Suppressing Patent Suppression

In the 1960s there was a story of a carburetor that allowed full-sized trucks to get 50 to 100 miles per gallon but was quickly and unscrupulously suppressed by oil companies in fear of lost profits.1 Although it is doubtful…

Is Tesla All It Is Made Out to Be?

Tesla is a manufacturer of only electric vehicles. It currently has only one new model available for sale, the Model S. Tesla is different from almost all other electric and hybrid vehicles that can be seen on the road today…

Obama’s Clean Power Plan

On August 3, 2015, President Obama and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took a step to cut carbon pollution and combat climate change when they announced the Clean Power Plan. In the United States, the largest single source of carbon…

Dark Clouds on the Horizon: The Impending Sunset of The Federal Solar Investment Tax Credit

December 31, 2016—the date the sun stops shining on the solar industry.[1] Despite nine years[2] of clear skies and warm temperatures, dark clouds now linger on the horizon, their presence causing panic amongst those in the solar industry—will the sun…

The Lesser-Known Biofuel: Woody Biomass and the Hurdles to Its Use as a Source of Renewable Energy

Most people are familiar with biofuels such as ethanol and biodiesel, and their potential as forms of renewable energy. However, many people are unaware of another form of biofuel that is currently being studied as a feedstock for renewable energy:…

The Desertification of Renewable Energy & California’s Great Compromise

It took seven long years to develop plans, but California and federal officials released their final draft of Phase One of the Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan (“DRECP”)[i] on Tuesday, November 10, 2015.[ii] The plan designates renewable energy, conservation, and…

An Act to Control Solar Shade

At least one analysis predicts that home solar panel installations, also known as residential photovoltaic systems, will increase 1000 percent by the year 2018.[1] Would it surprise you that in 2018, the law that protects a California resident’s photovoltaic solar…

Bioinspired Innovation for Accessible Renewable Energy Solutions

Bioinspired innovation. The term encompasses two categories: bioutilization and biomimicry. Bioutilization is the use of biological materials to fulfill a human need. Biomimicry is the translation of biological principles into man-made technology and innovation.[1] Essentially, a bioinspired innovation is a…

Debunking the Myth of Solar Panel Inefficiency

One of the common questions asked about solar photovoltaic systems (Solar Panels) is “How efficient are the solar panels?”[1] The problem with this question is that, for most people, the important factor is how many Solar Panels the homeowner needs…

California Doubles Down (Almost) on Its Ambitious Environmental Agenda

On October 7, 2015, set against the smog-tinged backdrop of the greater Los Angeles Basin, California Governor Jerry Brown signed the Clean Energy and Pollution Reduction Act of 2015 (SB 350) at a ceremony held at the Griffith Observatory. With…