Often, we see discussions for what needs to be done in the future and how the future looks according to our current habits and behaviours. Of course, it is our decisions right now that can impact this but what about the decisions we have already made? We believe that, in order to stay motivated and continue making changes today, we have to assess what our changes have already done which is what we have for you today.
Renewable Sources - As we continue to learn more about how energy can be generated and stored, we are seeing more and more systems being implemented across the US. When it comes to geothermal, wind, solar, biomass, and hydro technologies, they are all on the rise. Of all the new electricity generated in 2015, around two-thirds of this came from renewable sources - wind is nearly half of this on its own.
Across the Country - When discussions for renewable energy were first raised, there was an overall concern that the changes would be concentrated within certain regions with other areas remaining the same. However, this isn't the case as different areas seem to be focusing on different sources. Within the Midwest, for example, wind sources are huge. In fact, four of the five states with the largest wind capacity are located in this region.
Elsewhere, the Southwest seems to be concentrating on solar energy with Arizona and California at the top of these charts. As you can see, states are playing to their strengths and turning what they have been given into fantastic renewable energy. In the Northwest, there has been some incredible breakthroughs when it comes to hydropower innovation. Finally, the Southeast is installing more biomass technologies whilst many of the states that surround the Rocky Mountains are geothermal-focused.
Increased Investment - How have these changes been allowed to occur? In short, increased investment. Around the world, there was a 4% increase in energy investment in 2015 alone which brought the total to $330 billion. Although we haven't got the figures just yet, experts are expecting this to have been even higher in 2016. In the US, we saw a 10% boost in clean energy investment which brings us up to just short of $50 billion.
With all of this information to consider, it would be a fair assessment to say that there has been phenomenal progress. Compared to where the planet was just twenty short years ago, technology has come a long way which has aided the renewable energy industry - we haven't looked back since. As we head into the end of 2017, more progress is expected and the different regions will continue to use their strengths. With more companies now investing, it shows that we want change as a country and this proof shows that it is coming!