Where do we stand with global renewable energy?

by Tom Z. on September 28, 2015

Where do we stand with global renewable energy?

illinoiscleanenergyjobs-570x319 (Image courtesy of CleanTechnica.com)

Given the events of the past year, it’s evident that clean energy strategies are needed now more than ever. However, the path from fossil fuels to renewables might not be as clearly laid out as people would have hoped. While the industry continues to research and develop new clean projects, they’ve taken steps to turn existing practices that minimize the damage to the environment.

Sustainability remains a key issue in the majority of energy markets. Global companies like Sulzer that implement sustainable practices are making their way around the world to ensure that other firms are following in their pursuit. One of their more recent partnerships was with UnaOil, where the two joined forces to create a Rumaila base that would service oil and gas rotating equipment in Southern Iraq.

But seeking sustainable solutions for oil and gas simply isn’t enough to drag the global energy market out of its current state. The world still heavily relies on fossil fuels that damage ecosystems, and was sent into a panic when crude oil lost more than $100 in value. In a way, the oil crisis was a blessing in disguise as it showed how ill prepared we were to face the consequences of canceled projects and deactivated rotaries. It was a sign that we needed to further develop clean energy sources, thus lessening and eventually eliminating dependence on non-renewables.

Unfortunately, the International Energy Agency says that we’re falling short of our goals when it comes to clean energy technologies. Global temperatures are on the rise, and their target is to reduce these annual increases to no more two degrees Celsius. In 2013, the industry seemed to be on track with two new clean technologies to maintain temperature levels. Last year, there was only one, and disappointingly, none so far this year. However, this doesn’t mean that no progress has been made in the renewables industry. Rather, we’ve just been falling behind schedule. Better late than never, as they say.

Take a look at America, a superpower that was hit harder by the oil crisis more than any other nation with over 100,000 job cuts in oil. A recent survey shows that the energy job sector is shaping up with over 7,000 new jobs in Illinois’ clean energy field, totaling the number of clean energy jobs in the Lincoln area to 104,449. Not only does going “green” benefit the environment, but it also increases future investment and will save billions in consumer costs in the future. Supplying jobs like these economically makes sense.

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Top 5 Common Solar Energy Misconceptions

by Tom Z. on August 26, 2015

top 5 solar energy misconceptions

Energy can be a tricky subject – it can generate plenty of heated discussions, with facts often getting jumbled with gossip and misunderstandings. Although going solar is continuing to increase in popularity, a few misconceptions surrounding this ‘new age’ energy source are still continuing to bubble under the surface. Below are five of the most common myths when it comes to installing solar energy in your home.

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When the King of Pop Michael Jackson crooned “Heal the World” and the Earth song more than two decades ago, he was singing for peace. He was singing to save the world from destruction at the hands of humans. I would say it’s not entirely a bad thing that he’s no more to see that his words fell on deaf ears.

Just to clarify, this post is not about war and civilian unrest that plague many parts of the world. I am talking about destruction of a different kind – environmental destruction – brought on by none other than us humans. Different? Yes. Less dangerous? No.

Look around yourself – global warming, mass animal deaths, habitat loss, extreme weather events, natural resource depletion – do we need more proof that we’re about to self-destruct as well as destroy many other forms of life for no fault of theirs?

That said, I don’t want to sound like an alarmist. Instead, I want to offer solutions. I want to make suggestions – simple ones that we all can implement in our daily lives, those that can go a long way to save the planet from environmental annihilation. Here are five of them:

1. Recycle: I cannot stress enough on the role recycling plays in helping the environment. It reduces the amount of waste going into landfills that are a ticking time bomb in themselves. Recycling, especially scrap metal recycling, helps conserve natural resources. Sims Metal Management, a leading metal recycling company, shares some handy scrap metal recycling tips in this infographic. Recycling also helps reduce energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions, believed to be the leading cause of global warming. Additionally, recycling prevents the destruction of natural habitat, loss of biodiversity, as well as air, water and soil pollution. Learn some more amazing facts about recycling!

