• Adam H. Cooke

Electricity Generation by Alternative Methods I

Over the past 50 years, electricity generation from on-grid sources in Connecticut has grown at a steady rate of around 17%, and the largest contributor to electricity generation is solar power. In 2021 alone, Connecticut produced about 28% of their electricity from on-grid solar power plants. As you can see, solar power has become an essential part of our electricity generation system. With all the incentives that are available today, more people are looking towards solar energy as a viable alternative to traditional sources such as coal and gas.

However, solar energy isn't the only source of clean energy that is available in Connecticut. Wind energy is also becoming a popular way to generate electricity for households and small businesses. In Connecticut, there are three major wind energy zones. These zones are located along the Connecticut coast and in southwest Connecticut near the New York border. To the south and west, the dominant wind energy zone is the Chaperon zone.

Unfortunately, even with high levels of wind power, Connecticut's dependence on natural gas emissions outstrips the amount of electricity produced. Gas emissions are a significant environmental concern in Connecticut because they cause air pollution, contribute to acid rain, and contribute to climate change. So as utility companies continue to add more natural gas to the transmission grid, residents of Connecticut will pay the high cost of both utility companies and their own reliance on gas. If something is not done to decrease gas emissions, the numbers will only continue to grow.

As states like Connecticut have looked for ways to reduce their dependency on coal and increase their dependence on clean energy, the federal government has been adding incentives to encourage clean energy markets. In particular, the Clean Energy Financing program has been a key player in helping to grow rapidly the clean energy market. The program offers money to states that develop clean energy technologies that generate the most electricity without increasing the harmful effects on the environment. The Clean Energy Financing program has several programs based on which clean energy technologies can be developed.

Clean energy technologies include the solar thermal industry, geothermal, biomass, wave and hydroelectricity. In addition to helping to develop these technologies, the Clean Energy Financing program is helping to train people in those sectors. One of the first training courses that was developed for this program focused on solar thermal energy generation. Now that the program has evolved and there are many solar thermal plants operating throughout the nation, more people are trained in this field. This in turn creates jobs for people in the area, as well as providing clean fuel technology that benefits the entire country.