Tuesday, March 20, 2018

3 Renewable Energy Trends to Look for in 2018

In recent years, more and more people have begun to realize the importance of sustainable energy options. Continuing to use non-renewable energy sources is not only bad for the planet, but it's bad for the economy as well. It's because of this that each year there is an increase in innovations regarding sustainable energy sources. Big companies, and even entire countries, are taking action and doing their part in conserving energy by making the switch to green energy sources. Experts believe 2018 will be no exception. With that in mind, let's discuss a few renewable energy trends we can expect to see this year.

Decreasing renewable energy costs. While prices for nonrenewable energy sources continue to rise as supply continues to dwindle down, prices for sustainable energy options will continue to fall. Because more people are beginning to invest in renewable energy options, the technology needed to harvest these resources is adapting and becoming more efficient. Experts believe country-level auctions for renewable capacity will help prices for solar and wind energy decrease.

Popularization of wind plus storage. Solar plus storage has been popularized by big companies as well as homeowners due to the benefits it can offer. Now, experts believe utility-scale wind plus storage is beginning to follow the solar plus storage trend. Renewable energy developers around the world are starting projects that implement batteries with wind power projects. Operators of wind farms are continuing to look for ways to make their projects last longer and be more efficient in time and cost.

Efficient waste management. Worldwide, waste management continues to be a significant problem. Because of this, many governments are turning to waste-to-energy facilities to help control landfill expansion. However, there is still a lot of progress to be made when it comes to putting waste-to-energy policies in place. This is why 2018 is expected to see an increase in the number of new project announcements and integration of policies.

Over 150 years ago, 90% of the nation's energy needs were supplied by wood. While this is no longer the case, there is still a lot of progress to be made when it comes to utilizing sustainable energy options. Fortunately, many countries around the world are actively making changes to the resources they use, saving money, time, and the planet in the process.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Hawaii College on Track to Run Completely on 100% Renewable Energy by 2035

Three years ago, Hawaii pledged to use renewable energy sources to generate all of its electricity by 2045. While the whole state is working towards this goal, the University of Hawaii (UH) is stepping up to do its part. Working with the Hawaiian Legislature, UH set a goal for the university to be "net-zero" by January 1, 2035. "Net-zero" means the total amount of energy that is consumed by the university will equal the amount of energy it creates.

University officials announced that UH's Maui College is set to be the first U.S. college campus to use solar systems to completely make the switch from fossil fuels. The university hopes the system will be up and running by 2019 and will consist of 2.8 megawatts of solar PV.

"We are proud to move the entire University of Hawaii System closer to its net-zero energy mandate, to celebrate UH Maui College's achievement and to position the Oahu community college campuses within reach of 100 percent renewable energy generation," said UH Vice President for Community Colleges John Morton.

Leeward Community College, Honolulu Community College, Kapiolani Community College, and Windward Community College are not far behind the Maui campus and are planning to see reductions of fossil fuel use by at least 70%.

This sustainable energy project is not only saving the state energy and money, but providing educational options for these college students as well.

How Can You Start Saving Energy?

When you see the bill you get from your electricity company, you may be wondering how you can reduce your energy use at home. Let's discuss a few energy saving tips you can try.

Change your lightbulbs: Homeowners can reduce their energy use by up to 80% simply by utilizing today's energy-efficient LED, CFL, and halogen incandescent light bulbs. If you're still using traditional light bulbs in your house, now is the time to make the switch. Your electricity company may even have some suggestions for which light bulbs would be best.

Install new windows and doors. The windows and doors in your house might not be doing their job as well as you may think. Hot and cool air both escape through inefficient windows and doors, costing homeowners money on bloated HVAC bills. By choosing energy efficient models that stop air leaks, you can ensure your home stays comfortable without racking up your energy bill. 

While it may not seem like these little things make a difference, they really do! In today's society, every little bit of energy reduction helps -- so do what you can to reduce your energy use at home.