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Each household spends a considerable amount of money on electricity consumption each month. Usually, families with more than two members, especially with children and the elderly, pay a lot more than they should for energy. Environmentally and financially, energy efficiency at home is desirable. People often forget how beneficial it can be to reduce energy consumption in a household. It allows homeowners not only to help the environment but also to protect them from spending an inappropriate amount year after year. Making a few small changes can help reduce your energy bill.
Here are 5 ways to help save energy at home:-
TVs, lights, fans, electronics, gadgets and even fixtures like water heaters should be switched off when not in use. Keep the lights on in the room only when needed and unplug electrical devices when not in use. Electrical appliances consume energy even when you are not using them hence plugging something in only when needed can save electrical energy usage in your home. Using a power board which supplies energy to multiple appliances at the same time can be beneficial as it allows you to switch off all devices at once.
Switch to LED
An easy and simple change you can make is by switching to energy efficient light bulbs such LEDs that help reduce your bills. Incandescent bulbs use heat instead of light to release most of their energy. The modern style bulbs save a lot of electricity and money over time as they are energy efficient. LED bulbs have a longer lifespan and last ten times longer compared to incandescent bulbs. LEDs can be accustomed to your environment as they have dimmable variants and come in multicolor.
Use an Instant water heater
Switching to the instant water heater is another change you can make to reduce your bills and save energy. These water heaters last longer than traditional tank water heaters which makes them cost efficient in a way. Whenever you store hot water and do not use it, the water cools down, and you have to heat it again. Constant heating of storage water is a waste of money and energy. Instant water heaters deliver hot water on demand and have no storage tank. As no tank has to be kept on to heat the water, instant water heaters have no standby energy loss like traditional tank heaters. Switching to instant water heaters is an excellent option as they reduce energy cost by 25 percent.
Insulate your home well
Insulating your home right can reduce the amount you will spend on heating and cooling. Most of the modern homes are well insulated. The loss of energy in households occurs mostly through windows. In this case, using double glazing can help retain the indoor heat. Usage of exterior shades or blinds can also help keep the indoors warm and soothing. If the doors are built well, they provide insulation. Also, making sure the doors are closed and windows are closed properly when the AC is on can help save electrical energy of your home./
Going solar can minimize your power bill and is a massive home efficient upgrade. Solar power is a well-known solution for clean energy that reduces your carbon footprint and saves money. Solar panel systems can generate free power for your systems for 20 plus years but costly to install. Fortunately, there are also affordable ways to save solar power. Also, solar light is an effective means to reduce power consumption.
By making these small changes, you can see a difference in your energy bill. Cleanenergycollective.com range offers a wide range of best quality products which are efficient, environment-friendly and long-lasting. Make the switch and save energy.
Have you ever wondered how small changes in each home can lead to a big impact on the environment?
There are numerous tips on home energy conservation, starting from small habits in daily lives to big investments that not only help the environment but also reduce your energy bills. So what are some of the simple tips to reduce energy consumption at home?
This article is based on the opinions of 20 green enthusiasts who share amazing tips and opinions on living a sustainable life by consuming less and transitioning towards renewable energy sources.
We asked 20 professionals in the clean energy niche to tell us about their tips and opinions on how we can save energy at home either by switching to renewable energy sources or switching to energy-efficient appliances.
From turning off lights when leaving a room to investing in solar panels, here’s what they have to say about moving towards energy-efficient home improvements.
How to Save Energy at Home?
1. Turning off the lights when leaving a room
A basic habit to develop and foster is to make sure that you always turn off the lights when leaving a room. Make a reminder to do so until you get into a habit of doing so subconsciously. You can save a good chunk of your monthly electricity costs by doing something as simple as this regularly.
2. Use LED lights
Many homes are moving towards smart LED lights as they not only look stylish and affordable but are also way more efficient than halogen bulbs.
3. Switching to efficient appliances
Dryers and refrigerators are two of the most energy-intensive appliances in a home and replacing these with better efficient models can cut the electricity usage by half, thereby reducing your electricity bills. Installing heat pumps is another idea to reduce electricity consumption. In general, maintaining and replacing appliances every few years will make them have less burden on your electricity usage.
4. Unplug devices
Needless to say how important it is to unplug devices when not in use. Do not leave devices on standby but rather unplug them and save your electricity bill, and the planet.
5. Lessen water usage
Some easy fixes to reduce your water consumption could be taking quick showers, using just the required amount of water while cooking and turning off running taps when unused even for seconds.
6. Keep the thermostat at a lower temperature
Aim to keep your thermostat at a lower temperature around 17 degrees, this can make a big difference and save your energy costs. Using a programmable smart thermostat is even better.
7. Use smart automated devices
Smart automated devices can lower your energy bills even when you forget to. Smart automation systems will detect when you’re no longer using a device and turn off the power supply.
8. Use double glazing door
Double glazing doors and windows are a perfect solution for a modern home as they can significantly reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases from heating and cooling thereby reducing your carbon footprint and also lowering your energy bills.
9. Cook with the lid on
This is a super simple hack in everyday life to save energy consumption, by cooking with the lid you are making sure to lessen the cooking time and water usage significantly.
10. Using smart meter
A smart meter is a great way to see how much power you’re consuming, this will help you keep a track of your consumption in real-time, and where you can reduce it.
11. Washing at low temp
Wash clothes at a cooler temperature and with a full load, you will be saving a lot of water and electricity.
12. Solar-powered devices
These days you can find a solar-powered version of almost any electronic you use in your home. Making small shifts and using more solar-powered electronics can go a long way and can also lower your maintenance and replacement costs of such electronics.
Top Alternative Sources of Energy for Homes
Solar panels top the list of the most popular alternative sources of energy that can be used in a home. Considering that you can power your house with a few panels if you’re looking for a small jump in energy efficiency, solar is a good way to start moving off the grid and consuming a better source of electricity. There are many advances in solar photovoltaic technology and tax incentives to attract more homeowners.
Costs of investing in solar PV has halved in the past decade, so many people are considering opting for solar panels on their roof to generate their own clean and renewable electricity.
Using wind turbines to generate electricity will greatly depend on where you live. Installing small wind turbines in your home is a great eco-friendly option for those living in places with good wind speeds.
Using geothermal power for heating and cooling your home is a much more efficient way of investing into energy efficiency. Ground source heat pumps provide consistent heating and cooling throughout your house and are durable and efficient, letting you reap their benefits for decades.
Individual Homes Can Make a Difference to the Environment
Emitting Fewer Pollutants and GHG
Energy efficiency means using less energy which means needing less electricity generation, which means emitting less CO2 and other pollutants. Regardless of the methods used by homeowners to make their homes more efficient, any reduction in energy consumed directly reduces a home’s energy-related carbon emissions. This correlates to a reduction in greenhouse gasses released into our atmosphere and an overall improvement to human health and our environment.
Tips to Improve the Energy Rating of Your Home
Living in energy-efficient houses puts individuals into a more favorable position by having lower heating and electricity bills, staying more comfortable and safe during unexpected blackouts, increasing house’s resale value and ultimately bringing benefits to one’s health. Not only are these types of homes beneficial for their owners but also for the environment. From the viewpoint of the energy system, energy-efficient houses can actively help the power system by demanding less electricity from the grid in times of its shortage as well as supplying this valuable commodity into the system and thus helping it once it is needed.
Consume Less Energy from the Grid
Get an energy assessment done for your house to see the areas you can possibly cut down on your consumption and build up your energy score. There are numerous ways to save energy and consume less from the grid.
Replace Windows with Modern, Efficient Double Glazing
Smart landscaping design can not only make your home energy efficient in terms of heating and cooling, increasing your energy score but can also look great and add beauty to your home.
Both loft and wall insulation can reduce your energy bills and help in lowering your consumption, especially in the case of older homes that are not constructed in an energy-efficient manner. This is a good way to boost your score and renew your home to be more energy-efficient.
Every modern home buyer these days is looking for smart homes which ease their lives and reduce their carbon footprint. Smart devices detect the usage of power and turn them when not in use. Humans may forget but they don’t, and who doesn’t want them in their house? A smart home will only increase in demand and a good way to increase your home value.Do you ever wonder, “Why is conserving energy important?” There are many reasons why you should be concerned about conserving energy whenever possible. Learn more about the short and long term importance of keeping energy usage under control.
