In a report titled “Renewables on the Rise 2023,” the Environment America Research & Policy Center and Frontier Group unveiled an online dashboard showcasing the remarkable growth of wind, solar, and geothermal power in the United States over the past decade. The report highlights the significant strides made in renewable energy production and the potential for a clean and sustainable future.
Expanding Renewable Energy Sources:
The United States has experienced a threefold increase in solar, wind, and geothermal power production since 2013, with growth observed in all 50 states. Johanna Neumann, the senior director of Environment America Research & Policy Center’s Campaign for 100% Renewable Energy, emphasized that renewable energy sources, particularly wind and solar, are playing an increasingly pivotal role in powering our lives. The report calls for a swift transition to renewable energy as a means to protect both our health and the environment.
The Renewables on the Rise 2023 dashboard compiles data from various sources to highlight progress in six key areas: wind, solar, electric vehicles, electric vehicle charging, energy efficiency, and battery storage. Some notable findings include:
- Wind Energy: In 2022, the United States produced enough wind energy to power nearly 41 million typical homes, representing a 2.6-fold increase from 2013.
- Solar Energy: Solar energy production saw a remarkable surge, with the U.S. generating enough solar energy in 2022 to power 19 million homes, nearly 12 times more than in 2013.
- Battery Energy Storage: By the end of 2022, the United States had 8.9 gigawatts of battery energy storage, a 60-fold increase from 2013. This growth in storage capacity aids the integration of renewable energy sources and ensures a reliable power supply during extreme weather events and grid stress.
- Energy Efficiency: Energy efficiency improvements installed in 2021 are projected to save 300 terawatt-hours of power over their lifetimes, sufficient to power 28 million homes for a year. Energy efficiency savings increased by approximately 20% between 2013 and 2021.
- Electric Vehicles: The adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) has witnessed a significant surge, with Americans purchasing over 925,000 plug-in EVs in 2022, representing a more than tenfold increase from 2013. Moreover, the number of electric vehicle chargers nationwide exceeded 151,000, an 18-fold increase from 2013.
- State Progress: Fourteen states now generate 30% or more of their electricity consumption from wind, solar, and geothermal sources, compared to just two states in 2013. Additionally, California, Texas, and Florida lead in solar power and battery storage growth, while Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma top the charts for wind power growth.
The report emphasizes that transitioning to clean and renewable energy sources is a nationwide endeavor, benefiting people in all 50 states. Tony Dutzik, associate director and senior policy analyst for Frontier Group, highlights the achievements of states that have long been leaders in clean energy and encourage growth in states across the country.
The report recommends that state and local governments set clean energy goals and leverage federal resources to achieve them. Additionally, policymakers should ensure fair compensation for investors in clean energy technology and adopt policies that streamline the adoption of clean energy technologies. Energy waste reduction through efficiency programs and policies is also crucial, including utility energy efficiency programs, energy codes for buildings, and appliance efficiency standards.
The Renewables on the Rise 2023 report showcases the remarkable progress made in renewable energy production in the United States over the past decade. With wind, solar, and geothermal power leading the charge, the report highlights the feasibility of transitioning to a clean and sustainable energy future. It calls on governors and state lawmakers to embrace this opportunity by setting clean energy goals, leveraging federal resources, and committing to a future powered entirely by renewable energy.
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