Alternative Energy

Published on May 15th, 2014 | by Scott Cooney


America’s Energy Mix: How Much Renewable Energy Do We Have?

Great stories are everywhere about the solar, wind, geothermal, and biomass revolution. Our sister site, CleanTechnica, regularly covers the booming business of renewable energy and clean technology, with its vast potential to offset dangerous emissions and help defray the effects of climate change.

With all the good news (and what media company would want to cover expansion of oil wells, right?), it might give many people the impression that we’ve come really far and are close to achieving a tipping point in terms of the energy mix in America (the amount of energy coming from a variety of sources). The truth is not quite so optimistic.

Check out this infographic on the state of America’s energy mix:

The Electric Slide (Infographic) | Where Americas Energy Goes

These projections are by no means meant to dissuade us from using energy more efficiently, or to give you the idea that we can’t alter the future. Quite on the contrary, my company, Pono Home, a green home consulting franchise business, has found that simple and effective strategies around energy efficiency in the home can save over 3500 kWh per year, and save residents upwards of $500 to $1500 per year on their utility bills (more in Hawaii, where we live, where electricity costs an absurd amount).

The answer to climate change is multi-faceted. All hands on deck are needed to combat the greatest threat to human civilization that we’ve ever seen. We need renewable energy development to proceed at breakneck speed, we need energy conservation measures in residential, commercial, industrial and transportation applications, and we need broad-scale education around sustainability to help people understand the impacts of their actions and their purchases.

In other words, we need you. You can step up to the plate and be a hero. πŸ™‚

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About the Author

Scott Cooney (twitter: scottcooney) is an adjunct professor of Sustainability in the MBA program at the University of Hawai'i, green business startup coach, author of Build a Green Small Business: Profitable Ways to Become an Ecopreneur (McGraw-Hill), and developer of the sustainability board game GBO Hawai'i. Scott has started, grown and sold two mission-driven businesses, failed miserably at a third, and is currently in his fourth. Scott's current company has three divisions: a sustainability blog network that includes the world's biggest clean energy website and reached over 5 million readers in December 2013 alone; Pono Home, a turnkey and franchiseable green home consulting service that won entrance into the clean tech incubator known as Energy Excelerator; and Cost of Solar, a solar lead generation service to connect interested homeowners and solar contractors. In his spare time, Scott surfs, plays ultimate frisbee and enjoys a good, long bike ride. Find Scott on

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