Net-Zero Energy & Renewables

U.S. Department of Energy (public domain)


With alternative energy sources becoming more affordable, we are finally starting to wean ourselves off fossil fuels.

But as the industry expands, there are some growing pains. These systems open up new ways of thinking about our relationship to energy production and consumption, and they impact rating systems such as LEED and Passive House.

The resources found here provide guidance and a better understanding of topics like:

  • net-zero energy

  • thermal energy storage

  • innovative battery systems

  • fuel cells

  • community solar

  • Toledo Museum Is State-of-the-Art at a Century Old
    June 27, 2013

    News Analysis

    Solar panels and micro-turbines enable a historic art museum to reduce its electrical usage 79%.

  • Small Hydro Projects in China Have Big Impacts
    September 3, 2013

    News Analysis

    A new study finds small hydropower projects--long touted as a clean development strategy--are cumulatively causing more ecological damage than big dams.

  • GSA Shares More "Green Proving Ground" Experience
    February 3, 2014

    News Analysis

    With lessons learned from its own buildings, GSA reports conditions under which high-performance window panels, mag-lev compressors, and onsite PV are viable.

  • Passive House Standards to Add Net-Zero-Energy Options
    April 2, 2014

    News Analysis

    New categories of certification under the Passive House standards will recognize buildings that offset energy use with onsite renewables.

  • Cost Premium of Net-Zero Not Far from LEED Platinum
    June 1, 2014

    News Analysis

    Finding cost premiums as little as 5% over LEED Platinum, a new report highlights how D.C. can incentivize net-zero and Living buildings.

  • California Could Go Solar Without Destroying Habitat
    April 17, 2015

    News Analysis

    If PV were installed only in developed locations throughout California, the state could meets its energy needs three to five times over.

  • Get Ready for Fuel Switching
    June 27, 2008


    As the cost of heating fuel rises, utilities must prepare for increased demand as homeowners switch to cheaper electric-resistance heat.

  • Save the Icing for Last
    April 29, 2009


    Before considering high-profile features such as wind turbines and photovoltaic arrays, we should focus on the basics of green building.

  • Wind Turbines on the Parapet
    July 31, 2006

    Product Review

    AeroVironment, Inc., is introducing a new approach to small-scale wind generation that takes advantage of the rush of wind as it crests a building's facade.

  • Climate Energy Brings Combined Heat and Power Home
    August 29, 2006

    Product Review

    The idea of combining electricity generation with the production of useful heat-referred to as combined heat and power (CHP) or cogeneration-has long been attractive. Now, after many false starts, a viable residential-scale CHP system is about to enter the market.