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Aerovironment's New Farm Worker

Thu, 08 Dec 2016 07:26:05 PST

by Debra Fiakas CFA Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) had their starting point in military exercises, carrying surveillance cameras and even bombs to sensitive sites.  Drones as we have come to call them have also zoomed across the horizons of...

Ten Clean Energy Stocks Under Trump (November 2016)

Sun, 04 Dec 2016 20:04:40 PST

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA So far, the broad stock market seems to like the idea of a tax and regulation-cutting and infrastructure spending Trump administration and Republican controlled Congress.  The bond market is less pleased at the rapidly growing...

3 Biofuels Reports We Can Ignore, and One We Can't

Fri, 02 Dec 2016 06:21:14 PST

Jim Lane This week, in Washington and Brussels, four news flashes on global renewable fuel volumes appeared on the radar. Can you safely ignore them and get on with other work, or is there something to get deeply informed...

SBM Offshore Trades Offprice

Wed, 30 Nov 2016 09:59:11 PST

by Debra Fiakas CFA The November 8th post “Trident Winds Floats a Plan for Morro Bay” described plans for one of the first wind energy projects off the western shores of the U.S.   Trident has perfected new technologies for...

Shipping Panic Creates Preferred Arbitrage Opportunity

Mon, 28 Nov 2016 14:49:55 PST

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA Seaspan Worldwide has several classes of publicly traded securities, with different claims on its income streams. The company owns container ships leased under long term contracts to shipping companies.  The shipping industry is in a...

The Collapse of KiOR

Sun, 27 Nov 2016 06:31:46 PST

The Inside True Story of a Company Gone Wrong, Part 5 by Jim Lane In 2011, KiOR raised $150 million in its June IPO, claiming that it was generating yields of 67 gallons per ton in its Demo unit...

EPA Issues On-time, Robust Renewable Fuel Standard For 2017-18

Thu, 24 Nov 2016 18:48:51 PST

Jim Lane In Washington, the US Environmental Protection Agency released the 2017 renewable fuel volume obligations (and the 2018 volume obligations for biomass-based diesel), with a strong push beyond what has been termed the “blend wall” and stimulating refiners...

President-Elect Trump: A Gift?

Fri, 11 Nov 2016 08:06:10 PST

by John Fullerton Imagine if you can, Donald Trump has arrived as a gift, to illuminate for us the American “shadow” at this pivotal moment in history. The Swiss Psychiatrist C.G. Jung refers to “the shadow” as the dark...

An Investor's Reaction to a Trump Victory

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 13:32:56 PST

See my response here: Tom Konrad...

The Implications Of Trump's Election For Solar

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 09:03:42 PST

by Paula Mints   The US election will have an affect on the US climate policy potentially swaying it much more towards conventional energy including fracking for natural gas and oil and away from deployment of renewables and incentives...

What Trump's Victory Means For The Bioeconomy

Wed, 09 Nov 2016 06:30:45 PST

Jim Lane In Washington, Donald Trump captured the US Presidency in an upset victory that confounded pollsters and political pundits even as it delighted supporters of his maverick candidacy based on themes of immigration and trade reform coupled with...

US Geothermal: Can A Reverse Split Heat Up This Stock?

Mon, 07 Nov 2016 18:33:38 PST

by Debra Fiakas CFA US Geothermal (HTM:  NYSE) has been on our radar for some time.  Despite considerable accomplishment in terms of building electricity output from a portfolio of geothermal power installations, investors seem reluctant to embrace the company...

Election Jitters Spell Opportunity: Ten Clean Energy Stocks For 2016

Sun, 06 Nov 2016 15:40:02 PST

Tom Konrad, Ph.D., CFA This October saw falling leaves and falling stocks. Then came the first week of November with its election jitters and stripped the trees of the rest of their leaves like a fifty mile an hour...

The Dangers of PR Driven Solar News

Thu, 03 Nov 2016 12:00:45 PDT

by Paula Mints   Few people understand the time, money and effort required to develop and manufacture high quality solar technologies.  We can blame this fact on a reliance on press releases for news about the solar industry. Manufacturers...

The Commoditization of the Solar Industry

Wed, 02 Nov 2016 09:55:42 PDT

by Paula Mints   Philosopher, essayist, poet and novelist George Santayana said: Those who cannot re-member the past are condemned to repeat it. The solar industry is expert at repeating its behavior and justifying the often devastating results by...

