According to the United States Energy Information Administration, 2019 saw US consumption of renewable energy overtake consumption of energy from coal for the first time in 130 years.
This is a trend that is set to continue, and not just for coal.
Renewable energy production of all kinds is on the rise. The way we consume and buy our energy is changing.
Why Renewable Energy
The landscape is changing in the energy industry. In the West, the move away from dependence on fossil fuels is leading to a change in the way we produce our energy.
The US is well placed to make the most of this change. With huge potential to produce wind, solar and geothermal energy, the big energy companies are taking their positions to become providers of the domestic renewable energy market.
Where Does Renewable Energy Come From
Renewable energy comes from a variety of sources.
Whatever the source, renewable energy does not come from a finite resource, like coal of gas. There’s no-best before or use-by date and it’s always going to be there.
Wind and solar are probably the first that come to mind. However, initiatives like hydroelectric power have been with us for far longer. When it was completed in 1936, the Hoover Dam was the world’s largest electric power generator.
Other energy sources such a geothermal are significant in states like California, and in many Central American countries.
What Deregulation Means For Renewable Energy
With the ongoing deregulation in the energy sector in the US, consumers are finding that they have considerably more choice now than ever over exactly where their energy is coming from.
In fact, many states now require that a minimum percentage of electricity be generated from renewable sources.
Subsequently, domestic energy consumers are now able to choose from a variety of plans dedicated to renewable energy.
How You ‘Buy’ Renewable Energy
For each Mega Watt Hour – a unit of electrical energy – that is produced by a green energy producer, they are issued with a Renewable Energy Certificate, or REC.
Energy firms can then purchase these RECs.
The total electricity consumption of each green energy plan subscriber is then monitored, and the energy company redeems the RECs against what has been supplied.
Renewable Energy Plans
Along with the growth of deregulation comes a variety of plans on offer. Each plan offers a different level of saving and not all plans are suitable to everyone. If you are thinking of going green then you’ll find many plans on the market.
Some plans will allow you to draw your energy from purely wind, or purely solar power.
Others will offer combinations.
Whatever plan you choose, be aware that you will be paying a premium to use renewable energy sources.
If you also have solar panels on your property, then there may well be plans in your area that will allow you to sell back your excess energy to the grid.
In addition to the environmental benefits of using renewable energy, there are also some tax benefits.
In addition, there are often loans and advice available for renewable energy technologies.
The world of energy is changing, and renewables are beginning to provide the lion’s share of power. This freedom of choice is now available to domestic consumers as deregulation in the energy market becomes more widespread.