September is turning out to be busy here at Team Climate. On Friday, we’re expecting protests and strikes worldwide to protest climate change. They’re timed to a week of climate events run in coordination with the United Nations. Then, on Saturday, youth delegates will convene in New York for a climate summit, and world leaders are scheduled to gather to discuss global warming on Monday. Those events will very likely draw protests and demonstrations, too.
All that comes after an, umm, lively start to the month. We’ve had no shortage of news, like the political storm over a presidential hurricane forecast. Then, there was the administration’s plan to relax energy efficiency rules for light bulbs and its effort to revoke California’s authority to set its own emissions standards. The president has been tweeting about that.
That’s because companies generally cannot send renewable energy directly to your home. Once electricity is in the grid, suppliers cannot distinguish the power produced by solar and wind farms from the power produced by fossil fuels, hydroelectric dams and nuclear plants.
To get around this problem, power companies came up with renewable energy certificates. Each certificate represents a given amount of electricity that’s been generated from renewable sources. When energy companies produce that power, they get certificates they can sell to consumers.