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Solar news: October 30th, 2020

In this week’s Solar News Roundup, an economic analysis of a 100 percent renewables plan, and a look back at a record-setting 2019 for the renewable industry.

100 percent renewable energy push could save billions of dollars

According to the energy policy organization Rewiring America, Americans could save as much as $321 billion in energy costs with an aggressive push to 100 percent renewable energy. More than 40 percent of energy-related emissions come from appliances in and around homes (such as heating, refrigeration, car use, and electricity), and with a complete switch to clean sources, households could save upwards of $2,500 per year in energy costs.

“If we electrify everything, the savings are more than enough to return money to households,” says Adam Zurofsky, executive director of Rewiring America. “Too often we are told doing the right thing for the environment requires sacrifice and costs more. But no one is talking about the upside – we can actually make a better economy and save people money and a byproduct will be to cut emissions from residential buildings.”

You can check out Rewiring America’s report at this link.

The U.S. consumed a record amount of renewables throughout 2019

In another report (this time, looking backwards), the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reported that the U.S. increased consumption of renewables in 2019 for the fourth year in a row, and set a new record of 11.5 quadrillion British thermal units (BTUs) of renewable energy consumed. That’s equivalent to 11 percent of total U.S. energy consumption.

Some specifics: wind energy accounted for 24 percent of all renewable consumption in 2019, surpassing hydroelectricity as the most consumed renewable energy in the country. In addition, wood/biomass waste energy accounted for 24 percent of renewables use, hydroelectricity for 22 percent, and solar at 9 percent. Solar also had the largest percentage growth among all sources in 2019.

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