Hot Offgrid Showers – Hurricane Matthew

Mon, 31 Oct 2016 08:17:46 PDT

When the hurricane hit, everyone on our road lost power when trees brought down the power lines. We decided to set up a public outdoor shower for our selves, neighbors, and whoever else needed one. A tree came down on the neighbors wooden swing set / gym, so they donated the materials, which I assembled […]

Hot Water for the Cabin

Fri, 30 Sep 2016 17:20:06 PDT

We wanted something that would be energy efficient and frugal to produce hot water for the cabin. We picked up a inexpensive tankless propane water heater, which easily runs off a 20lb grill bottle and uses batteries for ignition. The Eccotemp L7 supplies 1.6 gpm of unlimited hot water (as long as the fuel holds out) for […]

Richmond Hill to covert all street, park and parking lot lights to LED

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 11:06:35 PDT

The light has gone off in Richmond Hill. This GTA town north of Toronto is converting most of its 17,000 street, park and parking lot lights to LED as part of a contract it has just signed with Ameresco, which will supply and install the new lights. But this is more than just about high-efficiency … Continue reading Richmond Hill to covert all street, park and parking lot lights to LED

You Can Believe The Flexseal Hype!

Wed, 21 Sep 2016 04:50:28 PDT

We bought a used travel trailer to live in while we prepare the cabin for living in. Then Hurricane Hermine hit. Boy did we find leaks in a hurry, over the bed, around skylights, etc. I took a chance on a late night TV hawker, and got two cans of White Flex Seal. It sprays […]

EV tipping point is getting closer, and Exxon is beginning to worry

Sun, 18 Sep 2016 07:26:44 PDT

EVs are close to a tipping point, and Exxon isn't happy about it.

Cabin delivered and set!

Wed, 07 Sep 2016 10:44:54 PDT

The cabin arrived and was set yesterday. Lots of issues with soggy ground from last week’s hurricane, but finally got it in place. The delivery truck got buried in mud, then so did the “mule” used to set the cabin place. A winch got the vehicle unstuck after a bit. This week I’m installing the […]

Moving into a Tiny House

Sat, 27 Aug 2016 13:44:14 PDT

Next week our Tiny House is being delivered. It’s a common 14′ x 28′ wooden shed that we will be converting into an off grid home. These sheds sell for about $8000, and include a steel roof and pressure treated 2″ x 6″ floor joists, decking, and T-111 siding. We will document our progress converting this shed into […]

Remove Radioactivity from Water?

Tue, 09 Aug 2016 13:59:56 PDT

Pure water can not become radioactive or carry radioactivity. Dissolved particles in the water carry radioactivity. A water purifier that prevents the passage of these particles eliminates the hazards of drinking radioactive contaminated water. The Berkey purifier elements in our DIY filters accomplish this easily. From New Millennium, the suppliers of the Black Berkey elements: […]

Episode 5 of the Clean Break Podcast

Wed, 06 Jul 2016 18:28:25 PDT

In Episode 5 of the Clean Break podcast, host Tyler Hamilton, returning after a long break (hey, it’s cottage time), discusses Ontario’s heat wave, applauds record Chevy Volt sales in Canada, and wonders why a small slice of EV purchase incentives don’t go to the auto dealerships that sell the cars. This shorter-than-usual podcast concludes … Continue reading Episode 5 of the Clean Break Podcast

Media Files:

Gene Logsdon has passed away

Tue, 31 May 2016 19:03:45 PDT

My first experience with Gene was 40 years ago reading Homesteading: How to Find New Independence on the Land. I still have that book, although it’s pretty dog eared, from reading it over and over. It was a primary inspiration for our own move offgrid over 10 years ago. Gene lost his battle with cancer today, […]

RV Off Grid Solar Guide – Free

Thu, 19 May 2016 07:26:07 PDT

Want more freedom when camping? Solar is a great way to providing lighting, charge your phones and reduce your fridge’s propane usage. If  getting great views is your goal, a powered site isn’t going to get you there. Here is a free guide for sizing, installing and maintaining a off grid power system. Did I […]

Make Crockpot soap in 24 hours

Thu, 19 May 2016 05:53:27 PDT

Ever wanted to make your own soap? Thought it was too slow or complicated? Here’s a fast and easy method using a “hot process” in your typical crockpot. A cheap digital scale for about $15 and you are in business! All-natural soap is actually surprising easy to make. 12-18 big bars of organic soap are […]

Episode 4 of the Clean Break podcast

Thu, 05 May 2016 14:58:46 PDT

Climate and energy news and views. In this episode host Tyler Hamilton interviews John Paul Morgan, co-founder, president and chief technology officer of Toronto-based solar technology company Morgan Solar. It has the potential to be one of the lowest cost solar module makers in the world. Can it deliver?  

