Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way of transport in this city, in some areas almost outnumbering regular bicycles. - User Vmenkov, courtesy Wikipedia Commons

PEDAL POWER: TAKING E-BIKES MAINSTREAM

In developed countries, the automobile often represents the most desirable attributes of effective transportation: flexible, fast, and effortless. But is it the right choice for increasingly dense urban environments? Automobiles for personal transportation are a Pandora’s box—countries that once encouraged them now find it impossible to curtail their use, even as gridlock paralyzes city streets More Info »

ceiling windows

LET THERE BE LIGHT

Lighting Big Box Stores Naturally When visiting a retail store, customers are looking for a pleasant shopping experience. They want to look vibrant in the clothing and cosmetics sections, they want the produce to look fresh and delicious, and they want to be able to find what they are looking for. Lighting products attractively and More Info »

Landestypische Tier in Wesselburener Deichhausen -Dirk Ingo Franke, courtesy Wikipedia

BIG BUSINESS WANTS RENEWABLE ENERGY, BUT IT AIN’T EASY

RMI and WWF hold forum with large companies on the riddles of renewables Empowered by aggressive climate and energy targets, companies more than ever before are driving the transition to renewable energy—but that effort is not without hurdles. WWF’s Power Forward report, for example, showed that 60 percent of Fortune 100 and Global 100 companies have climate goals. To More Info »

A Mallard pair at Mühlthal, Straßlach-Dingharting, Germany. The Mallard is the archetypal "wild duck" and probably the best-known of all ducks, is a dabbling duck which breeds throughout the temperate areas of Europe, Asia, and North America; it is also introduced in New Zealand and Australia. - Richard Bartz photo, courtesy Wikipedia

RENEWABLES BIRD PROBLEM

It’s not what you think. Meet the Duck Chart. In the lively conversation about how to integrate variable renewables such as wind and solar into our electric grid’s generation mix, an unlikely player has entered the fray: a duck. It’s not literally a duck, mind you, but rather a mallard-esque graph—now famously known as the More Info »

The Micro(grid) Solution to the Macro Challenge of Climate Change

THE MIRCO(GRID) TO THE MACROCHALLENGE OF CLIMATE CHANGE

“We have met the enemy and he is us.” So said the long-running American comic strip Pogo in a 1970 Earth Day poster about pollution. Late last week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s most respected scientific authority on the climate change topic, said much the same thing. The group released its highly anticipated Fifth Assessment More Info »

Climate Change—The Time for Action is Now

CLIMATE CHANGE —THE TIME FOR ACTION IS NOW

Let me start this blog by quoting—verbatim—several key conclusions from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s Climate Change 2013, also known as the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report (AR5): Warming of the climate system is unequivocal, and since the 1950s, many of the observed changes are unprecedented over decades to millennia… The atmosphere and the ocean have warmed, More Info »

Benefits of Net Metering in California & Vermont

LOWERING THE COST OF SOLAR PV: SOFT COSTS & HARD CHALLENGES (Part 1)

Why does Germany, a country with the same amount of sun on a yearly basis as Alaska, have residential solar costs half that of the U.S.? Why have solar panel prices dropped significantly while whole-system cost has remained relatively high? The answer is in the soft costs of solar PV—all the non-hardware-related costs of installing More Info »

Lowering the costs of Solar PV

LOWERING THE COST OF SOLAR PV: SOFT COSTS & HARD CHALLENGES (PART 2)

In Part 1, we discussed the importance of lowering the soft costs of solar PV—all the related solar energy system costs besides the hardware. We covered two cost areas addressed in RMI and NREL’s new roadmap report on solar PV soft costs: 1) permitting, inspection, and interconnection (PII) and 2) customer acquisition. Today we will look More Info »