Happy Global Wind Day. This week on Trash Talk, I am writing to tell you about the benefits of renewable energy, how Wolven became a wind powered business, and how you can take 1 simple step to help promote a clean energy future.
Why Wind Power?
Overall, electricity accounts for 26.3% of total greenhouse gas emissions in the US. That’s where your home energy use comes in. You may not think about it, but the energy you use every day at home has a big impact on your carbon footprint. To avoid the most devastating impacts of climate change, we must reduce our CO2 emissions and transition away from using fossil fuels to power our lives. That means finding ways to conserve energy through efficiency and switching to renewable fuel sources.
Every month, your home uses a mix of energy that includes fossil fuels from your electricity supplier or local utility. Renewable energy is electricity produced from solar, wind, geothermal, biogas, eligible biomass, and low-impact small hydroelectric sources. In terms of creating power, these have the highest environmental benefit. Otherwise, electricity is produced at power plants by burning coal or using other fossil fuels which produce harmful emissions that contribute to climate change.
Whether energy is manufactured from a wind farm or a power plant, the electrons are the same. This electricity travels to homes and businesses through a network of distribution wires known as the electric power grid. Whether electrons were generated through coal, nuclear, wind, or solar, once they enter this grid it is impossible to distinguish their source.
How to Make a Difference
Most consumers often believe they have no agency in choosing where their power comes from. Luckily, that is not the case. In 2017, Wolven made the switch and started working with Arcadia Power — to make it easy to track where our power is coming from. Arcadia Power monitors our monthly electricity usage via our local utility. For each kilowatt-hour (kWh) we use, they match it with a kWh produced by a wind farm. They track this by purchasing and retiring renewable energy certificates (RECs) on our behalf. So far, we've kept 11,075 pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) out of our atmosphere.
What are RECs?
RECs give homes and businesses the flexibility to support clean, renewable energy — even if they cannot generate it themselves. Each REC represents an amount of electricity produced and delivered by a renewable source such as wind or solar. In order to track the clean electrons that wind puts on the grid, Arcadia Power sources RECs which are issued each time wind farms put electrons on the grid. When you buy those RECs you take ownership of that clean energy. They are the currency of the renewable energy market, allowing individual people and organizations to reduce their carbon footprint by choosing renewable energy.
Why Does this Matter?
When businesses and homes buy RECs, the revenue supports renewable power plants and aids the growth of the renewable energy industry. The larger the industry gets, the easier we can move away from our dependence on fossil fuels. When you join Arcadia Power you use your monthly energy bill to vote for renewable energy - and become one more organization or household driving the demand for a clean energy future. A clean, healthy society powered by renewable energy is possible — as long as we all get involved to voice our concerns and take action.
Click here to learn more about how Arcadia Power can ensure you are apart of a the clean energy movement.
Written By: Amanda Lapham, Wolven Sustainability Specialist