Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Happy Holidays from the Solar and Wind Expo

There is no intellegent life down here
2011 was filled with so many distractions that it is hard to pin point the biggest. 2012 could offer a lot of the same – especially since it will be an election year. In fact, it may be difficult to make predictions for 2012. But all is not lost even though politicians will continue to thrive on accentuating our differences,

Just as in other countries, the population is fed up. The current politicians are ill-equipped to stop the bickering and to work out the problems of today to allow for a future that will benefit us all, equally. Politics-as-usual is coming to an end and we will be witnesses.

The focus of the Solar and Wind Expo is to move the country forward towards a clean energy independent future. I bet most of you agree that this will not be possible without using the current available energy sources (like the Keystone Pipeline) while making the change to a new clean energy a priority.

The good part is we can and will do this. But we can’t wait until the left and the right stop fighting or the next election. If Obama wins and the House and Senate stay as they are, the conservatives will be unhappy and block everything that is proposed – more gridlock for four years. But if the Republicans win the Senate and the Presidency, I can’t see a much brighter future for clean energy either.

Let’s tell the President and Congress that we do not want to make this election about abortion, Mormons or putting judges in jail or we’re going to replace them all.

Action is what is needed in 2012. Occupy Wall Street (OWS) is now occupying people’s homes and they are making a difference because of action not in-action. Whether you disagree or disagree with OWS you have to applaud positive action. We all have our opinions, but this coming year let’s put the differences aside and focus on our commonalities. Clean energy is one of these commonalities and if we need a pipeline now to make things easier while we transition to the future, then okay. But this needs to be the discussion, not blackmail as it is being presented now. Environmentalists will need to compromise as well those who support the expansion of fossil fuels.

The Solar and Wind Expo will continue its mission of showcasing clean energy products and techniques in 2012 and we are planning bigger and better shows than last year. In 2012 we are bringing a new event call Electropalooza to Maryland with the help of electric motorcycles manufacturers and race teams. Electric Motorcycles will race in time trials around a track with chicanes. This should be a good time. The event is coming together well and we have developed a website for those who want to participate. We will eventually incorporate the website into the expo website soon.

Speaking of websites, we are working on redoing The Solar and Wind Expo website and will be hosting our own blog in the near future with some interesting surprises. So if you’ve noticed very few blogs lately, that is because the focus has been on the redo. Stay tuned.

So another year goes by and another approaches, let’s make the necessary changes in 2012 to make a clean renewable energy independence possible. Don’t look back, make it happen. Happy Holidays.

Here is a list of who is up for re-election:

• The 2012 United States House of Representatives elections will be held on November 6, 2012. Elections will be held for all 435 seats, representing the 50 U.S. states. Elections will also be held for the delegates from the District of Columbia and five major U.S. territories.

• 33 of the 100 seats in the Senate being contested in regular elections whose winners will serve six-year terms from January 3, 2013 until January 3, 2019. Additionally, special elections may be held to fill vacancies that occur during the 112th United States Congress. Currently, Democrats are expected to have 23 seats up for election, including 2 independents who caucus with the Democrats, while Republicans are expected to have only 10 seats up for election.

1. Democrats/Independents retiring (6 seats)

 Joe Lieberman of Connecticut (Independent)

 Daniel Akaka of Hawaii

 4.1.3 Jeff Bingaman of New Mexico

 4.1.4 Kent Conrad of North Dakota

 4.1.5 Jim Webb of Virginia

 4.1.6 Herb Kohl of Wisconsin

2. Democrats who have not announced intentions

 4.2.1 Dianne Feinstein of California

 4.2.2 Ben Nelson of Nebraska

3. Democrats/Independents seeking re-election (15 seats)

 4.3.1 Tom Carper of Delaware

 4.3.2 Bill Nelson of Florida

 4.3.3 Ben Cardin of Maryland

 4.3.4 Debbie Stabenow of Michigan

 4.3.5 Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota

 4.3.6 Claire McCaskill of Missouri

 4.3.7 Jon Tester of Montana

 4.3.8 Bob Menendez of New Jersey

 4.3.9 Kirsten Gillibrand of New York

 Sherrod Brown of Ohio

 Bob Casey, Jr. of Pennsylvania

 Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island

 Bernie Sanders of Vermont (Independent)

 Maria Cantwell of Washington

 Joe Manchin of West Virginia

4. Republicans retiring (2 seats)

 Jon Kyl of Arizona

 Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas

5. Republicans seeking re-election (8 seats)

 Richard Lugar of Indiana

 Olympia Snowe of Maine

 Scott Brown of Massachusetts

 Roger Wicker of Mississippi

 Dean Heller of Nevada

 Bob Corker of Tennessee

 Orrin Hatch of Utah

 John Barrasso of Wyoming

Monday, December 12, 2011

Is renewable energy truly a national defense issue?

There has been a lot of talk in the news and in politics since that fateful day, Sept. 11, 2001, about the need to end global funding of terrorist factions, and justly so. The playbook rhetoric has always been that we take the war to them, and we did, that we find where the funding is coming from and stop it, and we did, sort of.

Terrorism exists on ideology and money. Without money it is impossible for a terrorist group to buy weapons, organize training camps or bribe officials in locations where training operations take place. Our government’s policies favor invading or putting in place sanctions to force countries that harbor terrorists to our will. These tactics haven’t worked in Cuba. After enduring years of US economic sanctions, Cuba is now looking to China to help it find oil 60 miles from Key West. This proves that isolation only creates strange bedfellows and that these tactics are so counterproductive that they do is create more problems. What will Cuba do with these profits, hopefully not harbor terrorist?

Invading other countries is a bad choice and often backfires. Help from other countries isn’t always there and the human toll is priceless. Yes we have triumphed in Iraq, or so it seems but time will tell. We can’t stay on this course any longer, we just can’t.

Terrorist attacks cost a small amount when compared to the funds they spend in developing their terrorist infrastructure, which cost perhaps billions of dollars to set up and maintain. Vast sums are spent on recruitment, training camps, conventional and unconventional weapons, intelligence gathering, various forms of propaganda, and other activities.

The methods used to acquire these funds are nothing new and have been around for decades, i.e. drugs and oil profits. The US has done little to curtail the influx of fossil fuels. Fossil fuels that fund the very terrorism that we then must fight. How many wake-up calls must we have before people in power act see this?

Tired of waiting for government action, the American public is taking matters into its own hands. They are saving more, fighting for their legal rights and buying locally to help themselves get out a financial quagmire while Congress continues its lackluster performance. The 2008 economic crash left the United States people no choice but to rethink the place of our country in this new global economy.

