https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2022/sep/07/out-of-thin-air-new-solar-powered-invention-creates-hydrogen-fuel-from-the-atmosphere] By Donna Lu, The Guardian. Excerpt: Researchers have created a solar-powered device that produces hydrogen fuel directly from moisture in the air. According to its inventors, the prototype produces hydrogen with greater than 99% purity and can work in air that is as dry as 4% relative humidity. The device would allow hydrogen to be produced without carbon emissions even in regions where water on land is scarce, they say. Hydrogen is a zero-carbon fuel that yields only water as a byproduct when combusted. However, pure hydrogen is not abundant in nature and producing it requires energy input. Large-scale production commonly involves fossil fuels that generate carbon emissions. The study’s lead author and a senior lecturer in chemical engineering at the University of Melbourne, Dr Gang Kevin Li, said the hydrogen-producing device could be powered by solar or wind energy.…

2022-08-31. California Installing Huge Solar Panels Over Canals to Combat Drought
[https://futurism.com/the-byte/california-installing-huge-solar-panels-over-canals] By Victor Tangerman, The Futurist. Excerpt: Canal Shade California is spending $20 million on a pilot project that will involve 8,500 feet of solar panels being installed over sections of important water sources, including canals — a futuristic effort to fight a devastating drought hitting California this summer. The idea is simple. The massive panels, to be installed over the Turlock Irrigation District (TID) in central California by the end of next year, are intended to stop dwindling water reserves from evaporating too quickly and forming vegetative growth — while simultaneously providing renewable energy for the local grid. …The TID is citing a 2021 study which found that shading 4,000 miles of public water delivery systems with solar panels could save approximately 63 billion gallons of water a year. That’s enough to meet the demands of more than two million people, according to the organization. The solar panels themselves would generate enough energy to represent “one-sixth of the state’s current installed capacity,” according to TID’s website.…

2022-08-04. Where the Clean Energy Jobs Are: 2022. [https://climatenexus.org/climate-issues/energy/clean-energy-jobs-2022/] By ClimateNexus. Excerpt: At the end of 2021, over 3.3 million people worked in wind, solar, efficiency and other clean energy fields, according to the Energy Department’s 2022 U.S. Energy & Employment Report, which uses data from 2021. That’s more than the number of people employed as registered nurses. Like many industries, the energy sector has been hit hard by the COVID-19 crisis, but is experiencing a strong recovery. Energy sector jobs last year grew 4 percent over 2020, while overall U.S. employment only grew 2.8 percent year-to-year. The clean energy sector experienced especially high growth: jobs in net-zero aligned sectors made up nearly 40 percent of total energy jobs in 2021, and emissions-reducing vehicle manufacturing grew 25 percent between 2020 and 2021. Meanwhile, fossil fuel jobs continue to decline, with the coal sector seeing job losses of nearly 12 percent. The continued decline in fossil energy jobs underscores the importance of investing in clean energy jobs and economic diversification in communities historically dependent on fossil fuels. Even as they laid off thousands of American workers, oil and gas CEOs made record profits.…

2022-07-05. Green hydrogen storage system project launched on NREL Colorado campus. [https://www.energy-storage.news/green-hydrogen-storage-system-project-launched-on-nrel-colorado-campus/] By Cameron Murray, Energy Storage News. Excerpt: Hydrogen storage company GKN Hydrogen, gas utility SoCalGas and the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory are collaborating on a new green hydrogen storage solution. The three will work together to deploy two of GKN’s ‘HY2MEGA’ green hydrogen storage subsystems on NREL’s Flatirons Campus in Colorado, US. They will connect to an existing electrolyser and fuel cell at the ARIES (Advanced Research on Integrated Energy Systems) facility at Flatirons. The electrolyser will use renewable energy sources, possibly wind based on photos provided in the press release, to produce hydrogen for storage in GKN’s storage solution. HY2MEGA stores hydrogen in a solid state under low pressure, which can then be converted to produce electricity. The two systems will store a total of 500kgs of hydrogen on-site and GKN said its solution can enable long duration clean energy storage, providing resilient power in case of widespread outages. The three-year project is set to launch by the end of 2022. …“This project is exactly what the ARIES platform was designed for: demonstrate the benefits of a new technology that efficiently stores energy produced from renewable electricity,” said Katherine Hurst, group manager and research scientist at NREL. “It brings together a national laboratory, a clean energy technology developer, and a large utility to work on solutions that help decarbonize the power grid.”.…

