The Offshore Wind Resource

Blog #97   Most conventional technology was once experimental.  Solar PV was once unconventional, but now it’s cheaper and more efficient than ever.  Advancing any technology from conventional toward experimental for better efficiency, lower costs, or wider feasibility can sometimes be worth it.  Floating wind turbines are on the same path and will soon be producing […]

10-year Price Trends for Solar PV

Blog #96  NREL (The National Renewable Energy Laboratory) is located in Golden, Colorado and frequently interacts with other national labs such as Lawrence Berkeley and their branch in Bozeman, Montana.  I recently reviewed their research covering ten years of pricing data for residential, commercial, and industrial scale solar photovoltaic electricity systems, including battery storage.   […]

Cycles of Drought and Flood in the West

Blog #95  Water feast or famine- When government builds a permanent dam at the base of a watershed to create a reservoir, the impoundment usually comes equipped with a hydroelectric generating system.  The assumption is that dependable winter rains will fill it up to capacity and water will be disbursed to agriculture, cities, and sometimes to […]

“Baby Steps” Of District Geo Loops In Massachusetts

Blog #94  It started with citizen concern. A community-minded group centered near Boston called HEET had worked for some time to weatherize housing in the area to lower energy costs for consumers.  Lower bills and carbon reduction were also on their mind.  Many residents benefitted from greater comfort, too. When local methane leakage from 100-year old gas […]

The Equipment Pathway of Electrification

Blog #93  The late Henry J. Kaiser (entrepreneur extraordinaire who built Liberty Ships and the Hoover Dam) had a motto of “Find a need and fill it.”  To some extent, American industry is still carrying out that approach.  For example, take government.  It swings a big bat through regulations, tax policy, and financial inducements.   […]

Utility Generation with Renewables

Blog #92  Despite plenty of continuing pressure and lobbying by some business and ideological interests, there is a continuing march to utilize electric energy in every way possible to eradicate carbon emissions.  Electrification is both a catch-phrase and a policy, and it’s reached the nation’s electrical utilities.                 […]

Solar PV & Battery Use at Home

Blog #91  Electrification is both a catch-phrase and a policy.  Consumers are increasingly interested in decarbonization to fight climate change and for stable electricity access without supply interference by foreign or domestic actors.  They are resistant to rising electricity bills resulting from expensive conventional generation, and are increasingly interested in home energy independence.     […]

Hydrogen is Coming

Blog #90  Hydrogen is the least dense of any element in the Periodic Table but among the most stable when combined with oxygen as a water molecule.  Three fifths of the earth’s surface is covered with salty ocean waters and the average depth is something like 12,000 feet.               […]

This Range War isn’t in the “Old West”

Blog #89  By 1957 I was 10 years old.  Occasionally, I would be with my dad, on cardboard or a creeper under a vehicle in our Oakland, California garage.  I wanted to be helpful, and this turned out to be a series of mechanical learning experiences.  There were other ones throughout my youth, and as […]

Worries About My Refrigerator—New DOE Standards for ZNE-Ready

Blog #88  It was a slap in the face to see that my current 2014 Zero Net Energy home had a fridge that doesn’t meet the Department of Energy’s newest guidelines.  Their standards for refrigerators say that these appliances must be Energy Star listed (which mine was when I bought it in 2013).   On […]