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Bill Nelander

Post-election poll demonstrates that anti-clean energy campaign rhetoric did not stick; voters understand the benefits of clean energy

Washington, DC— The American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) released today a new poll of Virginia voters showing that they support the development of clean energy. This result is significant for two reasons: Virginia was a crucial state for both 2012 presidential candidates, and energy was a critical issue in the Virginia election. While the election brought forth increased anti-renewable energy rhetoric, it did not sway public support away from renewable energy. And this result is not unique to Virginia: polling released by ACORE covering other swing states--Colorado, Iowa, and Ohio-- found similar sentiments about the clean energy industry.

ACORE AEEOI Ohio Polling - Press Release img 0 ACORE AEEOI Ohio Polling - Press Release img 1
Polls in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia show that, despite anti-renewable energy campaign rhetoric, voters still want cleaner energy

Washington, DC—New swing state polls released by the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) and Advanced Energy Economy Ohio Institute (AEE Ohio Institute) show that voters in Colorado, Iowa, Ohio, and Virginia—all of which helped decide the outcome of the election—support clean, secure, and affordable energy. Conducted the day after the election, these surveys demonstrate that American voters understand the benefits of clean energy despite the millions of dollars opponents poured into attacks on the industry.

After an election rife with attacks on the clean energy industry, a new poll shows that renewable energy is popular among Colorado voters

Washington, DC— Today, the American Council On Renewable Energy (ACORE) released a poll showing that Colorado voters understand the value of clean and renewable energy and support the industry. Aggressive anti-clean energy rhetoric was prevalent throughout the election but did not dramatically affect the state’s public opinion of the industry. Similar polls conducted in Iowa, Virginia, and Ohio; found that voters across the country are supportive of advanced energy solutions.

Monday, 16 September 2013 15:00

The Little Energy Bill That Could

September 16 -- Finally: a (relatively) small bill that could make a huge difference. And all of a sudden, because of the delay in a vote on Syria, it is on the Senate floor right now.  I'm calling it the New Energy Bill, because its real name is a mouthful: The Energy Savings and Industrial Competitiveness Act (S. 761). >>View Article

Friday, 06 December 2013 15:38


A wind energy system transforms the kinetic energy of wind into mechanical or electrical energy that can be harnessed for practical use. Mechanical energy, most commonly used for pumping water in rural or remote locations, powers the “farm windmill” still seen in many rural areas of the U.S.

Wind turbines generate electricity in a straightforward way: wind moves the blades of the turbine, which spin a central shaft. The shaft connects to an electrical generator, often located at the top of the tower, which produces electricity. Wind turbines are deployed at homes, farms, businesses, utility-scale wind farms, and other locations.

There are two basic designs of wind turbines: vertical-axis (“egg-beater” style) and horizontal-axis (propeller-style) machines. Horizontal-axis wind turbines are most common today, constituting nearly all of the utility-scale (100 kilowatts (kW) capacity and larger) turbines in the global market. Small-scale turbines (50 kW capacity and under) are used to power isolated communities and other areas where large turbines are not feasible. Today turbines with capacities as large as 5 megawatts (MW) are being tested.

Wind farms may also be located offshore, where the average wind speed is much higher than on the land. Most offshore wind turbines are fixed to the ocean floor, while some newer models float on platforms.

For more on wind power, visit the Department of Energy’s wind overview.


  • Wind power provided 35% of all new U.S. electric capacity over the last four years. (American Wind Energy Association (AWEA))
  • In Iowa and South Dakota, wind now generates around 20% of the states’ electricity needs. (AWEA)
  • The U.S. wind industry installed 34% more megawatts during the first half of 2012 than it did during the first half of 2011. (AWEA)
  • The U.S. wind industry installed 1,200 MW during the second quarter of 2012, bringing the total U.S. wind power capacity installations to 49,802 MW and 2012 installations to 2,896 MW (through the end of June 2012). (AWEA)
  • As of the beginning of 2012, 38 states had utility-scale wind projects. Texas accounts for roughly 20% of U.S. wind energy with a capacity of 10,648 MW. Following Texas in wind are Iowa with 4,524 MW; California with 4,425 MW; Illinois with 3,055 MW; and Oregon with 2,820 MW. (AWEA)
Friday, 06 December 2013 15:03

What Is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy is a term used to describe energy that is derived from resources, like the sun and the wind -- resources that are continually available to some degree or other all over the world. We never run out of them. And their use or capture does not inflict any material damage on the environment.

Sunlight is the source of most renewable energy power, either directly or indirectly. The sun can be harnessed to produce solar energy -- electricity for heating, cooling, and lighting homes, offices, entertainment complexes, airports, and a variety of other industrial structures.

Heat from the sun also produces wind, whose energy is captured by wind turbines and turned into electricity capable of powering entire towns.

Hydroelectric power is produced from streams, rivers, and waterfalls that flow downhill, their tremendous power turning large turbines that convert the flow to electricity. Industrialized nations have already developed most of the world's large hydroelectric resources, but small-scale technologies are being developed that will provide additional localized power in the future.

Organic plant matter, known as biomass, can be burned, gasified, fermented, or otherwise processed to produce electricity, heat and biofuels for transportation. Biomass combined heat and power (CHP) facilities simultaneously produce both heat and electricity (Click to view the Pew Trust’s CHP video: Turn Heat Into Power With Industrial Efficiency). Bioenergy is another term for energy that is produced from biomass for any of these purposes.

Geothermal energy taps the Earth's internal heat in the form of steam for a variety of uses, including electric power production, and the heating and cooling of buildings. Some new systems are in development for harvesting even more power by injecting water back into underground heat sources to produce more steam.

Ocean energy can also be used to produce electricity. In addition to tidal energy, energy can be produced by the action of ocean waves, which are driven by both the tides and the winds. Because of their link to winds and surface heating processes, ocean currents are considered as indirect sources of solar energy.

Waste Heat to Power (WHP) is the process of using recovered waste heat to generate power with no combustion and no emissions, using the same technologies deployed for the geothermal and other industries. Anywhere there is an industrial process that involves transforming raw materials into useful products – steel mills, paper plants, refineries, chemical plants, oil and gas pipelines, and general manufacturing -- heat is wasted as a byproduct. This waste heat is produced whenever the operation is running, often 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If not recovered for reuse as lower temperature process heat or to produce emission-free power, the heat will dissipate into the atmosphere, a wasted opportunity. 

Thursday, 05 December 2013 17:39


Sunlight is earth's most ubiquitous form of energy. It is clean, inexhaustible, and the United States boasts one of the largest solar resources of any industrialized country. In the last decade, both distributed generation (small-scale installations located close to where the energy is ultimately used) and utility-scale generation have grown rapidly, and this expansion has brought solar energy into new realms of competitiveness. With effective support, solar energy can help to address some of the United States' most pressing energy concerns, including energy security and climate change.


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