Chuck Ross

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Entries Tagged as 'Alternative/green energy'

Hybrid Technology: It’s Not Just for Cars

February 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

Conversations about renewable energy often come down to a comparison — solar versus wind, for example, or hydroelectric versus geothermal — as though one technology, alone, could provide the single answer to our need for safe, emissions-free electricity production. However, a new utility-scale approach to renewable-energy generation is turning this idea on its head, bringing [...]

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Validating the Smart Grid

January 5th, 2013 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

While the smart grid has been the topic of much conversation lately, specifics on what this supposed technical marvel will do, cost or look like in actual utility installations have been notably lacking. The largest smart grid demonstration project to date has just gone live in the Pacific Northwest to provide those specifics. It could [...]

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Charged for Success: Residential Energy Storage Installations Grow

August 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing, Writing

U.S. solar-panel manufacturers might be hurting these days, but installers’ business is going gangbusters. In 2011, more than 1,800 megawatts (MW) of utility, commercial and residential capacity were installed, according to the Solar Energy Industry Association (SEIA), more than doubling 2010’s record figure of 877 MW. The Solar Electric Power Association says 89 percent of [...]

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Giving Efficiency Its Due

June 5th, 2012 · No Comments · Feature writing

Energy efficiency is often the ugly stepsister in alternative-energy conversations because quantifying its potential effect is difficult; how do we determine the real value of all those avoided kilowatt-hours? Two current efforts to answer this question are drawing on a fast-growing digital resource—data—and they could help decision-makers compare and document efficiency’s environmental value against other [...]

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Form Ranks: Army Working With Industry in Renewables Initiative

February 28th, 2012 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

The U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) is the nation’s biggest energy customer, and it wants to cut its bills. The DOD’s armed services all have initiatives underway to reduce energy use and increase adoption of renewable technologies, in both overseas operations and at stateside bases. In one of the most ambitious efforts announced to date, [...]

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Looking Ahead: Researchers Power Up Ideas for Energy’s Future

December 28th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Alternative-energy watchers are to be forgiven for feeling a bit edgy when it comes to promises of market-shifting technologies. After all, that’s just what California–based Solyndra suggested U.S. Energy Department lenders could expect less than a year before the company went belly-up this summer. But this failure certainly hasn’t stopped researchers in university labs across [...]

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The Water-Energy Nexus

October 28th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Looking to cut back on your energy use? Try watering the grass a day or two less each week. And you say water efficiency is becoming more important to you? Try turning off a few lights and setting back the air conditioning. As environmentalists, regulators and electric utilities are beginning to recognize, water and energy [...]

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Clean up on Aisle 9: Supermarkets Line Up for Efficiency-Boosting Fuel Cells

October 28th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Walk into your local supermarket in mid-August, and the electricity consumption surrounds you. The combination of overhead lighting, air conditioning, cooler refrigeration and all those freezer compartments make that round-the-corner temple to the food pyramid (or the new food plate) one of the biggest energy hogs in town. To help manage high operating costs and [...]

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Urban Scale

June 22nd, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

The term “microgrid” has been a part of broader smart grid conversations for several years, but definitions have varied. Campus-sized projects have brought these electrical-systems-in-miniature to universities and military installations, but some smart grid advocates argue developers are thinking just a bit too small. Think urban scale, they say. Two prototype projects now underway are [...]

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Solar Commons

February 20th, 2011 · Comments Off · Feature writing, Writing

Individual rooftop solar panels have become a more familiar sight over the past several years. But not everyone has the correct south-facing rooftop, and renters are out of the market entirely. Now, a new model of community-based solar ownership is beginning to bring solar’s energy-bill savings to a broader audience. Developers are incorporating a range [...]

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