RP Siegel

RP Siegel
RP Siegel, author and inventor, shines a powerful light on numerous environmental and technological topics. He has been published in business and technical journals and has written three books. His third, co-authored with Roger Saillant, is Vapor Trails, an eco-thriller that is being adapted for the big screen. RP is a professional engineer – and a prolific inventor, with 50 patents, numerous awards, and several commercial products. He is president of Rain Mountain LLC and is an active environmental advocate in his hometown of Rochester, N.Y. In addition to Justmeans, he writes for Triple Pundit, ThomasNet News, and Energy Viewpoints, occasionally contributing to Mechanical Engineering, Strategy + Business, and Huffington Post. You can follow RP on Twitter, @RPSiegel.
Rain Mountain LLC
14 620
Rochester, NY

Posts by This Writer

2 years 6 months ago

(3BLMedia/Justmeans) - Even in the light of post-COP21 optimism, and a “can do” spirit, when it comes to our ability to forcefully respond to the global warming crisis there is a question that urgently needs to be answered as the solution to this massive problem unfolds at an accelerating pace.

Everyone likes renewables, but how do we like them: centralized or distributed? More to the point, what role do we see the utilities playing, as we move into a clean energy future? Will we become self-sufficient energy pioneers, with solar panels on our roofs and backup batteries in the basement, in a world where we won’t need...

2 years 6 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - A new report by the UN Environmental Programme (UNEP) on the growth in renewable energy showed some remarkable accomplishments. For one thing, new investment in traditional coal and gas-fired power plants accounted for less than half the investment in solar wind, and other renewables. According to Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2016, the annual global investment in new renewables capacity, reached $266 billion last year, while investments in coal and gas power stations weighed in at $130 billion. If...

2 years 7 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - It was The Guardian that referred to the February temperature data just released by NASA as “shocking.” According to the data released, global mean temperatures rose 1.35°C above the established baseline of temperatures between the years 1951-1980. That smashes through the previous record established just a month earlier of a 1.15°C increase. What that...

2 years 7 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - Even as the Supreme Court remains deadlocked over the future of the Clean Power Plan (CPP), the U.S. appears likely to achieve the CPP goals a full 14 years ahead of schedule. That’s according to a story by Daniel S. Cohan and Leah Y. Parks in The Hill. According to the authors, this early arrival will come courtesy of a combination of energy efficiency and alternative sources of energy.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. The CPP is looking for a 32% reduction in electric power generated...

2 years 8 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There are a number of strands in the sustainability story: different approaches, if you will, towards achieving a more sustainable economy. Among these are energy conservation, increased use of renewables, water conservation, and switching to more sustainable materials, such as those that can be grown rather than mined, fracked or drilled. Another is the movement towards zero waste.

When a company reduces the amount of material they send to a landfill, they save money on hauling, disposal and tipping fees. For many, that’s enough to get their interest. But...

2 years 8 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - If you type the words “Amazon sustainability” into Google, the first thing that comes up in the search is a link to books about sustainability that the online retail giant sells. The company sells books and lots of other things, online. It sells enough to fill 3.3 million boxes of various sizes and shapes each and every day. Amazon uses recycled cardboard to make those boxes, and makes reasonable efforts to make sure those boxes are shipped sustainably, but beyond that, the company, which has been an innovator in so many ways, is really behind the curve when it comes to...

2 years 8 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) - There are many forces at play on both sides of the challenge to rein in carbon emissions before it’s too late. Some of the most important, like the plummeting price of oil, or China’s need to protect citizens by reducing air pollution, are not even directed at the problem. Still, they both have enormous impact.

Another such trend is the recent decision by Chinese leaders to initiate a supply side reform in their economy. What this means is that at the beginning of the 13th Five Year Plan, the...

2 years 8 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) SolarCity is the nation’s largest solar provider. Among the reasons for that are some of their innovative, community-oriented programs, like their GivePower Foundation which provides a free solar system and battery to a school without electricity for every MW of solar that they install. Through interactions with some of the communities they work in, they came to realize...

2 years 8 months ago

(3Bl Media/Justmeans) - With the solar investment tax credit (ITC) recently extended for five years, it would seem that the coast is now clear for the solar boom to continue expanding at an ever-accelerating pace. After all, with these tax credits in place, coupled to the fact that solar prices continue to fall, the solar option just keeps getting more attractive to homeowners from coast to coast. The biggest question...

2 years 9 months ago

(3BL Media/Justmeans) -- Most people think that concentrating solar thermal (CSP) power plants must be large and expensive. Systems are generally based on very large steam turbines with a high overhead cost that can only be amortized over large scale production rates (typically 50-100MW, or more). This amount of power requires thousands of reflectors spread out over a large area. That means it will most likely be sited in some remote area, far from where the power will be used, thereby subject to significant transmission losses.

Aora Solar has developed a different kind of CSP technology that breaks out of this mold.

“Our strategy,”...