Articles written by Greg Whiting

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 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    May 29, 2024 

Wind offers potential to fill our energy needs

Wind energy – both on land and offshore – has been falling in cost almost as dramatically as solar power. It’s down well over 90% since 2000. The relevant technologies are still improving. Furth...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    May 15, 2024

We'll need to consider all power options to meet growing demand

For most of the last 10 years, electric consumption in Washington has been relatively flat or even falling. Innovative technologies like LED lighting and heat pumps have been replacing less efficient...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    May 1, 2024

Hard to miss the old Buick as EV savings compound daily

As longtime readers know, Jenelle bought an all-electric Chevy Bolt a couple of years ago. We’ve driven it about 18,000 miles. It replaced a Buick SUV that had about 85,000 miles on it. The total c...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    April 24, 2024

So many what-if moments of possible energy development

The energy infrastructure we have today is the result of thousands of years of technological development, during which the systems evolved based on what had and hadn’t been invented, and where. The R...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    April 17, 2024

Hypermilers are champs at saving gas

A few years ago I was managing an experiment aimed at determining whether it was practical to power cars with hydrogen, instead of gasoline. Most of the cars were small gasoline-engine SUVs which had...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    April 10, 2024

Tidal energy is coming, once hurdles vanish

The tide-based currents in the Swinomish Channel may offer a local source of reliable, predictable renewable energy. Several people have asked me whether this natural resource could be developed to...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    April 3, 2024

Where Bitcoin's power needs meet volcanos

One probably wouldn’t think that El Salvador’s president, Nayib Bukele, would be particularly influential as regards the future of electric generation in the Pacific Northwest. Surprisingly, he mig...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    March 27, 2024

Save big with passive technologies

Reducing energy use during the design and construction phase of a new building is almost always easier than retrofitting the building afterwards. There are many techniques that can be used to reduce t...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    March 13, 2024

Comparing costs to heat hot water

Adding up electricity, gas and propane, most (probably half to two-thirds) of the energy you use in your house is for heating, ventilation and air conditioning. One of the most significant other uses...

 By Greg Whiting    Opinion    March 6, 2024

Solar installation costs will keep on dropping

The Skagit Valley Clean Energy Alliance will be sponsoring a new Solarize program this year, to help facilitate and accelerate the installation of new rooftop solar generation systems throughout...


La Conner could shine with art-themed energy infrastructure

Viewing parts of the electric grid, such as transmission towers and substations as public art is actually a decades old concept. The colored glass used in high-rise buildings since the early 1960s...


Infrastructure need not be brutish: Let a thousand solar panels bloom

One of the least publicized but nevertheless significant obstacles to the new infrastructure required to support development of new energy resources is that this infrastructure can be unsightly. A...


Will La Conner embrace e-buses?

The La Conner School District is among hundreds of districts nationwide examining the feasibility and long-term cost advantages of switching from diesel to electric school buses. Key advantages...


New knowledge advances science

In 1992, two colleagues and I visited Ukraine and Russia to tour ex-Soviet research laboratories in search of interesting technologies that had been developed by their scientists and engineers. The co...


The future of readily available alternative energies is almost here

I wrote earlier that existing technologies aren’t that far from allowing us to produce sustainable energy for as little as a tenth of the cost of conventional electric generation. Solar p... Full story


Holiday lights evolution from candles offer an even brighter future

Holiday lights abound. As Ray Stevens said about Santa Claus, they’re everywhere! They’re everywhere! They’re all over La Conner’s homes, streetlight posts and various public spaces. The big Christmas tree in Gilkey Square dominates the north e... Full story

 By Greg Whiting    News    November 29, 2023

Alternative energy growth will bring job growth as economy grows

In the 1880s, thousands of businesses in the U.S. depended on horse-drawn transportation. Carriage manufacturers, blacksmiths, horse breeders, stables and related enterprises were major employers. Of... Full story


Portable public solar power's future

The ongoing emergence of low-cost energy technologies is leading to the development of a host of interesting systems that aren’t directly related to the large-scale electric grid. Read this asking you... Full story


Part 3 on creating EV charging infrastructure in La Conner

The need for electric vehicle charging infrastructure will inevitably increase. People who don’t want EVs now because their initial cost is too high or their range is too low will re-evaluate that d... Full story


High power EV chargers needed to keep keep tourists coming

Last week I talked about electric vehicle chargers in rural British Columbia. Charger availability there is still improving.’s map shows that the charger in Woss, BC (population about 200), h... Full story


Tourist towns need EV charging stations to keep visitors coming

About a year ago, Jenelle and I drove from Victoria, on the south end of Vancouver Island, to Port Hardy, near the north end. We took a gasoline-powered car. We weren’t sure whether public charging s... Full story


Don't let vampire and phantom electric loads suck your power out of your house

Pumpkin spice lattes, football, leaves starting to change color, the approach of Halloween … it’s time to talk about vampires and phantoms. Vampire and phantom electric loads, that is. Many con... Full story

 By Greg Whiting    News    October 11, 2023

E-bikes just the option for local commutes

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the possibility of buying a second electric car. I’m still giving that some consideration. However, before making a final decision, I’m going to wait till the rec... Full story


Energy planning grants awarded to schools and fire department

The La Conner School District and the La Conner Fire Department have each been awarded a grant from the Washington state Department of Commerce. These grants will fund work required for each to...


Energy Star is efficiency seal of approval

Last time, I suggested buying Energy Star electronics to cut your energy bills. What is Energy Star and why is their work relevant? Energy Star is a voluntary program started by the U.S. Environmental... Full story


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