sunset photography

The History of Solar Energy

Although Jan 6 was a dark day, this is a light blog. Now, solar energy will receive more funding and attention as the democrats push for clean energy. While we wait to find out how solar power will rise, let’s go back and see first sunpower rise. Here is the history of solar energy.

A Bright History

Technically, humans have been utilizing solar power since the beginning of time to light fires. They would use glass to reflect or intensify light. The earliest civilizations, such as ancient Romans and meso-Americans, would create sunrooms to capture the sun’s warmth and light. For the Romans, it was used to heat water in bathhouses. For thousands of years, humans used various methods to keep themselves warm. Then, in the time of voyages, the sun was a blessing and curse to sailors. While the sun burned their skin, the sailors figured out a way to cook food in solar stoves.

Solar Panels Are Born

Scientists experimenting with solar power in the 1800’s. Edmond Becquerel first discovered the photovoltaic effect, which is light producing electricity. Remember, electricity was still a relatively new concept at this time so this was a futuristic discovery. It will take a couple more engineers, scientist, and years to create the first solar cell. It couldn’t generate power yet, but it set scientist on the right track. In 1883, Charles Fritts nabbed the backbone of solar technology with his solar cells. They now contain selenium, which allowed solar power to convert to electricity. As of 1883, scientist know how to create & store solar energy.

Then, it would take 70 years for the modern-day solar power panel to enter the stage. Selenium cells evolved into silicon solar cells in 1954 at Bell Labs. The cutting-edge engineering now allowed objects to be powered by solar energy. Daryl Chapin, Calvin Fuller, and Gerald Pearson are to thank for finalizing the solar panel design. At this time, solar cells operated at 4% efficiency. The United States used this new technology to power satellites and for the infamous Space Race. The first home to have solar panels was in 1972.

 

Solar Power Today

Today, solar panels typically reach in between 15-20%. But, some have the ability to hit 42% efficiency! Modern-day solar panels are a little over 5’x3′ big. They are made of silicon, wafers, and lead making up one solar cell. Then, about 32-36 cells make up one solar panel. Finally, a protective coat is applied to capture the rays, as the shiny silicon can cause the rays to bounce off. Solar power is used for everything, and more homes are seeing solar panels. It took about 100 years of history to arrive at the solar energy we have today.

 

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gray Nest thermostat displaying at 63

Tips on Saving Energy in the Winter

As the temperatures drop, the heater turns up. Here are some tips on saving energy during the winter months.

snow covered plant and road in front of cafeAlbeit, it is easier to save on energy during the summer because you can use the heat to your advantage, such as drying clothes. However, it’s harder to do so in the winter, especially if you’re cold all the time (like me). But, now is the time to enjoy cozy sweaters!

 

 The Heater

There’s a reason why dads are finnicky about the thermostat. After all, it’s the biggest contributor to your electric bill. Here are some ways you can save that heater from running all the time without freezing yourself.

  • If you live in the southern US, then chances are you may not need your air on every day. Try turning off the air (or put it on 70) on a warmer winter day then turn the heater back on at night.
  • Turn it down at night. As you build up body heat through the night, your cooler house will keep you from waking up in sweat. I like it at around 71 or 72, however some like it at 67!
  • Socks. Most of your body heat escapes through your feet. A good pair of socks will help retain that heat, keeping you warm.
  • Turn it down when cooking. The stove/ oven puts out a lot of heat so your heater doesn’t have to.

 

Other Appliances

If it’s a warmer day, use it to your advantage. When you dry clothes, dry them most of the way then let air-dry. Insulate thin windows or those with drafts to keep the cold air out. However, on a sunny day, keep the blinds open to let the sun’s heat in. Also, consider using energy-efficient holiday lights. Cover outside faucets, fireplace (when not in use) and outside vents.

 

white and brown pine leaf and dried leaf

We hope this post inspires you to be more energy conscious. Saving energy can help your bills and the environment. And, it will also save your AC/heater unit some strain, making it last longer. Thanks for reading! If you’d like to find more energy-saving tips, check out this article.

 

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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.

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white wind turbines on green grass field under blue and white cloudy sky during daytime

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.

 

white wind mill lot on green field

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.

 

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sunset

Oil Industry Update November 2020

Our previous blog mentioned ways energy plays a part in our lives. Now, we’ll go more in depth about the oil industry & COVID-19’s impact. As a result, it is becoming more obvious that we don’t need oil as much as we thought so. We will always use it, but maybe it’s time for petroleum to step out of the spotlight. However, the presidential election will have a say on oil’s future. Here’s what major oil companies have to say about the state of their industry.

