Biodiesel and beyond

Most trucks in the United States and many cars around the world have diesel engines. To make these vehicles greener involves replacing their current petrodiesel fuel with biodiesel. It only makes sense, considering that the inventor of the diesel engine, Rudolf Diesel, originally intended for them to run on fuels derived from vegetable oil. Biodiesel […]

Fuel Cells

If you spend enough time studying up on fossil fuel alternatives, you will often encounter the phrase “hydrogen economy.” But what is it? And what does it mean for the future of global energy production (not to mention global warming)? First of all, let’s look at a fuel cell. A fuel cell is something called […]

Biomass and Biogas

People have been burning garbage for a long time, and until recent technology and new systems became available, it was generally a bad idea. Open-pit trash burning gave way to municipal solid waste incinerators and so-called “waste-to-energy” facilities, but all of them involved the burning of general household, industrial, and even medical garbage – spewing […]

Smart Design for Energy Efficiency

One of the many ways to reduce dependence on fossil fuels is to conserve energy. However, it is often difficult for people to build lifestyles of energy efficiency when living in communities whose infrastructures were designed with the assumption that fossil fuels were cheap, inexhaustible, and did not harm the environment. It may therefore be […]

Geothermal Energy

Harnessing the heat from deep inside the earth is one of the world’s oldest sources of energy. The Romans bathed in spas built around natural hot springs, and Native Americans cooked food and heated their homes with geothermal energy. Now this power source is being tapped for both heat and electricity. Geothermal energy is used […]

Hydropower: Energy from Moving Water

Today, most of the world’s electricity-generating infrastructure involves generators which are turned by turbines. This technology has been in use for the past 120 years, and throughout its history, the two main means to turn turbines have been steam and moving water. Steam is, of course, generated by boiling water, which is boiled using the […]

Light and Heat from the Sun

Recent commercials produced by the fossil fuel industry claim that their products are necessary for light and heat. But the light and heat stored by fossil fuels originally came from the Sun. Why not cut out the middle-man and go straight to the source? Solar energy can be harnessed directly for heating and indirectly for […]

Wind Power

Wind power is one of the best energy alternatives in existence today. Once installed, it is one of the world’s cheapest modes of energy production — the fuel is free! And one of the many other benefits of wind power is that it provides an economic boost to struggling rural communities. Wind power has come […]

Renewable Solutions

There’s no one solution to slowing global warming — there are many. From energy conservation to biofuels, there is a whole toolbox full of exciting possibilities to help human communities reduce their dependence on fossil fuels. In 2005, Princeton scientists Robert Socolow and Stephen Pacala developed the concept of “climate wedges,” based on graphs of […]