RENEWABLE ENERGY: THE CLEAN FACTS

Wind and sun oriented are controlling a perfect energy transformation. This is what you need to think about renewables and how you can help have an effect at home.
Solar Energy
Solar Energy
Sun powered, or photovoltaic (PV), cells are produced using silicon or different materials that change daylight straightforwardly into power. Disseminated galaxies create power locally for homes and organizations, either through roof boards or local area projects that power whole areas. Sun based ranches can produce power for a large number of homes, utilizing mirrors to think daylight across sections of land of sunlight based cells. Drifting sun based homesteads or "floatovoltaics" can be a successful utilization of wastewater offices and waterways that aren't naturally touchy. Sunlight based supplies somewhat more than 1% of U.S. power age. However, almost 33% of all new creating limit came from sun powered in 2017, second just to petroleum gas. Sun oriented energy frameworks don't create air toxins or ozone depleting substances, and as long as they are dependably sited, most sunlight based boards have not many natural effects past the assembling interaction.
Wind Energy
Wind Energy
We've made considerable progress from older style wind plants. Today, turbines as tall as high rises with turbines almost as wide in measurement prepare for action all throughout the planet. Wind energy turns a turbine's sharp edges, which takes care of an electric generator and produces power. Wind, which represents somewhat more than 6% of U.S. age, has become the least expensive fuel source in numerous pieces of the country. Top breeze power states incorporate California, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Iowa, however turbines can be put anyplace with high wind rates like ridges and open fields or even seaward in untamed water.
Hydroelectric Power
Hydroelectric Power
Hydropower is the biggest sustainable power hotspot for power in the United States, however wind energy is before long expected to assume control over the lead. Hydropower depends on water commonly quick water in an enormous waterway or quickly diving water from a high point and converts the power of that water into power by turning a generator's turbine sharp edges. Broadly and globally, huge hydroelectric plants or super dams are frequently viewed as nonrenewable energy. Uber dams redirect and decrease common streams, confining access for creature and human populaces that depend on waterways. Little hydroelectric plants (an introduced limit underneath around 40 megawatts), painstakingly oversaw, don't will in general reason as much natural harm, as they redirect just a negligible portion of stream.
Biomass Energy
Biomass Energy
Biomass is natural material that comes from plants and creatures, and incorporates crops, squander wood, and trees. At the point when biomass is singed, the compound energy is delivered as warmth and can create power with a steam turbine. Biomass is frequently erroneously portrayed as a spotless, inexhaustible fuel and a greener choice to coal and other non-renewable energy sources for creating power. In any case, late science shows that numerous types of biomass particularly from backwoods produce higher fossil fuel byproducts than petroleum derivatives. There are additionally unfortunate results for biodiversity. All things considered, a few types of biomass energy could fill in as a low-carbon alternative under the right conditions. For instance, sawdust and chips from sawmills that would some way or another rapidly deteriorate and discharge carbon can be a low-carbon fuel source.
Geothermal Energy
Geothermal Energy
In the event that you've at any point loose in an underground aquifer, you've utilized geothermal energy. The world's center is probably just about as warm as the sun's surface, because of the sluggish rot of radioactive particles in rocks at the focal point of the planet. Penetrating profound wells carries hot underground water to the surface as an aqueous asset, which is then siphoned through a turbine to make power. Geothermal plants commonly have low emanations on the off chance that they siphon the steam and water they use once more into the supply. There are approaches to make geothermal plants where there are not underground supplies, but rather there are worries that they may build the danger of a seismic tremor in regions previously viewed as topographical problem areas.
Nuclear
Nuclear
Atomic force, the utilization of supported atomic parting to create warmth and power, contributes almost 20% of the power produced in America. The United States has utilized atomic force for over 60 years to create solid, low-carbon energy and to help public protection exercises. The Energy Department's Office of Nuclear Energy's essential mission is to progress atomic force as an asset fit for making significant commitments in gathering our country's energy supply, ecological, and energy security needs. By zeroing in on the improvement of cutting edge atomic advances, NE upholds the Administration's objectives of giving homegrown wellsprings of secure energy, lessening ozone depleting substances, and upgrading public safety. Atomic force stays a significant piece of our country's energy portfolio, as we endeavor to diminish fossil fuel byproducts and address the danger of worldwide environmental change.
Bioenergy
Bioenergy
Biomass is a natural environmentally friendly power source that incorporates materials like farming and timberland buildups, energy yields, and green growth. Researchers and architects at the Energy Department and National Laboratories are discovering new, more productive approaches to change over biomass into biofuels that can replace ordinary fills like gas, diesel, and fly fuel. Bioenergy can help guarantee a monetarily strong and secure future while decreasing natural effects through: 1.Developing moderate homegrown fills and co-items 2. Propelling clean fuel sources 3.Generating homegrown responsibilities to help the development of the U.S. bioeconomy. Innovative work to change inexhaustible carbon and waste assets into feedstocks for transformation to biofuels, bioproducts, and bio power will reasonably grow biomass asset potential in the United States.
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
Hydrogen and Fuel Cells
The Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office (HFTO) centers around exploration, advancement, and exhibit of hydrogen and power module advances across various areas empowering development, a solid homegrown economy, and a perfect, evenhanded energy future. Hydrogen is the least difficult and most bountiful component known to man. It is found inside water, petroleum derivatives, and all living matter, yet it seldom exists as a gas on Earth—it should be isolated from different components. There are different homegrown assets that can be utilized to deliver hydrogen, including renewables (wind, sun oriented, hydropower, biomass, and geothermal energy), atomic force, and petroleum products (like flammable gas and coal – with carbon catch and sequestration). The U.S. at present creates in excess of 10 million metric huge loads of hydrogen each year, around one-seventh of the worldwide inventory.

