Geothermal company Dandelion Energy partnering with Hudson Solar to bring 100% Renewable Energy to Hudson Valley and Capitol Region of NY

Today, my new partners at Dandelion, which is a geothermal startup that recently graduated X, the research and development lab at Google’s parent company, announces a partnership with Hudson Solar, the leading residential solarinstaller in the Hudson Valley and Capital Region.  Yes I’m teamed up with a Google Startup ok breathe breathe!).  

Plus, I know Hudson Solar. They were chosen as a leading provider of solar in the Solarize campaigns throughout most of the Hudson Valley. 

Together, these companies will offer homeowners the opportunity to easily get their homes to go 100% GREEN ENERGY. 
Dandelion as reported in the Poughkeepsie Journal today uses a new geothermal installation process developed at X, can convert homeowners away from oil or gas heat and offer them substantial savings.  

Hudson Solar, with its on-site or community solar offerings, can then offer homeowners to lower the cost of solar power.  A homeowner with geothermal, solar and energy efficiency can easily go 100 percent renewable. The Dandelion geothermal system will use solar electricity and the ground, as a source of heat and heatsink, to provide a home with heating, cooling and hot water! (BOOM!!)
Hudson Solar, with its on-site or community solar offerings, can then offer homeowners to lower the cost of solar power.  A homeowner with geothermal, solar and energy efficiency can easily go 100 percent renewable. The Dandelion geothermal system will use solar electricity and the ground, as a source of heat and heatsink, to provide a home with heating, cooling and hot water! (BOOM!!) 

Let’s put it this way, average geothermal installs cost around $40,000. Dandelion is about $20,000 and will offer financing and monthly payment plans. 

Now while solar costs about the same, the finance costs will be really more affordable than the grid.

Geothermal company Dandelion Energy partnering with Hudson Solar to bring 100% Renewable Energy to Hudson Valley and Capitol Region of NYDandelion Energy partners with Hudson Solar to bring 100% Renewable Energy to Hudson Valley and Capitol District in NY

“We chose Hudson Solar as our first solar partner because the company is well known for their high-quality work and share our values and excitement about the impact that our combined product will have on combating climate change,” Dandelion CEO Kathy Hannun said. “Hudson Solar’s unique offering of both on-site and community solar systems means they can provide all of Dandelion’s customers a way to power their geothermal systems with clean electricity. ”

“Dandelion has lowered the cost of geothermal and set up financing so a homeowner switching to geothermal from oil or propane can save money from day one, just like with solar,” Hudson Solar CEO Jeff Irish said. ” … And with our community solar arrays, even people who can’t site solar on their property can go solar.”

Source: Dandelion Energy

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18 plants to make your garden friendly for Bees

One of the signs of your garden being happy and healthy is the sight of some bees buzzing around…

But sadly. modern farming methods are reducing the population of bees around the world. So we thought it was time to give nature a helping hand!

This infographic runs through a range of methods (no matter where you are in the world) to make your garden bee-friendly: https://www.budgetdirect.com.au/blog/18-plants-grow-bee-friendly-garden.html

How 3D-Printed Solar Panels Will Impact Renewable Energy

The solar industry has experienced massive growth in the past few years as technological advancements have made solar panels more affordable and efficient.

Researchers at the University of Newcastle (UON) in Australia recently combined solar with another new technology, 3D printing, to make getting power from the sun even more accessible and effective.

How It Works
With 3D printing, you can create almost anything that you have a blueprint and a large enough machine for. And it doesn’t just print plastic replicas. You can create real, functional items. Anything from parts for machinery to human organs to houses could potentially be printed using the technology.

The team at UON, led by Professor Paul Dastoor, created an electronic, conductive ink as well as a process for printing that substance onto clear, thin, laminated sheets. The sheets are flexible yet durable enough that it can be rolled up for transportation.

The solar film is light enough that it can be attached to roofs and walls with Velcro. To install the sheet, you simply roll it out onto the surface you want to attach it to.

Potential Benefits
One of the major barriers to the adoption of solar energy has consistently been cost. While prices have dropped significantly in recent years due to improvements in technology and financial incentives from both government and utility companies — like a 30 percent credit on your tax return — the cost of installation can still be too high for some

3D printing could help lower that barrier to entry. With the new 3D-printed solar technology, production cost is around just $1 for each square foot. Professor Dastoor’s solar film is efficient too, which makes solar even more affordable.

UON installed the solar sheets on their campus in order to study their performance. So far, the findings have been promising. Researchers have found that the 3D-printed solar tech generated electricity more consistently than standard panels even with cloud cover and in low-light situations. The film has even been able to produce small amounts of power from moonlight.

