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Biden and His Plan for Electric Cars

In the future, there will be more electric cars than gas-powered ones. President Biden, in his efforts to transition to emission-free cars, is pushing to electrify vehicles. Here’s his plan and the progress made so far.

 Biden’s Electric Cars

The Plan

Due to harmful CO2 emissions, Biden is calling for the end of petrol-powered vehicles. This will happen under the American Jobs Plan. Supposedly, in the next ten years, there will be half a million EV chargers. Major vehicle manufacturers are feeling pressured to switch to electric. Overall, the plan will cost over $100 billion. It is not limited to just everyday sedans and trucks: delivery vehicles and school buses (Clean Buses for Kids Program) are included, too. Right now, Asian countries like Japan are the leading countries for electric transportation. Tesla and General Motors are already rolling out EVs. Biden hopes for the U.S to be able to manufacture electric cars domestically. In order to encourage Americans to purchase EVs, he will offer rebates and tax incentives.

Progress Status

Right now, the plan is waiting to pass through Congress. While our senators are likely going to have to have to compromise on some aspects. After that, then the government will fund domestic electric vehicle manufacturing, including charging stations. Then, by driving up gas prices yet lowering EV prices will be deciding factors in upcoming car purchases. Even if this bill doesn’t pass, a similar one will. However, electric cars are in the making. Also, Biden is partnering up with a multi-million dollar electric car company to be his energy secretary. By doing so, he hopes to have more of an influence to push his green energy plan. Either way, Biden will see more electric cars in the future. We will have to wait and see how this goes.

What do you think about electric cars? Would you own one? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Solar Energy Conferences 2021

There is always a lot to learn about solar energy. Solar technology is still evolving and developing. If you want to learn more, check out upcoming solar energy conferences in spring 2021. Also, these will all be in the U.S.

 

Spring Energy Conferences

Keep in mind, some of these may be virtual and subject to change date/setting.

  • On April 14th, the SEIA and NREL will host a roundtable and demonstration highlighting Solar TRACE along with SolarAPP. This will cover solar technologies and city regulations. Sign up for this virtual free webinar here.
  • The American Solar Energy Society will be hosting webinar series. It contains information about solar technology. There will be one on April 14th and 15th. Also, there will be one on May 19th. Read more about it here.
  • New York has an abundance of solar conferences this month. Specifically, on April 22-24. It goes quite in-depth, such as the financial and political aspects of solar energy. For example, the Business in Renewable Energy Sources and Innovation Management Conference.
  • The Smart Energy Market Tour will be going on April 26-30 in North & South Carolina. It will be outside on all 3 days. CED Greentech will be the host. Whether you’re an attendee or a vendor, you can register here.
  • On April 22 & 23, Boston will host the International Conference on Renewable Energy, Green Technologies, and Environmental Sciences. This will be a scholarly event with dissertation presentations. The goal is for scientists and researchers to share their knowledge and discoveries. Sign up here. Additionally, the Solar Energy Engineering Conference will be going on simultaneously.
  • Here are more Boston clean/solar energy conferences.

May Solar Events

  • The Solar and Energy Storage Texas 2021 conference will be in Austin, TX, on May 27 & 28th. It will feature exhibitions, workshops, and networking opportunities for business. Sign up here.
  • Head out west for the California Solar Power Conference 2021 on May 14th. It will cover solar storage and installation. Read more about it here.
  • Back to New York: the Advanced Energy Conference will be going on May 19th all day long. Here, you can brainstorm with others on the future of solar power. Check it out here.

But wait! There’s more.

There will be more conferences and webinars coming up this summer! Stay tuned to see where you can attend your next solar energy conference in 2021. Feel free to let us know about any other events you know of. Additionally, check with your city for local conferences.

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

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Solar Power: Fact or Fiction

As the world becomes increasingly environmentally conscious, solar power systems’ demand continuously rises. Solar technologies take sunlight and convert it into electrical energy through photovoltaic (PV) panels or mirrors that concentrate solar radiation. Since solar panels are relatively new, there are many misconceptions. Here are twenty common myths about solar power.

Myth 1: Solar power systems only work in warm weather.

Fiction: Solar panels do not produce electricity from sunlight itself but rather from the photons found in natural daylight. Though panels can only harness energy during sunlight periods, the temperature does not play a role in determining how much electricity a panel produces. Read more cold weather solar power myths here.

 

Myth 2: Solar power systems are too expensive for installation.

Fiction: Solar power systems can cost anywhere between $5,000 and $40,000, depending on the type of solar power system. Depending on the state, most people qualify for tax credits, possibly reducing costs by several thousand dollars. Read more about solar panel pricing.

