There are a number of good discussion forums that cover renewable energy. The list below covers some of the ones I like and participate in.
You can post your questions on these forums, and get help from the experts.
As always with the Internet, you will find people with genuine expertise as well as people who are not so expert -- so be careful and do your homework
The Yahoo Groups: http://groups.yahoo.com/ (see note below)
"Home Energy Solutions" -- good general group on energy projects
"Solar Heat" -- emphasis on solar thermal projects, but anything energy is OK
"Simply Solar" -- emphasis on new pursuing new ideas in solar thermal
Note: Simply Solar is in the process of moving here...
The Homesteading Today "Alternate Energy" Forum at: http://homesteadingtoday.com
The FORCEFIELD Forum at: http://www.fieldlines.com/ - particularly good for wind power, micro hydro
EcoRenovator Forum at: http://ecorenovator.org/forum/ - good for home construction energy issues
The Breaktime forum at: http://www.taunton.com/...
Northern Arizona Wind & Sun Forum: http://www.wind-sun.com/ForumVB/index.php -- covers solar PV only.
Solar Panel Talk Forum: http://www.solarpaneltalk.com/index.php -- covers solar PV only.
UseNet: alt.solar.thermal (if you are not familiar with UseNet, see note below)
The Hearth Forum at: www.Hearth.com - for wood burning questions
There are also lots of other good discussion forums out there, so search around a bit and see what you can find.
You can also email questions to me...
UseNet Groups: UseNet groups are internet discussion groups set up to discuss a specific topic (solar heating for example). Potentially this gives you access to a lot of expertise. If you don't already have UseNet server access, Google now offers a very easy to use and free service to access UseNet groups -- see: http://groups.google.com/ . Go directly to the alt.solar.thermal group.
Yahoo Groups: Is a large (huge) set of discussion groups setup under the Yahoo umbrella. To sign up for either of the two groups mentioned above or a couple thousand others, go to: http://groups.yahoo.com/ and search for the group you want. I regularly check the "Home Energy Solutions" and "Solar Heat", and "Simply Solar" groups.
Gary updated January 16, 2010