Gases from the burning of fossil fuels for power and transportation create a greenhouse effect. This is already causing global warming, changing our climate and raising our sea level. Air pollution from these sources is also a serious public health problem.
On the other hand, producing electricity from renewable sources like sunlight and wind creates no greenhouse gas emissions or air pollution. Sunlight and wind are unlimited and are free! Power can even be generated on buildings or on vacant land, close to where it is used. This strategy is called local clean energy or distributed generation.
Advantages of local clean energy:
- No emissions of greenhouse gases or toxic air pollutants.
- You and your community have control of your energy choices.
- Construction and maintenance of local clean energy resources creates local jobs for members of your community. This drives a more prosperous economy and local services. Employed workers pay local taxes and buy goods and services in the community.
- Distributed generation creates a more resilient and dependable system. Failures in the statewide transmission grid have less effect.
- Little or no energy is lost during transmission. (The farther it has to travel to you, the more power is lost!)
Examples of local resources for energy production:
- Solar panels on your roof, your local grocery store, or a school or government building.
- Solar panels on a vacant lot, over a parking lot, or over a reservoir.
- A wind farm on land very near to the city.
- Co-generation at an industrial site: steam which would otherwise be wasted turns a turbine to produce electricity.