The United States needs to make the change to clean electric cars and solar, wind and geothermal technologies as quickly as possible to help lead the country and the world out of this dependence. There is no more time to wait. Countries all over the world are making quick work of the change and we must too. We should take the message to Congress that this too is of national importance and must be put in the defense budget. This is the language they understand.

Money can be reallocated from research on worthless technologies or new line items should be added. It’s that important.

The defense expenditures for 2010 were as follows:
  • Operations and maintenance $283.3 billion +4.2%
  • Military Personnel $154.2 billion +5.0%
  • Procurement $140.1 billion −1.8%
  • Research, Development, Testing & Evaluation $79.1 billion +1.3%
  • Military Construction $23.9 billion +19.0%
  • Family Housing $3.1 billion −20.2%
  • Total Spending $683.7 billion +3.0%

DOD Programs: 
  • F-35 Joint Strike Fighter $11.4 billion +2.1%
  • Ballistic Missile Defense (Aegis, THAAD, PAC-3) $9.9 billion +7.3%
  • Virginia class submarine $5.4 billion +28.0%
  • Brigade Combat Team Modernization $3.2 billion +21.8%
  • DDG 51 Aegis-class Destroyer $3.0 billion +19.6%
  • P–8A Poseidon $2.9 billion −1.6%
  • V-22 Osprey $2.8 billion −6.5%
  • Carrier Replacement Program $2.7 billion +95.8%
  • F/A-18E/F Hornet $2.0 billion +17.4%
  •  Predator and Reaper Unmanned Aerial System $1.9 billion +57.8%
  • Littoral combat ship $1.8 billion +12.5%
  • CVN Refueling and Complex Overhaul $1.7 billion −6.0%
  • Chemical Demilitarization $1.6 billion −7.0%
  • RQ-4 Global Hawk $1.5 billion +6.7%
  • Space-Based Infrared System $1.5 billion +54.4%

The 2012 Defense-related budget breakdown shows where all the money is going to be spent:
  • DOD spending $707.5 billion Base budget + "Overseas Contingency Operations"
  • FBI counter-terrorism $2.7 billion At least one-third FBI budget.
  • International Affairs $5.6–$63.0 billion At minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget
  • Energy Department, defense-related $21.8 billion
  • Veterans Affairs $70.0 billion
  • Homeland Security $46.9 billion
  • NASA, satellites $3.5–$8.7 billion Between 20% and 50% of NASA's total budget
  • Veterans pensions $54.6 billion
  • Other defense-related mandatory spending $8.2 billion
  • Interest on debt incurred in past wars $109.1–$431.5 billion Between 23% and 91% of total interest
  • Total Spending $1.030–$1.415 trillion

My proposal is this. Add one more line item: 
  • Strategic fossil fuel import reduction $431.5 billion - to be used to finance renewable energy

This amount is equal to the amount that is paid in interest for past wars alone. Maybe we can put an end to having to fight those types of wars. We must make it a National Priority.

George Lopez

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

America is split – just about down the middle – half on the left and half on the right

 If you told me that every football game this season was going to end in a tie, I would not watch football. I feel the same way about politics; I just can’t watch it anymore. At least with football if you stop watching, the pain goes away. The opposite is true with politics. If you leave them alone they will steal the farm (Oh wait, they have).

We need to take responsibility for our votes. The left blames the right and the right blames the left. In the end it’s the voter who loses.

The almost even division of the country has created this problem; and in a way this is a good thing, because this system does not give either side supreme power and this increases the need for compromise between the two sides. But they all have dug in their heels and will not allow common reasoning to enter the conversation.

So the only thing the left and the right can do is hope that the independent vote will help sway the election their way. So in other words, billions of dollars are spent to sway a small minority.

This is money that in my eyes can be used for better things, but that argument is for another time. What is so disingenuous on the part of both sides is that they never repay their debt by helping an independent candidate get any recognition. Not ever. It boggles my mind.

What does all this have to do with renewable energy and electric vehicles? If you look around you’ll see that the environment hasn’t gotten any better and the cost of fossil fuels hasn’t gone down. History shows that this is a never-ending trend. But the cost of solar and wind and geothermal is going down. According to the World Energy Council (WEC), global demand for natural gas is likely to increase by 44% between 2007 and 2035 due to increasing global population and growing demand. This will increase the cost of that fuel. Count on it.

Bloomberg news reported a couple of days ago on India pushing down the price of solar even further:

India, the world’s third-largest energy consumer, is cutting solar-power costs to a record by forcing project developers into auctions, helping avoid the spiraling renewable-energy subsidies that have hurt Europe.

The lowest bid in India’s latest national auction on Dec. 2 came from Solairedirect SA, France’s second-largest producer, which offered to sell photovoltaic electricity at 7,490 rupees ($147) a megawatt-hour. That’s 38 percent below the average price set in a December 2010 auction and about 30 percent cheaper than the global average for solar projects.

They go on to say:

The auction’s results for $700 million of projects shows the price of solar power in India is closing in on the cost of coal-fired generation faster than expected as photovoltaic equipment costs plunge, said Mohit Anand, senior consultant at Bridge to India Pvt., a New Delhi-based advisory firm.

Solar power may equal the cost of fossil fuel-based electricity sold to commercial businesses as early as 2014 or 2015 if prices continue to fall at the rate seen in India over the past 12 months, Anand said. KPMG LLP predicted in May solar power may be as cheap as coal by 2017. The government said in an August report that solar could reach grid parity by 2019.

Read the story here.

While the country is in gridlock and the media only wants to promote its own agenda, the renewable energy industry could make a difference by promoting alternative energy friendly political candidates. There is a great opportunity to make difference going forward and maybe this two-party system is hurting our chances to further the renewable energy industry in a way that is fair. Is the only way left to introduce new ideas is to introduce a new party?

While Ice caps melt, ground water is dries up, the housing market flounders and economies all over the world are at the mercy of fossil fuel providers, the price of clean, renewable energy continues to go down. There has been no better time to make the change to clean renewable energy, but all the left and the right can do is argue. HELLO! CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME?!! George Lopez.

Monday, November 21, 2011

The State of the Industry: Wind Making Important Gains, Facing Legislative Uncertainty

Workers preparing the base for
Turbine at Chesapeake college in
Of all the renewable energy technologies available, wind energy appears to be the one most capable of being harnessed to a true utility scale. Cumulatively, wind energy production has soared 30% in the last ten years. The Global Wind Energy Council tallies the number of wind energy jobs at over 400,000. Within the last decade large wind farms have begun to dot the nation, particularly in the Midwest and Deep South, where strong winds and open country both exist in optimal quantities.

Wind has become a part of many conventional utility companies’ portfolios where it has proved to be anything but unreliable. During the scorching summer heat of 2011, Texas electrical grids buckled under soaring demand and conventional modes of production could not keep pace. Wind turbines picked up the slack and kept the air conditioning and lights on in thousands of Texas homes.

