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Eat Local and Walk/Ride for 1 day

By Eytan Krasilovsky
April 21, 2009
File under: Energy Sources, Natural Resources, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction


Prepare for Earth Day:
1.Eat local food.
2.Get your sneakers ready.
3.Pump up your bicycle tires.

Renewable energy is once again (since the 70s) part of the national energy agenda in a substantive way. There are a multitude of homeowner options from simple conservation to selling your excess renewable power back to the grid. Businesses can purchase from renewable sources, or even save money and “go green” like Google or Sierra Nevada Brewing.

While the ethanol biofuels you purchase today at the pump likely use more carbon that straight diesel or gas, and steal acres from food production …read more of Eat Local and Walk/Ride for 1 day here

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Renewable Energy From Your Local Utility

By Tracy Crawford
April 13, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Electric Sources, Energy Sources, Heating Sources, Solar Energy


Apartment dwellers and other renters may wish to take advantage of such renewable energy sources as solar and wind to power their homes, but feel unable to do so since they can’t make permanent changes to their homes.

What they may not know is that many utility companies across the country allow subscribers to purchase renewable power through their existing electric service.

These programs allow household customers to purchase alternative energy for an extra fee added to their monthly utility bill. Businesses may also purchase renewable energy for an additional monthly fee.

These fees are not at all prohibitive and can be purchased in increments of 25%, 50%, or 100% of energy coming from renewable sources with fees starting as low as $3 per month.

This monthly contribution covers the added expense of harvesting renewable energy. And of course you won’t have to buy any special equipment or make any lifestyle changes by enrolling in one of these programs.

And is this extra cost tax deductible as it currently is for homeowners to solarize their homes? Sadly, no. This contribution is considered a more expensive product and service and not an actual donation.

While you won’t be able to say that your home runs entirely on renewable energy, enrolling in one these programs creates demand for renewable energy and this is definitely a benefit. We’re using more renewable resources and creating more jobs in the renewable energy sector.

When you enroll in a renewable energy program, utilities use your contribution and estimate how much power is used by the community, how many of these households contribute to the renewable energy sources, and then they add more power from the wind and solar sources to the pool of electricity they use depending on how many users have contributed to the program.

If more people subscribe to the renewable energy programs, the utilities will purchase more of the power they use from renewable energy sources.

Eventually renewable energy won’t be a more expensive option. It will be cleaner and cheaper to access than it does to make and use conventional energy sources. And it will always be available for use.

So check your local energy companies for alternative energy programs and enroll in one for Earth Day!

Click here to learn more about the Cap and Trade system.

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Creating Energy on the Farm

By Tracy Crawford
April 2, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Energy Sources, Waste Reduction


The Renewable Energy Summit was held in Milwaukee the last week in March. It was nice to see a mix of people that included students, business owners, and of course, out-of-work professionals interested in network and exploring the green industry possibilities.

Everyone was interested in learning what hot renewable energy innovations and technologies are out there today.

Attendees learned that solar energy provides the latest in innovation, with wind far behind when it comes to private and residential services. It’s just too costly for an individual homeowner to have a wind turbine by their home, not to mention zoning and neighbor issues.

But here in the Midwest, people are very excited about biofuels. With large dairy farms in abundance in Wisconsin, there is a lot of research and innovation going into using cow manure to produce energy. …read more of Creating Energy on the Farm here

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Biomass: A Renewable Resource and Green Solution

By Loretta White
March 23, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Biofuel, Carbon Emissions, Energy Sources, Green Economy, Heating Sources, Research and Development, Reusable Energy, Waste Reduction


When I think of biomass, I think of the silver DeLorean in “Back to the Future” where the professor was able to turn garbage into fuel for his time machine.

When that movie came out, the idea of using banana peels to power your engine was probably thought of as ridiculous. But today, humans can use all sorts of natural, renewable vegetation and substances.

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The Smart Grid Debate

By Tracy Crawford
March 4, 2009
File under: Alternative Sources, Electric Sources, Energy Sources, Research and Development, Waste Reduction


There is a heated debate at the moment concerning the smart grid. Should there be a smart grid? Will it be effective?

And just what is a smart grid?

The smart grid will connect consumers to the power companies and give users more control over energy usage. This allows the power companies to better predict the amount of power needed by generators throughout any given day. Not only does this save in power usage, but saves the consumer, and the overall economy, lots of money.

The smart grid will also be able to distribute power from locations in other parts of the country to places with higher need. For example, folks in Madison, WI can get solar power from Las Vegas, NV.

But why the debate? …read more of The Smart Grid Debate here

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