Category: energy

Solar Energy from Greenhouses

Considering all the greenhouses that have to use shade cloth to reduce the intensity of sunshine, semi-transparent solar modules would be a win-win! “Researchers at the University of Jaén in Spain have looked at the potential of agrivoltaics for greenhouses in areas with high crop cultivation in greenhouses. They have… Continue Reading “Solar Energy from Greenhouses”

Sunny Outlook for Solar

At the end of an article about the increased use of coal yesterday, I noticed a comment from a familiar and anonymous name… a troll who has continually spewed lies and misinformation in multiple newspapers over the years, making feeble attempts to support fossil… Continue Reading “Sunny Outlook for Solar”

Renewable Energy News

Breaking news on solar energy, wind power, geothermal, tidal energy and other sources of renewable energy. CleanTechnica – “CleanTechnica is the world’s #1 source for cleantech news and analysis. It entertains and informs approximately 6 million monthly global readers along with hundreds of thousands of social media followers.… Continue Reading “Renewable Energy News”

Electric Rates and Voters Rising

Whether you own your own solar panels, or have a PPA (Power Purchase Agreement), one of the huge benefits of having solar is the absence of ongoing supply rate increases. Case in point would be our local electricity price increases around the Pittsburgh area.… Continue Reading “Electric Rates and Voters Rising”

Dual Fuel or All Electric?

When upgrading our home to a more efficient heating and cooling system, one that incorporates a heat pump, the issue of whether to use electricity or natural gas for back-up (alternate heat) during colder winter days, became the big question. If we lived further… Continue Reading “Dual Fuel or All Electric?”

Ditching Natural Gas

Those who have become all too familiar with the myriad of adverse effects from hydraulic fracturing for natural gas, or ‘unnatural gas’ as they sometimes call it, have become eager to move entirely away from using it. In addition to the many good reasons… Continue Reading “Ditching Natural Gas”

Ridin’ that Train, High with Propane

Four years ago, this newspaper story caught my attention: ‘Railroad sues over millions of rail ties it calls defective‘ especially since it was about the Norfolk Southern Railway. Why? Because of that Norfolk Southern high trestle over the Parkway West near Pittsburgh, Pa. that… Continue Reading “Ridin’ that Train, High with Propane”

Pennsylvania Taxpayers Are Getting Drilled

Without regulation changes that would require full-cost bonding to cover the costs of plugging conventional and unconventional shale gas and oil wells in Pennsylvania, taxpayers will continue ‘getting fracked’ big time! BOTTOM LINE: The bonding requirements for oil and gas producers in Pennsylvania are… Continue Reading “Pennsylvania Taxpayers Are Getting Drilled”

GOP Legislators Trying to Kill Clean Energy in Pennsylvania

In this day and age, with all we’ve learned about climate change and the disastrous effects it’s already having on our Commonwealth, it’s hard to believe there can be this kind of stone age thinking ‘under the dome’ in Harrisburg, Pa, led by none… Continue Reading “GOP Legislators Trying to Kill Clean Energy in Pennsylvania”

Tesla Energy Production Exceeds Needs (Again)

September brought more positive results, with our solar panels producing enough energy to power our home and charge our electric vehicle, while also “banking” an excess that will be carried forward through net metering. Solar energy production for September = 844.2 kWh Home usage… Continue Reading “Tesla Energy Production Exceeds Needs (Again)”

New Tesla Powerwall App

The latest update to my iPhone apps included an all new Tesla Powerwall app. Our Powerwall2 is a 14kWh lithium-ion battery mounted in the garage, entirely charged by solar energy from 21 solar panels on the roof. It serves as a backup for most… Continue Reading “New Tesla Powerwall App”

Don’t Expect Protection

Pennsylvania Senator Katie Muth hosted a hearing last week, CLOSING THE HAZARDOUS WASTE LOOPHOLE IN PA, where we learned once again why citizens jokingly say the initials D.E.P. (short for Department of Environmental Protection) stand for “Don’t Expect Protection.” Of course it’s no laughing… Continue Reading “Don’t Expect Protection”

