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  (Source: Slice of MIT)
America continues pushing toward cleaner energy today

The UN-supported organization, Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), conducted a study that shows half of new power generated in the United States in 2009 was renewable energy.

The U.S. has taken great strides toward mass use of renewable energy. Just last year, 10 gigawatts of wind power capacity was installed in the United States, which can power 2.4 million homes. Other advancements in clean energy were made last year as well, such as the $7 million grant for Argonne National Laboratory from the U.S. Department of Energy to further solar power research.

More recently, the Obama Administration has continued contributing funds to keep renewable energy research rolling along. In April, the U.S. government approved the country's first off-shore wind farm, despite those who protested the idea, and just this month, Obama gave a hefty sum of $1.85 billion for new solar energy plants to be built around the U.S.  In addition, a promising 73 percent of Americans want to cut fossil fuel dependency in favor of cleaner methods. 

While the U.S. is moving along in regards to green technology, other countries around the world have been joining the revolution for a cleaner planet too by implementing new ideas in green technology. 

In Europe, 60 percent of new power generation in 2009 was in the form of renewable energy. But China has made the most progress when it comes to green technology by manufacturing more solar panels and wind turbines than any other country, as well as adding of 37 gigawatts of renewable energy to China's overall power generation capacity. Worldwide, renewable energy accounts for 25 percent of total power generation and provided 18 percent of the Earth's electricity in 2009. 

Despite these strides in the growing use of renewable energy, the U.S. has a long way to go before they accomplish the U.S. Department of Energy's goal of having 20 percent of America's power derived from wind by 2030.

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By Micronite on 7/16/2010 1:34:39 PM , Rating: -1
I've always thought "Renewable" was an interesting way to describe energy. Doesn't all energy eventually deteriorate to the lowest state (heat).

Once you take the energy out of wind, you don't create more wind to renew it. Same thing with solar.

RE: Renewable...
By MozeeToby on 7/16/2010 1:45:42 PM , Rating: 5
Well, until we start thinking in billion year time spans, I'd say any energy source that is replenished by the sun as fast as we use it is 'renewable', as in the source is renewed on an ongoing basis (even if we aren't the ones doing it).

RE: Renewable...
By Marlonsm on 7/16/2010 1:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
Alright, next goal for the USA, 100% renewable power sources by the year of 1000002010.

Seriously now, it's good to see a growth in green power sources, although I still think it could be bigger.

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/16/2010 2:14:03 PM , Rating: 2
Look... the majority of these new plants were government funded (AKA Debt) in the middle of the worst Depression since the Great Depression. You honestly think more money should be piled into more uneconomic projects?

RE: Renewable...
By quiksilvr on 7/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/16/2010 2:38:34 PM , Rating: 3
Its still uneconomical, its a waste of resources that could be used to further efficiency in the use of oil. Which for the most part is more economical/cheaper to do than Wind farms and solar power.

Those jobs are highly dependant on continual State and Federal funding/subidies. Because no one is going to pay for overpriced power. That is the problem with Green power. You transfer wealth from the more economical part of society to an uneconomical part of society.

RE: Renewable...
By Smartless on 7/16/2010 2:54:27 PM , Rating: 5
So true lol. Conservation of Energy = Conservation of Money.

Now I don't want to start a huge discussion on economics but the idea of creating jobs without a profit margin in mind never made sense to me. You can stimulate the economy all you want but in essence its like using an electric pump to push water above a hydro-electric dam. Look its renewable.

RE: Renewable...
By guffwd13 on 7/16/2010 3:23:32 PM , Rating: 1
Actually its not true. People are willing to pay more for green energy. There's a checkbox on my energy statements that for an additional 10% you can request that your "energy "allotment" come from renewable sources. According to the company, 20% of households signed on after only 11 months of the program being offered.

Now, whether or not the allotment is coming from a renewable source is another story, but it does say people are willing to pay more for renewable energy - both that the company offered it in the first place and that people agreed to it.

Plus oil is only more economical at the moment because of quantity. Quantity goes up -> cost goes down. Once solar panels and windfarms become the norm, they'll be cheaper and require less maintenance than the complicated processes and safety overhead involved in the burning of fossil fuels.

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/16/2010 4:37:33 PM , Rating: 3
Nothing I said was untrue.
'Some' people are willing to pay for more green energy is not a majority of americans (I can extend this to majority of the world). Those who could afford to pay extra for renewable sources have the ability to overpay for their energy. This doesn't mean its economic. Since economic definition is all about only paying as much as the going rate for a unit of energy, good, service.

Overpaying is your decision and yours alone. Overpaying is not considered economical.

RE: Renewable...
By guffwd13 on 7/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Renewable...
By gunzac21 on 7/18/2010 7:32:51 PM , Rating: 2
Since economic definition is all about only paying as much as the going rate for a unit of energy, good, service.

not true it about finding the balance between a widget's utility to you versus its price versus the standing of other widgets in that paradigm. and no economist that is being completely honest with you will tell you that oil is necessarily cheaper, you of course know about externalities?
the guy who is welling to pay more hard money for cleaner fuel probably just has a better understanding of the externalities of non-sustainable energy types.

ps. unrelated but if it is all about price why do so many companies concentrate on "brand" just saying real economics is not as simple as 8,9,10 or 12th grade math. in fact much of it isn't math at all.