While the wind sector has experienced its share of the attrition from the global economic downturn, the worldwide wind picture appears strong, with European markets stable and China claiming the top spot in terms of global wind energy production.

On the other hand, the United States has seen its share of production in the wind sector decline by half in 2011. This year has seen the nation’s first planned offshore wind farm, Cape Wind, struggle with bureaucratic red tape and a fierce backlash from citizens concerned with the sight, sound and placement of the turbines. These factors, combined with wrangling on behalf of the utility companies and lawsuits have caused the gears of Cape wind to grind to a halt.

More menacing is the prospect that Congress, (who recent polling shows is tied with Hugo Chavez at 9% for popularity among American citizens) gripped by the hysteria of austerity, will decide to scale back or entirely dispense with the federal grants making much of utility scale wind possible. If this happens, analysts and industry leaders predict that, while it will not kill the wind industry in the United States, it will greatly slow its advance.

At a time when the nation badly needs jobs, it makes little sense to gut the funding from an internationally growing industry. It goes beyond poor judgment and into the realm of outright cruelty, when one takes into account the thousands of Americans who will lose their jobs should Congress decide to remove these important and necessary subsidies.

Contrary to what some would have us believe, the oil, natural gas and especially the nuclear energy sector all had substantial subsidies, grants and miscellaneous perks afforded them by Congress in efforts to turn them into the behemoths of industry they are today. At a time when Marcellus Shale is generating revenue hand over fist, it is nonsensical to advocate for the retention of subsidies for the fossil fuel industry while demanding that government cut aid to clean energy.

On November 2, 2011, bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives to extend the renewable energy production tax credits. The legislation is H.R. 3307: “American Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit Extension Act of 2011.” I strongly urge anyone who reads this post to write, email or call their congressman or congresswoman and urge them to cosponsor this bill and demand that they advocate for America’s rightful clean and renewable energy future.

- By Richard Harrod

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Solar and Wind Expo wraps up in Massachusetts – Part Deux

Ted Dillard showing his
electric motorcycle
The 2012 Massachusetts Solar and Wind Expo will be held the first weekend of November in the Royal Plaza Trade Center in Marlborough. We are looking forward to growing the number of vendors at the show and people walking through the door by expanding on our advertizing campaign, engaging our current partners early and adding more.

Although the Expo is not for another year we stay engaged in the Massachusetts energy community and will continue our mission of promoting renewable energy any way we can. One of those ways will be to point out misinformation and injustice anytime we see it.

I recently read that the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound, a Cape Wind opponent, has recently received a large contribution so it can continue to fight this much needed and good-for-everyone project. A quick search on Wikipedia revealed the following: The Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit self-styled environmental organization dedicated to the opposition of the Cape Wind project[1] and to the long-term preservation of Nantucket Sound.[2] Alliance membership and allies include wealthy residents of Cape Cod, executives in fossil fuel industries, some local towns, Chambers of Commerce, several environmental groups, many fishing and recreation groups, and public figures including billionaire oil heir William Koch, former mining executive Doug Yearley, former candidate for U.S. President and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, Attorney General Tom Reilly, and Congressman Bill Delahunt.[1][3][4] Its current president is Charles McLaughlin of Harwich. Among its directors have been Dan Wolf, President and CEO of airline Cape Air, along with former candidate for Massachusetts governor and convenience store baron Christy Mihos (source: public records at the Massachusetts Division of Corporations).
A self-styled environmental organization dedicated to the opposition of the first offshore wind farm? Cape Wind is a project that is decades behind the rest of the world and would create many short and long term jobs as well as reduce our dependence on fossils. That is why the Solar and Wind Expo will continue to do its job: Pointing out issues like this, promoting and creating demand for renewables until we no longer need fossil fuels and beyond.
Vadim Polikov of Astrum Solar
demonstrates solar power to
a very interested attendee to the
Mass. Solar and Wind Expo
I want to thank the folks who helped make the Expo a success. They were instrumental in spreading the word and believed in us from the beginning:
And the many who attended and are now evaluating their energy choices
Look for future blogs where we’ll tell you about plans for the 2012 Maryland Expo. We are putting together more seminars, more EVs--including the first ever Electropalooza. Electropalooza will showcase factory and homemade electric motorcycles and cars and their capabilities on a closed circuit track. Don’t miss it. Save the date!
George Lopez

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Solar and Wind Expo wraps up in Massachusetts and now looks to Maryland

The kids had fun on
Ted Dillards Custom

It was a beautiful weekend in Marlborough, Massachusetts, on November 4-6th. Over 2000 people interested in renewable energy came through the door and were welcomed by solar and wind energy companies, Segways, electric cars, an electric motorcycle and electric bikes.

The free seminars were very popular and all classes were well attended. The most popular classes were those on solar leasing, wind and geothermal.

The weather cooperated the entire weekend had sun and temperatures in 60s. A week earlier they had a 30-inch snowfall and all was melted by the time we arrived. The folks at the Royal Plaza Trade Center were great and treated us very well. The guys at Capital Convention Services even threw in the wall-to-wall carpeting. We extend a big thank you to Pat Silva and Erik Palm and the entire staff of the Trade Center.

A week earlier due to the storm Massachusetts had been hit with a massive power outage and the Hotel had become one of the staging areas for the reconnection efforts. While folks on TV lamented about how the electric company was not doing enough, we were treated to an incredible demonstration. I have never seen so many boom trucks in one location in my life. The parking lot had generators running around the clock with staging area for poles and other needed items. The lobby was deployment central for hundreds of workers from all over the country. The poor guys had to take their clothes with them every day because they did not know if they would come back to this hotel or another. By the time the Expo began setting up, the entire state of Massachusetts had power. My hat goes off to National Grid and all the guys who gave their all to get it done.

Now we focus on Maryland and the plans are taking shape. We are putting together a great event, bigger and better than last year. The first ever “Electropalooza” will take place in May along with the Expo. We are expecting electric motorcycles and cars from all over to descend on Timonium Fairgrounds. Stay tuned.

George Lopez
 in our Key West Headquaters.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The State of the Industry: Ray of Sunshine Winds its Way through Pennsylvania State Legislature

Over the past year Pennsylvania has been a tough spot for the solar industry. Solar power benefited greatly from the enacting of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Program in 2008, which created a $100 million fund for residential consumers and business owners to tap into to help offset the cost of going solar.

This created a boom in solar installations, but now the fund is all but depleted and state has outpaced its renewable portfolio standard carve out for solar, meaning that the value of SRECs (the certificates or credits generated based on kilowatts of solar installed and then sold back into the grid) in Pennsylvania has tumbled from over $300 to around $50 over the last year.

