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We’re all used to seeing slogans about renewable energy, from product labels (“made in a facility powered by renewable energy!”) to electricity suppliers touting their green credentials (“we sell renewable power!”) – most of these have pictures of neat and tidy wind turbines or sleek photovoltaic arrays on a pretty green background. Clean, green, high-tech, modern: that’s what we tend to think of when we hear “renewable”…so it may come as a surprise that some of the renewable power out there comes from ...


Like many of you, I took some trips this summer – including ones that involved camping and other muddy outdoor activities. As usual, such excursions increased my appreciation of appliances: rinsing cookware in a cold, rocky stream and losing food to mold after just a few days reminded me how great my dishwasher and fridge really are! But as the sweaty shirts and muddy shorts accumulated, the appliance I enjoyed returning to most was the washing machine.


When you think about the severe drought that continues to affect more than half the country, the first things that come to mind are probably brown lawns and restrictions on your local water use. In the bigger picture, those thirsty cattle and failed corn or soybean crops they're showing on TV mean we’ll see higher food prices in the near future. But extreme heat and droughts also have big effects on energy and on power prices - electricity is related to weather in a major way, and in this case it's an expensive relationship...

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