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/19/2010 1:18:51 AM , Rating: 2
Oil is cheaper since it contains so much energy and is a great storage of energy. While with Solar/wind the energy isn't stored we are absorbing it as it comes in with no meaningful way of storing the energy.

I do know about externalities and for the most part Oil is better than burning coal for example, since it doesn't release so much particulates into the atmosphere. Even though the costs are not realized when you buy the oil up front you still will pay for it further down the line. The sway of prices is so flexible and covers so many areas. For my house filter I use a Hepa filters to screen out the externality that is the dust. The dust bothers me enough to lower my productivity hence why many people view pollution control as a good thing.

Brand is an image to distinguish yourself from the competition in the market place. It helps you have a band of loyal customers. Though as soon as a competitor comes along to offer a superior product for equal or less money, people will jump ship.

RE: Renewable...
By mkrech on 7/16/2010 3:16:11 PM , Rating: 2
ok, give me $100... I'll give you $10

Huzzah, I just gave you $10 now go away and be happy. LOL

RE: Renewable...
By dgingeri on 7/16/2010 4:11:14 PM , Rating: 4
With the government, it's more like "give me $200. Now I'll give you $5, and I'll give your neighbor $10, and I'll give my friends $100."

RE: Renewable...
By seamonkey79 on 7/17/2010 12:40:25 AM , Rating: 5
Taking money from Joe to pay Scott does not create a job, it takes from Joe and gives to Scott... now, if you left Joe that money, he might have enough to hire Scott on his own, and then Scott and Joe would both have money.

I also have to point out that, somehow, when the government takes money and gives it to people, why is it that I see them standing (sitting) on the side of the road with signs complaining of unfair business practices? Road after road here (Illinois) has a sign that says putting America to work... with union folk sitting on their butts doing nothing because of... I don't even care, it's my money paying them, they should be working.

RE: Renewable...
By retrospooty on 7/17/2010 10:35:42 AM , Rating: 2
" With the government, it's more like "give me $200. Now I'll give you $5, and I'll give your neighbor $10, and I'll give my friends $100."

LOL - true... But what can we do? Its not like a new thing. It was the same under the reps, and teh 100's of regimes before that.

Corruption in human leadership. 6000+ years and still going strong!

RE: Renewable...
By mkrech on 7/22/2010 3:51:51 PM , Rating: 2
But what can we do?

Google "founding fathers", "constitution" and then study. Thomas Jefferson had some especially insightful writings on how to handle this issue.

Then, get active. Take your new found knowledge and go meet some like minded folks. You may find a few at a Tea party rally. Next go forth and testify to others, spread the knowledge and above all else teach your children. Our society needs to re-educate the wisdom that has been lost over the years.

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/16/2010 3:18:23 PM , Rating: 2
To add on, Oil will never be completely drilled.
Long before then we will exhaust the cheap stuff first and we'll progress into harder to reach fields and use more expensive extraction techniques.

All the while this will lead to higher oil prices.
Then and only then will green tech have a chance at being economical. Or there is some great breakthrough in solar panels/wind technology to drastically lower the price of the stuff.

RE: Renewable...
By xmichaelx on 7/16/10, Rating: 0
RE: Renewable...
By dgingeri on 7/16/2010 4:30:46 PM , Rating: 2
Renewable is all well and good, but since Colorado implemented their 15% renewable mandate, my electricity bill has gone up over 60%. I'm getting sick of paying $130 a month to cool my 700 sq ft apartment. it was $100 a month last year, and $80 a month the year before, for nearly the same usage.

Oh, sure, the actual rate hasn't gone up that much, but Xcel's "Electrical Commodity Adjustment" has made the whole bill increase considerably. they hide the rate hikes with BS charges. It was still $80/month the summer after I moved in and my last 2 bills were $130. This month is bound to be higher because it's been hotter. This is getting ridiculous.

With Obama's energy plan, I'll likely be paying $500 a month with running my AC 1 hour a night and keeping my computer off.

RE: Renewable...
By 67STANG on 7/16/2010 4:45:40 PM , Rating: 3
I pay $275 a month (in the summer) for my 2,000 sq./ft. house. California has a 20% renewable standard. I don't think you have anything to worry about. I have 4 computers (2 of which never turn off), 6 televisions and my AC is cranked down to 72. It's 104 degrees today....

The only extra I (and everyone else) pay on my SCE bill is a nuclear decommissioning fee-- obviously that's another argument altogether.

By the way, Obama doesn't have an energy plan. He has a *list* that banters to his supporters that will never really amount to anything.

Disclaimer: I'm employed by a wind turbine manufacturer, so my opinions are probably a bit skewed.

RE: Renewable...
By EglsFly on 7/16/2010 8:17:38 PM , Rating: 2
$275, wow, that is high. How many kWh did you use?
Or maybe it is also Cali taxes...

