2GreenEnergy.com Bringing Together Clean Energy Investors with the Strongest Renewable Energy Investment Opportunities2017-06-24T17:58:44Z http://www.2greenenergy.com/feed/atom/ http://www.2greenenergy.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/favicon-1.png craigshields <![CDATA[Renewable Energy: How Much Storage Will It Take To Get There?]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66855 2017-06-24T17:47:52Z 2017-06-24T17:47:52Z ]]> Unknown-1125x635It’s both important and fun to look down the road and see where the migration to renewable energy is taking us.  What will it take to get to 80% penetration of wind and solar?  How much storage is necessary?  What other factors need to be taken into consideration?

Here’s an article in GreenTechMedia called Mind the Storage Gap: How Much Flexibility Do We Need for a High-Renewables Grid? that addresses all this.  Not to give anything away, but this is the reason that clean energy can’t miss. The technology associated with all this stuff: the generation, the storage–even the transmission–is coming down fast.  And, as the author points out, all this optimism is based on extremely conservative assumptions.  He notes: If renewable generation and battery storage prices continue to fall in line with forecasts, meeting demand in each hour of a year with 80 percent of electricity coming from wind and solar could cost as little as $70 per megawatt-hour — even when accounting for required short-term reserves, flexibility and backup generation.

As I wrote on Facebook earlier today re: a video that suggests that change in our energy policy will be hard but worthwhile: “Change in the U.S. will be hard politically, but that’s about it. Clean energy means huge job growth and enormous savings on the costs of healthcare and the repair bills associated with environmental degradation.  It also means much better relationships with the rest of the people on this planet, almost all of whom see this period in human history as the make/break point for our civilization.”

]]>
0
craigshields <![CDATA[Our Civilization’s Impact on the Environment]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66851 2017-06-24T03:42:18Z 2017-06-24T02:52:10Z ]]> Our Civilization's Impact on the EnvironmentThrough a magnificent coincidence, I found this fabulous video cartoon summarizing humankind’s impact on planet Earth just a few days after we celebrated Edvard Grieg’s 174th birthday earlier this week. You’ll immediately recognize the ominous crescendo in the theme (“In the Hall of the Mountain King”).  Enjoy.

 

 

]]>
0
Bridget Brady <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Solar Energy World: Are Solar Shingles Ready for Prime Time?]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66848 2017-06-24T17:58:44Z 2017-06-24T01:49:52Z ]]> images (2)Recently, Tesla announced that orders would begin to be accepted for the long anticipated solar roof shingles Elon Musk has been promising. Despite the hype, our analysts have concluded that solar shingles are not presently an efficient or cost-effective way for homeowners to go solar. This article will explain why.

Starting later this summer limited test systems will be installed in California and new territories will be added through the end of the year. Referred to as “Building-Integrated Photovoltaics” or BIPVs in the construction industry, solar shingles promise to turn rooftop sunlight into savings with a more pleasing aesthetic for homeowners than solar panels by integrating seamlessly with conventional asphalt shingles. They are wireless, snap together and are installed with hammer and nails. However, just like solar panels, they are grid-tied and need an electrician to install the inverter box and tie into the home’s electrical system.

The renewable energy tax incentives are the same for both products, but the price of shingles is much higher than panels even when you factor in the cost of a traditional roof. According to an article in GreenTech Media a solar shingle system that is purchased will take 8 – 11 years to pay back as opposed to the 5 – 7 years a regular solar system will take to pay back the homeowner if they are purchasing their solar system.

It’s actually a longer payback for Maryland-based homeowners. The Tesla solar shingle calculator from their website (example below) shows that in Maryland the system will not pay for itself for 20-25 years and sometimes only save a few thousand dollars even after 30 years!

SOLAR PANELS ARE STILL A BETTER INVESTMENT FOR HOMEOWNERS

These extra costs can make the benefits of shingles less attractive than panels for the budget-minded consumer. This may be the main reason that Dow Chemical killed Power House Shingles last year and why it appears the recent announcements from Tesla are beginning to generate criticism. A Forbes article declaredTesla is misleading the public by comparing their Solar Roof to tile and slate roofs, rather than to solar energy in its many forms.”

These and other sources have revealed solar shingles are also less reliable than panels and tend to have a hard time meeting safety requirements such as rapid shutdown compliance and mandatory rooftop fire lanes.

BIPVs have traditionally suffered from costing more and operating less efficiently than conventional PV. So although Tesla has announced it will be producing a consumer solar shingle that rivals the efficiency and cost of traditional panels, there are no specific details on the product,  its production per shingle or on the connection between cells. None of this has been released yet so there are still a lot of unanswered questions.

WHAT SHOULD A HOMEOWNER DO?

