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Solar energy is the most abundant source of energy available on the planet, and it has been harnessed in the conventional form of photovoltaic (PV) cells for over half a century. The improvements in efficiency and reductions in hardware costs in recent years have resulted cost decreases of over 40% and have led to significant increases in installments worldwide. In fact, 29% of electricity generation capacity added in 2013 came from solar installments. But staying ahead of climate change will take more significant adoption of renewables. Fortunately there are still plenty of opportunities to continue driving costs down and encouraging more widespread deployment.
Wherever there are people, there is waste. That’s just a fact. However, what humanity has chosen to do with that waste has changed throughout the years. First, of course, we didn’t do anything. But that wasn’t sanitary, so we started to bury it. Now, advances in technology have made burying waste inefficient.
This post was originally featured on CleanEnergyWorksForUs.org. It has been reposted here with permission.
Two events held this week in the financial capital of world highlighted both the business risks of climate change as well as the economic opportunities of developing renewable energy solutions – but only if the right policies are put in place.
Last week, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) dominated the news with the release of its draft Clean Power Proposal, which mandates carbon reductions from power plants. While there is a federal emissions limit for any new power plant built in the United States, this is the first federal action to regulate emissions of existing plants. The EPA’s proposal mandates an emissions reduction from the power sector by 30 percent below 2005 levels.
Last week, the Environmental Protection Agency revealed its carbon reduction plan for existing power plants. EPA’s Clean Power Plan represents America’s most significant effort so far to transition to a clean energy economy and combat climate change. Mother Nature will be undoubtedly grateful, but the economy will have plenty of reasons to celebrate, too. The fact is, the environment and the economy are not mutually exclusive. As CalCEF President and ACORE board co-chair Dan Adler aptly put it, "by allowing states to stimulate investment in local, renewable energy projects to meet carbon reduction requirements, EPA can help sustain the surge in capital commitments to these technologies and boost growth at a critical time for our economy.”
“If at first you don’t succeed, dust yourself off and try again.” Fossil fuel interests must have taken Aaliyah’s message to heart, because they continue to try to roll back pro-renewable energy policies in state legislatures, despite repeated failures over the past few years.