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Solar Field just off I-95 in Florence, South Carolina Photo: Monica Medina
By Alexandra Patel and Monica Medina
This week as you sit in the sun somewhere (we hope), consider that solar power is surging in the U.S. A recent report from Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables and the Solar Energy Industries Association announced that the first quarter of 2019 was the strongest in the U.S. solar industry’s history with 2.7 gigawatts of solar capacity added to the grid.
Large scale utility solar projects, such those taking place in Florida and the Carolinas, accounted for 61 percent of this expansion and are expected to increase by another 46 percent.
Why This Matters: The international consensus among scientists is that to mitigate the worst effects of climate change, temperature increases must not exceed 2 degrees Celsius. To achieve this goal, transitioning to clean energy, specifically that of solar energy, is crucial to sustaining the U.S. economy while simultaneously curtailing the negative impacts of energy generation on the environment. New York is already taking the first step towards a net zero economy through large investments in solar energy and is predicted to reach its goals by 2050 should it stay on track. And now Los Angeles has struck a revolutionary deal that leaves fossil fuels and nuclear power in the dust. The prospects for a clean energy future in the U.S. are getting brighter.
Solar Power Booming in the South
National Public Radio reported last week about how the decreasing cost of solar technology, available land and lots of sunshine are driving demand for massive, utility-scale solar projects across the American Southeast.
Where the US Stands Now: The is a strong bounce back from last year during which solar installations dropped by 2 percent. Solar energy doesn’t even makeup 2 percent of the U.S. energy generation. Falling costs, however, according to the Energy Information Administration, are setting up the industry to be the “fastest growing source of U.S. electricity generation for at least the next two years.” Coal generation in comparison continues to fall and accounts for only 28 percent of U.S. energy generation. Forbes quoted Mark Z. Jacobson, the Stanford professor who developed roadmaps for transitioning 139 countries to 100 percent renewables, hailed the LA solar/battery deal on Twitter Friday, saying, “Goodnight #naturalgas, goodnight #coal, goodnight #nuclear.”
As Greentech Media reported, oil and gas giant BP announced yesterday that it will cut its oil and gas output by 40% by 2030 and increase its low-carbon investment tenfold by then as it begins to detail its 2050 net-zero strategy. This announcement comes after BP head of strategy Giulia Chierchia told investors on a […]
Investment in electric vehicles and their components and infrastructure continue to grow in spite of the pandemic and economic downturn, not to mention the infancy of the market.According to MarketWatch.com, there is “sky high” investor interest in clean energy and electric vehicle companies.
President Trump trumpeted his trade deal with China, but so far it has been a bust, according to The Wall Street Journal — the Chinese have not purchased nearly the amount of energy (in terms of total dollars) as they promised — only $2B in oil and gas purchases against a commitment of $25B for this year.
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