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IREC Solar Consumer Protection

Record numbers of Americans are using the sun to power their homes. In just the last year, residential rooftop solar has grown more than 65 percent! That means more consumers are sitting down with contractors and salespeople to go solar — facing what could be a complex process. IREC is committed to helping consumers get the facts and understand a transaction with many parts and details — some not so obvious and some difficult to grasp. IREC’s consumer protection Trio includes the Clean Energy Consumer Bill of Rights, the “Be Solar Smart Consumer Checklist,” and a Resources list. Each one spotlights safeguards and pointers for buyers, government agencies, the industry, retailers and others in the market. Read More

IREC Clean Energy Training Directory

Looking for training providers that offer workshops and hands-on training for renewable energy and energy efficiency courses? Interested in four-year universities that offer undergraduate and graduate level courses in renewable energy and energy efficiency? Whether you’re in high school or college, you’re changing careers or are a returning veteran, the new IREC Clean Energy Training Directory is the ideal tool to help you find the right clean energy program for you. Read More

Pacific Northwest National Laboratory: Discovery in Action

Every day, people at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) are changing the world for the better. One scientist . . . connecting with other scientists . . . dedicating their life’s work to unraveling complex challenges in energy, the environment and national security. We are the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) premier chemistry, environmental science and data analytics national laboratory. For 50 years we have applied our expertise in these and other science areas to ensure we all breathe cleaner air, travel more safely through airports, drive more efficient automobiles and much more. Far into the future our researchers will continue to push the boundaries of science and advance innovations that will continue to improve billions of lives. Read More

Climate Central

Climate Central surveys and conducts scientific research on climate change and informs the public of key findings. Our scientists publish and our journalists report on climate science, energy, sea level rise, wildfires, drought, and related topics. Read More

To Drill or Not to Drill? A Case Study in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge

To Drill or Not to Drill is a multidisciplinary problem based learning exercise, which intends to increase students’ knowledge of a variety of topics through a real world environmental topic. In addition, drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) impacts students either directly (depending on the age level) or indirectly (through their parents) as gas prices soar to record high levels. Read More

New record-breaking year for Danish wind power

In 2015, Danish wind turbines generated what corresponds to 42 per cent of the Danes’ electricity consumption. In Jutland and on Funen, wind power, in fact, supplied more electricity than the total consump-tion for 1,460 hours of the year. Read More

U.S. DOE, Department of Science Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists

The mission of the Office of Workforce Development for Teachers and Scientists (WDTS) is to help ensure that DOE and the Nation have a sustained pipeline of highly skilled and diverse science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workers. This is accomplished through support of undergraduate internships and visiting faculty programs at the DOE laboratories; a graduate fellowship program, which also involves the DOE laboratories; the Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellowship for K-12 teachers, which is administered by WDTS for DOE and for a number of other federal agencies; and the nation-wide, middle- and high-school science competitions that culminate annually in the National Science Bowl® in Washington D.C. Additionally, this website offers teaching resources on a wide variety of science topics. Read More

U.S. DOE Department of Science Biological and Environmental Research (BER)

BER advances world-class biological and environmental research programs and scientific user facilities to support DOE’s energy, environment, and basic research missions. The Biological and Environmental Research (BER) program supports fundamental research and scientific user facilities to address diverse and critical global challenges. The program seeks to understand how genomic information is translated to functional capabilities, enabling more confident redesign of microbes and plants for sustainable biofuel production, improved carbon storage, or contaminant bioremediation. BER research advances understanding of the roles of Earth’s biogeochemical systems (the atmosphere, land, oceans, sea ice, and subsurface) in determining climate so we can predict climate decades or centuries into the future, information needed to plan for future energy and resource needs. Solutions to these challenges are driven by a foundation of scientific knowledge and inquiry in atmospheric chemistry and physics, ecology, biology, and biogeochemistry. Read More

U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science

The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Science is the lead federal agency supporting fundamental scientific research for energy and the Nation’s largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences. The Office of Science portfolio has two principal thrusts: direct support of scientific research and direct support of the development, construction, and operation of unique, open-access scientific user facilities. These activities have wide-reaching impact. The Office of Science supports research in all 50 States and the District of Columbia, at DOE laboratories and more than 300 universities and institutions of higher learning nationwide. The Office of Science User Facilities provide the Nation’s researchers with state-of-the-art capabilities that are unmatched anywhere in the world. Read More

Potential emissions of CO2 and methane from proved reserves of fossil fuels: An alternative analysis

Scientists have argued that no more than 275 GtC (IPCC, 2013) of the world’s reserves of fossil fuels of 746 GtC can be produced in this century if the world is to restrict anthropogenic climate change to ≤2 °C. This has raised concerns about the risk of these reserves becoming “stranded assets” and creating a dangerous “carbon bubble” with serious impacts on global financial markets, leading in turn to discussions of appropriate investor and consumer actions. However, previous studies have not always clearly distinguished between reserves and resources, nor differentiated reserves held by investor-owned and state-owned companies with the capital, infrastructure, and capacity to develop them in the short term from those held by nation-states that may or may not have such capacity. This paper analyzes the potential emissions of CO2 and methane from the proved reserves as reported by the world’s largest producers of oil, natural gas, and coal. We focus on the seventy companies and eight government-run industries that produced 63% of the world’s fossil fuels from 1750 to 2010 (Heede, 2014), and have the technological and financial capacity to develop these reserves. While any reserve analysis is subject to uncertainty, we demonstrate that production of these reported reserves will result in emissions of 440 GtC of carbon dioxide, or 160% of the remaining 275 GtC carbon budget. Of the 440 GtC total, the 42 investor-owned oil, gas, and coal companies hold reserves with potential emissions of 44 GtC (16% of the remaining carbon budget, hereafter RCB), whereas the 28 state-owned entities possess reserves of 210 GtC (76% of the RCB). This analysis suggests that what may be needed to prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference (DAI) with the climate system differs when one considers the state-owned entities vs. the investor-owned entities. For the former, there is a profound risk involved simply in the prospect of their extracting their proved reserves. For the latter, the risk arises not so much from their relatively small proved reserves, but from their on-going exploration and development of new fossil fuel resources. For preventing DAI overall, effective action must include the state-owned companies, the investor-owned companies, and governments. However, given that the majority of the world’s reserves are coal resources owned by governments with little capacity to extract them in the near term, we suggest that the more immediate urgency lies with the private sector, and that investor and consumer pressure should focus on phasing out these companies’ on-going exploration programs. Read More


EERL's mission is to be the best possible online collection of environmental and energy sustainability resources for community college educators and for their students. The resources are also available for practitioners and the public.


EERL is a product of a community college-based National Science Foundation Center, the Advanced Technology Environmental and Energy Center (ATEEC), and its partners.

Contact ATEEC 563.441.4087 or by email ateec@eicc.edu