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The Bottom Line

Green Energy Guide: The Bottom Line

November 8, 2000

How do the various sources of electricity we have to choose from stack up when you look at all the issues overall? Here are EWG's ratings assessing how well each of the sources meet our criteria for sustainability on each issue. The ratings were based on a combination of quantitative and qualitative data. See Appendix and Environmental Impacts for more information on the qualitative components or our ratings.

 

Table 9. Rating the Sources: The Bottom Line

 

  Wind Solar Small Hydro Large Hydro Nat. Gas Biomass Coal Nuclear
Renewability 10 10 9 7 1 8 1 1
Land 8 7 3 2 8 1 1 1
Water 10 10 2 1 7 2 1 1
Air and Climate 10 10 10 10 2 6 1 7
Health and Safety 10 10 9 7 5 6 2 1
Energy Return Ratio 7 8 10 10 8 1 7 2
Price 8 2 9 9 7 4 6 1
Overall 9.0 8.1 7.4 6.6 5.4 4.0 2.7 2.0