Clean Energy is IN Among Americans
Americans are getting greener in their use of energy, according to the most recent energy flow charts released by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.
Based on the energy flow charts, American used more renewable energy in 2016 compared to the previous year. This means Americans now are utilizing more solar, natural gas and wind power compared to 2015.
In 2016, use of solar energy increased by 0.15 quads or 38 percent, with significant additions in electricity for commercial and residential sectors. Most of the installations of solar panels were dominantly located in the desert.
This good news was confirmed by A.J. Simon, group leader for LLNL’s energy program.
Simon said, “Two thirds of that increase was in the electric sector. These are large installations of thousands of solar panels, usually in the desert.”
Americans used 0.1 quads (quadrillion BTU), more in 2016 than in 2015. A BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is a unit of measurement for energy; 3,400 BTU is equivalent to about 1 kilowatt-hour.
Wind Power is Getting Popular Too
Most Americans are harnessing the power of solar energy through the use of solar panels, but use of wind power is making a mark in the nation’s utility grid as well.
According to the energy chart, use of wind power rose by 19 percent or 0.33 quads.
Simod said, “Generous incentives for renewable energy, combined with improved ‘know-how’ in siting and building wind farms, has led to a favorable environment for growth in this sector.”
Wind power is produced by using wind generators or turbines to harness the kinetic energy of wind. It is gaining worldwide popularity as a large scale energy source alternative.
Good News: Use of Coal Declines
According to the energy flow chart, use of coal decreased by 9 percent to 14.2 quads. The decline was blamed on decreased coal supply to the electricity sector. That supply has been replaced by wind, solar and natural gas.
For environmentalists, this result is a good thing. Aside from coal energy being a nonrenewable energy source, the burning of coal is not environmental friendly. The process produces harmful byproducts and gas emissions such as sulfur dioxide, carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide that cause pollution to the environment including acid rain.
Clean Energy in Focus
Clean energy refers to renewable energy that generates electricity from sustainable sources like wind, solar, and geothermal power. These energy sources are renewable (naturally replenished) and environmentally friendly. Aside from the sources being unlimited, clean energy sources do not cause pollution or emissions.