Renewable Energy

Photo © Richard Barry

Renewable energy installations are on the rise in the United States. In 2015, renewables accounted for 10% of total U.S. energy consumption and approximately 13% of U.S. electricity generation–this statistic includes solar, wind, biomass, hydropower, and liquid fuels.


Photo © U.S. Energy Information Administration (September, 2016)

This is up from from just over 10% that came from renewable electricity generation in the United States in 2010. Three percent may seem like a slow rise, but renewable energy industries are growing and showing no signs of slowing.

Wind farm turbines situated on a ridge top in the Appalachian mountains of West Virginia.

Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Kent Mason)

Incentives by the federal government, through the Investment Tax Credit (ITC), which were extended at the end of 2015, for another five years, have been a part of the rush to install alternative energy systems on private and public property. These incentives provide 30% rebates on solar, fuel cells, small wind, and 10% rebates for geothermal and microturbines. Homeowners, businesses, and municipalities have seen this as an ideal window of time to consider renewable energy installations.


Photo © FarmGirl2011

We want to know about your renewable energy efforts. At Habitat Network we recognize that how we generate and use energy has ripple effects on the environment and wildlife. Individual users and communities that embrace renewable energy installations are taking a positive step to minimize the footprint of their homes and communities and are helping to mitigate climate change by reducing carbon dioxide emissions. Climate change is one of the top issues cited in the State of the Birds Report, 2016 and causing concern among conservation biologists studying how ecosystems are adapting, or struggling to adapt, to climatic changes.

The Disney Wilderness Preserve's Geothermal A/C System

Photo © The Nature Conservancy (Rich Franco Photography)

There are three objects that can be added to your map to demonstrate your renewable energy choices: solar panels , windmill and a geothermal station . These are the three most common infrastructures used by private landowners.

Add renewable energy to your Map


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Go to Site Explore and choose My Sites. Pick the map where you will place your renewable energy object. Then, pick Third in the Toolshed to map an object.


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Along the bottom of the screen are the objects, scroll over to the right to find the solar, windmill and geothermal station object. Select the object you would like to add.


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On your map, choose the location for your object, click once and white dots will appear, as you expand the dots the object will become visible. Make the renewable energy object as big or as small a necessary to depict your system by dragging the white dots.


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Don’t forget to complete the characteristics for your object by telling us the percentage of energy needs met for all three of these objects.You can find the characteristics window by selecting the green Info button that corresponds to your renewable energy object.


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The geothermal station also asks you to identify whether the system is used for heating, cooling, both heating and cooling, or electricity. Please complete the characteristics for these objects so we have a better sense of how your system is supporting your energy needs.

Congratulations on making a renewable energy source a part of your property!