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113 W Monument Street, Floor 2
Baltimore, MD, 21201
United States

(410) 962-1188 x27

Baltimore-based alternative and clean energy company. Certified MBE for energy consulting, energy management information systems, and renewable energy facility production.


Congratulations to the 2017 Wintergreen Awards winners!

Bithgroup Technologies

On Thursday the U.S. Green Building Council celebrated the 2017 Community Leader Awards in Columbia, Maryland.

Coretta Bennett, Chief Operating Officer for Bithenergy, participated on the awards jury panel along with JoAnn Trach Tongson (Mahan Rykiel Associates, Inc.), Kim Pexton (Paladino and Company), and Alex Nunez (BGE).

Congratulations to last night's winners!

Existing Building Performance -- Canton Crossing Existing Building Sustainability Practices  Case Study

Green Building Legacy Award -- National Business Parkway N400 Campus

Community Champion -- City Arts 2

Green Schools: Higher Education -- R.V. Truitt Laboratory Building

Green Schools: K-12 -- Wilde Lake Middle School

Interiors -- JP2 Architects Office Interior

New Construction -- Richard and Virginia Holt Center, Sultana Education Foundation

Residential -- Anthem House

Leadership -- Dr. Polly Bart


Wintergreen Awards Celebration

Bithgroup Technologies

Join the U.S. Green Building Council Maryland community for an evening of networking to celebrate the winners of our 2017 Community Leader Awards! The awards celebrate, promote and recognize excellence in high performance, healthy design and building; environmental stewardship and community impact; and serve to highlight the green building initiatives and achievements of the USGBC Maryland community projects, businesses, local members and other vested individuals.

Event tickets include food and drinks. Free on-site parking is also available.

USGBC Maryland members receive discounts on event registration fees. Early bird ticket pricing will end Dec. 29.

The Call for Nominations has closed. Our winners will be announced at the Wintergreen Celebration Jan. 25. View highlights from last year's Wintergreen Celebration.

Awards jury:

For more information and to register, please visit

Hemil Dhami joins Bithenergy as Manager of Technical Sales

Bithgroup Technologies

Baltimore, Maryland – Bithenergy is thrilled to announce the addition of Hemil Dhami as the Manager of Technical Sales.  Mr. Dhami brings broad experience in the energy sector that spreads across Bithenergy’s three verticals: Power Generation, Energy Information Systems and Energy Consulting. His expertise lies in energy efficiency, demand response and innovative renewable energy generation products, with exposure in domestic and international markets.  

The company, founded in 2009 by Robert L. Wallace, is an award-winning energy engineering and consulting firm, specializing in renewable energy generation, energy consulting, and energy information systems. A certified Minority Business Enterprise (MBE) headquartered in historic Mt. Vernon, Bithenergy’s mission is to impact the world through inventive technology, comprehensive energy management, and innovative energy solutions. The organization has built a strong reputation for delivering high quality, consistent, and cost-competitive renewable energy solutions in Maryland and beyond.   

Mr. Dhami’s experience working with Fortune 500 companies, as well as leading start-ups, gives Bithenergy’s CEO Robert L. Wallace confidence that he brings the intrapreneurial spirit and technical knowledge to drive Technical Sales for the company and contribute towards the company’s overall vision and strategy.

“We are delighted that Hemil is joining our management team. Hemil brings vast knowledge in the sector, creativity, and great interpersonal skills to our company. As we look into innovative energy offerings and take on even bolder and more complicated energy projects, his experience and leadership will prove to be invaluable to Bithenergy," said Coretta Bennett, Bithenergy’s COO.

A resident of Baltimore, Maryland, Mr. Dhami earned a M.S. in Industrial and Management Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He has over 12 years of experience in the energy sector focused around asset reliability and optimization, product and project risk management, pricing and structuring short-term and long-term energy deals, as well as driving global business development in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Bithenergy is a key sponsor of the 2017 National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH)

Bithgroup Technologies


Bithenergy is a key sponsor of the 2017 National Alliance of Resident Services in Affordable and Assisted Housing (NAR-SAAH)  Conference  hosted in Baltimore, MD.  The conference runs from Wednesday, September 20th through Saturday, September 22nd. The conference is held to assist residents services employees and public housing residents by shaping national housing policy, expanding partnerships with community institutions, leveraging funding streams to support resident programs, and speak on matters impacted by changing economic conditions and shifting political priorities.

Bithenergy is giving a presentation on Friday, September  entitled "Energy Matters: How Will Your Public Housing Energy Bill Be Calculated in the Future?"

Bithenergy attends the 108th Annual NAACP Convention in Baltimore

Bithgroup Technologies

 Come visit our booth on the lower level (Booth #980)

Come visit our booth on the lower level (Booth #980)

BITHGROUP Technologies and Bithenergy are participating and have a booth at the 108th Annual NAACP Convention in Baltimore, Maryland on July 25th. BITHGROUP and Bithenergy Founder and CEO, Robert L. Wallace, is speaking on a panel which explores ways to connect black communities to the renewable industry. The talk is titled: "Bridging the gap, connecting black communities to the green economy."

BITHGROUP Technologies and Bithenergy are honored to be a part of the NAACP Convention and proudly support their efforts.

The purpose of the annual convention is to establish policies and programs of action for the ensuing year. All actions of the Convention on questions of policy and programs, which are not contrary to the Constitution, shall be binding on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, the Officers and all Units, except as hereinafter provided. No resolution for change of policy or program of action shall be in order unless it shall have been favorably voted upon at regular legislative meetings of a Unit in good standing, or has been submitted by the President and CEO. The resolutions for policy or program change must be certified by the President and Secretary of the Unit, and received by the President and CEO in the National Office by May 1st annually. The Convention shall act on all such proposed program or policy changes during its Legislative Sessions.

Community solar in Maryland continues to move forward and is on its way to becoming a reality | Groundswell | David Wright

Bithgroup Technologies

On April 10, 2017, the Maryland Public Service Commission (PSC) began accepting applications from operators of community solar systems to participate in the first year of the state’s community solar pilot program. Since then, the Maryland PSC has reviewed each application and issued “subscriber organization ID” numbers (essentially a license to operate) to each successful applicant. This certification enables organizations like Groundswell to apply to administer specific projects.

Investor-owned utilities in Maryland (e.g., Pepco, BGE, Potomac Edison) then began accepting applications for interconnection, which is the technical process of connecting a solar project to the local electricity grid. Once an applicant’s interconnection agreement has been reviewed and partially executed by the utility, the subscriber organization can apply to operate a specific community solar project. Each utility company has designated a cap, or limit, on the amount of community solar capacity it will accept for the first year of the statewide pilot program. Utilities will accept completed project applications on a first-come, first-served basis until each utility’s program capacity has been met.

During the first year of the state’s three-year pilot program, 23 megawatts (MW) of a total allowable 77 megawatts—roughly 30 percent—are reserved for projects with a significant portion of low and moderate income customers.


Shout out to Ben and Jerry's for their article: 6 Reasons Pulling Out of the Paris Climate Agreement Was Totally, Definitely the Right Move

Bithgroup Technologies

We Know a Good Idea When We See One

Sometimes an idea comes along that is 100% awesome. An idea so good that there’s only one thing you can do: Take an admiring step back and say, “Wow, that’s a really good idea.” When we first learned about cookie butter, for instance, we knew that turning it into a series of ice cream flavors was, without a doubt, a can’t-go-wrong idea. (And take it from anybody who’s tried Spectacular Speculoos Cookie Core, it definitely was.)

And that’s exactly how we felt when we saw that President Trump decided to pull the US out of the Paris Climate Agreement. Tremendous! What a big-league move! Definitely a good idea. Definitely.

Think we’ve gone off our rockers? Worried we’ve been hitting the Half Baked a little too hard? Here’s exactly why it’s totally, definitely a good idea for the US — the world’s second largest emitter of greenhouse gasses — not to be a part of the most comprehensive global agreement to reduce emissions and stem climate change of our age:


1. Clean Energy, Schmean Schmenergy!

Who needs clean energy?! We’re not germaphobes when it comes to our power (our ice cream spoons are a different story, though). And clean energy jobs? Nah, not for us. We hear China is ramping up their renewable energy production and it sure looks like a lot of work. Beijing alone plans to invest $360 billion in renewables by 2020, creating more than 13 million jobs. But jobs are work! Work is hard! It’s so much easier to luxuriate in the status quo, driving our fossil-fuel-powered cars and enjoying our coal-created electricity like we always have. 



2. We’re Sick of Chocolate and Vanilla Anyway

Haven’t you had enough Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Vanilla Caramel Fudge? We’ve been cranking out chocolate and vanilla ice cream flavors since the very beginning (in fact, Vanilla was our very first flavor), and frankly, we’re tired of it. So when climate change makes it all but impossible for farmers to grow cocoa beans and vanilla, we’ll be fine. We’ll move on to other ingredients, like melted glaciers, penguin meat, covfefe, and human despair. Sounds delicious!


3. Being a Global Pariah Is Really Cool

Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is not going to make us popular with the rest of the world. Nope — 194 countries worked really hard to figure out how to reduce their emissions to a manageable level, so when we keep on puffing greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere, they might get a little testy with us. But that’s okay, the cool countries are always loners anyway. And we probably don’t need other countries’ support in order to achieve our international goals . . . right?


4. Rising Seas Means You Could Have Your Very Own Ocean View

Who doesn’t love oceanfront property? With runaway climate change melting glaciers and causing sea levels to rise at unprecedented rates, a whole lot more of us could be seeing waves from our bedroom windows. Sure, some folks might lose their homes and businesses, and our coastal cities could see devastating changes, but a whole lot of people will also be able to learn how to surf right in their backyards. Sounds like a fair tradeoff to us.



5. Crises Keep Life Exciting

What’s life without a little drama? Boring, that’s what. Pulling out of the Paris Climate Agreement is going to bring the world one step closer to an unprecedented global environmental crisis, and we can’t wait! We love drama in our ice cream flavors, and even more so in our world news headlines. We can see it now: “13.1 Million US Homes Flooded — Boat Sales Surge,” “World Refuses to Cooperate with US Foreign Policy, US Sulks Like Angsty Teenager,” and “Hundreds of Plants and Animals Now Extinct, US Says ‘We Never Liked Polar Bears Anyway.’”


6. The Global Economy Is Going Green, With or Without Us

The truth of the matter is, the world is going green with or without the US. Even without our support of the Paris Climate Agreement, 193 countries will continue to reduce their emissions and continue to invest heavily in renewable energy sources. It may be too late for us to be global leaders in green energy, but we can only hope it’s not too late for the rest of the world to save us. And the polar bears.


Think we're serious about these six reasons? Nah, we're just pulling your leg. But we sure are serious about taking action on climate change. Even if our government won't, we can still support a clean, green energy future. Make your voice heard for a clean, green energy future today!


Bithgroup Technologies

Baltimore, Maryland –May 11, 2017 —The Business Network for Offshore Wind, the leader in building the U.S. offshore wind supply chain, commends the Maryland Public Service Commission for awarding financing for two offshore wind projects. The Maryland Public Service Commission’s (MD PSC) approval and financing of US Wind and Skipjack Offshore Energy, LLC’s combined 368 MW projects solidify offshore wind as a US industry.
Maryland has more than 800 businesses working in and around Baltimore’s ports many of which have potential to provide support for scaling the U.S. offshore wind industry. With the approval of these offshore wind projects and the conditions set forth by the MD PSC on the developers to invest millions of dollars in port infrastructure and steel fabrication, these businesses can start to gain offshore wind experience and a strong market position in other U.S. offshore wind projects. In addition, the economic impact of these projects will be dispersed from Western Maryland to the Eastern Shore.
“Maryland no longer stands at the doorstep of ushering in this new industry; it has stepped over the threshold. The award of these projects is the launching point for great economic growth for Maryland: its businesses, and its citizens. Maryland continues to lead–achieving the first commercial scale offshore wind projects in the United States, as well as reaping the environmental benefits of this large-scale, clean, renewable energy”, said Liz Burdock, Executive Director of the Business Network for Offshore Wind.
Offshore wind was first introduced to Marylanders in 2008. Legislative bills were written and presented to the Maryland legislators for three years commencing in 2010. The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act was passed in 2013 and promptly signed into law before the present developers was even considering the lease opportunities. Many, many people, from within state agencies, legislators, businesses, foundations, environment groups, academics, religious groups, health centers and citizens have all contributed to make this a historic day.