 

Myth 3: Solar power systems require high levels of maintenance.

Fiction: Solar power systems require little to no maintenance throughout their many years of operation. They are built to withstand extreme weather conditions, including hard hail or extreme winds. If a solar panel is somehow damaged, most solar power systems come with warranties that would cover the cost of the damage. Read more about the low maintenance cost of solar power systems here.

 

Myth 4: Batteries cannot store extra energy.

Fiction: Most solar power systems are connected to a grid using a net metering system. This determines how much energy a house is producing and how much is being sent back to the grid. This grid acts as a battery system, as a home’s solar energy system can draw from the grid when needed.  The recent invention of solar batteries allows for a solar power system to store extra energy within the solar energy system rather than send it back to the grid. Read more about solar batteries.

 

Myth 5: Solar panels can cause roof damage.

Fiction: Many solar power systems actually help protect and preserve roofs. They help slow down the deterioration process and leaking. Also, most solar panels can be easily taken off for temporary cleaning or minor repairs.

 

Myth 6: Large-scale Solar Energy isn’t feasible.

Fiction: As one of the largest energy sources in the universe, the sun produces enough energy every hour and a half to meet the whole globe’s energy needs for one year. Scientists are only beginning to understand how to take advantage of this information. Though a new development, photovoltaic technology/solar power systems are growing at an increasing rate globally. Read more about the possibilities of large-scale solar energy.

 

Myth 7: Homes with Solar power systems do not get power at night.

Fiction: Though energy can only be produced by sunlight, most solar panels produce surplus energy during the day that can be used at night. This surplus goes back to the grid where homes can draw from at night or when necessary. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 8: Solar Power is more expensive than fossil fuel energy.

Fiction: Currently, the demand for fossil fuel energy is higher than the demand for solar power. So, the price of fossil fuel energy is slightly lower than the price of solar power energy. However, as the world becomes more eco-conscious, the demand for solar energy will rise exponentially. This will cause solar energy to become more accessible while decreasing in cost. Read more about future solar energy cost benefits over fossil fuel here.

 

Myth 9: Solar power system production is not environmentally friendly.

Fiction: On average, it will take most solar panels about four years to produce the amount of energy it took to produce the solar panel. So, any energy production after four years is helping the environment. Also, a solar power system reduces a large amount of carbon dioxide more efficiently than traditional energy methods. Read more about the environmental effects of a solar power system here.

 

 

Myth 10: Solar power systems do not look good on houses.

Fiction: As solar panels and other solar power systems grow in popularity, solar panels are becoming less noticeable yet more common. Also, most solar panels are black or dark blue, often matching the color scheme with the roof. Thus, this helps make the solar power system more aesthetically appealing.

 

Myth 11: Solar panels work even when the power goes out.

Fiction: When the house loses power, so does the solar panel. Some solar energy systems can operate on a backup battery or generator, but this is only possible when the house owner supplies this; it does not include a solar power system. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 12: It’s better to wait until prices drop to invest in a solar power system.

Fiction: The price of installing solar panels in a house has decreased significantly in the past fifty years. However, it is not expected to drop much lower. If anything, due to the rising demand for solar power systems, the price could potentially rise.

 

Myth 13: Solar power systems prices are fixed and do not depend on the house’s size.

Fiction: The price of a solar power system depends on the house’s size and where the house is located. A smaller house will not require as much energy from a solar power system as a larger house would, so it would be unfair to charge the same price. Here’s more on the varying price factors of solar power systems.

 

Myth 14: A depleted solar power system is not recyclable, harming the environment.

Fiction: A solar panel can operate for up to thirty years, then can be recycled once it is no longer usable. Most solar power system manufacturers will recycle the system with little to no additional cost.

 

Myth 15: Clean coal is just as efficient and only slightly more harmful to the environment than solar power.

Fiction: Solar power is significantly cleaner than clean coal because no version of coal is genuinely clean. The more coal is burnt, the more damage is done to the environment because of the increases in carbon pollution. Read more about clean coal vs. solar power myths.

 

Myth 16: Solar panels increase house property taxes.

Fiction: Rather than raising property taxes, most solar energy systems raise the property’s value. Therefore, making it worth more with the solar energy system. However, some states have forms of protection in place. This prevents solar power systems from being included in the home’s appraisal to calculate property taxes. Read more about this here.

 

Myth 17: Solar power systems are loud.

Fiction: The most noise that a solar panel will emit is a subtle humming sound. This is due to the inverter turning DC electrical currents into AC currents. However, this is very quiet and can only be heard when standing less than two feet from the solar panel.

