Renewable Energy and Clean Energy in the United States

Renewable Energy and Clean Energy in the United States

The United States is pivoting away from fossil fuels and toward solar, wind and other clean energy. Delivery vans in Pittsburgh, buses in Milwaukee and cranes loading freight at the Port of Los Angeles are powered by cleaner electricity.

The top clean energy producing countries are shown in Table 12.1. Most developed and nondeveloped countries have enacted feed-in tariff policies to promote early deployment.

Solar Energy

The sun’s rays provide us with renewable energy in the form of heat and light. We harness solar energy in a variety of ways, from small electric devices such as calculators to large commercial businesses and power stations. The most common way to produce solar energy is using photovoltaic cells, commonly referred to as solar panels. These cells are arranged almost edge to edge and use semiconductor materials such as silicon to absorb sunlight’s energy, which “knocks” loose electrons that create electricity. Metal contacts on the top and bottom of a solar panel direct that current to where it is needed, such as an external device or the grid.

Solar energy is a clean energy source because it does not produce any air pollutants or greenhouse gases during production. While producing solar panels does require certain toxic chemicals, these are far less than those used by fossil fuel-burning power plants.

Solar is an integral part of a clean energy system that includes solar + storage technologies to ensure continued clean energy delivery after the sun sets. Whether deployed as distributed generation on residential rooftops or large-scale solar farms across acres of rural land, these solar technologies work alongside other renewables High voltage 20kw LiFePO4 battery and traditional electricity sources to help transition the country to a clean energy future.


Hydropower is one of the world’s oldest and most important renewable energy sources. Like other renewables, it uses clean, sustainable fuel — flowing water — to generate electricity. When operated and maintained in a sustainable manner, it can be a major contributor to the fight against climate change by avoiding the use of fossil fuels. It also reduces emissions of carbon dioxide and air polluting particulates.

Hydroelectricity uses flowing water, a resource renewed by snow and rainfall, to turn turbines and produce electricity. While dams may be expensive to build and can impact local ecosystems, they have a much lower environmental impact than fossil-fuel power plants.

Unlike other intermittent renewables such as solar and wind, hydropower can easily be ramped up or down to balance daily doses of sunshine and winds. The ability to rapidly increase and decrease production also helps stabilize the grid, helping reduce the need for fossil fuels or other non-renewable sources. Hydropower is also a key component of the Federal Columbia River Power System (FCRPS), delivering hydropower at cost to public preference customers in the Pacific Northwest.

Independent research suggests that the use of hydropower has a significantly lower greenhouse gas emission intensity than coal, thereby helping to limit 12v-24v-48v-lifepo4-battery temperature rises to below two degrees Celsius. Further, pumped storage hydropower, operating like a green, rechargeable battery, can help meet demand when wind and solar are not available.

Nuclear Energy

When people think of clean energy, they often picture solar panels or wind turbines but nuclear power is also an important part of the clean energy mix. Nuclear produces electricity with no carbon emissions using the fission process to heat water into steam and spin a turbine to generate electricity. Ninety-three nuclear reactors in 28 states produce nearly 20 percent of the nation’s electricity. They’re the emissions-free workhorses of our power grid, providing electricity around the clock and enabling renewables to fill in gaps when they’re not available.

It is one of the largest sources of low-carbon electricity in the world. In advanced economies, nuclear power has made a substantial contribution to the decarbonization of energy systems. However, its share of generation has declined in recent years as the existing fleet ages and the pace of new projects has slowed.

Countries that have kept the option of nuclear need to ensure competition is on a level playing field and address barriers to investment in lifetime extensions and new capacity. They need to develop electricity markets that recognise the clean energy and energy security attributes of nuclear and other technologies.

While nuclear deserves better than the prejudice and fear it has suffered, it can’t solve the global energy crisis on its own. A trajectory consistent with sustainability targets, including international climate goals, requires massive expansion of clean energy. That means 85% of the world’s electricity must come from renewable sources and efficient, low-carbon energy by 2040, more than three times the current figure.


Energy sourced from clean energy sources generates electricity without emitting greenhouse gases. The term ‘clean’ also refers to a source that doesn’t have other environmental side effects like pollution, soil and water degradation or land clearing. While wind, solar and hydro power are considered clean, some experts also include bioenergy and nuclear energy in the category.

All clean energy sources are renewable resources, meaning they’ll naturally replenish over time. They’re a good choice for people who want to reduce their carbon footprint and support the fight against climate change, which is already impacting our lives through extreme weather events, shifting animal habitats and species, rising sea levels and more.

Renewable energy also promotes energy security because we can use natural resources around the world, rather than relying on imported fossil fuels. They’re also a cost-effective option for businesses and consumers who are moving toward a zero-carbon future. Plus, they’re growing sectors that provide job opportunities to the people who develop, manufacture and install them. In addition, many of these energy sources are based in America and are helping to grow the economy here. The take-up of clean energy is already happening on a large scale, with 29 states having renewable portfolio standards and more than 100 cities now committed to 100% clean electricity. With advancements in technology making it more affordable, this is only set to increase.

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