Is The World Finally Ready To Go Green?

Two of the most talked about topics related to energy in the world today are renewable energy, and energy efficiency.

Two of the most talked about topics related to energy in the world today are renewable energy, and energy efficiency. As technology races ahead with new breakthroughs almost daily, it is becoming more and more passé to ignore the major push around the world to reduce carbon footprints, and improve alternative energy infrastructure.

The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) estimates that roughly 21% of the world’s electricity generation comes from renewable sources, and that figure is projected to grow to over 25% by 2040. The U.S. currently produces more than 14% of its energy from renewable sources. As technology continues to advance, more and more countries are putting greater attention and resources on renewable initiatives.

France recently passed a law that requires all new commercial building rooftops to be partially covered with either solar panels, or plants. This initiative will not only reduce the amount of energy required to heat and cool these buildings, but also encourage biodiversity and environmental benefits for wildlife in this region.

Costa Rica has not needed a single ounce of coal or petroleum in over 2 months to generate their required amount of electricity. Between hydropower plants, and a boost from solar, wind and geothermal sources, this small nation has become completely independent from fossil fuels.

Mexico is also attempting to do their part to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, by recently setting new targets to reduce their countries carbon footprint by way of utilizing clean energy, modernizing their electricity grid, and setting improved standards for energy efficiency.

While governing bodies are doing their part to drive the world towards carbon reduction, and renewable sources, there are many industry leaders, and top innovative companies that are teaming up to develop cutting edge technology to further green energy. Solar City (one of the largest solar panel installers in the U.S.) has recently teamed up with Tesla to utilize their battery technology to store electricity generated from solar panels. The hope is this breakthrough will eventually make solar the cheapest source of electricity in the United States.

These U.S. based companies, as well as many others, are helping to propel our country to the forefront of energy efficiency, and renewable alternatives. In addition to industry leaders developing cheaper and more efficient ways for us to utilize alternative sources for energy, we are seeing a major push on the state level in the U.S. to create more awareness, and further develop incentives designed around solar, wind, hydro and geothermal sources of energy.

Last month, the U.S. Energy Information Administration reported that the state of California has become the first state in the U.S. to generate more than 5% of their required utility scale energy from solar. The 9.9 megawatthours produced currently represents more than all other states combined. What most of the states in the top 10 in solar generation have in common is a renewable portfolio standard in place. These (RPS) policies are mandates designed to increase electric generation from renewable sources.

Image source: EIA.Gov

There are also many states, such as New Jersey, that offer consumers financial incentives, programs and services to help them save energy, money and the environment. With many other states developing similar plans and initiatives, these topics are becoming more prevalent in business decision making.

What all this information means to the average U.S. consumer, is that there are many different options, rebates and incentives that will not only change the way we use energy going forward, but will also shape our future infrastructure.

To find out more about what programs and options are available in your state, call one of our senior advisors at 1.800.920.4631. We would be glad to answer any questions you have.

Matt Helland
Sr. VP of Client Relations

Sources for article:

MIT Technology Review 


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