Self-consumption: what you need to know

Reading Time: 6 minutes One concept gaining importance in the world of solar and home storage is self-consumption: producing and consuming your own electricity at your home or business. As net metering policies start to shift in the coming years, a self-consumption setup may be the key to maximizing your solar savings. What is self-consumption? If you have a […]

Reading Time: 6 minutes One concept gaining importance in the world of solar and home storage is self-consumption: producing and consuming your own electricity at your home or business. As net metering policies start to shift in the coming years, a self-consumption setup may be the key to maximizing your solar savings. What is self-consumption? If you have a […]Reading Time: 6 minutes

One concept gaining importance in the world of solar and home storage is self-consumption: producing and consuming your own electricity at your home or business. As net metering policies start to shift in the coming years, a self-consumption setup may be the key to maximizing your solar savings.

Save thousands on a solar and storage installation

Key takeaways


  • Self-consumption refers to producing and using the same electricity on-site
  • Self-consumption happens in two ways: sending electricity right to your appliances from solar panels, and storing electricity in a home battery for use later
  • With net metering policies potentially shifting in coming years, self-consumption is one way to maximize your solar savings
  • You can get competing solar-plus-storage quotes on the EnergySage Marketplace to make sure your lifetime solar savings are as high as they can be

What is self-consumption?

If you have a solar panel installation, there are a few ways you can take advantage of the electricity it generates: use the energy directly from your panels in real-time, pull solar credits from the grid with net metering, and draw stored solar electricity from a home battery. During the day when your panels are generating electricity and your appliances are running, electricity flows right from the panels to your home’s electrical outlets. With a traditional home solar panel system, if your panels produce more electricity than you need at any given moment, the extra electricity is sent to the grid – and, if your utility company offers net metering, you will get credits for all the exported electricity, which you can use later on. Alternatively, if you have a home battery, you can store any extra energy on-site instead of sending it to the grid. That way, you can draw electricity right from your battery when you need it rather than pulling electricity from the grid.

Importantly, when you send excess electricity to the grid for credits on your bill and use those credits at a later date (in the net metering example), you are not using the actual electricity your solar panels produced. Self-consumption (also known as self-supply) is when you produce electricity and then use those same electrons to power your home and appliances. This can happen in two ways: producing and using immediately (solar panels send electricity directly to your home appliances), or producing and storing for later (solar panels send electricity to a home battery, which you can draw from later).

Why is self-consumption important? How does it help you?

Historically, the vast majority of residential solar energy systems have been connected to the grid and set up on a net metering system. Most utilities offer “one-to-one” net metering, meaning you get full credit for the cost of the electricity you provide to the grid. What does a one-to-one net metering system entail? Here’s an excerpt from our article all about net metering:

How net metering works


Say you install a net metered solar panel system. When your solar panels are producing more electricity than you are using at any point during the day, the electricity is sent back to the grid, running your electric meter in reverse. When you use more electricity than your solar panels are producing, either at night or on cloudy days, you pull electricity back from the grid, running your meter forwards. At the end of the month or year, you are billed the net of what you put onto the grid and what you took off the grid: hence “net metering”. 