National Solar Tour this weekend

The American Solar Energy Society (ASES) national tour, both in-person and virtual, takes place Saturday and Sunday. Learn more here. US map of locations Established in 1954, ASES is a 501(c)(3) non-profit that advocates for sustainable living and 100% renewable energy by sharing information,… Continue Reading “National Solar Tour this weekend”

Earth to Nick

Oblivious to toxic waste pollution and the devastation from climate change, Pennsylvania politicians continue to put frackers first! Washington County commissioners have never been shy about their diehard, all-in support of the oil and gas industry, even in the face of an endless stream… Continue Reading “Earth to Nick”

Natural Gas Widowmaker

With an increasing dependence on natural gas for electricity generation, one has to ask what this will mean to future consumer prices. Simon Casey of Bloomberg posted a story and chart yesterday, ‘Widowmaker’ Natural Gas Spread Doubles as Traders Eye Winter – “Natural gas… Continue Reading “Natural Gas Widowmaker”

One Step Forward

In a hard-fought bid to make Pennsylvania the first major fossil fuel state to adopt a carbon pricing policy, Governor Tom Wolf’s plan to fight climate change passed its last regulatory hurdle yesterday with the IRRC (Independent Regulatory Review Commission). The 3-2 party-line vote… Continue Reading “One Step Forward”

Smart Choice In Ohio

Good news out of Columbus, Ohio on Monday, concerning the decision to quit using radioactive de-icer on state roads The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) is finally acting, following lab tests that were done by the ODNR just over 4 years ago, that included… Continue Reading “Smart Choice In Ohio”

Five Dollar Electric Bill

While that sounds good, especially with heavy air conditioning use during humid 90-degree weather, it’s even better than that! We were finally able to do a full 12-month “look back” at our cost savings with solar energy, since upping our game to 29 solar… Continue Reading “Five Dollar Electric Bill”

Barium, Chloride and Strontium, Oh My!

A study published in SCIENCE last week is said to be the first linking surface water contamination to fracking, the layman’s term for hydraulic fracturing, which is used to produce oil and gas from shale, like the Marcellus Shale which underlies a large portion… Continue Reading “Barium, Chloride and Strontium, Oh My!”

America’s Radioactive Secret

Justin Nobel, Science Journalist for ROLLING STONE, DeSmog, and other US magazines and investigative sites, presents his findings on the radioactivity found in oil and gas development during a Delaware Riverkeeper webinar. Begins at the 11:20 mark of video: More: TENORM: Stories on Fracking’s… Continue Reading “America’s Radioactive Secret”

Death by a Thousand Spills

Reading the weekly news of the oil and gas fracking industry in the United States reminds one of an old expression, “Death by a thousand cuts,” with the similarity being the cumulative effect of multiple smaller events. With the oil and gas industry, another… Continue Reading “Death by a Thousand Spills”

Poisoning Pennsylvania

We had yet another ‘Stuck on Stupid’ moment this week when news emerged about the use of ‘Forever Chemicals’ in hydraulic fracturing of shale oil and gas wells. Approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency! This comes on the heels of past revelations about… Continue Reading “Poisoning Pennsylvania”

Household Battery Backup

When we added the first eleven solar panels to our roof three years ago, we also added a Tesla Powerwall 2 (lithium- ion) backup battery (rated at 14 kWh) to the mix. The greatest advantage to me, is the ability of our house to… Continue Reading “Household Battery Backup”

More Frac Fluid Fears

While the oil and gas industry is attempting to rebrand some of its fracked gas as being more ‘green,’ and to spin ‘unnatural gas’ in a more positive light, yesterday’s newspaper stories reminded those of us who follow fracking of their long- running, and… Continue Reading “More Frac Fluid Fears”

Solar Energy In The Rain

It’s hard to believe that you can get a sunburn on a cloudy day, even though it’s true. Even harder to believe, is that you can produce solar energy on a rainy morning, but that’s also true! That’s right, even though it rained all… Continue Reading “Solar Energy In The Rain”

Going Solar With Large Trees

When we first landscaped our house, nearly 40 years ago, we made sure to plant a large growing Maple on the west side. That planting location came very close to the concept of planting a large deciduous tree on the southwest side of a… Continue Reading “Going Solar With Large Trees”

