As we pointed out a few months ago, America added more renewable energy in 2007 than non-renewable. That means that, yes, we are actually, for real, undeniably, headed in the right direction. Or, at least, we were...for that one year.
But according to a new report from The Prometheus Institute, we're on this path to stay. It looks, actually, like 90% of new capacity added in 2012 will be renewable, a high enough percentage that non-renewable energy will actually start declining absolutely, not just relative to the total energy mix.
Most of this new renewable energy will come from wind power, but a growing percentage will be solar. There should be about 16 gigawatts of wind coming online in the US in 2012, while solar will add 2 gigwatts. That might not seem like an impressive number for solar, but it certainly is when you see that fossil fuels, in 2012, will probably only increase by about 1 gigawatt.
All of this is being caused largely by an un-touted benefit of renewable energy...it's easier to regulate. The process for regulating new coal power plants and (to an even greater extent) nuclear plants means, at minimum, a five year lag time between conception and beginning construction. Solar and wind have, at minimum, just a year of regulatory time.
It will be very difficult to wean ourselves off of coal and petroleum, but the only way to do it is to have all newly-installed power be renewable. And, in fifty-year's time, even the youngest of today's coal plants will be ready to retire. That is what we must do and, friends, it's what we're doing. Excellent.
Via Greentech Media
written by Tim Albinson, April 13, 2009
written by Fred, July 27, 2009
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