Do the REP’s in your state offer a 100% Renewable energy electricity plan? With more states and cities becoming deregulated. Customers are getting more options when it comes to selecting an electricity plan. They’re now able to select different providers, electricity plans and how the energy was created for that plan. With companies “Going Green” to help the environment. You’re bound to come across a 100% renewable energy electricity plan while shopping rates. Let’s go over these plans and discuss “what” they are and “why” they’re becoming more popular.
How Energy is Typically Produced for Electricity Plans
For years energy has been produced through the use of fossil fuels. The three main types being Coal (30%), Natural Gas (32%), and Petroleum (<1%), which produce an electricity plan! Regardless of the type of fossil fuel that’s used, the majority of the process to produce the electricity stays the same. According to Origin Energy, these are the core steps used to produce electricity:
- Fossil fuels are burned.
- The resulting heat is used to turn water into steam.
- The steam at very high pressure is then used to spin a turbine, connected to an electrical generator.
- The spinning turbine causes large magnets to turn within copper wire coils; this is called the generator.
- The moving magnets cause electrons in the wires to move from one place to another, creating an electrical current and producing electricity.
Coal Energy Plants and How They Harm the Environment
It’s well known that burning fossil fuels is not good for the environment. However, 80% of the electricity generated for an electricity plan, is generated by burning fossil fuels. The EPA lists these as some of the ways generation plants can affect the environment.
- Emissions of greenhouse gases and other air pollutants, especially when a fuel is burned.
- Use of water resources to produce steam, provide cooling, and serve other functions.
- Discharges of pollution into water bodies, including thermal pollution (water that is hotter than the original temperature of the water body).
- Generation of solid waste, which may include hazardous waste.
- Land use for fuel production, power generation, and transmission and distribution lines.
- Effects on plants, animals, and ecosystems that result from the air, water, waste, and land impacts above.
How Is a 100% Renewable Energy Plan Different?
We’ve previously discussed how 80% of the electricity used across the United States comes from fossil fuel generation. Clean energy generation methods are being developed with the “green energy” push. The two biggest 100% renewable energy sources currently are wind and solar. When you select a plan online through platforms such as UtilityHound.com. You might see plans marketed as having 100% renewable energy. By selecting this type of electricity plan, you’re essentially letting the electric company (REP) know that you want 100% percent of your power to come from renewable resources. Although these plans will sometimes cost more than other fossil fuel generated plans. Many individuals are fine paying the extra few dollars every month to help the environment.
How Does A Renewable Energy Electricity Plan Help the Environment?
Using a 100% renewable energy electricity plan can help reduce the environmental impacts associated with generating electricity through fossil fuels. A few of the benefits of “clean” or renewable energy from the EPA include:
- Energy efficiency. End-users can meet some of their needs by adopting energy-efficient technologies and practices. In this respect, energy efficiency is a resource that reduces the need to generate electricity.
- Clean centralized generation. New and existing power plants can reduce environmental impacts by increasing generation efficiency, installing pollution controls, and leveraging cleaner energy supply resources.
- Clean distributed generation. Some distributed generation, such as distributed renewable energy, can help support delivery of clean, reliable power to customers and reduce electricity losses along transmission and distribution lines.
- Combined heat and power (CHP). Also known as cogeneration, CHP produces electricity and heat simultaneously from the same fuel source. By using heat that would otherwise be wasted, CHP is both distributed generation and a form of energy efficiency.