The current state of renewable energy
This year, Green Mountain Energy Company celebrated 15 years as a green power pioneer. As the longest serving green power marketer in the U.S., we’ve seen the industry experience many changes over this time. To mark this milestone, we developed this infographic that reflects how far the renewable energy industry has come, how it has contributed to the nation’s economic growth, and what the future of clean energy could look like in the next 15 years.
[Renewable Energy Infographic courtesy of Green Mountain Energy]
As you can see, the growth of the renewable energy industry has had a significant economic impact. The Brookings Institute found that the U.S. clean energy sector grew at a rate nearly twice that of the overall economy during the worst of the recession and employs more than 2.7 million workers, more than the fossil fuel industry. According to a national study by the Center for American Progress, jobs created by the clean energy sector outpace the fossil fuel industry by a 3-to-1 margin. To put it simply, every dollar invested into clean energy creates three times as many jobs as the same dollar invested into oil and gas.
Our need to generate enough supply to meet the country’s growing energy needs, customers who want cleaner choices, and forward-looking public policy drive demand for renewable energy. To keep pace with demand, wind farms today produce 28 times more renewable energy than they did in 1997, and output continues to increase with technology improvements and a growing number of wind projects. According to the American Wind Energy Association, jobs supported by the wind energy industry could grow from 75,000 jobs today to as many 500,000 jobs if the U.S. were to transition to generating 20 percent of its energy from wind. And that’s just one renewable energy resource!
We’ve come a long way since 1997, but how far can renewable energy go? That’s the big question. From our standpoint, the economic and environmental benefits of renewable energy will continue to stimulate consumer demand for cleaner energy options, promising an even brighter future for renewable energy.
Jennifer Clymer is Environmental Manager for Green Mountain Energy Company, with more than a decade of experience championing and implementing sustainable energy use. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.