This crash of SREC prices and disappearance of subsidies is compounded by a less than proactive approach from the Governor’s Office in Harrisburg. Governor Corbett has focused almost all energy policy on the exploitation of natural gas from Marcellus Shale. Additionally he has banned state agencies from investing in infrastructure upgrades or repairs that involve the use of renewable technologies.

Many companies are diversifying or relocating, opening offices in more renewable energy friendly states like New Jersey or Massachusetts or simply leaving the state altogether. The state’s share of solar jobs has gone from near 7000 to under 5000 in the course of one year.

The one ray of sunshine in this landscape is coming from a new proposed law entitled “Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards Act” (HB 1580) sponsored and promoted by State Representative Chris Ross (R – Chester County). The bill would increase the solar carve-out in the Pennsylvania’s RPS to .5% and also close the state’s borders to purchases of SRECs from outside Pennsylvania.

Rep. Chris Ross
Rep. Ross has been buoyed by a tremendous amount for support. Legislators were signing on as cosponsors before the legislation was even written. As it stands now, the bill is before the Consumer Affairs committee. It is not known for certain when the bill will make it out of their deliberations and to a vote on the assembly floor, but experts in the industry believe it will not only pass, but will also be signed by Governor Corbett if it makes it to his desk.

HB 1580 is a very promising initiative and, assuming it passes, should stabilize the solar industry in Pennsylvania. It will take longer for the industry to undergo the necessary market shakeout and for supply to come into line with demand. Nonetheless, it is more than a little encouraging to see local lawmakers fighting for the jobs and welfare of the solar industry and understanding the promise that renewable energy holds, not just for Pennsylvania, but for the United States and beyond.

- by Richard Harrod

Monday, October 17, 2011

Annapolis Boat Show - Part Deux - The Power Weekend

Can one expect Green initiatives at a power boat show? Well, yes, particularly on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay. The US Powerboat Show held in Annapolis last weekend showcased a few enthusiastic vendors that offered sustainability as well as performance.

Greenline Hybrids
Most notable in the water was the Greenline Hybrid, two beautiful and comfortable boats made in Europe. What sets them apart is the company’s philosophy: “We want to keep our most beautiful boating spots in the same pristine condition as when we first discovered them. We want to enjoy the untouched beauties of the boating world for years to come and pass them on to our children and grandchildren.” To fulfill this vision, they have devised a hybrid engine that allows cruising on the sun’s energy supplemented by diesel power when needed. Running on solar electric power enables a quiet, pollution-free ride, much like the sailboat experience, at sailboat speed (up to 6 knots) – up to 20 miles at 4 knots. When it is necessary to get somewhere quickly, such as trying to outrun a storm, the diesel can be kicked in increasing the speed up to 15 knots. 

Greenline's 40 Hybrid

The charge from the six 1.3kW solar panels built into the hard top, and the hybrid drive that charges the lithium batteries when the diesel is running or the sun is shining, allows the boat to run for several days without the diesel. The solar panels have been built to operate in a marine environment and they can be walked upon. The manufacturer says that due to the design of the hull, the boat burns “…up to 4 times less fossil fuel per nautical mile than comparable planning hulls, reducing the pollution by 75%.” Both the 33-footer and the 40-footer are impressive vessels that make a very strong environmental statement (

On a smaller scale, the 23-foot ElectroCruise solar-assisted cruiser was in the water equipped with solar panels that power a Ray Electric 4HP outboard. The little lobster boat hulled cruiser has a hardtop covered in solar panels and depending on the number of batteries installed can cruise up to almost five hours at 7 knots. The full line of “e-boats” is designed for all-day electric power cruising with a range of up to 12 hours on a single charge, depending on the model. The electric outboards, ranging from 2.5 to 4HP are made in the USA. The Ray Electric is, according to the manufacturer, “the first electric outboard to be designed and patented as a primary source of power,” rather than just for trolling. Coupled with the charge from the sun, use of the electric outboard makes for a relaxing, non-polluting, quiet ride (
Ray Electric Motor

German-made, Torqeedo displayed its line of electric outboards, lithium batteries and distinctive propeller design. Models ranged from kayak motors to those that can take provide almost 10HP. The system includes a remote throttle information display that details battery charge status, remaining range, speed over ground, and input power (

Duffy Electric Boats
Locally, SJ Koch Electric Boat Rentals displayed its incredibly cute rental American-made Duffy Electric Boats, that are not solar powered, but electric plug-ins. These quiet little boats hold up to 10 people for a quiet day on the water and are rentable in three locations in Maryland (
Green on shore transportation was featured too with Bikes Go Green, a family-run business from Virginia. Their foldable Volto bikes, made in China, operate by traditional pedaling or electrically via a lithium-ion battery powered motor. Either way, they are emission free (

Bikes Go Green

Of course, there’s the other side of the coin too – the mega-motored muscle boats that probably use more fuel in one afternoon than the average neighborhood. There was one outboard that produced an astounding 537HP and looked to me like it was dressed in a Superman outfit. Even so, there was a lot of talk about fuel efficiency.

The boat show management is slowly moving toward recognition of the importance of sustainability. The show brochure marked off an area for green boating where several of the dealers mentioned above were located. The management is awaiting a waste audit of trash collected during the sailboat show the previous weekend, so we are hopeful that there will be some recycling stations available next year in and around the show.

At both the power and sail shows, there is a growing appetite for sustainability and stewardship of the Chesapeake Bay. We hope that boaters will support the manufacturers and dealers of these products thereby doing as we are at The Solar and Wind Expo – creating demand and building markets for green boating products. That is good for the economy, for clean air, clean water and healthy lives.

by Elvia Thompson

Friday, October 14, 2011

RECs should be divided into commercial and residential

Let’s take look at the use and intent of Renewable Energy Credits (REC). RECs are intended to make polluting energy producers pay a surcharge for continuing to operate in the manner that they do, the charge is undoubtedly passed on to the consumer of that energy. The money is later used to help pay down the cost of Solar panels, Wind Turbines and in some cases Geothermal and other clean energy methods. This is the most prevalent system in America.
SRECs in PA have crashed
over the last few years
( source -

Every time your Renewable Energy system makes 1,000 kilowatt hours, it makes 1 SREC (the “S” is for solar in this case). You then sell the REC to the polluter and everyone wins. That is if the price of the REC is high. The RECs are traded in an open market, which in turn make them unstable.

In Europe they prefer feed-in tariffs, a policy mechanism designed to accelerate investment in renewable energy technologies. It achieves this by offering long-term contracts to renewable energy producers, usually based on the cost of generation of each different technology.