2022-06-28. Can Dual-Use Solar Panels Provide Power and Share Space With Crops?. [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/06/28/business/dual-use-solar-panels-agrivoltaics-blue-wave-power.html] By Ellen Rosen. The New York Times. Excerpt: In its 150-year history, Paul Knowlton’s farm in Grafton, Mass., has produced vegetables, dairy products and, most recently, hay. The evolution of the farm’s use turned on changing markets and a variable climate. Recently, however, Mr. Knowlton added a new type of cash crop: solar power. …He had already installed solar panels to provide electricity for his home and barn. When a real estate agent came knocking to see if he was interested in leasing a small portion of his land for a solar array, “she planted the seed that I could do more,” Mr. Knowlton said. …Soon, two small parcels of largely unused land were home to low-to-the-ground panels that produce power. This year, Mr. Knowlton’s farm will go one step further: In a third parcel, solar panels will share space with crops so that both can thrive. This approach is called agrivoltaics — a portmanteau of agriculture and voltaic cells, which transform solar power to electrical power. Also called dual-use solar, the technology involves adjusting the height of solar panels to as much as 14 feet, as well as adjusting the spacing between them, to accommodate equipment, workers, crops and grazing animals. The spacing and the angle of the panels allows light to reach the plants below, and has the added benefit of shielding those crops from extreme heat.…

2022-05-17. Michael Bloomberg Plans a $242 Million Investment in Clean Energy. By Maggie Astor, The New York Times. Excerpt: Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, will announce a $242 million effort on Tuesday to promote clean energy in 10 developing countries. The investment is part of Mr. Bloomberg’s push, announced last year, to shut down coal production in 25 countries and builds on his $500 million campaign to close every coal-fired power plant in the United States. The announcement is tied to a gathering this week in Rwanda hosted by Sustainable Energy for All, an international group working to increase access to electricity in the global south. The money will fund programs in Bangladesh, Brazil, Colombia, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Turkey and Vietnam.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/17/climate/michael-bloomberg-climate-coal.html]

2022-05-13. Lithium Valley: Imperial County big winner in California budget revision. By Janet Wilson, Palm Springs Desert Sun. Excerpt: California Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to add up to $400 million to the 2022-23 budget to accelerate development of a potential huge global supply of lithium and clean energy at the south end of the Salton Sea, …. “Lithium Valley represents an extraordinary economic opportunity for the Imperial Valley and all of California, with the potential to power the transition to clean energy and zero-emission vehicles nationwide — and beyond,” Newsom said. “We’re doubling down on our progress with new investments to develop Lithium Valley while keeping our values of inclusive, green growth and sustainability front and center to ensure communities in the region share in the benefits.” …President Joe Biden and U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm, along with Newsom, have in recent months promoted the little known portion of the state as a major potential provider of global and domestic lithium and clean energy supply.… [https://www.desertsun.com/story/news/environment/2022/05/13/lithium-valley-imperial-county-big-winner-california-budget-revision/9752840002/]

