How to Research Alternative Energy Stocks

Let us say you have decided to look into the possiblities of alternative energy.
Perhaps even put some money into it, but you don't know where to start?
Perhaps you have even started researching this field and want to get further information on alternative energy stocks.
Or you may be doing some writing on the topic.
In any of these cases, you want to access good information quickly.
These stocks are going through the ceiling.

Even though 2007 was a static year for most investments, alternative energy stocks such as solar energy have grown. This growth outpaced the stockmarket indices last year, and, though growth is expected to slow,it is still expected to be substantial. The technology for alternative energy is still in its infancy and great developments are still expected. The problems of fossil fuels makes more and more peope realize that alternatives need to be found.

Recently, we have seen weather changes, shortages in oil, increases in prices at the pump and many other problems that make the public think more and more about alternative energy. Investments in this technology will alleviate these problems while bringing a profit to investors.

Invesing in alternative energy stocks is investing in an unlimited resource, since you are investing in the technology, not the resource itself.

How do you get the information you need about alternative energy stocks? The best single place is the internet. Information changes daily, so new information is made available constantly.

There are websites that can give you comparative performances between the various alternative energy stocks.

Look at all of the advantages and disadvantages of each of these stocks and decide.

Just be alert to the fact that some websites are sponsored by the stock they are touting.

In other words, trying to influence you to buy their stock.

And receive your investment.

Even if you see a strong expected growth pattern, you need to be careful that it is not a stock that will fizzle out quickly. You're in this market to make money, not lose it.

So don't just examine the fact sheet about a stock; make sure you know the history of the company and its principals.

There are even some mutual funds that specialize in alternative energy stocks. That makes the decision easier for you.

In theory, if you found the right start up alternative energy company, you could be investing in the next Microsoft.

It has become clear that alternative energy is going to be the primary source of energy for the future.

We know now that we cannot continue to power the earth by poisoning it.

Or help our economies by destroying them.

Alternative energy is the investment for today.


Explaining the Difference between Carbon Offsets and Renewable Energy Credits

You think you understand renewable energy credits. You're sure you understand Carbon Offsets. You are fuzzy on the details about how they differ and when the purchase of one or the other might be appropriate. Never fear! This article explains the key differences, and similarities, between the two.
The first difference is the way that offsets and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) are measured. Carbon offsets are measured in metric tons of C02 or C02 Equivalent. Renewable Energy Credits are measured in kilowatt hours, which are a standard electricity measurement metric. A kilowatt hour is the amount of work that can be performed by one kilowatt of energy in one hour.

Picture a lonely, dim lightbulb hanging from the ceiling that turns on for one hour each day by which you feverishly darn socks in a carbon constrained world; that's a watt, and for the privilege of its use, you'll be charged for 1/1000 kwh of electricity each day. These days, you probably use a several kwh per day.

The second difference between carbon offsets and renewable energy credits is that renewable energy credits only come from renewable energy projects (solar, wind geothermal, biofuels, etc.) while carbon offsets can come from all different kinds of projects, including renewable energy generation, that reduce the level of greenhouse gases that are entering the atmosphere.

To put it another way, RECs are primarily concerned with promoting the generation of clean energy, while carbon offsets are primarily concerned with preventing the emissions that enter the atmosphere.

They are both systems that have developed to deal with global warming systematically, but they have different approaches. RECs are forward looking, focused on building a clean energy economy and providing an extra incentive for the creation of renewable energy, while carbon offsets are oriented in the present, dealing with preventing greenhouse gases from entering the atmosphere right now.

Because of these different measurement systems and the different foci of the two programs, RECs and carbon offsets have different precision rates when it comes to carbon. Carbon offsets are all about exactitude, and many of the discussions about the efficacy of offsets center around the degree of certainty a buyer has that the exact amount of carbon s/he has paid for is actually being prevented or captured. RECs, on the other hand, are measured in kilowatt hours, and the carbon content of that 'saved' kwh differs depending on the location of the project and the quality of the local electricity.

The dirtier the local electricity, the more carbon an REC 'saves.' Different utilities around the country use different mixes of energy sources, from coal to natural gas to renewables, to create electricity. These sources vary widely in their carbon content. To make matters even more confusing, a utility might even change the mix it uses depending on the time of day- when peak load sets in they might have to rely on dirtier power sources than they would otherwise.

So, it's impossible to say exactly how much carbon a clean kwh of renewable energy 'offsets.' The closest we can get is to use the 'emissions factor' for energy from the local utility, which is the average emissions for the mix of sources that the utility uses to create power, and multiply it by the number of kilowatt hours to produce an estimate of the carbon saved per kilowatt. But it will always be an estimate.

This is not to say that RECs are no good. They are an extremely effective way to promote clean energy because they give the providers and extra incentive to keep creating clean energy and we need all the incentives we can get to move toward a clean energy economy. RECs just aren't the most accurate way to offset carbon. I highly recommend using RECs to offset electricity use, because your electric bills will have a record of the exact number of kwh you used, and you can buy RECs to account for all the dirty emissions your plugged-in Macbook caused. Then, you can buy carbon offsets to cover all your driving and flying.

'But what about renewable carbon offsets?', you say. 'Those seem like the best of both worlds!' I'm getting there. Those are good to, and if you really value the promotion of clean energy despite some of the accuracy issues, you can buy renewable energy offsets. Many times offsets will actually come from the exact same projects as the RECs, but the nice thing about buying the offset version instead of buying RECs and doing the calculations yourself is that someone else, hopefully a third party verifier, is determining how much carbon each kwh of clean energy replaced. So you don't have to! Rest easy, and lay off the carbon guilt.

About the Author:

James Nash is a climate scientist with Greatest Planet ( Greatest Planet is a non-profit environmental organization specialising in carbon offset investments. James Nash is solely responsible for the contents of this article.


Dummies Guide To Green Living

What is Green Living - Green Living is a life philosophy. Proponents of green living aims to conduct their lives in such a way that they have an all encompassing awareness of saving the earth and its environment.

As a supporter of Green living, you carry out your life in an eco-friendly and responsible manner, an attempt to minimize the size of your ecological footprint. Green living includes the conservation of resources, recycling, sustainability, green construction, alternative energy, organic food choices and other environmental topics.

Green Lifestyle - Each choice you make requires a consideration of the consequences of the choice, and the way that the decision will affect the environment and all living things within it. Ecological consciousness and care for the earth are of paramount importance in the decision-making process.By minimizing their "ecological footprints" - the extent to which they create an environmental impact, proponents of green living hope to preserve the earth for future generations of human beings and other life.

Green Technology - Green technology is essential for the conservation of energy, soil health, green building, environmentally preferred purchasing, green chemistry and green nanotechnology.Developing green technology includes toxic-waste-eating trees, smart electricity grids and floating environmental sensors. Then there is the alternative-energy home fueling station that could jump-start the long-awaited hydrogen economy. This technology may seem far out-but it will probably be here a lot sooner than we think.

Green Building - Green building is basically the practice of using eco-friendly building materials and designing homes and offices to be more energy efficient.A zero-energy building has no net energy consumption when measured across a year's time. It uses alternative energy sources like solar and wind power. Both zero- and low-energy buildings are great for green living.

Green Energy - Green technologist aims produce energy without burning all the world's coal and using all the world's fossil fuels and natural resources. Alternative energy is related to green living as it includes energy alternatives to traditional fossil fuels. The main drive behind alternative energy is to find renewable, eco-friendly sources of energy like solar or wind power.

Organic Food - Organic food refers to food items that are produced, processed and packaged without using chemicals. Organic food is increasingly becoming popular due to its perceived health benefits over conventional food. Droves of people are turning to organic produce as a way to feel safer about the foods they eat. People are worried about the foods they put into their bodies. With all of the reports of food poisoning from fruits and vegetables, many people are worried about what they are eating.

