pollution: the need for renewable energy

Almost everything in our daily lives revolves around something that is powered: computing devices & peripheral equipment, transportation, communication, appliances, heating & cooling. And with many school populations bursting at the seams the result is a need for more power. How can we make less of an impact on traditional energy resources while continuing to function in a technology-driven society and also cut expenses?

SolarWalk is dedicated to helping schools find these energy-efficient solutions. 

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA), more than 5 million metric tons of Carbon Dioxide emissions were produced in America in 2017. About 34% of that (or 1,744 million metric tons) was a result of electrical power generation.

We are a technology-driven society and energy-efficient products have helped reduce some of the draw on our power supply. From Feb. 2018 to Feb. 2019 there was a total net generation of 313,278 (thousand mWh)—up 2.3% from the prior year’s consumption. (1)

Actually the national average of electricity costs has increased dramatically since 1997 (a 22-year period)—more than 55%, according to EIA data. (2)

A SolarWalk carport system can SAVE you almost 60% on electric bills over a 25-year period.

cost comparison: cents per kWh

Modern Energy Terminology

Carbon footprint image

Carbon Footprint is an estimate of the total amount of greenhouse gases produced to operate a product/home/business—which includes our daily travel, the food we eat, the amount and type of electricity we use, etc. There are online calculators to help determine an individual’s or business’ carbon footprint, but it’s not exactly accurate because often the goods and services purchased as well as the emissions produced by family members, staff or outside vendors  aren’t included in the calculations. So essentially the goal is for each of us to try and reduce our draw on the production and burning of fossil fuels.

Greenhouse gases image

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) are what is measured when calculating a site’s carbon footprint. According to NASA, these gases trap heat radiating from Earth toward space; certain gases in the atmosphere block heat from escaping the atmosphere. For our purposes, we will focus on carbon dioxide (CO2) which occurs when fossil fuels are burned. This accounts for most of the emissions in the U.S. (3)

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) calculated that in 2017 the second largest source of GHG emissions in the U.S. was from electricity production (following transportation, which was only 1% higher); approximately 63% of America’s electricity is generated from burning fossil fuels such as coal, oil and natural gas. (4)

Non-fossil sources of electricity (such as nuclear, solar, hydroelectric and wind) are non-carbon emitting.

Total U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Economic Sector in 2017

Greenhouse gases image

Percentages may not add up to 100% due to independent rounding.

In 2015 electricity production was the number one source of GHG emissions, so with the rise of non-fossil/renewable sources of power we should see electricity’s GHG emissions continue a downward trend.

Solar Makes Sense

Between the 1950s-70s, scientists began to explore other sources of power based on the continued growth of the global population and the realization that fossil fuel resources will be depleted at some point.

By the 21st century environmental damage as well as energy security and economic stability in regions such as the Middle East and Russia spurred further research to find alternative power solutions. (5)

In the past few years, renewable power sources have been incentivized with tax credits and net metering. Installation costs have also dropped significantly, which has helped the industry to reach into more widespread markets. Some states have actually implemented mandatory renewable energy standards. All of this growing solar activity has begun to show positive results. According to Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA) 2019 article, electricity generated by the sun offsets more than 73 million metric tons of CO2 emissions each year. (6)

Golden sun

SolarWalk is poised to develop solar carport solutions for school campuses that will set up reliable, sustainable electricity generation for years to come. No district funds are needed to build these projects, no staff/resources are needed for maintenance, and you only pay for the power you use.

Your SolarWalk commitment means you are locked in to stable rates that don’t fluctuate with inflation for the next 25 years. So your savings will continue to grow. And you get some covered parking, too!

Give us a call and we can talk. You’ve really got nothing to lose.

888.213.4900
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RESOURCES

(1) EIA: Net electricity generation
(2) EIA: Electrical cost comparison/data
(3) NASA: Greenhouse gases
(4) EPA: Greenhouse gas emissions data
(5) Environmental Science: Beginnings of alternative power sources
(6) Solar Energy Industries Association: Renewable energy data

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