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EarthTalk: Energy Subsidies – Can Renewable Ever Compete With Fossil Fuels?

Historically the vast majority of energy subsidies have gone to developing fossil fuel resources. But that is beginning to change as part of the Obama Administration's goal of cutting back on subsidies to the hugely profitable oil industry. In 2011, while $2.5 billion of tax dollars subsidized the fossil fuel industry in the form of tax breaks, some $16 billion went into subsidies for renewables and energy efficiency.

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: Renewable energy production in the solar and wind markets currently receives about $7 billion in government subsidies annually, but is still not competitive against fossil fuels on a large scale. To what extent should the U.S. continue to prop up these industries as they compete against dirty energy?                                                                                     — Jack Morgan, Richmond, VA Given the importance of abundant amounts of energy for Americans, the federal government tends to subsidize all forms of energy development, including fossil fuels and renewables. A recently released report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) found that in 2011 …

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Solar Buyers Guide for Home and Office

Renewable energy solutions for the homeowner

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Five Top Tips to Embrace Renewable Energy

Integrating solar panels into your home design begins with a few basic planning steps

Guest post by Ryan Shipley Renewable energy is the kind of energy that comes from natural resources like geothermal heat, tides, rain, river, wind and sunlight. As the term implies, it is renewable which means that it can be replenished naturally. Oil is a very expensive material that is used to fuel the economies of most countries. Almost all industries today run on energy that uses oil. Most people use non-renewable energy but there has been a paradigm shift nowadays because more and more people are now beginning to consider the contribution that renewable energy brings. The following are five top tips on how to embrace renewable energy: Tip #1: Use of Solar Panels Everyone needs some form of electricity …

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New Zinc Anode Battery System Saves In Energy Costs and the Environment

Zinc Anode battery system may cut energy and environmental costs

Researchers at the CUNY Energy Institute have developed a rechargeable zinc anode battery system that helps cut down on daytime energy costs.

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Supplement Your Boiler with Solar Power

Guest post by Jag Ture  While no one is quite ready to say that gas boilers are history and renewable sources should be the only source of heat for your home, perhaps two products from Baxi boilers or Potterton boilers can be used in conjunction to provide the best result.  There are various solutions using renewable energy that are ready to be deployed in your home to reduce your carbon footprint and in the long run save money. At Ecobuild 2012, Baxi Boilers focus was still on showcasing their range of combi boilers which focus on efficiency to provide the ideal solution for home heating.  However they also debuted a number of solar powered products with the idea being that when …

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Infographic: Solar Growth In US

An interesting infographic looking at the growth of the US solar market. This blogger does not see this trend decreasing – how about you? Infographic Courtesy: Spheral Solar Solar Cells

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How Going Solar Can Change Lives

Going solar changes lives

Thanks to two American entreprenuers, solar power is changing the lives of poor villagers in India.

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EarthTalk: Vampire Loads and TV Set Top Boxes

Set top boxes are one of the biggest energy vampires in the home

EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: Is it true that cable and other pay TV boxes that sit atop television sets consume massive amounts of energy, in part because they are always on, even when the TV is off?  — Sam Winston, Metarie, LA We hear a lot about how much energy modern day flat screen TV sets consume, but the innocuous set-top boxes that drive them, along with their built-in digital video recorders, may be even more to blame. A recent analysis conducted by the consulting firm Ecos on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) found that “the average new cable high-definition digital …

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The Value of Integrating Solar Panels into Your Home’s Design

Integrating solar panels into your home design begins with a few basic planning steps

Guest Post by Madeline Binder Solar energy is rapidly being integrated into American culture as an accessible source of low cost electricity. However, many people are intimidated about converting their homes to a solar energy home. There are two problem that really are keeping people from converting to solar energy, (1) ignorance about the process and (2) concerns about the aesthetics of the panels. Getting to Know Solar Energy The first problem that is keeping Americans from converting en mass to solar energy is a simple lack of common knowledge about solar energy. People are concerned about the price and the practicality of converting to solar energy. Fortunately, both concerns can easily be resolved. What you first need to know …

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EarthTalk: The Scoop on Home Energy Audits

How useful are professional energy audits for your home?

  EarthTalk® is a weekly environmental column made available to our readers from the editors of E/The Environmental Magazine Dear EarthTalk: ​There are a number of companies out there now doing “home energy audits” for the home, after which they try to sell you attic insulation and other products and services. Is this just a scam or would it be wise for me to look into this?  — Bill Richards., New York, NY For the most part, companies offering energy audits are reputable and legitimate and will help you both save money and reduce your carbon footprint if you follow their advice in regard to upgrading things like insulation, windows and appliances. “A home energy assessment, also known as a …

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