Renewable Energy

When is Solar Worth It?

two rows of solar panels cover one side of our home's roof

With Australia’s clean energy investment at an all time high and solar costs continuing to fall, is now a good time to get solar for your roof? Here’s a guest post from PowerScout to help you assess your options. Most solar sales pitches extol the virtues of solar power and promise thousands of dollars in…

How to Make a Homemade Solar Oven, out of Cardboard!

Bread baking in a carboard box solar oven, seen from above.

The sun has poured its energy onto the earth for billions of years. The radiating warmth from the sun heats water, warms homes, and grows food. Amidst sweltering summer heat, a solar oven or cooker is a fantastic way to prepare a meal without heating up your home. There are myriad solar ovens available for…

What is the Future of Solar Power?

Solar panels at a solar power plant in Germany

Movies are definitely not the only things that look great in 3D, there is something else that has taken quite positively and effectively to being 3 dimensional. Solar Panels were designed in 3D in 2011 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and they are making waves again with new developments that might provide much needed…

US Places Tariffs on Chinese Solar Panels

In October 2011, SolarWorld and 6 other US manufacturing companies lodged a petition claiming that the dumping of cheap Chinese solar panels onto the market was unfair and prevented them from competing in the manufacture of solar panels. Preliminary investigations suggest that the Chinese government has been providing subsidies to their solar industry to the…

Solar Power Costs Halved and Other Renewables News

The price of solar panels fell by almost 50% over 2011, contributing to a boom year for the solar industry – also contributing of course were deadlines for various solar grants and subsidy programs both here in Australia and over seas. What this means for homeowners of course, is that even if they have missed…

US to Fund New Technologies for Off-Shore Wind Energy

US Energy Secretary Steven Chu has announced a six-year, US$180 million initiative to capture wind energy off American coasts, with an initial US$20 million available this year to start up to four offshore wind energy installations. In choosing projects for this new funding, the Energy Department will be looking for “highly innovative technologies that will…

Three Reasons Solar Systems Are Worth the Cost in the US

Pile of solar panels ready to be installed on a roof

Many homeowners in the US are interested in solar power systems for their homes but are unsure if they are worth the upfront investment. The rising cost of electricity has sent a lot of people looking for alternative solutions, and solar energy is usually among the top alternatives that are considered. One problem people have…

China the world leader in renewables; wind most mature renewable energy: UN report

Wind turbines expanding along a ridge in Galicia, Spain

In 2010 China was the world leader in investment in renewable energy technology according to the UN’s Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2011. Globally investment was up almost one third in 2010 over 2009, at a record US$211 billion, and for the first time developing economies put more into “financial new investment” than developed ones. Global increase…

The Benefits and Limitations of Modern Wind Turbines

Power From the Wind: Achieving Energy Independence by Dan Chiras

We’ve recently had articles on a ground source heat pump and on other alternative energy sources. Now here’s a guest post of the benefits of wind power. Wind energy is the process where wind turbines are converting kinetic energy from the wind into mechanical energy, which again is converted into electricity by a generator. Many…

Weighing the Advantages and Disadvantages of Solar Power

Solar Panels reflect the sunlight

(This article updated March 2012) There are not too many people who really want to go back to with living without our modern appliances like stoves, fridges or air conditioners. The problem is that we need to figure out a way for powering our homes without destroying our world around us. Many are considering solar…

Eighty Percent Global Energy Supply Could Be Renewables: UN

A new UN report shows that nearly 80% of our global energy needs could be supplied by renewablesby 2050  if backed by the necessary government policies. The report, released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on May 9, reviewed six renewable energy technologies: bioenergy, solar, power, geothermal power, hydropower, ocean energy, and wind…

Solar Protest Action in Australia

Members of the solar sector in Australia have pronounced the 2011 Federal Budget, released last week, as “disappointing”. But Australian’s aren’t taking disappointment lying down. The Solar Last Chance Rally today is a response to the NSW Government permanently closing down their Solar Bonus Scheme (notably started by the previous government), and announcing last Friday…