Taking Energy for Granted
Few people consider where electricity comes from when they flip on a light or push the start button on a computer. Almost everyone in America has grown up in homes that were powered by electricity. This makes it very easy to take energy for granted, without realizing the cost to both the environment and to your bank account.
The truth is that all energy produced and used has an impact on the environment. Even energy from completely natural sources impacts the earth. For example, even the energy from a lightning strike of a tree often results in the tree being burned. How detrimental that impact is will be determined by the type of energy and the amount used.
Why Is Conserving Energy Important to You?
There are two main reasons why conserving energy is important on a global level and each can impact your life dramatically.
1. Fossil Fuel Consumption
Many types of energy use fossil fuels in some way. Fossil fuels are a nonrenewable resource, meaning that at some point the very last chunk of coal will be dug from the earth and the last drop of oil will be pumped from the Earth. When this happens, fossil fuel won’t be available anymore since mankind can’t create these resources.
Most vehicles run on gasoline, which is made from a fossil fuel. Once there are no more fossil fuels then the gas powered vehicles won’t work. Commerce would grind to a stop with no way to deliver produce and manufactured goods.
The many other types of energy that depend on fossil fuels would no longer work. Homes and businesses would not be heated or in some cases have no electricity. The entire world could come to a standstill, unable to go about normal business.
Conserving energy gives researchers more time to come up with solutions and alternatives. Although fossil fuels will eventually be depleted, by being careful not to use energy unwisely fossil resources may last long enough for practical solutions to be found.
Fossil fuels are also expensive to mine. This expense doesn’t just affect the business paying the bill; it’s passed on the consumers as higher prices for goods and services. By being conservative in the use of energy, these costs can be reduced to give consumers more money in their pockets. In turn, this can strengthen the economy since people will have more disposable income when they spend less on energy needs.
2. Environmental Protection
The other reason for conserving energy is the health and well-being of every life form on the entire planet. Using fossil fuels and some other energy forms typically pollute the environment in a number of ways.
The air is polluted when fossil fuels like coal are burned and released into it.
Nuclear energy is clean and does not pollute the air but it does create nuclear waste, which is dangerous and must be disposed of. Currently, this waste is buried in nuclear water dumps, both above and below ground. In addition, the water used to cool the reactors is recycled into lakes and rivers usually 25 degrees warmer than when it was taken from the lake or river. The impact on marine life is harmful.
Solar power is a clean energy source, and a renewable one, but the production of the solar panels usually creates pollutants and waste products during the manufacturing process.
When water is polluted during the process of creating energy, it can change the eco-system by killing off many different types of wildlife and plants. For example, marine life can be killed when a nuclear plant intakes water from lakes or rivers.
The soil is polluted when pollutants in the air mix with rain and form acid rain.
Every type of pollution can potentially compromise the human body and create health problems. These issues are especially dangerous for people with compromised immune systems, babies and the elderly.
High energy needs keep a country dependent on foreign governments to supply oil since the majority of the world’s countries do not produce enough oil for themselves.
Protecting the Environment for Future Generations
Why is conserving energy important? As you can see there are many reasons that conservation is important, ranging from the environment to the economy. The world’s dependence on fossil fuels is creating a problem that will affect generations to come. It is important that energy not only be conserved, but also that research continues to find cleaner and better solutions for future generations.
Energy has become part and parcel of our daily lives. We use it for lighting our homes, operating machinery and industrial equipment, cooking food, playing music, powering a wide range of appliances, and so on. However, excessive consumption of energy is expensive, not to mention, harmful to our environment. Luckily, there are several ways we can reduce energy consumption while still enjoying its full benefits. Here’s why conserving energy is so important:
It’s good for the Environment
As the energy sector continues to thrive, a lot of waste is released to the environment. Coal and other fossil fuels are often burnt to produce energy and, in the process, different kinds of gases and residual particles are emitted to the environment. If we do not take control of the levels of these toxins, they can pollute the environment and affect our health as well. Energy conservation helps to reduce carbon footprint in the universe. Energy conservation should begin from the household level. For starters, a typical household can reduce energy consumption by up to 30% by simply installing energy-efficient appliances.
It Saves You Money
With the ever-increasing utility bills, it makes sense that everyone wants to save as much as possible. Energy conservation can help you do that. Start by investing in energy-efficient appliances, lighting bulbs, and heating systems. This will save your energy bills by you up to 25-30%. It’s important to compare and switch energy tariffs. This is because most fixed energy deals last for about three years, meaning if you don’t take action when they expire chances are you’ll automatically be moved to the company’s standard tariff, which isn’t always the cheapest. Switching energy suppliers can save you up to £390 per year on your energy bills.
It Prevents Destruction of Habitats
The energy industry is often associated with land fragmentation, which can separate animals from their natural habitats. Building dams, clearing forests, and digging up coal are some ways we destroy natural habitats. We can significantly combat habitat loss through energy conservation. A good way to start is to harness natural resources and utilize them in a way that minimizes destruction to habitats. Energy conservation regulations often address these issues at the policy level for the benefit of natural habitats.
It Combats Climate Change
The biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions is the energy industry. The energy sector must, therefore, spearhead the global efforts towards combating climate change. The International Energy Agency (IEA) has carried out various assessments on the impact of energy consumption in homes, industries, transport, buildings, and many other areas and recommended energy conservation as the top strategy in achieving the world’s climate goal. Under the Paris agreement, the global average temperature should be limited to below 2°C above preindustrial levels.
It Enhances the Quality of LifeOne way to conserve energy is to optimize energy use. By doing so, you can increase comfort levels in your home, which in turn offers notable health benefits. For instance, proper ventilation in your home prevents the buildup of indoor pollutants. This lowers the risk of certain health problems, including allergies, rashes, headaches, sinusitis, and asthma.
COP26 is just three few weeks away and there are many millions of people across the globe holding their breath with anticipation. Decisions made at this historical meeting have huge implications for the future of our planet, its inhabitants and of course future generations. In this blog we aim to understand the origins and purpose of the COP, along with how much throw governments really have. We also look at what part renewable energy has to play, as we put fossil fuels to bed and transition to clean energy for a secure and habitable earth.
WHAT IS THE COP?
The COP (Conference of the Parties) is a meeting held every five years and has been going since 1995. Global governments from 197 countries come together in front of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) with an aim to make agreements and decisions on how to collectively resolve the challenge of the climate crisis.
26 years after the very first meeting, it’s now time to realise the promises made in the Paris agreement of 2015. This historical event was the very first time that every country in the world actively agreed to work towards maintaining the rising temperatures.
The COP brings every country under the spotlight, broadcasting and analysing emissions per country and per capita, whilst examining exactly what action is being taken to improve it. Or not.
Held in Glasgow, Scotland, COP26 is largely believed to be our last real chance to stop catastrophe.
The key target for all, is to keep global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, with a concerted effort to limit the temperature to 1.5 degrees. By doing so, humans could mitigate the very worst of climate change.
WHY IS THIS COP SO IMPORTANT?
Climate scientists and environmentalist wholly believe that should we fail to stop temperatures from increasing beyond 1.5 degrees. we enter irreversible territory of complete collapse. Although every region across the earth will be affected differently by climate change, there will be nowhere unaffected.
In 2021, the UNs Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) declared global warming as ‘code red for humanity’.
Right now, the statistics look pretty gloomy. In fact, if we continue along the same trajectory as we are currently, we are still looking at a 2.9C rise in average global temperatures by the turn of the century.
Looming environmental problems would include severe heatwaves and droughts, mass ice melting with rising sea levels, hugely decreased biodiversity and eco systems and inevitable crop failure and food shortages.
WHAT’S THE COP26 CONFERENCE AGENDA?
The COP26 conference is split into three broad parts.
The first is where key negotiations between all participating countries will take place, with experts interjecting and contributing to discussions.
The second includes a number of exhibitions and events for the 30,000 delegates to attend.
The third section comprises of talks, presentations and events across the city of Glasgow for the public to attend.
WHAT DECISIONS WILL BE MADE AT COP26?
To prevent crossing over the 1.5 degree global warming threshold, the COP26 hopes to stabilise and dramatically reduce all greenhouse gas emissions.