RE: Renewable...
By FITCamaro on 7/19/2010 1:26:59 PM , Rating: 2
Perhaps you missed that he lives in Commifornia where power is extremely expensive. $275 sounds about right for that part of the country. Is probably not a newer home that would be more energy efficient either.

If you think that's expensive though, wait until they pass cap and trade. People I've spoken to in the energy business say costs will go up around 100%. All in the name of "saving the planet". Of course then when all the poor can't pay their power bills, Democrats will blame the power companies. We'll either have them trying to mandate energy prices which will put private companies out of business and let the government take over, have them openly try to take them over, or pass more wealth redistribution legislation which will take more of our money and give it to the poor so they can pay the power bills the Democrats caused to go up in the first place.

RE: Renewable...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/17/2010 8:51:05 AM , Rating: 2
In Europe, 60 percent of new power generation in 2009 was in the form of renewable energy.

So why is the UK predicting they will have rolling brownouts by 2015?

Because they have placed their entire future in "alternative energy" which simply cannot, and will not, meet the needs of it's citizens.

There's nothing "progressive" about pushing an alternative that is more expensive, delivers less, and isn't ready for the market yet. And yet, some on DT think the rest of the "free world" has it all figured out and us American's are just stubborn backwoods rebels.

The UK and most of Europe is in the middle of a self inflicted energy crisis. This is an absolute fact. Because political idealism was placed ahead of the needs of current and future citizens. Obama and the "Progressives" are trying to sell us that this is a model we should emulate. Hey, the "rest" of the world is doing it, we should too right?

I've said it before, and I'll say it again, it's usually a GOOD thing when the United States stands apart from what the rest of the world is doing.

RE: Renewable...
By MadMan007 on 7/17/10, Rating: -1
RE: Renewable...
By Reclaimer77 on 7/17/2010 7:59:38 PM , Rating: 2
Where? California? Where they REFUSE to embrace nuclear and other perfectly available means of power generation?

Yes, thank you for making my point.

RE: Renewable...
By Amiga500 on 7/18/2010 6:02:39 AM , Rating: 2
Correct. Various engineering bodies have warned various governments about this impending disaster within the UK. What have they done? Ignored it. Indeed, there already have been some brownouts in the South of England (partly due to other circumstances, partly due to the complete lack of reserve in the system).

Well, soon that particular chicken will come home to roost. Its probably too late to take action to resolve the issue now - the plants would not be online by the time the power demand is too high for the current grid to cope.

Should have done what France did. That move in the 70s is looking smarter and smarter by the day....

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/16/2010 4:45:45 PM , Rating: 2
Yes... they are. They are highly subsidized industry, hence government funded. Just like Oil we subsidize for the construction of new oil rigs by low cost loans.

RE: Renewable...
By mkrech on 7/16/2010 5:03:41 PM , Rating: 2
Learn, *then* speak.

Pot meet kettle.

Please show me evidence of any alternative energy venture that is not in some way funded or subsidized by the government. The point is that green energy will do a bankrupt country no benefit.

You don't install solar panels on a house if you cannot make your mortgage payment. It may be a nice idea but you will lose your house before you save any money. Once solar technology matures, it may an option.

A healthy economy will drive innovation more than redistributed wealth.

RE: Renewable...
By danrien on 7/16/2010 7:02:07 PM , Rating: 1
A healthy economy will drive innovation more than redistributed wealth.

Like trains right? Oh wait... rails were government funded. Like commerce over the interstate, right? Oh wait... see a trend? Show me an industry that hasn't in some way gained its prominence from government.

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/19/2010 10:23:43 AM , Rating: 2
Train rails (In the early days) were Bonded out to investers.
There was already commerce between state lines.
The Interstate project which was mainly to serve to allow troop movement did help interstate commerce.

RE: Renewable...
By mkrech on 7/22/2010 3:35:57 PM , Rating: 2
Did those industries succeed because of government or in spite of it. I think your making some very baseless assumptions.

RE: Renewable...
By raddude9 on 7/17/2010 6:55:18 AM , Rating: 1
Depends what you mean by uneconomical. The big difference with renewable energy is that you're not sending money overseas to exchange for that next hit of oil, coal or gas. Money spent on renewables stays in the economy, and surely that's better for that same economy.

RE: Renewable...
By Kurz on 7/17/2010 11:02:32 AM , Rating: 2
Money is staying in the economy... Money doesn't disappear in foreign nations. They take their dollars and invest and spend it on goods and services like everything else.

Most of the time that money comes back in the form of investments. Example the Saudis have no need for dollars except for using it for oil trade and investments. They have their own currency they have to deal with on a local level.

RE: Renewable...
By thrust2night on 7/16/2010 1:54:46 PM , Rating: 2
The source of the energy is naturally "renewable" making the energy derived from it renewable as well. Renewable energy refers to any form of energy that is naturally occurring in nature (wind, solar, geothermal, hydro). Once the wind stops blowing, you lose the energy; however, wind does not stop forever and once it returns, so does the energy.

You could take all the oil out of the earth or empty it out in the Gulf but you can't take the energy out of the wind nor the sun. They keep coming back and if I might add, they keep renewing themselves.

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