You’ve seen them on the news and on the road (whether you realized it or not). Electric cars are gradually gaining a stronger foothold in the American market for new light-duty vehicles and they’re not going away anytime soon. You’ve probably heard about the benefits to the environment from driving an electric vehicle (EV), but you might be skeptical as to how much you’re really helping fight climate change. Since much of our electricity is produced by fossil fuels like coal, are you really producing fewer greenhouse gas emissions by driving electric?
The answer is a little complicated and changes depending on where you live in the country. However, the short answer is yes, you produce less greenhouse gas emissions when you drive an electric car in just about everywhere you could live in the United States. Just how much are you reducing your ecological footprint? That’s where we have to split hairs. The Alternative Fuel Data Center, run by the Department of Energy, created a useful tool to determine how many pounds of CO2 equivalent you produce in a year driving a typical gas-powered light-duty vehicle versus a fully electric vehicle in your state, based on a few assumptions. One of those assumptions is that the car you’re driving currently gets about 25 miles to the gallon. If your car is way more efficient than that and you live in a state that produces the overwhelming majority of its electricity from coal, such as West Virginia and Wyoming, then driving electric won’t do much to reduce the amount of emissions associated with your driving, although it could help local air quality as electric vehicles produce zero tailpipe emissions. Nevertheless, in nearly every state, driving an electric car produces far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than a standard gas-powered vehicle.
Want to see for yourself? Take a look. You’ll probably be surprised to see which states are doing the best at incorporating clean energy into their electricity production energy mix (oh my gosh, Idaho). That being said, if you’re interested in doing your part to prevent climate change, it’s worth it to at least go take a look at what electric vehicles are out there. You don’t have to give up driving, just go electric!
SmartPower’s successful and award-winning Solarize model for residential solar installations is now going global!
After months of discussions, pre-Covid-19 face-to-face visits, and Zoom meetings throughout the pandemic, SmartPower and WeeGreen recently reached agreement with two Indian utility companies: Rajdhani Power Limited (BRPL) and Yamuna Power Limited (BYPL). Through these joint partnerships, SmartPower and WeeGreen – and our on-the-ground partners in India – will use the Solarize model to expand the adoption of residential solar in New Delhi.
India is a global leader in renewable energy production. In recent years, investment in renewable energy sources has increased dramatically, and India now has one of the fastest growing solar industries in the world. However, India also has the second largest population in the world, and electricity demand is expected to triple by 2040. If the renewable energy industry does not expand at a commensurate rate, fossil fuel usage will rise dramatically.
In order to address the anticipated surge in energy demand, the government of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been setting ambitious renewable energy goals for the coming years. Prime Minister Modi established a preliminary target of generating over 40% of the nation’s total energy capacity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2030, and that target is now expected to be far surpassed as the renewable energy industry skyrockets. The government of India also set forward a solar-specific target of installing 100 GW of solar energy by 2022. Of this 100 GW target, India hopes to generate 40 GW from rooftop solar units alone. In tandem with the nationwide push towards solar, the Delhi government has set its own target of generating 2000 MW in solar energy by 2025.
Of course, setting goals can be the easy part. Actually meeting them can prove more challenging. None of the solar energy objectives will be achieved without the rapid expansion of rooftop solar installation—and that’s where SmartPower and WeeGreen come in.
Working with a unique coalition brought together by the US Department of State, the Government of India through the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the City of New Delhi, the local utilities; and a local non-profit partner, the Council for Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), “Solarize New Delhi” will offer residents the opportunity to install rooftop solar on their homes using the same peer-to-peer, community-wide approach that has been so effective here in the US. Unique to New Delhi, the Solarize campaign will target owner-occupied homes to expand the types of residential installations beyond the typical large multifamily building. Indeed, the New Delhi campaigns have the same potential to provide the economic benefits for households, workers, the utilities, and the city at large that we’ve seen work so well in states as varied as Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, and South Carolina. Individual families save money on their utility bills and at the same time, the increased demand for solar installations will result in widespread job growth and economic development and reduced costs for solar. It’s a win-win-win for the residents of New Delhi. And, long-term – for our planet.
We’re thrilled to embark upon such an exciting new project that will be able to benefit the New Delhi community and help India reach its renewable energy goals. Keep an eye out for regular updates on our New Delhi campaigns!