 Oil’s Current Situation

COVID-19, heightened environmental awareness, and hurricanes have not been kind to the fossil fuel industry. In March, many refineries closed, drastically slowing oil production. July and August brought in a mass amount of hurricanes, destroying rig set-ups. Environmentalists are becoming increasingly concerned about marine oil spills and fracking. CNBC states, “Due to the ongoing impacts of Covid-19, the IEA expects global energy demand to fall by 5% in 2020, with oil and coal consumption falling 8% and 7%, respectively.”

One of Texas’ biggest oil companies, EOG Resources, is determined to make a comeback as they know how crucial oil is for Texas economy. Their stocks are slowly creeping back up, indicating a slow recovery. The Permian Basin is attracting oil business. Right now, oil’s biggest purpose is for vehicles, heating, and producing electricity. So, while oil has dropped drastically, the oil industry is using this time to re-structure business to prepare for less overall production.

Oil Industry Possible Future

It’s quite possible that oil will be replaced by the much more sustainable solar energy. This is due to environmentalism conservative movement and production costs. With that in mind, companies are working towards more safe practices. Drilling is triggering more earthquakes (in Oklahoma) and refineries pollute the air with smoke. Energy experts predict that oil will be replaced by wind & solar energy for electricity production. Meaning, in a few years, oil’s main purpose will just be fueling vehicles and engines. On the other hand, it’s hard to tell. Oil could go right back to pre-March success. After all, oil will always be essential to the energy industry. Here’s more data and statistics explaining petroleum’s projected path to 2050.

 

Oil’s future also depends on the presidential election outcome. Joe Biden is calling for a major decrease in production, as much as cutting it in half. Contrastingly, Donald Trump wants the economy stimulated in any way he can and will encourage oil to continue on. Will oil be able to conquer the election, environmental activism, and the pandemic? Only time will tell, but we do know that oil will likely never go back to the height it was at pre-March, but it will never completely phase out either.

 

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man holding incandescent bulb

Energy Industries In Our Lives

While the petroleum, wind, and solar energy industries can stand alone, they’re all connected in some way. Many individuals use a combination of the three daily. From small devices to enormous solar panels, we incorporate these energy sources in numerous ways. Here are all the ways the three major industries play a role in our lives. Electricity is produced by two of the three. Gas heats up water, then the steam and wind work together to produce an electrical current.

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Daily Lives

The most obvious one, cars use petroleum. Scientists entertain the idea of solar-powered cars, and they may happen one day. Realistically, we use oil, wind, and solar in our homes and when we go out. While oil and wind are more accessible, solar is rising and becoming more available for common use. Residential use takes up about 40% of energy use. Our kitchen and bathroom uses gas to heat up the stove and our water. Our AC/heating system uses gas. Homes can pull their electricity from solar power. In windy climates, wind turbines are viable for powering a city. Outside of the home, crosswalk signs and other electrical signs are starting to come with a solar panel. This article gets more in-depth about how humans rely on energy sources.

Energy Industries on a Bigger Scale

Energy on a bigger scale, such as in factories and plant facilities, rely on the big three as well, mainly petroleum. Major industries are moving towards solar and wind to save petroleum. This will help the environment: factories and production plants burn through immense amount of coal, oil, and gas, which winds up polluting the air. This has come to light in recent years, igniting a movement towards solar and wind. Solar and wind farms are becoming increasingly popular. Business and office buildings are also responsible for using energy on a major scale. Power plants divert most of their energy into the inner cities, where the energy-consuming buildings are. Large engines, such as planes, trains, and large cargo ships, are powered from diesel.

 

We rely on all sorts of energy every day, including water and biofuels. It takes the awareness of common people to push for cleaner energy practices, and not waste the energy we do have. While coal/thermal energy once reigned, now gas/oil does. However, it’s harmful for our environment so we must push for solar and wind.

 

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Environment protection | © Sumos | Dreamstime Stock Photos

Environmental Change Since March 2020

In March 2020, the nation rapidly shut down their cities to stop the spread of the pandemic. With less people out, Earth started to flourish again. We have been monitoring the environmental change since then. Less cars on the road and less factories pumping out toxic smoke improved our air conditions and the ozone layer. Empty highways were not only void of cars, but of trash as well. As someone who picks up litter in my spare time, it’s such a delight to see noticeably fewer amount of litter. This is great for wildlife, as both land and aquatic animals eat trash, not knowing how fatal it is. Other great things are happening to our Earth- read on for more.

 Air

Air pollution dropped drastically as cities shut down globally. China’s infamous smog deteriorated away into better conditions. Nitrogen dioxide reduced by 60% in the first half of 2020. This is due to factories shutting down and significantly less cars on the road. While conditions are expected to go back to normal, this will hopefully spark a motive to push for cleaner air. The US Environmental Protection Agency gives their national summary.