 

Myth 18: Solar power systems are not available everywhere.

Fiction: Solar power systems can function anywhere the sun shines. Some areas around the world might be slightly difficult to get a hold of a solar energy system, but many manufacturers are willing to ship their systems out. It just may require additional expenses. Read more about the availability of solar power systems.

 

Myth 19: Solar panels require a tracking system to be best positioned to receive the sun’s rays.

Fiction: When solar panels are first installed, they are strategically positioned directly in the sun’s path. Some solar power systems are equipped to allow the system to adjust its angle throughout the day to receive more sunlight. Still, research shows that the cost of installing these additional features is not often worth it, as it doesn’t bring in enough extra energy to make up for the costs.

 

Myth 20: You need to own a house to install a solar power system.

Fiction: The US Department of Solar Energy created a community solar program. It allows for residents, business owners, and other individuals who live geographically close together to split the cost and share a Solar Power System. This helps those who do not own a house access solar power.

 

 That’s a lot of myths to bust about solar power. Contact Redwood Creative if you have any questions about solar power myths!

Energy Footprint

Green Energy Tax Benefits in Texas

If you want to turn to renewable energy but are worrying about the cost, fret not. Texas has tax benefits that will help make green energy more affordable. The Texas property tax code states that residents with solar panels or wind turbines could be eligible for up to 100% rebate on property taxes. Here are the tax benefits in Texas for wind and solar power.

 

Solar Tax Benefits

As one of the sunniest states in the U.S., Texas is #4 for solar energy. Meaning, there’s a chance that you could get by with solar panels only.  Texas solar incentives differ by city/county. Also, individual companies have their own rewards program. Starting in Austin, residents are eligible for a solar rebate of up to $2,500. The Austin electric company will also take 10 cents per hour off your bill. San Antonio also has enticing tax relief for solar homes. Residents there can enjoy $1.20/W per panel. The Big D also has big solar savings. Their electric company, Oncor, will save you up to $500 per year on electric bills. Over in Houston, excess energy can be sold back to the utility company for a 100% rebate. South Texas is an especially sunny area, so it’s no surprise that residents along the coastline can sell back excess energy and apply for rebates easily.

 

Wind Tax Benefits

Go to South and West Texas, and you’ll see fields of wind turbines. Texans can have their own wind turbine or two for their farm/ranch. In Lubbock, where there are more wind turbines than people, residents could save about half on installation costs, and every LBK company offers rebates. Turbines in Denton are becoming increasingly popular, and they are almost able to rely on just wind power completely. As part of their plan to do so, they offer loans to pay for wind installation. As wind power is more used on a larger scale, it is a little harder to find tax incentives for Texas’s wind energy. However, Abilene has great wind energy savings on a smaller and larger scale.

 

Green Energy Benefits

We recommend switching to renewable energy, especially solar panels. If you’re worried about the HOA, make sure you’re approved before installing. Also, there is a 26% federal tax rebate for installing solar panels or wind turbines. This is the biggest incentive for the switch. But, companies want to help make clean energy more accessible, so most offer savings and rebates. Read here for more information on green energy tax benefits in Texas.

 

Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative, Inc. today!

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The History of Wind Power

For part 3 of the energy history series, today’s article will be about the history of wind power. Humans have been utilizing Earth’s resources for hundreds of years. We use wind for sailing, power, paragliding, and even just to freshen up our homes. Here’s how wind contributes to our way of life.

Wind Power

First, let’s go back to 5,000 B.C. Egypt, when Egyptians were exploring the vast Nile River. They discovered how to travel up and down the Nile in boats, using papyrus leaf to catch the wind. Then, a few thousand years later, the Chinese discovered wind-powered water pumps.  Around the same time, the Persians were developing the earliest windmills to grind their grain. Soon, papyrus leaves turned into thick canvas for sails, and wind mills were aiding in production of flour, grain, and salt.

Wind turbines are a descendant of the windmill, which became popularized around 1100. The first of wind-powered turbines to generate power started in 1887 in Scotland. Professor James Blythe constructed a 10 m high wind turbine with cloth sails in his garden. This was the first successful wind turbine to power a home. Blythe wanted to share his convenient discovery with his community, but they rejected it. They thought it was the work of the devil. However, Blythe’s work took only less than a year to reach the U.S. when Charles Brush built a wind turbine to power his Ohio mansion. In 1891, Poul la Cour, develops a regulator to control electricity flow. He then worked off of that and built a small power plant in Denmark 4 years later.

Now, wind turbines are prominent in the Great Plains in the United States, offshore, China, and Germany. You can install a personal wind turbine for your home for a couple million dollars. Turbines typically last about 20-25 years.