Maryland Passes First-of-a-Kind Tax Credit for Residential and Commercial Storage | by Julian Spector

Bithgroup Technologies

Maryland joined the ranks of early movers in the energy storage market by passing a storage tax credit with strong support in both houses of its state legislature.

The measure provides for a 30 percent tax credit on the installed cost of a storage system, capped at $5,000 for residential and $75,000 for commercial projects. The total credits awarded cannot exceed $750,000 in a year, and the program will run from 2018 through 2022. That gives storage providers eight months to get ready for a brand-new market opportunity.

The legislation now just needs the signature of Gov. Larry Hogan to become law. It passed unanimously in the Senate and with a 101-11 margin in the House, so a veto seems unlikely. 

Storage supporters have tried to get a storage tax credit through Congress, without success so far. At the state level, Maryland's approach marks a departure from the state mandates pursued by California and Oregon, and one now being finalized in Massachusetts. Mandates base their justification on a wonky accounting process that seeks to measure the public value of storage on the grid; Maryland has taken a speedier, more streamlined approach.

"This is a way to create an economic signal for using storage to provide grid reliability and resiliency, reduce peak capacity needs, and help integrate more renewable resources," said Jason Burwen, policy and advocacy director at the Energy Storage Association, who testified in support of the bill. "It is also a more conservative approach, executing this policy through the tax code with cost caps. That's an approach that got bipartisan agreement in Maryland."

The state is forgoing a limited amount of tax revenue in the hopes of kick-starting a new local industry. That's a lighter touch than a mandate, and doesn't require appropriating funds like California did with its Self-Generation Incentive Program rebates for storage installations.

Trump signs executive order to review Clean Power Plan - Utility Dive

Bithgroup Technologies

Trump's executive orders have been in the works for months, but the widely-expected move will still reverberate throughout the industry. The Clean Power Plan was President Obama's big climate rule and represented a key test of the EPA's authority to regulate emissions from the power sector.

Tuesday's order directs the EPA to initiate a review of the Clean Power Plan, governing existing plants, and accompanying regulations for carbon emissions from new sources. 

The order also directs each executive department and agency in the federal government to identify regulations, rules, policies, and guidance documents that slow or stop domestic energy production, and launches a 170-day process to develop plans from each agency going forward.

Trump also ordered agencies to stop using Obama-era estimates of the social cost of carbon. Regulations affecting methane leaks at oil and gas production facilities and hydraulic fracturing will all be reviewed, and a moratorium on coal leases on federal lands will be eliminated.

While the coal moratorium can be lifted immediately, the CPP and other finalized Obama-era regulations will undergo formal policy reviews.

Though the White House has made clear it thinks the rules are an overreach, whether its reviews will result in new regulations for the power sector or simply the elimination of old ones remains to be seen.

"It could be revising, improving, updating, or if things are illegal or, again, if they don't conform to the President's priorities," an administration official told reporters this week. "It depends — it runs the gambit. That's what review is for."

If the administration chooses to replace the CPP with a less stringent rule, it could result in a narrower regulatory package that would require only small efficiency improvements to existing coal plants. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt wrote such an alternative plan in 2014.

If no plan is offered to replace the CPP, the EPA could be at risk for lawsuits claiming that it is not fulfilling its obligation to regulate greenhouse gases, which the agency determined were a public health threat in a 2009 endangerment finding. 

Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016 | Overriding Governor Hogan’s Veto of Maryland Clean Energy Jobs Act of 2016

Bithgroup Technologies

The Clean Energy Jobs Act (SB 921/HB 1106), a bill to ensure that Maryland gets 25% of its electricity from renewable energy sources like wind and solar by 2020, up from the current goal of 20% by 2022, passed the General Assembly during the 2016 legislative session.  Unfortunately it was vetoed by Governor Hogan in May.

We are disappointed in the Governor’s decision to veto this widely-supported bill that would have meant cleaner air and thousands of new, family-supporting jobs in Maryland. Luckily, the bill passed the General Assembly with veto-proof margins. We will be back in the 2017 session to override his veto and enact the Clean Energy Jobs Act.  Tell your legislators to stand up for the Clean Energy Jobs Act!  

Over half of Maryland’s electricity still comes from carbon-spewing fossil fuels—coal and natural gas. Using polluting energy sources hurts our health, our economy, and our climate. 75% of Marylanders live in areas that received a D or F air quality grade for ozone pollution from the American Lung Association, and the state notoriously has some of the worst ground-level ozone pollution in the eastern U.S. As the state that is the 3rd most vulnerable in America to sea-level rise driven by climate change we need to act now to do our part to combat climate change.

Clean, renewable energy has proven itself to be a powerful driver of economic development in Maryland, including job creation.  More renewable energy will give Maryland cleaner air and water and help protect its residents from the harm of fossil fuel pollution.  Maryland’s General Assembly needs to vote for the Clean Energy Jobs Act this year.

That’s why the Maryland Climate Coalition worked to increase the state’s clean energy standard, called the “Renewable Portfolio Standard,” raising Maryland’ commitment to clean energy like wind and solar to 25% by 2020.

Will a Trade War With China Help or Hurt the American Solar Industry? It’s Complicated - GTM, by Travis Hoium

Bithgroup Technologies

The election of Donald Trump raises a lot of questions for the U.S. solar industry. Trump hasn't exactly been supportive of solar energy, but he hasn't made it an explicit target of his ire either.

President Trump's impact on the solar industry could come through trade policy, an area where the president has fairly wide latitude to make rules. If he labels China a currency manipulator, as he has promised, it would give him wide authority to draw up tariffs on Chinese imports, which he has suggested may be as high as 45 percent -- although a 25 percent across-the-board tariff seems to be a more common proposal. Tariffs that high could have a mixed impact on the economy broadly, and could lead to a trade war between the world's two biggest economies.

The booming U.S. solar industry -- heavily reliant on China and other countries in Asia for low-cost supplies -- is caught in the middle of this rhetoric.

There are already tariffs on Chinese solar products and materials. And the solar industry has already figured out how to deal with them. Given long-simmering tensions with China over solar, it's likely that tariffs wouldn't have a major impact on the solar industry. But it's worth looking into, assuming Trump decides to provoke China further.

When it comes to trade, there's rarely a simple single-order cause and effect. Trade follows something more like the butterfly effect, with broad impacts on the solar industry that would be both positive and negative.

The U.S. solar industry is booming — and it isn’t afraid of Trump - Washington Post, by Chelsea Harvey

Bithgroup Technologies

The U.S. solar industry experienced its biggest boom yet this year, with a record-breaking 4,143 megawatts (or million watts) of solar generating capacity added in the third quarter of 2016, according to a new report. And the fourth quarter is on track to surpass it, with continued growth expected through the rest of the decade.  

The optimistic new report, published by the Solar Energy Industries Association and market analysis firm GTM Research, comes at a time of mounting uncertainty for the future of renewable energy and environmental policy in the United States. President-elect Donald Trump has recently sparked major concern about among environmentalists with his nominations for heads of the federal energy and environment agencies.

Last week, Trump named Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who has expressed skepticism about human-caused climate change, as his choice to head the Environmental Protection Agency. Pruitt is suing the EPA over its proposed Clean Power Plan and regulations aimed at curbing methane emissions from the oil and gas sector.

