How Much Green Energy Does It Take to Power a Light Bulb?
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory estimates that today’s renewable electricity generation technology, combined with better grid flexibility, could provide up to 80% of the country’s total power generation by 2050.
To put things into perspective, GOOD magazine considers the various energy supplier techniques that can be used to power a single light bulb for a year:
- Coal: 714 pounds
- Nuclear: 0.35 pounds of natural uranium
- Natural gas: 143 pounds
The above methods are likely already being used by your power company on a regular basis.
On the other end of the spectrum are the techniques used by green energy companies:
- Wind: 1.5 MW wind turbine operating at 25 percent capacity just a little over two hours
- Hydroelectric: 339 kW turbine operating at 80 percent efficiency for just two hours and 35 minutes
Though fossil fuels such as natural gas and oil are still widely-used power sources, green energy is becoming a formidable competitor, due to renewable portfolio standards and tax credits in some states. The U.S. Energy Information Administration found that the U.S. is a close “second worldwide in renewable electricity generation” to China.