2022-05-06. Hawaii Legislature Calls For Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty. By Andrea Germanos, Common Dreams. Excerpt: Hawaii lawmakers put the state on the path to making history after the Legislature passed a resolution Thursday endorsing a document called the “Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty.” “Hawaii has reminded the world of the climate leadership and spirit communities throughout the Pacific have embodied for decades by calling for the immediate phaseout fossil fuels and… a just transition to ensure the survival and continued flourishing of our peoples and our planet for generations to come,” said Auimatagi Joe Moeono-Kolio, a campaigner with the Fossil Fuel Non-Proliferation Treaty Initiative. …Senate Concurrent Resolution 108, introduced by state Sen. Karl Rhoads (D-13), passed the upper chamber Thursday after clearing the House last month. The measure affirms Hawaii’s commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement, the United Nations Sustainable Development goals, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s targets for greenhouse gas reductions. …Launched in 2020, the treaty initiative is grounded in three pillars, the first of which is immediately ending all new exploration and production of oil, gas, and coal. At the same time, existing fossil fuel production must be phased out in line with the Paris agreement’s 1.5°C threshold for warming, with wealthier nations leading the effort. The third pillar calls for a “peaceful and just transition” to a renewable energy system that provides “real solutions… for every worker, community, and country.”.… [https://www.commondreams.org/news/2022/05/06/hawaii-legislature-calls-fossil-fuel-non-proliferation-treaty]

2022-05-02. The west can cut its energy dependency on Russia and be greener. By Jeffrey Frankel, The Guardian. Excerpt: Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has amplified the importance of national-security considerations in western countries’ energy policies. At the same time, governments must continue to focus on reducing environmental damage – in particular, on cutting greenhouse-gas emissions. Both goals, geopolitical and environmental, are urgent and should be evaluated together.  These two objectives are not necessarily in conflict, as some believe. There are plenty of energy measures the west can adopt that would benefit the environment and further its geopolitical aims. The most obvious steps, especially for the European Union, are sanctions that reduce demand for imports of fossil fuels from Russia. …governments should not prolong the life of coal and should withdraw coal subsidies. The International Monetary Fund has estimated that global energy subsidies (including for oil and natural gas, as well as coal), at either the producer or consumer end, exceed $5tn a year. Direct US fossil-fuel subsidies alone have been conservatively estimated at $20bn annually.… [https://www.theguardian.com/business/2022/may/02/west-energy-depencency-russia-green-ukraine-war]

2022-04-13. ‘Thermal batteries’ could efficiently store wind and solar power in a renewable grid. By Robert F. Service, Science Magazine. Excerpt: How do you bottle renewable energy for when the Sun doesn’t shine and the wind won’t blow? …Massive battery banks are one answer. …Another strategy is to use surplus energy to heat a large mass of material to ultrahigh temperatures, then tap the energy as needed. This week, researchers report a major improvement in a key part of that scheme: a device for turning the stored heat back into electricity. A team at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory achieved a nearly 30% jump in the efficiency of a thermophotovoltaic (TPV), a semiconductor structure that converts photons emitted from a heat source to electricity, just as a solar cell transforms sunlight into power. …The idea is to feed surplus wind or solar electricity to a heating element, which boosts the temperature of a liquid metal bath or a graphite block to several thousand degrees. …TPVs …Funnel the stored heat to a metal film or filament, setting it aglow like the tungsten wire in an incandescent light bulb, then use TPVs to absorb the emitted light and turn it to electricity. …With researchers at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, [Asegun] Henry’s team laid down more than two dozen thin layers of different semiconductors to create two separate cells stacked one on top of another. The top cell absorbs mostly visible and ultraviolet photons, whereas the lower cell absorbs mostly infrared. A thin gold sheet under the bottom cell reflects low-energy photons the TPVs couldn’t harvest. The tungsten reabsorbs that energy, preventing it from being lost. The result, the group reports today in Nature, is a TPV tandem that converts 41.1% of the energy emitted from a 2400°C tungsten filament to electricity.… [https://www.science.org/content/article/thermal-batteries-could-efficiently-store-wind-and-solar-power-renewable-grid]

