“The promise and appeal of renewable energy has long been clear: clean, domestically sourced electricity could lead to enormous environmental, economic, and resiliency benefits.” – The Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy
Every time you visit the gas station, you’re tapping into a limited supply of ancient compost. The fossil fuels that supply more than 80 percent of the energy used around the world today began life as plankton in the ocean and plants in prehistoric landscapes. It took millions of years for that organic matter to become the petroleum and coal that fuel our industries, utilities, vehicles, and more in the 21st century. We’re (literally) burning through fossil fuels faster than the earth can create new supplies – and fossil fuel use was responsible for almost three-quarters of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2019, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
While the global supply of petroleum and coal is limited (and comes with serious consequences for the environment), renewable energy comes from sources that are “replenished faster than they are consumed,” according to the United Nations definition. The power of the sun and wind can be harvested (and, with rapid innovations in battery technology, stored) to provide energy with far lower greenhouse gas emissions than fossil fuels. Renewable energy can also be derived from biofuels like manure and from hydropower (if you’ve ever seen an old-fashioned flour mill by the side of a river, you know that the food industry has tapped this source for centuries!).
Through ClimateHound, you can fund the development of alternative power sources through renewable energy certificates. As offsets, these certificates reflect the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions that happens when we shift away from burning fossil fuels. Renewable energy offers other benefits for the environment, too, avoiding the destruction that can come from mining petroleum, coal, and natural gas. Solar and wind power, created right here in the U.S., can also help us to become less dependent on other nations for our energy and avoid global conflict, so that our planet AND our people thrive.