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.

SRECs in D.C.: prices, projections, and program status

Reading Time: 4 minutes If you’re considering installing solar in Washington D.C., the most important solar incentive to be aware of are solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). D.C. is one of the few governments that offers this performance-based incentive to people generating solar electricity. Even better, the District’s program is the most lucrative one in the country: when you […]

Reading Time: 4 minutes If you’re considering installing solar in Washington D.C., the most important solar incentive to be aware of are solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). D.C. is one of the few governments that offers this performance-based incentive to people generating solar electricity. Even better, the District’s program is the most lucrative one in the country: when you […]Reading Time: 4 minutes

If you’re considering installing solar in Washington D.C., the most important solar incentive to be aware of are solar renewable energy certificates (SRECs). D.C. is one of the few governments that offers this performance-based incentive to people generating solar electricity. Even better, the District’s program is the most lucrative one in the country: when you buy and install a solar panel system in D.C., you can earn thousands of dollars each year just from selling the certificates your system generates.

This article describes how the District’s SREC program works, explores current prices for SRECs, and discusses the future of the SREC program so that you can make a well-informed decision about going solar.

Find out what solar panels cost in your area in 2021

Key takeaways


  • D.C. has the most lucrative SREC program in the country
  • The amount you can earn in SRECs depends on supply and demand in the market, as well as how much electricity your solar panel system generates
  • Get free quotes from local D.C. installers on the EnergySage Marketplace to see how much you can earn from SRECs

How D.C.’s SREC program works

D.C. has a renewable portfolio standard (RPS) that requires its utilities to produce 100 percent of their electricity from renewable resources in 2032. Fortunately for those who want to install solar, the RPS also has a “solar carve-out,” which mandates that five percent of that renewable electricity target must come exclusively from solar power.

SRECs are a mechanism used to track the amount of electricity that comes from solar. As an owner of a solar panel system, you generate one SREC for every megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity your solar energy system produces. So, the average D.C. homeowner buying an eight-kilowatt (kW) system typically generates about 10 MWh of solar electricity per year, equal to 10 SRECs.

Utilities like Potomac Electric Power Company (PEPCO) purchase SRECs to comply with the solar component of the RPS. The owners of solar panel systems–from individual homeowners to large-scale solar developers–can sell their SRECs to utilities through the local government’s SREC market.

In D.C. specifically, an SREC has a useful life of three years: this means that SRECs you generate in 2021 can count towards 2021, 2022, or 2023 compliance periods. Importantly, only individuals who own (rather than lease) their solar energy system are eligible to sell SRECs in the D.C. SREC market.

DC SREC prices (current and projected)

The price of a single SREC isn’t fixed in Washington D.C. – it varies based on supply and demand within the market, and can change from day-to-day. For reference, in 2021, SRECs in D.C have sold for prices between $380 and $435.

So, what does this mean for you? Like we mentioned above, an average eight kW system will generate roughly 10,000 kilowatt-hours (kWh), or 10 MWhs of electricity a year. If you had a solar panel of this size in D.C. and sold your SRECs for $380 each, you’d earn an extra $3,800 a year – or an extra $19,000 in your first five years of solar power! This is a bonus towards the other incentives available (like the federal investment tax credit), and the savings you’ll see on your electric bill over 25+ years. Not too shabby, right?

10 SRECs x $380 = $3,800 in year one

50 SRECs x $380 = $19,000 over 5 years

Of course, the future price of SRECs in D.C. largely depends on market conditions. Post-COVID, the market has experienced an oversupply of SRECs, leading to slightly lower prices than in previous years. Despite this, D.C. remains the most advantageous SREC program in the country thanks to its ambitious renewable energy goals and high alternative compliance payments (i.e. penalty fees utilities have to pay if they don’t meet the goals mandated through the RPS). 

And the odds of D.C. retaining this gold medal SREC status are pretty high: when the District updated its renewable portfolio standard to be 100 percent renewable energy by 2032, they also expanded the solar carevout, calling for 10 percent of electricity sales to come from solar technologies by 2041. As a result, demand for solar electricity–and consequently, SRECs–should remain strong.

Selling SRECs in D.C.

We talked a lot above about how much you can earn by selling your SRECs…but how do you sell them in the first place?

Similar to trading any other type of intangible commodity, most solar panel system owners sell SRECs through an intermediary, known as aggregators or brokers. Three of the most popular platforms for EnergySage customers selling SRECs are SRECTrade, Sol Systems, and Knollwood Energy.

With most SREC aggregators, you can have as little or as much control over the sale of your SRECs as you’d like. Some people sell their SRECs as soon as they’re able to, while others will hang on to them, hoping that they’ll increase in value during their useful life. Additionally, many aggregators or solar companies offer to pre-buy your future SRECs at a fixed price, allowing you the opportunity to lock in your savings. Before agreeing to sell the rights to your SRECs, it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of this approach – we discuss in more detail throughout this article.

Compare solar options on EnergySage

On EnergySage, you can compare multiple options side-by-side from local D.C. installers that take into account the current incentives available – including SRECs! To start receiving free solar quotes, sign up on the EnergySage Marketplace today. Alternatively, if you want to start out your process with an estimate for what solar would cost you, try our Solar Calculator.

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