Category Archives: Alternative Energy

Clean Energy Pioneers: ClearEdge Power

ClearEdge Clean Energy SystemsOregon clean energy start-up ClearEdge Power is making waves with the signing of the biggest fuel cell deal to date, which has them producing 50MW of fuel cells for Austrian utility company Güssing Renewable Energy. ClearEdge, which was established in 2003, has emerged as one of the leaders in the clean tech industry, designing and manufacturing scalable fuel cell systems that provide cost-effective heat and power for buildings.

While their fuel cells run on natural gas, which is not a renewable resource, the environmental benefits and energy savings may make them an indispensable part of an integrated alternative energy solution. Since they use an electrochemical process rather than combustion to generate energy, ClearEdge Power’s fuel cells produce 41% less carbon emissions than are produced by the energy that’s going on the grid today.

Combine that with the ability to cut utility bills by up to 50%, and it’s clear why the technology is popular among businesses, homeowners, and environmentalists alike. Continue reading

More on Solar Panels: SolarCity Lands Private Financing

Largest Residential Solar Photovoltaic Project in U.S. History
From November 30, 2011, By Wendy Koch, USA TODAY

Outdoor Solar PanelsNew developments in solar panels and solar technology implementation means good news for the U.S. solar and alternative energy market.

SolarCity, a solar company based in California, announced to the press that it has put together enough private financing to begin a massive undertaking. What might that be? Nothing less than the single largest residential solar panel project in the country’s history. So large, in fact, that the photovoltaic project is expected to power as many as 120,000 housing units for the military.

The backstory is interesting, given that last year, SolarCity was in the market for as much as a $1 billion dollar loan guarantee from the U.S. Department of Energy. And all this in the wake of problems with the now-bankrupt and entirely controversial solar company Solyndra. The five year plan in the hands of SolarCity was geared toward owning and operating rooftop solar panels for several privatized military housing communities across the nation. Though the Dept. of Energy did offer a conditional agreement, the players at the table couldn’t finalize a deal before the 1705 program expired at the end of September. Continue reading

Oregon Comes in Second in Green Leadership

Oregon Shows Competitive Edge in Green Energy Industry

Oregon Clean Energy Leadership

Oregon's Clean Energy Leadership

According to a recent report by clean technology research firm Clean Edge, Oregon ranks second in clean energy leadership — trailing only behind California. Factors that went into the rankings included the availability of clean, cheap electricity, transportation, financial capital, a skilled workforce and favorable public policies and incentives.

With incredibly cheap energy, an expert high-tech manufacturing workforce, state and local government commitments to clean energy development and a forward-thinking, sustainability minded culture, perhaps Oregon’s position on the list comes as no surprise. Continue reading

Financial Incentives Drive Sustainable Energy Alternatives

Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Measures Make Positive Environmental Impacts

Solar Panels - Cost Effective Renewable Energy

Solar Panels - Cost Effective Renewable Energy

With rising energy costs and growing demand for sustainable alternatives to coal and nuclear power, governments, businesses and individuals are looking to renewable energy and energy efficiency for a solution. Incentives in a number of countries have helped drive the implementation and advancement of renewable energy technologies as well as energy conservation measures.

Here in the U.S., federal tax credits of up to 30% of cost for renewable energy systems substantially reduce the tax liability of system owners and encourage investment. In the United Kingdom, a feed in tariff program has been implemented to increase the return on investment of renewable energy measures.

Both of these incentives are cost-based–designed to reward purchasers according to the price of each system in order to level the playing field to some extent and not show favoritism to a particular industry cluster or technology. However, solar panels are currently one of the most financially advantageous option in the UK, while in the US they remain one of the most expensive. Continue reading