Renewable Energy - Strictly speaking, renewable energy is energy that is replenished at the same rate it's used. As the center of green living, renewable energy encourages use of solar, wind, and other alternative forms of energy.

Solar Energy - Solar energy is the conversion of the sun's rays to energy, very good for green living. Active solar technology uses electrical or mechanical equipment to convert the sun's rays into usable energy for heating or whatever. Passive solar technology does not use any outside non-solar energy.

Sustainablility - Sustainability, central to green living, is about preserving the environment and natural resources for years to come. It is the process of maintaining a small ecological footprint so that one's life has no permanent detrimental effect on the earth. There are specific fields within it like sustainable architecture, sustainable agriculture, and sustainable development.Green living habits are worthwhile no matter what our circumstances - privileged or not.
About the Author:

Paul Hata is active in various social and community programs aimed at providing equal access to education,health and jobs to all.Paul has over 10 years experience in managing a multi-million dollar advertising company.Paul can be reached at -


Fuel Economy-a Beginners Guide

What is Fuel Economy?

According to Wikipedia, fuel economy in cars is the amount of fuel required to move a vehicle over a given distance. It is usually measured by the amount of fuel used per unit distance i.e. the number of litres of fuel used to travel 100 kilometres. The lower the value, the better the fuel economy as it takes less fuel to drive the same distance.

Why is Fuel Economy important?

With petrol prices at an all time high, a few simple steps to improve your fuel economy can save you money, which is always good. Plus, burning fossil fuels adds to pollution and climate change, and adds to our dependence on oil which, as we know, is a non-renewable source of energy.

What can I do to improve Fuel Economy?

Hybrid cars are considered to be extremely fuel efficient. A hybrid car is powered by petrol and electricity, so doesn’t burn petrol all the time. The Toyota Prius model, for example, is rated as the Top Performer on the Green Vehicle Guide from the Australian government with a fuel consumption of 4.4L per 100km.

Can I improve Fuel Economy without spending money?

Yes! The good news is there are lots of ways in which you can improve fuel economy without buying a new car or gadgets.

On the Road

  • Watch Your Speed - Higher speeds use more fuel. Most cars run at a maximum efficiency around 95kmph (60mph). Website shows how driving speed affects gas mileage.

  • Drive smoothly – Avoid stopping and starting your vehicle as it takes more fuel to get a vehicle moving than it does to keep it moving. Aggressive driving like rapid acceleration and braking also wastes fuel as when you do it, you send more fuel to the engine.

  • Using Cruise Control can help save fuel as you travel at a constant speed

In the Garage

  • Look after your car – regular maintenance will avoid fuel economy problems like dragging brakes or transmission problems. A well lubricated engine reduces friction and takes less fuel to run. Also, keeping your car clean and waxed improves aerodynamics and fuel economy!

  • Correct tyre pressure is vital for fuel efficiency. Properly inflated tyres have less contact with the road, encounter less friction so the engine doesn’t have to work as hard to move the car.

  • Check your air filters – dirty air filters restrict air flow to the engine which reduces performance and economy.

  • Clean out the boot! Added weight reduces fuel economy.

Some other tips

  • Plan your trips so you make one big trip instead of lots of small ones – a warm engine is more efficient than a cool one.

  • Buy fuel on Tuesdays when it’s cheapest!

  • Keep an eye on cheap fuel prices in your area. Check out for Sydney.

Favourite Tip

While researching this piece, I came across one tip that most people would probably be willing to try – work a four day week! By driving to work one day less a week, you can save on fuel costs and help the environment. Now that’s one idea I will be pitching to the boss…


Eight Green Gift Ideas

Copyright (c) 2008 Virginia Ginsburg
Giving green gifts is increasingly popular, as it provides an opportunity for your gift to stand out from the crowd and make a positive impact on the Earth.
When giving a green gift, you have to consider several elements, including the gift itself, its source, its packaging, and the company providing it. These elements all make an impact on the Earth, and thus deserve careful consideration.

First of all, the gift itself must be considered. Ideally, its contents should be organic, or at least have a minimum impact on the Earth. For example, paper products should be recycled; cloth products should be made of organic fibers like cotton, bamboo or hemp. Wooden products should be made of fast-growing woods or recycled hard woods.

Second, the packaging of the product should be minimal to reduce waste. Seek zero packaging when possible. Next best is recycled paper packaging. The least desirable packaging is plastic, which takes significant energy to produce and is difficult to recycle. If the only option is plastic packaging, seek minimal amounts of plastic.

Third, the source of the gift is important based on both human rights considerations and transportation costs. It's no secret that most U.S. companies manufacture their products outside of the U.S. This is sometimes the only option when it comes to economy, but you can be a conscious consumer by researching the country of origin to determine how likely it is that they frequently are cited for human rights violations. The fuel costs involved in shipping products from foreign countries vary, but can make a significant impact on the product's overall cost to the environment.

Finally, consider the company itself. It may surprise you to discover that some companies that sell green products are actually not green at all. They may actually be less than green companies. Other companies that use less sustainable products may in fact be greener overall when you consider product sourcing and packaging. The best thing to do is to think beyond the label on a product and do a little bit of research. Consider the concepts above and apply them to all of your green purchases for more conscious consumption.

Eight Easy Options For Green Gift Giving

1. Gift Certificates - require almost no transportation resources or packaging, and ensure the recipient will get exactly what he or she wants. Choose local, environmentally-conscious companies from which to secure the certificates.

2. Organic Products - are often sourced from environmentally-conscious companies that minimize their impact on the world. Consider clothing, accessories and beauty items.

3. Charity Donation - requires no transportation resources or packaging, and directly make a positive impact on the world. Check out organizations that benefit global resource initiatives, focusing on something meaningful to the recipient like water or air quality, or wildlife protection.

4. Local Home-Made Products - buying locally-made products supports the local economy and minimizes transportation impact. Look for hand-made gift items like bags, decorative boxes and children's toys.

5. Massage - a hands-on gift requires almost no waste, and the only products required are a little bit of massage oil.

6. Eco Spa Day - while many spas use treatments that are tested on animals and contain ingredients that don't meet the green standard, eco spas specialize in treating guests to luxury without negatively impacting the Earth.

7. Home-Made Food - if you like to cook, select the best organic and locally-grown products available and prepare a home-made meal that you can either share or drop off. Don't live nearby? Bake organic cookies and send them in the mail.

8. Week of Groceries - take the task of grocery shopping off their to-do list by visiting the local farmer's market or responsible grocery store. Remember to include some recipes for how they can cook the food!


How Green Are Green Cars?

With the issue of global warming taking on international importance in recent years, unsurprisingly the focus has fallen on car drivers, with cars seen as one of the major contributors towards global warming. Green cars have been held up as a potential solution, one that motorists should be embracing.
But are green cars actually 'green'?

Firstly, let's take pure electric cars. Unfortunately these electric cars are anything but good for the environment. The electricity that they run on is produced in power stations, where only 30-40% of the energy is converted into electricity. Transferring this electricity along electric cables then results in a further 30% being lost to heat energy. So by the time this electricity reaches an electric car a huge amount of the energy has already been lost. Good for cutting down inner city pollution but efficient it certainly isn't.

Recently hybrid cars have been preferred, cars that contain both an electric motor and a petrol engine. The battery for the motor is powered by the energy generated from braking. When it comes to being 'green' these cars in theory offer many more environmental benefits.

In practice this isn't necessarily the case. Consumer magazine Which? tested four hybrid cars by driving them throughout London. The results were disappointing, as mentioned by George Marshall-Thornhill, senior researcher for Which?, "Some of these should have performed much better." And this is all without mentioning how to dispose of troublesome electric batteries.

