How is energy produced in our country?
Most energy produced today in the United States, as in the rest of the industrialized world, comes from fossil fuels--coal, natural gas, crude oil, and natural gas plant. Although U.S. energy production takes many forms, fossil fuels together far exceed all other sources of energy.
- Electricity production is the #1 source of industrial air pollution.
- Electricity production accounts for 40% of national CO2 pollution.
- Produces same CO2 as 400 million cars.
- National energy mix: coal 53%, nuclear 20%, natural gas 15%, hydroelectricity 7%, oil 3%, renewable sources 2%
U.S. power plants emit:
- 70% of the sulfur dioxide
- 34% of carbon dioxide
- 33% of nitrogen oxides
- 28% of particulate matter
- 23% of toxic heavy metals
This pollution leads to:
- Acid Rain
- Respiratory Problems
- Climate Change
Why wind power?
- It saves our natural resources
- It creates no air pollution
- It doesn't create any other bad by-products like nuclear waste
- It’s a great source of supplemental income for farmers and ranchers
- It doesn't cost very much more now, and creates a clean, non-confrontational energy future for the planet.
How does buying wind power work?
It’s actually impossible to pipe wind power directly to the festival. Planet Bluegrass drains electricity from the national power grid and uses the same mix of energy as everybody else. But that doesn’t mean we don’t have a choice. Planet Bluegrass is purchasing renewable energy credits from wind farms around the country to offset 100% of the projected carbon emissions festival energy AND TRAVEL (based on the previous year’s travel and energy use).
Why does wind power cost more?
The "fuel" is free, but there is still a lot of investment to be made in building wind farm capacity across the U.S. - which makes the current price for wind a bit more expensive than continuing to burn fossil fuels in plants that were built and paid for long ago. Our investment in wind energy credits ensures a cheap, clean, inexhaustible source of energy now, and for future generations.
What’s a REC (Renewable energy Credit)?
A certificate that represents the environmental attributes of 1 MWh of electricity from a renewable energy source. Learn more...
How many states have wind farms?
There are already wind farms in 30 states!
Is there enough wind power potential for it to be a realistic source of electricity?
We have enough wind potential in North Dakota, Kansas and Texas alone to produce enough electricity for the entire U.S.
Do wind turbines kill birds?
Once in a while, a bird hits a wind turbine - but new technology allows for longer blades that turn more slowly and there is now more sensitivity to placing turbines outside migratory paths. The Audubon society estimates that 2.2 birds died for each wind turbine last year, as compared to over 800 million birds killed by collisions with other man-made items like windows, wind shields and power lines.
What is biomass?
Biomass is organic material that releases energy as heat when burned. Examples of biomass fuels include wood, wood waste, straw, manure, and agricultural crops. Biomass obtains its energy from the sun while plants are growing. Plants convert solar energy into chemical energy during the process of photosynthesis. This energy is released as heat energy when the plant material is burned. Biomass power plants burn biomass fuels in boilers. The heat released from this process is used to heat water into steam to turn a steam turbine to create electricity.
What is low impact hydropower?
Low-impact (small) hydropower is created when the flow of water spins a turbine in a setting that has reduced environmental impacts. Eligible facilities meet criteria such as minimum impact on river flows, water quality, fish passage, and watershed protection. In the absence of information on these environmental criteria, a minimum generating capacity (30MW) determines eligibility. Eligible hydropower facilities often operate in a “run of the river” mode, in which little or no water is stored behind a dam.
|Bear Creek in Telluride's Town Park|
How can I sign up for wind power?
There are about three dozen companies nationally (and growing), each with different products. In Colorado, you can sign-up for wind power with Renewable Choice Energy by visiting their website, www.renewablechoice.com, or you can sign-up over the phone toll-free at 1-877-810-8670. Renewable Choice Energy will also be at all of our events throughout the summer.
The idea of helping consumers, organizations and businesses neutralize their personal or corporate greenhouse gas emissions by offsetting emissions associated with their lives and activities.
The act of reducing or avoiding GHG emissions in one place in order to “offset” GHG emissions occurring somewhere else.
Want more information?
For more information on REC’s (Renewable Energy Credits) and the mechanics of the power grid and renewable energy programs, try Googling REC’s and refer to the following webpages:
- UCSUSA.org – Union of Concerned Scientists. A great resource for alternative energy
- RenewableChoice.com – Planet Bluegrass’ renewable energy partner
- WindCurrent.com – nice video explaining the basics
- MyFootprint.org – what’s your environmental footprint?
- CleanAir-CoolPlanet.org – resource on global warming
- AGreenerFestival.org – practical advice for sustainable festivating
- NRC-Recycle.org - National Recycling Coalition, a non-profit waste reduction advocacy group