The fact that the solar film is lightweight and flexible means it can be transported more easily than non-pliable solar panels. It can be rolled up, allowing large amounts of the stuff to be shipped in small spaces.

It can also be printed relatively quickly from any properly equipped 3D printer. This, as well as the ease with which it can be transported, means it could potentially have applications in disaster relief situations and be used to provide power to remote communities.

The technology could also, of course, benefit the environment by making it easier and more feasible for people to get their energy from the sun, which does not directly create carbon emissions and utilizes a renewable resource as opposed to a finite and harmful one.

What’s Next?
The technology has already piqued the interest of a commercial partner – CHEP, a global logistics company. CHEP and UON are planning to install the material at one of its facilities during the next financial year. Professor Dastoor also recently demonstrated his project at Pacprint, a printing convention in Melbourne, Australia.


It’s easy to see why the technology has attracted interest. It’s affordable, easily transportable and efficient as well as futuristic-sounding. It could also possibly revolutionize the energy industry in even more groundbreaking ways.

For large-scale rollouts of 3D-printed solar sheets, you’d need industrial-sized 3D printers. For smaller, residential projects, however, a relatively small personal 3D printer may do. This would take the power out of the hands of large utility companies and give it to the consumer. Solar panels already do this to an extent by allowing residential customers to generate their own power. If people could create and install their own solar panels, it would take this even further.

If people can print their own solar material, they could also customize those products to their own needs. Solar panels could be engineered to be installed in more obscure places than the rooftops of homes and potentially provide power to remote facilities. Provided that solar technology continues to improve or that these isolated facilities wouldn’t need large amounts of power, people may even be able to avoid connecting to the grid entirely.

While these ideas are the result of some speculation, this new 3D-printed solar technology does create the potential for them to actually work. Dastoor’s project takes advantage of technologies from two industries that are likely to grow significantly and change the world in noteworthy ways in the near future. The result of combining solar and 3D printing certainly has the potential to make some substantial changes in our world.
 

Nebraskans Install First Solar Panels Inside the Keystone XL Pipeline Route

‘Solar XL’ project breaks ground along Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, highlighting clean energy solutions over the fossil fuel industry
 
Silver Creek, NE — On Saturday, July 29th, the “Solar XL” project placed its first solar panels along the route of the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, on the farm of Nebraska landowners Jim and Chris Carlson near Silver Creek. The Carlsons, who rejected a $307,000 offer from the pipeline company TransCanada to build Keystone XL through their backyard, partnered with Bold Nebraska, 350.org, Indigenous Environmental Network, CREDO, and Oil Change International to put renewable energy directly in the pipeline’s path. Solar XL underscores the need to center solutions to climate change while rejecting the Keystone XL pipeline and resisting the expansion of the fossil fuel industry. 

“Build Our Energy Barn” built in 2013 on the Hammond family’s land inside KXL route near York, Nebraska — one of the many signs of resistance to Keystone XL. Photo Credit: Mary Anne Andrei / Bold Nebraska

Source:https://www.flickr.com/photos/boldnebraska/albums/72157686827119456

“While we are dedicated to Keep It In The Ground efforts to stop new fossil fuel development, we are also deeply committed to the Just Transition. Solar and renewable energy can provide a sustainable transition away from fossil fuels and provide job growth in areas traditionally left behind, like rural America and our Indigenous communities. By placing solar projects in the route of Keystone XL, we are demonstrating how vital it is to not just stop dangerous and unnecessary projects like KXL but to also show that there are alternatives to the fossil fuel industry that do not put communities at risk and sacrifice Indigenous Peoples and land. We are excited to be a part of this resistance that also highlights the solutions that are needed,” commented Joye Braun, organizer from the Indigenous Environmental Network.

The Solar XL project is being supported through an ongoing crowdfunding campaign launched earlier this month. The solar panels, which will be installed in at least two other locations along the pipeline route, will serve not only as a form of clean energy, but as a symbol of the urgent need for a just transition away from fossil fuels toward a 100% renewable energy economy. The panels will help power the homes of Nebraskans resisting Keystone XL, and are being installed by the family-owned rural solar business, North Star Solar Bears, run by Jim Knopik.

Jim Knopik (left) and North Star Solar Bears solar installers with farmer Rick Hammond (right) and his 25 kW solar array near Benedict, NE. (Photo: Mary Anne Andrei)
Jim Knopik (left) and North Star Solar Bears solar installers with farmer Rick Hammond (right) and his 25 kW solar array near Benedict, NE. (Photo: Mary Anne Andrei)
‘Solar XL’ project breaks ground along Keystone XL pipeline in Nebraska, highlighting clean energy solutions over the fossil fuel industryThe Keystone XL pipeline would carry 830,000 barrels of dirty tar sands oil a day from Canada through Montana, South Dakota, and Nebraska, and then on to the export market. The pipeline would pass through farms, ranches, and Indigenous land, posing a threat to the Ogallala Aquifer and other water sources that would be contaminated by spills and leaks. Landowners continue to fight eminent domain for private gain knowing this would be the first time the Public Service Commission (PSC) grants those powers to a foreign corporation. Lastly, all along the route, local economies are connected to agriculture, and climate change is a serious issue. Keystone XL would significantly add to climate risks for farmers, ranchers and Tribal Nations.

