Clean power 101

Facts

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.

Reports

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.

300,000

Clean energy provides jobs for more than 300,000 Americans.

50M

The U.S. has enough installed clean energy to power 50 million American homes.

77M

Clean energy avoids 77 million cars’ worth of CO2 emissions every year.

Homegrown, affordable, and reliable

The benefits of clean power

Clean energy is set to become America’s dominant power source. Harnessing our world-class clean energy resources will play an essential role in strengthening the country’s economy and combating the climate crisis. Fully realizing our clean power potential will create tens of thousands of good-paying jobs, boost U.S. manufacturing, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Over 150 gigawatts installed

The U.S. has over 150 gigawatts of clean energy installed.

Fastest-growing jobs

Wind turbine technician and solar installer are the country’s first and third fastest-growing jobs, respectively.

Cutting carbon

Clean energy avoids 245 million tons of CO2 emissions every year.

10% of U.S. electricity

Clean energy already supplies 9.7% of U.S. electricity.

America's most affordable power

Wind and solar costs have fallen 70% and 90% respectively over the last decade, making them the most affordable new electricity sources in most of the U.S.

Strengthening local communities

Wind and solar projects pay $2.6 billion a year in landowner lease payments and state and local taxes.

A day powered by clean energy

Video

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

Frequently Asked Questions
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 70% and 90% over the last decade, making them the most affordable sources in new energy in most 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 43 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. And wind and solar save 113 billion gallons of water a year since they don’t need water for cooling, unlike thermal power plants, such as fossil fuel and nuclear power plants.

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.

Become a Member

Take a seat at the table as we discuss the most important policy decisions facing our industry, exchange information and best practices with other leaders, receive exclusive policy briefings and invitations to attend industry events, and gain access to proprietary industry data and tools that can help grow your business.

Stay informed

Take Action

Subscribe to the American Clean Power and receive the latest renewable energy news, policy updates, and opportunities to get involved.