OAKLAND, CA -(ENEWSPF)–October 13, 2016. Carbon emissions from the electric sector are at their lowest levels since 1991, according to new data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). EIA cited lower consumption of coal and gas for energy use along with an increased use of non-carbon fuels in the first half of 2016 as driving factors behind this trend.
“Wind energy, which saw the largest electricity generating capacity additions of any fuel in 2015, accounted for nearly half the increase,” according the EIA report. “Solar energy accounted for 13% of the increase and is expected to see the largest capacity additions of any fuel in 2016.
In response, Jodie Van Horn, Director of the Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign, issued the following statement:
“Emissions are down because dirty fossil fuels are rapidly being replaced by affordable clean energy solutions like wind and solar.
Some of our most polluted cities, including Los Angeles and Salt Lake City, are taking meaningful steps to transition to 100% clean, renewable energy because it creates good local jobs and protects families from the harms of fossil fuel pollution.
By accelerating this transition, we can safeguard our climate by ending reliance on fossil fuels while spurring a new wave of innovation that benefits all communities.”
According to a new report by the Department of Energy, the cost of wind power is down 41 percent from 2008 and solar costs are down between 54 percent and 64 percent in that same period. Battery storage technology has also fallen 73 percent since 2008. As a result, clean energy is on the rise in states, cities, and communities across the country.
Wind and solar accounted for two thirds of all new electricity generation in 2015. Wind power, for example, has nearly tripled since 2008, and electric vehicle sales have almost doubled since 2012.There are now nearly 90,000 jobs in fields ranging from manufacturing and construction to installation in wind energy, and solar employed about 220,000 people in the United States in 2015.
The Sierra Club’s Ready for 100 campaign is a new national campaign launched in 2016 working to accelerate a just and equitable transition to 100 percent clean energy in the United States. Ready for 100 is campaigning to get 100 cities in the United States to move away from dirty, outdated fossil fuels and to commit to 100 percent clean energy.
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