Geothermal Resource Definitions

Part 3 of Geothermal Energy Under Our Feet. The total resource base in the United States, both renewable and non-renewable, is very large, with an energy content of over 657,000 billion barrels of oil equivalent (BBOE), or nearly 50,000 times the annual current rate of national energy consumption. Figure 1 shows graphically what the total […]

E85 and Flex Fuel Vehicles

Ethanol is a renewable fuel made from plants. Essentially non-drinkable grain alcohol, ethanol is produced by fermenting plant sugars. It can be made from corn, sugar cane, and other starchy agricultural product. The cellulose in agricultural wastes such as waste woods and corn stalks (also know as “cellulosic ethanol”) can also be used as a […]

Geothermal Energy: Power from the Depths of the Earth

Part 1 of Geothermal Energy: Power from the Depths of the Earth. The Earth’s crust is a bountiful source of energy—and fossil fuels are only part of the story. Heat or thermal energy is by far the more abundant resource. To put it in perspective, the thermal energy in the uppermost six miles of the […]

Small Hydropower Systems

Part 1 of Small Hydropower Systems. If you’re considering building a small hydropower system on water flowing through your property, you have a long tradition from which to draw your inspiration. Two thousand years ago, the Greeks learned to harness the power of running water to turn the massive wheels that rotated the shafts of […]

2010 Clean Energy Vehicle Buyer’s Guide

Introduction Those who depend on foreign oil for transportation fuel have seen prices roller-coaster between $5/gallon and $1.75/gallon and back up again. The economic impact of our dependence on foreign oil could not be clearer. To get off the roller-coaster, smart consumers are looking at the expanding availability of advanced, efficient vehicles, including hybrids and […]

How to Size a Grid-Connected Solar Electric System for Your Home

The easiest way to size your solar electric system is to have a vendor come to your home and perform a site analysis and load assessment. Solar electric vendors have the experience and tools necessary to gather the data needed for the calculations. Most vendors will supply predesigned package systems that range from one kilowatt […]

Passive Solar Design, Options, and Cost

A passive solar home is an exceptional home, differing from standard construction in the thermal integrity of its shell and its well-considered design. The design options, employing the principles and methods described here, are endless. However, workmanship is always extremely important when installing insulation, air sealing the building envelope, and installing the windows. Most successful […]

Renewable Heating and Lighting RESOURCES

Part 14 of Buying and Using Renewable Energy at Home. American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy (ACEEE) ACEEE is a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing energy efficiency as a means of promoting both economic prosperity and environmental protection. ACEEE provides publications and guides on making your home more energy efficient. Alliance to Save Energy […]

Geothermal Heat Pumps & Other Energy Sources

Part 13 of Buying and Using Renewable Energy at Home. One of the most energy-efficient options for heating and cooling your home draws on another form of renewable energy—geothermal energy, or heat from the earth. This is not the hot steam and heat that comes from deep underground (discussed here). Rather, geothermal heat pumps draw […]

Self-Generation Principles: Making Your Own Power/Electricity

Part 5 of Buying and Using Renewable Energy at Home. At first glance, generating your own electricity using renewable fuel sources seems like the ideal way to avoid monthly utility bills. For some homeowners, self-generation is a choice that makes sense for their circumstances and fits into their values. However, self-generation involves investing your money […]

Sort Out Your Choices: Buying Green Power

Just a few years ago, we did not have the ability to choose our electric service. Currently, the electricity industry is undergoing changes that will bring choice to many consumers across the country. Already, utility customers can choose to obtain electricity from clean generation sources—also known as green power. Green power is electricity that is […]

What Renewable Energy Technologies Make Sense for Consumers Now?

Part 2 of Buying and Using Renewable Energy at Home. Many renewable energy technologies make sense for consumers today. Prices have dropped during the past 20 years and the technologies have improved. Using renewable energy is easier than ever. Alternative fuels such as biodiesel and ethanol are becoming more widely available, and new vehicles that […]

The What and Why of Renewable Energy

Part 1 of Buying and Using Renewable Energy at Home. What is Renewable Energy? Certain forms of energy are called “renewable” because these fuel sources are constantly replenished and will not run out. Renewable energy—like the sun and wind—is readily available through-out the United States. Renewable energy technologies take this energy and con-vert it into […]

Wind Energy for the Next Decade

Part 8 of Wind Power for the 21st Century. For the past two years, the wind industry has enjoyed record-breaking growth, and industry experts predict that with the extension of the PTC through 2008, the next two years will be record-breakers as well. The challenge for industry is to maintain the long-term wind energy growth […]

Successful 2006 Large Wind Turbine Projects

Part 5 of Wind Power for the 21st Century. One program R&D project that shows potential for demonstrating a significant increase in overall system performance is the 2.5-MW Liberty wind turbine developed by Clipper Windpower. Clipper completed its prototype in 2005 after only 3 years of R&D. The new machine’s innovative distributed-path powertrain design incorporates […]

Wind Power: Reducing Costs Through Improved Performance

Part 7 of Wind Power for the 21st Century. Large Wind Technologies Although research efforts for the past two decades have led to dramatic reductions in the cost of wind energy, continued incremental improvements to wind turbine performance will lower system costs even further while improving system integration and enhancing technology acceptance. The Wind Energy […]

Department of Energy Leading the Nation’s Wind Energy R&D

Part 1 of Wind Power for the 21st Century. Wind energy technology has come a long way over the past decade. In 1996, the average utility-scale wind turbine was almost as tall as a 12-story building and it produced enough electricity to power about 125 average American homes. At the time, these turbines were considered […]