Update via Science Alert: Costa Rica powered with 100% renewable energy for 75 straight days
Great news has arrived.
I’m sure I’m not alone in feeling a twinge of hopelessness when it comes to renewable energy. The global fight to convert our existing archaic approaches into technologically superior methods—benefitting both mankind and the earth has seemed, at times, almost insurmountable. There’ve been days I thought we’d never make progress.
But new data is showing that solar power is now growing much faster than non-renewable energy.
According to Wired, not only is the solar power industry now adding loads of jobs, driving progressive policies and securing huge financial investments from major corporations; we are also seeing record numbers of solar systems being installed. In just four years, total solar photovoltaic installs in the U.S. increased from 852 in 2010 to 6,201 in 2014. The year 2013-14 alone saw an increase of 30%.
As explained in Rocky Mountain Institute’s informative video, solar power is scaling up faster than cell phones. Because of this, America now employs more people in solar jobs than in coal or steel.
And the effect is global. In 2013, China generated more power from solar and wind sources than from nuclear power, a huge turnaround.
A major reason for these positive changes is, of course, financial.
Solar equipment is now able to be mass produced, more economically, allowing an exponential scaling up of the industry to occur. More product, lower cost.
This has also allowed utility companies and installers to introduce new ways of bringing solar to customers, including the leasing of panels and increasing onsite storage—creating a more viable option for us, the end user.
Other factors including relatively stable funding budgets, the construction of large solar farms and the declining viability of the nuclear industry are now all converging to bring renewable energy to the fore.
Combined with the recent epic launch of the world’s first ever Wave Energy Farm in Australia, it looks as though we are finally succeeding.
And not a moment too soon.
Author: Crystal Davis
Editor: Ashleigh Hitchcock
Photo: courtesy of author