Did the history of wind power blow you away? Interested in marketing assistance? Contact Redwood Creative today!

 

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2020’s Environmental Actions (US)

Now that we are at the end of 2020, let’s see what environmental actions happened throughout the year in the United States. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act. Over the past 4 years, the Trump administration scaled back on environmental regulations. Find out about air and water quality, animal welfare, and more.

Air & Water Quality

woman in blue denim jacket holding white smartphoneAlmost half of the American population live in a pollution-infected areas. Roughly 6% live in nearly inhabitable levels. While the months of March-May brought relief to the air, it was short-lived. Air quality continues to rise progressively. In order to improve conditions, drastic fossil fuel emission measures need to take place.

As far as water, conditions are not much better. Americans consume mass amounts of water. Therefore, it’s difficult to keep up with the replenishing rate.  Thankfully, America’s drinking water is considered safe overall. Although, Flint, MI still needs clean water. EPA.gov says you can read about the water quality in your area here.

Our oceans are going through changes. This year’s hurricanes stirred up trash and washed them up on our beaches. Additionally, beaches are slowly receding due to melting glaciers. This year has focused on coral reefs ever since the Great Barrier Reef suffered. You can help clean the oceans at 4ocean.

 

Animals & Plants

While marine wildlife is affected by overfishing and pollution, there is good news: Florida is aiming to help save the turtles! In fact, many coastal states are making way for sea turtles to safely hatch and make their way to the ocean. You can read more about our marine wildlife here.

According to The Wildlife Society, maybe global warming won’t be too disastrous for polar bears. They could evolve to adapt to their warming climate. However, another concern is invasive species. Lakes in Southern USA are strongly encouraging boaters to clean the invasive Zebra Mussels out. Invasive plants

As for the trees and other plants, the increasing awareness of deforestation is encouraging new planting. The American Chestnut tree is making a comeback. Through genetic engineering and planting, the tree will not have to face extinction. Elm trees are re-entering the scene as well.

We can contribute to a better environment by reducing waste. Such as, being conservative with energy and opting for reusable products. In addition, check your state’s parks and wildlife page to adhere to wildlife legal limits. We hope to see better environmental actions in 2021! Check back with our blogs for more information about the environment and energy status.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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The Energy Industry Under Biden

Now that we know that Joe Biden will be our new president, we can follow up with our previous blog and take a look at what the energy industry might look like in the next few years. It appears  that Biden plans on battling climate change with clean energy. This blog will continuously update as time and policies progress.

Clean Energy, Clean Economy

According to his own personal website, Biden plans to push for cleaner energy with the Clean Energy Revolution. In this policy, he addresses how the economy relies on the environment. Therefore, his policy will go in a clean economy direction. Specifically, eliminating fuel emissions by 2050. It’ll start by initiating clean energy in environments that need it most. Factories and refineries that heavily pollute the air will have to adapt to cleaner emission policies. Or, revamp into a clean energy facility. Soon, solar and wind energy will take over oil and coal. But, Biden plans to transition out, not completely shut down fossil fuels. It is important to remember the Clean Energy Revolution will be a hefty project. Due to the time and engineering this change requires, there’s time for compromise between Biden and the oil industry.

One of the rising issues in our environment is fracking. In the second debate, Biden claimed to want to put an end to fracking. Currently, fracking is causing tectonic plate problems in Oklahoma and other areas. Oil companies may have to find another way to drill, or restrictions may be placed on fracking.

 

Jobs

Because the policy’s main goal is to transition efficiently, oil & gas-based jobs will be replaced with clean energy jobs. And, the project will create new jobs for the energy industry, too. According to The NY Times, Joe is not sleeping on this- he’s already drafting ideas and plans. His administration is also considering creating a White House branch specifically for climate change. You can read here about what Biden plans to do for the energy industry’s job sector.

 

We hope to see the Biden administration leading the energy industry with care. Clean energy and a clean environment is important to us. But, we understand that many depend on petroleum and coal. With careful innovation and compromise, every factor of the energy industry can prevail under Biden.

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

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Wind Energy: How It Works

AWEA says, “Wind energy (or wind power) refers to the process of creating electricity using the wind, or air flows that occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere.” Modern wind turbines capture kinetic energy from the wind. Then, the spinning action generates electricity. This method is renewable and ideal in windy climates. Places such as the Great Plains and coastal areas have them. Read on to find out about the process and the benefits of the wind industry!

