Earth Day and renewables go together like a strong net-metering policy and a booming local solar industry. This is because renewable energy is one of the primary tools we have for protecting the environment and combatting climate change. In fact, the median value of carbon output for all renewable technologies ranges from 4g of CO2 equivalent per kW/h to 46g CO2 equivalent per kW/h. That’s anywhere from 5 to 10 times less than fossil fuels! And renewable energy doesn’t just make a difference in power generation. Compared to gasoline, biofuels reduce greenhouse gas emissions anywhere from 19% to 115% (depending on the type of feedstock used to produce the biofuel).
Of course, clean energy doesn’t just mean low-carbon energy. Renewables don’t pollute the air with the sort of fine particle pollutants that come out of fossil fuel power plants. According to the Clean Air Task Force, these pollutants currently result in more than 7,000 premature deaths per year, down from 24,000 just 10 years ago.
And given that 70% of the planet is covered by water, we would be remiss if we didn’t recognize the important role that water has played in the history of life on Earth. As water becomes a scarcer resource, we will need to be more conservative with our water usage. The U.N. recognizes renewables as a solution, considering their minimal water consumption. Compare geothermal, which uses only 5 gallons of water per MW/h, with natural gas, which requires 361 gallons of water per MW/h. You get the idea.
So how can you join us in making your support for renewable energy known this week? Here are some ideas, using #iheartrenewables:
1. Explain why you love renewables on social media like Twitter and Facebook.
2. Post a picture of a renewable energy source near your home or workplace.
3. Take a picture of yourself holding a paper with “I <3 RENEWABLES.”
Make sure you tag @ACORE in your posts, and not only will we share your post, but our favorite will win a prize. Our friends at @AWEA, @SEIA, and @IberdrolaRen (Iberdrola Renewables) will be taking part as well. We look forward to celebrating Earth Day and renewable energy with you!