Whilst a net zero 2050 is the ultimate goal for most governments, climate scientists and environmentalists say we need direct action much sooner.
Governments have been focused on recovery from the COVID19 pandemic. Ironically, this has given us the unusual opportunity to stop in our tracks and to establish how to ‘build back better’ rather than continue towards self-destruct.
Whilst falling desperately short of the necessary targets already, it’s now become clear that matching previous goal setting isn’t enough. To really succeed, global communities must drive even harder towards decarbonisation.
Every participating country is expected to take dramatic and urgent action, with private enterprise and individuals doing their bit too.
The main tasks ahead seem simple, but yet so difficult to achieve:
Coal must be phased out
Deforestation must end
Regeneration projects worldwide with billions of new trees planted
Electric and automated cars
More investment in renewable energy
Help for developing countries to stop reliance on fossil fuels
HOW DO THE UK FAIR IN CARBON EMISSIONS?
Compared to the top five emitting countries (China, America, India, Russia and Japan), the UK does pretty well. On the surface.
For example, whilst number 1 emitter, China contributes 28% of global emissions, the UK is responsible for 1.1%.
But just looking at a country’s total carbon emissions isn’t the full story.
For example, whilst the average Chinese person emits 4.58 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year, the average British person emits 9.66 tonnes. The average American uses 19.78 tonnes.
Of course, the population of each country must be taken into consideration too.
Although the UK’s seemingly small contribution to CO2 levels doesn’t seem too offensive, figures don’t include our huge imports from other countries – or the emissions that come along with that. Every mod con we enjoy from TVs, i-pads, pairs of jeans, garden sofas or a new bedspread, comes delivered with its own carbon footprint too.
When we consider that almost everything we buy is manufactured abroad, we suddenly don’t look so green. In our emissions statistics, there are no production based emissions (5.66 tonnes per person) or consumption emission statistics. If we did, we’d see a rise to more than 8.05 tonnes per person.
And that’s without talking about our love of foreign travel either.
As education about the climate crisis is becoming more mainstream in the high consuming west, we are seeing a slow drop in things like fast fashion and meat consumption.
However, whilst the UKs ‘per person’ emissions are beginning to gradually reduce, those in developing countries increase.
In the race for poorer nations to become more ‘westernised’ and enjoy all the benefits of a modern and convenient lifestyle, rates of emissions per capita are rapidly changing.
Those countries argue that, whilst richer countries have ridden on the wealth from the slave trade, invasion and industrialisation, they’re still playing catch up.
How is it fair that we should build our economy with no thought of environmental consequence, whilst they’re being stripped of their opportunity to grow as equal. They have a point.
Regardless of whether the UK completely irradiates their carbon emissions, we are still morally obliged to help other countries to go net zero too. We can do that by responsibly trading with those who aren’t actively destroying the environment.
There must be a distribution of wealth and a fair approach that allows poorer nations to continue to grow sustainably, whilst stemming capitalism at a healthier level.
Wealthier nations committed to giving £720m a year to reach $100 billion by 2020, which was designed to help poorer countries tackle climate change and make reductions to their own emissions.
COP26 should give more indication about what more will be pledged.
Our own future is still reliant on the worst five contributors making enormous reductions. So how are they doing?
President Joe Biden agreed in Aprils 2021 Earth Day Summit that Americas emissions would be halved by the end of the decade. The sceptics among us know that he’s simply making up for lost time, since Trumps removal of the US from the Paris agreement. Biden has also agreed to double investment in helping other countries to reduce their emissions.
China have agreed to peak emissions before 2030 and be at net zero by 2060. It remains to be seen exactly when they intend to do that. They are such an important role model for all other developing countries but Chinas COP26 announcements are key to the entire plan.
Japan have also upped their game, with a new intention set at the 2021 Climate summit that emissions targets lay at a 40% cut from 2013 levels (up from 26%). With increased solar investment things look hopeful, but Japan also must detach from their reliance on coal and fossil fuels to achieve targets.
India is the third largest carbon emitter worldwide and maintains that it’s on track to go beyond its Paris climate agreement pledge. This was to reduce its carbon footprint by 33-35% from 2005 levels by 2030. It remains to be seen if they will increase targets again at the 2021 COP26 or when they intend to be net zero by.
Russia is on board with the 2015 Paris agreement, with President Putin ordering his government to cut emissions by 30% by 2030 (below 1990 levels). With much to lose if the permafrost in their most northern cities melts, Russia is currently warming 2.5 times quicker than the global average. With huge oil reserves they still intend on using, it will be a challenging time for Russia to move more urgently towards new goals.
We can only assume that the future may have to be governed by richer countries refusing to trade with those refusing to budge on environmental policies.
The fact is, whilst governments continue to debate, argue, disguise the real statistics with clever offsetting and try to pass the buck, the looming truth is inescapable.
Every person on the planet has a responsibility to leave this world in a better condition than which we found it.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR EVERYDAY PEOPLE?
Some new laws regarding pollution and emissions have been set in place, which ensure countries are held accountable for failure to move rapidly towards the net zero future we need.
This will invariably be passed down to the public, who will be given incentives or financial punishments alike for making changes to the way they heat homes, travel and consume.
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN HOMES
Of course, for domestic renewable energy the UK government are extremely keen to convert the energy inefficient housing stock, but in order to do so, we need more engineers. Currently, the renewables industry is facing a mass shortage of qualified installers, thanks to lack of proper investment in the past.
However, new build homes will be committed to adhering to the Future Homes Standard, which ensures every home is as efficient as possible. On the other hand is the enormous challenge of converting 600 thousand homes.
Insulation, low carbon heating and the complete phase out of gas boilers means homeowners can dramatically decrease their personal carbon footprint as well as their energy bills.
For existing homes, the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)is the government initiative that’s been put in place to lure people over to technologies like air source heat pumps, ground source heat pumps and biomass boilers.
The scheme allows people to claim back money over period of time for generating clean energy in their home.
ENERGY SUPPLY IN THE UK
The national grid source is already transitioning to renewable energy, using offshore wind farm and larger solar farms. Many other industries will follow suit, such as transport, building, manufacturing and medical.
Gas is becoming more expensive and will continue to do so, adding more incentive and pressure on homeowners to make the switch to renewables.
For the humble car, a complete ban on new petrol and diesel vehicles cars from 2030, clearly shows that the UK government intend to make it increasingly difficult to continue as before.
Charging points, increased battery range, battery disposal and more rapid charge times are all challenges for the next generation of personal transport.
It’s already known that we simply don’t have enough tin for everyone to have a personal electric vehicle (E.V), so it’s likely that the future will consist of automated vehicles too. The important thing is to lay clear expectations. Fossil fuels have to go.
But truth be told, governments can’t do it alone.
To really impact on emissions coming from cars, homes and travel, the onus is on the private sector. Sectors like agriculture and fashion are privately owned and also the biggest emitters.
So that means that it’s down to consumers to consciously vote with their wallets and their actions too.
Banking ethically and reducing our consumption of things like fast fashion, binge flying, industrially produced meat and diesel cars, means that it’s we, the people, who truly have the power.
Where demand is, business follows.
The latest IPCC report shows that we really have run out of time. We now know we have until 2030 to half our global emissions. That puts a very clear deadline and time pressure on individuals, companies and nationally determined contributions efforts.
We need ambitious, nationally determined action. We need world leaders to create a plan to benefit all, not just any one country.
Being sustainable is a choice we can all make. Reducing, recycling, reusing, repurposing and repairing are all easy and affordable ways to improve your own contribution.
Taking care to choose wisely is to live by the excellent quote
“Every time you spend money, you’re casting a vote for the type of world you want to live
What Is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is energy that has been derived from earth’s natural resources that are not finite or exhaustible, such as wind and sunlight. Renewable energy is an alternative to the traditional energy that relies on fossil fuels, and it tends to be much less harmful to the environment.
7 Types of Renewable Energy
Solar energy is derived by capturing radiant energy from sunlight and converting it into heat, electricity, or hot water. Photovoltaic (PV) systems can convert direct sunlight into electricity through the use of solar cells.
One of the benefits of solar energy is that sunlight is functionally endless. With the technology to harvest it, there is a limitless supply of solar energy, meaning it could render fossil fuels obsolete. Relying on solar energy rather than fossil fuels also helps us improve public health and environmental conditions. In the long term, solar energy could also eliminate energy costs, and in the short term, reduce your energy bills. Many federal local, state, and federal governments also incentivize the investment in solar energy by providing rebates or tax credits.
