Honda to Offset 60% of its US Electricity use with Clean Options

Honda Company

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Multinational auto manufacturer Honda Motor Company, headquartered in Tokyo, revealed its plans to offset nearly 60% of its US-based electricity usage with clean alternatives. The company recently made the single largest amount of renewable clean energy purchase by any car maker to date. The electricity would be utilized to offset emissions from its US factories, thus facilitating Honda to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 60% in its North American manufacturing plants. To accomplish this Honda is participating in two virtual power purchase agreements (VPPAs).

A Virtual Power Purchase Agreement is a type of renewable energy contracting structure that provides a financial hedge against future energy fluctuations. It is a financially-settled arrangement between renewable energy projects and buyers, with buyers owning RECs. Renewable Energy Certificates are tradable, non-tangible energy commodities that represent proof that 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity was generated from an eligible renewable energy resource (renewable electricity) and was fed into the shared system of power lines which transport energy.

The multinational company acknowledges that the use of VPPAs is not the ideal way to reduce its carbon footprint and reiterated that ideally, they would purchase 100% renewable energy from the local utility, but that was not currently possible. So by employing VPPAs, they would be able to meet their goals for today. The purchase includes 530,000 MWh per year from the Boiling Spring Wind Farm in Oklahoma and 482,000 MWh per year from a Texas solar facility by fall 2021.which is the largest single purchase of wind and solar power by any automaker.

The renewable energy would help to offset the carbon-powered electricity used in its auto-manufacturing plants in Ohio, Indiana, and Alabama. In fact, the plants would not use electricity at and instead add clean energy to the nation’s electricity grid. Meanwhile, Honda expects to offset around 800,000 metric tons of CO2 emissions annually, which is equivalent to emissions from 100,000 US households.

Renewable energy agreements are becoming quite common; IKEA recently announced that it was planning to produce more energy than it was consuming by 2020. Tech giant Google was planning to invest over $2 billion in renewable energy infrastructure across the US, Europe, and South America. Other automakers are also finding innovative ways to support renewable energy.

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Benefits from Shift to Renewables Exceeds Policy Costs, MIT

Wind turbine

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New research into health savings from cleaner air by MIT shows that the health costs saved exceed the projected policy costs. Continue reading

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Clean Energy Set To Generate 35% of Australia’s Electricity

rooftop solar panels

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Clean energy is all set to generate 35% of the total electricity needs of Australia within the next two years, according to analysts. New data reiterates that the pace at which solar power is changing the national energy market is unprecedented/never before seen. Continue reading

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Hydroelectricity – Is It Good For the Environment?

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Hydroelectricity has been considered a cleaner source of power in comparison to polluting fossil fuels. Hydroelectricity also comes with benefits like the provision of water and irrigation as well as flood control and a low dependence on ester (carbon-based) energy sources. However, you must be wondering, how eco-friendly is hydel power? Continue reading

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Green Energy in the US eclipses Fossil-fuels for the First Time

A wind farm off California

A wind farm off California. Credit: PD Photo

The United States has broken a record in terms of electricity generation in April 2019 with 22% of its power coming from renewable sources. Coal-based energy only accounted for 20% of the entire energy output, marking a milestone for clean energy. Continue reading

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China’s Remote Region Tries to Set Clean Power Record

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China’s sparsely populated northwest Qinghai Province home to the headwaters of the Yangtze and Yellow rivers is reportedly attempting to set a new record for clean energy use. The plans would serve as a test bed for the entire country. Continue reading

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Electricity Generated at Estuaries Using Osmosis and Light

Osmotic energy is a source of power that’s naturally available at estuaries where freshwater comes in contact with seawater. The energy is now being tapped by researchers to develop a technology that would exploit the osmotic power (also known as blue energy). Continue reading

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Denmark’s Offshore Wind Zones will Help Green Electricity

Wind farm, Vindmølle Park, Denmark

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A study that was commissioned by the Danish government identified good locations for 12.4GW of additional offshore wind capacity recently. The designated zones could reportedly accommodate between 12 and 15 wind farms, depending on their size, according to a statement by the Danish Energy, Utilities, and Climate Ministry. Continue reading

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Scientists Make ‘Bionic Mushrooms’ that Create Electricity

Scientists are on a constant quest to replace fossil fuels with alternative, environmentally friendly sources of energy. In this context, researchers have come out with an ‘Alice in Wonderland’ sorts mushroom; a bionic mushroom that can generate electricity. The process will reportedly be used one day to power devices. Continue reading

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Super Tips to Save Electricity at No-Cost

Ceiling Light

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Are you a conscientious homeowner looking to use electricity more efficiently and also start saving electricity costs? Great! Some super-and-simple no-cost tips can help you lessen your electricity bill to save as much as $500 or more a year.

1. Check the lights
You may consider using fewer bulbs (with higher wattages). Also, use compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) switch to LED instead of ordinary bulbs. This switch is also reiterated by the US Department of Energy, which states that LEDs use at least 75% less energy and last 25 times longer in comparison to incandescent lighting naturally spelling savings.

2. Use the correct heaters
Switch to Infrared electricity heaters, which are energy efficient. Also consider oil heaters, which are the safest.

3. Take cold-and-short showers
Taking colder showers could not only be refreshing (for some) but also save on electricity. It is expensive to heat water, and if you cut down a couple of minutes of your shower each day, it would save electricity.

4. Get leaky faucets fixed
Have a leaky faucet? It needs a fix, a hot water leak in the faucet can cost you. Fix it and save up on your energy costs up to US$ 9 per year.

5. Laundry tips and upgrade
Consider cutting a load of wash every week, which could save US$ 18 a year, if you are using cold water only. Apart from this, you can switch to washing laundry in cold water, which could save up on your energy bill. Also, upgrade your laundry room and use energy-efficient appliances. Make that switch—as an average washer over 10 years old could cost you US$ 190 a year.

6. Use a programmable thermostat
A programmable thermostat can save nearly 10% on cooling and heating costs. Try programmable thermostat including the Ecobee, Honeywell, or Nest.

7. Get efficient with refrigeration
The ideal temperature for the fridge and freezer will keep it efficient. So, keep the fridge between 2°C and 3°C and the freezer at -18°C.

8. Use dishwashers
Do you hand wash your dishes? Consider using dishwashers as it saves more money, energy, water, and time in comparison to hand washing. This is reiterated by the California Energy Commission that states that using an Energy Star-qualified dishwasher can save you around 5,000 gallons of water and also save US$ 40 in utility costs every year.

9. Cooking tips
Use pressure cookers especially when preparing food that would take a long time to cook. And, keep the oven doors closed until the food is cooked.

10. Put electronics on standby
Instead of leaving electronics switched on, consider putting them on.

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