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Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Some good stories on Renewable Shift in U.S. Energy Landscape

Here's one we like a lot.  The US is speeding along on the road to clean energy.  This report calls it a "Tectronic Shift in U.S Energy landscape";  we call it the next great industrial revolution as we de-couple our economy from the power of fossil fuel.

The implications of this change are staggering.  Jobs, trade deficits, better income for states, more efficient and successful name it, this migration brings incredible value to every single community.

What a milestone to break, forever, we believe, the link between economic growth and energy consumption.  Now we can see smart growth and triple-bottom line management of commerce and governments.

Hooray!.  Great news:

The USA’s energy sector emitted less carbon pollution last year than in 1996; primarily due to energy efficiency gains and the country’s renewable energy revolution.

The Natural Resources Defense Council’s (NRDC’s) recently released report, “A Tectonic Shift in America’s Energy Landscape,” states the nation is already two-thirds of the way toward meeting President Obama’s Clean Power Plan goals of cutting 3 billion tons of carbon pollution by 2030.

A focus on energy efficiency saw electricity consumption rise 7.5 percent from 2000 to 2014; even though the U.S. population grew at nearly twice that rate.

Over the past four decades, the United States has broken the link between economic growth and energy consumption,” states the reportThanks in part to continuing progress on energy efficiency, the nation’s economy has tripled over this period, while energy use has increased by only one-third.”

Wind power production has seen 33-fold increase from 2000–2014 and solar power doubled its output in 2014 over 2013.

Just ten years ago, hydro-electric power in the USA was at a level three times that of all non-hydro resources combined. Last year, wind, solar, geothermal, and other renewable sources collectively generated electricity (7.5 percent of the U.S. total) than all the nation’s hydroelectric turbines.

The amount of renewable energy from wind turbines, solar panels, and other technologies now equals roughly 10 percent of the nation’s energy use,” said  report co-author and NRDC’s California Energy Project legal director, Sierra Martinez.

That’s like powering the world’s largest economy for more than a month without using any pollution-spewing coal, oil, or natural gas, and without additional harm to our lands, waters, and wildlife that is associated with extracting fossil fuels.”

On the topic of coal, the USA burned less of it last year than in 1990. The country’s coal consumption is down more than 21 percent from its peak in 2005. As recently as 2009, coal fired power generation was outpacing natural gas, wind, and solar electricity production combined by a factor of two.

NRDC’s Third Annual Energy Report, “A Tectonic Shift in America’s Energy Landscape”, can be viewed here (PDF).
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