Although solar energy will save you money in the long run, it tends to be a significant upfront cost and is an unrealistic expenses for most households. For personal homes, homeowners also need to have the ample sunlight and space to arrange their solar panels, which limits who can realistically adopt this technology at the individual level.
Wind farms capture the energy of wind flow by using turbines and converting it into electricity. There are several forms of systems used to convert wind energy and each vary. Commercial grade wind-powered generating systems can power many different organizations, while single-wind turbines are used to help supplement pre-existing energy organizations. Another form is utility-scale wind farms, which are purchased by contract or wholesale. Technically, wind energy is a form of solar energy. The phenomenon we call “wind” is caused by the differences in temperature in the atmosphere combined with the rotation of Earth and the geography of the planet. 
Wind energy is a clean energy source, which means that it doesn’t pollute the air like other forms of energy. Wind energy doesn’t produce carbon dioxide, or release any harmful products that can cause environmental degradation or negatively affect human health like smog, acid rain, or other heat-trapping gases. Investment in wind energy technology can also open up new avenues for jobs and job training, as the turbines on farms need to be serviced and maintained to keep running.
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Since wind farms tend to be built in rural or remote areas, they are usually far from bustling cities where the electricity is needed most. Wind energy must be transported via transition lines, leading to higher costs. Although wind turbines produce very little pollution, some cities oppose them since they dominate skylines and generate noise. Wind turbines also threaten local wildlife like birds, which are sometimes killed by striking the arms of the turbine while flying.
Dams are what people most associate when it comes to hydroelectric power. Water flows through the dam’s turbines to produce electricity, known as pumped-storage hydropower. Run-of-river hydropower uses a channel to funnel water through rather than powering it through a dam.
Hydroelectric power is very versatile and can be generated using both large scale projects, like the Hoover Dam, and small scale projects like underwater turbines and lower dams on small rivers and streams. Hydroelectric power does not generate pollution, and therefore is a much more environmentally-friendly energy option for our environment.
Most U.S. hydroelectricity facilities use more energy than they are able to produce for consumption. The storage systems may need to use fossil fuel to pump water. Although hydroelectric power does not pollute the air, it disrupts waterways and negatively affects the animals that live in them, changing water levels, currents, and migration paths for many fish and other freshwater ecosystems.
Geothermal heat is heat that is trapped beneath the earth’s crust from the formation of the Earth 4.5 billion years ago and from radioactive decay. Sometimes large amounts of this heat escapes naturally, but all at once, resulting in familiar occurrences, such as volcanic eruptions and geysers. This heat can be captured and used to produce geothermal energy by using steam that comes from the heated water pumping below the surface, which then rises to the top and can be used to operate a turbine.
Geothermal energy is not as common as other types of renewable energy sources, but it has a significant potential for energy supply. Since it can be built underground, it leaves very little footprint on land. Geothermal energy is naturally replenished and therefore does not run a risk of depleting (on a human timescale).
Cost plays a major factor when it comes to disadvantages of geothermal energy. Not only is it costly to build the infrastructure, but another major concern is its vulnerability to earthquakes in certain regions of the world.
The ocean can produce two types of energy: thermal and mechanical. Ocean thermal energy relies on warm water surface temperatures to generate energy through a variety of different systems. Ocean mechanical energy uses the ebbs and flows of the tides to generate energy, which is created by the earth’s rotation and gravity from the moon.
Unlike other forms of renewable energy,wave energy is predictable and it’s easy to estimate the amount of energy that will be produced. Instead of relying on varying factors, such as sun and wind, wave energy is much more consistent. This type of renewable energy is also abundant, the most populated cities tend to be near oceans and harbors, making it easier to harness this energy for the local population. The potential of wave energy is an astounding as yet untapped energy resource with an estimated ability to produce 2640 TWh/yr. Just 1 TWh/yr of energy can power around 93,850 average U.S. homes with power annually, or about twice than the number of homes that currently exist in the U.S. at present.
Those who live near the ocean definitely benefit from wave energy, but those who live in landlocked states won’t have ready access to this energy. Another disadvantage to ocean energy is that it can disturb the ocean’s many delicate ecosystems. Although it is a very clean source of energy, large machinery needs to be built nearby to help capture this form energy, which can cause disruptions to the ocean floor and the sea life that habitats it. Another factor to consider is weather, when rough weather occurs it changes the consistency of the waves, thus producing lower energy output when compared to normal waves without stormy weather.
Hydrogen needs to be combined with other elements, such as oxygen to make water as it does not occur naturally as a gas on its own. When hydrogen is separated from another element it can be used for both fuel and electricity.
Hydrogen can be used as a clean burning fuel, which leads to less pollution and a cleaner environment. It can also be used for fuel cells which are similar to batteries and can be used for powering an electric motor.
Since hydrogen needs energy to be produced, it is inefficient when it comes to preventing pollution.
Bioenergy is a renewable energy derived from biomass. Biomass is organic matter that comes from recently living plants and organisms. Using wood in your fireplace is an example of biomass that most people are familiar with.
There are various methods used to generate energy through the use of biomass. This can be done by burning biomass, or harnessing methane gas which is produced by the natural decomposition of organic materials in ponds or even landfills.
The use of biomass in energy production creates carbon dioxide that is put into the air, but the regeneration of plants consumes the same amount of carbon dioxide, which is said to create a balanced atmosphere. Biomass can be used in a number of different ways in our daily lives, not only for personal use, but businesses as well. In 2017, energy from biomass made up about 5% of the total energy used in the U.S. This energy came from wood, biofuels like ethanol, and energy generated from methane captured from landfills or by burning municipal waste. (5)
Although new plants need carbon dioxide to grow, plants take time to grow. We also don’t yet have widespread technology that can use biomass in lieu of fossil fuels.
Renewable Energy: What Can You Do?
As a consumer you have several opportunities to make an impact on improving the environment through the choice of a greener energy solution. If you’re a homeowner, you have the option of installing solar panels in your home. Solar panels not only reduce your energy costs, but help improve your standard of living with a safer, more eco-friendlier energy choice that doesn’t depend on resources that harm the environment. There are also alternatives for a greener way of life offered by your electric companies. Just Energy allows consumers to choose green energy options that help you reduce your footprint with energy offsets. Add our service to your electricity or natural gas plan to lower your impact today!
The papers look at a range of different situations and geographies, including small island states, major powers and countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In each case, they found energy for electricity, transport, building heating or cooling, and industry can be supplied reliably with 100% — or near-100% — renewable energy, at different locations around the world.
One study in the collection looked at global warming, air pollution and energy insecurity, creating Green New Deal roadmaps for 143 countries to overcome these problems.
The roadmaps call for these countries, which are collectively responsible for 99.7% of global CO2 emissions, to switch to 100% clean, renewable wind, water and solar power no later than 2050, with at least 80% renewables by 2030.
The study divides all the planet’s countries into 24 regions which can work together on grid stability and energy storage solutions, so energy demand matches supply between 2050 to 2052. After that, it’s possible to power the planet entirely by sustainable energy.
Switching to wind, water and solar worldwide could eliminate 4 to 7 million deaths from air pollution annually, while first slowing and then reversing the effects of global warming and, in doing so, stabilizing the global energy sector.
Building a North American super grid
A study by researchers in Finland looked at the feasibility of building a renewables super grid connecting the regions of North America, including the US, Canada and Mexico.
Dividing the regions into 20 interconnected sub-regions, based on population, energy demand, area and electricity grid structure, could significantly reduce storage requirements and overall cost of the energy system, they found.
While replacing fossil fuels with main wind and solar power is entirely possible by 2030, such a dramatic transformation couldn’t be achieved in the short-term without the full support of policymakers, investors and many other relevant organizations.
Moving away from oil
Saudi Arabia can transition to a 100% renewable energy system by 2040, according to another Finnish study. While the country is known for its oil deposits, it is also rich in another energy source: sunshine to power solar energy.
By 2050, solar power could account for 79% of the country’s energy demand, supported by enhanced battery and water storage solutions to lower energy system costs.
