What is Renewable Energy?

Renewable Energy


There are many different kinds of energy that can be considered "renewable."  But what is "renewable"?  The word renewable refers to a source of power that cannot be used up - it is replaced at the same rate as it is used.  For example, wind power technologies use but do not deplete the wind, so they are renewable.  Fossil fuels like coal take many centuries to form, and are being used much more quickly than they can be replaced.  Fossil fuels are not a renewable form of energy. 

Renewable energy is clean energy.  While fossil fuels emit many pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide, as well as heavy metals and other dangerous byproducts, renewable sources of power generally have few if any emissions.  This is important, because as humans use more and more power in daily life in all cultures, the impacts of these pollutants, including acid rain, smog, and global climate change, continue to grow.

There is another characteristic that is often assumed when people talk about renewable energy: environmental impact.  Most renewable forms of power have minimal environmental impacts, but some forms of power, like large-scale hydro power, can be renewable but still be environmentally harmful.  Both a power source's potential for being renewed AND its environmental impact must be considered along with other criteria like cost and local resources.

Renewable energy technologies are the solution to creating a clean energy future for not only you and your family, but also the nation and the world.

Why Invest in Renewable Energy?

Eliminate or Reduce Your Current Energy Bill


Now you can have Solar Power to save.  By investing in a Solar Electric System - PV, you can generate your own clean electricity from sunlight, with no air pollution or noise, and most important, with a great cost-benefit ratio of your investment.


Reduce or eliminate bills for electricity. The inevitable rate hikes will not affect you. You are making a substantial investment in your property, rather than sending your money off to a utility company.

Stop Rising Energy Rate Increases


Duke and Owen Articles



 Owen Electric to Increased Charge to Residents in 2009

(Excerpts from Article by Jessica Noll 6/25/09 - On-Line KY Post)

In 2009, The Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) issued an order granting Owen Electric Cooperative Inc. a rate adjustment.

For a residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt hours per month, the new rates will increase the base monthly bill by $5.16, from $86.31 to $91.47, a six percent increase.

The base monthly rate figure does not include fuel cost adjustments or environmental surcharges, which also are passed on from EKPC.


Proposed Climate-Change Legislation

Climate-change bill could spike prices in Kentucky

 (Excerpts from Article by Scott Wartman 5/3/09 - Enquirer)


Duke's Northern Kentucky area manager, Rhonda Whitaker, told mayors of cities in Campbell County at a meeting last week that the draft climate and energy bill would impose regulations on carbon dioxide emissions that could raise people's rates by almost 40 percent.


The climate-change plan would cap the carbon-dioxide limit for industry and create a trade system where companies would purchase carbon-dioxide allowances above the limit.  Carbon-dioxide credits at $30 a ton could mean 39 percent rate increases for residential customers and 47 percent increases for industrial customers, Whitaker said.


The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce has advocated researching renewable energy technology, said chamber president Steve Stevens.



Duke Energy Electric Rate Increase

(Excerpts from Cincinnati, Oct 26, 2006 PRNewswire)


Duke Energy Kentucky announced today that it has reached a settlement agreement with the Kentucky Attorney General for a rate increase of $49 million, or 20 percent, in annual revenues to be effective Jan. 1, 2007.

Under the settleman, the montly bill for a typical residential customer using 1,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity would increase from $65.89 per month to $76.84 per month (16.66%). Commercial and industrial customers should expect increases of approximately 21 percent.




Pollution is the introduction of contaminants into an environment that causes instability, disorder, harm or discomfort to the  ecosystem. physical systems or living organisms . Pollution can take the form of chemical substances, or energy, such as noise, heat, or light. Pollutants, the elements of pollution, can be foreign substances or energies, or naturally occurring; when naturally occurring, they are considered contaminants when they exceed natural levels. Pollution is often classed as point source or nonpoint source pollution. The Blacksmith Institute issues annually provide a list of the world's worst polluted places. In the 2007 issues the ten top nominees are located in Azerbaijan, China, India, Peru, Russia, Ukranie and Zambia.
Pollution became a popular issue after WW2, when the aftermath of atomic warfare and testing made evident the perils of radioactive fallout. Then a conventional catastrophic event The Great Smog of 1952 in London killed at least 8000 people. This massive event prompted some of the first major modern environmental legislation, The Clean Air Act. of 1956.

Pollution began to draw major public attention in the United States between the mid-1950s and early 1970s, when Congress passed the Noise Control Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act and the National Enviroment Policy Act.


Tax Credit

Consumer Energy Tax Incentives
What the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act Means to You

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 extended many consumer tax incentives originally introduced in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT) and amended in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 (P.L. 110-343). Businesses, utilities, and governments are also eligible for tax credits.

See the summary of the energy tax incentives included in the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

About Tax Credits
A tax credit is generally more valuable than an equivalent tax deduction because a tax credit reduces tax dollar-for-dollar, while a deduction only removes a percentage of the tax that is owed. Consumers can itemize purchases on their federal income tax form, which will lower the total amount of tax they owe the government.

In addition to federal tax incentives, some consumers will also be eligible for utility or state rebates, as well as state tax incentives for energy-efficient homes, vehicles and equipment. Each state’s energy office web site may have more information on specific state tax information.


The Database for State Incentives for Renewable Energy (The DSIRE database, http://www.dsireusa.org/solar/) is a database of all state and federal incentive programs around the country for all types of renewable energy and also energy efficiency, and provides specific details and links state by state and at the federal level.

Home Energy Efficiency Improvement Tax Credits
Consumers who purchase and install specific products, such as energy-efficient windows, insulation, doors, roofs, and heating and cooling equipment in existing homes can receive a tax credit for 30% of the cost, up to $1,500, for improvements "placed in service" starting January 1, 2009, through December 31, 2010. See EnergyStar.gov for a complete summary of energy efficiency tax credits available to consumers.

Residential Renewable Energy Tax Credits
Consumers who install solar energy systems (including solar water heating and solar electric systems), small wind systems, geothermal heat pumps, and residential fuel cell and micro turbine systems can receive a 30% tax credit for systems placed in service before December 31, 2016; the previous tax credit cap no longer applies.

Residential customer is higher income tax brackets see comaparatively more value because residentail electricity expenses are paid after-tax dollars they aren't tax deductible. Tax treatment of the incentives depends on the type of customer, an possibly of the type of incentive.



There are several ways the government (in its various forms) can provide incentives for solar.   Here, are some of the various “Cash” or “Cash Equivalent” incentives, which include:

  • Tax Credits and teh U.S. Treasury Grant
  • Accelerated Depreciation
  • Sec. 179 Tax Deduction interaction with the ITC & Grant
  • Cash Rebates and Buy-downs
  • Performance Based Incentives (PBIs)
  • Feed-In Tariffs
  • Tax abatements (waivers of sales and/or property taxes)
  • SRECs (Green Tags) mandated by state law



Please seek professional advice from a qualified tax advisor to check the applicability and eligibility of incentives for a particular situation.


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