If you have been thinking about going solar, does this mean you should wait until solar shingles are available in your area? NO!

Switching to solar power now is a no-brainer because with a solar PPA, you can pay zero to get solar panels and installation and lock in an electricity rate that is at least 20% lower than what your utility is charging you. Or you can purchase a solar system instead and save up to 100% on your electricity costs.

The truth is you will spend more money by doing nothing than if you made the switch to solar now.

For example,  if you spend $200 a month on your electricity with a yearly increase of 4.5%, in 10 years you will have sent $35,667 to your utility company with no return on your dollars. A solar system would have saved you $23,000 or more on utility costs in less than seven years.

By Sharon Derby

 

]]>
0
lizzieweakley <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Lizzie Weakly: The Warehousing Environment–Why You Need Energy Efficient Commercial Air Conditioning]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66800 2017-06-21T20:19:41Z 2017-06-23T20:17:02Z ]]> air_conditioning_dream_cityIn any warehousing environment, preserving the quality of products is crucial always. If you are a warehousing services provider, you can ensure trustworthiness from the customers and more business opportunities by having a reliable cooling system. As an entrepreneur, there is need to serve your customers while still maintaining low energy consumption. First, you need to know how efficient warehouse cooling and heating will help to not only optimize the warehousing conditions, but also reduce your energy bills.

Energy-efficient Condensing Units

Refrigerating and air conditioning a warehousing environment puts a very heavy strain on your power grid. Luckily, cool roofing technology can help reduce the optimal electricity requirements. How do the cool roofing technologies minimize energy consumption? The answer is simple: The interior of your warehouse will not be too hot during summer, so the amount of energy consumed is low.

Installing an Energy Efficient Air Conditioner

The one thing that warehouse owners need to know is that a 1990 air conditioner may not be an energy efficient air conditioner today. Due to technological advancements, higher energy saving methods have emerged. With better performing air conditioning systems, you need to be on the lookout for what new energy efficient commercial air conditioning equipment is out there in the market.

The Benefits of an AC Consuming Less Energy

Having something like MTA Australasia energy-efficient air conditioner brings many advantages:

• Superior performance: With an AC that uses variable-speed compressors, your warehouse will run on just 25 % electric power while still cooling the environment perfectly well.
• Longer lifespan: ACs that utilize less energy last longer due to the fact that they have les tear and wear.
• Lower energy costs: The U.S. Department of Energy says that an energy-efficient AC often reduces electricity cost by 20-50 per cent.
• Environmentally-friendly refrigeration: ACs with energy efficiency features do not damage the ozone layer. Instead, the inbuilt R410a will protect the environment.

Is your Warehousing AC System Energy Efficient?

As you embark on an energy saving initiative, you can use the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating system to know if your AC needs upgrading or replacement. SEER refers to the total cooling performance in a cooling season. An AC with a higher SEER rate is more energy efficient. If you value lower energy bills in your warehousing environment, you should look for an energy efficient air conditioner as soon as possible. An AC whose SEER rating is 14.5 or more will help you save a lot of finances on your warehousing cooling needs.

]]>
0
craigshields <![CDATA[Hydrogen-based Transportation]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66841 2017-06-23T01:05:10Z 2017-06-23T01:01:04Z ]]> The video linked here is a promotion for the hydrogen-based Toyota MiriaHydrogen-based Transportation.  Here are a few comments on its claims:

It’s for the philosopher; it’s an ode to living.  

Well, maybe it’s for rich philosophers; the cost of fuel cells is still quite high, and the Miria starts at $60,000.  But there’s more to this.  The problem is that hydrogen, while it does boast zero emissions at the tailpipe, is produced from methane using energy that today comes largely from fossil fuels.  Of course, one could argue that hydrogen will become cleaner as renewables offset the burning of coal and natural gas, but once we have all that clean electricity, the argument for electric transportation becomes that much stronger.

It’s what the future looks like.   No, it isn’t.  The whole “hydrogen economy” isn’t going to happen. We’re not much closer to it now than we were when the term was coined in the early 1970s.  In addition to the above, the delivery infrastructure for hydrogen would be prohibitively expense.

]]>
11
Dimitris Papadopoulos <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Dimitris Papadopoulus: Micro-Housing Is a Sustainable Housing Trend]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66765 2017-06-19T22:18:28Z 2017-06-22T22:13:18Z ]]> awesome-outdoor-home-office-designGreen living has been making a definite surge in the last few years, with the development of sustainable energies like solar and wind power. Renewable energy is already very much essential to the UK economy, with more than a quarter of the overall energy produced in the UK. While it may still seem a long way to go before we’re all living sustainably, the eco-revolution is already coming in small waves all around the world and transforming the way we live in our homes.

