Forget solar, wind and biomass. According to many experts, the way to save the planet, create green jobs, and sever the country’s ties to foreign oil is not through groundbreaking, innovative use of renewable power. They say it has nothing to do with generating any power at all.
Anyone who has ever played in the surf knows the crushing power of waves, and many have schemed of ways to harness that energy and convert it into electricity. Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell both toyed with the notion.
Renewable power sounds good on paper, but for many, it is only something to pontificate about. In reality, for individuals, families and small businesses, switching to renewable power often is not a practical or cost-effective alternative.
Americans can once again pride themselves on setting an example for the rest of the world. In the race to save the planet by producing more power from clean, renewable sources, the United States has taken a commanding lead.
Overeaters aren't the only ones who want to slim down. Renewable power is about doing more with less. With that in mind, the Tempe, Ariz.-based solar technology manufacturer First Solar Inc. is touting the construction of what it calls the largest thin-film solar power plant in North America.
The US Departments of Energy (DOE) and Agriculture (USDA) announced up to $25 million in funding for research and development of technologies and processes to produce biofuels, bioenergy and high-value bio-based products, subject to annual appropriations.
Preliminary findings from a study conducted by McGraw-Hill Construction and the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) note a strong demand for sustainable housing at all income levels, even in the current housing market.
Austin, Texas, is considering building a major solar power plant, according to the Dallas Morning News. Austin’s city electric utility wants to set aside 300 acres of land for a solar array that would be built and owned by San Francisco-based Gemini Solar Development Co.
According to the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Ohio has unveiled a $3.5 million renewable energy program to boost the use of wind power and solar water heating systems in the state. Certified installers can apply for wind power grants rather than individual homeowners.
According to the Los Angeles Times, L.A. Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is advocating a proposal to install enough rooftop solar panels on buildings in the city by 2013 to power 100,000 households now served by the Department of Water and Power (DWP).
For years, solar power was too cost-prohibitive for the average consumer. However, utilities and communities around the country are experimenting with unconventional and more affordable ways to deliver solar power to consumers and businesses, according to Energybiz.
Navigating today's uncertain economic waters demands strong planning, sharp instincts and steady nerves. Fortunately, remodeling provides some ballast during construction downturns. Green remodeling could be an attractive addition to a recessionary survival kit.