This study emphasizes the central role that energy storage will play in the transition to a sustainable energy landscape, to overcome the intermittent nature of solar and wind resources and provide power when there is no wind or sunshine.
Projected electricity generation worldwide to 2050
A greener future?
To be sure, challenges exist and the targets are ambitious. Still, the reports all conclude that the technology exists for the world to transition to a fully sustainable energy system by 2050, which should keep the planet below the 1.5° Paris global warming target.
Mitigating the impact of climate change means fewer floods, storms, droughts and other extremes caused by warming temperatures.
It could also mean less pollution. Nine out of every 10 people on the planet breathe polluted air, according to the World Health Organization, which can lead to respiratory diseases, heart conditions, strokes and other life-threatening diseases.
Pollution, largely from burning fossil fuels, kills up to seven million people annually, with low and middle-income countries carrying the highest burden. This includes exposure to toxic fumes from using wood, coal or dung as the primary cooking fuel.
A future powered by wind, solar and other sustainable energy sources, could also reduce energy bills. The costs of producing wind and solar have plummeted in recent years and renewables remain on course to outprice fossil fuels in the future.
This future could be attainable, the researchers stress, provide urgent action is taken by a range of stakeholders, including policymakers, business leaders, and other stakeholders. Through collaboration, the world can speed its transition to sustainable energy and a sustainable future.
As analysts and observers of the transition to a lower-carbon and workable energy economy, we don’t normally write about films. But we’re venturing into the realm of cultural commentary in light of the recent release of Planet of the Humans, produced by Michael Moore. Throughout Moore’s career, he has used documentary films to illuminate social and economic issues in many domains. Sadly, his newest film includes so many misconceptions and so much dated information that we feel compelled to clarify the facts about renewable energy.
We understand the ultimate message of the film: that societies around the world need to make fundamental changes in their consumption patterns. But in a misguided approach to making that point, the filmmakers discredit the value of clean energy technologies and the people that seek to advance their deployment.
Over the last decade, the clean energy industry has changed tremendously. Costs have fallen dramatically, technologies have become more efficient and solutions for integrating renewables into electric grids have advanced. Here are the facts:
1. Renewables replace fossil fuel energy on the grid.
In the U.S. and in virtually every region, when electricity supplied by wind or solar energy is available, it displaces energy produced by natural gas or coal-fired generators. The type of energy displaced by renewables depends on the hour of the day and the mix of generation on the grid at that time. Countless studies have found that because output from wind and solar replaces fossil generation, renewables also reduce CO2 emissions. For example, an NREL study found that generating 35% of electricity using wind and solar in the western U.S. would reduce CO2 emissions by 25-45%.
Solar and wind farms have dominated new power plant builds in the U.S. in recent years, while fossil fuel plants—particularly coal-fired plants—continue to be retired at record pace. In 2019, wind (9.1GW) and solar (5.3GW) represented 62% of all new generating capacity, compared to 8.3GW of natural gas, while 14GW of coal-fired capacity was retired. The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) has also projected that most new electric generation added in the U.S. in 2020 could come from wind and solar, with new natural gas plants projected to represent less than a quarter of new generating capacity. Certainly, some of these installations may be delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic. While natural gas builds exceeded those of renewables in 2018, reversing the earlier trend of renewables leading, there were 12.9GW of coal-fired capacity and 4.6GW of gas-fired capacity retired in that same year, according to EIA.
2. Clean energy has created millions of jobs – and can create more.
At the start of 2020, the clean energy sector employed about 3.4 million workers in the U.S., with much of the workforce concentrated in the energy efficiency industry. In 2019, clean energy jobs outnumbered jobs in the fossil fuel sector 3 to 1; across 42 states and the District of Columbia, the clean energy workforce was larger than that of the fossil fuel industry. The quality of these jobs is also important. According to research by the Brookings Institute, clean energy workers earn higher and more equitable wages when compared to workers nationally, with mean hourly wages exceeding the national average by 8 to 19%.
Clean energy jobs are only expected to continue growing — notwithstanding the hit to the sector as a result of COVID-19. Through 2028, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the two fastest-growing jobs in the United States will be solar installers (projected to grow by 105%) and wind technicians (projected to grow by 96%). Under the International Renewable Energy Agency’s “Transforming Energy Scenario,” the number of renewable energy jobs worldwide could more than triple, reaching 42 million jobs by 2050, while energy-efficiency jobs would grow six-fold, employing over 21 million more people. By contrast, the fossil fuel industry is expected to lose over 6 million jobs over the same time period, even without the impact of the virus.
3. Wind and solar plants can be built with minimal environmental impacts, and often with co-benefits.
All power plants, including renewables, result in some environmental impacts during siting, development and operation. Over the past two decades, siting practices for U.S. wind projects have become more sophisticated and effective at minimizing impacts. As a result, wind projects have fewer impacts than other types of projects, falling near the bottom on lists of developments that can have negative effects on the environment and wildlife, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. What’s more, these projects often provide co-benefits. Wind farms sited in rural areas benefit farmers and ranchers by providing annual revenues from $4,000 and $8,000 per turbine, while allowing landowners to continue to use the sites for agriculture or grazing. Additionally, wind farm owners pay county property taxes that support schools, recreation centers and other county activities.
Solar siting practices require environmental investigations to identify and minimize negative impacts. Plans can be developed that provide additional benefits such as protecting wildlife, improving soil health and water retention, nurturing native vegetation, or incorporating pollinator-friendly plants. Additional benefits can include lease income to farmers and county or city tax revenues. Payments to landowners vary widely across the U.S. and can range from $300-1,000 per acre.
And operating these plants, of course, requires no fuel-delivery infrastructure like gas pipelines, propane trucks, coal barges and railroads, all of which produce their own negative environmental impacts.
4. Solar and wind now provide the cheapest power for 67% of the world.
The costs associated with solar and wind have fallen dramatically in recent years. According to BNEF, the cost of energy globally for onshore wind and utility-scale solar is now $44 and $50/MWh (on a levelized basis), compared to $100 and $300/MWh only a decade ago. In the U.S., the levelized cost of energy (LCOE) associated with onshore wind ($24-46/MWh) and utility-scale solar ($31-111/MWh) is now less than that of almost all gas-fired power production. Battery storage, which is crucial to address the variability of wind and solar power, has seen the swiftest global price drop among all technologies, from nearly $600/MWh in 2015 to about $150/MWh in the first half of 2020.
This precipitous drop in the cost of utility-scale solar and onshore wind has made them the cheapest sources of power in two-thirds of the world. Today, solar projects in Chile, the Middle East and China, or wind projects in Brazil, the U.S. and India, are approaching figures lower than $30/MWh, lower than the costs of building and producing power from plants that use coal or even the cheapest gas. By 2030, upcoming innovations are likely to reduce costs even further.
5. Although wind and solar cannot produce energy every hour of the day, the energy they generate can be managed on the grid.
Wind farms produce electricity when it’s windy and solar farms produce power when there’s sun, leading to variability in the supply of energy. However, this can be — and is being — managed by utilities and grid operators through operational practices, forecasting, responsive loads and infrastructure such as storage and transmission. Electricity grids are designed to address variability in customers’ electricity demand, maintain continuous balance between generation and demand and maintain reserves for any type of outage on the system (e.g., power plant failure), so they are already designed to manage variability. However, grids need to be modified to be more flexible over time, to integrate larger amounts of wind and solar and address the additional variability that comes with heavier reliance on renewables. Increased investments in storage and transmission, as well as market reforms, can help.
Around the world, grid operators are managing larger amounts of wind and solar every year. In 2018, operators in California, the Southwest, and Texas used wind and solar for nearly 20% or more of their energy on an annual average basis, and in excess of 50-60% on an hourly basis. In Europe, several countries have managed even higher hourly penetrations of wind and solar, including Denmark (139%), Germany (89%) and Ireland (88%).
6. Battery storage is economically viable to address the variability of wind and solar and can help reduce emissions.
While most energy storage currently comes from pumped hydro storage facilities, the use of battery energy storage is growing rapidly, because of its increasingly cost competitiveness. Lithium-ion energy storage systems have seen dramatic price declines — as much as 85% between 2010 and 2018. Batteries are efficient carriers of energy, with round-trip efficiencies of 85-90%. If they are charged by renewable energy sources, they have no added GHG emissions.
