Environment Texas kicks off public education effort for 100 percent clean, renewable energy

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Environment Texas Research and Policy Center

AUSTIN  — Environment Texas Research & Policy Center will deploy dozens of door-knockers this summer in a multi-million-dollar effort to educate Texans about the possibility of 100 percent clean, renewable energy.

Part of a nationwide campaign to reach more than 1.3 million Americans, canvassers will distribute literature to more than 26,000 households around Texas, including in Austin, San Antonio and Houston, showing that the country has both the tools and the imperative to transition entirely off dirty fuels to clean sources such as wind and solar.

“To have healthier and more economically vibrant communities right now, and a livable future for our kids, we need to transform the way we produce and consume energy,” said Luke Metzger, Director of Environment Texas. “The good news we’re spreading is that 100 percent renewable is 100 percent possible.”

The effort comes as a new ERCOT forecast projects Texas will experience dramatic growth in solar energy in the next fifteen years. ERCOT estimates that, under current trends, one-third of electric capacity will come from wind and solar by 2031.

In Paris in December 2015, the nations of the world made a historic commitment to protect the climate, pledging efforts “to limit [global] temperature increase to 1.5° C above pre-industrial levels.” Scientists believe fulfilling that goal will require switching entirely to clean sources by mid-century. At the same time dozens of major corporations ranging from Google, to Coca Cola to Walmart have made commitments to 100% renewable energy. The city of Georgetown, Texas recently signed contracts to get 100% of their power from wind and solar by 2017.

According to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the United States has the technical potential to meet its current electricity needs more than 100 times over with solar energy and more than 10 times over with wind energy.

A recent Environment America Research & Policy Center review of seven detailed studies on clean energy systems conducted to date — by academics, government agencies and nonprofit organizations – suggests there are no insurmountable technological or economic barriers to tapping the country’s vast potential to achieve 100 percent renewable energy.

Economists predict that we can build a 100 percent renewable energy system at costs comparable to or less than what we would have to spend to continue our reliance on dirty energy.

Americans support clean energy sources such as wind, and solar by wide margins and across partisan divides. At the same time, renewable energy development has far outpaced that of conventional dirty fuels for more than a year and a half.

“Renewable energy has strong public support, and it’s nearing a tipping point in our economy,” said Metzger. “And every day, the imperative of addressing our environmental challenges becomes clearer.”