With a correctly sized solar energy system, you can produce enough electricity to match your home’s electricity use for the entire year. However, the amount of electricity your solar panels produce will vary throughout the year: more in sunnier summer months, and less when the sun is lower in the sky and sets earlier in the winter. Net metering helps you to account for these seasonal differences in solar production by crediting you for the excess electricity your panels produce so that you can use it at a later date.

However, some utility companies are changing the way they offer net metering. Take the proposed net metering 3.0 plan in California as an example – this rate setup could decrease the value of electricity sent back to the grid by almost 75 percent! For utility customers, this means the lifetime return on investment of a solar panel system could take a big hit. One way to mitigate these proposed changes (and other net metering payment structures that pay out at less than one-to-one): self-consumption.

Increase your solar savings with increased self-consumption

How exactly does self-consumption combat changing net metering policies? Consider the amount of electricity it takes to power your refrigerator for a day – about 150 watt-hours. If you generate that electricity on your roof with solar panels and feed it directly to your refrigerator, you pay $0 to your electricity provider. Let’s say that instead, you generate that 150 watt-hours on your roof, send it to the grid, and then pull it back out later to power the refrigerator. If you’re not on a one-to-one net metering rate, you won’t get credited for the full price of the 150 watt-hours. Maybe it’s an 80 percent payout instead; now, you’re credited for 120 watt-hours, and you need to pay for an additional 30 watt-hours to cover the power usage of the refrigerator. All of a sudden, you’re paying your utility company for power that you could have used for free. That’s where the value of self-consumption comes in: use the power you produce, and it won’t lose value.

To go off-grid with solar, self-consumption is essential

If you’re interested in going “off-grid” with solar, or just want to keep the lights on when your power is out, designing for high self-consumption is essential. With solar plus storage and a high degree of self-consumption, going off the grid might actually be a feasible setup for a small home. However, without self-consumption, you’ll run into problems. When you’re off the grid, you can’t send excess generation to the grid for net metering credits, and you definitely can’t pull electricity from the grid when your solar isn’t producing. 

How can you increase your own self-consumption?

While self-consumption isn’t necessary for everyone with solar panels on their property, it’s key to maximizing your savings without one-to-one net metering, which exists (or will exist in the future) in many places. There are three major ways to increase your self-consumption: altering your electricity consumption habits, installing a home battery and upgrading your electrical panel to a smart panel.

The solar self-consumption ratio


One way to assess your own self-consumption is to look at your solar self-consumption ratio. This is just the ratio between your solar production and the percentage of that solar production that’s consumed on site. Importantly, a self-consumption ratio of 100 percent doesn’t necessarily mean all of your electricity usage is self-supplied – it only means that you’re using all of the electricity you generate with solar on site. If your solar panel system is only sized to produce 80 percent of your electricity, you can still have a 100 percent self-consumption ratio, but you’ll still need to pull some energy from the grid to cover your entire usage.

#1: Change your electricity consumption habits to increase self-supply

The simplest way to increase your level of self-consumption is to adjust some of your daily habits. For example, because solar panels produce energy mostly during the day when the sun is out, you can make a note to run your dishwasher and laundry machine in the middle of the day to use as much electricity directly from your panels as possible. And at night, when your panels aren’t producing electricity, turning off appliances and lights will reduce the amount of electricity you’ll need to pull from the grid.

#2: Install a home battery to increase self-supply

One important way to increase your own solar self-consumption is to pair your solar panel system with a home battery setup. With a battery, excess electricity produced by your panels during the day is stored on site to be used later. A home battery essentially replaces the grid as a bank for extra solar electricity, and instead of losing out on value of that energy without one-to-one net metering, you can pull electricity from your battery without any loss in value. There are many reasons to get a battery, and increasing self-supply is a reason rising in importance each year.

#3: Upgrade to a smart electrical panel to increase self-supply

Want to go one step further than installing a home battery? Pair it with a smart electric panel like the Span Smart Panel or the Schneider Square D Energy Center. Smart devices like these combine the benefits of energy storage with the benefits of changing your energy usage habits. Perhaps more accurately, they help you automatically change your usage patterns to save energy and rely more on self-consumption using your home battery. With a smart panel, you can time certain appliances and automatically conserve electricity during low solar production times of the day.

Get started on your clean energy journey with EnergySage

Whether you’re interested in self-consumption to maximize your savings or get off the grid completely, the first place to start is comparing solar and energy storage quotes. That’s where EnergySage can help: when you sign up for a free account on the EnergySage Marketplace, we provide you with custom quotes from installers in your area. The best part? You can even include a smart panel in your installation. So what are you waiting for – get started with your own clean energy journey with EnergySage today!

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