The first form of feed-in tariff believe it or not, was implemented in the US in 1978 under President Jimmy Carter, who signed the National Energy Act. This Act included five separate Acts, one of which was the Public Utility Regulatory Policies Act. The purpose of the National Energy Act was to encourage energy conservation and the development of new energy resources, including renewable energy such as wind, solar and geothermal power.

Which system is better depends on who you ask and maybe even what political flavor they enjoy. The feed-in tariff is a policy that says we are going to do this and we are going to pay for it, for the good of our society. Germany has taken this approach and no one can argue that they are doing a great job with this system.

The REC market is different in that depending on what the credit is worth at the time of the energy systems sale and installation has a direct bearing on the sale itself. In other words when the price of RECs is down, the renewable energy system becomes more expensive.

It also stands to reason that this unstable market system has the ability to delay the nations conversion to renewable energy, because by making the consumer pay a higher cost today than yesterday is never a good idea and sends the wrong message. This is what happened in Pennsylvania. Unless of course that is what the intent was from the start.

One big flaw with the REC market system as it exists is that it does not differentiate between residential and commercial installations. In a commercial installation the amount of RECs that are made available to the owner, be it a renewable energy plant or a large commercial application is higher and quickly floods the market with REC paper. This in turn brings the value of RECs down and hinders the ability to buy and sell residential installations. The residential market could account for the biggest amount of installations in the US and also in the amount of jobs that could be created if allowed to flourish.

So it would seem to make sense to split RECs into two or more categories or maybe make the residential RECs worth a set amount across the entire US and make the mandatory percentage higher or unlimited. Another way is to make residential credit worth two or more times that of its commercial counterpart or make it so the commercial credits do not go towards the quota but are worth the same amount as the residential. The renewable energy industry is new and it needs to get proper support to continue to grow. This support must come from strong leadership and this is one suggestion that could help sustain the industry.

by George Lopez

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Public Opinion seems to be oil and gas’ game

Last night I received an email from a friend asking my opinion of a graph that purportedly demonstrated that renewable energy is not worth the investment. This is not the first time that something like that has been sent to me. Why are so many people taking the time to produce such graphs and to rotate them around the net? What a waste of energy. Or is it?

It was a confusing graph with many curves and comments and made no sense whatsoever. But nevertheless, it was sure to make the over credulous think about keeping the status quo. However, the time for energy conversion is here and it is only a matter of time before we make the change. But it will take some work on our part. Sure we could make graphs that contend that renewable energy will make your hair grow back and that it will make the price of college education go down, but that is not necessary.

The tide has turned already. In watching the republican debates, it is refreshing to see the candidates speak about drilling, but staying away from falsehoods about renewable energy. They must know that tide of public opinion has turned in favor of renewable energy and to speak against would mean sudden political death.

Look around and you will see the change is happening. Spray insulation, low wattage bulbs such as LED, energy saving appliances and passive house standards are just a few of the things that are being implemented by those who want to be ahead of the curve. You have to believe that the cost of energy will always go up because historically that has been the way. Those who do not transition to renewable energy and electric transportation now will be the ones who feel the squeeze later.

That is the important message we should be giving to those who say renewable energy is not worth the investment.

Turn on the TV today and you get a confusing collage of clean natural gas, coal and gasoline efficient vehicles while some of the same companies are touting turbines and electric cars. The change is here and all of us should embrace it together and now.

Mitsubishi is beginning to promote their electric cars as is represented in the following video, joining the ranks of the LEAF and the VOLT. They will soon be joined by BMW, FORD and others, the future is here, don’t stay in the past.

 by George Lopez

Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Vermont Aims for 90% Renewable Energy by 2050

The Vermont Department of Public Service released a draft Comprehensive Energy Plan, calling for 90% of the state's energy to come from renewables by 2050. The ambitious plan replaces a 2008 plan that called for 25% renewable energy by 2050. ...
Water and Renewables: What Are the Options?

One approach to reducing greenhouse gases has been more reliance on renewable energy. But energy projects, both conventional and renewable, typically require large amounts of water. That means the long-term physical and legal availability of water ...
POLL: Strong majority of Marylanders support offshore wind power
Delmarva Now

Meanwhile, a moderate-sized wind farm (500 megawatts) would create about 2000 manufacturing and construction jobs over five years and 400 long term operations jobs, according to the Maryland Energy Administration (MEA). The total economic impact of ...
Siting rules for wind farms in WI still stuck
Chicago Tribune

AP Hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in potential economic development are in limbo as Wisconsin officials continue to argue over new siting rules for wind farms. The Wisconsin State Journal reports ( ) the new rules were ...
Analysis: Solar installers thrive as panel costs slide

Solar panels are seen in the parking lot of 1929 building Walter J Towers, near downtown Los Angeles, California August 26, 2011. By Krishna Das (Reuters) - A steep drop in the price of solar panels has been a boon to the companies that install the ...

Monday, October 10, 2011

The Annapolis boat show exhibitors are embracing Green

I feel so blessed to live a stone's throw from Annapolis and to be able to visit the biggest and oldest sail boat show in America, now in its 42nd year. Some may say that sailboats are already green because they are not fuel intensive like motor boats. They are right. But they are not stopping there; the sailboat culture embraces conservation. A tour of the Annapolis Sailboat show on Saturday was not only fun but enlightening.

The emphasis on energy saving and conservation was everywhere. The first thing we noticed was the placement of "eco-stations," trash and recycling bins that had been set up in select locations by WasteStrategies of Annapolis, Md. in partnership with Annapolis Green. They were set up to help event goers separate recyclable trash from non-recyclable waste. It was very effective; we saw person after person look at the graphic instructions and then separate their waste. It was so effective that we found ourselves clapping a couple of times.

"Our containers have received broad acceptance, at Eastport Yacht Club's Boat Show Bash, at the boat show itself and at others locations since we debuted them last month. At the Boat Show Bash we were able to recycle 50% and that was a huge success; with proper planning we will get to 75% next year," said John Nicklin, Managing Member of WasteStrategies.

Beautiful boats abound, lots of them were demonstrating small wind turbines and/or solar panels or had them as an option. We ran into Meghan Mathews of Yacht 2 Be Green, whose entire booth was dedicated to greening your yacht.

They carried LED lighting, wind turbines and all types of energy saving products and "soon will carry a line of Solar Panels," according to Meghan.

Yacht 2 Be Green also has a charitable arm called Sailors Without Borders whose mission is to have cruising sailors transport school supplies and other materials to needy kids in out of the way places.

Oyster Marine 655
 We saw a 65 foot Oyster with one of the best layouts I've seen, with a hundred-foot mast, retractable sail, it was like a big playground that would look great with me as Captain, but I digress...

We met a man who was demonstrating a neat way of recycling waste plastic.

