In a recording-breaking first, electricity generated by wind and solar power made up just over 10 percent of the total electricity generated in the United States.
According to the report from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), wind power made up 8 percent and solar made up 2 percent of all US electricity in March of this year, based on its monthly data. When the figures are finalized, the EIA estimates that April will have exceeded the 10 percent milestone too.
It’s definitely getting harder for the Trump administration to denounce renewable energy and its effectiveness, or refer to it as an alternative energy source when it is on the increase year on year, with important milestones being reached and then smashed repeatedly.
According to the report, March 2017 saw a marked increase compared to March 2016, which saw wind and solar generate 8.6 percent of total US electricity. March 2017 generated 65 percent more solar and 17 percent more wind than the previous year, while wind and solar made up 7 percent of the total yearly electricity generated in 2016.
Renewable energy is affected by its natural sources and so differs from month to month. It is usually highest in spring due to the combined effect of increasing daylight hours and seasonal wind patterns.
Despite the lack of support from the government, renewable energy goals are showing no sign of slowing down and many states across the US are determined to stay in keeping with the Paris climate agreement, with or without federal support.
California, one of the largest emission-releasing states in the US, has announced plans to get half of its electricity from renewables by 2030, and is currently considering whether to increase this to 100 percent by 2045.
A recent study by Stanford University suggests it’s possible for the US to run entirely on renewable energy in just 35 years. It even offers a “road map” of what each state would need to do with regards to infrastructure and energy consumption to reach the goal.
And while the government attempts to revive the flagging fossil fuel industry with jobs, jobs, jobs, the US Department of Energy released a report last year announcing that solar employs more people in the US than oil, coal, and gas combined.
In 2014, 60 percent of Americans thought the US’ top priority when it came to investing in energy should be in renewables. That has now risen to 65 percent in 2017.
With the huge amount of states, businesses, industry, jobs, and the wishes of the American people behind renewable energy, it looks like it will continue to be on the up, while the current government looks increasingly like it is going to be left behind in the dust.