Report Unveils that U.S. Solar Industry Employs More People than Fossil Fuel Industry

by Genna Gores

The U.S. Department of Energy’s 2017 U.S. Energy and Employment Report, reveals that the renewable energy industry employs more people than the entire fossil fuel industry (including petroleum oil, natural gas, and coal). The report goes on to compare employment opportunities between 2015 and 2016 for all types of energy within the Electric Power Generation sector, which includes: solar, wind, geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower, nuclear, fossil fuels, and other generation/fuels. It is evident with this report that solar and other renewable energies are a rapidly growing industry with increasing employment opportunities for Americans. Continue reading

Department of Energy Invests in Advanced Nuclear Power Reactors

by Judy Li

On January 15, 2016, the U.S. Department of Energy granted awards to two projects, X-energy and Southern Company, to further nuclear energy technology. Each company can get up to $40 million over many years, with initial investments of $6 million each to support their research and development of next generation nuclear reactors. Secretary Moniz emphasized that investments are important for developing nuclear power as a source of carbon free energy in the future. The Obama Administration wants to expand nuclear power as part of its plan to reduce emissions and fight climate change.

X-energy is working on a pebble bed reactor where the uranium fuel is encased in ceramic and graphite balls. According to their website, the pebbles help to prevent the release of radioactivity, maintain the individual integrity of particles and moderate reactions. The fuel cannot melt down in an accident and the reactor is smaller than traditional reactors, making the system safer and practical for more communities. Continue reading

Potential $6 Billion Annual Savings Opportunity via LED Outdoor Lighting

by Alexander Flores

The rise of LED lighting has increased over recent years and can be seen almost everywhere these days. From car lights to house lights, from TV panels to Christmas lights, LED lighting is slowly, but surely paving the way to an energy efficient lighting future. A typical LED bulb uses 80 percent less energy than a standard incandescent light bulb and will last up to 25 years, which is why many are pushing to substitute them to light the ways along streets and highways. LED lights are also directional light sources in which well-designed fixtures can point the light exactly where the light is needed and prevent light from going where it’s unwanted. It costs approximately $10 billion worth of electricity to power the 100 million or so outdoor lights across the United States, which is equivalent to the power consumed by 6 million homes. Continue reading