Rod Sato, Vice President of E-N-ergy was standing next to the Blest Be-h desktop unit that can convert plastic into oil that can run generators and other engines. He was converting the plastic into something useful as we watched! The unit uses 1 kilowatt of electricity to convert 1 kilogram of plastic into 1 liter of oil, at a cost of around US $0.25. The oil can then be further refined back through the machine into gasoline, kerosene, and diesel. A small amount of ash is left over, and the off-gasses are turned into CO2 and water with a catalytic converter, or can be used to run a generator." The process is called pyrolysis- or gasification, and is a tried and true method for converting almost any type of material into energy.

 Material is super heated in the absence of oxygen- so does not combust, but vaporizes into gas. Since there is no combustion, there are no toxic gasses released, so the process is relatively clean," said Sato.

And there were several other booths featuring eco-friendly products. Another thing we noticed was that boaters embrace non-toxic stainless steel cookware rather than non-stick cookware that was so prevalent just a few years ago.

What a great event this was, with so much promise. The oceans may soon see benefits from all the good people working together to find solutions to the waste problem that we face in the world. Next weekend we get to see the power boaters at the same venue and we will report on their achievements.

Bon Voyage!

by George Lopez

Friday, October 7, 2011

The Annapolis boat show is here

Sylvia Earle
Years ago when the Googleplex proudly debuted Google Earth, renown American oceanographer Sylvia Earle told Google execs that they had a great product but that it wasn’t really Google Earth, but “Google Dirt” because there was no mapping of ¾ of the planet – that is, the oceans. Red-faced, probably, they set to work with Dr. Earle and completed mapping of the oceans too. Dr. Earle was right on point when she said, “Without blue, there is no green.” Our planet is regulated by the oceans. Our people are fed by the oceans. Even deep inland the effect is profound.

The production of energy from fossil fuels affects the oceans and the land. We know how oil spills from drilling and cargo tanker accidents affects nature, but there is a big negative effect from air pollution as well. Too much carbon dioxide and shrinking amounts of ozone high in the atmosphere kill phytoplankton – the basis of life in the ocean. When we think of renewable energy we need to expand our thoughts to the ocean, the Earth’s mother, who feeds us and brings us weather regulating the pulse of the Earth and humankind.

For the next two weeks my hometown of Annapolis, Maryland, will be awash in boats – even more than usual. Two of the nation’s biggest boat shows, one each for sail and power, brings many visitors and locals into our charming downtown to see the latest and greatest in vessels and accessories. The enthusiasm for boating and enjoying the Chesapeake Bay, which is evident in Annapolis all-year long anyway, is magnified. There is a movement toward Green Boating, using eco-friendly products and being very careful to put no trash in the waters. There also are entrepreneurs who are taking it a step further. Last year a hybrid solar powerboat was introduced – the Greenline. It has solar panels on the top and on the deck and can go all day at a reasonable speed powered by the sun. If needed, an auxiliary diesel engine can kick in, but is usually not needed.

The point of this is that we need to think of new ways of living, working and playing if we are to have a habitable planet in the future. Whether our passions are mountain biking or sailing, we need make every decision as if our lives depend on it… because they do.

by Elvia Thompson

Thursday, October 6, 2011

University of Maryland Finishes in First Place Overall & Appalachian State Wins People’s Choice Award at DOE Solar Decathlon 2011

Seven of the 19 Houses Built by Student Competitors Produced More Energy Than They Consumed Under Mostly Cloudy Skies

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 concluded this weekend on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C. Approximately 4,000 collegiate students from five countries on four continents invested countless hours of time and tireless effort to participate in this prestigious, clean energy competition. In spite of the cloudy and rainy weather during a majority of the contest days, seven out of the 19 highly energy efficient solar-powered houses designed by the student competitors still produced more energy than they consumed. Additionally, student team members led more than 357,000 tours to share the energy-saving features of their houses with the public. In the end, the University of Maryland was crowned the overall winner. At Saturday evening’s Victory Reception, Appalachian State University won the People’s Choice Award for the public’s favorite Solar Decathlon house, a poll in which more than 92,000 votes were cast by visitors, fans and consumers.

The Solar Decathlon is an award-winning competition that challenges collegiate teams from around the world to design, build, and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The 2011 teams and their houses represented a broad range of design solutions, geographic locations and climates, and were targeted toward urban, suburban and rural settings. The houses were intended for different housing markets, including lower-income, disaster relief, retirement, and single family.

“The Solar Decathlon’s impact is threefold,” said Richard King, director of the Solar Decathlon for the U.S. Department of Energy. “Over the last two years, the student competitors have received unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce. Visitors and consumers learned firsthand that affordable, energy-efficient features in these innovative houses can help them save money today. And this year’s competition houses will become teaching tools for industry professionals and students around the world.”

The winner of the competition is the team that best blends affordability, consumer appeal, and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency. The top three overall finishers of the Solar Decathlon 2011 were the University of Maryland, Purdue University, and New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington). The complete list of final results and team scores may be found below and on

Teams have begun to disassemble their houses and will depart Washington, D.C. later this week. Over the coming months, the houses will travel across the country and the globe on educational tours and to their final destinations. Some of the houses are sold to recover costs or raise money for future teams. Many of the houses are used for continued research and are on display for public tours at their respective universities.

Statistics from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011:

• Even though a majority of the competition days were cloudy, seven out of the 19 houses produced more energy than they consumed
• 357,000 house visits were provided to the public during 10 days
• 92,000 votes were cast for the People’s Choice Award, more than five times the number of votes cast during the previous competition
• A new Affordability Contest was featured, demonstrating the reasonable cost of many energy-saving home improvement products and design solutions available today
• Approximately 4,000 collegiate students earned valuable experience by building an energy efficient house with peers in other disciplines, helping them prepare to enter the clean energy workforce
• Collegiate teams from five countries and four continents participated

This year’s university-led teams were chosen nearly two years ago through a competitive process. The application process for the sixth Solar Decathlon, to be held in fall 2013, has already begun with applications available online for student teams at

For full event information and high-resolution photos and videos, visit To view final scores and standings for the overall competition and individual contests, see below or visit B-roll footage of individual teams, houses and the overall competition is available for download copyright-free at You also may join the conversation on Facebook at and Twitter at@Solar_Decathlon.

