Last month, I shared a blog that delved into a topic that’s near and dear to my heart, clean and renewable energy (you can read it here.)
Today, I’ll explore 15 more facts about clean energy – which is ready to change our world!
The use of the sun, wind, and water to provide heat, fuel, or other utility is nothing new. In fact, many ancient cultures utilized natural elements to improve their lives. The ancient Egyptians designed their homes to maximize the sun’s heat, and in Greece, Socrates even gave lectures on solar architecture. The Romans used solar to keep their homes and structures light and warm and built advanced aqueduct systems to provide water to their citizens. From ancient Chinese dynasties to the early pre-American civilizations and more, embracing the sun and nature to improve our lives is almost as ancient as humankind itself.
Fast forward all the way to 2021, and power generation from renewable energy sources just hit an all-time high. In fact, about 30% of the world’s electricity comes from renewable or clean energy sources these days, and that number is even higher if we add in nuclear power or other hybrid sources.
For the first time ever (ok, since the industrial age at least!), that 30% of the world’s energy from renewables surpasses the percentage generated from coal.
Is the adoption of renewable energy viable for large industrial cities and population centers? At least 100 cities across the globe now use 70% renewable energy or more, and many are committing to reach 100% use of renewable energy sources.
If the U.S. went with 100% renewable energy right now, it would save $321 billion in energy costs in the first year alone – and that includes the cost of much-needed clean energy infrastructure improvements.
In September 2021, the United Nations is hosting a High Level Dialogue on Energy, the first symposium of its kind in 40 years. The UN-Energy organizer hopes to unite nations, the business community, international organizations, and civil societies with the goal of taking broad and definite action to implement renewable energy and more.
By 2050, it’s estimated that solar power will supply approximately 50% of U.S. energy needs! Add in other renewable power sources, and the vast majority of electricity will be clean and green within a few decades.
If you compare the cost per MWh, solar comes out a clear winner for consumers who want to save. In fact, Solar P.V. is $30-$60, Gas $50-$90, and Coal $50-$120.
The role of fossil fuel use on greenhouse gas emissions has now been scientifically proven without a shadow of a doubt.
The energy sector is by far the largest offender when it comes to the use of greenhouse gases that enable climate chaos.
Two-thirds of all growth in renewable energy now comes from wind and solar power.
Most fossil fuels are woefully inefficient. For instance, coal only emits 29% of its original intrinsic value in energy. On the other end of the scale, wind power gives off 1,164% of its value in energy, the most efficient of all energy sources.
According to the Wall Street Journal, geothermal, hydro, nuclear, and solar power all over 200% efficiency, while natural gas (38%), oil (30%) and coal are all emphatically below 100%.
“We’re #1! We’re #1!” Actually, the U.S. is decidedly #2 in clean energy growth, with China leading the way by a wide margin. China alone is responsible for nearly 50% of the world’s increase in renewable energy sources in 2021, then followed by the U.S., the E.U., and India. However, the renewable energy market is set to explode in the U.S., so we very well could be #1 soon!
The U.S. is already taking ambitious steps to reach that goal, including investing about $2 trillion in clean and renewable energy, rejoining the Paris Climate Accord, and “decarbonizing” the power sector fully by 2035. Those measures and more will help us achieve our vision of having net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.