Friday, July 18, 2014

Clean Power, Off the Grid

By DAVID J. HAYES, NYT, JULY 17, 2014

STANFORD, Calif. — AFTER years of hype, renewable energy has gone mainstream in much of the United States and, increasingly, around the world.

Enormous wind projects are moving ahead in oil- and gas-rich Wyoming, utility-scale solar projects are sprouting up in California and Nevada and tens of thousands of homeowners nationwide are installing affordable solar panels on their rooftops.

But many communities that need small-scale renewable energy remain out in the cold — literally and figuratively.

In Alaska, for instance, the vast majority of the more than 200 small, isolated communities populated primarily by native Alaskans rely on dirty, expensive diesel fuel to generate their electricity and heat. As in other remote communities throughout the world that have no grid to fall back on, diesel generators now provide the only reliable option for these desperately poor towns to meet their essential energy needs.

(More here.)

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