Good news can be hard to come by, but not when it comes to clean, renewable energy in America. Despite what’s going on in Washington, D.C., signs of progress and hope can be found in every state.
Why the optimism? Check out this map and you’ll see. In every corner of America, clean energy is growing faster than even most experts thought it would. In 2008, wind and solar energy were barely a blip on the radar screen. Now, we get six times more power from the wind and the sun — enough to power 31 million homes. In that same period, there was a 17-fold increase in battery storage, improving our ability to save solar and wind energy for a rainy (or calm) day.
Everywhere you look, you’ll see signs of progress — including places you might not expect. When we think of solar, we think of states like California and Arizona. But how many people would guess that states like Georgia, North Carolina and New Jersey are solar leaders? Many people might also be surprised to find that Oklahoma ranks second in wind power production.
Every day, there’s more and more evidence that the clean energy revolution is unstoppable. Solar has become a common feature on many homes, businesses and institutions. Tens of thousands of wind turbines have popped up across the land and now — finally — off our coasts. Energy-saving technologies, from LED light bulbs to “smart” thermostats, have made their way into millions of Americans’ homes. Advances in electric car technologies now make it possible for us to envision shifting from gasoline to renewable energy to get around.
Americans want more clean energy. 80 percent support more wind power and 90 percent support expanding solar power — nearly double the support for any other type of energy. Americans support energy conservation over energy production.
Don’t get me wrong, we’ve still got a long way to go. But bolstered by recent progress and strong public support, we should be confident that we can take clean energy to the next level. Let’s work to harness this momentum to get our communities, institutions and businesses to embrace ambitious renewable energy goals and make sure that our local and state officials follow through with what’s needed to meet those goals.