 

Wind Energy

Wind turbines are in 40 states. Texas produces the most electricity from its wind farms at around 28,000 MW per year. The wind industry builds wind farms. These contain numerous wind turbines, from around 10 – 500. The average wind farm will have about 150. The largest one is in California, with over 4,000! They are versatile in use. In fact, one home can rely on just one turbine for power. There are three different categories: small power, offshore, and direct. Small power refers to one or two turbines used to power a home/building. On the other hand, direct has the electricity gather at a power grid.

 

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So, how does wind turn into electricity? First, the turbines are engineered strategically for optimized wind capture. The blades are especially angled a certain way. Ideal wind speed is in between 6-50 MPH. Then, the heavy momentum keeps the blades going, powering the generator. Next, the generator produces electricity that flows to a power grid. Finally, the power grid sends out electricity through distribution lines. These are connected to homes and other buildings.

 

There are a few benefits to wind energy. According to energy.gov, wind power is inexpensive. Over time, wind farms or single-use turbines pay for themselves. Obviously, it’s a renewable resource, so it’s a great alternative to oil and coal. Actually, it’s the largest source of renewable energy. On that note, the wind industry has a great job sector. Such as, a variety of opportunities in engineering.

 

If you want to make a difference in our environment, then consider investing in the wind industry. This clean, renewable energy source won’t pollute the air and is cost-effective. Or, if you live in a remote, windy area, maybe your home needs its own wind turbine.

 

Interested in marketing tips? Contact Redwood Creative today!

Solar Power House

Solar Powered Homes and Office Buildings

Solar-powered buildings, such as homes and offices, is a great way to curb environmental damages. Instead of burning through oil, gas, and electricity to generate power, there’s a much more sustainable method. Huge panes placed on the roof absorb sunlight then store that energy until someone turns the light switch on. They work best in sunny environments, but can work in cloudy climates as well. There is enough solar power in the United States to power approximately 16.1 million homes.

Solar powered homes work best in a community together, where the rays absorb into everyone’s solar panels and reduce electricity flow into the neighborhood. Solar panels are installed on the roof onto rafters, placed 4 feet apart. Then, it connects to your electricity supply, converting the solar energy into DC current. It powers your lights, heating/AC, and all electrical appliances. There is an option to purchase panels with batteries in case a storm causes a power outage.

Why Solar Panels?

Panels work better because industrial generators do not have to deplete more non-renewable resources to produce a large amount of power for a certain area. It will thus produce less harmful greenhouse gases, improving our atmosphere and air quality. Another advantage is lower electricity bill. You could even get credit if you take in more power than you use. Thanks to the panel grid’s ability to store the energy, you can power your home when it is dark outside. For multiple-story buildings, this could help you save hundreds every year. It takes a great deal of electricity to cool down upper-level floors, so if you live in a hot climate, think about investing in solar panels. Depending on the situation, you could even qualify for tax exemptions. Save your money and the planet!

If more office buildings, homes, and schools used solar panels, it could hopefully produce a domino effect so that nearby areas started using them too. Awareness of alternative energy options will hopefully encourage people to be more environmentally conscious. Thus, light a spark to push for greener practices. Read more about the advantages of solar panels on an individual and community level here.

 

Want to get more leads for your solar energy business? Contact us about solar marketing today!

Energy Footprint

How To Reduce Your Energy Use

It’s the hottest time of the year. The electric bill skyrockets as we try to keep cool in the near 100 degree weather. While you should always not waste energy resources, now is the best time to reduce energy use. This is because the heat makes your appliances work harder, using even more energy, and run the risk of overheating. This includes running the AC on high. Thus, your electricity bill increases even more so. Also, heat worsens air pollution. We recommend at the very least to reduce your energy use during peak heat hours of the day, between 3-6 PM. The smallest effort could lead to a lower electricity bill and cleaner air.

 

How you can make a difference

Start by turning off lights and unplugging unused chargers and electronics. To reduce energy consumption during peak hours, avoid doing laundry, cooking, or driving. Even turning the temp up a degree or two will help. If there’s any rooms in the house not being used, close the vent and the door. You can use the heat to your advantage- instead of using the dryer, hang your clothes outside to dry. Dryers can eat up a lot of electricity and would only make your laundry room hotter. If you must go out for the day, try to schedule it either before or after the hours of 3-6 PM. This is to help reduce CO2 emissions being cooked into the air. It’s also easier on your car and you wind up saving a little bit of gas.

 

While limiting energy consumption is important during peak hours of the day, consider making it a habit to be more energy-conscious overall. For example, turn off or lower the air when leaving your home for more than an hour. If you have a garage/outdoor freezer, make sure it’s not in the hottest spot, or consider bringing it inside. Influence your peers to make more energy-saving decisions as well. It takes a community to lower air pollution and electricity usage.

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