Things Are Good: Living Off the Grid in a Major City

Most people think living off the grid means living the countryside with your own well, reenable energy, and food source. The truth is that style of off the grid requires massive space to work (for example, a well needs a large area to collect water from), so that rural off the grid doesn’t work for ...

Things Are Good: Renewables Had a Record Year in 2016

Renewable energy production is growing more every year and 2016 was no exception to that growth. In 2016 capacity of renewables increased by 8.7% and for the first time solar growth outpaced wind energy. Unsurprisingly the majority of the growth occurred in Asia seeing 58% of global growth happening in that one continent. Africa saw ...

Things Are Good: Use of Coal Power to Shrink Regardless of Politics

Coal producers can’t keep up. Coal used to be the cheapest form of energy, but that was before cheap renewable technology and more efficient gas plants came along. What’s more is that there are social, health, and environmental costs to using coal that makes it hard to argue for. The future of coal is not ...

Things Are Good: 47 Developing Countries Leapfrogging to Renewables

At the tail end of the Marrakech UN conference on the climate 47 countries formed the Climate Vulnerable Forum to share the one goal: getting to 100% renewable energy as fast as possible. Previously, economists and politicians argued that developing countries will need to use coal or other destructive carbon-based energy before upgrading to renewables. ...

Things Are Good: Clean, Renewable Energy Continues Amazing Drop in Costs

The cost of installing solar energy systems of every type has seen double digit decreases in cost since 2008. This reduction is astonishing because it means that solar becomes competitive with coal (which we’ve already seen) and that arguments against using solar get less powerful every year. There’s also a compounding effect too. The more ...

Things Are Good: Portugal Joins Other Countries by Running Only on Renewable Energy

Portugal reached a very significant milestone on its path to being fully powered by renewables by consuming energy only from sustainable resources for four days. Other countries are on similar paths. In 2012 Germany got 50% of it’s power from renewable sources, Scotland powered itself exclusively on renewables for a week earlier this year, but ...

Things Are Good: Scotland Generated Enough Renewable Energy to Power Itself

This past weekend Scotland generated enough electricity from wind turbines to meet all its power demands. A day of strong winds and low demand combined to make this the first time Scotland has achieved this renewable milestone. For a compression, in 2012 Germany got 50% of it’s electricity from renewable sources, and today Germany gets ...

Things Are Good: Canadian Government Think Tank: Renewables Win Over Fossil Fuels

When the Conservatives were in charge of Canada they didn’t conserve at all, instead they rallied behind fossil fuels to power Canada’s economy. That foolish gamble contributed to a lame economy (sent the country into massive debt) and a dying planet (even sabotaging global discussions about carbon and fossil fuel. Canadians are hopeful that the ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: The real costs of fossil fuel-powered vehicles – and the alternatives to them

  There is some rising concern, and at times vitriol, about electric car drivers not paying their fair share, because they buy no gas, and therefore do not pay gas taxes, which go to maintaining roads. While this is true, it is only a sliver of the bigger picture. The more salient fact is that ...

Things Are Good: The Unstoppable Renewable Revolution

For years naysayers have been arguing that renewable energy isn’t a good idea because the electrical input fluctuates too much on the grid. Now we have more evidence that those naysayers have nothing to back up their argument. Over at Climate Progress they have a good post on key factors that make the renewable revolution ...

Things Are Good: Solar and Wind Continue to Succeed, Coal Keeps Failing

Coal continues its downward trend to obsolescence thanks to the rise of installed solar and wind capacity. In many places around the world coal is more expensive than renewable energy and as a result it has driven costs down elsewhere. The future is clearly one that won’t use coal as an energy resource. We need ...

Things Are Good: Vancouver Aims to be Powered by 100% Renewable Energy

Vancouver has a new goal: be powered by only renewable energy. This announcement was made the same week that an oil spill hit the city’s shores. Indeed, the city is so sick of wasting money on carbon-based power sources that their 100% goal even includes cars, trucks, buses, etc. This is great news for the ...

Things Are Good: Faster Than Oil, Clean Energy on the Rise

Economists are really bad at predictions, but their views carry sway over large amounts of capital. Their most recent inaccuracies have been in the energy sector. Clean, renewable, energy is making faster progress than previously predicted. Renewables have seen faster implementation, more investment, and quite massive technical gains in the past few years. And all ...