Batteries can provide a variety of services to the grid, including smoothing the variability of wind and solar. Storage can provide the necessary back-up or standby power that the film implies must come from standby gas or coal-fired generators. Using batteries to replace fossil fuel backup will mean higher levels of wind and solar on the grid, less need for gas and coal and fewer emissions.
Batteries with four-hour discharges can’t solve all power-system requirements, of course. More work is needed — and is underway — on long-duration storage options as part of the suite of tools needed for a reliable, affordable, low-carbon power system.
7. Wind and solar projects can operate for decades and can be developed more rapidly than other generation sources.
All power plants and their components have a “useful life” before they need replacement or repair. The useful lifespan of renewable facilities can exceed two decades. Wind turbines, for example, are estimated to last for about 20 years, and photovoltaic systems often remain operational from 25 to 40 years. In some instances, as large wind turbines become more efficient and economic, equipment turnover has been accelerated. In these cases, smaller turbines have been replaced earlier than they might otherwise have been by larger, more efficient turbines, to substantially increase electricity production at existing sites.
Furthermore, renewable energy facilities can typically be deployed more rapidly than fossil fuel plants. While solar and onshore wind farms normally take less than two years to build, gas-fired power plants usually take as many as four years to become operational, and can also require construction of gas pipeline infrastructure.
8. Renewables generate more energy than is used in their production, and produce fewer emissions than other power sources over their lifetime.
While all sources of electricity result in some GHG emissions over their lifetime, renewable energy sources have substantially fewer emissions than fossil fuel-fired power plants. One study estimates that renewable energy sources typically emit about 50g or less of CO2 emissions per kWh over their lifetime, compared to about 1000 g CO2/kWh for coal and 475 g CO2/kWh for natural gas. Most of the lifecycle emissions from fossil generators occur from fuel combustion, but also come from raw materials extraction, construction, fuel processing, plant operation and decommissioning of facilities.
While the manufacture of solar panels requires substantial amounts of energy, studies have found that they offset the energy consumed in production within about two years of operation, depending on the module type. Both crystalline silicon and thin-film solar panels contain toxic materials such as lead, silver and cadmium; therefore, efforts need to be accelerated to address proper disposal practices and module recycling, such as is done in Europe and by First Solar in the U.S., to appropriately capture and reuse these materials.
9. Electric vehicles reduce emissions substantially.
Electrification of passenger vehicles has quickened in recent years, with more than 1 million electric vehicles (EVs) now operating in the United States. Several studies suggest that number could grow to 20 million EVs by 2030, with over 4 million EVs in California alone.
EVs offer substantial emissions benefits — and associated health benefits — because they are two to three times more efficient than conventional internal combustion vehicles and have no tailpipe emissions. However, they do release GHG emissions during the fuel production, vehicle manufacturing and vehicle use stage. Studies find that approximately 50% of all EV battery lifecycle emissions come from the electricity used in the battery manufacturing and assembly facilities. Further, an EV’s net carbon footprint depends on the electricity used to charge it.
Across the country, many cities and corporations are converting their vehicle fleets to EVs and have made commitments to use 100% renewable electricity to meet the electricity demand. But, as we point out in a recent WRI report, new solutions are still needed to enable customers to charge their EVs with renewables more easily. Potential reductions in an EV’s overall lifecycle emissions could also be achieved by manufacturing EV batteries in facilities powered by renewable energy.
10. Private sector investment in clean energy is critical to lowering GHG emissions.
Aligning financial risk and reward with low-carbon energy investments is critical for shifting the economy in the direction of lower GHG emissions. Without substantial private sector investment in clean energy, it will be more difficult, more costly and more time-consuming to address climate change. Unlike in many other countries where energy providers, including in the electric sector, are publicly owned enterprises, most ownership and investment of electric infrastructure in the United States comes from the private sector. Shifting private investment toward renewables and other zero-carbon energy resources makes good sense and can be a safer investment.
Renewable energy is not perfect. No form of energy is. But people the world over need electricity, and pursuing clean energy sources is far better than continuing down the path of polluting fossil fuels. Renewable energy is an essential, although not exclusive, part of what is needed to address the urgent and important global challenge of climate change.
All energy sources have some impact on our environment. Fossil fuels—coal, oil, and natural gas—do substantially more harm than renewable energy sources by most measures, including air and water pollution, damage to public health, wildlife and habitat loss, water use, land use, and global warming emissions.
However, renewable sources such as wind, solar, geothermal, biomass, and hydropower also have environmental impacts, some of which are significant.
The exact type and intensity of environmental impacts varies depending on the specific technology used, the geographic location, and a number of other factors. By understanding the current and potential environmental issues associated with each renewable energy source, we can takes steps to effectively avoid or minimize these impacts as they become a larger portion of our electric supply.
Wind power generates electricity without toxic pollution or global warming emissions, but it does have some environmental impacts that should be recognized and mitigated.
Harnessing power from the wind is one of the cleanest and most sustainable ways to generate electricity as it produces no toxic pollution or global warming emissions. Wind is also abundant, inexhaustible, and affordable, which makes it a viable and large-scale alternative to fossil fuels.
Despite its vast potential, there are a variety of environmental impacts associated with wind power generation that should be recognized and mitigated. They include land use issues and challenges to wildlife and habitat.
The potential environmental impacts associated with solar power depend on the technology, which includes two broad categories: photovoltaic solar cells and concentrating solar thermal plants.
Like wind power, the sun provides a tremendous resource for generating clean and sustainable electricity.
The environmental impacts associated with solar power can include land use and habitat loss, water use, and the use of hazardous materials in manufacturing, though the types of impacts vary greatly depending on the scale of the system and the technology used—photovoltaic (PV) solar cells or concentrating solar thermal plants (CSP).
The environmental impacts of geothermal energy vary depending on the technology used to generate electricity and the type of cooling system utilized.
The most widely developed type of geothermal power plant (known as hydrothermal plants) are located near geologic “hot spots” where hot molten rock is close to the earth’s crust and produces hot water.
In other regions enhanced geothermal systems (or hot dry rock geothermal), which involve drilling into the earth’s surface to reach deeper geothermal resources, can allow broader access to geothermal energy.
Geothermal plants also differ in terms of the technology they use to convert the resource to electricity (direct steam, flash, or binary) and the type of cooling technology they use (water-cooled and air-cooled). Environmental impacts differ depending on the conversion and cooling technology used.
This analysis details the biomass resources that could be sustainably produced and utilized in the United States for energy and fuel, focusing on energy crops, agricultural residues, waste materials, and forest biomass.
Biomass for electricity
Biomass power plants share some similarities with fossil fuel power plants: both involve the combustion of a feedstock to generate electricity. Thus, biomass plants raise similar, but not identical, concerns about air emissions and water use as fossil fuel plants. However, the feedstock of biomass plants can be sustainable produced, while fossil fuels are non-renewable.
Sources of biomass resources for producing electricity are diverse, ranging from energy crops (like switchgrass), to agricultural waste, manure, forest products and waste, and urban waste. Both the type of feedstock and the manner in which it is developed and harvested significantly affect land use and life-cycle global warming emissions impacts of producing power from biomass.
Hydroelectric power includes both massive hydroelectric dams and small run-of-the-river plants, both of which have associated environmental impacts.
Hydroelectric power includes both massive hydroelectric dams and small run-of-the-river plants. Large-scale hydroelectric dams continue to be built in many parts of the world (including China and Brazil), but it is unlikely that new facilities will be added to the existing US fleet in the future.
Instead, the future of hydroelectric power in the United States will likely involve increased capacity at current dams and new run-of-the-river projects. There are environmental impacts at both types of plants.
Hydrokinetic energy includes wave and tidal power and encompasses an array of energy technologies, many of which are still in the experimental stages or in the early stages of deployment.
Hydrokinetic energy, which includes wave and tidal power, encompasses an array of energy technologies, many of which still in the experimental stages or in the early stages of deployment. While actual impacts of large-scale operations have not been observed, a range of potential impacts can be projected.
Despite these environmental impacts, renewable energy technologies compare extremely favorably to fossil fuels, and remain a core part of the solution to climate change.
Editor’s note: This article has been cross-posted from WhiteHouse.gov.
