Helping the Environment
America used 3,200 billion kilowatt-hours of electricity in 1998. The Energy Information Agency predicts that consumption will increase to 4,400 billion kilowatt-hours in 2020. No one energy source can deliver all the electricity we need to fuel our economy.
Approximately 15% of our electricity is generated using natural gas. Natural gas combustion turbines (essentially a jet engine coupled to a big generator) produce energy very inexpensively ( 2.5 – 3 cents/kWh) and they are cleaner than coal plants. However, they still produce large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Nuclear energy produces approximately 19% of our electricity. It’s high costs and unresolved waste-storage issues will likely continue to exclude this technology from our future supply options. Nuclear energy’s share of our energy supply will likely decline as the current reactors reach the end of their operational lifetimes and are retired.
Renewables (hydro-electric, biomass, geothermal, wind, and solar) account for approximately 11% of our electricity supply.
Approximately 52% of the electricity used in this country comes from coal power plants. The U.S. has tremendous reserves of coal and in many cases it is the cheapest way to produce electricity. However, even with EPA emission limits, burning coal produces large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2), plus sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrous oxide (NOX), and particulates. CO2 is the leading greenhouse gas and SO2 has been linked to “acid rain”.
Why wind energy?
Wind power emits no pollution at all. Small wind turbines pose essentially no risk to birds. Small wind turbines do, however, make some noise and some people believe they cause “visual pollution.”
Wind power is the fastest growing source of electricity, according to the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI). EPRI also projects that wind power may be our lowest cost source of electricity within ten years.
A 10 kW Bergey GridTek system will offset approximately 1.2 tons of air pollutants and 250 tons of greenhouse gases over its 30-year operating life.
You can help the environment significantly by installing a Bergey wind system at your home or business. Your wind turbine’s energy production will directly reduce the amount of coal and natural gas burned by your utility company.