And Tuesday, Trump announced former Texas governor Rick Perry, who also has expressed doubt about climate change, as his choice for secretary of the Department of Energy. While wind power in Texas did expand under Perry’s tenure as governor, he also said in 2015 that he opposed extending the federal tax credit for wind, preferring instead to leave such decisions to the states.  

For now, the new report is assuming no major changes in the pace of wind and solar expansion over the next few years as a result of the presidential transition.

“We’re always assuming business as usual in terms of national politics,” saidTom Kimbis, interim president of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

The new report finds that total installation in the third quarter of 2016 constituted a 99 percent increase over the second quarter, and a 191 percent increase over the third quarter of 2015, with one new megawatt coming online every 32 minutes on average. These gains were mostly the product of additions in the utility-scale solar sector, the report notes.  

Bill Gates’s $1 Billion Fund Will Back Radical Clean Energy Ideas - MIT Technology Review by Jamie Condliffe

Bithgroup Technologies

Bill Gates has announced a $1 billion investment fund to back radical approaches to clean energy.

Last year, Gates established the Breakthrough Energy Coalition with more than 20 billionaires, among them Amazon's Jeff Bezos, Alibaba's Jack Ma, and Virgin's Richard Branson. At the time, they promised to invest at least $2 billion into new technologies.

The Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund is the first wave of that investment. Established to take a long-term approach to funding energy ideas, it will help startups considered to be too risky by regular venture capital firms. In a statement announcing the launch of the fund, John Arnold, who is one of the billionaire investors, explained that the "dearth of venture funding for clean energy technologies threatens to create a valley of death for the industry, with emerging ideas unable to find the necessary capital to reach commercialization."

The new fund plans to step in and bridge that gap. Its investments, which will take place over the next 20 years, won’t be limited to electricity production—they’ll also include new technologies for transportation, agriculture, manufacturing, and construction. It will fund projects that promise the biggest possible benefit to the planet’s future climate, as long as the science underlying the application has been proved in the lab and can plausibly be scaled up.

The 20-year fund length isn’t random. In an interview with MIT Technology Review earlier this year, Gates argued that in terms of carbon dioxide emission, “rich countries need to be net zero by 2050, if you really want just 2 degrees of warming.” Gates and his co-investors hope that they will be able to fund plans that are audacious enough to have a profound impact on the planet before then.

Not that it will be easy. In the same interview, Gates admitted that one of the biggest problems facing the fund was finding enough companies doing the right kinds of work to invest in. “I wish just writing a bigger check was the solution,” he explained. “I’ll be fascinated as we get this fund together how quickly we’ll be able to invest.” As will we, Bill.

(Read more: Breakthrough Energy VenturesTelegraph, “Q&A: Bill Gates”)

Bithenergy Attends White House Clean Energy Savings for All Summit

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On November 18, 2016, Bithenergy attended the White House Clean Energy Savings for All Summit at Morgan State University. The event was part of a series of nationwide summits that sought to provide local and state officials, advocates, community organizations, and interested members of the public with an opportunity to develop new partnerships and learn about ways to further reduce air pollution, deploy clean energy and energy efficiency, and build an inclusive clean energy economy that supports good jobs for all Americans. Panels included: State of Play - Clean Energy for All in Maryland, Expanding Access to Solar through Innovative Financing, and Creating a Diverse Clean Energy Workforce through Community Partnerships. Approximately 150 people attended the Summit.

Scotland Waves Hello to the World’s First Tidal Power Farm - MIT Technology Review by Jamie Condliffe

Bithgroup Technologies

Off the rugged coast of the Scottish Highlands, between the mainland and the majestic isles of Orkney, is a stretch of water that’s known for its intense tides. Now the country is making use of them, as the area is about to become home to the world’s first large-scale tidal energy farm.

The first of what will eventually become 269 turbines is currently being transported to the area, known as the Pentland Firth, for installation, reports the Guardian. Each turbine is a weighty piece of mechanical engineering, measuring 15 meters tall and weighing 200 metric tons, with eight-meter-long blades. Initially four turbines will be installed at the site, with the rest being added incrementally between now and the early 2020s to create something that will resemble a submerged version of a wind farm.

