Clean Energy News

Solar can serve communities

As renewable energy development continues to surge across the nation, states like Nebraska are building more local renewable energy to meet consumer needs. Nebraska has significant renewable energy resources, ranking 13th for solar energy potential, but still relies heavily on fossil fuels like coal to generate our power. While we continue to import coal from other states, residents are missing out on the opportunity to develop energy locally.

North Dakota communities could feel a draft with proposed bills

Two bills proposed in the North Dakota house and senate would drastically change the benefits that North Dakotans would see from local wind energy development.

North Dakota is 11th in the U.S. for wind energy capacity, with wind energy accounting for over 20 percent of in-state electric generation in October 2016. To put it into perspective, that’s enough to power 597,000 homes, and the state could go on to develop enough wind energy to power 1.6 million average American homes.

Sunshine without net metering

South Dakota once carried the official moniker of “the Sunshine State,” and is one of only three states without net metering policies. But what does net metering have to do with sunshine and why has South Dakota, a state with a strong portfolio of renewable energy generation, not yet adopted net metering policies?

Simply, net metering is an incentive for the installation and use of solar photovoltaics (PV) for energy generation. Through the formalization of net metering policies, distributed generation customers — those producing solar energy at their homes or businesses — are more readily able to sell the excess energy generated back to the utility for use across the grid. This sale of power to the utility appears as a credit on the customer’s utility bill. This credit offsets the customer’s electricity consumption during the current month or across the year, depending on state guidelines.

Energy efficiency starts at home

There is a degree of irony discussing energy efficiency during a time of year when many homes are lit like runways. Yet, the cost of a running a few twinkling lights, LEDs of course, pales in comparison to the dollars in heating costs that escape through drafty windows or a furnace in need of a tune-up. Recognizing these opportunities for improved energy efficiency in your home can have a collective impact. 

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