Americans are increasing their use of renewable energy sources, which could be good news for our planet and our wallets.
The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) recently published a chart showing how much the U.S. relies on every respective type of energy source, including coal, gasoline, and renewable sources like solar and wind.
The chart shows that our use of renewable energy sources is starting to outpace our use of coal, which is a step in the right direction when it comes to fighting global warming.
Based on the chart, energy created by wind turbines (which turn wind into electricity) made up more than 12.5% of all electricity generation in the U.S. in the first quarter of 2023. Meanwhile, the use of rooftop solar panels (which turn sunlight into electricity) increased by 24% this year, compared to the same time period in 2022.
Traditionally, we’ve gotten a lot of energy from burning coal. But, when coal is burned, it causes pollution and releases toxins into the air. It also creates a heat-trapping gas that contributes to rising temperatures.
Additionally, the ash created by burning coal finds its way into bodies of water, harming water supplies and wildlife. So moving toward a world where we use less coal is good for our health, the planet, and the animals that inhabit it.
As the EIA’s report shows, the use of solar panels is on the rise. You can jump on the bandwagon by installing solar panels on your roof. Doing so can offer benefits including saving you money on your electricity bill, making you immune to grid blackouts (if you also have a battery to store energy), and even boosting the value of your home.
Plus, you can qualify for a tax credit if you add solar panels to your property.
You might even want to consider adding a small wind turbine to your property, if you have the wind for it. Having both wind turbines and solar panels increase your chances of having the energy you need, when you need it, because the levels of wind and UV rays can fluctuate.
“[Cleaner energies] seem well-positioned to provide over a quarter of the nation’s electrical generation,” said Ken Bossong, the executive director of the Sun Day Campaign, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting sustainable energy, according to Electrek.
“Coal is unequivocally more expensive than wind and solar resources, it’s just no longer cost competitive with renewables,” said Michelle Solomon, a policy analyst at Energy Innovation, according to the Guardian.
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