Earlier this year, Starbucks teamed up with CRS, offering Starbucks partners (employees) throughout the U.S. a way to learn how to reduce their impact on the planet by switching to renewable energy as part of the company's ongoing environmental initiatives. Through Buy Clean Energy, a website that helps individuals and businesses search for available local green power options, participants can green their electricity at home, and learn about other environmental actions they can take. To search for Green-e certified green power options by ZIP code, and sign the growing roster of clean energy supporters, visit buycleanenergy.org.
PAUL, Minn., April 19, 2017 — American wind power added jobs over 9 times faster than the overall economy amid robust growth for another year, according to the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA), which released its 2016 U.S. Wind Industry Annual Market Report today at the Minnesota State Capitol. Installing over 8,000 megawatts (MW) of new wind power for a second straight year, the U.S. industry invested over $14 billion in 2016 in new wind farms built in rural America, and now supports a record-high 102,500 jobs. Read More
For three hours on March 11, solar power met roughly half of all electricity demand across a big swath of California, according to a new estimate from the federal government. Even for a state used to setting renewable power records, it was a milestone. And while temporary, it will doubtless happen again as the state advances toward its goal of getting half of all its electricity from renewable sources by 2030. The estimate came from the U.S. Energy Information Administration, the statistics branch of the Department of Energy. The administration used data from the California Independent System Operator, which manages the electricity grid across 80 percent of the state and part of Nevada. Between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on March 11, almost 40 percent of the electricity flowing across the ISO grid came from large-scale solar power plants, a record. California has enough big solar facilities to generate up to 9.8 gigawatts of electricity, nearly the output of 10 nuclear reactors. Read More
U.S. fossil fuel production fell 7% from 2015 to 2016. Most of this decline was from coal production, which decreased 18% and fell to its lowest level since 1978. Relatively low natural gas prices, especially in the first half of 2016, and relatively flat electricity demand contributed to the decline in coal production. Petroleum and natural gas production also declined, falling 5% and 2%, respectively, as prices for both fuels were below their respective 2015 levels. After declining slightly in 2015, U.S. renewable energy production increased 7% in 2016. Wind energy made up almost half the increase in renewable production, while solar energy accounted for nearly a quarter. Both fuels saw substantial electricity generating capacity additions in 2015 and 2016. Hydroelectricity also accounted for almost a quarter of the increase in renewable energy production, largely because of easing drought conditions in the West Coast states, where most of the U.S. hydroelectric capacity is located. Read More
Great news from the Business Council for Sustainable Energy (BCSE)'s just-released 2017 Sustainable Energy in America Factbook. The U.S. GDP is booming while overall energy use—and emissions, and costs—are falling. New renewable energy generation is setting records and energy efficiency programs are working extremely well to reduce demand. It will be up to energy providers, large companies, and the states to keep momentum going in 2017 and beyond.