2022-04-10. Wind Energy Company to Pay $8 Million in Killings of 150 Eagles. By Eduardo Medina, The New York Times. Excerpt: A wind energy company pleaded guilty last week to killing at least 150 eagles at its wind farms and was ordered to pay $8 million in fines and restitution, federal prosecutors said. …ESI [Energy] acknowledged that at least 150 bald and golden eagles had died at its facilities since 2012, and that 136 of those deaths were “affirmatively determined to be attributable to the eagle being struck by a wind turbine blade,” the Justice Department said in a statement. …The company agreed to spend up to $27 million on measures to “minimize additional eagle deaths and injuries,” prosecutors said. …The case comes as the bald eagle, the nation’s symbol whose resurgence is considered one of the greatest conservation stories of the 21st century, faces a new threat: lead poisoning. All but a few hundred bald eagles were presumed dead by the mid-20th century, killed off largely by the widespread use of the synthetic insecticide DDT. A ban on DDT in 1972 and conservation efforts helped the population to rebound. The bald eagle was removed from Endangered Species Act protection in 2007 and its estimated population grew to 316,700 by 2019. …A 2013 study found that between 140,000 and 328,000 birds are killed each year in the United States at monopole turbines. …Roberto Albertani, a professor of mechanical engineering at Oregon State University, said in 2017 that he and his team had devised a system …using cameras to determine if the birds were approaching the blades, triggering on-the-ground inflatable tubes, or “wind dancer” figures, like those often seen at car dealerships, to scare the birds away, Professor Albertani said in a presentation last year. Eagles appear to be “annoyed by anthropomorphic figures,” he said. Professor Ponder said some researchers were looking into using audio signals to keep the birds away from turbines… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/04/10/us/bald-eages-dead-wind-farms.html]

2022-03-28. Solar Cookers International at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) Forum. [Youtube video] By Solar Cookers International. Excerpt: …Approximately 2.6 billion people cook over open fires around the globe and women and girls carry the greatest burdens of this cooking method. Gathering fuel and cooking over open fires increases the risks of rape, premature deaths, burns, and disability. Solar cooking frees women from those burdens with an affordable, healthy, sustainable, off-grid solution. SCI advocates for the adoption of solar cooking to empower women and their families to live healthier and more sustainable lives while alleviating climate change.… [https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ccZR9Np3vWI]

2022-03-16. A high-performance capillary-fed electrolysis cell promises more cost-competitive renewable hydrogen. By Aaron Hodges et al, Nature Communications. Abstract: Renewable, or green, hydrogen will play a critical role in the decarbonisation of hard-to-abate sectors and will therefore be important in limiting global warming. However, renewable hydrogen is not cost-competitive with fossil fuels, due to the moderate energy efficiency and high capital costs of traditional water electrolysers. Here a unique concept of water electrolysis is introduced, wherein water is supplied to hydrogen- and oxygen-evolving electrodes via capillary-induced transport along a porous inter-electrode separator, leading to inherently bubble-free operation at the electrodes. An alkaline capillary-fed electrolysis cell of this type demonstrates water electrolysis performance exceeding commercial electrolysis cells, with a cell voltage at 0.5 A cm−2 and 85 °C of only 1.51 V, equating to 98% energy efficiency, with an energy consumption of 40.4 kWh/kg hydrogen (vs. ~47.5 kWh/kg in commercial electrolysis cells). High energy efficiency, combined with the promise of a simplified balance-of-plant, brings cost-competitive renewable hydrogen closer to reality.… [https://www.nature.com/articles/s41467-022-28953-x]

2022-03-08. The largest remaining tall-grass prairie in Texas is getting solar panels. Environmentalists can’t stop it. By Mary Beth Gahan, The Washington Post. Excerpt: A solar facility on a 3,594-acre tract of land has environmental groups searching for a way to save what they consider a living museum …“We recognize the importance of this native prairie ecosystem,” said Daniel Willard, a biodiversity specialist at Orsted. “One of the best ways to protect biodiversity is the development of clean energy, and we are taking several steps to ensure that development is done in balance with nature.”… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/03/08/texas-prairie-solar-panels-climate-change]

2022-03-01. Forecast for Solar Power Boom: Sunny and Bright. By Nathanael Greene, Nature’s Voice (NRDC). Excerpt: Clean power just keeps winning in the marketplace. According to the federal Energy Administration, wind and solar made up 62 percent of new electric generating capacity in 2019, and 76 percent in 2020. The reason is clear…wind and solar are simply less expensive than dirty fossil fuels. And costs for wind, solar, and battery technologies continue to fall. …In 2021 more than 10,000 megawatts of utility-scale solar projects came online—triple the amount just five years before. …here’s more good news: the Energy Department also found that the disturbed lands that are suitable for solar use—that is, lands denuded or contaminated by prior use, impacted by invasive species, or good for rooftop solar—are about eight times what is needed to decarbonize the whole country…. [https://issuu.com/nrdc/docs/naturesvoice-spring-2022]