Then there's the cost of hybrid cars. The Toyota Prius is the most popular hybrid car and can be purchased for around £17,000. However, with fuel economy claims in doubt and 55% of people believing that green cars are too expensive, there is still some way to go before green cars arrive on a large scale.

The facts are that green cars use more energy to produce, are harder to dispose of, their fuel economy claims have been doubted, and they are simply too expensive. The age of the green car has not arrived yet.

About the Author:
Charles Cridland founded the car parking site, where you can rent a parking space or find a parking space or garage to rent.


Wave and Tidal Power to Generate Electricity

It’s not a new idea, but until now technology was insufficient to realize wave energy projects in industry sizes. Long stretches of western coastline open to energy-laden North Atlantic waves and tides make Scotland a very good place for developing wave and tidal power generation systems. The long-lasting marine renewables industry is booming right now, or it will for sure in the coming years. These investments are very capital-intensive they depend on building large wave and tidal power systems on enormous territories that connect into a grid... This is one of the reasons why progress has been limited.

Estimations show that systems built on the west coast of Scotland could produce up to 20 gigawatts and an average of 80 terrawatt-hour per year! Holy cow, that is 1/5 of UK’s total electrical consumption! Hydro and wind take up large portion of installed renewable power sources, including biomass to electricity and biomass heat, Scottish Renewables states in a recent statistic publication.

Major companies invest in wind and solar farms instead of wave and tidal plants. Private investors and large multinational companies don’t like to risk: they stick with something that is working already, no matter what developers of marine renewables demonstrate (like the aforementioned study that would guarantee 1/5 of UK’s consumption from renewable source without the need to sacrifice croplands or meadows!).

It is good to know though, that there are already future plans and alternatives to current-alternatives like wind and solar power (no matter how odd this may sound). These last ones are available for end consumers also like you and me, and if you want to know how to harness them to eliminate your power bill, click on the link found at the end of this article!


Wind Power Battery Storage System

There is a new Canadian technology could make wind power a much more reliable source of energy with their new wind power battery storage system. VRB Power Systems Inc. ( is a company in Vancouver that has developed a large-scale storage unit which allows it to a hold significant amount of power.

These batteries could be the solution to the main problem that we have with wind, the fact that it is unpredictable. Five percent of the electricity produced in Saskatchewan comes from wind. Wind power would be a great alternative to using coal if they could only predict the amount of wind they would be receiving.

Hydro offers a dependable power supply to meet basic industrial and residential needs. Wind adds to the mix of hydro and gas however it does not do it consistently. Wind can decide to blow at night when there is no demand for it at all, or it may decide to be unavailable when people actually need it.

Although coal is a much more dependable resource, it has a huge downside and that is the amount of pollution that it sends off into the atmosphere. To use clean coal technology would be very expensive. The new power plant that might be built in Saskatchewan will cost roughly $1.5 billion to produce 300 MW of power that we could actually use.

If they decided to spend the same amount of money on wind the plant would be able to give off 1,000 MW of power. However unfortunately for the reasons that have been already stated they can not rely on wind power to satisfy the people’s basic needs. It would be wonderful if we could store large amounts of wind power and then use it when it is necessary. Although storing wind power in batteries is not feasible, the VRB wind power battery storage system technology just may allow it to be possible of us to do so.


Green Electricity is Here…why Aren’t You Going Green ?

After long wait, the supposed energy “crisis” just might force politicians to finally get us off the Middle Eastern tit of oil. I am going to put myself out on a limb here and say that I actually think the high gas prices are a good thing. While they do leave a pain in the wallet of most American families - mine included - the reality is that the way we Americans seem to learn best is through the wallet.

Take cigarettes, for example. When the cost of a pack of cigarettes became so high that buying them became more than a thoughtless expense, the consumer demand for smokes started going down. How many remember all those surgeon general warnings and studies showing that smoking was bad for us? All the warnings in the world weren’t enough to get people to put out their smokes. It wasn’t until the cost started to rise that people finally took notice. The point is that money talks when it comes to getting us to make a change, and I firmly believe that the same holds true when it comes to making an energy change.

It didn’t take the Japanese long to figure out that Americans make decisions with their wallets. That is precisely why they are building more economical automobiles while providing the level of quality American consumers demand. Thanks to the better leadership of Japanese companies and their desire to invest in energy saving technology, a growing number of Americans are making better energy choices with their wallets. While it may take awhile for us to make the transformation from gas to hybrid technology to sensible ethanol, biomass or hydrogen technology for our transportation, there are choices that Americans can already be making right now in their own homes that can help with the “crisis” we are currently facing.

The facts are simple. The vast majority of electricity comes from coal fired plants, followed by natural gas, nuclear and hydroelectric plants. In the future, we can hope that biomass technology will also contribute substantially to electrical production. At present, there are also many wind and solar projects in the works, but there is still a need for a greater amount of change.

Experts agree that most consumers realize global warming is occurring and are at least somewhat aware of the importance of shrinking their carbon footprints. Most think this involves having solar panels on their house and using fluorescent light bulbs. While both are certainly helpful, getting green power is an easier and more effective step to take.

Unfortunately, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that only 700,000 out of 122.5 million American households are buying green power. While it is true that not all households have access to green energy sources, only about 1.8% of those with access to green energy are participating in these programs. Some areas of the country, such as Palo Alto, California in Silicon Valley, are ahead of the curve when it comes to switching to green energy. In fact, the participating rates in this part of the country are at about 20%. Palo Alto is somewhat of an anomaly in that the city is home to a highly educated affluent populace that is receptive to change and innovation. Nearby Santa Clara also has stellar participating rate of about 8.7%.

But, the real question is why aren’t more people taking advantage of these programs? The answer is simple: many are not aware that they can actually buy green power.

The Green Power Network, which is run by the department of energy, makes it easy for you to see whether or not you can purchase green power through your local utility company. While there is a small premium for choosing green power, most can easily make up for the extra cost by foregoing their daily super latte from the coffee shop.

Currently, 44 states offer green electrical power to their customers. In order to participate in one of these programs, you simply buy and pay for green power from your usual supplier. For most Californians, this would be either Pacific Gas & Electric or Southern California Edison. Your supplier then applies the amount of power you purchase to the grid system.

Most power companies also sell green “renewable energy certificates,” or RECs, separately. RECs represent one megawatt hour( MWh) of renewable energy, which may be produced from solar, wind or other renewable sources. Each MWh you purchase means that one less MWh of the polluting coal variety needs to be produced.

Excluding hydroelectric energy, only about 3% of our nation’s energy currently comes from renewable energy sources. In California, the figure is more like 11% and new legislation mandates that utility companies produce 20% energy of their energy from renewable sources by 2010. As you can imagine, the companies are scrambling to sign contracts with renewable energy producers. The reality is that there may not be enough capacity for them to meet the goal by 2010 but, if you ask me, the goal should be higher and the state should be shooting for having 33% of its energy being from renewable sources by 2020. Now, that is a goal that can make a real difference.






The Investment Into Green Energy

In the United States, Canada and Australia both commercial and residential consumers can buy green energy from their standard local utility provider of from a provider that specializes in green energy. Many third party suppliers of energy provide green energy electricity that is produced from renewable resources. This energy is delivered to consumers by way of their local electric utility company. The consumer who opts for this green energy course pays a small premium each month on her or his utility bill as the additional cost of the green energy they are getting. The other option is to buy directly from the green energy supplier.

Of course, when a consumer buys the green energy via the local utility company he or she can not know its really green energy in other words, they do not know that they truly got what they paid extra for. It is a matter of trust. The local electric company buys the electricity from the various producers. These can be nuclear, coal, hydroelectric power on a large scale or green energy providers such as solar and wind energy producers.

