“Clean” energy is energy that emits little to no greenhouse gas emissions and includes renewable and carbon-free sources. This is in contrast to fossil fuels, which produce a significant amount of greenhouse gas emissions, including carbon dioxide and methane.
Renewable and Carbon-Free Energy – What’s the difference?
Renewable energy is energy that comes from resources that are naturally replenished such as sunlight and wind. Unlike fossil fuels, such as oil, natural gas and coal, which cannot be replaced, renewable energy regenerates naturally in a short period of time.
Nuclear power and even large hydropower are not considered renewable by California state law but do not emit greenhouse gas emissions, making them carbon-free sources of power.
- Examples of renewable energy sources: wind, solar, biomass, geothermal, and small hydropower
- Examples of carbon-free energy sources: larger hydropower and nuclear as well as all renewable energy resources listed above
- Examples of fossil fuel energy sources: natural gas, coal and oil
San José Clean Energy’s default GreenSource product contains at least 40% renewable energy from sources like solar and wind.
Benefits of Renewable Energy
Renewables are not only better for the environment, but are also becoming cheaper than traditional resources! Unlike fossil fuels, the price of renewable energy is stable in the long-term because there are no fuel costs. Coal and natural gas prices can cause surges in energy costs when fuel supplies become strained, so relying on abundant solar and wind energy helps us keep rates low and stable.
The benefits of renewable energy don’t stop with low, stable prices. It’s good for our health too! When fossil fuel energy is replaced with wind or solar, for example, the air we breathe and the water we drink gets cleaner.
When SJCE buys and builds green power, this has an added bonus of creating more clean energy jobs. Having control over our future energy supply allows the community to support projects that build a cleaner, greener economy.
SJCE is proud to support the city’s and state’s movement towards a more sustainable future for our families and future generations:
- Climate Smart San José, San José’s climate action plan
- California SB 100, requiring 100% clean energy by 2045
- California Energy Commission 2019 Building Energy Efficiency Standards, requiring solar panels on new homes beginning 2020