Solar Decathlon 2011 teams that competed on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park:

• Appalachian State University
• Canada (University of Calgary)
• Florida International University
• University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
• University of Maryland
• Middlebury College
• New Zealand (Victoria University of Wellington)
• The Ohio State University
• Parsons NS Stevens (Parsons The New School for Design and Stevens Institute of Technology, a team that also includes Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School)
• Purdue University
• The Southern California Institute of Architecture and California Institute of Technology
• Team Belgium (Ghent University)
• Team China (Tongji University)
• Team Florida (The University of South Florida, Florida State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of Florida)
• Team Massachusetts (Massachusetts College of Art and Design and University of Massachusetts at Lowell)
• Team New Jersey (Rutgers – The State University of New Jersey and New Jersey Institute of Technology)
• Team New York (The City College of New York)
• The University of Tennessee
• Tidewater Virginia (Old Dominion University and Hampton University

Solar Decathlon 2011 Final Scores and Standings

1. Maryland 951.151
2. Purdue 931.390
3. New Zealand 919.058
4. Middlebury College 914.809
5. Ohio State 903.938
6. SCI-Arc/Caltech 899.490
7. Illinois 875.715
8. Tennessee 859.132
9. Team Massachusetts 856.351
10. Canada 836.423
11. Florida Int'l 833.159
12. Appalachian State 832.499
13. Parsons NS Stevens 828.816
14. Tidewater Virginia 774.910
15. Team China 765.471
16. Team Belgium 709.843
17. Team New York 677.356
18. Team New Jersey 669.352
19. Team Florida 619.006

Solar Decathlon 2011 Individual Contest Winners

Affordability (Awarded Tuesday, September 27, 2011)
Parsons NS Stevens and Team Belgium tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the contest by constructing houses estimated to cost $229,890 and $249,568, respectively. New for the Solar Decathlon 2011, the Affordability contest encouraged teams to design and build affordable houses that combine energy efficient construction and appliances with renewable energy systems. A professional estimator determined the
construction cost of each house. Teams earned 100 points for achieving a target construction cost of $250,000 or less. A sliding point scale was applied to houses with estimated construction costs between $250,001 and $600,000.

Appliances (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011)
The University of Illinois took first place and earned 99.955 out of 100 possible points by outperforming the other 18 houses in keeping its refrigerator and freezer cold, washing and drying loads of laundry during the contest week, and running a dishwasher during the competition. The Appliances Contest is designed to mimic the appliance use of an average U.S. house.

Architecture (Awarded Wednesday, September 28, 2011)
Maryland took first place in the Architecture Contest and earned 96 points out of a possible 100. A jury of architects judged homes on the aesthetic and functional elements of the home’s design; integration and energy
efficiency of electrical and natural light; inspiration and delight to Solar Decathlon visitors; and documentation including drawings, a project manual, and an audiovisual architecture presentation that accurately reflect the constructed project on the competition site.

Comfort Zone (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011)
Ohio State University topped the contestants in the Comfort Zone Contest, with 98.652 out of 100 points for maintaining indoor temperatures between 71 and 76 degrees Fahrenheit and relative humidity below 60 percent.

Communications (Awarded Friday, September 30, 2011)
Middlebury College’s communications efforts, including communications plans, student-led tours, and team
website, were judged by a jury of website and public relations experts, and won the contest with a score of 90 points out of a possible 100 points.

Engineering (Awarded Thursday, September 29, 2011)
New Zealand won the Engineering contest, which was evaluated by a group of prominent engineers, who
determined which solar home best exemplified excellence in functionality, efficiency, innovation, reliability and documentation of its energy systems. New Zealand scored 93 out of a possible 100 points.

Home Entertainment (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011)
Middlebury College earned 98.560 out of a possible 100 points in this contest, which required students to use electricity generated by their solar houses to run interior and exterior lights, a TV, a computer, and a kitchen appliance to boil water. Teams were also required to hold two dinner parties and a movie night for neighbors.

Hot Water (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011)
Seven teams tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the Hot Water contest’s “shower tests,” which aimed to deliver 15 gallons of hot water in ten minutes or less. Of course, the water was heated by the sun. Tying for top honors in this contest were: Appalachian State, Maryland, New Zealand, Ohio State, Parsons NS Stevens, SCI-Arc/Caltech, and Tennessee.

Energy Balance (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011)
Seven teams tied for first and earned the full 100 points in the Energy Balance contest. Teams earned points for producing at least as much energy as their houses needed during the contest week. The teams accomplished this by balancing production and consumption. Tying for top honors in this contest were: Florida International, Illinois, Maryland, New Zealand, Purdue, SCI-Arc/Caltech, and Tennessee.

Market Appeal (Awarded Saturday, October 1, 2011)
Middlebury College won the Market Appeal contest, which evaluated whether the cost-effective construction and solar technology in a team’s design would create a viable product on the open market. Judges gauged market appeal based on three criteria: livability, marketability and constructability. Middlebury earned 95 points out of a possible 100 as judged by the professional jury.

More about the Solar Decathlon
The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2011 is an award-winning program that challenges collegiate students from around the world to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are affordable, highly energy efficient, attractive, and easy to live in. The competition shows consumers how to save money and energy with affordable clean energy products that are available today. The nearly two-year projects culminated in an unprecedented display of affordable green living and design on the National Mall’s West Potomac Park from September 23 – October 2, 2011. The Solar Decathlon also provides participating students with hands-on experience and unique training that prepares them to enter our nation’s clean energy workforce, supporting the Obama Administration’s goal of transitioning to a clean energy economy while saving families and businesses money.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Headline-Westinghouse Seeks to Block Imports of Rival Solar-Power Systems

US firm to 'mine' lithium from geothermal plant brines
Chemistry World

A US company is looking to geothermal power plants as a source of valuable metals such as lithium which is crucial for manufacturing electric vehicles and portable electronics like smartphones. Its success could better position the US in the fast ...
SMU Geothermal Map Updated, National Geothermal Data System Underway

By Leslie Blodgett, GEA Southern Methodist University Geothermal Lab has recently completed research updating the US portion of the 2004 Geothermal Map of North America. “This multi-year effort, supported by a generous grant from, ...
Apricus Solar Hot Water Systems Receive OG-300 Certification
AltEnergyMag (press release)

Apricus has received OG-300 System Certification for 54 new residential solar hot water system packages with 10 tank options from some of the top manufacturers in the industry. Apricus, a leading designer and manufacturer of solar hot water and ...
Vestas secures wind turbine supply order from Eolus Vind in Sweden
Energy Business Review

Vestas has secured an order from Eolus Vind to deliver wind turbines for the 36MW of power projects in Sweden. As part of the order, Vestas has agreed to supply and install 18 units of the V90-2MW wind turbine for the seven different projects. ...
Westinghouse Seeks to Block Imports of Rival Solar-Power Systems

By Susan Decker Oct. 4 (Bloomberg) -- Westinghouse Solar Inc. said it filed a patent-infringement complaint at the US International Trade Commission seeking to block imports of solar-power systems made by Zep Solar and Canadian Solar Inc. Westinghouse ...
Inflatable Wind Turbine from the Segway Guy

By EarthTechling at EarthTechling by Pete Danko The inventor who gave the world the Segway - you know, that upright-riding, personal-transportation thing - is now seeking a patent for an inflatable wind turbine. Although the patent application talks ...