Must electricity from the local utility company in any country comes from fossil fuels or nuclear power that is not renewable and or pollutes the environment to a high and dangerous level. Green energy is the current provider of a minimal percentage of our worlds electricity. In fact, when utility companies buy green energy for the consumers that request it they generally only buy 25 percent of what they ultimately provide to all.

Consumers who sign up with their local utility provider to pay a premium each month for green energy are not only helping to save their environment but they are also sending a message to the utility companies and the legislature that they are willing to pay extra for healthy air for us all.

There are environmentally conscious, forward thinking countries such as the Netherlands that have committed themselves to matching their consumers purchase of green energy with an equal amount of green energy buy for governmental use. The government of Holland exempts green energy producers and users from its pollution tax. This exemption brings the cost of green energy consumption down considerably.

Several organizations in Europe promote the consumption of green energy, and there are a number of green energy providers, although the high cost of electricity in those countries has kept the use of the less expensive gas and oil the majority provider.

At work now are efforts to distribute cheap renewable electricity in these countries so the average electrical consumer can afford to support the environment and clean air efforts with the use of green energy products. Consumers can install their very own renewable green energy system, based locally.

This may be solar, wind or even water power. Geothermal heat pumps also provide green energy by tapping a few feet into the earths temperature.

Many U.S. states now offer monetary incentives for those who want to use the more costly green energy electricity sources.


Electric Cars: Plug in Today!

Call it an electric vehicle (EV) or call it a battery electric vehicle (BEV), but a rose by any other name would still smell sweet if it utilized green technology. Electric cars flourished in the late 1800s and early 1900s, but limitations like low top speeds helped seal their fate. Advances in manufacturing processes of internal combustion engines, the starter motor, increased mileage ranges, and cheaper gasoline production methods all helped to nudge electric cars off the road. Of course there are those who say that big oil was behind the defeat of electric cars. There has been some credence given to these sorts of claims by the fact that GM had developed an electric cars in the 1980's only to have it shelved after pressure from oil companies. With emissions from 600 million vehicles contributing to global warming, hybrid electric cars are the probably the next best alternative we have. Yet companies like Tesla have put pure electric cars back on the map. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they are a pleasure to ride. As time goes on more and more car companies will move first to hybrids, but then ultimately to fully electric cars.

Where are all those electric cars?

A completely electric car doesn't yet exist for mainstream commercial use. There is a neighborhood class of electric cars, or personal electric vehicles (PEVs). While the battery can recharge overnight while you sleep, a 30 to 40 mile range isn't likely to sit well even with the little ole' lady from Pasadena.

What about Hybrid Electric Cars?

The practical solution for now is electric hybrids that utilize two fuel sources. Gasoline-electric cars are a cross between a gasoline-powered car and an electric car, and a mild electric hybrid has enhanced performance as a first priority and fuel economy second.

The Chevrolet Volt, scheduled for production in 2010, is an extended-range electric hybrid car that will use gas or E85 ethanol. Its battery can be recharged while driving, and its estimated driving range is 640 miles. A full electric hybrid pursues optimal fuel economy, and cars like the Toyota Prius Hybrid and the Honda Civic Hybrid fall within this latter category. Since all electric hybrids use some gasoline, it is a compromise, but reduced emissions and minimized shortcomings of the electric car are a start, yet far from the ideal vision of a complete clean fuel car.

Hybrid electric cars also allow for the transition in terms of infrastructure to fully electric propulsion system. Hybrids just might be around until enough electric and /or battery stations are around in order to keep charging the fleet of electric cars. Ultimately as new sources for primary energy (like wind and solar) come on board a greater incentive for manufacturers and consumers to develop and buy pure electric cars may in fact occur. One can only hope as the world faces dire predictions of peak oil and global warming that these vehicles and infrastructure can be developed and built quickly and inexpensively.


How Solar Power Makes a Difference

Solar power is one of those phrases you hear a lot of these days. But what is solar power, and how does it benefit you to use it? While the term "solar power" is often used interchangeably with the term "solar energy," solar power refers specifically to the converting solar energy into electricity. How can it be stored so that it can be used at night, or during adverse conditions?

 In a nutshell, solar power is created one of two ways: Active solar techonolgies work by "collecting" solar energy. Sunlight shines on special panels, called solar panels, that transform the light into DC electricity. This electricity is converted to AC power and is either used in your home during the day, stored in a thermal storage system, or fed into the local utility grid. At night, electricity is drawn from either the storage system or the grid for use in your home. Passive solar technologies include things like designing a building relative to the way it faces the Sun, and the use of solar design packages, which tie together solar lighting, heating, and ventilation systems forming a complete residential solar power system.

Active solar technology can boost the effectiveness of these passive systems. Thermal storage systems use materials with high specific heat capacities, like water, stone, and earth, which are generally readily available. Solar energy advantages include energy and money savings, less reliance on conventional power systems which can be at the mercy of varying weather conditions, especially during the storm season and external influences over which we have no control. Another advantage which is quite important is the fact that solar power energy is a totally clean power source producing no harmful emissions.

One of the earliest major scientific applications of solar power was on commercial satellites. Solar power is not, however, a new idea. The ancients used systems of lenses and mirrors to concentrate solar energy for various purposes. Due to natural and economic fluctuations in the supply of oil, natural gas, and other resources, the call for solar power is increasing rapidly, and is likely to continue to do so as technologies develop that make harnessing it and using it more viable and less expensive. Read more


The Wind Farm Debate

Wind power is proportional to the cube of the wind's speed, so relatively minor increases in speed result in large changes in potential output. Individual turbines vary in size and power output from a few hundred watts to two or three megawatts (as a guide, a typical domestic system would be 2.5 - 6 kilowatts, depending on the location and size of the home).

Uses range from very small turbines supplying energy for battery charging systems (e.g. on boats or in homes), to turbines grouped on wind farms supplying electricity to the grid.

In Saddleworth, near Greater Manchester, an eco-war about wind turbines is waging. United Utilities want to build seven 350 foot wind turbines.

These will generate enough power to supply the average electricity needs of 8,500 homes in the local area. This wind farm is not situated out to sea but in the picturesque hills of the Saddleworth Moors and would be visible for miles around. Government targets state that 10% of the UK's energy should be supplied by renewable resources by 2010 and developments like the Saddleworth Moor turbines would contribute towards that total. Leading environmentalists from across the country have previously convened in Saddleworth for the first ever National Forum opposing the creation of wind farms on rural beauty spots.

World renowned TV botanist, Professor David Bellamy, joined former Downing Street press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham and hundreds of activists at the National Wind Farm Group Conference. There were a total of representatives from over 50 environmental groups from across the country attending this event. It aimed to raise awareness about the perceived dangers of wind farms and bring environmental groups closer together in their fight against the government.

The Saddleworth Moors Action Group says the turbines would have a negative impact on a unique landscape. The group also insist their campaign is not prompted by "not in my backyard" sentiments, but through a genuine desire to preserve the character of the local area.

One could argue that the government is not bothered about the environment then they are continually financing the construction of coal fired power stations in the third world and building more airports and more motorways in Britain? As tensions are mounting in Iran and Nigeria leading to increased oil prices, is now not the ideal time to exploit wind power both on land and at sea via grants to companies? With labour slipping up at the local elections in 05/06 and the Conservatives pushing the eco argument, is not in Labours interest to follow the Conservatives lead and not to pay lip service to wind farms as they currently do?


Will the people that have to live near wind farms and see the things every day change their minds and believe that wind farms form a concerted effort to save the environment or just another commercial money making scheme for the companies involved?

