Solar power is clean, affordable and popular with the American people. The amount of solar energy installed in the U.S. has quadrupled in the last four years, and the U.S. has enough solar energy installed to power one in 20 American homes.
America’s solar progress is largely the result of bold, forward-thinking public policies that have created a strong solar industry while putting solar energy within the financial reach of millions more Americans.
Behind the scenes, however, electric utilities, fossil fuel interests and powerful industry front groups have begun chipping away at the key policies that have put solar energy on the map in the United States – often in the face of strong objections from a supportive public.
America has made progress in cutting pollution from cars and trucks over the last decade as a result of improved vehicle fuel economy and slower growth in driving. But eliminating greenhouse gas emissions from our urban transportation systems is going to require more than incremental change – it will require transformation.
Philadelphia’s public schools could cover nearly 40 percent of their energy needs by installing solar panels on their 100 acres of usable rooftop space. “Going solar” would save taxpayers tens of millions of dollars on electricity bills for school buildings, while creating local jobs, offering educational and training opportunities for city students and reducing pollution.
This report by ForestEthics, ACTION United and PennEnvironment reveals that Philadelphia’s communities of color and low-income communities face disproportionate threats from oil train explosions and pollution when compared with white and higher-income communities.
Wind power continues to grow as a source of clean energy across America.
The United States generated 26 times more electricity from wind power in 2014 than it did in 2001. American wind power has already significantly reduced global warming pollution. In 2014 alone, wind-generated electricity averted an estimated 143 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions–as much as would be produced by 37 typical coal-fired power plants. With America’s massive potential for wind energy on land and off our coasts, wind power can play a key role in meeting the emission reduction targets of the recently adopted Clean Power Plan and moving the nation toward a future of 100 percent renewable electricity.
PennEnvironment Research and Policy Center is part of The Public Interest Network, which operates and supports organizations committed to a shared vision of a better world and a strategic approach to getting things done.