Green Building

 

A blooming industry, green building is rising with greater public demand, legislative focus, and code and standard mandates. With programs like Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) becoming more popular, contractors are finding new building processes and technologies to be more efficient and environmentally minded. The below articles dive into alternative energies, energy efficiency, the smart grid, and more and include editorial from our annual special issue on the subject.

When it comes to generation and transmission system management, utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) arrays are often spoken of as a problem rather than as a solution. However, today’s sophisticated inverters and plant controls are helping to turn around this negative reputation.

The support for alternative energies, and solar power in particular, remains strong. Renewable power technologies continue to achieve new efficiencies and to become more feasible.

Energy-saving practices, such as rooftop solar panels and increased efficiency through smart lighting and home automation, are becoming mainstays of new construction, spurred on by recent legislation in cities like San Francisco.

Atlanta is the most recent U.S. city to make a green commitment. According to the Sierra Club, 27 cities are pledging to use 100 percent renewable energy by various deadlines. In the past year, more than a dozen joined. The Sierra Club keeps a record on its “Ready for 100” website.

More on Green Building

 
Costa Rica Completes 
Year Of Renewable Energy


Powering entire countries (especially smaller ones) without fossil fuels is possible. In 2016, Costa Rica’s electrical grid mainly used renewable energy, the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) stated in a Jan. 3 press release. The country went 271 days using only renewable-energy production.


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Have Reports of Coal’s Return Been Greatly Exaggerated?


During his presidential campaign, Donald Trump said he would bring coal back to prominence in the United States’ energy mix, a pledge many coal-state residents took with them to the voting booth.


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Ten States Are Effectively 'Blocking the Sun'

A lot has been written, and continues to be written, about states that are actively embracing renewable energy measures and the benefits being reaped from these measures.


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Solar Jobs Census Records Dramatic Growth in 2016

On Feb. 7, The Solar Foundation released the National Solar Jobs Census 2016, an annual report on solar employment in the United States. Despite the energy source’s relatively small role on the national landscape, the solar workforce saw considerable, dramatic growth last year.


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Offshore Wind Breaking Out on the Atlantic Coast

While wind and solar power have been leading the charge in renewable energy growth, other renewable industries have struggled to contribute on the same scale. Offshore wind, for example, has lagged far behind the success of its onshore cousin.


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States Ranked on Energy-Efficiency Efforts

Regardless of what the federal government does or does not do in the coming months and years to incentivize and otherwise promote energy efficiency initiatives, most states are continuing to ramp up their own efforts.


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Island In American Samoa 
Fully Powered By Solar


Energy Storage is a major challenge for the renewable-energy industry. With sufficient storage, when the sun isn’t shining or wind isn’t blowing, intermittent power generation wouldn’t be such an issue.



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