Solar energy is on the rise. America has more than three times as much solar photovoltaic capacity today as in 2010, and more than 10 times as much as in 2007. In the first three months of 2013, solar power accounted for nearly half of the new electricity generating capacity in the United States. The price of solar energy is falling rapidly, and each year tens of thousands of additional Americans begin to reap the benefits of clean energy from the sun, generated right on the rooftops of their homes or places of business. America’s solar energy revolution has been led by 12 states that have used public policies to open the door for solar energy and are reaping the rewards as a result. Oregon, however, missed the cut and ranks 13th in the nation for per capita solar installations.
America’s wind power capacity has quadrupled in the last five years and wind energy now generates as much electricity as is used every year in Georgia. Thanks to wind energy, America uses less water for power plants and produces less climate-altering carbon pollution. In 2012, Oregon currently was 8th in the nation for wind energy production.
On the heels of Oregon’s largest and most devastating wildfires in over a decade a new report from Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center finds that even as Oregon works to cut carbon pollution and transition to clean energy, power plants remain the single largest source of carbon pollution in America. Scientists predict that extreme weather events will become more frequent and severe for future generations, unless we cut the dangerous carbon pollution fueling the problem. Environment Oregon was Angus Duncan, Chair of Oregon's Global Warming Commission; OSU Professor Andreas Schmittner; the Douglas County Global Warming Coalition; and Southern Oregon Climate Action Network for the release of the report.
After yet another year in which many parts of the country were hit by scorching heat, devastating wildfires, crippling drought, record floods and severe storms like Hurricane Sandy, a new Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center report finds that weather-related disasters are affecting hundreds of millions of Americans, and documents how global warming could lead to certain extreme weather events becoming even more common or more severe in the future.
America has more than doubled its use of wind power since the beginning of 2008 and we are starting to reap the environmental rewards. In Oregon, wind energy now displaces as much global warming pollution each year as much as is produced by 550,000 cars. To protect the environment, federal and state governments should continue and expand policies that support wind energy.