Renewable power creates jobs and generates revenue for local communities.
Revenue from solar and wind farms helps stimulate local economies that need new roads, schools, libraries, and hospitals. Wind energy is now one of the most cost-effective sources of new generation, competing with new installations of coal, gas and nuclear power. Its cost has dropped steadily over the past few years, as wind turbine technology has improved. Currently, over 400 American manufacturing plants build wind components, towers and blades. Wind and solar energy are reliable sources of electricity that can diversify our nation’s energy portfolio.
ABOUT WIND ENERGY Wind is air in motion caused by natural factors like the uneven heating of the earth’s surface by the sun, the rotation of the earth and the irregularities of the earth’s surface. Wind energy has been used for centuries to move ships, pump water and grind grain. In the twentieth century, windmills were commonly used across the Great Plains to pump water and to generate electricity.
HOW WIND ENERGY IS PRODUCED Wind turbines that are typically 200 feet or more above ground are used to harness the wind and turn it into energy. When the wind blows, it turns the turbines blades. The blades are connected to a drive shaft that moves with the blades. The shaft is attached to a generator, which creates electricity. The electricity created is in the form alternating current.
BENEFITS OF WIND ENERGY Wind turbines do not release emissions that pollute the air and they do not require water for cooling. Not only does wind power provide a clean source of electricity, it helps keep electric rates low and protects consumers against fossil fuel price volatility.
ABOUT SOLAR ENERGY Solar Panel Energy most renewable energy comes either directly or indirectly from the sun. Solar energy can be used for generating electricity, and for hot water heating and solar cooling. Solar energy is produced when the sun is shining during the day and is complementary to wind energy, which tends to reach its highest production at night.
HOW SOLAR ENERGY IS PRODUCED Concentrated solar power uses mirrors to reflect and concentrate sunlight onto receivers that collect the solar energy and convert it to heat. This thermal energy can then be used to produce electricity via a steam turbine or heat engine driving a generator.
BENEFITS OF SOLAR ENERGY Using solar energy produces no air or water pollution and no greenhouse gases. Solar energy is predictable and is most efficient when utility rates are the highest.