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23 Best Blog Posts of 2015 for Solar Power – Tips for Survivalist

The history of our energy industry is quite interesting, going through several different phases, advancing at a rapid rate.

Our ability to generate power literally knows no bounds.

There was a time, when human civilizations would entirely rely on coal, the dirtiest sources of energy production.

Fossil fuel served as the foundation for the industrial revolution around the late 18th and early 19th century and shaped the world as we know it.

When the internal combustion engine was invented, it played a huge role in giving prominence to crude oil, which went to replace much of the emphasis on coal.

Humanity was collectively progressing, inventing newer ways to fuel progress, that is, until we discovered the impact we were having on the atmosphere, i.e. global warming.

By the time degradation of our environment became mainstream knowledge, significant amounts of damage had already been done.

Although, hydropower was already a popular way to produce energy, we realized the importance of producing energy through clean and sustainable sources, paving the way for renewable energy as an industry.

Today, we are making exciting discoveries in the field of renewable energy, as resources are being continuously being poured into the technology.

Among the various different ways to produce renewable energy is solar power, the ability to harness power from one of a mighty source.

In fact, NBC recently reported that utility scale solar production has grown around 100% in the previous year alone, an evidence of the amazing rate at which the solar industry is progressing and even changing the world as we speak.

So if you are interested in the solar power industry and wish to keep up with the how the industry is constantly evolving, we have a treat in store for you.

We understand with so much happening globally, it isn’t easy to keep up with everything, hence, we present to you 23 best blog posts of 2015 for solar power.

Seven Reasons Cheap Oil Can’t Stop Renewables Now – Bloomberg

Oil is cheap. So is gas. Neither matters!

The Way Humans Get Electricity is About to Change Forever – Bloomberg

These six shifts will transform markets over the next twenty five years.

The Solar Price Revolution – Project Syndicate

A silent revolution is underway.

The World Needs Post Silicon Solar Technologies – Council on Foreign Relations

A survey conducted by Caltech professor, Nate Lewis, on renewable energies, concluded that out of all the renewable options we have, only solar power could meaningfully displace our consumption of fossil fuels.

Five Things I Learned About the Future of Solar Power and the Electricity Grid – Council on Foreign Relations

The future is nigh and it includes solar.

Germany Solar PV Report — A Must-Read For Any Energy Reporter – Clean Technica

The beautiful aspect of renewable sources is that is completes each other.

Let’s Talk About Solar Power and Equity – Environmental Defense Fund

An encouraging piece for those inclined towards off grid living.

Nuclear will die. Solar will live – Noahpinion

An educated take on the countless possibilities held by solar.

Obama’s Clean Power Plan A Good First Step – Renewable Energy World

Legislating the way for a cleaner and greener America.

Why Minnesota’s Community Solar Program is the Best Design – Renewable Energy World

In this blog we take brief look into the greatest solar program in America.

Solar power propaganda vs. the real world – Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow

A realist’s perspective on the solar industry – a highly informative piece, assessing both, the industry’s limitations and advantages without all of the biasness surrounding the industry.

Project Sunroof: mapping the planet’s solar energy potential, one rooftop at a time – Google Green Blog

A quick peak into an ambitious project by one of the most prominent greenest companies, Google.

How Wind and Solar Will Blow Up Power Markets – Green Tech Media

It is no longer a question of “if” but rather when.

Solar and Storage: Better Together? – Green Tech Media

A look into solar production and storage and how it impacts the commercial consumers such as you and I.

Barack Obama’s quiet war on oil – Politico

There is a war going on and oil is silently being targeted, an administrative agenda to make renewables more competitive.

Solar is having a great year, except on Wall Street – Reuters

Despite what is seen on the financial markets, solar, as a means of producing electricity has been thriving.

Super-charge the solar power boom – CNN

Did you know? There is a solar power boom in the United States.

Solar creates hope for our health and future – Reno Gazette-Journal

How solar power can positively affect our health.

Making the business case for solar in NC – The News & Observer

Despite the general perspective that renewables are bad business, solar offers incredible economic benefits for all, including the investors.

Opening The Door To Solar Power For All – Huffington Post

For the longest time, there was a notion that solar panels are only for the wealthy, well, think again.

Utilities wage campaign against rooftop solar – Washington Post

We need to stand up for solar. Nation’s leading utilities seem to be waging a war against solar panels.

Greening the Tea Party – The New Yorker

Solar is booming. Time to green the politicians.

Power to the People – The New Yorker

Power to the people! A battle that transcends the living. Fighting for the generations that are yet to come.