See renewable energy companies in GuideMeGreen’s green directory


Working With The Power Of Wind

Wind power is growing in popularity as an alternative to fossil fuel and one of the best of the renewable energy sources. The use of wind power requires wind turbines. Wind turbine generators do little to harm the environment and are far preferable in this regard to fossil fuel. The only disadvantage is that they cannot be used everywhere. In order to effectively use turbines to generate wind power you would need an average wind speed of at least 13 miles per hour. Obviously, that is not found everywhere.

Palm Springs California is ideal for wind turbines that generate power and as you pass through there along highway 10 you will see these wind turbines in various sizes. Called a wind farm, This San Bernadino Mountain area has over 4000 windmills in its San Gorgonio Mountain Pass. These turbines provide enough wind power to provide electricity to all of Palm Springs and the Coachella Valley area as a whole. Most of the current wind power generation in the U.S. resides in California.

The largest of the wind power windmills is 150 feet in height with blades that stretch halfway across a football field. There are compartments at the windmills top that house its generators, its hub and its gearbox. These weigh at least 30,000 and as much as 45,000 pounds. At this size the turbine for wind power may cost more than 300,000 but will provide 300 kilowatts each hour. This amount of wind power is enough to keep one typical household in electrical power for an entire month.

The American Wind Energy Association AWEA is a U.S. - wide non-profit organization promoting wind power as a clean electrical source for consumers the world over. AWEA represents developers of wind power projects, those who are in the business of supplying wind power equipment, wind power service providers, manufacturers of wind power parts, utilities that provide wind power for electrical power, scientists researching green energy resources that include the use of wind power and others involved in any way in the wind power industry. Hundreds of advocates of wind power are also members of AWEA.

The American Wind Energy Association provides the latest information on the operation of current or potential wind power projects, the ongoing development of new wind power projects, companies who work in the burgeoning industry, the development of new wind energy technology, and government legislation and policies that pertain to the use, production and funding of wind power and other renewable energies.

AWEA acts as a clearing house for the wind power industry, and as such communicates the pertinent statistics, facts and news. From AWEA consumers and others can find out the latest legislative decisions and efforts, including the best information on grants and loans to aid in the implementation of residential, commercial and governmental wind power projects.

AWEA publishes and disseminates the only weekly wind power newsletter that exists anywhere. It also hosts an annual wind power conference, with presentations on the latest technological developments and trends as well as access to businesses offering help in its implementation.


How Wind Energy in Los Angeles Helps the Environment

In 2006, the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power in an alliance with General Electric, went forward with a 120 megawatt wind farm, named the Pine Tree Wind Project. It is hoped that it will one day satisfy 20 percent of the utility's energy requirements.

Back in 2004, wind energy in the whole state of California produced more than 4,200 million kilowatt-hours of electricity, approximately 1.5 percent of all electricity generated. More than 90 percent of all of the state's wind generating apparatus is located in three regions: Altamont Pass, San Gorgonio and Tehachapi.

Wind power plants are comprised of turbines that take advantage of the energy in wind motion to make mechanical energy, which is then converted into electrical energy. Wind turbines can be placed near farms, homes and businesses in breezy locations, such as along the Los Angeles coast. Turbines are deployable in areas where it isn't cost-efficient to place power lines.

The parts of a wind farm include turbines, which feed through an underground power conduit and a connection from the farm to the closest power grid. Wind power is more accessible in certain seasons because the climate affects wind speed. In Los Angeles, speeds are highest in the scorching summer period. An estimated three-quarters of all yearly wind energy is generated during the spring and summer.

Though power created by older wind turbines is not as cost effective as some other forms of energy generation, new generation wind turbine designs should be able to compete with power costs from nuclear and coal plants.

Some advantages in utilizing wind energy include: replacement of polluting conventional power plants; no pollution in the air, soil or water; it is completely renewable; the installment is relatively swift; and energy production not swayed by gas and oil price increases.

However, there are some issues with wind power, such as: the required use of extensive tracts of land, albeit the fact that simultaneous land uses are available for such tasks as agriculture and cattle grazing. Other potential concerns are that it can cause erosion in desert areas, and disrupt wildlife habitats.


The Wind Farm Debate

Wind power is proportional to the cube of the wind's speed, so relatively minor increases in speed result in large changes in potential output. Individual turbines vary in size and power output from a few hundred watts to two or three megawatts (as a guide, a typical domestic system would be 2.5 - 6 kilowatts, depending on the location and size of the home).

Uses range from very small turbines supplying energy for battery charging systems (e.g. on boats or in homes), to turbines grouped on wind farms supplying electricity to the grid.

In Saddleworth, near Greater Manchester, an eco-war about wind turbines is waging. United Utilities want to build seven 350 foot wind turbines.

These will generate enough power to supply the average electricity needs of 8,500 homes in the local area. This wind farm is not situated out to sea but in the picturesque hills of the Saddleworth Moors and would be visible for miles around. Government targets state that 10% of the UK's energy should be supplied by renewable resources by 2010 and developments like the Saddleworth Moor turbines would contribute towards that total. Leading environmentalists from across the country have previously convened in Saddleworth for the first ever National Forum opposing the creation of wind farms on rural beauty spots.

World renowned TV botanist, Professor David Bellamy, joined former Downing Street press secretary, Sir Bernard Ingham and hundreds of activists at the National Wind Farm Group Conference. There were a total of representatives from over 50 environmental groups from across the country attending this event. It aimed to raise awareness about the perceived dangers of wind farms and bring environmental groups closer together in their fight against the government.

The Saddleworth Moors Action Group says the turbines would have a negative impact on a unique landscape. The group also insist their campaign is not prompted by "not in my backyard" sentiments, but through a genuine desire to preserve the character of the local area.

One could argue that the government is not bothered about the environment then they are continually financing the construction of coal fired power stations in the third world and building more airports and more motorways in Britain? As tensions are mounting in Iran and Nigeria leading to increased oil prices, is now not the ideal time to exploit wind power both on land and at sea via grants to companies? With labour slipping up at the local elections in 05/06 and the Conservatives pushing the eco argument, is not in Labours interest to follow the Conservatives lead and not to pay lip service to wind farms as they currently do?


Will the people that have to live near wind farms and see the things every day change their minds and believe that wind farms form a concerted effort to save the environment or just another commercial money making scheme for the companies involved?

See renewable energy companies in GuideMeGreen’s green directory


Vertical Axis Wind Generators

The vertical axis wind turbine which is sometimes referred to as the (VAWT) for short, is a wind power machine that has been designed so that it maybe attached to a flat roof or stand on a platform in either the rural or urban environment. This type of generator has several advantages to it such as, because of the fact that it can be placed at the bottom close to the ground, the tower does not have to support the generator can be placed at the bottom, not only that but the turbine does not need to be pointed in the direction of the wind.

Although it certainly has its advantages, the turbine also has its disadvantages. Some of the disadvantages are that it is not an easy task to mount vertical axis turbines onto towers, because of this they normally have to operate slower and get the turbulent air flow close to the ground, which results in a less efficient energy extraction.

They only produce roughly 50% of the energy that a horizontal wind generator produces. They also have to be installed on a flat piece of land nothing steep and although steepness of an area might be a problem for a vertical wind generator, that is not a problem for a horizontal wind power generator.

However, like I said before it is not all negative there are also many advantages. Some of these include that seeing how the rotor blades are vertical, you do not have to have a yaw device so this reduces the need for a bearing and its cost. Vertical wind power generators can be at lower heights which can be useful when having to deal with laws that have certain height restrictions to them. Finally, smaller vertical wind generators are much easier to transport.


How to Build A Hydrogen Fuel Cell

Hydrogen power has garnered all the hype these days and if you think that people are not using it, then you're quite wrong. In fact, more and more people are now looking for a limitless supply of clean and usable hydrogen fuel. Have you finally decided to get a hydrogen fuel cell for your vehivle? If your answer to this question is a yes, read on to find out how.

