A recent survey finds that a majority of Americans favor the development of renewable energy, the U.S. makes plans to install more offshore wind capacity and new data shows power plant emissions are declining. Read these stories and more in this week’s renewable energy news roundup.
Report Shows More Americans Want Wind and Solar
More people are getting on board with renewable energy, according to a recent survey from the Pew Center. The report showed that 89 percent of U.S. adults say they’re in favor of building more solar farms, and 83 percent said they were in favor of more wind farms. Additionally, 41 percent of Americans said they had thought seriously about installing solar panels at home, citing cost savings and environmental impact, with 4 percent reporting that they’ve already installed panels.
U.S. Government Makes Plan to spur 86 GW in Offshore Wind by 2050
Now that the first offshore wind farm in U.S. coastal waters is up and running, the Obama administration is pushing federal agencies to support a build of 22 GW by 2030 and 86 GW by 2050. The U.S. Departments of Energy (DOE) and Interior (DOI) recently updated the National Offshore Wind Strategy Report, which includes policy actions to help streamline the development of the 14.6 GW of possible capacity in offshore tracts already leased by Interior, as well as research and data showing the benefits of pursuing offshore wind projects.
From Amazon to Wal-Mart, Renewable Energy Deals Add Up
Amazon, Facebook, Google, Procter & Gamble, Starbucks and Wal-Mart are just a few of the major U.S. corporations that are making big moves toward using renewable energy. While sustainability goals may drive these deals for some companies, market trends have also helped influence companies to go green — A U.S. report showed costs for land-based wind energy fell 41 percent from 2008 to 2015, while photovoltaic utility-scale solar saw a 64 percent cost drop.
EPA: Power Plant Emissions Declined 6.2 percent in 2015
Power plants produce the largest share of the United States’ greenhouse gas emissions, about 30 percent of air pollution in 2015, but the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says the level is declining. Almost 1,500 facilities emitted 2 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide last year — a 6.2 percent decline compared to 2014 and an 11.3 percent decline since 2011.