In 2019, the US produced 30 times more solar power and more than triple the amount of wind energy than it did in 2010. In addition to the growth in renewable energy, utility scale battery storage increased 20-fold since 2010, energy consumption per person declined thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and more than one million electric vehicles were sold in the US. That’s according to a new report published by Environment New Jersey Research & Policy Center.
The report, “Renewables on the Rise 2020,” also showed that, in 2018, energy efficiency programs across the US saved more than one and a half times as much electricity as they did in 2010. Further, there were nearly 330,000 electric vehicles sold in the US in 2019, up from virtually none just a decade earlier.
America has massive reserves of renewable energy from the wind and the sun. And according to the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, the US has the technical potential to meet its current electricity needs more than 75 times over with solar energy and more than 10 times over with wind energy.
The report notes that state and federal governments should:
- Adopt 100% renewable energy goals
- Provide continued financial and policy support for wind and solar power
- Strengthen energy efficiency standards and programs to make it easier to repower America with clean energy
- Invest in technologies like electric vehicles, building electrification and energy storage
According to the report, there are many tools cities, states and the federal government can use to improve energy efficiency, such as:
- Strong energy efficiency standards for buildings, vehicles, appliances, and other consumer products
- Energy efficiency resource standards that set targets for energy savings across an entire state
- Energy efficiency and home weatherization programs — including programs funded
on electricity bills or through revenues from carbon cap-and-trade — which can help homeowners and businesses save energy
- “Lead by example” energy efficiency efforts by local, state, and federal governments
The report also ranked top states for wind and solar generation as percentage of electricity consumption. Kansas, Iowa, and North Dakota earned the top spots. The full report can be found here.