The clean energy revolution is one of the defining global stories of the 21st century, and America will continue to play a major role in the chapters ahead — no matter what. Here are six reasons why the rise of the clean energy economy is unstoppable.
1. Clean energy is cheaper. Prices for wind and solar are plummeting all over the world, setting records as the cheapest source of power from Mexico to Abu Dhabi. For U.S. homeowners, going solar can save you money compared to your utility in 42 out of 50 of the largest cities in the country according to a recent study — and it’s a better investment than the stock market in 46 of those cities! The smart money’s on renewables.
2.Everybody loves renewables. Even if other political issues sometimes divide us, Americans are united in their desire for a renewable future. A recent Pew poll found that, in contrast to stark divides on fossil fuels and nuclear energy, “strong majorities of all political groups support more solar and wind production” — including 89% of all Americans favoring more solar! As demonstrated by “green tea party” activists fighting alongside solar advocates in state-level battles nationwide, clean energy is a place where we can all come together.
3. Clean energy supports jobs. The local employment benefits of the clean energy economy are a big reason for its popularity across all political preferences. There are now well over 200,000 solar jobs nationwide, with an employment growth rate that has been twelve times that of the overall economy since 2010. And the wind industry employs over 88,000 workers, with wind turbine technician recently projected to be the fastest-growing job in America over the next decade by the Department of Labor.
4. Key policies are set by the states. Federal tax credits for renewables have provided a big boost in recent years — and, with their extension through 2022 on a bipartisan basis, they’re unlikely to be eliminated. But even if policies change at the federal level, some of the most important incentives for renewables are at the state level, including net metering, renewable portfolio standards for utilities, rebates, and interconnection rules. That means renewables-savvy states from California to New York — and everywhere in between — will keep leading the way, no matter what.
5. The Paris Agreement is official. Last week, the landmark Paris Agreement became international law, with pledges for climate action from 96 ratified countries and counting. That includes major developing countries like China and India, who are setting ambitious mandates for renewable energy development as a key part of their long-term economic and environmental strategies. So even if the U.S. temporarily slows its leadership in clean energy, other countries will pick up the pace — and potentially pick up our market share in these fast-growing technologies if we dawdle too much.
6. The clean energy future is people-powered. The fact is, we the people are more empowered than ever to push this clean energy revolution forward. Climate activists have fought — and won — battles all over the world in recent years, and their determination is stronger today than it has ever been. And crucially, new clean energy technologies like rooftop solar, battery storage, and electric vehicles are enabling homeowners and businesses everywhere to take control over their energy to save money and reduce emissions.
So, regardless of what’s going on in Washington DC, everyday Americans today have an unprecedented ability and an unprecedented number of reasons to take control over the direction of our energy system. Mosaic’s goal since day one has been to build a 100% clean energy future that allows everyone to prosper, and we’re more motivated than ever to continue building that future together with you.