Alternative Energy Sources – Types of Waste Avoided By Using Them

Posted by
Jay Nault

By now most people should be aware of the fact that alternative energy sources present many different advantages to the world. Yes, there may be a bit of extra cost involved initially for the consumer and business that switches to renewable energy sources, but in the long run there is potential for cost savings, and the cost savings on the environment and the air we breathe cannot be accurately quantified in terms of our quality of life.

That’s one of the reasons that Great American Power is launching our Green American Power initiative: We owe it to ourselves, to each other and to our descendants to protect the planet as much as possible. We’re going to release information from time to time that provides some background information on why our initiative and the move towards alternative energy sources is so important. Today, we’re going to break down the types of waste emitted from different types of “traditional” sources of fuel and energy.


In recent years, the use of coal for power has declined in the United States, starting in around 2009. Burning coal produces so much waste that it has earned its own name: coal combustion waste. Examples of coal combustion waste include:

  • Coal ash
  • Boiler slag
  • Flue-gas desulphurization products

If these forms of waste cannot be reused somehow, they must be stored.

Natural Gas

Natural gas has become the largest source of domestic energy production in the United States. There are wastes and problems associated both with acquiring and generating natural gas and using it. The most widely known problem related to obtaining natural gas involves the fallout from fracking. In addition, the use of natural gas produces air emissions and solid waste that are harmful.


There was a time when nuclear power was seen as the answer for all of the power needs not only in the United States, but the world. The production of nuclear power is relatively clean and generally safe, but if anything goes wrong with any nuclear power plant, the results can be catastrophic. Three Mile Island, Chernobyl and Fukushima are just three prominent examples from different parts of the world.


Oil is not only a finite resource, thereby creating fierce competition for access to it, but it’s also harmful to the environment. Both of these realities are reasons that people have been searching for alternative energy sources. Burning oil creates harmful air emissions, and what’s left behind after oil is burned needs to be managed properly.

No form of energy is perfect. Even renewable energy resources come with certain costs and risks of harm, but in general they are less than those associated with traditional forms of energy. That’s why Great American Power is working diligently to help its customers move towards alternative energy sources, as most of the people we work with favor this type of approach for their energy needs. It’s going to take some time, but we’re going to stick to it and provide options for everyone who wants to explore them. If you’d like to learn more about our Green American Power initiative, feel free to contact us at any time.