Media Files:

Episode 3 of the Clean Break Podcast

Fri, 22 Apr 2016 16:06:25 PDT

In this episode host Tyler Hamilton interviews Ron Dizy, managing director of the Advanced Energy Centre at the Mars Discovery District in Toronto. Discussion includes flywheel technology from Temporal Power, opportunities for Canadian cleantech companies in Chile and China, and how to reduce barriers that will help Canadian cleantech companies scale up.

Media Files:

Clean Break podcast Episode 2

Mon, 11 Apr 2016 17:54:43 PDT

In Episode 2 of the Clean Break podcast, host Tyler Hamilton reviews climate, energy and technology news of the past week and shares excerpts of an interview with Annette Verschuren, CEO of energy storage company NRStor.  

Media Files:

Here’s the buzz on Ecobee, the smart thermostat crowding out the Nest

Tue, 05 Apr 2016 06:17:52 PDT

This story of mine appeared in the Spring 2016 issue of Corporate Knights magazine. Stuart Lombard had no obvious reason to leave his job as a venture capitalist in 2007. Times were good. As managing partner with J.L. Albright Venture Partners in Toronto, he worked out of a swank office on the 44th floor of … Continue reading Here’s the buzz on Ecobee, the smart thermostat crowding out the Nest

Clean Break podcast Episode 1

Tue, 29 Mar 2016 19:04:28 PDT

In this episode, host Tyler Hamilton reviews climate and energy news of the past week and talks about plans that two Canadian companies have to make carbon-neutral gasoline out of captured CO2 and renewable hydrogen.  

Media Files:

Clean Break podcast – the pilot episode!

Mon, 21 Mar 2016 12:28:44 PDT

Hey all, experimenting here with a podcasting that I hope will become a regular feature on this site and available through iTunes. Would love any feedback you can offer.

Media Files:

Nanticoke, once North America’s largest coal plant, to host 40MW solar farm

Thu, 10 Mar 2016 12:54:51 PST

Okay, it’s ridiculous to compare a 40-megawatt solar PV park to a coal-fired power plant that could crank out 4,000 megawatts at peak capacity, but the fact Ontario Power Generation (OPG) got a contract today to build such a solar project at the old Nanticoke Generating Station is, at the very least, symbolically significant. Ontario’s Independent Electricity … Continue reading Nanticoke, once North America’s largest coal plant, to host 40MW solar farm

Speaking Appliances for the Visually Impaired

Sun, 06 Mar 2016 07:34:43 PST

We are working with an organization that provides adapters and converted equipment to announce status messages by speech instead of visually. We have speech enabled shop measuring equipment like calipers, micrometers and dial indicators, weather stations, and thermostats, and are working of speech enabled appliances, motion sensors, and other common gadgets. To help fund this […]

Solar / Geothermal Driveway Snow Removal

Wed, 10 Feb 2016 05:59:48 PST

A engineer in NJ uses a combination of solar and ground source heat pumps to keep his driveway and walkway clear of snow, and recycles the snow melt for laundry, toilet and other purposes. “What we are doing is using the environment to battle the environment,” said Asit Parikh, who helped his father Raj develop […]

Introducing the New Berkey DE Filters

Tue, 01 Dec 2015 10:04:42 PST

The New $50 DE (Diatomaceous Earth) Filters are the most powerful filters available on the market. With filtering specs that approach the much more expensive purification filters, these are an awesome value! The most powerful gravity-fed element in the Filtration class Filtration class: Micro-Filtration Technology. Tested to reduce contaminants to bacterial level, as well as […]

Make your own Paracord bracelets, hatbands, belts and more

Thu, 05 Nov 2015 06:31:35 PST

You never know when you need a length of paracord to tie down a load, lower yourself out a second story window, or other emergency or day to day use. What better way to have the cord with you, than to make a functional piece of clothing or attire out of it. Here are some […]

The DIY $20 Rocket Stove

Fri, 30 Oct 2015 09:39:04 PDT

Today we built and fired up our new rocket stove. It took 13 Fire Bricks at $1.35 each, one cement block, and less than a pint of furnace cement. The pictures document the build, and the video shows the operation.    

