*This is a special feature to DomesticFuel from Rebecca Paredes with Green Future.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Earth’s average temperature has risen by 1.5°F over the past century — and as long as we continue to burn fossil fuels, that number “is projected to rise another 0.5 to 8.6°F over the next hundred years.”
Human activities have released large amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. The majority of greenhouse gases come from burning fossil fuels to produce energy, and one of the prime offenders is coal — a resource that some estimate will last no more than another 250 years at today’s consumption rate.
So, not only are we increasing the planet’s overall atmospheric temperature, but we’re also steadily running out of the energy source that powers places like the Gibson generating station in southwestern Indiana, which churns out “more than 3,000 megawatts of electric power, 50 percent more than Hoover Dam,” writes Tim Appenzeller.
Fortunately, promising developments in the renewable energy sector have created greater opportunities for widespread change. For instance, the city of San Francisco recently became the first major US city to require the installation of solar panels on new buildings. This unanimous decision came as part of San Francisco’s goal to meet 100 percent of the city’s electricity demand with renewable energy.
Unexpected Sources Of Renewable Energy
At the same time, solar isn’t our planet’s only promising source of renewable energy; wind and hydroelectric power have also demonstrated that it’s possible to power large-scale electric grids. But some sources of renewable energy are distinctly out of the ordinary — and in some cases, they’re downright weird.