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Supreme Power

Supreme Power Making Cash from Kilowatts This Earth Day, Americans and the planet have something big to celebrate; the US Supreme Court recently upheld regulation that pays people to avoid using electricity from the grid's worst polluting power plants. It's a positive move that puts more power to help the planet directly into the hands of energy users nationwide. But first, some carbon context. The Carbon Choke On our current course, our future will soon be choking on carbon. This carbon is what contributes to increasing temperatures and the havoc it wreaks on our climate. Co2 Atmospheric Concentration* (ppm) 810 700 560 450 397 403 2000 2020 2040 2060 2080 2100 *Parts-per million based on a business-as-usual scenario, not taking into account increases in carbon emissions from developing countries. The Cost of Carbon By 2100, our world's economies stand to lose over $14.3T due to climate change. That's the equivalent of the world losing its 90 largest companies. $529B $439.5B $344.5B $330.3B $246.7B $609.8B $11,800.2B Google EKON WELLS FARGO Other Microsoft facebook The Electric Blues What contributes the most to our carbon woes? Our electricity use. Whether it's lights, heating, cooking, or staying up until 4AM playing video games, we all bear responsibility for our carbon contributions. 3 3 Electricity 11 27 Land-use & Forestry Agriculture 12 Other Transportation O Manufacturing & Construction 13 18 Industrial Processes Waste 13 A Cure For Carbon? With energy innovations and a little practical thinking, we can save billions of pounds of CO2 emissions each year. Avoiding triggering the use of outdated, polluting power plants is an easy first step. Through the smart grid, we can reduce carbon emissions by nearly 18% by 2030. That's 3.1 trillion party balloons' worth of CO2, enough to string a line to the sun and back 3 times. Your carbon emissions increase significantly during just 1% of the time. It's during these peak times that we have a decision to make: keep using energy so that the grid has to turn on a dirty and expensive power plant or reduce our electricity usage. Get Dirty Get Smart If these dirty plants called peaker plants are forced to turn on, they emit about 3-10x the carbon emissions as By saving energy when the dirty power plants are about to turn on, you play an significant role in minimizing carbon emissions. normal power plants. The Smart Grid is the next generation of our nation's electricity system, which enables real-time information on our energy use, reduced utility bills, and paves the path for more renewables, such as wind and solar. The people who operate the grid would rather pay people to turn things off instead of paying a dirty power plant to turn on. The other benefit of getting smart? You get paid. Participants in these smart energy programs can receive up to $300. It pays to save energy. Save Money. Save The Planet. Learn more about how to reduce your impact at SOURCES: The Economist | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory Pennsylvanla State University College of Earth and Mineral Sclences | United States Association for Energy Economics Un versity of Washington College of the Environment | The Winthrop Corporation O ohmconnect

Supreme Power

shared by ColumnFive on Apr 30
With Earth Day coming up, Americans and the planet have something big to celebrate. Check out this infographic to get some carbon context.


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