2022-02-20. A year after Texas cold spell, study shows renewable energy could help prevent blackouts. By Kasha Patel, The Washington Post. Excerpt: …a recent study shows that electricity blackouts can be avoided across the nation — perhaps even during intense weather events — by switching to 100 percent clean and renewable energy, such as solar, wind and water.[https://www.washingtonpost.com/weather/2022/02/20/texas-energy-winter-renewable-jacobson-dessler-rogan]

2022-01-27. Gas stoves in kitchens pose a risk to public health and the planet, research finds. By Maxine Joselow, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Gas-burning stoves in kitchens across America may pose a greater risk to the planet and public health than previously thought, new research suggests. The appliances release far more of the potent planet-warming gas methane than the Environmental Protection Agency estimates, Stanford University scientistsfound in a study published Thursday in the journal Environmental Science and Technology. The appliances also emit significant amounts of nitrogen dioxide, a pollutant that can trigger asthma and other respiratory conditions. Scientists and climate activistshave increasingly urged homeowners to switch to all-electric stoves, water boilers and other appliances, even as the natural gas industry fights in New York and across the country to keep the signature blue flames of gas-burning stovesas a staple in American homes.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/2022/01/27/gas-stoves-kitchens-pose-risk-public-health-planet-research-finds]

2022-01-24. Science Off the Seashore. By Heather Goss, Eos/AGU. Excerpt: In January 2021, the United Nations launched the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. The initiative encourages partner nations to fund scientific research that “achieves the ocean we want by 2030.” …Ocean thermal energy conversion is a fairly simple concept that could help island nations find independence from fossil fuels, but it’s suffering from the “innovation valley of death.” Read more about the potential of this ocean-based power source…. …The deep-sea mining industry is impatiently waiting for international regulators to take the leash off so they can begin collection of the rare earth elements waiting on the floor of the Clarion-Clipperton Zone in the Pacific. We report on the stakes that are all going to become clear in less than 2 years—for the ocean ecosystems, for the investors in deep-sea mining, and for the renewable energy tech that currently depends on these resources…. [https://eos.org/agu-news/science-off-the-seashore]

2022-01-20. Superstores can meet half their electricity needs with rooftop solar, says a new report. By Tik Root, The Washington Post. Excerpt: From Walmart to Ikea, a report finds that the rooftops of big-box stores offer enough solar potential to power the equivalent of 8 million American homes.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/01/20/superstores-can-meet-half-their-electricity-needs-with-rooftop-solar-says-new-report/]

2022-01-04. These homes are off-grid and climate resilient. They’re also built out of trash. By Nick Aspinwall, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Earthships originally spawned from the arid climate of Taos, maximizing abundant sunlight while squeezing whatever they can from about eight inches of annual rainfall. Each Earthship shares a set of core organs such as a water organization module, which filters and separates water as it moves throughout the house. In the Earthship ecosystem, water is first used for drinking, showering and hand washing before moving to interior plants, such as fig and banana trees, along with hanging gardens of herbs and flowers. The resulting “gray water” is used to fertilize ornamental outdoor plants and can be safely released into the groundwater supply or used in the toilet, from which “black water” is flushed into a septic tank. …Another module controls solar power, which is used primarily for lights and appliances. Earthships use about one-sixth as much power as a conventional house. “You take care of it, it’ll take care of you,” Albury said. “It’s very symbiotic.” A typical Earthship can produce 25 to 50 percent of the food its residents need, .… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/01/04/earthship-houses-climate-change/]

