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Renewable Electricity Standards…what is it?

What if everyone had fifty dollars in their pocket and instead of having to make more money, they could just reuse the fifty dollars over and over again: Wouldn’t that be perfect?  Now that money is involved, it just became a little more interesting, yes? What if I told you that there are policies similar to this example in place and continues to be implemented throughout different parts of the world? Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), also known as Renewable Electricity Standards (RES), are policies put into effect to ensure certain amounts of renewable energy are put in place. For those of you that just so happen to not be well rehearsed in the studies of in-depth renewable energy and technology, you’re in luck.  This is RPS for dummies! (Myself included).  As I set out on this quest to understand what exactly the concepts of these policies were, I began to realize that several places benefited from it for completely different reasons.  In the United States alone, twenty-nine of them have reinforced Renewable Electricity Standards as well as Washington D.C.

So what exactly does this do for us as a whole and within our community?  For one, it will help reduce pollution that can cause asthma as well as other medical complications.  In cities that are high volume such as Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis and Detroit, just to name a few, it’s nice to know that there are efforts being made to ensure healthier air in our lungs.  Also, economic development is another one of the benefits by having RPS used.  Those against RPS would beg to differ, but one of the intentions of having renewable energy sources is to not only decrease our carbon footprint and better our health, but it is a tool that will help decrease fossil fuel costs. According to the article by Richard W. Caperton from the Center for American Progress, “The Union of Concerned Scientists has documented how shifting electricity generation from natural gas to renewable causes natural gas prices to go down, making the remaining natural gas generation cheaper than it was before.”  Using renewable sources such as wind power can help produce power even in the worst of conditions.  Working with our natural resources and embracing them so that they work with us as opposed to working against them will propel us much further into a healthier, more reliable and self-sustainable community.

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