Renewable energy is derived from natural resources such as sunlight, wind, tides, biomass, and geothermal heat that replenish themselves continuously. Technological processes convert these resources into electricity and heat that we can use in our homes and businesses.
Renewable energy creates many public benefits, and produces fewer air and water pollutants than fossil fuels, such as sulfur oxides, nitrogen oxides, mercury and carbon dioxide.
We also increase our energy security when we diversify our energy portfolio. Fuel supplies for renewable energy are generally local, and are not subject to the price fluctuations seen for fossil based fuels. Renewables also provide economic development benefits by allowing money to stay in communities rather than pay to import energy from other areas.
The rising cost of traditional fossil-based energy resources and concerns about their effects on the environment are driving increased adoption of clean, renewable technologies. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, eight percent of the energy consumed in the U.S. is derived from renewable fuels, and this number is rising. In North Carolina, that number is only four percent. Most of our energy comes from coal, nuclear, and natural gas.
The Solar Center is committed to supporting the renewable energy industry through:
- Equipment Testing
- Policy Analysis
- Site Assessments
- Technical Assistance
- Technology Demonstration
- Workforce Development
- Economic Development