2022-01-03. As U.S. moves toward solar energy, this roofing company hopes ‘solar shingles’ will get homeowners to buy in. By Tik Root, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Thousands of Americans install solar energy systems on their roofs each year. Most commonly, that means solar panels mounted on racks, but another option may become more accessible: solar shingles. Starting Monday, one of the largest roofing companies in the United States will be selling a new solar shingle product. The aim is to drive the cost of installation down and the rate of solar adoption up. …The goal is to lower the cost of rooftop solar by combining roofing and solar installation, said DeBono, …. His traditional roof, he said, cost around $28,000, and the solar panels he installed would be around $24,000, for a total price tag of around $52,000, or about $44,000 after rebates and incentives…. In comparison, he estimated a GAF Energy solar roof would cost approximately $42,000 and drop to around $30,000 after incentives, saving about $14,000. …Rooftop solar on small buildings could theoretically meet a quarter of electricity demand in the United States, a 2016 assessment from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory found. But putting efficient, durable and eye-pleasing solar panels on roofs at a reasonable cost hasn’t been easy. According to the Solar Energy Industry Association, less than 3 percent of single-family homes have any type of solar system installed.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/01/03/solar-energy-roof-shingles-climate/] See also CNBC article, Roofing giant takes on Tesla to make solar roof shingles more affordable.

2022-01-04. These homes are off-grid and climate resilient. They’re also built out of trash. By Nick Aspinwall, The Washington Post. Excerpt: Earthships are off-grid, self-reliant houses built from tires, dirt and garbage that have long been an offbeat curiosity for travelers passing by the ski town of Taos, but suddenly look like a haven for climate doomers. Residents of the 630-acre flagship Earthship community treat their own waste, collect their own water, grow their own food, and regulate their own temperature by relying on the sun, rain and earth, which Reynolds and other adherents call natural “phenomena.” At this Earthship community in New Mexico, renters can give sustainable living a try. Reynolds, 76, has been building these structures — he calls them “vessels” — since the early 1970s when, after graduating from architecture school at the University of Cincinnati, he took up off-road motorcycle racing on the high desert plateau around Taos to try to injure himself to avoid being drafted to the Vietnam War. He never left, attracting interest and eyerolls as dozens of Earthships arose from the dirt.… [https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-solutions/2022/01/04/earthship-houses-climate-change/]

2022-01-02. Coming Soon to This Coal County: Solar, in a Big Way. By Cara Buckley, The New York Times. Excerpt: MARTIN COUNTY, Ky. — In Martin County, Ky., where coal production has flatlined, entrepreneurs are promising that a new solar farm atop a shuttered mine will bring green energy jobs. …For a mountain that’s had its top blown off, the old Martiki coal mine is looking especially winsome these days. With its vast stretches of emerald grass dotted with hay bales and ringed with blue-tinged peaks, and the wild horses and cattle that roam there, it looks less like a shuttered strip mine and more like an ad for organic milk. The mountain is poised for another transformation. Hundreds of acres are set to be blanketed with solar panels in the coming year, installed by locals, many of them former miners. The $231 million project, which recently cleared its last regulatory hurdle, may well be the biggest utility-scale coal to solar project in the country.… [https://www.nytimes.com/2022/01/02/climate/coal-mines-solar-climate.html]

cover for gss book Energy Use

Non-chronological resources

100.org – also The Solutions Project – http://thesolutionsproject.org …specific plans, by locale, for energy mixes that are 100% renewable energy.The Energy Challenge (NY Times) – a series of articles examining the ways in which the world is, and is not, moving toward a more energy efficient, environmentally benign future. 
Green Hotels

National Energy Education and Development Project (NEED) 

Rock the Bike – generate electricity with a bike. 

Solar Estimator – allows you to make calculations of a solar energy photovoltaic system’s expected performance.

Renewable energy potential regional maps from the U.S. DOE Energy Information Administration 

Solar Cookers International (SCI) – Establishes programs in countries around the world to teach people to make and use solar ovens and cookers. Reduces deforestation and saves time for cultures that normally would gather wood for cooking fires. Reduces carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emission in cultures that normally use natural gas or electricity for cooking. See SCI Newsletters

Wind Powering America Programs that help put up wind turbines at school