Increasing the use of renewable energy sources is an important way of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, while still continuing to provide power. Everyone probably knows that renewable energy technologies can help contribute to a clean and secure energy future for the nation and the world. But, how many of us really use renewable energy?
There are actually two types of energy- Renewable and Non-Renewable. According to the Energy Information Administration,” Renewable energy sources include solar energy, which comes from the sun and can be turned into electricity and heat. Wind, geothermal energy from inside the earth, biomass from plants, and hydropower and ocean energy from water are also renewable energy sources.” On the other hand, Non-Renewable energy includes oil, natural gas, and coal, which actually come out of the ground. These are basically called “non-renewable” because they cannot be replaced, which then causes pollution and increase global warming.
Unfortunately, only about 4 percent of total primary energy comes from sources which do not produce greenhouse gases. That means that most of the energy comes from non-renewable sources, even though it is harmful to the planet. Well, why are non-renewable sources being used if they are a disadvantage to us? According to Alliant Energy, non-renewable energy sources are used more basically because they are cheaper.
However, the good news is that more than 40 percent of U.S. states have actually adopted a renewable electricity standard. The Union of Concerned Scientists said, “Renewable electricity standards have been enacted in 21 states and the District of Columbia. UCS projects that these standards will result in the development of 46,270 megawatts (MW) of new renewable energy capacity by 2020—an increase of 340 percent over total U.S. levels (excluding hydro) in 1997.”
So, the U.S. does finally decide to do something about reducing carbon dioxide emissions! Although if the Congress adopted a National Standard, things would probably look much better.