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Cheap Electricity – Green Electricity

April 30, 2014

Green energy comes from many different sources and is distributed by many Texas electricity companies. Much of Texas’ green energy comes from wind turbines, but there are several methods for producing green energy, all of which cut back on the harmful carbon emissions that plague our atmosphere. Wind, water, solar, geothermal, and biomass are the primary contenders for green electricity. Solar power comes directly from the sun shining down onto large panels of photovoltaic (PV) receptors. Using semiconductors, the light is transformed into electricity and fed into the local grid. Some homes line their roofs with solar PV panels to help power themselves, saving money on electricity from outside sources. Home solar systems typically last about 20-25 years, providing cheap electricity that will make back more than the cost of the installation. Solar systems do not emit harmful emissions and will be viable for as long as the sun continues shining. Wind power is also ultimately powered by the sun. Texas is the top state for wind energy production and wind produces 4.1% of the total electricity in the United States. Wind energy is harnessed by using massive 20 story tall turbines that catch the daily breezes and turn them into cheap electricity. The turbines are most effective with constant, 13 mph winds. Wind can be very sporadic, so they don’t always produce a lot of electricity. When the football field sized span of blades are spinning, a gear inside the the area at the top of the tower rotates another gear on a turbine. The rotation of the turbine creates magnetic fields in copper wiring, which becomes electricity. The electricity is pumped down to a converter box, then added to the local grid. Hydroelectricity is the generation of electricity using turbines powered by the flow of water. Most applications we see of hydroelectricity are in the form of dams like the Hoover Dam on the Nevada. The water flows through massive pipes in the dam wall and passes through turbines with fins on them. The water makes the turbines spin, generating electricity just like in the wind turbines. Other hydroelectricity applications include harnessing wave energy and ocean currents. The ocean currents work just like wind, but they are much more consistent, leading to a higher amount of electricity generation. Geothermal energy comes from deep within the Earth. Water is pumped through pipes 2 miles into the Earth’s crust, where it is considerably warmer, due to deposits of molten rock called magma. The water heats up and becomes steam, which is piped back up to the surface where the high pressured steam spins turbines. Afterward, the steam condenses back into water and is pumped back down into the Earth. In addition to powering turbines to create electricity, some large buildings can use geothermal energy as radiant heat. Instead of spinning the turbine, the hot steam just radiates into the building to warm it up. Finally, biomass is the creation of electricity from decomposing materials. Biomass uses organic matter like leaves, trees, and animal waste. When it decomposes, it releases heat. Through decomposition or by burning the matter, water is heated to the point of creating steam, which is piped to turbines like with geothermal energy. With animal waste, it is stored in large tanks filled with bacteria. As the bacteria breaks down the waste, methane is released and subsequently burned to heat water. When it comes to getting the cheapest electricity rates, you have the power to choose a plan that suits your needs. Shop Texas Electricity will help you find cheap electric rates based on rates, contract length, and of course by whether the plan uses green energy. The Electricity Facts Label (EFL) of a plan will tell you how much of the electricity comes from green sources.

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