Solar power is on the rise across America—increasing 200-fold in the United States since 2002—and major cities are helping to lead this clean energy revolution. Shining Cities: At the Forefront of America’s Solar Energy Revolution shows that cities from every region of the U.S. are driving solar development with strong public policies – reaping important benefits for the environment, public health, and the economy. By building local solar power, cities can keep more of their energy budget at home and create good local jobs.
Moving America Forward highlights the important progress America has already made reducing emissions through a series of clean energy and climate policies. Specifically, it quantifies the amount of carbon pollution that was prevented in 2012 by steps taken to implement a specific set of clean energy policies at both the state and federal levels since 2007. This report shows that state leadership can directly reduce carbon pollution, while also laying a foundation for national action, which can deliver significant additional cuts in carbon pollution.
Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. Oregon, however, missed the cut and ranks 13th in the nation for per capita solar installations.
America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years and wind energy now generates as much electricity as is used every year in Georgia. Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution. In 2012, Oregon currently was 8th in the nation for wind energy production.
On the heels of Oregon’s largest and most devastating wildfires in over a decade a new report from Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center finds that even as Oregon works to cut carbon pollution and transition to clean energy, power plants remain the single largest source of carbon pollution in America. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem. Environment Oregon was Angus Duncan, Chair of Oregon's Global Warming Commission; OSU Professor Andreas Schmittner; the Douglas County Global Warming Coalition; and Southern Oregon Climate Action Network for the release of the report.
Environment Oregon 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 social change.