Coal and renewable resources are the main sources of electricity generation in Georgia. Coal-fired power plants have been providing more than half of the state's energy needs, while clean energy projects have been bringing investment and jobs to the state. Georgia Power is taking steps to make coal-fired energy sources more environmentally friendly, such as replacing coal-fired units with clean, energy-efficient natural gas units at the McDonough-Atkinson plant. They are also helping reduce risks and costs by providing access to innovative industrial research, renewable natural resources and alternative energy crops, a global “logistics supergrid” and intelligent tax incentives.
Solar energy is being tested and used by Georgia Power, and homeowners can learn how to start using solar energy in their homes. The Georgia Public Utilities Commission (PSC) has the exclusive power to determine fair and reasonable rates for telecommunications, electricity and natural gas services under its jurisdiction. Central Georgia EMC voluntarily accepts and supports the Green-e Energy Code of Conduct and customer disclosure requirements, as well as independent verification methods. Southern Company and the Georgia Institute of Technology have been researching the effectiveness of wind as an energy source for Georgia.
Under Georgia's Protocol of Accession to the Energy Community Treaty, Georgia is committed to implementing several EU directives and regulations on electricity and gas markets, security of supply, renewable energy, energy efficiency and statistics. To provide affordable energy to households, the government's policy is to take advantage of the relatively cheap natural gas available in the country and supply it to residential sectors and thermal power plants (TPP) at a price lower than the market price. The Georgia Environmental Finance Authority (GEFA) was founded in 1985 to conserve and protect the state's energy, land and water resources. Central Georgia Electric Membership Corporation's green energy program is Green-e Energy certified and meets environmental and consumer protection standards established by the non-profit Center for Resource Solutions.
The PSC regulates the fees charged and services provided by most intra-state telecommunications, natural gas and electricity companies operating in Georgia. Climate change is modifying the hydrology of Georgian rivers and altering the availability of water for hydroelectric power generation. To address this issue, Georgia's Energy Strategy aims at diversifying electricity generation (through wind and solar) as well as increasing trade with neighboring countries to optimize natural resource use. Georgia Power's renewable energy development team is working hard to ensure that they are at the forefront of this exciting industry.