Spread over a few countries in Europe and also in the United States, the micro-housing movement is one of those small revolutions that might just be underway.

  • Humble beginnings

Tiny homes are typically under 250 square feet and sometimes have wheels, making them highly adaptable. The movement was actually born in the USA in the noughties, a reaction against the average home size which had been creeping up enormously over the years: a 50% increase between 1978 and 2013. Of course, small houses have always existed all around the world, but it wasn’t until 2002 and Jay Shafer that it properly conceptualized and commercialised. Shafer founded his own Tumbleweed Tiny House Company to sell small, sustainable housing.

  • Small house, bigger impact

How are tiny houses more sustainable than common homes? First and foremost, the reduced space prevents you from accumulating ultimately useless junk. Secondly, they are made of sustainable building materials, recycled or sustainably-sourced, be it for the double-glazing windows, roof and wall materials and furniture. Outdoor compost toilets and solar panels are often used in tiny houses to enable the user to live independently and off the grid while consuming and wasting less.

They are three types of tiny houses: on wheels for the more adventurous, transportable for people who wish to stay at one given place for a while (they don’t have wheels so will require the help of a professional transporter), or permanent.

  • A tiny future?

Tiny houses in the USA still only represent 1% of the overall housing market but the trend will hopefully grow even bigger in the near future. In Europe, the micro-houses market is also growing in popularity with more and more tiny houses re-sellers joining the venture. In France more particularly, micro-housing has become a real trend. La Tiny House, a company founded in 2015 by Bruno Thiery and Mickaël Desloges, is getting a lot of traction, appealing to people wishing to live more sustainably but it can also be a solution in situations of precarious housings by providing an affordable, safe and practical home, temporarily or not. Will people be ready to give up on their 5-bedroom house dream? It’s too early to tell but things are changing.

]]>
0
Ron Robbins <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Ron Robbins: How to Save Energy with Better Roofing and Windows]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66772 2017-06-19T22:11:50Z 2017-06-21T22:06:08Z ]]>
energy-efficient-homeA home’s monthly energy bill can vary greatly from season to season. This can make quite a difference in the amount of power consumption in your home. Soon enough, you’ll find you’ve got to start keeping an eye on how much energy you consume.

Sometimes you have to do more than just change the appliances. Consider upgrading essential elements around the house such as getting a new roofing or window installation. Take a look at the best ways to save money on your home’s monthly energy bill. You’ll love these fantastic ideas for eco-friendly home upgrades.

Home upgrades to save you energy

1) Upgrade your roofing

If you’ve got an older home in need of upgrading, chances are your roofing could use a major rehaul. Especially after years of heavy storms, the roofing that could have been extremely efficient ten years ago can succumb to leaks. To ensure you’re as eco-friendly as possible, consider getting a new roofing installation. The amount of time and energy you save by eliminating leaks and conserving electricity can lead it to pay for itself.

2) Consider solar energy

A big hype in today’s modern world, solar energy has proven itself time and time again to be one of the best energy efficient home upgrades you can make for your home. Not only will you save on your monthly energy bill, but you can often save huge cash on installation fees due to cash rebates, specials, and eco-friendly tax breaks from the government. With all of these benefits, there is little reason not to go solar.

3) Upgrade your windows

As compared to traditional windows, double and triple pane windows can do more than decrease energy consumption in your home. Upgrading can also reduce the number of ultraviolet rays entering your home. These ultraviolet rays can damage your wood floors, upholstery, and other valuable items. Hands down, upgrading your window installation will lead to a big difference in your monthly energy consumption.

4) Get an energy efficient audit

Not sure what you should begin upgrading first? Consider getting an energy efficiency audit of your home. Keep an eye out for specials from quality companies who are confident in their products and services which tend to offer energy audits for free. In signing up for an energy efficiency audit, you’ll allow a technician to come to your home and analyze what parts are eating up the most energy. From there, you can take the audit and focus on upgrading the parts of your home that will make the biggest difference to your home’s power consumption.
What roofing and window home upgrades have you completed around your home to become more eco-friendly and energy efficient?

 

]]>
0
craigshields <![CDATA[The Politics of Coal: Here’s an Interesting and Entertaining–Yet Factual–Source]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66798 2017-06-22T19:30:32Z 2017-06-21T17:25:29Z ]]> factory-smoke-emissionsThe top American comedians whose fodder is U.S. politics include household names like Jon Stewart, Steven Colbert, and John Oliver.  Now, I’ve heard these people themselves warn audiences: this is not a valid way to find and ingest news; this is entertainment.  Yeah.  I get that.  But for my money, while these guys’ shows don’t represent the right-wing counterpoint to the stories they cover, they are extremely legitimate in terms of content.   

