Pollution made up of small liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere or water supply.
The use of natural heat transfer processes to collect, distribute, and store useable heat without the help of mechanical devices (pumps or fans). Passive solar systems have few moving parts. Trombe Walls and the use of the thermal mass of building structure to store energy are examples of passive solar systems.
Nonrenewable, naturally occurring oil used to make fuels, plastics, waxes and lubricants. The burning of products or fuels with petroleum in them leads to the emission of carbon dioxide, contributing to global warming.
Many cleaning products use chemicals derived from petroleum, such as propane, butane and isobutane, contributing to the depletion of this non-renewable resource and increasing our nation's dependence on imported oil.
A device that measures the amount of incident light present in a space.
Technology using solar cells (usually made of silicon) to convert sunlight into electricity. PV installations may be ground-mounted or integrated into the building structure, for instance on a roof.
An integrated assembly of interconnected photovoltaic cells designed to deliver a selected level of working voltage and current at its output terminals, packaged for protection against environment degradation, and suited for incorporation into external power systems.
A low-cost option for site cleanup when the site has low levels of contamination that uses plants to break down or uptake contaminants.
Generally, the presence of a substance in the environment that, because of its chemical composition or quantity, prevents the functioning of natural processes and produces undesirable environmental and health effects. Under the Clean Water Act, for example, the term has been defined as the man-made or man-induced alteration of the physical, biological, chemical and radiological integrity of water and other media.
Better known by the brand name Styrofoam, polystyrene is a bulky, lightweight substance made from nonrenewable, hazardous chemicals which can potentially leach into food and water. Styrene might disrupt hormones and reproduction and is a possible human carcinogen according to the World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer.
Paving surfaces designed to allow stormwater infiltration and reduce runoff.
A product composition that contains some percentage of material that has been reclaimed from the same or another end use at the end of its former, useful life.
A product composition that contains some percentage of manufacturing waste material that has been reclaimed from a process generating the same or a similar product. Also called pre-consumer recycle content.
A legal contract between an electricity generator and a power purchaser. The power purchaser purchases energy, and sometimes also capacity and/or ancillary services, from the electricity generator. Such agreements play a key role in the financing of independently owned (i.e. not owned by utility) electricity generating assets. The seller under the PPA is typically an independent power producer, or "IPP." PPAs are often regarded as the central document in the development of independent electricity generating assets, and are key to obtaining financing for many alternative energy projects.
An experimental retrofit financing program in which municipalities with PACE legislation (currently 23 states in the US) help home and business owners pay for the upfront costs of green initiative, such as solar, by offering a bond to investors and then loaning that money to the consumers and businesses that put it towards an energy retrofit or small alternative energy project. Under the assumption that the project will increase the value of the home, the loans are repaid over the assigned term (typically 15 or 20 years) via an annual property tax bill assessment, and then the municipality pays back the bondholder. PACE bonds can be issued by municipal financing districts or finance companies, and the proceeds can be used to help both commercial and residential properties become more energy efficient. One of the most notable characteristics of PACE programs is that the loan is attached to the property rather than an individual.
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