No single solution
can meet our society's future energy needs. The solution instead
will come from a family of diverse energy technologies that share
a common thread -- they do not deplete our natural resources or
destroy our environment.
Renewable energy technologies tap into natural cycles and systems,
turning the ever-present energy around us into usable forms. The
movement of wind and water, the heat and light of the sun, heat in
the ground, the carbohydrates in plants -- all are natural energy
sources that can supply our needs in a sustainable way. Because
they are home-grown, renewables can also increase energy security
and create local jobs.
Our current energy system relies primarily on fossil and nuclear
fuels. Fossil fuel burning pollutes our air, water, and land --
harming human health and threatening the planet with global
warming. Nuclear energy creates enormous risks. Electricity
generators are the single largest class of industrial polluters.
We can increase our reliance on renewable energy by enacting
supportive federal and state policies, reducing barriers to the
adoption of renewable technologies and by encouraging individual,
business, and government purchasers of energy to use renewables.
And by ensuring that we use energy more efficiently.
UCS is working for sustainable energy policies at the federal and
state level. Much of our current work in this area has focused on
electric industry restructuring, a movement to introduce
competition in electricity generation. Restructuring the largest
polluting industry creates great risks and great opportunities.
Done incorrectly, pollution could increase, new technology could
stagnate, and existing renewables could be shut down. Done well,
we could reduce emissions and increase our use of clean and
You can help UCS make a difference.