There are a lot of advantages in building a hydrogen fuel cell. One is that it is cheap. If you're looking for a cost effective energy source, make it hydrogen fuel. The fuel cell does not require a huge amount of money or resources. The parts of the hydrogen fuel cell can be obtained from the hardware store in your locality. Even if the hydrogen fuel cell is a powerful system, the parts are fortunately inexpensive and not very complicated.

Another advantage is that the fuel cells are not complicated. In fact, the process is quite easy. You will the following in building the fuel cell:

1. Quart-sized water container

2. Vacuum hose

3. Electrical wiring to be used in connecting the car battery to an HHO generator

4. Baking soda

If you don't want to trouble yourself in purchasing the materials one by one, you can also buy HHO car kits. You can get the kits online or major local stores.

Once you have the different materials needed to build the fuel cells, you should be able to put them together properly. This is not hard to do as long as you have decent handyman skills. Building rocket power is definitely easy as compared to rocket science. The hydrogen fuel cells as mentioned awhile ago are not complicated and if you purchase the kits, it is equipped with step by step instructions in building the fuel cells.

So what's it going to be? Are you going to purchase the materials one by one and later on research for the procedure on the net? Or are you going to opt for the HHO car kits? The choice will greatly depend on the individual. Oftentimes, price is a great factor when choosing between these two options. Well, it's all up to you now. Just make sure that you choose the most cost effective way.

If you choose to purchase the materials one by one, you still need to find the needed information on how to build the hydrogen fuel cells. This is not a big problem and you have the internet to thank for. You can find all the needed resources online to help you build the fuel cells. You can print the instructions to guide you every step of the way.

On the other hand, if you opt for the HHO car kits, you hit two birds with one stone. All the materials needed to build the fuel cell are included in the kit and you don't have to research online for the instructions because it also included in the kit.

If you want to enjoy an unlimited supply of useful and clean energy, build your own HHO fuel cell now. As long as you know how to read and comprehend, you can build the fuel cells in no time. If you want, you can also ask help from friends and other family members.


Can You Build Hydrogen Fuel Cell For Your Car?

There are many advantages to hydrogen fuel cells. Hydrogen fuel cells are environmentally friendly. Hydrogen fuel cells use a renewable natural resource and hydrogen burns cleanly when combusted in the engine. The US government has also launched initiatives to make hydrogen affordable. As gas prices rise and hydrogen prices drop, hydrogen fuel cells are quickly becoming attractive options for car owners. Unfortunately, it is expensive to produce hydrogen fuel cells. But can you build hydrogen fuel cell for your car?

The simple answer is no. Hydrogen fuel cells are complex, sophisticated engines made by a highly trained team of experienced engineers. Commercially produced hydrogen fuel cells are complex in their engineering architecture. Considerable expertise, technology and manpower is required to produce hydrogen fuel cells.

Even if you had the resources and the money to produce your own hydrogen fuel cell, safety is another issue that you cannot ignore. Hydrogen is a highly combustible element, and a poorly made hydrogen fuel cell can produce explosive results. We highly advise against trying to build your own hydrogen fuel cell.

The technology used to build hydrogen fuel cells is so new, that most mechanics are unable to service a vehicle that uses hydrogen fuel cells, let alone build one from scratch. Not only are fuel cells difficult to build, but the materials required are also costly. Most hydrogen fuel cells use platinum as a catalyst. Platinum is a rare and expensive metal that is challenging to work with, especially for home automotive enthusiasts.

Even if you could build a hydrogen fuel cell, keep in mind that most hydrogen fuel cells are fragile. They are unable to withstand long term exposure to bumps and vibrations of everyday road travel.

Technology may eventually evolve to the point where we can build our own hydrogen fuel cells the same way automotive enthusiasts build their own gas combustion engines. Unfortunately, that day is still not here yet. Automotive hydrogen fuel cells are expensive and difficult to construct and maintain. And once constructed, their fragile nature exposes safety concerns that motorists should not have to contend with.

Small-scale hydrogen fuel cells can be created in your home if curiosity has truly piqued your interest. These experiments are easy and cheap to conduct. There are several websites that will show you how to make a home-made hydrogen fuel cell of science project quality. These projects are fun, and more importantly safe.

For a variety of reasons, you cannot build hydrogen fuel cell (s) that are safe or cost efficient. If you are looking to conserve gas and save the environment, there are other options available. HHO (2 parts of hydrogen, 1 part of oxygen) conversion kits can be utilized to allow your vehicle to partially run on water. These conversions can be safe, provided you closely follow a good guide. There are many different guides on HHO conversion, so it would be ideal to conduct some research before investing in a HHO conversion guide. Thankfully, HHO conversion can be simple, safe and environmentally friendly. So the next time you consider modifying your vehicle to save on gas, consider using water instead of hydrogen.


LPG: An Assessment Of Alternative Fuels

Availability of alternative fuels by number of stations:

LPG- 1228
Natural gas- 31

LPG is by far the most available alternative fuel. This enables more customers to be targeted and more customers are also more able to reach the fuel stations making it a more attractive option for customers. LPG is best suited to ‘thirsty’ fuel consuming cars or cars which have a high annual mileage. LPG cars bring many benefits i.e. less toxic emissions, cost savings per mile and congestion zone discounts.

Another option is biodiesel, which is biodegradable and better for the environment. It doesn’t really affect vehicles in a bad way and could make the engine run more smoothly. It is about the same price as diesel and generally believed to be better for the environment.

Natural gas is mainly used in trucks and buses etc, and includes benefits including being much quieter than diesel cars, less toxic emissions and a congestion zone discount. Drawbacks include low availability and large storage is needed.

Electricity is thought of as the ideal sustainable transport solution but in order to be ‘zero emission’ must be produced using a renewable energy source. Performance is similar or improved but barriers include high cost, lack of investment and large storage tanks are needed.

Bioethanol is again much better for the environment but running costs are similar to petrol and there is very limited availability.

Lastly, hydrogen is almost pollution-free but is still at an early stage in development and can cost up to 20 times more than petrol. There is currently no availability but there is potential for growth.

Undoubtedly, at the moment, LPG appears to be the best option due to its availability and benefits and will be looking to become even more widely known and used in the future.
About the Author
This Article was written by Daniel Muir for Fuelture Ltd. Fuelture Ltd is a UK based alternative fuel company with a national LPG conversion service. Fuelture Ltd aspires to build a unique network of state-of-the-art LPG Stations and to launch a unique LPG fuel card. Fuelture Ltd. works closely with performance engine specialists Nicholson McLaren Engines Ltd. Visit for more information about automotive LPG in the UK.


Bio-Fuels Myth Or Reality

The United States is currently in an uproar over the price of automotive fuel. Industry insiders are projecting the average cost of fuel to go above $3.00 per/gal. in the coming months. Many people are starting to reconsider summer vacation plans. So what solution do we have on the horizon to fight the ever increasing cost of Gasoline.

Today's latest term of indearment is Bio-Fuel. What could this actually be, are we going to place corn-cobs in our fuel tanks. Do we simply pull up to the local Fast Food restaurant and order a #3 and 10 gals of grease. Well not exactly, let's discuss each of the alternatives currently in the mass media vernacular:

First up the french fry grease myth. Yes with the properly equipped fast food restaurant we could drive up and fill up our diesel car. However one big issue with this fast food fad, their isn't enough grease generated to supply the nations thirst for fuel. If we are going to convert over then we must have the supply to meet the demand or the price of the fuel will not be reduced to a usable level. While the technology is available the fuel supply opportunity is not readily available. This technology is commonly referred to Bio-Diesel.

