October 5, 2020 at 8:56 am

How clean energy is overtaking fossil fuels

By Prashant Tambe

Once relegated to the sidelines of investors’ attention due to broad overreliance on subsidies and a lack of economic edge vs. traditional energy, clean energy and clean technology are in the midst of a new era of growth and competitiveness. Although wind and solar capacity have been expanding rapidly for over a decade, utilities have only recently wholeheartedly embraced both renewable sources as key generation technologies to upgrade power plant fleets, which has dramatically accelerated the large-scale shutdown of coal.

Meanwhile, the stability of hydropower and geothermal power has been steadily generating baseload energy for decades. When combining all renewable sources, 2019 marked the first year in the modern electric era that renewable energy surpassed coal in the U.S. energy supply mix. In fact, countrywide annual energy consumption from coal has reached its lowest level since 1964 in the U.S. [1]

“2019 coal use was the lowest since 1964, and clean energy surpassed coal in the U.S.”

In addition to the continued trend of renewable energy additions, clean technology will play a key role in achieving greater energy efficiency to help us both conserve energy and minimize greenhouse gas emissions, while also supporting continued economic growth. Advances in technologies are enabling a smart grid capable of integrating more distributed sources of energy while at the same time being more resilient. Other technologies are allowing us more control over the energy we use in order to consume less or use it in entirely new ways.

Nowhere is this technology disruption more evident than in the electrification of transportation. As the technology has advanced, all types of vehicles are being electrified—from passenger cars to large commercial trucks—improving the outlook for electric vehicles and fuel cell technologies. Given the meaningful reduction in emissions from the electric sector over the past decade, transportation is now the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., accounting for approximately 28% of the total.[2]

Biofuels and biomass form another option for alternative fuels and renewable electricity generation. Next-generation biofuels and modern biomass are helping to secure our energy supply and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Carbon reduction has accelerated from clean energy additions

Numerous policy support initiatives are being proposed around the world, further reinforced by stimulus spending broadly, as momentum builds to address climate change. However, what is clear is that governments are accelerating efforts to transition to a clean energy future through further incentives, more stringent mandates and potentially a more prevalent price on carbon. In addition, as technology continues to drive down costs, more companies are speeding up their own transition plans with meaningful commitments to lowering net carbon emissions.

Dozens of U.S. utilities and other large corporations have committed to net-zero emissions in the coming decades.[3] All of this culminates in an attractive investment environment for the companies delivering on the promise of clean energy today.

“The renewables origination success remained particularly strong, with the team adding more than 5,800 megawatts to our backlog over the past year as we continue operating in what we believe to be the best renewables development environment in our history.” – Jim Robo, CEO, Nextera Energy, January 24, 2020

Prashant Tambe

An expert in SEO, Prashant carries an experience of over five years in the industry. He has the ability to analyze global industry trends that helps the leaders to make smarter decisions. An electrical, electronics and communication engineer, Prashant is able to predict future trends as they are changing fast with technological development.

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