Although, we have tried our best to include a diverse set of blogs all focused on solar power, but with all that’s happening in the world, it is difficult to make sure everything is included in the list.

Therefore, if you think we missed out a great piece, please do share it all of us by posting in the comments sections.

Let’s inform.

Create awareness.

Our future belongs to no one but us, so let’s wake up and march towards prosperity and sustainability.

8 Things I Wish I Knew About Renewable Energy When I First Started

Although the Renewable Energy deed is praised upon, there are many things to consider before we even think about installing one of them to power our home or any other facility.

Which one to use?

How much will it cost?

Will it be worth it?

Unanswered can cause a lot of problems in the long run, so before trying it out, here are some facts that you might want to know about renewable energy and the burdens that come with it.

1):Tax

People go renewable, primarily, to save money, and if you’re one of these people, you might want to re-think the whole thing over after you’re done with this paragraph.

If you want to build a solar powered house or even want to install a wind turbine, you will need to pay the taxes that your government imposes along with it.

The property tax that you pay annually will rise after you have solar or wind power working for you.

Check your area and its taxes for renewable energy resources, calculate them and see if it still fits the notion you had of your house on renewable.

Renewable Energy

Image Source: https://c2.staticflickr.com/8/7003/6757831463_0103c636e7_b.jpg

2):Grid Connections or no Grid Connections

Grid connected systems consist of your system providing the energy along with a grid as well, and all the extra power is sold back to your electricity provider.

The benefit of having a grid connection is that if one day your system doesn’t work; let’s say because of less windy or cloudy days, the grid will have your back.

The disadvantage is that to make this possible, you would need to buy more equipment to connect both the systems.

One more point is that if you’re doing all of this to go green, then it’s better to have you system handle the load alone, because if you’re still going to use the grid system, then it doesn’t make much of a difference.

Most people don’t know about this when they start out, and find out later on that the other option would have been better.

3):Analyzing your Home’s Power Consumption

Before you set up a renewable energy system, you will need to analyze the power consumptions of your house and figure out what household items contribute the most to those consumptions, better yet, have an energy audit of your house to get a holistic picture.

Once you’ve done that, the next thing you should do is to minimize the load from your future renewable energy system by cutting off some of those energy consumers, like having the house insulated rather than having a heating system.

This will have a long term effect on your system as well as your bill.

Renewable Energy

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/a1/Livermore_Centennial_Light_Bulb.jpg

4):Wind Turbines Make a lot of Noise

Only people who have visited wind farms usually know about this. I know, this seems like a trivial thing, but in the end, the consistent noise could be the reason behind you putting a gun on your head and letting it rip.

They have now made wind turbines that make less noise but even the noise of the fan cutting air is enough to drive a person insane.

So if you don’t like the noise, I wouldn’t suggest you to use wind turbines for powering your house.

Moreover, noise pollution contributes majorly to global warming, so in the long run, the noise is also a deteriorative product of wind energy.

 

5):Solar Power

When it comes to solar power, there are a million things to consider.

One mistake and all the money goes down the drain.

You need to think of the cloudy days, the nights, the angle of the sun, etc.

Those solar panels along with the equipment and whatnot aren’t cheap.

Also, since you have to drill the whole system on your roof, it can form cracks in your ceiling that leak in the rainy season.

I wouldn’t want my attic to be full of water while there’s no electricity because of the thunder clouds. That’s would be a recipe for disaster.

6):Small Dams

This technique is used by many northern farmers, and if farmers can afford it, so can we.

What they do is build a small hydro power station to turn turbines from a stream to light up their homes.

But one difference between those farmers and us is that they don’t use as much electricity as we do, but in all fairness, they don’t have the tech that we have either.

If you live around a river with a good amount of water current, you can have your neighbors chip in as well and build your own dam.

You’ll need the license and there are many things to keep in mind but, it’s the most sufficient way there is to go renewable.

Smaller dams have smaller problems too, the maintenance would be easier and the expenditures would be a lot lesser that they used to be.

7):Dependence on Weather

Even a dam is dependent on rain and the density of the river, like solar power systems are dependent on the number of sunny days in your area and the wind turbines are dependent on the wind speed.

You’ll need to keep all of this in mind when you try your hand at alternative energy resources.

8):High Capital Investment

I’m sure you know about this already, and to top it all off, I made it worse with the energy audit thing too, didn’t I?

But the good thing is that the renewable system is for long term usage and it will start to save you money immediately after being installed.