So let's take a step back tot he farmers who generate the oil that we are discussing. Can we generate enough Bio-Diesel to feed the nations thirst? This question is hotly debated in academic circles as well as farming circles. Current estimates are that if we convert over at the fuel consumption rate we are currently utilizing that we will have to have 75% of all of our US farm capacity to meet demand. While this will put many of the farmers currently out of work back to work, we would then be dependent on other nations for our food supplies. This may or may not be palatable to most involved.

What other options are currently on the blocks. E85 and M85 are both standard unleaded alternatives. The E in E85 stands for Ethanol, it is a product of corn and can easily be manufactured by todays farmers. The M in M85 stands for Methanol, which is a product of landfills and biodegradables (grass clippings, and other items). The 85 in the title is representative of the % of Methane or Ethanol present in the fuel. Are these options viable, again we have the debate of supply versus demand. To convert over enough farm land to make these a reality will probably cause food supply issues. The final issue against E85 and M85 is that they have a 25% reduction in fuel mileage adding to the cost of operation of your vehicle if you use them.

Current replacement fuels do not make the cut for long term viability. The auto industry is hard after alternatives to middle eastern automotive fuels. They are listening to their customers and will create a solution. So don't run out and buy that Bio fuel vehicle just yet the industry is still maturing.

Charles Cater

About the Author
Charles has a Problem Solving BlackBelt from Daimler Chrysler. He has spend 11 years in the automotive industry. This article may be reprinted freely as long as all links remain active. http://www.bridalblog.info http://www.HealthyDietMagazine.com


Real Solutions For America’s Energy Crisis?

America’s insatiable demand for oil, combined with soaring gas prices, has led to happy days for the oil companies. The money is rolling in so fast that they don’t know what to do with it. The spike in demand resulting from the economic ‘awakening’ of the populous Asian countries is also putting pressure on global oil supplies, and more oil fields are becoming depleted.
ExxonMobil, Shell Oil, BP and the other major oil companies don’t want to, or are not equipped to, deal with the reality that their market is slipping away. They know that alternate energy sources will soon be coming on line. But they’re happy with things just the way they are.

Their lobbyists are making sure Congress is aware of this. Just as the tobacco Industry in the 1970’s tried to disassociate smoking and cancer, the oil companies’ incessant TV, radio and newspaper ads are pushing “Junk Science” to retain their business model.

Despite clear evidence that America’s oil dependency is unsustainable, the major firms are determined to “stay the course.” They remain focused on finding oil, natural gas and coal, refining it to use in a multitude of products, and selling these products at a good profit.

How can we break free of this deeply destructive cycle? Fortunately, it’s an election year. We need to make our voices heard at the ballot boxes, through letters to the editor, by call-ins to talk radio, and by contacting our Congressmen and Senators.

Environmentalists and concerned citizens need to tell all Americans that:

• Global warming is a reality.

• Maintaining a continuous oil supply, at any price, is an increasingly difficult challenge. If you don’t believe this, just wait for a major hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico that shuts down our oil platforms.

• The cost of oil is hurting the economy of the entire world, not just the United States.

Energy Solutions

America needs a portfolio of energy solutions, because no single technology is enough to guarantee immediate success and reliability. This portfolio includes:

• Conservation: Using the energy that we have more wisely as both a short and long-term solution. For example, Europe uses less than 1/2 the energy per person than we do in North America. If we copy their proven technologies, we could cut our oil usage in half. Then, we’ll have 12.5 million barrels of oil per day available to reduce oil imports and pay for the cost of new technologies. These new technologies include: more efficient and smaller cars and appliances, more efficient lighting, better building insulation, plus heat and moisture recovery from HVAC systems in large buildings.

• Renewable energy: Creating intermediate and long-term solutions through policy decisions that focus on developing renewable energy sources that don’t increase the amount of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere. We can decide to develop and use geothermal (heat from the earth), solar, wind, and tidal (ocean wave) energy.

• Improved technology: Discovering ways to use less energy per unit of production as a short-term initiative. One example requires the cooperation of companies that own mineral processing plants. These plants, which manufacture lime, Portland cement and other materials by cooking minerals in a kiln, can be optimized by using sophisticated mathematical modeling. They can use the information from the models to better control and reduce the amount of oil or natural gas needed to heat the minerals. However, these companies will act only when they are unable to recover their fuel costs from their customers.

Getting The Word Out

We need a massive worldwide energy education program which focuses governments and private investors on:

a) Generating renewable energy at a competitive cost -- including solar, geothermal, wind, tide, nuclear, and biomass energy (ethanol) -- which does not contribute to greenhouse gases. As we invest in developing these energy sources, the prices will come down and their reliability will increase.

b) Eliminating the emission of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide) from carbon-based energy sources like coal, oil, and natural gas.

c) Providing generous financing for renewable energy sources.

If you’re worried about the environmental health of our planet and your children’s and grandchildren’s future, it’s up to you to speak out. Now is the time to make our case to the media, elected officials, political candidates and big business.

The owner of an energy conservation company in the 1980s, Pat Benjamin is also an expert on political issues and independent politics. She is the author of The Perot Legacy: A New Political Path.

Contributions to this article were made by Dr. Milton Benjamin, an energy specialist.
About the Author
For more information on energy solutions, visit: Get more information about The Perot Legacy: A New Political Path at


Energy Saving Light Bulbs - The Sensible Alternative

he lights in an average household use about 20% of the total electricity, so anything that will reduce that power consumption will help lower your energy bill while cutting down on pollution. Fortunately, it’s easy to save energy on lighting by simply installing energy saving light bulbs.
Regular incandescent light bulbs produce light by heating a small filament inside the bulb. This heat production accounts for 90% of the energy they consumer. Energy saving light bulbs are florescent, much more efficient because they don’t need heat to produce light.

How much energy do they save? On average, the energy savings are about 66%. But that is not the only way you save money using these bulbs. They also last much longer than regular bulbs, so although they cost more, you still save money when buying light bulbs.

Energy saving light bulbs last about 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs. Even if the florescent bulb costs considerable more than the traditional bulb, the lifespan of the bulb combined with the energy savings adds up to substantial savings.

It has been conservatively estimated that you can save about $4 per year for each energy saving light bulb that you install in your house. If you replace 20 bulbs, that’s a savings of $80 a year.

Just imagine if every household in America took advantage of the savings that compact florescent bulbs provide. Not only would have more buying power, we would also cut down on the pollution caused by electricity generating plants.

Greenhouse emissions are one of the biggest concerns with burning fossil fuels to produce electricity. The average household produces more greenhouse gases than a car because of the amount of electricity consumed. Installing energy saving light bulbs is one way to cut down on those emissions.

Do your pocket book and the environment a favour by using florescent compact bulbs wherever you can. It’s the only sensible thing to do.
About the Author
Hans is author of, practical ideas and articles for "non-techies"


Energy Assessors Can Help Us Go Green

Green energy is gaining proponents throughout the globe. Many utility companies, notably in the United States, are now offering the opportunity for residents and commercial customers to choose to go green. One of the latest of these programs took place in Cincinnati Ohio just recently, when a major utility, Duke Energy Ohio, announced that its green energy pilot program application had been approved by the states public utilities commission.

What this means is that Duke Energy Ohio customers, whether residential or commercial does not matter, can now choose renewable green energy as their source of power for their homes, stores, warehouses, or offices. They can choose biomass power, solar power, wind power, low head hydropower or anything else renewable and available within their part of the state. They still pay their energy bill as they always have, although they may see a slight increase in the cost.

The way this Ohio green energy program works is that Duke Energy has designated one initial 200 kilowatt hour block of green energy for each month, and has another option to purchase additional 100 kilowatt blocks as needed in response to customer demand. Green energy customers would pay an addition 2.5 cents for each of these kilowatt hours kWh above the standard Duke Energy rate. This cost is to defray the added expanse of renewable energy.

