Electricity generation is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gasses in the world and the piece of the economy that is easiest to decarbonize.
One simple thing that we’ve done (as Seattle residents) is sign up for the Green Up! Program with Seattle City Light. For $12 per month, the utility purchases the equivalent of 100% of the average energy use of a household from renewable energy providers. Most utilities have green power programs but not all advertise that fact.
SCL is already one of the nation’s cleanest / most carbon neutral utilities thanks to abundant hydro power, but Green UP takes it a step further. Here’s an energy breakdown for both Green Up and regular SCL.
Ordinary SCL Power Mix
If you live on the Eastside or up north, PSE has a green energy program as well. It’s even more important to sign up there because PSE’s energy sources are a lot less environmentally friendly!
I find this shameful – 38% Coal!?! Really? And to think that we the cost to get rid of this problem for somewhere on the order of $10 – $20 per month. This is a no-brainer and really ought to be required rather than optional.
We’re fortunate to have access to so much hydro power here in the Northwest, but it’s an effectively fixed supply. Eventually we should be able to use it to mitigate the variability of solar and wind power and use carbon free energy to power the entire state. See the duck curve (Quack!). By spending just a little bit more, you can push the state in the right direction. Let’s get rid of that coal first and natural gas second!