The site was chosen for the MeyGen tidal stream project because of its particularly strong tides, with currents that can move at up to five meters per second. Those waters will help each turbine produce 1.5 megawatts of power, adding up to a total of 398 megawatts—enough to power 175,000 homes—when the farm is complete.

Costa Rica has been running on 100% renewable energy for 2 months straight - Science Alert, BEC CREW

Bithgroup Technologies

Costa Rica ran on 100 percent renewable energy for 76 straight days between June and August this year, according to a new report, demonstrating that life without fossil fuels is possible - for small countries, at least.

This is the second time in two years that the Central American country has run for more than two months straight on renewables alone, and it brings the 2016 total to 150 days and counting.

According to Costa Rica's National Centre for Energy Control (CENCE), 16 June 2016 was the last day this year that fossil fuels-based energy was used by the national grid. (Data for September is still forthcoming.) 

Since then, the country has been powered on a mix of hydro, geothermal, wind, and solar energy, with hydro power providing about 80.27 percent of the total electricity in the month of August. 

Geothermal plants contributed roughly 12.62 percent of electricity generation in August, while wind turbines provided 7.1 percent, and solar 0.01 percent. 

Just like last year, when Costa Rica managed to power itself for a total of 299 days without burning oil, coal, or natural gas, 2016’s milestone was helped along by heavy rainfalls at the country’s four hydroelectric power facilities.

While the achievement is undoubtedly impressive, and something that should definitely be celebrated as proof that a range of renewable energy sources can lessen a country’s reliance on fossil fuels, it’s important to note that Costa Rica’s success is largely due to its size.

It has a total area of about 51,000 square kilometres - about half the size of the US state of Kentucky - and it has a population of just 4.9 million people. 

US Renewable Electricity Production Beat Previous Years for Each Month in 2016 - GTM Solar By Julian Spector

Bithgroup Technologies

For those of us who have grown weary of each new month setting a "hottest-ever"record, here’s a more encouraging monthly trend.

For each month this year, renewable energy production in the U.S. has exceeded the same months in all previous years, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. That achievement is particularly notable because it happened in spite of below-average hydroelectric output caused by drought along the West Coast.

The data runs through June and it counts utility-scale wind, solar, hydro, geothermal and biomass plants with capacity greater than 1 megawatt, as well as distributed solar resources like rooftop installations. The non-hydro renewables were clearly above the range of non-hydro production from previous years, and have passed hydro production this year, too.


It just so happens that half of U.S. hydropower capacity sits in California, Oregon and Washington, precisely the region most afflicted by drought in recent years. Production last year dipped well below the average during the summer months, and overall produced the lowest amount since 2007. This year has seen consistently stronger hydro output than 2015, helped in part by El Niño rainfall.

Hydro-dependent regions will likely face more such difficulties in an era of shifting climates. To the extent that climate change alters rainfall patterns, it can make it harder to produce clean energy through hydropower, thus making it harder to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector. Solar, on the other hand, has not been stymied by the lack of rain.

In Texas Oil Country, Wind Is Straining the Grid - MIT Technology Review by Richard Martin

Bithgroup Technologies

Texas is learning just how costly it is to wrangle the wind.

The Lone Star state is by far the largest state for wind power, with nearly 18,000 megawatts of wind generation capacity already built and another 5,500 megawatts—nearly equal to California’s total installed capacity—planned. The biggest driver of that wind boom was an $8 billion transmission system that was built to bring electricity from the desolate western and northern parts of the state to the big cities of the south and east: Dallas, Austin, San Antonio, and Houston.

Completed in 2014, the new wires—known as Competitive Renewable Energy Zones, or CREZ—have the capacity to carry some 18,500 megawatts of wind power across the state. That’s not enough to handle the 21,000 megawatts of capacity Texas expects to reach this year, and it’s creating a situation that’s straining the transmission system and potentially resulting in periods where the turbines go idle.

Now the state’s utilities and transmission companies are faced with spending hundreds of millions more to upgrade the system, demonstrating just how costly and complicated it is to shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy, even where those sources are abundant.