Sustainable beef may seem to some like an oxymoron.
About 40 years ago I bought a cookbook called Diet for a Small Planet. The introduction claimed that it takes 16 pounds of grain to produce a single pound of edible beef.
Poultry, pork, and dairy all require much less grain. It would seem in that case that beef is worse for the environment than other animal-based proteins.
I have seen that claim made and disputed many times since then. More of the public cares about sustainability in our food supply than 40 years ago. The beef industry has only recently begun to explore sustainable beef production. The first step is to figure out what that means. Continue reading →
Portland General Electric lithium ion battery system
San Diego Gas & Electric has began to install two lithium ion battery storage facilities.
Construction began near Escondido, California in August 2016. By the end of January 2017, they should be up and running.
These are not small projects. One will have a capacity of 30 MWh and the other 120 MWh.
The latter will be the largest lithium ion battery system on any utility grid in the world.
Southern California Edison and Tesla started on an 80 MWh project in September. They plan to have theirs online even sooner. So it will be the largest in the world for a little while.
Why the rush? Continue reading →
Arctic blasts of cold air are beginning to escape from Canada. That means it’s time to get out warmer clothing and turn on the heat.
Home heating is probably our single biggest energy expense. Nearly all of us rely on fossil fuels. How can we accomplish more sustainable winter heating? Continue reading →
Christmas tree lights
“It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” proclaims a song we hear frequently this time of the year.
Unfortunately, it’s also the most wasteful.
Americans typically send a million more tons of waste to landfills between Thanksgiving and New Year than during the rest of the year.
The expense of that waste, mostly food, packaging, shopping bags, and wrapping paper, adds up. Fortunately, green habits you develop all year will help you celebrate an eco-friendly Christmas, too. Continue reading →
Contributed by Megan Ray Nichols
Solar powered appliances and equipment are becoming more popular by the day. Among many reasons is cost savings. Solar power also allows electronics and appliances to be self-sustainable.
We’re not going to run out of solar energy anytime soon, and it doesn’t cost anything to harness it after installation of the solar cells and equipment needed to generate the electricity.
Generally, water pumps are used in rural or remote locations, where water needs to be extracted from a well. They can cause a few issues, particularly when running power to the operating site. Their installation and operation can be quite costly too.
Combining direct current (DC) pumps and a solar power system allows water pumps to become cost effective and self-sustaining. The solar system provides necessary energy, which in turn allows the DC water pumps to extract the water and push it through a dedicated pipe system. Continue reading →
Contributed by John H. Owen
People often inquire about the best tankless water heaters and assume that they are more energy-efficient than conventional tank water heaters.
They believe that these instantaneous water heaters are better than tank heaters because they only heat up water when needed, thus saving energy and reducing electric bills.
Tankless water heaters are being used around the world and have been for some time now. They require less space to install them. They have lower operating costs and increased energy efficiency.
However, even though a tankless water heater system has its advantages, it isn’t always the answer to saving energy when compared with a tank water heater. Let’s find out if owning an electric tankless water heater makes sense. Continue reading →