Our Oceans

As fisheries and marine shipping routes slowed, our fish and marine ecosystem were free to flourish. More specifically, less fish are being taken out of the water rapidly, reducing overfishing. United Nations Development Program reported that lobster demand decreased in Florida. Also, less commercial fishing products like nets and anchors are being abandoned in the water. Another factor is less functioning marine oil refineries are reducing oil leaking into the ocean. You can help out our oceans by going to 4ocean.com.

The Energy Industry

As far as oil, gas, wind, solar, and hydro power goes, oil is being hit the hardest.

 

On a final note, the bees are coming back! Petitioners pushed for mass pesticide control in order to prevent any more bees from dying. Here are also a few ways to help out bees and other helpful insects in your own backyard! Although many cities are no longer shut down, we can still contribute to environmental change for good.

 

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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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Energy Industry

Message Ideas For Energy Industry Customers

In the expanding field of energy industry, keeping your messages interesting is important. If the money aspect can’t keep your clients around, then your words can. Remind your readers that there’s more to the energy industry than money- it’s what fuels our daily lives and deeply impacts the environment. How you say it is important as well. Expressing your thoughts through blogs and e-mails is excellent because you can articulate your thoughts and edit your words to best get your message across. Or, you can put out a live broadcast/video so your audience can match your tone with your message. Caption your video for clarity.

Remind your audience that technology is continuously being advanced to improve the energy industry thanks to their support. This technology will in turn help them in the future. Keep your readers in the loop and see them get exciting about your own progress.

If you are explaining a product or a project idea, use words that everyone in your audience can understand. The energy industry can get pretty scientific, and audience members could lose interest if they can’t understand what you’re talking about. Either explain what you mean or put in terms that a grade schooler could understand.

Make your reader feel like they are making a difference just by donating and participating in energy conferences. As more heads enter the field, policies and knowledge evolve to better the community. Their involvement is the reason why the energy industry is expanding- thank them for that.

Keep your message short and sweet. Format your message with an opening, the body, and a conclusion to make it easy for your reader/listener to follow. For more tips on how to resonate with your clients, check out this article.

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Energy Background

Energy Conferences 2020

Our source of power and fuel is a world of its own that keeps ours going. Thousands of business opportunities stem from oil, solar energy, and more. To learn how, become involved by going to energy conferences. If you’re new to the energy industry, you can attend a conference regarding all energy sources. These events can be one-day or could go on for two or three days. As a result, you can join important networks and solidify your own business. Unfortunately, bigger events like major annual workshops have to wait until next year. But smaller conventions are still available.

This September, The Energy Exposition is a great networking opportunity for a broad audience. Pros gather to lecture about energy and its link to technology. This event is ideal for beginners. Afterwards, you can also go golfing in the Wyoming hills with fellow attendees.

Wondering about the environment’s relationship with our energy resources? Advanced Clean Energy Summit (ACES) in Denver, Colorado can answer your questions and help you get more involved. It will be held in September.

Oil & Gas Conferences

Interstate Oil & Gas Compact Commission is hosting its Annual Conference in Houston, TX. This November, you can be part of the discussion. It will be about oil & gas regulations in each state.

Oklahoma’s official oil & gas chamber will have their Petroleum Alliance Annual Meeting. As representatives, they will listen to their clients and evolve accordingly. To prove that they care about their attendees, there will also be a banquet.

Want to invest in oil and/or water? Oilfield Water USA will be holding Invest & Manage 2020 in Houston. It is scheduled for December. Hear proposals for cleaner water and oil retrieval. Also, familiarize yourself with the environmental and business aspects.

Four Corners Oil & Gas 2020 Conference this October in New Mexico will provide learning and business opportunities. The indoor and outdoor exhibits will take the full two days to take everything in.

Wind & Solar

Learn more about wind energy at AWEA’s Offshore WindPower Conference at the NY Grand Hyatt. This October, the focus will be on how to proceed with transitioning from oil to wind as America’s dominate power source.

Nebraska Wind & Solar is hosting an exhibition & conference in November. It will be a two-day event. This will provide plenty of time to hear out presenters. Afterwards, go by their booth for further discussion.

This November in Atlanta, Solar Industries Association invites guests to attend the Solar and Energy Storage Southeast. This event will cover policies, business strategies, and operation methods.

North America Smart Energy Week is dedicated to improving solar energy. Also, other easily renewable energy sources will be discussed as well. This October, allies of solar power will brainstorm and network in Las Vegas.

To attend energy conferences, check the web for more info. Many have networking breakfasts and dinners. Golfing and mixers can be included. Most events require that you register in advance, so make sure you don’t miss the deadline!

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