Tag Archives: Solar Energy

USGBC offers Obama green building suggestions

From usgbc.org, retrieved on Wednesday, January 14, 2009:

In ongoing talks with the transition’s energy and environment team since November, the U.S. Green Building Council has advanced vital green building policy priorities that will simultaneously create millions of green-collar jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and advance proven opportunities to deliver greener, more energy-efficient buildings.

Already, the President-Elect issued a recent commitment to make the U.S. a global leader in green, energy-efficient government facilities, calling for an overhaul of 75% of federal buildings in an effort to save $2 billion through energy efficiency alone. On schools, the President-Elect has said repeatedly that green school funding will be another priority in the economic package.

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Solar panel manufacturers get hit by recession

From the New York Times on Wednesday, January 14, 2009:

“From the manufacturers’ standpoint, it’s pretty serious,” said Bill Stewart, president of SolarCraft, a California installer, in a conversation with Green Inc. Until last summer there were still shortages of solar modules (which in turn were due to shortages of the polysilicon material they are made from), so installers like SolarCraft sometimes had to badger manufacturers to make sure they would get enough panels.

Now, said Mr. Stewart, the situation is reversed, and manufacturers are calling installers to say, “‘Hey, do you need any product this month? Can I sell you a bit more?’”

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Obama would double alternative energy in three years

From the Washington Post on Friday, January 9, 2009:

President-elect Barack Obama said yesterday that he wanted to double the production of alternative energy over the next three years, a goal that will probably require a new set of government incentives for the capital-intensive solar and wind industries.

Six months ago, some of the biggest names in solar- and wind-project finance were firms such as Lehman Brothers, Morgan Stanley, GE Capital, Wells Fargo and Municipal Mortgage & Equity. But many of those firms are mired in their own financial crises, and existing tax benefits for renewable energy projects are now unattractive to them. A technical aspect of the bank bailout has even made renewable tax incentives useless for some profitable banks.

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GreenBuild announces 2008 top 10 building products

From buildingGreen.com, retrieved on Tuesday, December 23, 2008:

Three of the products this year save energy, including a low-cost, solar water-heating system; a combination heating, water heating, and heat-recovery ventilation system; and a system for monitoring real-time energy (and water) use in buildings. Water saving products are represented by a line of rainwater storage tanks—the first rainwater storage equipment ever recognized in our Top-10 lists.

Fully half of the products this year are green in part because they are made from natural, rapidly renewable, or agricultural waste materials; natural materials often require significantly less energy to manufacture. A new compressed-earth masonry block is particularly noteworthy in this regard. “Most of the Top-10 products this year have multiple environmental attributes,” said Wilson.

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Obama's environmental agenda clear with Cabinet picks

From the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday, December 16, 2008:

With the nomination of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Steven Chu for energy secretary, President-elect Barack Obama made sure no one missed the message in the résumé.

“His appointment should send a signal to all that my administration will value science,” Obama said Monday at a Chicago news conference. “We will make decisions based on facts, and we understand that the facts demand bold action.”

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Extending crop seasons in Alaska

From the Anchorage Daily News, on Wednesday, December 9, 2008:

Alaska farmers are always trying to find ways to make summer last a little longer. Now a dozen around the state, including four in the Valley, are getting a chance to try, thanks to a new state agricultural grant program.

The program, offered by the state Division of Agriculture for the first time this year, awarded grants up to $5,000 each to farmers growing specialty crops — things like spinach, raspberries and flowers.

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Obama energy and environment plan

From www.change.gov, retrieved on Thursday, November 20, 2008:

The energy challenges our country faces are severe and have gone unaddressed for far too long. Our addiction to foreign oil doesn’t just undermine our national security and wreak havoc on our environment — it cripples our economy and strains the budgets of working families all across America. Barack Obama and Joe Biden have a comprehensive plan to invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs.

Click here to read the whole page, and find links to other elements of the plan.

Wealth of Federal, State Energy Incentives Available to Homeowners

BY Adam Wasch, Energy Outreach Consultant at CCHRC
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner November 20th, 2008, Section A3

Did you spend your $1,200 state energy assistance check on gas and groceries? Don’t despair! There is still money available to help make your home more energy efficient or take the leap to solar energy. And, from a tax perspective, you’re actually better off waiting until 2009 to make certain energy-related improvements. Continue reading

Passive solar home — totally in the 21st century

From the website “Solar House, Solar Home,” retrieved on 11/11/08:

Just after January 1, 2000, I left the 20th Century and I haven’t been back since. If your attention is rooted in the 21st Century, you only need your eyes and ears to understand that energy efficiency and sustainability will be the unfolding story of our time for the foreseeable future.

In the 21st Century, any home design that does not incorporate super energy efficiency for maximum total annual energy savings is a non-starter. In this new epoch, if you don’t incorporate energy efficiency into a new home plan, you simply become a 21st Century Nero: fiddling with home design as America burns fuel. The earlier you adjust to this new epoch and make the necessary conversions and alterations to your lifestyle, the better you will fare. A new ENERGY STAR qualified home, while a great improvement over traditional new homes, will simply not do. A new home, like the passive solar home I have built that is directly heated by the sun, is not just energy star efficient, it is energy super nova efficient.

Click here to read the website and see photos of the home.

Passive Solar Design Is Low-Tech Energy Saver

BY Adam Wasch, Energy Outreach Consultant at CCHRC
Energy Focus: Fairbanks Daily News-Miner November 6th, 2008, Section A3

This is the second of a series of columns exploring how solar energy can be used at home to reduce your energy costs.

Even in winter, enough sunlight peeks over the horizon to make a difference in your home’s comfort and energy consumption. Last week, we looked at using active solar technology to heat water and generate electricity, but passive solar design is among the most cost-effective ways to improve the energy efficiency and comfort of your home – without a lot of fancy gadgetry. Continue reading