Despite the fact that President Trump has pulled out of the Paris Climate Accord, Americans continue to embrace the idea of renewable energy.
Forty years ahead of what the Environmental Protection Agency predicted, renewable energy has doubled its output and now provides nearly 20 percent of electricity in the U.S.
According to the latest issue of the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s “Electric Power Monthly,” energy sources such as biomass, geothermal, hydropower, solar and wind accounted for a fifth of U.S. electrical generation as of the end of March.
Ken Bossong, executive director of the SUN-DAY campaign says the momentum that’s been gained could be lost because of the latest developments in Washington.
Just basic, common-sense things like changing light bulbs, it’s one of the easiest, cheapest ways to reduce electricity use and thereby reduce the dependency on fossil fuel-generated electric plants.
– Ken Bossong
“If anything, it’s clearly more of a problem today, and certainly with the Trump administration it’s a serious concern just because there’s not the support that we had just a year ago from the White House for addressing this problem,” he says.
In 2012, a report by the Energy Information Administration predicted the country would see wind and solar power providing 15 percent of total energy by 2035. Florida ranks third in the nation for rooftop solar potential, but is 12th for cumulative solar capacity installed.
Bossong says climate change can be slowed on an individual basis.
“Just basic, common-sense things like changing light bulbs, it’s one of the easiest, cheapest ways to reduce electricity use and thereby reduce the dependency on fossil fuel-generated electric plants,” he explains. “Other simple tasks like recycling have a direct impact on energy.”
Bossong says solar power is being utilized by 1.2 million households in America, 75,000 of them in Florida, either from solar panels installed on rooftops or by homeowners tapping into nearby solar-energy sources. In 2006, only about 30,000 homes had solar panels.
The cost has come down as well. He says a decade ago it cost $9 per watt of power generated by solar panels. Today, it’s less than $4 a watt.
By Veronica Carter
Public News Service – FL
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