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U.S. To Phase Out Incandescent Light Bulbs

by Justin Thomas •

Photo credit: USA today After being passed by Congress, Bush just signed into law a massive energy bill that will, among other things, spell the end of traditional light bulb. USA Today reports that the bill will phase out the venerable (but power-hungry) incandescent bulb over the next dozen years in favor more efficient fluorescent, halogen, and LED bulbs. Specifically, …

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New Record: World’s Largest Wind Turbine (7+ Megawatts)

by Justin Thomas •

clipper_wind_turbine_worlds_largest_75megawatts

The world’s largest wind turbine is now the Enercon E-126. This turbine has a rotor diameter of 126 meters (413 feet). The E-126 is a more sophisticated version of the E-112, formerly the world’s largest wind turbine and rated at 6 megawatts. This new turbine is officially rated at 6 megawatts too, but will most likely produce 7+ megawatts (or …

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3000 Megawatts of New U.S. Wind Power In 2007

by Justin Thomas •

The American Wind Energy Association (AWEA) today released its First Quarter Wind Power Market Report, announcing that the U.S. wind energy industry is on track to install over 3,000 megawatts (MW) of wind power in 2007, with Texas likely to account for about two thirds of the new installations.

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Efficient: Books That Explain Train Travel In North America

by Justin Thomas •

Train travel is one of the most efficient forms of transportation. However, in North America, traveling by rail is not particularly systematic or comprehensive. It’s difficult to get an overview of what’s available. Thankfully, there are several good books on North American train travel, which I read recently. Here’s a brief review:

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Electric Tankless Water Heaters

by Justin Thomas •

Note: This post has been expanded and updated for 2009! Tankless water heaters only heat water when it is needed. About 8% to 30% of the energy consumed by a standard water heater goes to keeping the water hot while it’s not being used. New tankless systems heat the water instantly when you turn on the faucet, rather than keeping …

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Bamboo Hangers

by Justin Thomas •

We’ve featured quite a bit of optimal and sustainable clothing over the years, but what about those devices you use to hang up your clothing? We mentioned the bioplastic hangers, available from Earthsaver. Now, the Great American Hanger Company has launched a new line of bamboo hangers, and these hangers really show off the beauty of bamboo (see the close-up …

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Bike Books: A Review

by Tracy McGill •

biking-country

With the temperatures falling outside you may not be getting on your bike as much as you’d like, especially if you haven’t stocked up on your wool clothing. So it’s the perfect time to catch up on your reading. As bike popularity is exploding, so are the number of books written about the love and care of a bicycle. Whether …

Green Building Using Thin-Film Solar

by Justin Thomas •

This is the new Ballard Library in Seattle. It’s a state-of-the-art green building which makes use of a sod roof, daylighting, and translucent thin-film solar collectors from Schott. It is listed in the American Institute of Architecture’s top ten green buildings.

American Clay: Natural Earth Plasters

by Justin Thomas •

American Clay natural interior plasters resist mold growth, do not outgas, are easily repaired, and are available in twelve earth inspired colors. Here is an article explaining the advantages of earth plasters. Available from: American Clay

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U.S. Electricity Demand to Fall 5-15% by 2020

by Justin Phelps •

Economists Doug Mitarotonda and Ahmad Faruqui of The Brattle Group recently teamed up with economists at Global Energy Partners to study and forecast American energy consumption. Their surprising conclusion is that the United States will be consuming 5-15% less electricity by 2020.