The government currently buys just 40% of its energy from renewable sources like wind and solar, so this transition will be significant given that it is also the largest energy consumer in the country. Renewable energy could power the nation many times over, and doing so would set us on the path to cleaner air, healthier communities and a resilient energy system. Setting these goals will bolster public confidence and send a clear message that the transition to renewable energy isn’t just possible, it’s inevitable. And Biden is ready to prove it.
The transition to clean energy has always been defined by those bold enough to take the first steps into what has been largely uncharted territory until recent years. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to make the commitment to 100% renewable energy; now, almost 10 states have similar commitments when a decade ago we had none. In 2006, California set a goal to install enough solar to power over 1 million homes, and within the decade they succeeded and costs for installing rooftop solar plummeted, paving the way for millions of American families to start powering their homes with renewable energy. This time last year there were no official plans to build utility scale offshore wind farms in the U.S., and now there are two projects with final approval and many more in the pipeline. I could go on, but you get the gist.
This particular leadership comes at an incredibly timely moment as Congress debates the future of Biden’s clean energy agenda. Nestled into that agenda are the clean energy tax credits, which are the policy linchpin for advancing renewables like wind and solar. Without congressional action, many of the credits will be phased out over the next few years. That means reinstating and expanding tax credits is key to ensure we can create a cleaner future built on abundant, pollution-free energy.
As far as new years’ resolutions go, committing to use more energy from the sun and the wind is one of the best we can make as a country. While Biden's executive order ends 2021 on a hopeful note, 2022 is looking sunnier (and windier) than ever. We applaud President Biden for walking the talk on his clean energy agenda. From here, updating and extending clean energy tax credits through the decade are the next step towards making clean energy financially viable across America and spurring much-needed growth. Congress should take up the charge and pass legislation that ensures our clean energy future. A future built on clean, renewable energy is within reach - our lawmakers need only the confidence to reach out and grab it.