Solar power is at a unique place in history. It’s growing rapidly, its price is falling precipitously. Within the next 10 years, it will compete favorably with utilities for electricity sales, on price, and without subsidies. Given its rapid ascent, it might seem silly to talk about change.&nb
The Federal government has long been a leader in constructing green buildings, and LEED has been the Federal standard of choice. The Department of Energy issued a final rule updating its recommended certification standards and levels for all Federal buildings on October 14, 2014. The Final Rule does not tell Agencies which rating system to use.Read More
We know from exhaustive past research that walkable neighborhoods and cities reduce driving, associated emissions, and living costs. Three important academic studies published earlier this year demonstrate that they are good for our health, too. In particular, the research,...
Today is World Food Day, a day to take a close look at our global food system and see what's working, what's not, and what needs to change. Much of the emphasis around feeding the world tends to focus around increasing food production. But just as important – and often left out of the conversation – is how we treat what’s already been produced.
Coating soybean seeds with a class of insecticides that has been implicated in honeybee deaths and partially banned in the European Union does not increase soybean yields compared to using no pesticides at all, according to an extensive review by the the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Seed treatment provides at most $6 in benefits per acre (an increase in revenue of less than 2 percent), and most likely no financial benefit at all, the EPA analysis concluded. The insecticides, known as neonicotinoids, are only effective for the first few weeks after planting, studies have found, when soybean pests are not typically active. Moreover, there are cost-effective alternatives, such as organophosphate insecticides, which can be applied as the plants are growing if pests do threaten the crop. Neonicotinoid seed treatments could theoretically help fend off sporadic and unpredictable pests, the report notes, but that benefit would be small and unlikely to be noticed outside of the southern U.S.
The outlook for the residential solar market in the United States remains strong, with policymakers looking to reduce the regulatory burden for new installations and major downstream players focusing on continued installed system cost reduction.
The EPA’s proposed rule to regulate carbon dioxide from existing power plants emphasizes the ample flexibility it provides to states. However, careful analysis of the rule shows that it provides significant flexibility for how states can achieve the required CO2 reductions, but little flexibil
Since 2004, the year of the first major revision of Germany’s Renewable Energy Act (EEG), the country has added at least 35 gigawatts (GW) of solar and 35 GW of wind to its electric grid – enough to offset upwards of 35 coal plants. What’s more impressive is during the first half of 2014, closeRead More
For more than 15 years, there were many efforts to lure a new grocery store into the space. However, while the store would be profitable, it wouldn’t be profitable enough to satisfy the demands of the shareholder-based economy of a large corporation.
Increasing global supplies of unconventional natural gas will not help to reduce the overall upward trajectory of greenhouse gas emissions and the planetary warming that comes with it, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. The findings further undercut the notion, long touted by proponents of natural gas, that the fuel —Read More
Energy modeling allows designers to simulate a building’s energy performance during the early design and concept phase itself. It provides engineers with a display that is highly visual and interactive. As a result, engineers can analyze the results and device appropriate solutions; they can also communicate extensive databases and complex concepts...
The U.S. agriculture industry used nearly 800 trillion British thermal units (Btu) of energy in 2012, or about as much primary energy as the entire state of Utah. Agricultural energy consumption includes energy needed to grow and harvest crops and energy needed to grow livestock. Crop operations consume much more energy than livestock operations, and energy expenditures for crops account for a higher percentage of farm operating costs.
People who study ecological design understand the importance of thermal mass for keeping places cool in the summer and warm in the winter. As water issues continue to plague many parts of the planet, the notion of rainwater harvesting beco...
Offshore wind power isn’t usually associated with lower-cost energy, at least not in the public imagination. But it turns out that installing 54 gigawatts of offshore wind power off America’s coasts can cut the cost of electricity in the U.S. by an astounding $7.68 billion a year. That&r