Duke Energy took the stand that green energy is becoming more and more important to the environment and its residents. It is the utilitys hope that this program will encourage additional participation in and development of green energy programs throughout the entire state of Ohio and beyond. It was the decision of Duke Energy executives that customers were ever more environmentally and green energy conscious and needed this additional electric service option.

The Duke Energy Ohio green energy program is in its pilot program phase until January 1, 2009. Based on the continued and growing supply of renewable energy and customers willingness to participate the program will continue beyond the pilot. In the very near future Duke Energy Ohio customers will be able to go direct to the companys Web site and sign up for green energy. Users can already go to the Duke Energy site and learn about green energy and how it saves their money and their environment as well. Videos that educate customers on the various money and energy saving options are found there, as well as information on loan sources for energy conservation that include installation of green energy equipment and measures. There are also some grants available for companies and consumers who want to go green.

Duke Energy Corporation, the parent of Duke Energy Ohio is one of the largest of the U.S. electric power providers, with nearly four million customers. In the Midwest and North and South Carolina, Duke Energy supplies 37,000 megawatts of electricity. In Kentucky and Ohio it is the major supplier of natural gas. Outside of the United States, Duke Energy supplies 4000 electric megawatts to various parts of Latin America.

Duke Energy Ohio has 680,000 electric power customers and 42,000 natural gas customers.
About the Author
James Copper is a writer for where you can become an energy assessor


Learn Pros And Cons About The All Electric Car

hile electric cars are a relatively new automotive technology, they are although fast becoming popular worldwide. A conventional car is very different from an electric car. An all electric car is a type of vehicle that uses a mixture of various technologies such as internal combustion engines, gasoline, electric motors, and batteries to run.

All Electric Cars
All electrical cars are set on batteries that provide electricity to an electric motor in the car, the engine turns the transmission, and the transmission spins the wheels. The attempt here is to increase mileage and reduce emissions as much as possible.

The structure of the electric car is simple, with the major components being: gasoline engine, motor, generator, fuel tank, battery and transmission. Many of these components are similar, and some even identical to those in conventional cars, but electric cars have different functions and are more convenient for you, your family, and the environment.

There are many advantages that are accompanied in an electrical vehicle. Namely, you are saving air of pollutants that would otherwise be spewing into the environment. Electrical vehicles are 100% emission free, and are free of pollution by-products. They provide their power from batteries, solar, or hydrogen fuel cells.

Electric cars therefore are emission free, compact, lightweight, and they are three times as efficient as gas engines. They also have excellent ranges, and are safe to drive.

Electrical cars combine the best of both conventional and electric cars for a true winner. They bring more clean energy from the electric motor with the long-range power of gasoline engines, really giving you the best of both worlds.

Just as there are advantages, there are some drawbacks to electrical cars. Electrical cars tend to require long recharge times. This means that you can not use a car while the battery is charging. Electric cars also tend to have expensive costs associated with them, should they every break down outside the warranty coverage. Although, the good news is that over the years the repair costs have significantly come down due to manufacturers better understanding the technology, and have become much more adept to building reliable parts.

To decide your next purchase, weigh the advantages and disadvantages in order to identify what is the best electric car for you.
About the Author
Still not convinced? A plethora of information awaits you...Come in and visit our Hybrid Vehicles website.


Surprising Sources of CO2 Worldwide

Over the past several years we have all become painfully aware that CO2 emissions from fossil fuels likely play a significant role in worldwide climate change. CO2 is the most prevalent greenhouse gas. It is a product of burning fossil fuels including coal, oil, and natural gas. But what most people aren't aware of is the breakdown of sources of CO2.

Greenhouse Gases
CO2 plays in important role in retaining energy in the earth's atmosphere by forming a blanket around the earth. This is important because without it, we would be very cold. But with too much, we could be too hot. As the sun beats down on us daily, energy is absorbed in the atmosphere. At night, that energy is dissipated back out to space. This happens across day/night cycles and also across the year as we get closer and farther from the sun. Over the course of a year, we would like the energy retained to be equal to the energy dissipated. Any difference will begin to accumulate such that the temperature on earth will increase if we retain more energy or decrease if we dissipate more annually.

During the course of modern human history CO2 levels have been holding steady around 270 parts per million. Prior to recent history, CO2 fluctuated as low as 200PPM during severe ice ages and as high as 300PPM during very warm times. But again, these occurred long before people settled into cities as we know them. But we can cull this data from ice core samples as a peak into long forgotten climate history.
Equilibrium set off balance

Our historical human-time temperatures have been relatively stable because until about 100 years ago, there was little change in CO2 levels for a few thousand years. But then, as we started burning coal, then oil and then natural gas, we began to add more CO2 to the atmosphere. While there is a complex set of give and takes between carbon sinks (ocean, trees) and carbon sources (people, animals, fires, fossil fuels), we began to release more than we had in human history and set an increase in motion. For the past 100 years that increase has been evident and accelerating at an ever faster rate as we burn more fossil fuels.

Higher than ever
Today atmospheric CO2 stands at 385PPM, over 100PPM higher than human history norms. Remember, the range over the last million years ranged from 200PPM (ice age) to 300PPM (ocean 75 feet higher than today). And today we are at 385PPM. So why haven't temperatures risen dramatically? Because there is a delay in temperature systems. We see this annually as the longest day (with the most sun) in the northern hemisphere is June 21st. But the hottest days occur about 45 days later. This lag in response is due partly to the earth's mass absorption response. And we are seeing the same effect in global warming. That is, a lag in earth response, but that lag is now coming of age. So expect more temperature increases in much of the world (and some decreases as winds, rains, and currents shift).

Energy Related CO2
While modern society considers the passenger car as the big emitter of CO2, it turns out that is actually not the full story. In fact, it isn't the story at all, as we will see. Also, we think of electric plants as a problem. True, but they generate electricity for use by industry and buildings. So lets look at the uses of the energy to get a real picture of how humans generate this clear gas.

Our Buildings Are the Source
If we break down worldwide CO2 uses into common categories we get:
But we can further breakdown transportation into passenger cars and others (planes, boats, trains etc.). And we can also break out building materials from industry, as it is one of the largest industry CO2 categories including cements, drywall, glass, metals and others, and we can tie that to the built environment. And now here is what we get for worldwide emissions as a percent of total (ready to be surprised?):

Built Environment = 52% (40% for operations and 12% for materials)
Industry = 24%
Other Transport = 15%
Passenger cars = 9%

Yes. The biggie? Our buildings. The smallest? Cars.
Now, this is worldwide. In the US, the numbers move around a bit, but buildings are always the largest emitter, in virtually every country and worldwide. By over 5X worldwide. Surprised?

We Can Fix It
In order to address the built environment, we need to address the materials (such as new cement, drywall, metal processes) as well as building operations (primarily heating and cooling). Currently, almost every building material process was designed 100 to 150 years ago, when energy was nearly free and CO2 had no significance. Today, both are issues. And while homeowners cannot develop new processes to replace the old ones, new industry is doing just that. Companies like CalStar and Serious Materials among many are re-inventing the old processes, reducing embodied energy by 75% or more.

But we all can address operations, at least at home. Easiest targets are sealing ductwork, installing programmable thermostats, insulating homes that aren't, and choosing high R value windows (at least R6 and preferable higher). Up to 50% of heat loss occurs through windows which are closed. Upgrading to dual pane low E windows is a start, but only gets to an R3, hardly much improvement. But new technology is becoming available (such as ThermaProof Windows) which can provide R values above R 10. A 300% improvement, and a significant savings in heating and cooling bills.

Just The Beginning
Education and awareness are key. Yes, we must address everything, including our cars. But cars are not the answer, just a start. We all need to improve our homes and offices. Look around, seal those ducts, and upgrade those windows. Today.


green energy News

Cool Web Site Listings