Renewable energy sources are becoming increasingly popular in Central Georgia, with biomass, solar energy and hydropower providing around 12% of the state's net generation. Coal has traditionally been the main source of electricity production in the region, but its use has decreased by more than 50% in the last decade. Natural gas, biomass and solar energy have grown rapidly to meet Georgia's electricity needs. The Vogtle nuclear plant, located in Waynesboro, is currently undergoing expansion with two additional reactors being installed.
Once completed, it will become the largest nuclear power plant in the United States and one of the largest power plants of any type of fuel in the entire country. Nuclear energy provides around a quarter of the state's electricity. Southern Company and the Georgia Institute of Technology have been researching the effectiveness of wind as an energy source for Georgia. Georgia Power is also testing and using solar energy, and is encouraging homeowners to start using solar energy in their homes.
Central Georgia EMC has designated a 942-acre solar energy facility located in Hazlehurst for use in their Cooperative Solar program. Georgia Power is also making coal plants more environmentally friendly, and is replacing coal-fired units with clean, energy-efficient natural gas units at the McDonough-Atkinson plant. As renewable energy sources become more accessible and affordable, Central Georgia is well-positioned to take advantage of these clean sources of power. Solar energy is becoming increasingly popular due to its low cost and environmental benefits.
Wind power is also being explored as a viable option for providing electricity to the region. Hydropower is also being used to generate electricity in some areas of Central Georgia. Biomass is another renewable energy source that is gaining traction in Central Georgia. Biomass can be used to generate electricity or heat through burning wood chips or other organic materials.
This type of renewable energy can be used to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and reduce emissions. The state of Georgia has taken steps to encourage the use of renewable energy sources by offering incentives for businesses and homeowners who install solar panels or other renewable energy systems. The state also offers tax credits for businesses that invest in renewable energy projects. Central Georgia is well-positioned to take advantage of renewable energy sources due to its abundance of natural resources and its proximity to major cities like Atlanta.
With continued investment in renewable energy sources, Central Georgia can become a leader in clean energy production.