Extreme Heat

The dark red colors on yesterday’s weather map of the Pacific Northwest exemplified the harrowing tale of climate change, with several states and part of Canada, setting new records for extreme heat under what is called a ‘heat dome.’ One recent tweet included this… Continue Reading “Extreme Heat”

Compressor Stations

The progression of Marcellus Shale oil and gas development, processing, and export in western Pennsylvania has gone like this: 1. Seismic Surveys – Widespread exploration began with seismic surveys, that used “thumper trucks” and shot holes with explosive charges, to determine what the underground… Continue Reading “Compressor Stations”

Fracking Setbacks

As more peer- reviewed health studies are completed around unconventional gas drilling and hydraulic fracturing across the United States, more mothers, doctors, and local citizens are calling for greater setbacks from these industrial- grade activities that are used to drill and frac Marcellus Shale… Continue Reading “Fracking Setbacks”

4 Million Reasons

Our Washington County, Pennsylvania has a long, disturbing history when it comes to football field sized impoundments, 15 to 20 feet deep, which are used by the oil and gas industry to ‘hold’ their liquid waste, or should we say, are supposed to hold… Continue Reading “4 Million Reasons”

Big Solar Denied

The banner on the Mount Joy Township website, describes the township as “A Community with Rural Character and a Rich History.” Rich history refers to the Battle of Gettysburg, a famous Pennsylvania battle, 158 years ago next month, in the ‘War between the States,’… Continue Reading “Big Solar Denied”

Canada’s Best

Andrew Nikiforuk’s headline says it best, “The Brutal Legal Odyssey of Jessica Ernst Comes to an End. The Alberta landowner fought an epic battle against fracking interests.” Jessica shares her amazing story on her blog: Ernst v. EnCana Corporation. Andrew Nikiforuk knows her story… Continue Reading “Canada’s Best”

Pennsylvania Fracking Reform

Pennsylvania legislators and our Attorney General are promoting new, overdue legislation, to help protect Pennsylvanians from the drilling and fracking of the unconventional oil and gas industry. PUBLIC HERALD has been head and shoulders above the rest of the media outlets, in reporting the… Continue Reading “Pennsylvania Fracking Reform”

The Fracking Sandbox – Part 2

In my Saturday May 22 blog ‘THE FRACKING SANDBOX’ we looked at frac sand, from cradle to grave, so to speak. And on that second point, I’m not even sure I pointed out how much of this sand, contaminated by hydraulic fracturing, ends up… Continue Reading “The Fracking Sandbox – Part 2”

Returning The Favor

There was a lively debate going on in Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, eight years ago, regarding the potential leasing of the DEER LAKES PARK gas rights. Concerned citizens filled the chambers of multiple Allegheny County Council meetings, in an attempt to get a ‘No’ vote… Continue Reading “Returning The Favor”

Republicans Love Fracking

A group of environmental reporters, recently polled Pennsylvania legislators, for their reactions on the results of some disturbing health studies, both past and present, regarding those citizens who live in close proximity to unconventional oil and gas well drilling and fracking, primarily in southwestern… Continue Reading “Republicans Love Fracking”

Crypto Climate Change

Who knew that the next wave of destructive mining would gobble up huge amounts of electricity, further delaying our transition from fossil fuels? Yup, Bitcoin mining. The new energy hog. For those who don’t understand how this 21st Century “mining” works, and why it… Continue Reading “Crypto Climate Change”

Fracked By Zoning

Pennsylvania’s Commonwealth Court will hear arguments on an important case on fracking, as it relates to residential zoning, this Monday. Those who have followed fracking closely in Pennsylvania, over the past decade, recall alarming legislation that was passed by our state legislature, known as… Continue Reading “Fracked By Zoning”

March Gladness

After two terrible months for rooftop solar energy production, it was great to see a $7.29 electric bill for March. On top of frequent and persistent snowfalls keeping our front 18 solar panels covered with snow for the first two months of 2021, solar… Continue Reading “March Gladness”

Environmental Destruction

Cut down all the trees, which helps to promote climate change, eliminate wildlife habitat, increase runoff making flooding worse, toxify millions of gallons of water while making some radioactive, pollute the air with methane and diesel truck fumes to haul-in strip mined frac sand… Continue Reading “Environmental Destruction”