As part of President Obama’s initiative to make America a magnet for jobs by building a 21st century infrastructure, today he signed a Presidential Memorandum that will speed the modernization of the nation’s electric grid. This will help make electricity more reliable, save consumers money on their energy bills, and support homegrown American clean energy jobs and industries by making renewable energy easier to access across the country.
Transmission projects often cover hundreds of miles and involve multiple federal, tribal, state and local jurisdictions with diverse interests and responsibilities. Collaborating early to minimize duplication and delays is vital to getting critical projects to construction to better serve American homes and businesses. Today’s Presidential Memorandum directs federal agencies to create an integrated pre-application process across the federal government to help identify and address issues before the formal permit application process begins, and streamline the coordination of permitting processes across the federal, state, and tribal governments.
The memorandum also directs agencies to identify and improve the use of energy corridors on federal lands that are most suitable for siting electric transmission projects, to help expedite permitting while improving environmental and community outcomes. These energy corridors are designed to reduce regulatory conflicts, minimize negative impacts on natural and cultural resources and address concerns of local communities, decreasing the potential for permitting delays. For these corridors, agencies will work together to integrate new and innovative ways to avoid, minimize and mitigate the impact on environmental and cultural resources. The memorandum also prioritizes meaningful engagement with stakeholders and the public to arrive at the best quality projects with the least conflicts and most support.
These steps build on the best practices identified by the Administration’s interagency Rapid Response Team for Transmission, which since 2011 has brought together federal agencies to identify ways to improve efficiencies and coordination in the permitting and review processes for transmission projects.
Upgrading our nation’s electric transmission grid is critical to advancing the President’s all-of-the-above energy strategy to build an economy fueled by homegrown and clean energy sources produced by American workers. With the help of the Administration’s unprecedented investments in clean energy, we have already met the bold goal the President laid out in 2008 to double renewable energy generation in this country. Improving our electrical transmission grid will make electricity more reliable, save consumers money, improve U.S. competitiveness and move us a step closer to achieving the President’s goal of doubling domestic renewable electricity again by 2020.
Clean Energy Collective is a new idea in power generation that is building, operating and maintaining community-based clean energy facilities. Based in Carbondale, Colorado, CEC is pioneering the model of delivering clean power-generation through medium-scale facilities that are collectively owned by participating utility customers. CEC's proprietary RemoteMeter™ system automatically calculates monthly credits for members and integrates with utilities' existing billing system.
Power is more than the outlet on your wall or the light from your window.
Power enables us to look at the road ahead, and to see into dark places. It warms our homes and keeps our families safe. It fuels our technology, tools and our imaginations. Power connects us to one another and liberates us to make what was impossible yesterday, a reality today.
But not all power is created equally, nor is it available to everyone. At CEC we know there is a better way. We believe that knowledge and inspiration have the power to transform skeptics into advocates. We understand that we exist as a part of something bigger and at our core, we empower others to achieve their visions.
We look to the future and see not only the path less traveled, but the path no one has discovered. We improve the world we all live in by providing affordable, community-shared, clean energy solutions that allow utilities and consumers alike to turn great ideas into tangible results.
Constantly evolving products and services to deliver exceptional value to our customers can be exhausting. So we attract people who are driven by the desire to do what others have deemed impossible. We are a collection of inspired people looking at the future, providing the power to shift from what can be, to what is.
In addition to inventing CEC’s community solar concept, Mr. Spencer leads the company’s ongoing vision and execution. He is a serial entrepreneur, having built 10 companies in the last 22 years within various industries including energy, software, systems engineering, medical, brokerage and real estate development. He has also held management positions for Qwest as the Director of Business Development for a 14-state southeast region and a VP of Sales for First Consulting Group (now CSC). Mr. Spencer has received a patent for past designs and hundreds of copyrights. He lives off the grid in a self-sustaining home with his wife, has a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering and is the president of the board of Tom's Door, a local non-profit. He enjoys the outdoors, skiing and playing basketball.
Chief Information Officer
Bart Rupert brings his solid track record of creating growth and success to CEC through managing and growing the many Information Technology and platform needs. Prior to joining CEC, he served as the COO of Plexis Healthcare Systems where the company grew through strategic alliances with large companies such as Accenture, CSC, Cognizant, and Noridian, and became one of Microsoft’s HHS Strategic Alliance partners. He also served as the COO of Crib Notes Software, a niche EMR company, cultivating the organization into an internationally-recognized market leader, and has worked with large industry players including HBOC, McKesson, and FCG in various leadership roles.
Chief Strategic Markets Officer
Tom Sweeney brings a wealth of experience to CEC in the development and management of high growth businesses with ground breaking products and services. Most recently, Tom was the founder, Chairman and CEO of Incentra Solutions, a $200 million IT Systems Integrator for mid-tier enterprise clients in the US and Western Europe. Prior to Incentra, Tom lead a series of IT services and software companies in the US, Europe and Asia/Pac. Sweeney started his career in the Telecommunications industry and worked as a senior executive at Level 3, Worldcom, MFS, Centex and MCI. Outside of work Tom enjoys golf, blue water sailing and spending time with his wife and two sons.
Chief Operating Officer
As Chief Operating Officer, Mr. Postal oversees the day-to-day operations and overall execution of the sales, marketing, business development and delivery departments. Prior to joining CEC Mr. Postal served as Chief Development Officer of SunShare, Renewable Energy Executive with Milender White Construction and was a co-founder of Main Street Power. Prior to his career in solar, he was a fiduciary investment advisor for both A.G. Edwards and as a partner in an independent advisory firm based in Denver. Mr. Postal received his BA in History from University of Colorado and a Master in Public Policy from Georgetown University. He lives in Denver with his wife and three kids.
Chief Financial Officer
Vilia Valentine has extensive experience in increasing investor value and driving financial growth through IPO’s, secondary offerings, and strategic acquisitions. Prior to joining CEC, Vilia served as CFO of Inspirato LLC, a private luxury vacation club. Previously, she was the principal financial officer of MDC Holdings, a $1 billion public homebuilding and financial services company, and CFO of Gaiam Inc., a leading producer of lifestyle media and fitness accessories. In 2008, she took Gaiam’s solar operations public, and in 2009, she was named "CFO of the Year" in the public company category by the Denver Business Journal. Vilia is a Colorado native and earned her BS in Accounting and Business Law.
Chief Legal Officer
With over 20 years business and legal experience is the sustainable energy field, Mr. Cunningham is responsible for overseeing the legal aspects of the company. His background is diverse, also including significant energy services, real estate, engineering & construction, lending, acquisitions and sales experience. He has also owned and operated several successful start-up and high-growth businesses, and successfully combines an entrepreneurial mindset with sound legal practices. Mr. Cunningham enjoys exploring the Colorado mountains, and has been known to head to sunny beaches in the winter for a scuba break.
Chief Capital Officer
Mr. Hunter is responsible for originating and securing all required capital for CEC, including corporate equity, tax equity, construction financing, term debt and mezzanine financing. Prior to CEC, he created and led a number of successful energy development companies, each of which was acquired by institutional investors. Mr. Hunter studied Mechanical Engineering at Rutgers University, and is a graduate of the EMBA-Global program, a joint MBA degree offered by Columbia and London Business Schools.
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Only you may use your service account. For some parts of the service, we may notify you that you may set up additional member accounts that are dependent on your account (an 'associated account'). You are responsible for all activity that takes place with your service account or an associated account. You may not authorize any third party to access and/or use the service on your behalf except where CEC provides a mechanism for third parties to access the service on your behalf.
6. Associated Accounts; Accounts From Third Parties.
If you are the user of an associated account, the holder of the service account has full control over your associated account. This includes the right to end the service, close or alter your associated account at any time and, in some cases, request and receive machine and service use information related to your associated account. If a third party, such as a utility, employer or school, gave you your account, the third party has rights to your account. The third party may manage your account, reset your password, or suspend or terminate your account; view your account's usage and profile data, including how and when your account is used; and read or store the content in your account, including electronic communications and other information.
7. Your Content.
You may be able to submit content for use in connection with the service. You understand that CEC does not control or endorse the content that you and others post or provide on the service. Except for material that we license to you, we do not claim ownership of the content you post or provide on the service.