Here, for instance, is John Oliver’s recent piece on coal.  Very interesting and factual–and extremely “well played.”

]]>
1
Eileen O'Shanassy <![CDATA[From Guest Blogger Eileen O’Shanassay: Five Tips to Save Money and Energy at Home]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66684 2017-06-16T17:00:13Z 2017-06-21T16:56:07Z ]]> Five Tips to Save Money and Energy at HomeLowering your utility bills sounds great, but a lot of people don’t know just how easy it is to make a home more energy-efficient. Truthfully, reducing energy and costs doesn’t require a lot of hi-tech upgrades or uncomfortable sacrifices. Making a series of small changes and being conscious of potentially wasteful habits can have a huge impact on your monthly bills. Here are some ideas to help get your house back on track and a little greener.

Turn off Electronics

This is probably a no-brainer. Turning off your electronics and other appliances when they are not needed can save you quite a bit of money. If you want to save even more, consider unplugging items that are not used on a regular basis or turning off power cords at the end of the day. Even when an electronic is turned off, it will continue to draw a tiny bit of power. Making sure you have everything turned off and unplugged when you leave the house or go to bed will save you money in the long run.
Save Water

Water bills are something many people don’t think of when trying to reduce household bills. This can be a great way to save a lot of energy though. Installing a Smart Controller sprinkler system to water your lawn can ensure the grass stays green and the water hose isn’t left on by accident. You can also save on water by limiting the amount of time you spend in the shower, making sure you use the appropriate load size while doing laundry, and switching to low-flow faucets and toilets. Bonus tip: doing your laundry in cold water could save you about $60 per year!
Clean Air Filters

Opt for washable air filters instead of disposable ones. Make sure you clean the filter out about once a month. Use a vacuum or rinse the filter to get rid of dust particles. When filters are not maintained, they make the air conditioning and heating systems work harder – which raises your electricity bill.
Use Blinds and Shades

During the summer, take full advantage of your blinds and curtains. Make sure these curtains and blinds are closed in sunny areas so the space doesn’t get overheated. Insulated curtains or thick drapes can be used to keep out even more radiant heat from the sun. In the winter, use open curtains and blinds to reduce how much light and electricity you turn on and to head your home a little more.
Use Fans

Use ceiling fans, box fans, or oscillating fans to cool your home. A steady air flow can make your space feel five degrees cooler. This tip is especially useful at bedtime, as more fans can make your sleeping space cooler and more comfortable without requiring you to turn down your thermostat.

 

Saving energy and money in your home doesn’t require a lot of time or effort. Taking just a couple of minutes a week and making conscious, well-informed decisions about your energy usage is the best way to start. Try a few of these tips in your own home and see just how big of a difference a few small changes can make.

]]>
0
craigshields <![CDATA[Human Existence: It’s Icy Cold Out There, But That’s OK]]> http://www.2greenenergy.com/?p=66807 2017-06-22T19:39:46Z 2017-06-21T15:58:58Z ]]> quote-man-is-nothing-else-but-what-he-makes-of-himself-such-is-the-first-principle-of-existentialism-jean-paul-sartre-314940If the 109th birthday of French existentialist Jean-Paul Sartre isn’t a good time to discuss the meaning of life, it’s hard to imagine what would be.

I agree with Sartre that we live in a universe that is completely indifferent to us and our happiness, and that there is no meaning to our lives other than that which we ourselves confer upon it.  Now, some people see this viewpoint as dour and depressing, but think for a second: isn’t it the precise opposite?  Aren’t you glad you weren’t born to become a certain type of person, with a pre-ordained disposition and outlook, and a fixed set of values and aspirations?  All these things are completely your choice, and that alone seems like it could be something worth celebrating.

Of course, you might say, “Well, I really like how the Stoics live, with their focus on virtues, e.g., wisdom, and how they derive from our behavior and our determination to fashion our lives in the most positive manner possible. Those guys were fantastic; I want to live like that.” That’s cool, but just remember that it was you alone who made that decision; you could have decided to be a hedonistic slug, a Trump supporter, or a thousand other things.

For what it may be worth, I personally confer meaning on my own life by trying to make this experience we call life on Earth as sane and pleasant as possible for myself, my family, and all my fellow travelers on this planet. It’s not as if I don’t like martinis, music festivals, sex, and so forth, but it’s really the sense of accomplishment in making this world a tiny bit better for me and everyone else that means the most to me.

Oh well, to each his own, as my dad used to say.

I hope you’ll take a moment today and think about the meaning you bring to your own life.  If you’ll pardon one more cliche’, there’s no time like the present—especially insofar as it’s Sartre’s birthday.

 

 

]]>
0