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Renewable Energy Basics

Renewables 101

What is renewable energy, how is it produced, and how can you maximize the benefits for your organization? Collecting resources from DOE's Renewable Power Offices as well as the National Labs and others, this page will guide you through the basics of renewable energy power generation and how it can support your cost-savings, sustainability, and resilience goals.

Renewable Energy Overview

Renewable energy is energy collected from resources that are naturally replenished. These resources include solar, hydropower, wind, biomass, and geothermal heating/cooling. Click each energy source for more in-depth information from the National Renewable Energy Lab (NREL):

Organizations can procure renewable energy in three ways: 1) Owning renewable energy systems and consuming the energy they generate, 2) purchasing renewable power from third-party-owned systems, or 3) purchasing unbundled renewable energy credits (RECs). In any case, an organization needs to own and retire the RECs associated with the power in order to make renewable energy claims. Renewable energy generation can occur on-site (e.g. rooftop solar, micro-wind) or off-site (e.g. utility-scale renewables, community solar). An organization’s portfolio of renewable energy may include one or a combination of these procurement options to meet a broader goal. Below are some basic topics about renewable energy that may help inform decision-making including green power markets, technology integration, and costs and feasibility.

Find Solutions to Other Common Renewable Energy Barriers: