Jan
20
2018
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Scott Sklar

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Burning the Future

In Burning the Future: Coal in America, writer/director David Novack examines the explosive forces that have set in motion a groundswell of conflict between the coal industry and residents of West Virginia.

Burning The Future: Coal in America
Watch the official trailer
On-Site Clean Energy
I have compiled a list of questions routinely asked by industrial, commercial, and government customers and mixed-use developers relating to on-site clean energy generation. Answers to a broader range of questions are profiled in my Q&A Column featured on the largest renewable energy web portal: www.renewableenergyaccess.com.

HOW DO I KNOW IF MY AREA HAS ENOUGH RESOURCE OR MY LOCATION IS RIGHT FOR A UNIT?
January 16, 2008
A:As stated earlier, the National Renewable Energy laboratory produces renewable energy resource maps for biomass, hydropower, geothermal, wind and solar. But in all cases you need to engage a local expert who can visually review the site, in many cases use measuring equipment (and in some cases for wind, left on-site for extended periods) to insure when and where are the optimum positioning of on-site generation would be best. Local codes and special programs may also influence placement of hardware, address venting for tanks and battery banks, and enforce electric interconnection requirements.
 
WHATíS NET METERING, AND WHATíS THE PLUSSES AND MINUSES?
January 16, 2008
A:25 States have net metering rules which allows the residential and commercial owners of on-site clean energy systems be credited for the amount of electricity they produce in surplus of the amount of electricity they consume - usually on a yearly basis and at the retail electricity rate. If electricity rates are high or the electricity surplus of power is large - these credits are considerable. However, due to regulatory requirements, if the electricity goes down, your on-site generation unit is not allowed to operate, and so you may experience long term outages without the capacity to utilize the clean power on your building or grounds. Many systems are now hybrids (tied to other technologies, such as solar/wind units) and also interconnected to battery banks to be able to operate for extended periods without the grid, but again, these are not net-metered. Generally, it makes sense NOT to net meter where there are high periods of outages (such as hurricane alley along the Gulf of Mexico), but net-metering can be fine in many areas of the country.
 
WHAT INCENTIVES ARE AVILABLE FROM THE FEDERAL AND STATE GOVERNMENTS?
January 16, 2008
A:In 2005, the Congress passed (and the President signed into law), the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which instituted tax credits for certain energy efficiency and renewable energy applications. These incentives include a production tax credit extension for wind and closed loop biomass, Investment tax credits of 30 percent were passed for the years 2006 and 2007 for solar thermal, photovoltaics, concentrated solar power and fuel cell applications for both residential and commercial applications. Thirty-seven other States have certain incentives including clean energy grant programs, state tax credits, state and county property tax and sales tax waivers, etc. which are updated by your Stateís government energy office.
 
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PUBLIC OPINION POLL RESULTS SHOW STUNNING MAJORITY OF AMERICANS SUPPORT CLEAN, RENEWABLE ENERGY AND OPPOSE NUCLEAR POWER & FOSSIL FUELS

Americans and Energy Policy: The Myth of the Partisan Divide

Popular Mechanics Bulb Test

Consumer Articles: Home Efficiency

Programs and Tips

Energy Star is the national program that rates appliances and promotes energy savings activities. Experts at the US Environmental Protection Agency and US Department of Energy have also sorts of programs and tips. Here are three sites: