Clean power 101
Clean power is quickly becoming America’s dominant energy source, as renewables like wind and solar—coupled with battery storage—led new power additions over the past several years. Critical in the fight against climate change, clean energy is also a leading source of U.S. job creation and investment.
A Majority Renewables Future
This first-of-its-kind study details clean energy’s potential to unlock economic growth and achieve majority renewable electricity generation within the next decade.
A day powered by clean energy
From the moment you flip on your lights and have breakfast to wrapping up your work day and shopping for groceries, the seconds that make up your day are increasingly powered by renewable energy, as companies like AT&T and T-Mobile, Starbucks and McDonalds, GM and Toyota, Microsoft and Google, and Target and Walmart make continued – and growing – investments in clean power.Open video in lightbox
What you need to know about clean power
What is clean power?
Clean power encompasses renewable resources that don’t emit greenhouse gases or other emissions, including wind, solar, hydropower, and geothermal.
Clean power is increasingly being paired with energy storage.
Is clean energy expensive?
No. The costs of wind and solar have fallen by 65% and 85% over the last decade, making them the most affordable sources of new energy in many parts of the country. In many places, it’s now cheaper to build new wind and solar projects than it is to continue operating legacy power plants.
Is clean energy reliable?
Yes. The U.S. now has enough installed clean energy to power 52 million American homes. Solar and wind output is highly predictable, giving grid operators ample time to adjust to changes in output, unlike conventional power plants that can unexpectedly and suddenly trip offline. Wind and solar are also capable of providing many of the same essential reliability services as conventional power plants, which is necessary to keep the lights on.
Is clean energy good for the environment?
Clean energy sources like wind and solar are critical parts of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating climate change. They also avoid air pollution like particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, and sulfur dioxide that create smog and trigger asthma attacks. In addition, wind and solar save 113 billion gallons of water a year when compared to thermal power plants, such as fossil fuel and nuclear plants, because they don’t need water for cooling.
Does clean energy depend on subsidies?
All energy sources in the U.S. receive incentives in some way through tax credits, loan programs, insurance guarantees, or other means. Historically, clean energy has received a fraction of these incentives—at the end of 2020, federal energy incentives provided to wind and solar represent only 6.6% of total energy incentives. And through innovation, advancing technology, and improved domestic manufacturing, wind and solar are the lowest-cost sources of new electricity in most parts of the country, even accounting for incentives.
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