Select Your Strategies
Natural sources of energy that are continually replenished
Renewable energy sources have little to no global warming emissions and are constantly replenished. In 2012, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) found that renewable energy sources have the potential to supply about 480,000 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity per year, 118 times the amount of energy the United States currently consumes.1 The availability, cost, and effectiveness of renewable energy sources vary by location. There are many types of renewables, including solar, wind, geothermal, low-impact hydro, biomass, and wave or tidal. New renewable energy types and more efficient technologies are constantly being developed. Renewable energy can be purchased from the utility grid in many regions, or it can be installed on site. Renewables can help to stabilize energy costs and create a more reliable energy system. The increase of disruptive weather events has shown the resilience of renewable energy sources.2 Replacing fossil fuels with renewable energy also offers significant public health benefits, improves air quality, reduces premature mortality, and decreases lost workdays.3 Although renewable energy has the potential to cover all of our energy needs, no matter how much we consume, it is more economical and efficient to reduce the amount of energy needed before applying renewable sources. “Net Zero Energy” (NZE) buildings balance consumption with on-site renewable energy production, and some produce more energy than they need, selling the balance back to the grid.