Plus such systems have warrantees if anything does go wrong so it would be tough to pay for it initially either.

Renewable energy has the potential for reshaping our future, and we haven’t even started properly exploring how many ways it can be used in.

as a people that dwell on the resources of this planet, it’s about time we start to take care of it so that it may sustain itself for a longer period of time.

9 Reasons Society Still Needs Solar Power – Tips for Survivalist

We all know what solar power means, it’s the power that’s obtained by harnessing the energy of the sun’s light rays.

In other words, solar power is the conversion of sunlight into electricity through two methods.

This can be done either directly through photovoltaics (PV) or indirectly through concentrated solar power (CSP).

If we talk about the benefits of solar power for our society, there are countless, but the following are some of the most important reasons why solar power is so important and in how many ways it can be implemented:

Reasons Society Still Needs Solar Power

Image Source: http://www.public-domain-image.com/free-images/architecture/house/cabin-with-solar-panels

It’s a lot Cheaper

The initial installation of solar panels costs quite a bit.

But do not think of it as an expense, but rather an investment.

Once operational, you will have lifetime savings on your electricity bills.

In addition, it will also provide a way to pay back on your initial investment.

 

Prevents Global Warming

The only pollution that will occur will be during the manufacturing process of the solar panels, and other than that, solar panels do not contribute to pollution in any way.

Hence, solar power proves to be a prevention method for both air pollution and global warming.

 

Can be a Big Source of Power for Remote Locations

You know how you always hear about the power shortages and fluctuations of electricity in remote areas because it’s like almost impossible, impractical and uneconomical to install a mains electricity supply?

Solar power is ideal for such areas as it’s cheap and of course due to the fact that sunlight touches every inch on earth is enough to tell you that there won’t be a problem if you install a solar panel in remote locations.

Sunlight is there, Right? That’s all you’re ever going to need.

So unless doomsday finally does arrive, you will have constant access to electricity.

 

It’s Renewable

You wouldn’t be surprised to know this but solar power is power generated by the sun and the sun goes down at night and comes back up in the day so that’s why its renewable. And it will go on like this as long as life can be supported on earth.

As long as you are sure that the sun will rise again tomorrow, you don’t need to sweat.

 

No Noise Pollution:

Electricity panels cause a lot of noise and that’s why people try to find homes far away from them, which causes a lot of domestic issues.

Installing solar panels guarantees that there will be no noise or pollution, which means that you can build or purchase a set of solar panels so that you don’t have to face excessive noise, and in the long run, do not contribute to the deterioration of the ozone layer.

Furthermore, noise pollution is also one of the biggest reasons behind global warming, so solar power proves to be an effective preventive method for both noise pollution and global warming.

 

Maintenance, No maintenance:

Solar panels require very little maintenance since there are no motive parts in solar panels, there are very fewer chances of things to go wrong with a system that’s been installed professionally with the best components.

They are maintained by being cleaned annually which can be easily done by the property owner depending on where they have been installed.

 

Say Goodbye to Depending on Fossil Fuels

Fossil fuels are non-renewable fuels so you can guarantee that they are going to run out one day and that’s where solar energy proves that it’s a more suitable sort of energy for off-grid living and long-term survival.

But just for the sake of debate, we can also install many technologies to prolong the lifetime of fossil fuels on earth, though it can get very time to consume and tedious.

So Alternative energy sources really are the future, you just need to start tapping into their resourceful properties effectively.

 

Long Lasting:

Solar panels are long-lasting and durable, which means that getting them installed for once will serve a lifelong purpose.

With proper maintenance and care, the panels won’t need a lot of upkeep, which is very helpful if you have a busy lifestyle.

 

It Comes from a Natural Source

The fact that it comes from a natural source tells us enough about that it’s not going to be harmful.

We are human beings and we know that life of any sort is not possible without sunlight. And being able to obtain electricity from a natural source and knowing that it’s unlimited is a blessing from God.

The burning of fossil fuels is a threat the environment in two ways:

  1. It causes global warming and,
  2. It’s non-renewable like we mentioned earlier.

And this should make you rethink your survivalist capabilities objectively. Solar power can benefit us in more ways than we can imagine or that have been mentioned above.

As the world quickly keeps running out of resources and power needed to sustain our lives, we need to start rethinking our disaster survival strategies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

7 Survival Skills All Successful Preppers Have In Common

All preppers can perform these essential tasks, can you?

Off grid living requires a certain level of survival skills in order to be able to sustain yourself in a survivalist situation.

