US Renewables Generated More Power Than Coal and Nuclear In 2021 – Latest Assessment
The two most abundant resources that are used for generating electricity in the United States are coal and nuclear. Coal is mined primarily in the southern US and Eastern part of the country. A major portion of this coal comes from the Powder River Basin in the Powder Valley, Montana, and Utah. The cost of this resource is increasing due to the high quantities needed and the finite nature of the supply.
Nuclear plants are constantly upgrading facilities to make them more efficient and secure. Some plants offer electricity through a process called “combined operation” where nuclear fission is combined with boiler water heating. This process produces high levels of heat and is very cost effective. The cost of electricity generated from nuclear has been falling steadily for the past few years.
In the mid-1990’s nuclear power plants began adding CNG or combi-moder couples. These are units that combine fuel oil and uranium in the pressurized water to create electricity. The combination of gas and oil also increases the probability of experiencing a gas leak. Most utility companies in the US allow for at least a 50% share of nuclear energy resources to be used.
Wind is considered the fastest-growing source of alternative electricity in the world. In the last five years, the development of offshore wind farms in North America has made it an even more attractive option. The large concentration of wind resource points into one area makes it an excellent choice for generating electricity. As technology progresses, there will be fewer limitations on the size and the height of the wind turbines.
While wind is the fastest growing renewable resources in the US, solar energy accounts for the largest percentage of overall renewable resources. Sunlight is converted into wind energy by using photovoltaic cells. The development of residential solar power systems continues to pick up momentum.
Natural gas is a rapidly growing natural resource as it can be used in place of oil. Some natural gas is produced by hydraulic fracturing and is often stored in natural gas storage wells. The gas is also transported by trucking and has become an important part of the transport industry. The transport and storage of natural gas have a significant impact on prices of natural gas. There are many questions that are being asked about the reliability and safety of the natural gas infrastructure.
As the global economy continues on its downturn, alternative energy resources will continue to grow and be a major part of how we power our homes. Although wind and solar energy are the two fastest growing sources, many other alternative energy resources are quickly becoming available. Many areas have already begun to implement renewable energy programs. For example, there are several utility companies that are now offering residential customers the option to buy a percentage of their electricity from a local renewable energy provider.
Biomass plays an important role in reducing the greenhouse effect. It is widely used for biomass boilers and wood pellets. Although it is expected to become more expensive, there are several new developments which have made it more affordable for residential customers. As a result, the cost of generating power from biomass has decreased significantly.
Biofuels like ethanol and biodiesel have been around for decades, but their potential as a natural fuel source has only been studied recently. Biomass is now being used to generate electricity at an economically feasible level. Another natural resource that is being explored for its use is geothermal energy. Geothermal plants use the heat from the earth to drive electric generators which in turn produces electricity.
All of these natural resources are relatively expensive to produce. They also consume a lot of energy to release their resources into the atmosphere. But, scientists believe that by developing these technologies, one can be able to tap into this natural resource for a relatively lower cost. One of the most promising technologies being developed is biofuels.
The government believes that developing countries can increase the usage of nuclear power and reduce dependency on other countries for energy. By investing in these alternative sources of energy, the US can lessen its dependence on oil and gasoline. But, until these technologies are developed, the United States will have to rely on fossil fuels for its energy needs. In the end, nuclear power and natural gas will still form the primary sources of energy for the United States.
Provided by Antonio Westley
Disclaimer: This article is meant to be seen as an overview of this subject and not a reflection of viewpoints or opinions as nothing is definitive. So, make sure to do your research and feel free to use this information at your own discretion.