If so, it wasn’t from Tesla, it was from some “clean coal” technology in the power grid.
The problem is that coal power plants are much less efficient than wind farms.
The problem is that wind power plants are much more common than coal power plants—which have become a new and cheap source to run our electricity grid.
According to the Washington Post, between 1998 and the end of 2014, new energy storage costs fell by 80 percent—from $1.4 million per kilowatt-hour to $400,000 per kilowatt-hour. When the technology became cheaper, grid operators could make more sense of “free” electricity.
But the biggest threat to the free-energy myth is from politicians who don’t seem to understand that new energy sources bring a multitude of environmental benefits. They include low-carbon electricity, cleaner air, much less climate pollution, less CO2 emissions, greater security in times of uncertainty, and lower electricity rates.
In fact, there are now more than 10,000 wind farms in operation worldwide and more than 3,300 solar power plants that are planned or planning to be built in the United States.
But that new energy doesn’t come without some costs.
For starters, for every unit of electricity generated, natural gas and electricity from coal plants account for a disproportionate amount of carbon in the atmosphere.
Natural gas emits more methane than coal; natural gas is a significant greenhouse gas.
For instance, the average natural gas power plant produces about 1,400 metric tons of carbon dioxide per megawatt hour—more than five times the carbon dioxide produced by a coal plant.
Additionally, while coal plants have a 20 percent carbon footprint, wind turbines in wind farms have about a 20 percent footprint—an eight percentage point drop in their carbon footprint!
All this helps to explain why the renewable energy world has been able to grow and have such broad appeal—and why so many Americans seem to have gotten all worked up over an alleged “free energy.”
But let’s not get too hung up on a few minor details. We can and should have more energy efficiency, more cost effective energy, cleaner and more environmentally friendly electric grids and all that jazz…but you don’t have to be a radical to have a new energy source that actually provides all the environmental benefits of fossil fuels…
That’s right, and the truth is that we’ve been lucky enough to live in an
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