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

NIssan LEAF Sales are Strong

The Nissan LEAF has taken a ready crowd by storm and maybe proving to be the ideal vehicle for certain folks. Certainly the sales success enjoyed by Nissan LEAF in the United States seems to be proving that. The Nissan LEAF has been outselling the Chevrolet Volt 2-1 in the US as this graphic from shows:

Even more interesting from the website the LEAF beat some other popular vehicles: "the Nissan LEAF's relatively small sales totals still stand up higher than the totals put up by cars you wouldn't have labelled unpopular. The Audi A5 is a sought after coupe, but the LEAF beat the A5 in August 2011. The Land Rover Range Rover Sport was America's 29th-best-selling luxury vehicle last month and 12th-best-selling luxury SUV. The LEAF beat the Range Rover Sport in August. The LEAF also crushed the currently-undergoing-renovations Toyota Yaris, fought off the perfect-for-family-hauling Mazda 5, whipped the failure-on-all-levels Honda Insight, and nipped the completely-opposite-to-the-LEAF Nissan Armada." See this interesting story here.
The website reported that the Chevy Volt will not be able to beat the LEAF in sales for at least the foreseeable future: "Don Johnson, GM's U.S. sales chief, told Ward's Auto that since dealers must stock a demo Volt before receiving salable units, retail sales of the plug-in sedan won't increase significantly anytime soon. During a conference call on Friday, Johnson added, "It's going to take us a month or two to really fill up the retail inventory for those dealers." It looks like our prediction that the Nissan Leaf will continue its electrifying reign over the Volt for the next couple of months will hold true." Read more here.
The LEAf with it's limitations is proving to be exactly what we needed and now to make it more user friendly the company has introduce a phone app for the Blackberry and the Droid that will make managing the car a little easier. The application will make it easier to remotely:
  • Check the state of the battery charge
  • Begin charging
  • Check when battery charge is complete
  • See estimated driving range
  • Turn the climate control system on or off
“Nissan understands that telematics and other communication services are important for consumers,” said Trisha Jung, director, Vehicle Connected Services, Nissan North America. “By providing accessibility and functionality to the Nissan LEAF through all major smartphone platforms, we are truly delivering ‘Innovation for All.’”

The Chevrolet Volt is an awesome car and with it's great milage and range will continue to gain momentum with a range worried crowd. But the Nissan LEAF is proving that a true electric is very much in demand.

Monday, October 3, 2011


GE, Nissan Announce Collaboration For Electric Vehicle Technologies - Update

RTT News

(RTTNews) - General Electric Co. (GE: News ) Friday signed a research agreement with Nissan Motor Co. Ltd. (NSANY.PK: News ) to focus on technologies for electric vehicles and its integration into everyday living. Through the two-year research deal, ...
Energy Secretary Chu defends loan program for solar, renewable energy projects

Washington Post

... Obama administration's energy chief, facing increased pressure over the failure of solar panel maker Solyndra, defended on Saturday a loan guarantee program that has provided billions of dollars for solar energy and other renewable energy projects. ...

The Baltimore Sun - Solar home business shining in Maryland

"We've seen tremendous growth," says Kevin Lucas, director of energy market strategies for the Maryland Energy Administration. It's a big jump for a state that ...
U. of Maryland Team Wins Solar Decathalon

NBC Washington

AP Visitors tour WaterShed, the University of Maryland's entry in the Department of Energy's Solar Decathlon competition on Thursday, Sept. 22, 2011 in Washington, DC. University teams from across the globe have constructed solar-powered homes on the ...

Friday, September 30, 2011


On Solyndra the buck stops with Secretary Steven Chu

First, Chu counseled with experts inside and outside the department, as well as senior aides, before deciding to grant the California solar company's application for a $535 million loan guarantee in March 2009, DOE spokesman Damien LaVera said in an ...
US Could Become Geothermal Leader By 2020
PC Magazine

By Andrew Webster According to a new study from Pike Research, in less than a decade the United States will be the global leader in producing geothermal energy. The report predicts that by 2020 America's geothermal output will reach 4.2 gigawatts, ...
Constellation Energy Begins Construction on Maryland's Largest Solar ...
MarketWatch (press release)

"Utility-scale PV solar is a clean, affordable source of renewable energy in many parts of the United States beyond the Southwest, where it is typically thought of." In February 2009, the Maryland Energy
Administration, in partnership with the ...
Need a new roof? Solar power's included

OneRoof Solar is offering a new twist on the solar lease: when you replace your roof, you can get integrated solar panels with no incremental cost. The company today announced it raised a $50 million series A round led by the solar arm of Korean conglomerate Hanwha Group. The company also said it has secured the funding to finance solar installations at residential customers.

Electric car maker Tesla drops bid for Energy Department loans
The Detroit News

Washington— Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk says the start-up electric vehicle manufacturer will not seek any additional Energy Department loans. In 2009, the Palo Alto, Calif.-based company received approval for a $465 million low-interest government loan ...

Thursday, September 29, 2011


$400 million deal bringing wind turbine plants to Niagara
Hamilton Spectator

THOROLD Niagara Region Wind Corporation has partnered with a private German company to manufacture 77 wind turbines, each capable of producing 3 megawatts of energy, at a facility in Niagara. The deal is reported to be worth about $400 million and ...
New wind energy farm in northwest Arizona keeps the juice flowing
The Republic

If the sun isn't shining, but the wind is blowing, a new wind-energy farm in northwestern Arizona can still produce the juice. Vancouver, British Columbia-based Western Wind Energy recently turned on the Kingman I site and connected it to the grid of ...
Don't increase taxes on wind energy

Wind power utilizes the Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit to incent over $7 billion of other private investment to keep growing a new US wind turbines manufacturing sector. Wind power, as a proven commercial technology, utilizes the Renewable ...
DOE Loan Program: Time Running Out and Questions Remain

By Steve Leone, Associate Editor, New Hampshire, USA -- Friday's deadline is looming and the Department of Energy finds itself racing against both the clock and intense political pressure. At stake is more than $8 billion ... 
Google: Rent your solar panels from us

Google has created a $75 million fund with Clean Power Finance, a company that offers financing for residential solar panel installations. The investment will enable 10000 homeowners to install solar panels on their homes. ...
Green Energy Ohio Tour to have stops in area

It gives visitors a chance to visit an assortment of residences, businesses and public facilities that use solar thermal, geothermal, biomass and solar electric features. The group says it will be its largest tour yet. Last year's edition was the ...