Build a Earth Bermed home for under $50k

Thu, 22 Oct 2015 04:28:35 PDT

The Wofati is a Earth Bermed home made of materials primarily found on the building site. Virtually no heating or air conditioning expenses, it works with nature instead of against it. From the inside it looks and feels like a log home, and with more light than a underground home! A living roof with plenty of […]

5 Gallon Bucket Book – DIY Projects

Mon, 12 Oct 2015 15:13:27 PDT

The common 5 Gallon Bucket is useful for so many things after it’s initial use. We have been building water filters, clothes washers, and composting toilets, but there’s a whole lot more you can do with this everyday object. Chris Peterson has written a full color photo and diagrammed book that lists parts, tools, and step […]

Take Yourself Off-Grid!

Thu, 03 Sep 2015 04:45:42 PDT

You probably have heard horror stories of $30k + solar power systems that don’t work when the power goes out (grid tie), complicated power company rules, and expensive and complicated equipment. We lived off grid for 6 years, and designed and installed our own power system. I’m sharing some of the things I learned, and […]

Can Thermoelectrics Replace a Vehicle Alternator?

Wed, 24 Jun 2015 05:10:09 PDT

Borla®, the pioneer and leading manufacturer of stainless-steel performance exhaust systems and Alphabet Energy, the global leader in thermoelectrics for waste heat recovery, announced today a nonexclusive partnership to deliver the industry’s first aftermarket thermoelectric fuel-efficiency product for vehicle internal combustion engines. Sixty percent of the energy from fuel used in cars and trucks escapes […]

First City to be 100% powered by renewable Energy?

Sat, 06 Jun 2015 06:51:06 PDT

PBS recently announced that Burlington VT was the first city to be 100% powered by renewable energy. As fun as that sounds, PBS was off by more than 100 years. A quick search of Wikipedia shows: The old Schoelkopf Power Station No. 1 near Niagara Falls in the U.S. side began to produce electricity in […]

Make your own fuel from waste plastic?

Fri, 29 May 2015 10:26:16 PDT

Turn that waste plastic (2, 4, 5 & 6) into fuel. This machine cooks the plastic at over 300 Celsius, and condenses the gas back into a liquid oil. 1kg of plastic + 1 kWh of electric, = 1 liter of fuel (3 hours). At just over $13k, it would pay for itself in about […]

“Bride of Frankenfood”

Wed, 20 May 2015 08:38:06 PDT

Hillary Rodham Clinton’s ties to agribusiness giant Monsanto, and her advocacy for the industry’s genetically modified crops, have environmentalists in Iowa calling her “Bride of Frankenfood” — putting yet another wrinkle in her presidential campaign’s courtship of liberal activists who are crucial to winning the state’s Democratic caucuses. The backlash against Mrs. Clinton for her […]

Water Conservation in Las Vegas

Mon, 04 May 2015 04:26:54 PDT

Water Conservation in Las Vegas In the middle of the Mojave Desert lies an oasis known as Las Vegas. Although the desert is among one of the driest places on earth, water supply doesn’t seem to be a problem considering the 22 million gallons used at the Bellagio fountain and the amount water used to […]

Earth Day Energy Saver!

Wed, 22 Apr 2015 12:14:03 PDT

Ever want your lights to turn on when you walk into the room, and off when you leave? Sure you can buy a gadget to do that, but how about building your own motion sensor? We wanted to save energy, and create convenience, by adding motion sensors to our lighting circuits. Maybe you want some […]

The Spherical Sun Power Generator

Mon, 13 Apr 2015 04:35:52 PDT

Energy Inventions | Future Technology | Solar Power


German Architect Andre Broessel believes he has a solution that can “squeeze more juice out of the sun”, even during the night hours and in low-light regions. His company Rawlemon has created a spherical sun power generator prototype called the beta.ray. His technology will combine spherical geometry principles with a dual axis tracking system, allowing […]


Hydrogen-Powered Tram Developed in China

Thu, 09 Apr 2015 00:55:41 PDT

Fuel Cells | Hydrogen Fuel | Public Transit | Transportation


In an effort to reduce China’s harmful and plentiful greenhouse gas emissions, Chinese company Sifang (a subsidiary of China South Rail Corporation) has developed the world’s first hydrogen powered tram. The tram took two years of research and development to complete, and will be powered entirely by hydrogen fuel cells. Since this is a tram […]