Over recent years many nations around the world have acknowledged the need to employ a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Whether it be due to the threat of diminishing oil supplies, or in an attempt to reduce their carbon emissions and the rate of climate change. In this fashion the number of renewable energy installations, such as wind and solar farms have exploded, with gigawatts of clean energy being developed each year.
In the US, the total solar capacity in the Mid-Atlantic states has doubled for the past two years consecutively, and now sits at 1 gigawatt; enough to power one million homes.
This steady expansion of solar energy has been due to several factors; government incentives, lower costs of technology, and new financing options.
One financing option that is proving to be popular is where homeowners can have solar panels installed free of charge, on the proviso that they agree to buy the power generated by the solar panels. Effectively meaning they pay the utility company for green electricity produced in their own back garden, rather than fossil fuel based electricity produced at a power plant.
But before we get too excited by the apparent popularity of solar energy, I should inform you that the one gigawatt is only a tiny fraction of the 186 gigawatts that makes up the entire electric grid for the thirteen Mid-Atlantic states; of which 60 percent is produced in coal power plants, and in D.C and Virginia oil burning power plants provide the most electricity.
By. Charles Kennedy of Oilprice.com
Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com