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Swiss Adopt Aggressive Feed Law for Renewable Energy

Paul Gipe, author of Wind Power: Renewable Energy for Home, Farm, and Business and Wind Energy Basics: A Guide to Small and Micro Wind Systems, recently published an article at about Switzerland’s surprisingly bold moves toward renewable energy. From the article:

In a surprising move, Switzerland has adopted one of the world’s most aggressive systems of Advanced Renewable Tariffs.

The Swiss, famed for conservative traditions, stodgy bankers and trains that run on time, have joined a growing list of countries using feed-in tariffs to promote the rapid development of renewable energy. Not content to start with a timid program incrementally raising the bar year by year, the Swiss federal government this spring launched a full-system of feed-in tariffs differentiated by technology, size and application. There are tariffs, or payments per kilowatt-hour (kWh), for solar photovoltaics, wind, hydro, geothermal and biomass. The Swiss system, like those in Germany, France and Spain, pays a renewable energy generator for every kWh of electricity generated. The payments are made for periods of 20 to 25 years, depending upon the technology. The new Swiss tariffs, among the highest in the world, are the first to include a specific tariff for small wind turbines — those under 10 kW — of 0.20 SWF/kWh (US $0.20/kWh) for 20 years. The states of Michigan, Illinois, Rhode Island and Minnesota have proposed similar tariffs for small wind turbines, US $0.25/kWh, but none of the proposals have yet become law.
Read the full article here.

Save Energy & Money This Winter: Seal Up Your Drafty House

Unless you’ve taken special preventative precautions, it’s likely that on cold days much of your house’s heat pours out through your (closed) windows. Most houses—especially old houses—have drafty, uninsulated windows that do little to prevent heat from dumping out into the cold night. Even if your windows aren’t drafty, the expensive heat your furnace has […] Read More..

The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..
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