The service includes public areas available to the general public, shared areas available to others you have selected and personal areas where you have not granted access to others. If you share content with others on the service, in either public or shared areas, then you understand and agree that others with whom you have shared content may use that content. You grant to those members of the public to whom you have permitted access free, nonexclusive permission to use, copy, distribute and display the content solely in connection with the service and other CEC products and services. If you do not want others to have those rights, please do not share your content with them.
You understand that CEC may need and you hereby authorize CEC to use, modify, copy, distribute and display content posted on the service to the extent necessary to provide the service. This includes:
storing and retrieving the content;
making the content available to you and to those members of the public to whom you have granted access or to the general public (for content posted on public areas of the service);
conforming to connecting networks' technical requirements; and
conforming to the limitations and terms of the service.
In order to operate and provide the service, we collect certain information about you. We use and protect that information as described in the CEC Online Privacy Statement, http://www.easycleanenergy.com/privacy. In particular, we may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of CEC or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the service; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of CEC employees, customers or the public.
In order to provide you the service, we may collect certain information about service performance, your machine and your service use. We may automatically upload this information from your machine. This data will not be used to personally identify you. You may read about this information collection in more detail in the privacy statement at http://www.easycleanenergy.com/privacy.
If you receive software from us as part of the service, your use of that software is under the terms of the license or subscription that is presented to you for acceptance for that software. We reserve all other rights to the software.
We may automatically check your version of the software. We may automatically download upgrades to the software to your computer to update, enhance and further develop the service.
Unless we notify you otherwise, your license to use the software will end on the date your service ends, and you must promptly uninstall the software. We may disable the software after the date the service ends.
You will not disassemble, decompile, or reverse engineer any software included in the service, except and only to the extent that the law expressly permits this activity.
11. WE MAKE NO WARRANTY.
12. LIABILITY LIMITATION.
You can recover from the CEC parties only direct damages up to an amount equal to any amounts, if any, you have paid for the service during the prior 30 days. You cannot recover any other damages, including consequential, lost profits, special, indirect, incidental or punitive damages.
This limitation applies to anything related to:
content (including code) on third-party Internet sites, third-party programs or third-party conduct,
viruses or other disabling features that affect your access to or use of the service,
incompatibility between the service and other services, software and hardware,
delays or failures you may have in initiating, conducting or completing any transmissions or transactions in connection with the service in an accurate or timely manner, and
It also applies even if:
this remedy does not fully compensate you for any losses, or fails of its essential purpose; or
CEC knew or should have known about the possibility of the damages.
Some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental or consequential damages, so the above limitations or exclusions may not apply to you. They also may not apply to you because your province or country may not allow the exclusion or limitation of incidental, consequential or other damages.
The CEC shall have a royalty-free, worldwide, transferable, sublicenseable, irrevocable, perpetual license to the use to incorporate into the services any suggestions, enhancement requests, recommendations or other feedback provided by you, relating to the operation of the services.
14. Changes to the Service; If We Cancel the Service; Pre-Release.
We may change the service or delete features at any time and for any reason. We may cancel or suspend your service at any time. Our cancellation or suspension may be without cause and/or without notice. Upon service cancellation, your right to use the service stops right away. Once the service is cancelled or suspended, any data you have stored on the service may not be retrieved later. Our cancellation of the service will not alter your obligation to pay all charges made to your billing account. If we cancel the service in its entirety without cause within the first six years of service, then we will refund to you on a pro-rata basis the amount of any payments that you have made corresponding to the portion of the six years of service. A particular service may be a pre-release version and may not work correctly or in the way a final version might work. There may be interruptions or extended downtimes. We may significantly change the final version or decide not to release a final version at all.
17. No Third Party Beneficiaries.
18. Claim Must Be Filed Within One Year.
19. Your Notices to Us.
You may notify us as stated in the customer support or 'Contact' area for the service or our web site at www.easycleanenergy.com. We do not accept e-mail notices.
20. Notices We Send You; Consent Regarding Electronic Information.
by e-mail at the e-mail address you specified when you signed up for your service;
by access to a CEC web site that will be designated in an e-mail notice sent to you at the time the information is available; or
by access to a CEC web site that will be generally designated in advance for this purpose.
Notices provided to you via e-mail will be deemed given and received on the transmission date of the e-mail. If you do not consent to receive any notices electronically, you must stop using the service.
21. Choice of Law and Location for Resolving Disputes.
Production and Consumption information (including, without limitation, facility values) appearing on the service are delayed. Consumption information is routinely provided by your electric utility. Information indicated as "real-time" may be affected by delays in transmission over the Internet and by other causes. Production information is owned by the CEC. You are permitted to store, manipulate, analyze, reformat, print and display the information only for your personal use. In no event shall you publish, retransmit, redistribute or otherwise reproduce any CEC or utility information in any format to anyone, and you shall not use any CEC or utility information in or in connection with any business or commercial enterprise, including, without limitation, any securities, investment, accounting, banking, legal or media business or enterprise. Neither CEC, the utility nor its affiliates or their respective licensors make any express or implied warranties (including, without limitation, any warranty or merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose or use) regarding the CEC or utility information. Neither CEC nor its affiliates or their respective licensors will be liable to any user or anyone else for any interruption, inaccuracy, delays, error or omission, regardless of cause, in the CEC information or for any damages (whether direct or indirect, consequential, punitive or exemplary) resulting therefrom.
Clean Energy Collective Privacy Statement
What information do we collect?
We collect information from you when you register on our site, fill out a form or become a Clean Energy Collective (CEC) customer.
When ordering or registering on our site, as appropriate, you may be asked to enter your: name, e-mail address, mailing address or phone number. You may, however, visit our site anonymously.
What do we use your information for?
Any of the information we collect from you may be used in one of the following ways:
To personalize your experience (your information helps us to better respond to your individual needs)
To improve our website we continually strive to improve our website offerings based on the information and feedback we receive from you.
To improve customer service your information helps us to more effectively respond to your customer service requests and support needs.
To process transactions your information, whether public or private, will not be sold, exchanged, transferred, or given to any other company for any reason whatsoever, without your consent, other than for the express purpose of delivering the purchased product or service requested.
To administer a contest, promotion, survey or other site feature
To send periodic emails. The email address you provide for order processing, will only be used to send you information and updates pertaining to your order.
Note: If at any time you would like to unsubscribe from receiving future emails, we include detailed unsubscribe instructions at the bottom of each email.
How do we protect your information?
We implement a variety of security measures to maintain the safety of your personal information when you place an order or enter, submit, or access your personal information.
We offer the use of a secure server. All supplied sensitive/credit information is transmitted via Secure Socket Layer (SSL) technology and then encrypted into our Payment gateway providers database only to be accessible by those authorized with special access rights to such systems, and are required to keep the information confidential.
After a transaction, your private information (credit cards, social security numbers, financials, etc.) will not be kept on file for more than 60 days.
Yes (Cookies are small files that a site or its service provider transfers to your computer’s hard drive through your Web browser (if you allow) that enables the sites or service providers systems to recognize your browser and capture and remember certain information.
If you prefer, you can choose to have your computer warn you each time a cookie is being sent, or you can choose to turn off all cookies via your browser settings. Like most websites, if you turn your cookies off, some of our services may not function properly. However, you can still place orders by contacting customer service.
Do we disclose any information to outside parties?
We do not sell, trade, or otherwise transfer to outside parties your personally identifiable information. This does not include trusted third parties who assist us in operating our website, conducting our business, or servicing you, so long as those parties agree to keep this information confidential. We may also release your information when we believe release is appropriate to comply with the law, enforce our site policies, or protect ours or others rights, property, or safety. However, non-personally identifiable visitor information may be provided to other parties for marketing, advertising, or other uses.
Third party links
Occasionally, at our discretion, we may include or offer third party products or services on our website. These third party sites have separate and independent privacy policies. We therefore have no responsibility or liability for the content and activities of these linked sites. Nonetheless, we seek to protect the integrity of our site and welcome any feedback about these sites.
We are in compliance with the requirements of COPPA (Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act), we do not collect any information from anyone under 13 years of age. Our website, products and services are all directed to people who are at least 13 years old or older.
Terms and Conditions
Please also visit our Terms and Conditions section establishing the use, disclaimers, and limitations of liability governing the use of our website at www.easycleanenergy.com/terms.
This policy was last modified on April 2011