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Alternative Energy

Solar Providers Battling With Utility Companies

Star Wars – the Utilities Awaken

As Star Wars: The Force Awakens takes the world’s movie theaters by storm, U.S. utilities, the Public Utility Commissions that govern them, and solar energy companies are increasingly fighting to control one particular star – our sun. Last year I wrote about a movement by a government-owned utility in Arizona to effectively kill the rooftop...

New Tech Pulls Carbon Dioxide From Thin Air to Make Fuel

Turning Carbon Dioxide Into Fuel

The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is over, but scientists are still studying the effects of so much hot air concentrated in a single location. All joking aside, it’s time to determine whether any real efforts are being made by real companies and people to address climate change. On one front, at least,...

Electric Grid Will Soon Have Battery Storage

Battery Technology Integral to Electric Grid

All too often technology is a lot of hype followed by disappointment. For example, shouldn’t there be a flying car sitting in my driveway by now? Flying cars might still be years away, but there’s one hyped technology in particular that’s getting close to becoming reality. The technology in question is battery technology. And soon...

Renewable Energy: Electric Rates Raise Fierce Debate

Renewable Energy Faces Power Problems

All U.S. presidents want to leave a legacy from their time in power. For President Obama, I suspect most people would say his main mission in this regard is creating universal, affordable healthcare. Hence the term “Obamacare.” But his energy and climate change efforts are equally ambitious. Take his Clean Power Plan, for example, which...

Wind Power Gaining Ground in U.S. Energy Sector

Riding With the Wind

On August 3, the Obama administration unveiled its Clean Power Plan, which will require the nation to source significantly more energy from renewable sources by 2030. That’s a tall task, but the plan has one trend solidly in its favor. A recent report published by the Department of Energy sees the wind sector booming and...

Texas Electricity Island Creates Negative Energy Prices

Want Free Electricity? Move to Texas

The impossible happened on September 20. In the middle of the night, the spot price of electricity in Texas fell below zero and hit -$8.52 per megawatt hour at its lowest point. The price hovered around zero or less until around 8:15 AM when people started waking up and using power to make their morning...

Wind Power Industry Negatively Impacted by El Niño

El Niño Buffers U.S. Wind Power Dreams

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made it official last week. The current El Niño is classified as a strong event. An El Niño falls into the “strong” category if weekly sea surface temperatures depart from the average by more than two degrees Celsius. In fact, this El Niño has nudged ahead of the...

Translucent Solar Concentrators Solidify Solar Power's Future

Aesthetic Advances Solidify Solar’s Future

As crazy as it sounds, one of the main factors holding back more solar panel installations is their unsightliness. In the United States, a lot of pride is connected to our homes. We want our green lawns. We don’t want black slabs on our roofs. But the industry wants to start giving consumers what they...

Renewable Energy Sector to Benefit from Clean Power Plan

Obama Clears the Way for Clean Power

One of the most impactful aspects of President Obama’s legacy will be his recently released Clean Power Plan. The plan works in tandem with newly issued Carbon Pollution Standards from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants by 870 million tons (or 32%) from 2005...