Things Are Good: Canada Can be Fossil Fuel Free

Canada has an international reputation as being a dullard when it comes to the environment. That’s not shocking given that the present “conservative” government has sabotaged international climate meetings, has climate change deniers as leaders, and openly supports the world-destroying tar sands. All of this can change though. A group of over 60 scientists in ...

Things Are Good: Costa Rica Only Powered by Renewables

Costa Rica has been 100% powered by renewable energy for the first quarter of the year and this may continue. This is fantastic for the central american country as it has been making huge strides as a an eco-friendly tourist destination. You can see the beginnings of the country’s environmental focus when we looked at ...

Things Are Good: Burlington Vermont Now 100% Powered by Renewable

The community of Burlington, Vermont have gotten their power grid to be fully renewable – they are so good at it that they can sell surplus energy to other places. Burlington is known for being a progressive place and they are clearly leading the renewable energy path in the USA. It’s the first city to ...

Things Are Good: Renewable Energy Use Grows Fastest in Poor Countries

Renewable resources are good for the environment, good for remote areas, and don’t need expensive infrastructure. All of these benefits of renewable power generation have led poorer countries to embrace distributed renewable energy! The boom in renewables is often made for economic reasons, Ethan Zindler, a Washington-based Bloomberg New Energy Finance analyst, said in an ...

Things Are Good: Renewable Energy Capacity Comparable to Nuclear

The future is looking better and better for renewable energy production and recently the capacity for renewable energy is comparable to nuclear. Nuclear energy saw great progress and governmental support to get it where it is today; without such extensive help renewable energy production is now catching up. Seeing the success of renewables will hopefully ...

Things Are Good: Investors: Good Economics is Taking Action on Climate Change

It’s no secret that carbon trade, carbon caps, and various other policy tools improve economies and diminish negative environmental impacts caused by economic activity. Yet, the myth that having a sustainable economy isn’t possible with a growing economy. Environmentalists have been arguing for better policy and enforcement for decades, and now global investors are also ...

Things Are Good: Solar Power Rising in the Gulf

2013 saw great things happen on the Arabian Peninsula in relation to energy production. The region has invested heavily in installing solar power plants and reducing their own reliance on oil (so they can export more). In fact, the UAE is looking to start export in renewable energy! For the Gulf’s solar industry, 2013 was ...

Things Are Good: Ethiopia Opens Africa’s Largest Wind Farm

Ethiopia is looking to massively expand their energy infrastructure and renewable sustainable energy is a key part of their strategy. This is great to see new energy installations focus on the long-term effectiveness and viability of projects. “Various studies have proved that there is potential to harness abundant wind energy resources in every region of ...

Things Are Good: More Policies Support Renewable Energy Around the World

More countries than ever before now have policies that support renewable energy production. This is obviously a good thing as we are seeing the impact of climate change (like the recent tornados in Japan). We are now a seeing a global effort to slow climate change via policy over the last couple years with Asian ...

Writings of J. Todd Ring: Say sayonara to seafood – the oceans are no longer safe to eat from in the wake of Fukushima

It looks like sushi time is over – seafood is no longer safe to eat after the Fukushima nuclear disaster. Fukushima continues to dump 300-400 tons of radioactive contaminated water into the Pacific every hour. Japanese experts estimate Fukushima’s fallout at 20-30 times as high as the Hiroshima and Nagasaki nuclear bombings in 1945. Polar ...

Things Are Good: Saudi Arabia Starts $109 Billion Push for Renewable Energy

The end of cheap oil is inevitable and it’s clear that at least one oil-producing nation gets that. Unlike Canada, which seemingly wants to destroy half a province, Saudi Arabia (with the second-largest oil reserves) is looking to invest a lot of money into fossil-fuel-free energy. Saudi Arabia wants it’s domestic energy consumption to eventually ...

Things Are Good: Australia Can Make Easy Transition to Renewable Energy

Presently, 10% of Australia’s electricity is produced from a renewable resource, and that number can grow easily with minor adjustments to federal policy. By cutting back subsidies for the oil and gas sector (yes, most developed nations actually provide subsidies to that insanely profitable sector) and upping the cost of carbon the Australian economy can ...