Those that are new to disaster preparedness, emergency planning, prepping, or any of the other titles that adorn survival skill preparedness will find that preppers have 7 stills in common.

Ensuring that you can perform these 7 skills is essential to your success.

1): You must be able to find water

Water is the number one element factoring into your survival. Without water you will die very quickly.

However, just having water in your bag is not enough. Nor is a knowledge of where the closest river or stream is located.

In the event that a natural disaster occurs and that water source is made unusable, say from chemicals spilling into the water or from carcasses, then you will need to now the places to go or the methods to implement in order to get drinkable water.

Some common places where  water can be found include:

  • Puddles which have not been sitting for long
  • Water found after digging in a muddy area
  • Dew accumulation
  • Snow
  • Rainwater accumulation

In the above examples, you will want to purify the water from puddles and from dug sources. Dew, snow, and rain do not need purification unless the water has sat for a prolonged period of time.

2): Non-Compass navigation

Your survival skills need to have non-compass navigation.

What does this mean? This means that if the compass which is in your emergency supplies gets broke that you can still find the basic navigational marks to get you to where you need to go.

During the day, use the location of the sun.

The sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

Therefore North should have the sun on your right in the morning and on your left in the afternoon.

At night, use the North Star and Orion’s belt to navigate. Orion’s belt leans up from East to West.

Kompas_Sofia

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/9/99/Kompas_Sofia.JPG

3): Be able to run

Yes, you are surviving, and yes you are planning on being able to stay in your bug out spot or campsite.

However, you will have to run from time to time and if you are out of shape or get weary quickly, then you will not be effective as a survivalist.

You need to be able to run (not only without your gear but with it as well) through various terrain without becoming tired or getting muscle cramps.

This requires that you do a bit of physical training prior to any survivalist situation.

You should consider this part of your disaster preparedness plan.

If you cannot get to where you need to be quickly, especially in a man-made disaster situation then what use is the plan?

4): use an axe and a knife

Your axe and your knife are going to be your primary tools when off grid living.

Your axe will be used for larger items and to do the preliminary work on your bushcrafts.

For example: If you are making a bowl, the axe will be used to cut the wood to the approximate height and then make the initial shape of the bowl.

Your knife will then be used to add the detail and to cut the elements which the axe cannot do effectively.

Your axe and your knife skills will be critical when it comes to your food survival skills as well.

If you cannot use a knife, then you cannot clean your game and get the meat.

If you cannot use an axe, you will not be able to cut the bone properly or split the ribcage of a deer or other larger game.

Know how to use an axe and a knife or pack a shovel to dig your grave.

5):  Be able to identify editable and poisonous plants

This is a must.

You have to be able to distinguish what can help you and what can kill you in the wild.

True, most preppers can identify poison ivy, oak, and sumac.

Yet, does that prepper know that eating the wrong mushroom will kill you and that there are mushrooms which can be eaten?

Which berries can be eaten without worry and which berries are toxic.

Apart from food, you need to know which leaves cause skin irritation and rashes.

Where they may not be lethal, you would not want to wipe your rump with a leaf that is known to cause hives and swelling.

More seriously, you would not want to cover a wound with a compound of a plant which could enter the blood stream and kill you.

Packing a survivalist herb and plant book is a great way to avoid misunderstanding a plant.

True, you will want to expound upon your already existent knowledge of plants and herbs.

However, until you are an expert a book is a great way to help you along (make sure there are pictures).

Mushrooms - poison

Mushrooms – poison

Image Source: http://www.torange.us/photo/6/16/Mushrooms-poison-1285585751_59.jpg

6): Any prepper knows how to make a shelter

Even if your survival gear comes with a tarp, you should be able to create a shelter from scratch.

You may find that your tarp is needed for more important use (such as collecting rainwater).

The easiest shelters are lean-tos and existing spaces (such as caves).

Practice making these structures prior to venturing out into wilderness survival mode.

Where they are relatively easy to make, they do require a bit of practice to get them perfect.

3117635_a273b2f5

Image Source: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/geophotos/03/11/76/3117635_a273b2f5.jpg

7): You must be able to improvise

Do not be so prepared that you become dumb.

Any great prepper or survivalist will tell you that you must be able to improvise.

Situations will occur where you will have to use your survival skills alongside creativity and whit in order to get a task done.

This is why your survival gear should be equipped with various tools and you should practice using what you have now in inventive ways.

You may find that your ingenious water system is just the thing that saves your life later on in a disaster situation.

