The U.S. Is Also Breaking Clean Energy Records
A new report from the Natural Resources Defense Council, an environmental organization, looked at data from U.S. government databases and other sources on renewables and energy efficiency from 2016 and the first half of 2017. It found that the U.S. made record-breaking progress in several areas, from increasing solar and wind power capacity and generation to reducing carbon pollution and greenhouse gases.
Some of the historic firsts in renewable energy in the past year included adding more than 14 gigawatts of solar capacity in 2016 ― almost double the record-breaking amount in 2015. And for the first time on record in 2017, solar and wind provided over 10 percent of all electricity power for a single month in the U.S. in both March and April. In some regions, such as California and Texas, wind and solar at times met more than 50 percent of total energy demand.
The country also added its first offshore wind farm last year off of Rhode Island’s Block Island, though the U.S. still trails behind Europe in the industry, which has been active there for years.