The first installation took place just over a week before the Nebraska Public Service Commission holds hearings in Lincoln on whether to grant a construction permit for Keystone XL through the state. One day before the hearings on August 6th, people from around Nebraska and surrounding states will converge for a march through the streets of Lincoln urging the Commissioners to reject the permit. If permits are granted for Keystone XL construction in Nebraska, TransCanada will have to tear down homegrown clean energy in order to build, galvanizing people across the country to fight back.
  

Jim Carlson, Nebraska landowner who placed solar in path of Keystone XL on his family’s farm: 

“I am vehemently opposed to the Keystone XL pipeline mainly because of the properties of the contents of the tar sands oil it will carry — this is not your Mother’s crude oil, it is the Devil’s, and it can kill. We must be focused on clean, renewable energy and America can get along just fine without this foul concoction they call bitumen that TransCanada wants to pipe across our precious soil and water.”
Jim Knopik, North Star Solar Bears. LLC:

“Our family-run company is based in Nebraska — and by installing solar projects, like the ones to stop the Keystone XL pipeline — my kids are able to stay on the farm. It’s time for our country to start the transition to clean energy now.”

More information on the “Solar XL” project:

http://boldnebraska.org/solarxl

4 Ways to Prepare Your Family for a Natural Disaster

Disaster can strike anywhere — and it doesn’t care who you are or where you live. That’s why you need to be prepared, because you never know when the force of a natural disaster will impact your life. Today, while the natural disasters we experience may not be a direct result of climate change, it's very likely global warming will be the culprit of future weather-related events, according to NASA.

Global warming can strengthen hurricanes, as warmer sea temperatures and more heat in the atmosphere only increases the wind speeds of these sometimes catastrophic weather phenomenons. Increased risks of global warming can also usher in the risk of drought, intense storms and flooding as sea levels rise.

While you can’t prevent these catastrophes on your own, you can work to better prepare yourself against the inevitable. Here are four ways you can better prepare yourself if a natural disaster strikes near your home or community.

1. Identify Your Risks

Take the first step to prepare for a natural disaster by identifying your risks. Where should you start? Truthfully, you should know the most common hazards in your community, as understanding these potential risks can help you glean greater focus on your disaster plan. Then, ask yourself the following:

  • Do you live in a flood zone?
  • Do tornadoes frequent the region?
  • What will you do in the case of a severe earthquake?

You need to have answers to these questions to formulate your disaster plans. Get started with a helpful online resource like the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes’ natural disaster risk map to determine which disasters pose the greatest threat to your state.

2. Create an Emergency Kit

When disaster strikes, you need to move — and be super quick about it. Indeed, there won't be time to grab much of — or any — belongings or family keepsakes. But that doesn't mean you should leave your home empty handed. Instead, according to information provided on Ready.gov, every home should have a basic emergency kit that includes:

  • Water and food
  • Batteries
  • Flashlights
  • First-aid kits
  • Whistles to signal distress
  • Cellphones with an accompanying charger
  • Cash

3. Be Mindful of Your Inventory

A natural disaster can destroy entire homes and communities. And while documenting everything of value in your home may seem tedious and monotonous, it can pay off and help you get back to your everyday routine after a disaster strikes, as proper documentation will ensure fair insurance reimbursement. Additionally, your inventory documentation will make the recovery process more simple and be a big help when you need to apply for federal disaster aid. It's also wise to check your home and car insurance policies to confirm your coverage before any major catastrophe strikes.

4. Practice Your Plan

There’s more to emergency preparedness than checking over your home. You’ll need to think about your car, too. How will you escape disaster? Is your vehicle suited for disaster conditions? Can you car’s tires stand up to difficult terrain?

Routine maintenance can keep your car or SUV operating efficiently so that changing a flat tire when disaster strikes will be the least of your worries. For example, TireBuyer.com offers a number of tire options, including the Falken Wildpeak H/T, from reputable retailers across the country. This way, you don’t have to lift a finger if your sedan or SUV needs a new set.

After ensuring your vehicle is in optimal condition, run through your emergency plan with your entire family. Focus on communication, speed and checking off each item on your checklist, which should include everything from switching off the utilities to grabbing your emergency kit before leaving your home.