Solar and the Free Market: Competition in the Energy Industry

For over 100 years, the United States’ Electric Grid has remained virtually unchanged. However, recently this monopoly has come across its first real competition: The Solar Industry—and many utility companies are not pleased. Net Metering poses some challenges for utility companies. Net metering is a policy which dictates that when grid tied photovoltaic systems produce more energy than what is needed, the utility company must pay the owner for the value of the excess energy that feeds back into the grid. Utility companies like to argue that because they still have the same overhead costs but are receiving less revenue from customers with PV systems, customers without solar must carry the burden of paying more for their electricity. However, this [...]

Drink Sustainably: The Brewing Industry’s Commitment to Fighting Climate Change

As St. Patrick’s Day quickly approaches, many people are probably getting ready for some serious beer consumption. But while the general public is thinking about drinking beer, some breweries are focusing on battling climate change. This week, over twenty breweries have “signed the Climate Declaration, a business call to action that urges policymakers to seize the economic opportunity of tackling climate change”. This is a unified step towards making significant environmental policy change. [one_half][/one_half] [one_half_last]Breweries have a lot to lose to climate change. The Craft Brewing Industry in particular puts an emphasis on quality vs. quantity. In order to make a high quality beer, you need high quality ingredients. Most ingredients found in beer come from our agricultural industry—including hops and [...]

Technology + Activism: How Solar Benefits Women in Developing Nations

Due to social and cultural norms, 21st Century women around the world still face challenges everyday simply because they were born with female bodies. Thankfully, some truly wonderful organizations have found ways to take solar technology and use it to actively improve the lives of women in developing nations. Photo: Navil Zaveri cooking in kitchen, bhunga  via flickr. Solar Oven Society In many cultures across the globe, cooking plays a major role in women’s lives. In some developing countries, this task includes laboriously collecting fire wood, preparing food, and standing over a smoking fire for hours on end. Not only is this extremely time consuming, but also terrible for women’s health. This activity causes respiratory disease, optical disease, and extensive burns. In [...]