A thermoelectric PowerCard like this one can be used to convert waste heat into an electric power source, Alphabet Energy says. Alphabet Energy hide caption

itoggle caption Alphabet Energy

President Obama's environmental plan won't be so hard for states that have moved to cut emissions. But for others it will be more difficult. Scott Olson/Getty Images hide caption

itoggle caption Scott Olson/Getty Images

Jim and Lyn Schneider installed solar panels and batteries because bringing grid power to their house in central Wyoming was going to cost around $80,000. Leigh Paterson/Wyoming Public Radio hide caption

itoggle caption Leigh Paterson/Wyoming Public Radio

You don't have to be outdoors to be hurt or injured by a nearby lightning strike, like this one in New Mexico. The pain for survivors can be lifelong. Marko Korosec/Barcroft Media/Landov hide caption

itoggle caption Marko Korosec/Barcroft Media/Landov

A photo released by Tesla shows its new Powerwall lithium-ion battery pack mounted on the wall (left) of a garage behind one of the company's electric cars. Tesla Energy hide caption

itoggle caption Tesla Energy

Leo Thompson stands in front of his isolated home, where he has lived for 35 years, on the Navajo Nation reservation. Like an estimated 18,000 Navajos homes, his his isn't connected to the electrical grid — it's a half-mile from the nearest line — and until recently Thompson used a generator for power. Ibby Caputo for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ibby Caputo for NPR

Visitors to the Smithsonian's National Air and Space Museum wait for it to reopen after widespread power outages caused many of the buildings along the National Mall in Washington to shut down temporarily on Tuesday. Andrew Harnik/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Andrew Harnik/AP

Without horsepower, they rely on human power: Mother and daughter-in-law Sheela and Sunita Devi shred sugarcane into feed. Ibrahim Malik for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ibrahim Malik for NPR

Elizabeth Ebinger in Maplewood, N.J., bought her solar panels, while neighbor Tim Roebuck signed a 20-year lease. Both are happy with the approach they took, and both are saving money on energy bills. Jeff Brady/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Jeff Brady/NPR

Solar energy panels on a roof in Marshfield, Mass. Stephan Savoia/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Stephan Savoia/AP

A customer walks past a sales counter in a shopping mall during a blackout in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Saturday. Bangladesh was hit by a nationwide blackout on Saturday after a transmission line bringing electricity from neighboring India failed. A.M. Ahad/AP hide caption

itoggle caption A.M. Ahad/AP

In Del Norte, Colo., Public Works Supervisor Kevin Larimore shows off solar panels that provide electricity for the town's water supply. Despite generating its own solar energy, the town is still at risk of a blackout if its main power line goes down. Dan Boyce/Inside Energy hide caption

itoggle caption Dan Boyce/Inside Energy