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3 Bushcraft Instincts to Master – And 2 to Ditch – Tips for Survivalist

Outdoor survival skills that every prepper needs to know

If you are preparing for off-grid living or for a survivalist situation then there are a few essentials that you need to know in order to survive.

Apart from the basics of food, water, shelter, and heat, your outdoor survival greatly depends on being able to instinctively hone skills which will find and utilize these needs.

Here are 3 Bushcraft Instincts to master and 2 instincts to ditch.

1): Find a place to camp / find your bug out spot

You do not want to wait until a disaster occurs to find a suitable place for you to survive.

When in need of a place to camp, it is human nature to just go for the first one that looks good.

However, this is not necessarily the best case scenario.

In fact, the odds of you finding that idealistic spot on the first try are slim to none.

Therefore, you need to have a disaster plan which has already been scouted with two or more locations.

Why two or more?

In the event of a disaster (whether that is a natural disaster or a man-made disaster) you will need to be able to have somewhere to go.

Now, if the first area becomes inaccessible due to debris, quarantine, government blockage, etc. you need to have an alternative.

Look for a spot that has:

  • Easy access to water
  • Game trails
  • Natural Shelters (such as caves and large trees)
  • A good visual advantage while at the same time not too much exposure
  • Plenty of resources that you can gather for your survival

You do not want to set your camp directly beside a stream or in a large open flat area.

These areas are very vulnerable.

Instead you should pick a spot that can work both offensively and defensively.

Once you have established your routes, practice getting to your spot from various locations during various times of the day.

It should come to you as instinct of where you need to go.

This way in a survival situation your instincts will lead you to a well-defined area which increases your chances of living past your 3 day survival gear.

Bushcraft

DCF 1.0

Image Source: http://s0.geograph.org.uk/photos/34/75/347555_fdf1e5cf.jpg

2): Build a fire

Fire is going to be one of the essential skills of your survival.

You need heat to survive as well as to cook food and as a sanitizing method.

If you are relying on the firecraft element in your survival gear to do all of the work, then you have greatly minimized your chances of survival.

The bushcraft of building a fire is one of the simplest things to master, but one of the most overlooked skills for beginners.

To be able to effectively build a fire you will need to:

  • Master finding flint and other level 7 hardness stones to create sparks. If you do not know what level 7 hardness is then you are already at a disadvantage, but so that you are caught up to speed, level 7 stones are those which have a very hard density. They do not chip very easily and the edges tend to be rather rough. The hard stones are usually that of flint or quartz but can involve other hard rocks.
  • Master using the flint and steel as well as how to create a bowdrill (so that you have two methodologies to building your fire)
  • Understand the difference between green and dry wood
  • Know where to look for kindle
  • Know how to make an effective A frame/ tripod fire

As you can see, it goes a bit beyond just lighting the sparks to something dry.

Mastering your firecraft should be a priority.

Bushcraft

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0d/Magnesium_Sparks.jpg

3): Determine Suitable water sources

There is this thought that any water that is found in the wild is ok for off grid living.

This is a complete fabrication.

Where it is true that most of the water that you find will be able to be made into drinkable water, a great deal of the water is not by itself ready for consumption.

For example:

if you go to a river or a stream and you find water you should boil it.

Water found in puddles should be examined to see if there is any alga or other bacterium in it (or mosquito larva).

Should you find bug infestation or algae on the surface, then even the best filtration system may not remove all the contaminants.

However, if you can collect rain, dew, or snow you do not need to purify the water (unless of course it has been sitting for a while).

Understanding what water is good to drink and what water will kill you (or at minimum make you sick and wish you were dead) is a critical instinct that you must master if you want to be able to survive off grid living.

Bushcraft

Image Source: https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d2/Pond_in_a_forest_clearing_bgiu.jpg

What you should NEVER do:

  • If your instinct in a critical situation is to panic, you need to quickly ditch this habit. Panic leads to quick and irrational decisions which oftentimes result in injury or death. One way to avoid panic is to have a disaster preparedness plan and to practice that plan until it becomes routine. As the plan becomes instinct, you become less apt to wondering what to do and more apt to follow what you know to do.
  • Think that you have all the answers. On the other end of the spectrum are those survivalists that believe that they have all the answers. Where you can get a great deal of training, you need to realize there are some things you will learn as you go. Does this make you ill-prepared? No, it does not. Be prepared for these situations by overcompensating your bag with things that you think you have “under control”. This way if you come to find you are not in control of a situation, you still have the survival gear to fall back on.

 

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