Written by Tom Masters from https://www.sheltonroofing.com/
When most people think about solar energy, they think about solar panels sitting on a roof of a home that work to gather the sun’s rays to make power to use inside the home. Today however, portable solar power can be taken on the road to use while camping, traveling or any other situation where you need power but don’t have access to electricity. Portable solar power is even great to have available at home to use during blackouts from storms or other natural disasters. Here are some advantages of portable solar power:
Solar power is an eco-friendly way to power a home, business or even camping trip. Generators are not always welcome at campgrounds or in public spaces, but portable solar power is quiet, has no dangerous fumes and can be used virtually anywhere that you need power.
Great for Entertainment and Comfort
If you have ever been camping or taken a long road trip with children or teens, you know that entertainment during overnight stops or extended stays is mandatory. With portable solar power, you can power up and have the family listening to music or even watching television in no time at all. It’s also ideal for powering up a fan to stay cool and comfortable during any outdoor adventure.
Since portable solar is powered purely through the sun’s rays, it is completely free to use. While other portable charging devices may rely on batteries or fuel, portable solar power relies solely on the sun. There is no additional charge for using portable solar, so as long as you have access to direct sunlight, you can have peace of mind that electricity will be generated with no other input necessary.
A Solid Investment
Portable solar power is a solid investment that you can utilize for many years. As the cost of electricity continuously rises year after year, the sun remains the same. During a power outage, using portable solar power may be a great way to not only power the essentials, but a way to save money.
When you invest in a solar powered generator, be sure to choose one that is lightweight so you will have no trouble hauling it from place to place. This is an investment that should last for many years, so choose one that offers high wattage and is sturdy.
Portable solar power is a reliable source of energy because it is powered through the sun rather than fuel, so there is no concern of running out of power. When the electricity goes out during a storm or you are camping out in the wilderness, portable solar power is great to have on hand so you can stay in touch with those you need to communicate with. Portable photovoltaic can be used to charge your communication devices including cell phones, walkie-talkies, laptops, iPads and more. It comes in handy to be able to communicate if you decide to head into the woods for a long hike and want to be able to stay in contact in case an emergency should happen to arise.
As you can see, there are many advantages to using portable solar power at home or on the road. This incredible source of power is easy to take along, lightweight and ideal for emergencies, travel and more. With the great advances that technology has made, and continues to make, portable solar power is the perfect way to power your devices when you want to decrease your carbon footprint.
An Important Conversation on Climate, National Security, and the Independence of the Intelligence Community with Dr. Rod SchoonoverRead Now
By Ariana Cepulis and Lukas Lehmann
Until three weeks ago, Dr. Rod Schoonover was a Senior Analyst in the Bureau of Intelligence and Research at the US Department of State.
In his position at the State Department, Dr. Schoonover was responsible for analyzing potential national security risks posed by climate change. In early June, Dr. Schoonover prepared written testimony on the security implications of climate change for the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, only to have his testimony blocked from reaching Congress by the White House because it did not align with the administration’s views on climate science. At the last minute, Dr. Schoonover was given clearance to give a five minute summary of the testimony, but the testimony was never entered into the official record.
Shortly thereafter, Dr. Schoonover chose to resign.
Which brings us to last Tuesday afternoon when Dr. Schoonover spoke for the first time since his resignation at the World Resources Institute regarding his departure from civil service and the consequences that omission of his testimony will have on the integrity of the intelligence community.
When asked about the national security implications of the politicization of the basic fact of climate change, Dr. Schoonover responded, “Our national security rests on scientific integrity. When we weaken our scientific base, we weaken our information base.”
As is becoming increasingly clear, climate change has far greater and more alarming political and economic consequences than just the increasing regularity of extreme weather events. Shifts in weather patterns fundamentally alter the ecological systems in the biosphere that have shaped our societies and our world economies. For instance, if temperatures continue to rise, we will not just experience more heat waves and witness sea levels rise as the ice caps melt; the impact will be felt through the depletion of fisheries, the spread of disease carrying organisms, and changes in agriculture. As such, Dr. Schoonover advocates for “broadening out from a weather centric aperture” and instead recognizing the deep socioeconomic consequences of a changing climate. It is as a result of these fundamental political and economic repercussions that climate change is a national security issue.
Nevertheless, Dr. Schoonover seemed optimistic regarding the recent advancements of climate science and its increasing ability to effectively convey the heightened likelihood of extreme weather events that we are experiencing due to climate change.
When asked if the US was prepared for the threat of climate change, Dr. Schoonover replied, “Arguably, no country is ready for the full slate of climate-related risks.”
Well, it’s time to get ready.
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