3. Additional action is needed
While the U.S. is adopting clean and renewable energy at a record pace, we must keep our foot on the pedal in order to transition to a clean and renewable economy by midcentury or sooner. The good news is that, between 2011 and 2020, U.S. wind, solar and geothermal power generation grew at an annual rate of 15%. If we can keep growing those resources by 15% per year, renewables could meet our nation’s current electricity needs by 2035. But, that will mean adding a lot more wind, solar and geothermal capacity each year than ever before, and that isn’t going to happen by itself.
Building the 100% renewable energy future we need will require state and federal leaders to all row in the same direction. We’ll need additional states to enact binding commitments to achieving 100% clean and renewable electricity, and we’ll need those that have already done so to continue driving toward those targets with urgency. Strong standards for individual technologies, from electric vehicles to efficient appliances and buildings, play important supporting roles as well.
At the federal level, incentives to encourage renewable energy adoption -- like those included in the proposed Build Back Better legislation currently under consideration in Congress -- will be vital.