Acclaimed writer & social entrepreneur Jeremy Leggett stopped by the Generation 180 office last fall to discuss the trends, narratives, and major events that are together accelerating the global transition to clean energy. He speaks from the perspective of an activist, author, and entrepreneur who has been on the front lines of the energy transition for decades.
In the power sector, utilities are shifting to clean energy because the economic case is so compelling, and the trends are clear:
Over the last five years in the US, the fossil fuel industry has retired more electricity generating capacity than they’ve added—which means they’re closing more power plants than they’re opening. This has resulted in a removal of about 20 gigawatts worth of electricity from fossil fuel sources (that’s about 2% of our total capacity here in the U.S.), while wind and solar energy have added a combined 47 gigawatts over the same time period (that’s about 5% of our total installed capacity).
These days, there’s good reason to think seriously about buying an electric vehicle.
First off, picture this: no more gas stations, transmission repairs, oil changes, or timing belt failures. There are far fewer things to break down, which means lower maintenance costs and fewer trips to the mechanic.1
So what's so awesome about LEDs?
Well they're much more affordable now, and they last a long time. With average usage, 1 LED light bulb can last upwards of 40 years, saving you about 25 replacements of your standard incandescent bulb (that's that same technology we've been using for the last...hundred years).
Wind surpassed hydropower energy as the biggest source of renewable electricity here in the U.S. thanks to a tripling of wind capacity since 2008.1
You may be wondering where are all these wind turbines going up? Well, the top 3 states are Texas, Iowa, and Oklahoma.1 So how much power are we actually talking about here? Well, wind now has the capacity to power over 24 million American homes.2
Today we're going over some exciting numbers from the solar industry. How fast exactly is the industry growing?
Well this is the fourth consecutive year that solar industry jobs grew by 20% or more. In comparison, last year, jobs in the U.S. economy grew by only 1.5%.2 So the U.S. solar industry is booming and it now employs more workers than natural gas and more than double the number of workers in the coal industry.3