Wind, geothermal, solar, hydro, and other renewable technologies are a widely popular source of energy throughout the world today. Countries, corporations, and individuals are adopting renewables for a number of reasons. In this article, we’ll dive into some of the advantages and disadvantages of renewable energy.
In this week’s Solar News Roundup, California votes to go carbon-free for electricity by 2045, and Facebook pledges to buy 100% renewable energy by 2020.
Renewable energy resources are alternative to fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas. Options like solar energy, wind, hydropower, and geothermal are becoming more and more popular as their reduced impact on the environment and increasingly attractive economics turn heads in the energy industry.
With so many synonymous terms for renewable energy, many are wondering “what is green power?” and how it can be distinguished from general alternative or renewable energy sources.
Renewable energy is a particularly hot issue in this year’s presidential election. At the end of 2015, the U.S. joined 195 other nations in signing a UN agreement that committed to an aggressive climate change reduction strategy. Additionally, the Obama Administration is now in the process of defending its much-discussed Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Congress also extended solar and wind tax credits and lifted the U.S. oil export ban in the 2016 spending bill – two controversial policies for today’s candidates with their eye on the presidency.
Convincing environmentalists or eco activists to adopt clean energy is on par with selling ice water in the desert. It isn’t a hard sell. They put a high value on reducing greenhouse gases and an extremely large percentage are willing to do whatever it takes to install solar panels, wind power or geothermal systems at their homes or businesses. They’ll do it simply because they believe that it’s “the right thing to do.” In fact, most of them have already done it. But as we work to expand the pool of solar, wind and geothermal energy users, is “doing the right thing” the only acceptable motivation? Continue reading
Most of us are completely unaware of how the electricity we use is generated. We just put the plug in the outlet and forget about it. Unfortunately, this is one of those situations where ignorance is definitely not bliss! Understanding where your power originates is crucial in an energy efficiency standpoint.
For anyone wondering where their energy comes from, the chart above displays the sources of our power usage nationwide and can offer insight about output sources. No surprise: the decisions that determine this mix are made by your utility company with their best interests in mind. Sources are chosen on the basis of factors such as cost, availability, and reliability of supply. That’s how coal came to fuel almost half of the U.S.’s electrical needs. It’s cheap, it’s plentiful and it’s relatively easy to mine. What didn’t factor into the utility’s decision were things like the environmental impact of their choices–costs not borne by them but by you, me, and the communities in which we live. Nonetheless, the recent ITC extension and Paris Agreement are two reasons pointing to an approaching overthrowal of fossil fuels by the renewable industry. Continue reading
Solar Lease/PPA vs Viridian vs EverSource Green
In Part 1 of Going Solar with No Money Down we introduced four ways to power your home with renewable energy for little or no upfront costs: solar leases, solar power purchase agreements (PPAs), Viridian Energy, and EverSource Green. So, now that you know what your options are, let’s weigh them against one another to see how they measure up. Continue reading
For now, solar seems to be winning the popularity contest among clean energy systems. While solar is a great option, it’s by no means the only one, and it isn’t the right choice for everyone. There’s a wide array of clean energy technologies to choose from, and most homes and businesses are suitable for more than one of them. So, what do you need to know to determine which one is best for you? Continue reading
On some level, we all know we should do something to reduce our energy costs, but where to start to achieve that goal is less clear. Should we reduce our consumption by making efficiency improvements (e.g. installing energy efficient lighting, replacing old windows, adding insulation, etc.)? Or, should we focus on reducing the cost of the energy we’re using by installing a clean energy system such as solar, wind or geothermal system? Both approaches make a lot of sense. Here are some points to consider that may help you to decide.