(Source: theguardian.com)

2. Eat less meat: Before you start gasping for breath, I am not for a moment suggesting that you go on a vegan diet. But going meatless one day a week doesn’t sound so preposterous, does it? According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, the meat industry is responsible for more than one-fifth of the greenhouse gas emissions generated by humans. Add to that the copious amounts of water livestock requires and the energy needed to feed them, and you have the makings of an industry that guzzles resources at an alarming rate. Just cutting down on your meat consumption by a fraction can slow down this disturbing trend.

(Source: livestockdialogue.org)

3. Use water sparingly: Don’t roll your eyes just yet. I know you must be thinking there’s plenty of water to go around. Yes, it certainly seems that way. But only 1 percent of the water that covers the earth is freshwater, or water that we can use. As much as 97 percent is salty and 2 percent is ice, according to this paper. The paper also shares some handy tips on how you can save water at home and in your garden/yard.

(Source: themicrogardener.com)

4. Drive fuel-efficient vehicles: If I could, I would replace all the cars in the world with their greener versions. After all, vehicles are responsible for approximately 51 percent of CO2 emissions in America. That said, I also understand the argument many have against them – cost being one of the biggest hurdles to adoption. If you can’t or don’t want to buy a hybrid car, get one that is the most fuel efficient in the segment you’re looking at. You can also practice the tenets of fuel economy to reduce your carbon footprint and try to walk/cycle/carpool or use public transport as much as possible.

(Source: kiplinger.com)

5. Use alternative sources of energy: According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), electricity generation caused 39 percent of the total energy-related CO2 emissions in America in the year 2012. Using renewable sources of energy, which means harnessing wind, sunlight (solar), heat (geothermal), water (hydroelectric), and biomass, to generate power has significant benefits for the environment, reduced greenhouse gas emissions being one of them. These sources are also freely and abundantly available in the environment, so there’s no risk of running out as is the case with non-renewable sources of energy like coal, natural gas, oil, etc. Get committed by learning more about renewable energy credits.

(Source: tenva.org)

So, are we ready to live up to MJ’s words? Are we ready to heal the world? All it will take is for each one of us to make some adjustments in the way we live. We can save the planet from certain destruction!

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Solar Roofing Systems; The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly

by Marcus Howling on November 3, 2014

The government is giving away a 30% tax credit to homeowners who install solar panels or Photovoltaic Systems. One requirement is the system has to capture energy from the sun and convert it into electricity. The problem up until now is that your only option was to place big, bulky unattractive panels on your roof. Why not go with a more slender design, save money, and have a positive impact on our environment?

The Bad Side Of Solar Roofing Systems

Believe it or not, most people would love to help. One of the reasons more people do not install solar panels is because of the cost associated with the installation. These solar panels could cost upwards of $40,000 to install. The panels themselves can be anywhere from $4,000-$12,000 a piece. Given this massive cost burden, you certainly understand why most homeowners cannot afford to make an impact.

The Ugly Side Of Solar Roofing Systems

Okay, this one is easy; everyone knows what the ugly side of solar panels is. The Design! The appearance of solar panels does not enhance the look of your house. The only thing worse than paying someone 75% on labor, equipment, tax, permitting, and fees is paying them for something that may cause your house to look worse.

Your Solar Roofing System Solution

The tax credits are not the only reason you should consider purchasing a solar system. The good news is that there are trendier more affordable options. You can choose to install solar shingles that replace your current roof. Yes, they lie flat on your roof and keep the natural look and design of typical shingles. Bonus, you receive the federal tax credit and they look amazing.

About Century Spouting

Century Spouting provides home improvements including but not limited to solar panel installation, roofing, siding, doors, decks, sunrooms, and gutter helmets. They are known for quality service and professional craftsmanship.


Click here for more information on the federal tax credits.

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Amazing Facts about Recycling

August 29, 2014

Recycling is supposed to be one of the most effective measures of waste management. With the alarm having sounded for different climatic changes, it is evident that every person needs to make an effort to ensure better and proper management of waste, which can only be done with recycling. There are many facts and figures […]

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