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Utility Connection Earth Day: Renewable Energy 101

In light of Earth Day, we wanted to take today to provide you with insight on the basics, pros, and cons of renewable energy. To understand renewable energy, you first need to understand non-renewable energy and the difference between the two.

What Is Non-Renewable Energy?

Non-renewable energy sources are natural resources which are in limited supply and take a very long time to regenerate. One reason we still use fossil fuels, opposed to 100% renewable energy, is that there sometimes isn’t enough energy produced from renewable sources to keep up with demand. Another reason is that fossil fuels like coal and natural gas come at a much lower price tag but with a much greater impact to the environment.

What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable energy comes from sources that will be replenished quickly by nature, these include wind, water, and the sun. These energy resources are much less harmful to the environment than non-renewable resources and include:

Solar Energy

Solar energy is generated from sunlight and is converted into heat and electricity.

Benefits: There is an endless supply of sunlight, making it an optimal renewable energy source. This source can reduce bills in the short term, and even eliminate energy bills altogether down the road.

Constraints: There are significant upfront costs for the installation of solar. There must also be optimal lighting conditions and space for the panels.

Wind Energy

Wind farms capture the energy from turbines and convert that power into electricity.

Benefits: There are no energy harming byproducts of this type of energy generation, choosing this type of energy also supports new jobs and training opportunities within the industry.

Constraints: Because wind turbines are loud and pose a risk to wildlife, they are typically placed in remote areas. This brings the need to transport it to its final destination which is where costs begin to add up.

Hydro Energy

Hydro energy is most commonly in the form of water flowing through dam turbines to produce energy.

Benefits: This energy source is very versatile in that it can be either small or large scale and produces no pollution into the environment.

Constraints: Production of hydro energy usually consumes more energy for production and transport than it is able to produce. This source also can disrupt waterways and the ecosystem contained in it.

Tidal Energy

Two types of energy can be produced from the ocean, thermal (through the surface temperature) and mechanical (from the tides).

Benefits: This energy source is dependable and has a predictable return of energy.

Constraints: Only those near the ocean can really tap into this source of energy. Additionally, large equipment must be built that may disrupt the ocean floor and sea life.

Geothermal Energy

This energy source comes from the heat beneath the earth’s crust which can be captured from volcanic eruptions and geysers.

Benefits: This resource has potential to supply a large amount of energy, can be built underground and requires little space on land.

Constraints: The infrastructure is very costly and is vulnerable to natural disasters, especially earthquakes.

Biomass Energy

Biomass is organic matter from plants which is commonly burned for energy.

Benefits: The amount of carbon dioxide released is equal to what plants will consume, creating an even playing field.

Constraints: Plants take time to grow and the technology is not advanced enough to use this source on a large scale.

Business Benefits for Choosing Renewable Energy

  • Lower Energy Bills

  • Improved Public Perception

  • Decreased service interruptions

  • Lower emissions

  • Green Energy Incentives

Save Money with The Utility Connection

Going green doesn’t have to be daunting or expensive, you may still be able to save money while also choosing renewable energy options. Many renewable energy plans offered are highly competitive with non-renewable options in the energy marketplace. By working with The Utility Connection, you can choose the solution that gets you the best deal while also satisfying your energy needs and specifications.

As a full service, customized offering, we have our engineers evaluate your business operation to find all the efficiency services that would reduce your usage and save you money on your business’s utility costs. From a simple onsite walk-through to a full professional energy audit, we look for ways to lower your energy spend. From lighting retrofits, energy controls, demand response packages, and alternative energy products, WE DO IT ALL.

Get connected with The Utility Connection today to take control of your business’ energy costs and start saving money.


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