Low Costs. Huge Economic Benefits.
Well-paying jobs, economic investment in communities, energy independence, and a cleaner environment are just a few of the many reasons that a majority of Americans consistently support developing renewable electricity.
Wind, hydropower, geothermal, solar, and other renewables are already providing 18 percent of the U.S. electricity, and wind and solar energy in particular are capturing an increasing share of the power grid every year.
Renewable electricity is now more affordable than ever, as technological innovations continue to lower costs. And as more renewable power comes online, the U.S. renewable industries have become a job engine. Together, they now directly employ more than half a million Americans, according to a 2017 U.S Department of Energy study. One out of every 50 new U.S. jobs in 2016 was in the solar industry, and wind turbine technician is the fastest growing job category in the country.
The recent growth of the renewable electricity sector is one of greatest business success stories of the 21st century, and further commitment to a clean and renewable America is the fastest way to build future energy security and prosperity.
Wind power is clean, affordable, domestically produced renewable electricity. Thanks to technological advances, the price of American wind power has fallen 66 percent since 2009, saving consumers money. And building new wind farms has attracted over $143 billion in private investment to the U.S. economy since 2007. Wind power is also a job creator, as more than 102,000 Americans are now employed by the wind industry - tens of thousands are well-paying manufacturing and construction jobs. Wind is particularly benefiting rural America, as it offers family farmers and ranchers a new drought-resistant cash crop. Wind now powers close to 6 percent of the U.S. power grid, and could reach 20 percent by 2030 according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
The U.S. solar industry is one of the fastest growing energy sectors, and America has some of the best solar resources in the world. The cost of solar power has declined 85 percent since 2009, and the industry now employs over 250,000 workers. U.S. solar power had its biggest year ever in 2016, nearly doubling its previous record and adding more electric generating capacity than any other source of energy for the first time ever.
Solar power is a flexible energy technology: power plants can be built as distributed generation (located at or near the point of use) or as a central-station, utility-scale solar power plant (similar to traditional power plants).
From the winds of the Great Plains to the desert sun of the Southwest, our nation has vast potential to create clean, cheap, renewable power to revitalize our economy, and strengthen our national security. To tap this great resource, we must expand and upgrade our high-voltage electric power transmission system to enable the delivery of these resources from our country’s remote areas to population centers.
Energy storage fundamentally improves the way we generate, deliver, and consume electricity. Energy storage helps during emergencies like power outages from storms, equipment failures, accidents or even terrorist attacks. But the game-changing nature of energy storage is its ability to balance power supply and demand instantaneously - within miliseconds - which makes power networks more resilient, efficient, and cleaner than ever before. The cost of energy storage is rapidly declining and the The U.S. energy storage market grew 27 percent in 2017, with 431 megawatt-hours deployed on the year.
- DSIRE (Database of State Incentives for Renewable Energy)
- Energy Information Agency
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Hydropower
- Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Renewable Integration
- Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Electricity Markets and Power Group)
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory
- U.S. Forest Service, Biomass