Last year was a difficult year for many Americans and industries amid the economic uncertainty through the Corona virus pandemic. While it may not have been the year for prosperity in many departments, people’s perspectives on the well-being of the future has brought it in the sustainable energy industry. Whether it was the record amount of blackouts across the nation, the pandemic sparking motivation for smart long term investments, or the tragic natural disasters, 2020 encouraged Americans to go green with their energy.
Wind and solar have both taken large strides in recent years as outdated grid systems in many states failed its residents and with ongoing climate change concerns, renewable energy has definitely been in the spotlight. Within the past year, solar and wind energy systems that have been added in place of the grid system are supplying enough energy to power around 11 million homes for an entire year showing a 61% increase in installations from 2019. What is causing such a drastic increase, though? States have been taking matters into their own hands to further progress in moving away from traditional electricity production through tax credits and other incentives for homeowners such as distributing excess electricity to communities in return for financial compensation.
Newer legislation put into action in 2020 and since has made states such as California and Hawaii leaders in requiring sustainable energy for residents throughout the state. California issued a state mandate stating that all new mid-sized homes must have roof-top solar panels. Hawaii recently instituted the mandate that 30% of energy generated within the state must come from a renewable energy source. Across the three largest islands that make up the state, they were able to surpass the goal, reaching 34.5% of electricity produced from a renewable energy source.
The big question through all of these strong advancements in sustainable energy is, are major power suppliers going to be able to make the switch from gas and other fossil fuels to clean energy sources and if so, when?
In the last four years since the Paris Agreement of 2016, the U.S. has decreased its emissions by 9% just in 2020 which is a huge chunk of the emission-decline goal by 2025 — now only four years away. Ethan Zindler, head of Americas research at BloombergNEF, claim it is a “remarkable drop”, but implied that the U.S. still has some interesting challenges to face before the goal year and further down the road.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/solar-wind-energy-united-states-2020/ https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/hawaii-is-ahead-of-schedule-for-renewable-power-adoption https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/wind-and-solar-defied-the-2020-economic-contraction-in-the-u.s
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