Green Renewable Energy
What is Renewable Energy?
Renewable energy is generated from resources that are indefinitely replenished naturally, including: sunlight, wind, water, hydrogen, biomass, and geothermal heat. Traditionally, non-renewable energies like those produced through the combustion of fossil fuels, have been used to generate much of the world's power. This has led to many problems, including water and air pollution, harm to plant and animal life, the creation of toxic wastes, and climate change.
Why is it important?
While using less energy is very important, cleaner sources of energy will also be vital to creating a more sustainable city. Non-renewable energies such as coal and oil not only cause environmental harm through their extraction, processing, and use, but they are also subject to constantly fluctuating prices. Renewable energies cause less environmental damage, are more reliable, have more stable prices, and provide benefits to the local economy (jobs installing renewable energy technology can not be outsourced and are typically filled by local people).
What is the City doing?
The City of Pittsburgh has undertaken many renewable energy initiatives, including:
- The Western PA Energy Consortium, managed by the City of Pittsburgh, became a member of the EPA's Green Power Partnership for its purchase of renewable energy.
- The Consortium won a "Green Power Leadership Award" in September 2009 from the US EPA for purchasing 25% of electricity from renewable sources. This percentage increased to 15% in December 2009.
- The City uses B20 biodiesel (20% biodiesel, 80% traditional diesel) in all diesel equipment. 600, 000 gallons of Bio-diesel fuels are purchased for City of Pittsburgh diesel power truck fleet of over 400 vehicles. In 2013, the City retrofitted five diesel powered trucks piloting a 100% bio-diesel fuel. This is a brand new technology created in Pittsburgh.
- Pittsburgh is one of only 25 U.S. cities to be named a Solar America City through Department of Energy. Through this program, the City is working to accelerate the adoption of solar energy technologies.
- In October 2009, the City installed its first solar hot water heater on Pittsburgh Firehouse No. 34 in Woods Run. Funding has been secured through a state grant to install another 5 solar hot water heaters in 2010, eliminating the need to use natural gas to create hot water for showers and kitchens in those buildings.
- Also in October 2009, the City hosted the Northeastern Solar Cities Conference, where representatives from cities throughout Pennsylvania and the Northeastern United States had the opportunity to learn about solar energy use, especially for municipalities.
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